Jim Sturman QC

Year of Call: 1982  Silk: 2002  


Jim Sturman QC is joint Head of Chambers and is a specialist advocate in crime, business crime, fraud, global investigations and corporate advisory work including corruption, reputation management and data protection, health and safety and sports law.

In the Legal 500 2020 Jim was described as “The best criminal advocate in the business”, “a ferocious advocate with remarkable subtlety when required”, “an absolute master of cross-examination and reading a tribunal”, “corporate clients love his ability to cut straight to the heart of the matter” and as “extremely responsive, with an excellent client manner”.

The directory have previously observed of Jim “The man you would want in your corner if you were ever up against it” (Business and Regulatory crime including Global investigations); “Simply brilliant for the innocent client” (General Crime), “His practice includes heavyweight cross-border corporate crime” (Fraud and corporate crime); “An exceptional trial advocate who is fearless and tactically astute” (health and Safety) and “A tremendous advocate with an incredible reputation” (Sport).

Jim is ranked by the legal Directories in Tier one in 5 separate practice areas, he has been ranked in the Chambers Directory in several practice areas since it was first published and is one of a mere handful of criminal barristers ranked in the “Chambers 100”. Jim was nominated as crime Silk of the year 2018 by the Legal 500, Health and Safety Silk of the year 2017 by the Chambers Directory and was listed in “The Lawyer” Hot 100 in 2003.

For decades Jim has represented celebrities, high net worth individuals (and many of their children), company directors, corporate clients and sports stars both in the UK and across the globe. The Chambers and Partners Specialist High Net Worth Guide 2020 describes Jim Sturman QC as “a fantastic barrister … he puts clients at ease” and notes that “He sees through the complex facts – he is effective and sees things with great clarity.”

You can read about Jim’s experience in more detail on his website: www.jimsturmanqc.com.

Public Access

In certain circumstances Jim is able to accept cases on a public access basis. Please speak to Paul Rodgers if you require any further details.


Jim is frequently instructed to give a second opinion where he did not act in the original trial as well as to draft representations to the CCRC.


  • R v Dixon (Operation Cinema) (2004): Conviction for drugs importation quashed because of non-disclosure by Customs and Excise.
  • R v L: Acted for L in her appeal (though not at trial) against her conviction for murder. The conviction was quashed and at the retrial, the Crown offered no evidence.
  • R v MI: Appeal against conviction on the basis of fresh evidence that the accused may have been suffering from an abnormality of mind at the time of the killing, conviction quashed.
  • R v MV: Appeal against conviction on the basis of non-disclosure, convictions for “diversion fraud” and ten year prison sentence quashed.
  • R v KS: Appeal against conviction for causing death by dangerous driving, conviction quashed as a result of a misdirection of law.
  • R v TW: Appeal against conviction for causing death by dangerous driving, conviction quashed for the improper admission of evidence and a misdirection of law.
  • R v MS: Conviction of a man of good character for section 18 wounding quashed as a result of non-disclosure of material that indicated another person had committed the crime.
  • R v D: Conviction for g.b.h quashed as a result of the judge allowing a jury to conduct “experiments” in their retiring room.

Business Crime

Jim has vast experience of advising corporations and individual directors in criminal (including fraud and corruption), regulatory and HSE matters (in particular corporate manslaughter). Jim has often advised where a business is the victim of a crime as well as in cases where the business or its directors and management are suspects, including advising on Parliamentary Inquiries. Jim’s breadth of experience and quality of previous instructions in this area resulted in his being named as one of the Chambers Directory “Business 100” in 2014, a rating of the top 100 QC’s across all specialities. Jim has advised in Innospec, Barclays (Qatari fund-raising), BAE, JJB and a whole host of investigations that have not featured in the public eye in the armaments, shipping, banking, insurance, oil and gas, manufacturing and sports sectors.

Coroners Inquests

Jim is frequently instructed on behalf of families as well as corporate clients to appear at inquests after deaths in the workplace, in hospitals, prisons, as a result of drug consumption or in road traffic accidents.


  • Re Drayton Manor Park, acted for the company at the inquest into the death of a young girl who had been riding on a water ride.
  • Re Harold Shipman: Acted in the inquest at Leeds crown Court in the inquest into the death in Wakefield prison of Harold Shipman.


Has extensive experience in murder, armed robbery and major drugs cases. Since acting for Colin Stagg (The Rachel Nickell murder), Jim has been instructed in numerous cases where there has been an element of “entrapment”. Regularly instructed to give a second opinion both upon requests from Solicitors and after referral from the Criminal Appeal Office in appeals where he did not conduct the original trial. Conducts many appeals, and drafts representations to The Criminal Cases Review Commission in cases where he did not act in the Court below. Advises “pro bono” in death row cases from Commonwealth jurisdictions.

Experienced in taking depositions before Magistrates for the purposes of use in evidence at trials abroad. He has acted for The State of Western Australia in such proceedings as well as for individuals.


