James Turner QC

'. . . "a silk of immense industry who loves to immerse himself in the detail of a case." He frequently acts in ultra-high net worth ancillary reliefs and is known for being immensely bright.'
Chambers and Partners

James Turner QC has practised from 1 King’s Bench Walk since 1976 when he was called to the Bar. He has a wide and varied practice that encompasses all areas of family law, criminal law, medical disciplinary work and administrative law. He has appeared in over 150 reported cases, including a number of cases in each of his major fields of practice in the House of Lords or Privy Council – see the download below for a full list.

He took silk in 1998 and is a Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple. He is recommended in both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners Directory as a Leading Silk in Family work and he has for very many years been a contributing editor of Archbold: Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice.

Within Family Law he has particular expertise in high net worth financial ancillary relief work (he appeared in the House of Lords in both White v White and Miller v Miller), with his cases often involving trusts, corporate law, and tax (such as the Imerman/Tzchenguiz matter), and international jurisdictional issues (such as Mittal v. Mittal). He has also appeared in financial ancillary relief cases in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands and is instructed in such matters from Hong Kong and Jersey. Additionally, he has considerable experience in complex international child abduction cases, with six appearances in that field in the House of Lords/Supreme Court, the most recent of which are  A. v. A. [2014] and In Re LC (Children) [2014] [full citations below].  He has appeared as a speaker on family law issues at Conferences in England and Bermuda.

As to Administrative Law, his practice has included membership of the Supplementary Panel of Treasury Counsel when he was a junior, and he appeared in that capacity in many high profile cases.  His judicial review work after he took silk has included representation of the Home Secretary in the Pinochet case, and appearances in other cases in courts which have included the House of Lords.

His work in the field of Criminal Law includes both prosecuting and defending, with particular experience of technical, procedural and human rights points.  He has been instructed many times on behalf of medical professionals in both criminal and Professional Disciplinary proceedings, including representation of a forensic pathologist in long-running professional disciplinary proceedings arising out of the “Sally Clarke” case.

Cases of Interest

James Turner QC has appeared in over 150 reported cases across all the fields of work in which he practises, including cases in each field before the House of Lords, and/or the Supreme Court and/or the Privy Council.

A few of his reported cases are:

  • In Re LC (Children) [2014] UKSC 1, SC.
  • A. v. A. and another (Children: Habitual Residence) (Reunite International Child Abduction Centre and others intervening) [2014] A.C. 1, SC.
  • In Re E. (Children) (Abduction: Custody Appeals)[2012] 1 A.C. 144, SC.
  • In Re S. (A Child)[2012] 2 W.L.R. 721, SC.
  • White v. White [2001] A.C. 596, HL.
  • Miller v. Miller; McFarlane v. McFarlane [2006] 2 A.C. 618, HL.
  • Mittal v. Mittal [2014] 2 W.L.R. 1033, CA.
  • Harb v. King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz [2005] 2 F.L.R. 1109, CA.
  • Imerman v. Imerman [2010] EWCA Civ 908, CA.
  • Crossley v. Crossley [2008] 1 F.L.R. 1467, CA. ·
  • Judge v. Judge [2009] 1 F.L.R. 1287, CA.
  • Miller Smith v. Miller Smith [2009] 1 F.L.R, 1402, CA.
  • Miller Smith v. Miller Smith (No. 2) [2010] 2 F.L.R 351 (Baker J).
  • In re H. (a Minor) (Abduction: Rights of Custody) [2000] 2 A.C. 291, HL.
  • In re D. (a child) (Abduction: Rights of Custody) [2007] 1 A.C. 619, HL.
  • Sheldrake v. DPP; Attorney-General’s Reference (No. 4 of 2002)
    [2005] 1 A.C. 264, HL.
  • R. v. Manchester Stipendiary Magistrate and another, ex p. Granada Television Ltd [2001] 1 A.C. 300, HL.
  • R. (O.) v. Crown Court at Harrow [2007] 1 A.C. 249, HL.
  • R. v. The Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex p. Fininvest and others (Berlusconi) [1997] 1 W.L.R. 743, DC.
  • R. v. Bow Street Magistrates’ Court, ex p. Shayler [1999] 1 Cr.App.R. 355, DC.
  • In Re Pinochet Ugarte, International Law Reports (Vol. 119) 27, DC.

Download a full list of reported cases for James Turner QC

Appointments and Memberships

  • Member of the South Eastern Circuit
  • Member of the Criminal Bar Association
  • Member of the Family Law Bar Association
  • Member of the Administrative and Public Law Bar Association
  • Sussex Bar Mess
  • Kent Bar Mess


  • Robertsbridge Secondary Modern School
  • Bexhill Grammar School
  • University of Hull (1975 LLB Hons)
  • 1976 Bar Finals