International crime and extradition in London Bar
Doughty Street Chambers 'has an excellent, in-depth extradition team', with particular strength in human rights cases, and is also 'pre-eminent in international criminal law', according to clients. In a recent highlight, 'impressive advocate' Edward Fitzgerald QC represented the appellant before the Supreme Court in Elgizouli v Secretary of State for the Home Department, a challenge to the Secretary of State’s decision to provide mutual legal assistance to the USA for a capital trial, without seeking assurances that the death penalty would not be imposed; the Supreme Court upheld the challenge. In other recent news of note, the 'fearless' Ben Cooper QC took silk in March 2020 further strengthening the set at the senior end. Elsewhere in chambers, the 'meticulous' Amal Clooney is 'tactically first class and a natural lead advocate in cases'; Australia- and English-qualified Megan Hirst has developed 'a preeminent role in acting for victims in international courts'; and Amelia Nice's experience of family law is 'an added bonus and places her ahead of many of her peers when there is an overlap of family law in extradition cases'.
'A well known set for extradition work', Matrix Chambers' 'strength in depth in this area speaks for itself', with 'a number of excellent silks specialising in extradition law and a growing junior bar' following the addition of James Stansfeld and Florence Iveson. In recent work of note, 'eloquent advocate' Mark Summers QC and Iveson are active in the ongoing case concerning the USA's request for the extradition of Julian Assange for alleged complicity with activist Chelsea Manning in the publication of state secrets in the Assange-founded WikiLeaks site. Meanwhile, 'the doyenne of extradition law' Clare Montgomery QC and 'industrious' rising star Jessica Jones are defending diamantaire Nirav Modi against the government of India's request for his extradition to face fraud and money laundering charges.
A 'high-quality set', Three Raymond Buildings is 'an excellent chambers for extradition law barristers', with 'good strength in depth'. In one example instruction, 'brilliant advocate' Hugo Keith QC and the 'incredibly hard-working' Ben Watson defended Zamira Hajiyeva, the recipient of the UK's first unexplained wealth order (UWO), against an extradition request made by the Government of Azerbaijan following allegations of fraud; on the other side, the 'immensely experienced' Helen Malcolm QC represented the Government of Azerbaijan (via the Crown Prosecution Service). In recent news, the 'incredibly sharp' Matthew Butt QC took silk in 2020, strengthening the set at the senior end.
Temple Garden Chambers has a 'strong and growing extradition team' with, recent case highlights including 'amazing advocate' Daniel Sternberg acting alone for the US government in a request for the extradition of Nathan Wyatt to face charges of computer hacking and blackmail. Elsewhere, the 'diligent and focused' Saoirse Townshend represented one of the appellants in Bartulis v Lithuania, involving issues of whether inter-prisoner violence in Lithuanian prisons was of a degree that would breach Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Rhys Davies is described as 'fearless in his defence of Human Rights and individual freedoms' with particular expertise in the Middle East and representing clients before the United Nations Special Procedure Committees and Special Rapporteurs. In March 2020 the team was bolstered by the arrival of the 'measured' Kathryn Howarth and 'tenacious' Émilie Pottle from The 36 Group.
5 St Andrews Hill is 'well known for extradition work', with 'a strong cadre' of 'talented and experienced extradition lawyers'. Recent instructions include the 'first-class' David Josse QC and 'passionate' Ben Keith representing the appellants in Yilmaz and Yilmaz v Government of Turkey, which involved issues concerning Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and prison conditions in Turkey. Keith is said to have 'unrivalled knowledge' when it comes to Russian and CIS state extradition requests. A 'great tactician', Natasha Draycott is particularly strong in cases with human rights or political issues as well as complex Part 2 cases. Gemma Lindfield's family law expertise gives her 'a greater advantage to many of her peers when dealing with extradition cases that have a family element to them'. Also of note, Danielle Barden is a rising star who has particular expertise in modern slavery cases as they relate to extradition law.
Extradition cases form a core area of 6KBW College Hill's expertise, while the set also reports growth in instructions pertaining to international crime. Of recent note, the 'formidable' Ben Lloyd is acting as junior counsel for Banmeet Singh in a request for Singh's extradition back to the USA concerning charges of an alleged conspiracy to import drugs into the country via a dark web network. Meanwhile, 'calm, measured and knowledgeable' Adam Payter is advising Shane Looker, a British citizen, on his proposed extradition from Spain to Thailand for the alleged murder of a sex worker. A 'titan of the criminal bar', David Perry QC is, for some, the number one choice for the most difficult legal challenges.
'Strong set' 9 Bedford Row 'provides invaluable expertise in the field of international criminal law' and is noted for its 'fast-growing extradition team'. Of recent note, the 'dynamic' Sarah Bafadhel is assisting in the case of Prosecutor v Al Hassan, which is taking place before the International Criminal Court; Al Hassan has been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity, allegedly committed in Timbuktu in 2012 and 2013. Additionally, Ben Joyes represented the Polish authorities in Cukierski v Poland, a case that considered whether there was an English law equivalent to the Polish offence of "insulting a police officer" for the purposes of dual criminality under section 65(3) of the Extradition Act 2003. A 'powerhouse' of a junior, Joe Holmes' experience in international law and rule of law work in fragile and conflict-affected areas is 'relatively unparalleled for his call'. A 'trusted prosecutor' who is also building a reputable defence practice, Jonathan Swain is praised for his ability to 'quickly analyse European Arrest Warrant for potential issues'. A 'solid advocate', who has significant experience of prosecuting and defending in extradition matters, as well as international criminal law, Ben Joyes is another name to note.
25 Bedford Row 'has a number of practitioners with special expertise in international criminal law', including 'impressive advocate' David Hooper QC who is representing Augustin Ngirabatware (the former Minister of Planning in Rwanda) in a trial relating to alleged interference with protected witnesses and contempt during an appeal concerning the client's convictions for involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Also of note, Diana Ellis QC is highlighted for her 'knowledge of practice and procedure in international tribunals is second to none', while Sam Blom-Cooper is 'an excellent, original-thinking lawyer and a highly persuasive advocate'.
Furnival Chambers houses 'a strong extradition team' made up of 'talented practitioners', including the 'formidable' Catherine Brown who successfully defended the requested person in Hoxhaj v The Government of Albania. The case concerned an extradition request that was made for the individual for alleged offences of murder and attempted murder linked to a historical blood feud in Albania in 1996. The 'methodical' Nicholas Hearn is described as having 'an encyclopedic knowledge of extradition law and an analytical approach to cases which lets him quickly distill the important points'. 'Talented and able advocate' Joel Smith combines being junior treasury counsel with an extradition practice spanning high-profile cases which includes being a member of the legal team representing the USA which is seeking the extradition of Julian Assange. 'Tenacious and approachable', Amanda Bostock is well-respected for prosecution work, in particular, due to her 'robust cross-examination skills'.