  •  R v A:  acted for A who shot a trespasser with a shotgun for which he did not hold a licence. The incident was the culmination of a campaign of intimidation of A by a group of people trespassing on his property and threatening him, A was acquitted of all charges in relation to the physical injuries and was sentenced to a suspended sentence for possession of a shotgun without a licence.
  • R v Gray: acted for the alleged “kingpin” of an organisation supplying class A drugs in North Wales in an operation known as “Operation Zeus.
  • R v X: acted for a woman charged with conspiracy to murder her child’s father. Acquitted after successful submission of no case to answer.
  • R v Lavinia Woodward: acted for a student at Oxford University sentenced to a suspended sentence for section 20 wounding. (see chambers news September 2017)
  • R v A: acted for a young man sentenced to a suspended sentence for stabbing a relative and 2 friends after an argument at a party.
  • R v B: acted for a young man on allegations of harassment and sexual offences, case dropped.
  • R v C: acted for a schoolboy charged with “revenge porn”, case dropped.
  • R v C: acquittal after submission in a causing death by careless driving case.
  • R v J (2014): Acted for one of the defendants in the “News International” prosecution for “phone hacking” and perverting the course of justice.
  • R v El Kurd (2013): Acted for the owner of a bureau de change who was alleged to have laundered in excess of £100 million of money the proceeds of crime.
  • R v X (2012): Acted for a businessman acquitted after a trial on allegations of abducting and threatening to kill a man over a business debt.
  • R v S (2009): Alleged money laundering for “crime syndicate”.
  • R v VP (2008): Acted for a man acquitted of shooting 2 police officers in Brixton.
  • R v Abdulla (2008): Acted for Bilal Abdulla charged with the “Tiger Tiger” and Glasgow Airport bomb attacks.
  • R v Joey Barton (2008): Jim Sturman QC represented Joey Barton in relation to an allegation of assault on Ousmane Dabo, committed whilst both players were at Manchester City FC. Mr Barton was sentenced to a suspended sentence of imprisonment.
  • R v X & Others (2008): Offences under the Terrorism Act, represented a schoolboy who befriended alleged “Jihadi’s” online.
  • R v X (2006): Acted for a former director of Queens Park Rangers who was alleged to have forced the then Chairman Gianni Palladini to sign over his shares in the Club at gunpoint.
  • R v Robert Mason (2005): Acted in a cocaine and cannabis importation where the drugs were concealed within the trailers of a motor racing team.
  • R v SC (2003): Acted for a defendant in the money laundering allegations brought against Terry Adams.
  • R v Q (2003): Acted for the owner of a bureau de change charged with money laundering in excess of £50 million.
  • R v Y (2001): Acted for one of the accused in the notorious trial of Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Woodgate in relation to a violent incident outside a nightclub in Leeds.
  • R v Pineda (2001): Acted in an allegation of importation of 50 kilos of cocaine into the UK from Colombia, with a further series of shipments through Poland.
  • R v Doherty (2000): Drugs importation and conspiracy to supply at Isleworth Crown Court.
  • R v P (1999): Acted (Leeds Crown Court) for an alleged courier of monies on behalf of a drug dealing organization.
  • R v Noel Smith (1998): Acted for Noel Smith in a series of cases in the 80’s and 90’s prior to Mr Smith’s trial for armed robbery at The Central Criminal Court in 1998. Mr Smith subsequently published a best selling autobiography “A few kind words and a loaded gun” which deals with (amongst other events) the trial.”
  • R v Kelly (1998): First appeal on the “two strikes” mandatory life sentence. Drafted submissions to the CCRC and the case was referred back to The Court of Appeal after those representations had been considered. Life sentence quashed and the U.K. Government subsequently settled the European Court action.
  • R v S Stone & Ors (1998): Allegations of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and shooting a security guard delivering cash to a supermarket.
  • R v Robert Gould (1997): Acted for a defendant in the trial of Charles Kray at Woolwich Crown Court.
  • R v Anthony White (1993): Cannabis importation allegation.
  • R v R (1991): Drugs importation where the prosecution case depended largely on the evidence of a participating undercover officer.


Jim acts for the defence in cases in the UK and abroad, in fraud, corruption, serious crime (including homicide), health and safety and sports law. He has been rated in the legal directories ever since the directories began to be published and now features in the top band in 4 separate practice areas. Jim advises individuals as well as corporate clients and is equally at ease representing a celebrity or a vulnerable juvenile client.


Jim has extensive experience in diversion, VAT, tax and mortgage frauds. Also corruption (advised in many national and international corruption inquiries both in the UK and abroad), fraudulent trading, DTI offences and Companies Act offences, software piracy and MTIC fraud.

Has been retained by City institutions to advise on disclosure in complex “share ramping” and “insider dealing” serious frauds.

Jim is experienced in advising in data protection offences, including blagging” and has frequently advised in relation to cases investigated by the Information Commissioner including advising corporations and individuals in relation to their rights and obligations when summonsed before Regulators or Parliament.

