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Chambers of Steven Kay QC

Work 020 7489 2727
Fax 020 7489 2828



The set: 9 Bedford Row is widely respected as a leading set specialising in all aspects of criminal law. Chambers is committed to providing a professional, approachable, results-driven and efficient service within the criminal market place whether prosecuting or defending, in this country or abroad. For a number of years now, chambers has extended its work to international courts including a number of significant cases in The Hague. Chambers guards its reputation for active case management with determination and members are well used to operating closely within a team. Through its network of professionals, chambers can offer bespoke solutions to seemingly intractable legal issues. Most members are public access-accredited.

Types of work undertaken: The majority of the work in this country traditionally comprises general crime from murder, manslaughter and firearms offences to drug trafficking, terrorism, robbery and road traffic offences. Chambers has a well-respected group of practitioners specialising in serious sexual crime work, both defending and prosecuting. In recent years there has been a growing emphasis on corporate crime, which includes fraud, bribery and corruption, and white-collar crime with a fast-developing practice in regulatory and compliance matters. In addition, chambers prides itself on providing high-quality representation and advice in cases involving military personnel, whether regular or reservist, including courts martial.

Licensing work has always been an important practice area within chambers because of the overlapping expertise gained from criminal and regulatory law. Over recent years, there has been a rapidly growing practice arising from firearms licensing and gun control as well as issues arising from fox and other forms of hunting. Members advise and represent individuals and organisations on all aspects of firearms licensing, and are regularly involved in criminal cases that involve the use of firearms.

Members of chambers, including the head of chambers, Steven Kay QC, have appeared in many of the most notorious trials in The Hague as well as tribunals in various countries across the globe. They have often done so to considerable acclaim and so are world-renowned in this important field. The emergence of international initiatives against bribery and corruption, including legislation in multiple countries, has brought additional complexity to the conduct of international business. Chambers has the experience to help businesses and individuals identify and address risks before they escalate. The ARC project run by Gillian Higgins, which is a vehicle for claimants to instruct counsel to take cases to the Africa Court of Human and People Rights, has been recognised as a unique and valuable international litigation asset.

Languages spoken: Arabic, Bosnian, Croatian, Finnish, French, German, Gujerati, Hindi, Italian, Punjabi, Serbian, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Urdu.


At 9 Bedford Row, we specialise in all aspects of criminal law defend and prosecute cases of the utmost seriousness in the Crown courts across the country. These include trials involving conspiracy to murder; kidnapping; the importation and supply of drugs; and trafficking for profit and sexual exploitation.

We have a dedicated team who specialise in serious sexual offences, along with related offences such as child cruelty, internet offences and child abduction. Our expertise covers matters such as applications under section 41 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003; bad character applications; historic allegations; and abuse of process.

At 9 Bedford Row, we have defended in many of the most significant, high-profile terrorism cases to be tried in this country. These cases have included conspiracy to murder, bombing campaigns, conspiracy to produce poison, recruiting teams of suicide bombers, and the funding of proscribed terror groups. These cases have involved both substantive charges under the Terrorism Acts as well as common law conspiracies to murder.

We defend and prosecute before courts martial in the UK and abroad (for example, Germany and Cyprus); appear in the Courts Martial Appeal Court; represent service personnel before UK civilian courts; and can also help with judicial review proceedings in the High Court.

At 9 Bedford Row, we focus particularly on active case management and team leadership. When prosecuting, we provide a full case preparation service, aiming for a robust, efficient and effective trial. Defending, we can advise solicitors on case preparation and management at an early stage – on occasion before charge.

Financial Crime

At 9 Bedford Row, our experienced team can deal with a wide range of financial and corporate law matters – from international fraud allegations to cybercrime, and from Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecutions to Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) proceedings.

We have the experience to identify and address risks before they escalate – for example, by helping ensure compliance with the Bribery Act 2010, or carrying out due diligence reviews or internal investigations.

