About James Heyworth

James’ practice encompasses all areas of criminal defence work as well as providing representation for interested parties at inquests, particularly following fatal diving accidents. He believes in working closely with instructing solicitors throughout the court process and is always contactable by phone or email. James can also be instructed directly by clients under the Bar’s Direct Access scheme.

James came to the Bar following 6 years serving as a Warfare Officer in the Royal Navy. During this time he served on operarions in Sierra Leone and Northern Ireland, and was deployed at sea all over the world. Following his time in HMS Glasgow as Officer of the Watch and Diving Officer, James was selected to attend the navy’s elite Mine Clearance Diving Officers’ Course. Over a challenging 12 months, he was trained to dive and supervise mixed-gas rebreather diving, surface-suplied air diving and recompression chamber operations. As part of his training James also qualified as a bomb and mine disposal officer. His final appointment was running the Royal Navy boarding operations school: training ship’s boarding teams in helicopter fast roping and ship search and seizure.

James has a particular interest in representing interested parties at inquests following fatal diving accidents. In the Coroner’s court he is able to combine his ability as an advocate with his in-depth knowledge of diving to provide real assistance to his clients. James has recently just finished a jury inquest in which he represented the bereaved family following a fatal diving accident involving a rebreather diving set.

In his criminal work James has been instructed in all types of cases; including murder, conspiracies, drugs, fraud and serious violence. He has particular experience of defending serving and retired members of HM Forces in the civilian courts. Instructing solicitors and clients have found his insider knowledge of the military and forces law invaluable. He is also available for military court hearings.

Outside of work James enjoys a challenge and recently completed the National 3 Peaks Challenege. He is a keen swimmer (both indoors and in open water), is a civilian diver (PADI Divemaster), and is currently learning to fly.