Advises potential defendants in relation to offers to compound proceedings in order to avoid prosecution and in relation to VAT assessments where persons have been inadvertently caught up in diversion frauds. Advises Solicitors and city institutions on money laundering regulations, also considerable experience in advising in civil fraud allegations on the impact of the criminal law. Frequently instructed to advise in confiscation proceedings. Advises in FSA matters.

In The Legal 500 2017 in Business and Reg Crime the editors observed “If the client has even the faintest chance, he is your man. And in the Fraud: Crime section the same editors remarked ‘A brilliant advocate – very experienced and well-connected.’

Chambers Directory 2018 ranked Jim in Band one for fraud and observed “Incredibly hard working and has a bedside manner that gives huge confidence to clients. He is of enormous support to instructing solicitors.“ and “An exceptional jury advocate.”


  • R v X. Acted for X (instructed by White and Case) between 2017 and 2020 in the UK’s first prosecution arising out of the Unaoil investigation. Submissions advanced by Jim’s team have led to a Judge ordered inquiry into the working practices of the SFO and strong judicial criticism of the Director of the SFO, see The Guardian for further information.
  • R v McKinlay and others: Jim acted for a senior Conservative party official prosecuted in relation to alleged expenses irregularities in the South Thanet constituency campaign in the general election in the United Kingdom in May of 2015.
  • R v M, Jim acted for M who faced allegations of fraud and offences contrary to FISMA in relation to a “high return” investment programme described by the Judge as a “scam”. After negotiations with the prosecution M pleaded guilty to only one FISMA count and received a suspended sentence of imprisonment.
  • R v X: Acted for a Company Director of a “grey market” clothing company charged with conspiracy and substantive trade mark offences. The case spanned the period between 2015 and 2017 before the case against Jim’s client was dropped after further submissions were made shortly before the trial began. The case against all other accused was stayed as an abuse of process three days later. Costs of in excess of £200,000 were ordered to be paid by the prosecution to Jim’s client as a result of an “improper act or omission” by the prosecution
  • R v X: Acted for a senior executive of Barclays Bank in the Qatar fund raising investigation. After a 2 and a ½ year inquiry the SFO decided not to proceed after receipt of detailed submissions drafted by Jim and his instructing solicitor as to why there was no evidence justifying such a course.
  • A v B International Arbitration at the ICTY: Acted for a Company in a commercial dispute where the defence was corruption, case spanned several countries in the middle east and several years.
  • R v X (2015): Acted for a solicitor acquitted on allegations of stamp duty fraud, tried in the Turks and Caicos Islands
  • R v Chris Ronnie (2015): Acted for the former chief executive of JJB on charges of fraud by abuse of position.
  • R v X (2014): Acted for the Chairman of a multi-national oil and gas services company charged with corruption.
  • R v X (2014): Advised a former senior executive in the Innospec investigation.
  • R v X (2011): Advised a senior Executive in the BAE investigation into alleged corrupt deals in the middle east and eastern Europe.
  • R v Margaret Moran MP: Acted for the former MP for Luton South on allegations of fraud in relation to Par-liamentary expenses.
  • R v Elliott Morley MP: Acted for the former MP on allegations of fraud in relation to Parliamentary expenses.
  • R v David Chaytor MP: Acted for the former MP on allegations of farud in relation to parliamentary expenses.
  • R v N (Operation Euripus) (2007): Acted for N who was one of the defendants in the operation Euripus investigation (said to be the largest MTIC fraud ever prosecuted). The case against the defendant was dismissed after our application that there was no case to answer. A subsequent application by HMRC for a voluntary bill of indictment to reinstate the proceedings was opposed successfully with costs against the Crown.
  • R v X : Acted for one of the jockeys charged with Kieran Fallon in relation to horse race “fixing”, acquitted after a successful submission of no case.
  • R v O (2005): Acted in an SFO prosecution in relation to an alleged fraud on the South African Stock Exchange, case stayed as an abuse of process.
  • R v A & Others (Operation Vitric) (2005): Acted in £90 million MTIC Fraud stayed for abuse of process (non-disclosure by Customs).
  • R v E & Others (2004): Acted for the first defendant in the largest ever internet “piracy” prosecution brought after the UK co-operated in the US Customs investigation that was known as “Operation Buccaneer ” and which targeted “Warez” groups world-wide. This multi-jurisdictional investigation led to proceedings in the USA, Australia, Scandinavia and Europe.
  • R v O (2004): Aalleged fraud on the South African stock exchange, proceedings stayed for abuse of the process of the Court (delay and non-disclosure).
  • R v F & Ors (2004): Charges brought by the SFO arising out of the theft of the Cheney Pension Fund.
  • R v Y (2004): Acted in the largest ever cigarette smuggling case.
  • R v I (2003): £1.8 million investment fraud involving manipulation of sale and purchase orders on investments held with Allied Dunbar.
  • R v MV (2002): Acted in a “diversion fraud” centred around London City Bond, conviction quashed as a result of non-disclosure of the use of a participating informant. The subsequent retrial was stayed as an abuse of process.
  • R v O (2001): VAT fraud arising out of the “Viking Oaks” scheme.
  • R v X & Ors (2000): Large scale cigarette smuggling fraud.
  • R v C & Ors (1999): Time share mis-selling fraud.
  • R v X (1999): Diversion fraud heard in Newcastle Crown Court.
  • R v Y (1998): Clothing counterfeiting fraud heard at Blackfriars.
  • R v B 1997: Acted for a defendant in the “Hare Wines” series of diversion frauds heard at Southwark Crown Court.
  • R v Dhannotta (1997): VAT fraud (false invoicing and reclaim allegation).
  • R v D (1996): Mortgage fraud.
  • R v X (1996): First ever prosecution of an alleged fraud on the revenue of another EU member state as a result of activities/business carried on in the UK. Case dismissed after legal submissions.
  • R v X (1992): 9 month long gold smuggling VAT fraud, client acquitted.
  • R v Y (1992): Mortgage fraud heard at Southampton Crown Court.
  • R v Russell (1991): “Missing trader” VAT fraud.
  • R v X (1991): “Long firm” fraud.
  • R v V (1990): Allegations of fraud committed by presenting bogus “standby letters of credit” to banks in the UK.

