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Chambers of Jonathan Laidlaw QC

Work 020 7353 5324
Fax 020 7353 0667

Jonathan Rees QC

Work 020 7353 5324
2 Hare Court (Chambers of Jonathan Laidlaw QC)


Over the last 15 years, Jonathan has developed a substantial criminal practice, predominantly at the Old Bailey, appearing in many cases that have attracted national media attention. In this environment, he has developed an enviable reputation for his courtroom manner and his ability to communicate effectively with judges and juries alike. Since relinquishing his appointment as senior treasury counsel at the end of 2015, Jonathan has concentrated on using his experience of serious and complex cases to develop his criminal defence practice, and has already defended in a number of murder cases including a case arising from the first ever cold-case murder review conducted in the Cayman Islands. With an academic background in science, he has particular expertise in cases involving DNA evidence and edits a chapter devoted to this topic in the leading textbook on sexual offences.

Notwithstanding his focus on defence work, Jonathan continues to be sought after to prosecute the most serious and sensitive cases. In recent months he has prosecuted the first optometrist ever to be charged with gross negligence manslaughter, the ‘Grindr’ serial killer Stephen Port, the entertainer Rolf Harris and Damon Smith, the student who planted a home-made IED on the London Underground. Additionally, Jonathan receives instructions from the Serious Fraud Office and has experience of appearing at inquests on behalf of the family of the deceased.

Jonathan is currently one of a panel of three experts involved in providing advice to member of China’s Supreme People’s Court on the reform of their People’s Assessors System. Jonathan is committed to ethnic minority achievement and has recently been appointed as a governor of a large secondary school in Southall, West London.


Call: 1987

Treasury Counsel: 2002 – 2015

Silk: 2012

Former member of the Remuneration Committee of the Bar Council




Cardiff High School, Stowe and Jesus College, Oxford

London Bar

Crime (general crime)

Within: Crime (general crime) – Leading silks

Jonathan Rees QC - 2 Hare CourtVery intelligent, fair as a prosecutor and gets the jury eating out of his hands.

Within: Crime (general crime)

2 Hare Court, which has a track record of handling heavyweight prosecution and private defence work, is ‘a set with an excellent reputation in criminal law with some of the best barristers at the Bar’. Jonathan Rees QC prosecuted Darren Osbourne, who was convicted of murdering one and injuring eleven by driving a van at a group of worshippers near Finsbury Park Mosque. Brendan Kelly QC is also qualified in Northern Ireland, where he successfully defended USA Perpignan fly-half Paddy Jackson (then playing for Ulster and Ireland), who was acquitted of rape in a case that attracted significant media attention.

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