Leeds +44 (0)113 243 3277 | clerks@newparkcourt.co.uk
Newcastle +44 (0)191 232 1980 | clerks@newparkcourt.co.uk
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Welcome to

New Park Court Chambers

"Regarded as ‘one of the most prominent sets for crime in the North of England’."
- Legal 500 2015

Private Client

"Clients 'would strongly recommend New Park Court Chambers to anyone looking for a strong criminal or regulatory lawyer'."
- Chambers and Partners 2016

James Gelsthorpe 2009

J Gelsthorpe 1

Called 2009 (Lincoln’s Inn), Eastman Scholarship

Bar Vocational Course – Very competent, Nottingham Law School

Law LLB (hons), University of Newcastle upon Tyne

James Gelsthorpe became a member of Chambers in 2012 having undertaken pupillage the previous year under the supervision of Ruth Cranidge (crime) and Ceri Widdett (civil and employment).  He accepts instructions in all areas of criminal, civil and housing law.

James has built a mixed practice at Chambers and appears regularly in the Crown and County Courts.  He is regularly instructed by solicitors to defend in criminal proceedings in the Crown Court and has experience in offences of violence, dishonesty, drugs offences and firearms offences.  He also receives instructions to prosecute from the Crown Prosecution Service, Home Office, HMRC and local authorities.  He has experience both prosecuting and defending in regulatory offences; in particular cases prosecuted by Trading Standards.

During pupillage James attended with his supervisor at the GMC to observe Interim Orders Panel hearings and is keen to undertake work of this nature.

In his civil practice James undertakes both written advisory work and courtroom advocacy in debt recovery, personal injury, contractual disputes and housing disputes.

In his spare time James enjoys hiking in the hills, running, playing touch rugby for the Leeds Bar team, skiing and watching almost any form of sport.  He also keenly follows the ups and downs of Nottingham Forest Football Club.


Areas of practice


In crime James regularly appears in the Crown Court for both defence and prosecution.  He is experienced with sensitive issues of domestic violence and dealing with vulnerable witnesses.

James has acted for local authorities in private prosecutions in trading standards, environmental protection and planning offences.

He also regularly deals with driving offences in the Magistrates’ Court.

Recent cases include:

  • Defending a man charged with wounding with intent.  James successfully argued that there was no case to answer and the lesser offence of unlawful wounding was left to the jury who acquitted the defendant of all offences.
  • Prosecution of seven defendants in a conspiracy to breach immigration law by arranging ‘sham marriages’.  James was led by Chris Smith and the trial lasted four weeks.  James then subsequently successfully prosecuted a linked matter over the course of five days.
  • Prosecution of a landscape gardener who deliberately targeted vulnerable elderly residents and fraudulently obtained over £10,000 from them in order to complete basic gardening works which ought to have taken two days.
  • Defending in a case of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence at Bradford Crown Court.
  • Defending in a case of money laundering in which the ongoing Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings concern transfers of £500,000.
  • Defending a taxi driver accused of targeting vulnerable elderly women to steal money.  The case was dropped after cross-examination of the main complainant.
  • Prosecution of a national retailer for trading standards offences with a benefit to the company of £20,000.  The company pleaded guilty after legal argument.
  • Prosecution of property owner charged with making alterations to a Grade II listed property without obtaining proper consent.
  • Defending in an allegation of sexual assault where the Defendant was alleged to have targeted a number of women on public transport.



James appears regularly in the County Court in matters of personal injury, contractual disputes and housing matters.  His personal injury practice encompasses the full range of matters including road traffic accidents, occupier’s and employer’s liability, highways act claims and injuries caused by animals.  He is experienced in drafting statements of case, advices on liability and quantum and skeleton arguments for trial.

James is also instructed on behalf of businesses in commercial matters to seek injunctions in relation to the unlawful trading practices of other businesses.

James also appears in the County Court on housing related matters, acting for both landlords and tenants.

Recent cases include:

  • Successful injunction application in the Royal Courts of Justice against a bakery who were unlawfully using equipment which did not belong to them.
  • Fast-track personal injury claim arising from a road traffic accident involving a low velocity impact.
  • Successful claim against a council under the Highways Act 1980
  • Representing a car dealer in commercial dispute over the sale of a car.  The claim against the dealer was thrown out by the court after submissions at the close of the Claimant’s case.
  • Successful application to set aside mortgage repossession after proving that the bank had knowingly sent notices of arrears to a dilapidated and uninhabited property.
  • Successful application for an Anti-Social Behaviour Order under the Housing Act 1996.