Health & Safety

Jim does not list any cases below where early advice, or representations why it was not in the public interest to prosecute, led to no charges.

Jim has acted in cases involving the oil, construction, engineering, railway, farming, education, light and heavy industry as well as Local Authorities and medical practitioners. He frequently is retained on behalf of Companies and individuals facing corporate and gross negligence manslaughter investigations. His experience includes prosecutions of residential landlords in relation to the death of tenants after carbon monoxide poisoning as well as by fire/smoke inhalation due to alleged breaches of Fire Safety and Building Regulations.


  • Grenfell Tower Phase 1, acted for a Company that fabricated cladding panels that were used in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.  Instructed by Clyde and Co.
  • R v T, acted for a director prosecuted for manslaughter and HSE offences after an employee died after a fall from height, non-custodial sentence imposed.
  • R v H. Acted for the manager of an award winning building company charged with gross negligence manslaughter and health and Safety offences. Acquitted of manslaughter and a non-custodial sentence imposed for breaches of CDM regulations.
  • R v K, Gross negligence manslaughter prosecution after an accident on a building site killed a passer-by in the street.
  •  R v X, acted for director of a company acquitted of gross negligence manslaughter after fall from height led to the death of an employee.
  • R v GS (2015): Acted for a Director charged with HSE offences after a fatality at work. Acquitted.
  • Re Pyranha Mouldings (2014): Acted for the managing Director of a Company charged with offences after a fatality at work. Acquitted after a submission of no case.
  • R v H: Acted for the COO of a large company charged with HSE offences after a fatality at work, acquitted.
  • The Buncefield prosecution: Acted for a small engineering company prosecuted for offences after the Buncefield explosion.


Jim has been ranked in Band 1 of the Legal 500 Asia-Pacific Directory for Fraud and Corporate Crime, that directory comments that Jim is highly regarded as “very robust in analysis and argument” and is “instructed on issues relating to  bribery and sanctions across the Asia Pacific Region and beyond.

In June 2016 Jim was admitted to practice at The Dubai International Financial Centre Courts and travelled to Dubai to advise in bribery matters and civil fraud issues

Jim has advised and worked abroad in many jurisdictions, on behalf of UK and foreign corporations as well as individuals. Jim has advised alone but also frequently works alongside teams of lawyers from other countries.

Jim is well versed in multi-jurisdictional investigations in relation to business crime, bribery and corruption, sanctions offences and fraud. Jim has also been instructed in commercial arbitration work, advising on the criminal aspects and appearing in proceedings at The Hague to cross-examine witnesses.

Jim has also advised all over the world in regulatory matters and sports law disputes, frequently appearing before The Court of Arbitration for Sport. Jim was part of the team that represented Mohammed Bin Hammam in his successful appeal against a FIFA ethics committee verdict and ban from football.

Jim conducted a long fraud trial in the Turks and Caicos in 2015, securing the acquittal of a solicitor charged with stamp duty fraud. He advises in murder appeals from the Caribbean jurisdictions and appeared in the Turks and Caicos Commission of Inquiry into corruption.

Jim has advised in Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Slovakia, The Czech Republic, Russia, Qatar, Trinidad and Tobago, The Democratic Republic of The Congo and Dubai, Iran, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bermuda, The Bahamas, The Turks and Caicos Islands, Uruguay, Italy, Ireland and Gibraltar. Jim is admitted to the Bar in Gibraltar and has conducted a trial in that jurisdiction as well as advising.

Murder & Manslaughter

Jim has acted in many other homicide cases, involving issues of self-defence, provocation, diminished responsibility, alibi and all other conceivable issues.


