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Joanna was educated at Bassaleg School, Newport, before moving on to Cardiff University, graduating in 2006. Following completion of the Bar Vocational Course, Joanna secured pupillage at Apex Chambers, becoming a tenant in 2009.

Joanna regularly appears for both prosecution and defence in a wide range of cases.

She has prosecuted on behalf of a number of local authorities in cases involving counterfeiting, benefit fraud, noise abatement, animal welfare and offences under the consumer protection legislation. 

She has also appeared on behalf of the Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit, the Department for Work and Pensions and Natural Resources Wales (formerly the Environment Agency). For the former, Joanna appeared as junior prosecution counsel in Operation Beirut (a case involving illegal lending, kidnap and blackmail) and for the latter, Joanna appeared as junior prosecution counsel in Operation Moonshine (a multi-million pound recycling fraud). Joanna also appeared as prosecution counsel alone in the case of R v Johnson, a benefit fraud trial which received national press coverage.

Joanna’s defence practice involves all areas of general crime including sexual offences, benefit fraud, child neglect and serious violence. She has recently appeared as junior defence counsel for the first defendant in Operation Canister, a multi-defendant large scale confidence fraud. 

Joanna James

Joanna James


All areas of criminal law and regulatory crime


Member of the Honourable Society of Middle Temple

For any enquiries, please contact the clerking team:


Phone: 02920 23 2032

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