Master James studied Law at Lancaster University (LL.B(Hons)) and Criminology at Edinburgh University (LL.M) before training with a small niche practice in Cheshire and being admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in September 1992.
Master James practised Costs Law throughout her career, initially with a PI/Clinical Negligence firm in Cheshire where she was involved in cases including the Myodil, Opren and Human Insulin pharmaceutical product liability multi-party actions, claims for compensation arising out of Beverley Allitt's criminal activities on Ward 4 at Grantham and Kesteven Hospital, and the first round of compensation claims arising out of the tragedy at Hillsborough.
Moving to London in 1996, Master James ran the Costs Department for a Central London firm where she was involved in R (Factortame Ltd) v Secretary of State for Transport, Railtrack, Gruppo Torras SA v Al-Sabah and Vernon v Bosley. As well as the Senior Courts Costs Office, Master James presented cases in County Courts and High Court District Registries around England and Wales and also to a much lesser extent in the Privy Council and in the (as it then was) House of Lords.
Master James left private practice in 2003 to move into education, initially delivering training in best practice to law firms around the country and then from 2007 onwards as a Senior Lecturer in Civil Litigation on the Bar Professional Training Course at the University of Law. Master James was Called to the Bar of England and Wales (Lincoln’s Inn) in 2016. Master James has also (briefly) practised Costs Law in Australia and is a non-practising member of the New York State Bar. Master James was appointed as a Deputy Master in 2003, and in September 2015 became the first-ever full-time female Costs Judge/Taxing Master sitting in the SCCO.