  • R v Arthur Simpson Kent: acted for the defendant charged with killing his partner (a former East Enders actress) and their two children
  • R v Tania Clarence (2014): Acted for a mother who killed 3 of her children. Pleas of guilty to manslaughter led to a Hospital Order.
  • R v MI (2012): Acted in appeal against conviction on the basis of “fresh evidence” and at the retrial.
  • R v P (2008): Acted for a man charged with a “contract killing”.
  • R v Nudds (2006): Murder trial where the body of the deceased was never recovered.
  • R v G (2005): Client acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter on the basis of provocation after a former boyfriend was beaten to death after blackmailing G.
  • R v D (2004): Appeared for the defence. At appeal and at the retrial. (Although not at first instance). Man wrongly convicted on the basis of his purported “earprint” found at the scene of the murder of a 94 year old lady. Later disclosures, including DNA testing, proved the “earprint” could not have been the defendant’s.
  • R v SL: Acted at the appeal (but not at the original trial) of SL who had been convicted of the murder of her partner. Conviction quashed for non-disclosure and no evidence was offered at the retrial.
  • R v JS, acted for JS on a murder allegation where the defence was self-defence/provocation.
  • R v Ian Kay (1995): Junior Counsel for the defence in the “Woolworths” murder trial.
  • R v McGovern (1988): Junior Counsel in murder trial, now reported on Sections 76/78 of P.A.C.E.
  • R v X (1995): Acted for the defendant who was acquitted of the attempted murder of two police officers who had been shot in Brixton.
  • R v Colin Stagg (1994): Junior Counsel in the infamous Rachel Nickell murder trial. Mr Stagg was acquitted and was subsequently completely exonerated of the crime.

Public Inquiries

Jim has advised in relation to persons summonsed to appear before Public Inquiries and before parliamentary committees frequently over the past 15 years. He advises corporate clients as well as individuals in relation to matters as diverse as data protection and corruption.

Acted in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry (Phase 1), The Shipman Inquiry, the Turks and Caicos Inquiry into corruption and has advised witnesses and corporate clients in a large number of other inquiries both in the UK and abroad.

Serious Sexual Offences

Many of the sexual offences in which Jim has acted are of enormous sensitivity to the defendant and unless the case was reported extensively at the time it is not Jim’s practice to identify the case, further details can be obtained from the clerks of Jim’s extensive experience in this nature of offence, Jim has acted in rape cases, “revenge porn” and other offences of indecency, acting for a number of household names who have faced such allegations.


  • R v E (2002): Acted for a former teacher also acquitted of historic sex allegations in another “Operation Care” trial.
  • R v J (2001): Acted for the former head master of a care home acquitted of historic sex allegations. (Case part of the “Operation Care” series of trials.

Sports Law

Jim acts for clubs and individuals brought before regulatory and disciplinary tribunals across a range of sports.

Over the last 15 years Jim has been instructed in numerous cases involving bribery and corruption in a range of sports across the globe. Those cases include the IAAF investigation into doping offences committed by Russian Sports Federations, investigations into FIFA elections and television rights, match fixing in football, tennis and horse racing and the full gamut of doping offences across sports ranging from athletics to motor racing.

He acted for Millwall FC who were fined £10,000 by the FA and ordered to implement an action plan for a failure to prevent a number of fans from engaging in a discriminatory chant during an FA cup fixture against Everton In January 2019.  For further information see The Guardian

He has acted for Chelsea Football Club, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, Watford FC, West Ham United, Newcastle United FC, Wigan, Millwall, Wimbledon AFC, Charlton Athletic, Brighton and Hove Albion, Norwich City, CSKA Moscow, The Ocean City Noreasters (US PDL league) and numerous individual players and management including: Joe Jordan, Andre Villas Boas, Jermain Defoe, Eden Hazard (re ballboygate) John Obi Mikel, Gary Cahil Yohan Cabaye, Joe Kinnear, Alan Pardew, Graeme le Saux, Jimmy Hasselbaink, Frank Lampard, Kieron Dyer, Joe Cole, Ashley Cole, John Terry, Gus Poyet, Mauricio Taricco, Jose Mourinho, Asier Del Horno, Carlo Cuddicini, Michael Essien, Mido, Robbie Savage, Emre Belozoglu, Duncan Ferguson, Jens Lehmann, Peter Cech, Casper Ankergren, Robbie Keane, Michael Dawson, Jermaine Jenas, Mateja Kezman, Didier Zakora, Etienne Capoue, Andre Gray, Troy Deeney, Dele Alli and Eric Dier.

