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Clare Montgomery QC

Work +442074044337
Matrix Chambers (Matrix Chambers)


Specialist in criminal, regulatory and fraud law.


For the past 20 years Clare has specialised in dealing with the most demanding and difficult legal cases. She has featured in the starred category of QC’s recommended for crime and fraud for the whole of that period. Formerly a member of the Attorney General’s Panel, Clare has also been concerned in a wide range of public law and due process cases both for and against the Government. Clare was named Crime Silk of the Year in 2013 in the inaugural Legal 500 awards and was Crime Silk of the Year in the 2005 and 2011 Chambers & Partners Bar Awards; she has also twice been nominated as the Lawyer’s barrister of the year and features as one of the Stars at the Bar in Chambers & Partners Guide for 2016. She is Best Lawyers’ 2017 Fraud “Lawyer of the Year”.


CBA; ALBA: Justice.


University College London; Inns of Court School of Law.

London Bar

Business and regulatory crime (including global investigations)

Within: Leading Silks

Clare Montgomery QC - Matrix Chambers ‘ Terrifyingly bright; she commands the respect of the Bar and the bench. ’

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Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police)

Within: Leading Silks

Clare Montgomery QC - Matrix Chambers ‘ She needs no introduction. Has an absolute stellar performance and is unbeatable. ’

Within: Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police)

For some, Matrix Chambers is 'the best set for human rights' work with its members representing an array of clients including NGO's and companies on public law, immigration, detention, and data protection matters. The 'standout' Phillippa Kaufmann QC acted for the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in its judicial review of the government’s hostile environment policy, specifically, the Immigration Act 2013 which obliges private landlords to take measures to ensure those whom they rent to are legal immigrants. In a separate case, Kaufmann QC acted in a judicial review brought against the Director of Public Prosecutions for refusing to prosecute an undercover police officer who had a relationship with an environmental protester he was deployed to spy on. In proceedings before the Privy Council, Tim Owen QC acted for Jay Chandler in bringing an appeal against his murder conviction and death sentence in Trinidad & Tobago. The case raised an important issue on the admissibility of fresh evidence in criminal appeals, specifically in relation to the defence of diminished responsibility. Meanwhile, in ZV v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Samantha Knights QC acted for a Lithuanian national trafficked into prostitution in the UK. A case concerned the interface between EU refugee law and trafficking, and unlawful detention of victims of trafficking in immigration detention. International crime specialist Clare Montgomery QC is leading the team instructed in Belhaj v DPP concerning the judicial review of the police decision not to prosecute security service personnel over the rendition of asylum seekers to Libya. Meanwhile, in the Supreme Court, Daniel Squires QC represented the Secretary of State for Education in a challenge brought by an opposite-sex couple challenging the bar on their entering a civil partnership; the court held that the bar was unlawful. Elsewhere, Helen Law was lead counsel for the claimant in R (Bridges) v South Wales Police, the first test case on the use of automatic facial recognition software by the police, and its interference with Articles 8, 10, and 11 of the Human Rights Act 1998, as well as breach of the data protection law.

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Within: Leading Silks

Clare Montgomery QC - Matrix Chambers ‘ Still the biggest brain in the criminal legal community. ’

Within: Crime

'All super clever lawyers', Matrix Chambers 'is a quality set, with a vast array of able barristers at all levels – either stars now or stars in the making'. Chambers handle a number of matters, including many politically charged and involving criminal appeals, the interface between the criminal law and civil liberties, and public order matters concerning protests. Clare Montgomery QC is scheduled to represent two Parachute Regiment veterans due to be tried in Northern Ireland for the murder of Official IRA member Joe McCann in 1972. Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh is a specialist in cases involving protest – she represented a number of demonstrators who blocked access roads to the DSEI defence industry trade show at the ExCeL Centre.

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International crime and extradition

Within: Leading Silks

Clare Montgomery QC - Matrix Chambers ‘ She is in a class of her own. ’

Within: International crime and extradition

Matrix Chambers' members are active in the ongoing case concerning India's request for the extradition of Vijay Mallya, co-owner of the Force India Formula One team and chairman of United Breweries Group, following charges of fraud; Clare Montgomery QC is representing Mallya, while Mark Summers QC acts for the Indian government (via the Crown Prosecution Service). Mallya's extradition was initially approved in February 2019, although the defendant was granted permission to appeal the decision in July 2019. James Stansfeld and Florence Iveson have joined from Furnival Chambers and The 36 Group respectively.

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