At 9 Bedford Row, our practitioners provide advisory and advocacy experience across many niche areas of cybercrime. The term β€˜cybercrime’, of course, is a broad one. On the one hand, it covers criminal activity, from computer-oriented activity such as cyber-attacks to IT-enabled activity such as fraud or theft (for example, cloning bank cards).But it can also refer to the harvesting of commercially sensitive information from businesses – not necessarily a criminal offence in itself, but potentially devastating for companies that rely on their intellectual property.

HSE prosecutions arising from corporate failures can be a significant risk to businesses – especially in sectors such as manufacturing, mining, travel and logistics. Our team have successfully defended serious cases alleging corporate manslaughter – and our experience means we can work to help mitigate the penalties and reputational damage of an HSE prosecution.

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 creates far-reaching powers to restrain and confiscate money and other assets believed to represent the proceeds of criminal activity – while other legislation contains similar powers. Our team has the experience to deal with every aspect of criminal confiscation proceedings, including either search and seizure orders or restraint and receivership applications.

When prosecuting, we prepare cases comprehensively, aiming to ensure a robust, efficient and effective trial. Defending, we advise on case management at an early stage and throughout the proceedings.

International Crime

At 9 Bedford Row, our International team handles issues of an international nature and criminal cases for clients that are private individuals, states, governments and organisations from the start of a crisis as it develops on the international stage, to investigations and the court proceedings that may follow. We have expert international lawyers to advise and represent those faced with legal, factual and political situations that may have far-reaching consequences to their reputations and interests.

When Dusko Tadic was tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 1996, this was the first international war crimes case since Nuremberg and Tokyo. Steven Kay QC was defence counsel in that trial. The 9 Bedford Row International team has many further firsts to its credit, including: the first trial of a Head of State, Slobodan Milosevic; the first Head of the Criminal Defence Office in the Bosnian War Crimes Chamber; the first war crimes media trial; the first UK defence counsel at the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone, and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon; and the first legal team to challenge the legitimacy of the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal.

Our Counsel have won the respect of clients, the judiciary and observers for their courtroom advocacy, professionalism and skill. They are renowned for their dedication, judgment and ability to confront and solve problems in a complex international legal world. Individuals, states and organisations come to 9 Bedford Row International because of its well-earned international reputation as a centre of excellence


At 9 Bedford Row, we act for bodies, individuals or organisations in areas such as healthcare, sport, firearms and licensing - aiming to provide clear and practical advice, reflecting an often complex web of rules and legislation.

Licensing – mainly liquor and entertainment – has always been a practice area at 9 Bedford Row, because of the overlapping expertise gained from criminal and regulatory law. We have also developed our specialist expertise in firearms and firearms legislation – mainly through our barrister Peter Glenser. We advise and represent individuals and organisations on all aspects of firearms licensing, throughout England and Wales. We regularly deliver lectures and seminars on firearms legislation and contribute to The Shooting Gazette, Gun Trade News and other publications on matter concerning firearms law.


At 9 Bedford Row, our barristers have substantial experience in disciplinary matters in sport, whether for governing bodies, individuals or teams – in sports such as football, rugby, cricket, boxing, cycling, horse racing, polo and athletics.

Our experience covers the full range of disciplinary and regulatory matters, including anti-corruption, safeguarding and anti-doping. We understand the reputational risks faced by both athletes and governing bodies in sport – so aim to provide pragmatic advice and achieve proportionate and fair outcomes for clients. We also advise on rules and regulations across a wide range of matters – and help to draft safeguarding and disciplinary policies and procedures. Our barristers also hold positions within many sports governing bodies as well as with Sport Resolutions and sit on various panels.

Due to 9 Bedford Row’s extensive criminal expertise, we also assist athletes charged with criminal offences.

  • Clerks: 8
  • Administrator: 1
  • Breakdown of work %

  • Crime: 90%

Above material supplied by 9 Bedford Row (Chambers of Steven Kay QC).

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