He also acted for the Football Association in relation to charges brought against Roy Keane (for his autobiography) and charges against various players and Arsenal FC, arising out of a match at Old Trafford between Manchester United and Arsenal. Acted for Marcel Desailly before UEFA Appeals Tribunal in Geneva, and before UEFA Disciplinary Commission on behalf of Chelsea FC, Jose Mourinho, Steve Clarke and Les Miles in relation to the Barcelona v Chelsea Champions League fixture in 2004. Also represented CSKA Moscow before UEFA opposing Parma’s protest against the result of the 2004/2005 UEFA Cup Semi-final. Has advised players and UEFA on doping cases. Jim Sturman appeared before the CAS on behalf of Wigan FC in a landmark case to determine the level of compensation to be awarded when a player terminates his contract with a club outside the ‘protected period’ (A.17 FIFA Regs). Represented Chelsea FC before FIFA appeals committee and has advised National Associations in relation to FIFA disputes. Has advised in FIFA DRC cases. Acted for Graeme le Saux in relation to an incident with Robbie Fowler, Chelsea Football Club and Dennis Wise in relation to an alleged incident in the tunnel after a Premiership game in 2000. For Chelsea FC on allegations of mass dissent and failure to control their players, and before the FA and UEFA in relation to charges of failure to control fans, Millwall FC for failing to control their players and AFC Wimbledon for a similar allegation, Has advised in doping cases in a range of different sports. He has acted for numerous clubs on charges of failing to control their fans. He has acted for the FA, in relation to charges against Roy Keane of Manchester United that were brought as a result of the publication of that player’s autobiography. Also instructed by the FA in relation to misconduct charges brought against Dennis Bergkamp and Graham Souness. Acted for Clubs and players in relation to charges of “racism”, including acting for a Chelsea groundsman in a case that became known as “Mowergate” after an incident between Chelsea groundstaff and Patrice Evra of Manchester United. He represented Dennis Wise in relation to his case against Leicester City Football Club before the F.D.C. (Football Disciplinary Commission) and then before the F.L.A.C. (Football League Appeals Committee). Has represented Premiership Football players in libel and false attribution actions against national newspapers. Frequently advises clubs in PFCC cases and acted for Dan Gosling in his action seeking a declaration that he was entitled to a “free transfer” in July 2010.

Jim advises in PFCC cases.

He has advised numerous clubs including: Chelsea, Tottenham Hostpur, West Ham United, Newcastle United, Wigan FC, Millwall, Brighton, AFC Wimbledon, Crawley Town FC, Charlton Athletic FC, Norwich City, Grays Athletic, Ocean City FC (USA) and CSKA Moscow. Has also advised national football associations in the UK, Europe, Asia and South America.

  • Acted for Tottenham Hotspur FC in relation to Sergei Rebrov’s disputed contractual claim before The FA Premier League Committee.
  • Acted for Chelsea Football Club in the Ashley Cole “tapping up” case before the FAPL Disciplinary Commission.
  • Acted for many players and managers charged in respect of media comments before the FA and UEFA.
  • Appeared before UEFA Disciplinary Commissions representing Marcel Desailly, Chelsea FC, Jose Mourinho, Steve Clarke, Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa.
  • Acted for CSKA Moscow in relation to Parma’s protest against the result of the UEFA Cup semi-final in the season 2004/2005 and for Michael Essien before UEFA in the season 2005/2006.
  • Acted for West Ham United in the FAPL disciplinary proceedings in relation to Carlos Tevez and third party ownership.
  • Acted for Wigan FC before The Court of Arbitration for Sport in the Hearts v Wigan and Webster case, the first case on the construction of Article 17 of the FIFA statutes.
  • Acted before FIFA appeals committee re Rajkovic and has advised in numerous DRC cases.
  • Acted before CAS in David Savic’s appeal (but not at first instance) against a ban for spot fixing, also in the contractual dispute between Moutinho and his former agent (Jim acted for the agent in his successful claim to the FIFA DRC) and before the FDC for Portsmouth City FC in their dispute with Kanu.

Jim appears before the FIA and other sporting disciplinary tribunals. Jim also sits as Chairman of RFU disciplinary panels.


