No5 Barristers Chambers houses a balanced and robust practice both in terms of size and call. Described as ‘approachable and friendly with the ability to tailor service to ones needs’, the set has particular expertise in cases of serious violence, corporate manslaughter, organised crime cases and complex fraud. Michael Duck QC prosecuted four defendants, who were aged sixteen and seventeen of the time of the offence, who were convicted of the murder of a teenage boy as part of tensions between two Wolverhampton "postcode gangs, while Michelle Heeley QC represented former England footballer Paul Gascgoine, who was acquitted on sexual assault charges. Turning to the set's juniors Harpreet Singh Sandhu recently prosecuted in a firearms case involving a home being converted into a workshop where blank-firing pistols were converted into lethal firearms, and Sophie Murray, who has a niche practice in serious sexual offences.
Crime (general and fraud) in Regional Bar
‘Always tailor service to needs. Most suitable counsel placed on case in accordance to knowledge and complexities.’
‘No5 is an excellent set of criminal barristers. Spoilt for choice.’
‘No 5 is a solid set, with a great reputation in crime.’
‘Approachable, friendly and the clerks always go above and beyond to assist with cases.’
‘The No 5 Clerks are uniquely effective, intelligent and hardworking.’
‘Andrew Trotter as a clerk is exceptional. His knowledge and management of our expectations in terms of quality of barristers we like to instruct and rapport one to one with our solicitors is excellent. ‘
Kevin Hegarty QC leads the crime group at St Philips Chambers, which is praised for ‘enormous depth’ in its criminal practice. He recently prosecuted two metal detectorists for the theft of a Viking hoard worth £3m which they extracted without consent of the land owner and, without notifying the relevant authorities, sold on the black market. Jonathan Barker prosecuted a man who was convicted on fourteen counts, including of buggery and rape, concerning the sexual abuse of his niece in in the 1980s. Chambers is also home to Richard Atkins QC, chair of the Bar in 2019 - he is joined in the set's silk ranks by Lee Marklew QC, who was appointed in the 2021 round.
‘St. Philips Chambers is a large set of chambers, offering enormous depth in the criminal department. Their training programmes are well presented, informative and hugely popular.’
‘St Philips is an excellent criminal and regulatory set. It operates a clear distinction between the two areas and the panel of specialist Counsel availiable for regulatory instructions is impressive.’
‘Strength in depth in all areas of practice. Strongest criminal team in the Midlands.’
‘Excellent service. Phil Jones and Dan Giles are exceptional in their client care.’
‘The criminal clerks in this set are efficient, capable and courteous. They never hesitate to help out, especially at short notice.’
‘The Clerks room is extremely efficient and reliable.’
London-based, Midlands reaching set 7BR have an established criminal presence and practice in the East Midlands. Predominantly a prosecution set, Adrian Langdale QC has been several high-profile cases for the region, including the prosecution of a Roman Catholic priest who sexually and physically abused a boy in the noughties, including locking him in a crypt and beating him with a hurley. James House QC recently secured an acquittal for an individual charged with murder in a gang-related retaliation attack. Other names of note are Gareth Weetman and Alex Young, the latter advising the police in Operation Caldon - a prosecution of OCG following a campaign of over fifty commercial burglaries.
‘Good circuit set with depth throughout. ‘
‘7BR are a large and well regarded set who predominantly prosecute. They are professional and amongst some of the best in their field.’
St Ives Chambers has a strong reputation for ‘strength throughout all levels of seniority in criminal work’. Head of the criminal group Rebecca Wade specialises in rape and serious sexual offence cases. Justin Jarmola ’s practice focuses on serious gang and drug-related crime, with recent instructions including being led junior a high-profile prosecution for multiple stabbings in Solihull, and Birmingham, and a joint enterprise shooting in Birmingham.
‘Chambers have some outstanding Barristers in the criminal field.’
‘Great set. Strength throughout all levels of seniority in criminal work.’
‘St Ives is an excellent set, they have a strong reputation for training good pupils and invest in their members.’
‘St Ives are clerked well and enjoy strong leadership from Andrew Rourke as chief criminal clerk – nothing is too large or small a task for Andrew who makes himself available at a personal level to the firm.’
Over half of London set The 36 Group's members have a regular Midlands practice. Praised as ‘progressive and modern’, chambers maintains a depth in their practice across all areas of criminal law while developing a niche in cybercrime matters. Mary Prior QC recent instructions include high-profile terrorism, murder, and serious violence cases. Notable names from the junior end of chambers include Nadeem Holland and Samuel Skinner, whose recent instructions include large scale drugs and firearms conspiracies, and Sarah Gaunt, who has handled a number of cybercrime cases. Simon Ash QC also took silk in the 2021 round while David Herbert QC was appointed to the circuit bench.
‘A very strong chambers, they have a wide range of talent with a nationwide presence.’
‘The 36 Group have a strong team, with several excellent silks and some outstanding senior juniors.’
‘The 36 Group has a significant presence in the Midlands and is seen as the go to set for expertise in criminal law.’
‘The clerks room is professional and trust worthy. All the clerks are quick thinkers and creative problem solvers.’
‘Fantastic. Michelle Simpson and Lloyd Hawkins are stand out clerks.’
‘The Clerks are highly efficient and professional. A high calibre fast moving team.’