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Index of tables

  1. Crime – Leading sets
  2. Crime – Leading silks
  3. Crime – New silks
  4. Crime – Leading juniors

Crime – Leading silks

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Crime – New silks

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Crime – Leading juniors

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Some optimism has returned to the publicly-funded criminal Bar, following the suspension of plans to sharply reduce the number of law firms contracted to carry out such work. However, sets remain keen to focus on privately-funded instructions, which are often related to drug and sexual offences rather than violent crime. The Supreme Court’s decision in R v Jogee, which found that the unpopular doctrine of “joint enterprise” had been wrongly interpreted for two decades, attracted significant attention but the tsunami of appeals predicted in its immediate wake has yet to materialise. Chambers and barristers ranked in this section have a significant focus on – and substantial recent experience in – general crime as opposed to fraud and business crime, for which we have separate categories (see Fraud: crime, and Business and regulatory crime).

2 Bedford Row is ‘a go-to set at the criminal Bar’, recommended for its strength in depth. Brian Altman QC successfully defended a police officer tried for misconduct in public office following the murder of a man falsely accused of being a paedophile. Stephen Vullo QC acted for former DJ Dave Lee Travis in his retrial for various historical indecent assault charges, securing acquittals on all charges bar one.

6KBW College Hill has a stronger prosecution workload than most other sets, but many of its members continue to handle high-quality defence instructions, particularly relating to murder and terrorism. Sarah Whitehouse QC successfully prosecuted a student who planned to fight for the Islamic State in Syria, while Sasha Wass QC represented former Conservative special adviser Patrick Rock, who received a conditional discharge after being convicted of downloading indecent images of children.

Extremely diverse and reflective of modern society’, defence-only set 25 Bedford Row has a ‘variety of good counsel’, with a strong reputation for serious crime cases. Paul Mendelle QC successfully represented a former prison officer in an appeal against a conviction for misconduct in public office, in the form of leaking information about a high-profile prisoner to newspapers.

QEB Hollis Whiteman has a strong reputation for appearing on both sides of serious violent crime cases, as well as a growing practice relating to private prosecutions. Eleanor Laws QC – a new recruit from 6 Pump Court and specialist in sexual offences law – secured convictions of five men, who were part of a historical child sexual abuse ring in North Wales.

Three Raymond Buildings is ‘a first port of call for criminal work’, with a focus on private defence work as well as some prosecution matters. Neil Saunders successfully represented Neil Wallis, the former deputy editor of the News of the World, who was tried for phone-hacking.

2 Hare Court is ‘very well regarded’ for appearing on both sides of high-profile criminal cases, with a reputation for housing a number of Treasury Counsel. Jonathan Rees QC prosecuted Sarah Sands, who was convicted of the manslaughter of a man awaiting trial on several child sex offence charges.

5 Paper Buildings is a ‘well-organised’ set that covers the full range of criminal matters, both prosecuting and defending. Jonathan Caplan QC successfully defended former DJ Neil Fox, who was cleared of alleged sexual assaults dating back to the 1980s.

23 Essex Street is ‘an excellent set dealing with all aspects of criminal law’. New silk Paul Ozin QC represented former MP Lord Greville Janner in high-profile proceedings concerning his fitness to stand trial for historic alleged sex offences.

Doughty Street Chambers covers the full range of criminal defence work, but is best known for its expertise in terrorism and international criminal matters. Joel Bennathan QC defended Erol Incedal in a trial for Terrorism Act offences.

Garden Court Chambers is ‘an excellent set with first-rate people dedicated to criminal defence and appellate work’. Kieran Vaughan QC and David Emanuel successfully represented footballer Ched Evans in an appeal against his 2012 conviction for rape, following the Criminal Cases Review Commission’s referral of the matter to the Court of Appeal.

Also known for its expertise in extradition and terrorism matters, Matrix Chambers is ‘a standout choice for cases that involve tricky human rights issues or challenging the use of police powers’. Julian Knowles QC appeared for the Jamaican appellant in R v Jogee.

In addition to defending, Red Lion Chambers is ‘very well resourced for serious criminal prosecutions’. Members were instructed on both sides of the trial of Aravindan Balakrishnan, who was convicted of false imprisonment and a series of sexual offences against members of his Maoist cult.

5KBW is ‘a strong set with excellent sexual offence specialists’. Mark Heywood QC prosecuted a serial rapist after a successful application to the Court of Appeal to quash his original acquittal.

6 Pump Court includes a number of members with standout sex offence practices. Oliver Saxby QC prosecuted in the eleven-defendant trial regarding a paedophile ring in Aylesbury, leading to the conviction of six of the defendants.

9 Bedford Row’s counsel are highly regarded for the service they provide. In addition to more commonplace crime, members represent defendants in courts martial proceedings.

9-12 Bell Yard’s Alexandra Healy QC represented the former Whitehall editor of The Sun, who was acquitted of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office by paying an HMRC press officer to leak stories.

Carmelite Chambers’ members appear in violent crime cases up and down the country. Nigel Lambert QC represented a member of a religious organisation that refused to allow her daughter to access medical care, causing the child’s death.

Largely a defence-focused set, Charter Chambers is ‘blessed with advocates who can pick up complex cases’. Henry Grunwald OBE QC represented a man charged with an alleged gangland retribution murder; the trial collapsed after issues with informant evidence.

Cloth Fair Chambers is ‘an excellent set’ with members who advise private clients pre-charge as well as handling some trials. Ian Winter QC successfully represented a member of the Gibraltar Bar, who was acquitted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

A well-respected set’, Furnival Chambers covers a range of violent crime matters. Sandip Patel QC prosecuted in a murder trial featuring complex issues of diminished responsibility and loss of control regarding “revenge porn”.

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