  • Between 2016 and 2019 has acted for Watford FC in disciplinary proceedings brought by the EFL, in an arbitration against the FA, in Rule K proceedings against another EFL Club over a contract dispute and in a Premier League Manager’s Arbitration panel case.
  • Advised a Premier League Club that was the victim of ticketing fraud.
  • Has advised Clubs on data protection issues, in relation to UEFA and FIFA investigations and in relation to search warrants and criminal procedure.
  • Mohammed Bin Hammam v FIFA: Acted for MBH in his successful appeal to CAS after findings of guilt on “ethics violations” said to have been committed in the run up to the FIFA Presidential election.
  • Football league v Rotherham United: Acted for Rotherham on charge of fielding an ineligible Player.
  • FA v Gustavo Poyet: Acted for the Sunderland Manager on an allegation of misconduct.
  • FA v Benoit Assou Ekotto: Acted on charges arising out of a “quenelle” gesture by Nicolas Anelka.
  • FA v Dexter Blackstock: Acted for the Nottingham Forest player on allegations of breach of the betting regulations.
  • FA v Jose Mourinho: Acted for the Chelsea manager on allegations of media comment and alleged touchline misconduct.
  • FA v Rui Faria: Acted for the Chelsea assistant manager on allegation of misconduct after a touchline argument with match officials.
  • FA v Andros Townsend: Acted for the Spurs and England Player in relation to allegations of breaches of the betting regulations.
  • FA v Cameron Jerome: Acted for the Stoke City Player on allegations of breach of the betting regulations.
  • FA v Eden Hazard: “Ballboy Gate”, successfully represented the Chelsea Player in an FA action to increase a playing ban.
  • FA v Charlie Oatway: Successfully represented the Brighton assistant manager on an allegation of misconduct on the touchline.
  • FA v Millwall & West Ham: Successfully represented Millwall on an allegation of failing to control their fans and racist abuse by the fans at a league Cup fixture against West ham.
  • FA v Paddy Kenny, acted in relation to “doping allegations”.
  • UKAD v Kenny Anderson: Acted for the boxer Kenny Anderson who was charged with a doping offence after failing a test after winning the BBBC Super Middleweight Championship.
  • Joe Kinnear: Represented NUFC manager on misconduct charge. Acquitted.
  • FIFA v Rajkovic: Acted for Chelsea Football Club in support of the appeal lodged by the player Rajkovic before FIFA appealing against a one year ban from all football for spitting at a referee in the Olympic Soccer tournament. The appeal was upheld in part.
  • Mowergate: FA v CFC & Manchester United: Acted for CFC in the “Mowergate” case defending a groundsman charged with racially abusing the Manchester United player Patrice Evra. The groundsman was exonerated of the racism allegation”.
  • Wimbledon AFC: Acted for the club in their successful appeal against the deduction of 18 points for fielding an ineligible player.
  • Jose Mourinho: Acted for Mr Mourinho in relation to com-ments made to the media.
  • Frank Lampard: Successful “wrongful dismissal” appeal.
  • Carlos Tevez: Acted for West Ham United FC in FAPL disciplinary proceedings.
  • Emre Belozoglu: Acted for the player who was acquitted of racially abusing Tim Howard of Everton.
  • FA v Millwall & Liverpool: Acted for Millwall on allegations of failing to control their fans, acquitted.
  • FA v CFC & West Ham: Acted for Chelsea Football Club who were charged with failing to control their fans.
  • Sergei Rebrov v Tottenham Hotspur FC: Acted for Tottenham Hotspur FC in relation to Sergei Rebrov’s disputed contractual claim before The FA Premier League Committee.
  • Mateja Kezman: Acted in claim for wrongful dismissal in match played against Roma in Pittsburgh during Chelsea’s pre-season tour.
  • Millwall v Sunderland: Acted for Millwall FC on charge of failing to control players in FA Cup semi-final 2004.
  • Millwall v Sheffield United: Acted for Millwall FC on charge of failing to control players.
  • Marcel Desailly: Before UEFA Appeals Tribunal, appeal against 3 game ban arising out of an incident in The Champions League match against Monaco AFC.
  • Dennis Wise v Leicester City FC: Acted for Dennis Wise in his appeal against his dismissal by Leicester FC after an alleged incident with a team mate on a pre-season tour.
  • Manchester United v Arsenal: Acted for the FA in proceedings against Arsenal FC, Patrick Viera, Martin Keown, Lauren, Ray Parlour, Ryan Giggs and Christiano Ronaldo arising out of an incident at the end of the Premiership match.
  • Graham Souness: Misconduct charges arising out of incident in Blackburn v Wigan match. Acted for the FA.
  • Dennis Bergkamp: Misconduct charges arising out of the Arsenal v Spurs Premiership game. Acted for the FA.
  • Roy Keane: Misconduct charges arising out of his autobiography and a tackle on Alf Inge Haaland. Acted for the FA. The hearing features in Chapter One of Mr Keane’s second autobiography.
  • Joe Cole: Misconduct charges arising out of West Ham v Bolton Premiership game.
  • Steve Evans: Acted in the appeal of the Boston United manager after findings of guilt on various financial irregularities.
  • Carlo Cudiccini: Appeal against sending off in a Premiership game against Middlesborough.
  • Mauricio Taricco: Charge of violent conduct arising out of Spurs v Chelsea Worthington Cup match.
  • Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: Charge of violent conduct based on “video evidence” arising out of Premiership game against Southampton.
  • Frank Leboeuf: Charges arising out of sending off in Premiership game against Leeds and alleged “stamp” on Harry Kerwell.
  • Celestine Babayaro: Alleged “stamp” on Ljunberg of Arsenal in Premiership game.
  • Chelsea FC v Sheffield Wednesday: Alleged “mass confrontation” at end of Premiership game.
  • FA v Dennis Wise: Incident in tunnel after Premiership game against Wimbledon that led to misconduct charges.
  • Graeme le Saux: Charge of misconduct arising out of incident with Robbie Fowler at Stamford Bridge in Chelsea v Liverpool game.

