James Robottom#7339

James Robottom

Barrister, Matrix Chambers
James has a multi-disciplinary practice, with particular emphasis on and experience in tort law (including clinical negligence and abuse work), inquests and inquiries, public law, and human rights and equality law.

James is listed as a leading junior in the inquests and inquiries and clinical negligence sections of the Legal 500 2021 and in inquests and inquiries in Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide 2021. James has particular expertise in claims and inquests arising from mental health care.

James is on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Panel of preferred counsel and the Attorney General’s Panel of civil Counsel at B Level.

James has particular experience in relation to the law of modern slavery and human trafficking. He appeared in the Supreme Court in 2016 in Onu v Akwiwu and in 2020 in A&B v CICA. He represents the victims of the Kozeesleep and Operation Fort human trafficking conspiracies in their compensation claims against companies that failed to prevent forced labour in the UK. James is currently undertaking a PhD at King’s College London on modern slavery, tort, and human rights law. His multi-disciplinary practice allows him to advise in relation to human trafficking and modern slavery cases which intersect several practice areas, domestic and international law. In 2019 he was invited to give evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee’s Inquiry into modern slavery, In 2016 he was nominated for the Bar Pro Bono award for his work on behalf of victims of human trafficking and modern slavery.
Contributed to


Findings, determinations and conclusions of an inquest
Findings, determinations and conclusions of an inquest
Practice notes

This Practice Note explains the range of conclusions, findings and determinations which can be reached following a coroner’s inquest. It covers the meaning of ‘findings’, ‘conclusions’ and ‘determinations’ within the context of an inquest, shortform conclusions, such as accidental death, death by misadventure and unlawful killing, narrative verdicts, the required standard of proof and reports to prevent future deaths. Reference to the applicable Chief Coroner’s guidance notes is included.

Procedure at coroners’ inquests
Procedure at coroners’ inquests
Practice notes

This Practice Note explains the procedure which is followed at a coroner’s inquest in accordance with the Coroners (Inquests) Rules 2013, SI 2013/1616 and the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (CJA 2009). and the stages in the inquest hearing itself. It covers the public nature of inquests, when a jury will be required, opening an inquest, witness evidence, documentary evidence, expert evidence, self-incrimination in an inquest, submissions to the coroner, coroners’ summing up and majority verdicts in inquests.

The purpose and scope of coroners’ inquests: introductory guide for practitioners
The purpose and scope of coroners’ inquests: introductory guide for practitioners
Practice notes

This Practice Note assists practitioners representing clients before a coroner’s inquest and explains the inquest process in England and Wales as provided under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (CJA 2009). It explains how a coroner is an independent judicial officer, with a statutory duty under CJA 2009, s 1 to hold an investigation into a death when it has been referred as soon as practicable. It examines when an inquest must take place, the duties of a coroner, the purpose of an inquest, scope of a coroner’s inquest (a decision subject to judicial review) and the key features of an inquest. It also explains the structure of the coroner’s courts, how to become involved in the inquest process and the rights of properly interested persons to an inquest. It also explains the important distinction between the traditional scope of an inquest (Jamieson inquests) and the broader scoped Middleton inquests, often called Article 2 inquests, based on Article 2 European Convention of Human Rights which must be heard in cases involving deaths in state custody.

Other work

Pre Inquest Review (PIR) hearings—checklist
Pre Inquest Review (PIR) hearings—checklist

This Checklist summarises the main issues which are frequently addressed during pre inquest review (PIR) hearings and the issues which interested parties to an inquest (IPs) should consider when preparing to attend a PIR.

Practice Area


  • Consulting Editorial Board
  • Contributing Author
  • Other Publications

Qualified Year

  • 2009


  • 7BR (2010 - 2021)
  • Matrix Chambers (2021 - Present)


  • INQUEST Lawyers Group
  • Human Rights Lawyers Association
  • AvMA


  • BA Hons (1997)
  • MA (2003)
  • MA (2007)
  • BVC (2009)


  • University of Sheffield (2000)
  • City University (2003)
  • King’s College London (2007)
  • BPP (2009)
  • King’s College London (2017)

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