Directory Quotes

The Legal 500 2020 said “He’s excellent, still the man to talk in a disputed regulatory/disciplinary hearing”.

The Legal 500 2020 said of Jim, “In a profession where there are quite a few stellar names Jim Sturman QC is the brightest star. His experience of high profile matters is unparalleled, his knowledge of the law unequalled and his ability to nurture a jury in the palm of his hand is unrivalled. Mix in a hard work ethic, rapier wit and client charm and you have the perfect silk”.

In The Legal 500 2017 in Business and Reg Crime the editors observed “If the client has even the faintest chance, he is your man.” And in the Fraud: Crime section the same editors remarked ‘A brilliant advocate – very experienced and well-connected.’

Chambers Directory 2018 ranked Jim in Band one for fraud and observed “Incredibly hard working and has a bedside manner that gives huge confidence to clients. He is of enormous support to instructing solicitors“ and “An exceptional jury advocate

Who’s Who Legal 2017 said of Jim re criminal fraud “He is first rate both in terms of his advocacy and client handling skills say respondents”, and the same publication noted in the Sports section “Jim Sturman QC is singled out as one of the top practitioners in football, thanks to his depth of knowledge and his extensive experience appearing before high-level arbitral panels.”

In October 2016, the 2017 edition of The Chambers Directory ranked Jim in Band one in 4 separate practice areas, and Tier 2 in a 5th.

Crime (Band one) the Directory observed “He has consistently been at the top of his game for a number of years, and is always in the first choice bracket in cases that are challenging. One of the Galacticos of the Bar” “A brilliant team member who is great to have on board” and “Incredibly hard-working with a bedside manner that gives huge confidence to clients and enormous support to instructing solicitors.”

Financial Crime (Band One) “Has an excellent manner with clients and is a first rate advocate. He goes the extra mile to get the best possible result.” “He fought a hard case for us, proving a fantastic team player and a great strategist”.

Health and Safety (Band One) “A real trial lawyer”.

Sport (Band One) “Widely regarded as the go to barrister for football disciplinary hearings”, “very experienced in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, he’s easy to speak with, accessible and down to earth.” “True professional who’s criminal law background really assists him on sports disciplinary matters”.

Jim was also ranked in Band 2 in Financial Crime (corporates).

In September 2016 The Legal 500 ranked Jim in Tier one in 4 practice areas, and Tier 2 in a 5th. That publication commented:

Business and regulatory crime (including global investigations) – Leading silks
Jim Sturman QC – 2 Bedford Row ‘His approach to advocacy is always well-measured and balanced.’
Ranked: tier 1

Crime – Leading silks
Jim Sturman QC – 2 Bedford Row ‘To say he is committed to his clients is an understatement.’
Ranked: tier 1

Fraud: Crime – Leading silks
Jim Sturman QC – 2 Bedford Row ‘He is exceptionally good at putting clients at ease in the most difficult of situations.’
Ranked: tier 1

Health & Safety – Leading silks
Jim Sturman QC – 2 Bedford Row ‘Strong in the courtroom, where his ring craft is second to none.’
Ranked: tier 2

Sport – Leading silks
Jim Sturman QC – 2 Bedford Row ‘Street-smart, client-friendly, and easy to work with.’
Ranked: tier 1

  • “He offers an exceptional service, providing his clients with complete discretion by preventing the attraction of unwanted media attention. Nothing is ever too much bother for him.” Chambers Directory (Financial Crime) 2015
  • “He has the ability to deal with clients in a very straightforward way. He boils issues down and talks to clients on a normal level.” Chambers Directory (Crime) 2015
  • “His knowledge of the sports sector – especially football – is completely comprehensive. He is an extremely thorough and tenacious advocate.” Chambers Directory (Sport) 2015
  • “An excellent and seasoned jury advocate.” “He is a master a jury trials” Chambers Directory (Health & Safety) 2015
  • “A masterful performer in Court, who has a tremendous rapport with clients”, “A star”, “A fantastic lawyer” and “A great communicator and hard worker.” Legal 500 2014
  • “A very highly rated criminal silk who has a superb reputation for handling heavyweight criminal cases”, “he is a fantastic jury advocate who is very easy to deal with and approachable”, “he has a marvellous ability to cut through complex issues, and speaks to clients in a down to earth manner. He is very easy to talk to, but also a ferocious advocate” and a top drawer advocate. He has better judgement than goal line technology. Chambers & Partners 2013
  • “Always extremely enthusiastic and 100% committed to winning.” Chambers & Partners
  • “Hard working and possessed of extremely fine judgement.” Chambers & Partners
  • “Incredibly quick to grasp the detail and engages effectively with clients.” Chambers & Partners
  • “Well liked for his great rapport with clients and his fearlesness in Court.” Chambers & Partners
  • “Accessible, approachable and on top of the detail.” Legal 500
  • “Exceptionally able.” Legal 500


  • Criminal Bar Association