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Leading Silks

Richard Atkins KCSt Philips Chambers 'Richard is a very high-quality advocate who has proven ability over many years in regulatory crime. He has a tremendous eye for detail, excellent judgment, and decision-making under pressure. He is able to bring the judge and jury along with him when prosecuting or defending. His easy manner and calm authority in all situations make his advocacy very persuasive.’ 
Michael Duck KCNo5 Barristers’ Chambers ‘Michael is approachable and communicates well with the clients. He has an excellent grasp of tactics that he deploys effectively. He is an excellent advocate.’  
Michelle Heeley KCNo5 Barristers’ Chambers ‘Michelle is an excellent jury advocate, ensuring that even in the most complex case jurors can follow the evidence and arrive at the conclusions. She is calm, friendly, and engaging when out of court, whilst in court she is formidable, determined, and entirely persuasive. She is dutiful and exacting in her preparation, carefully and methodically considering the evidence and issues in a case.’ 
Mary Prior KCThe 36 Group ‘Mary is a powerful and compelling advocate whose emotional intelligence and empathy give her a real tactical advantage, whether she prosecutes or defends. She is 100% committed to her cases, and her work is outstanding.’  
Andrew Smith KCSt Philips Chambers 'Andrew’s intelligence is legendary. He is able to assimilate evidence amounting to thousands of pages and identify issues clearly. He can present even the most complex of issues in terms that allow defendants and juries to understand them. He has an aura of confidence because he knows the material he is working with thoroughly. He has a depth of character and charm that warms him to fellow professionals and defendants alike. He can be relied upon totally to represent those instructing him in the ablest way.’ 
Jonas Hankin KCNo5 Barristers’ Chambers ‘Jonas is an outstanding barrister. He is one of the field leaders in cases of homicide or serious injury involving complex medical and causation issues. He has significant experience in assessing detailed medical material and identifying further lines of enquiry. He is a confident and highly articulate advocate with the ability to present the most nuanced and factually complex cases to juries in an accessible manner.’
Adrian Keeling KCNo5 Barristers’ Chambers ‘Adrian is sharp and thorough. He has an enviable ability to sift huge amounts of complex information and distill it quickly and simply, getting to the crux of the case with ease. He has common sense in abundance and is tactically brilliant, always knowing which points to take and how best to articulate them.’ 

2022 Silks

Harpreet Sandhu KCNo5 Barristers’ Chambers ‘Harpreet has exceptional communication skills with clients and fellow professionals. He is a well-deserved silk.’ 

Leading Juniors

Jonathan BarkerSt Philips Chambers ‘Jonathan has a very technical mind and is able to assimilate in-depth evidence very quickly. He has a good presence in front of a jury and commands the attention of the court room. He has good relationships with other members of the Bar and respect for the judiciary.’ 
Ian Bridge – No5 Barristers’ Chambers ‘Ian is very experienced and has a vast pool of knowledge to fall back on. He is second to none in terms of running difficult and technical arguments. He is inventive and finds novel solutions to difficult problems and issues. He is extremely good with clients and excellent at building both rapport and trust with clients.’  
William Douglas-JonesSt Ives Chambers ‘William is eloquent and has a real art for advocacy. He is exceptionally well prepared and has an excellent manner, especially with professional clients.’ 
Justin JarmolaSt Ives Chambers ‘Justin has a very engaging manner which stands him in good stead with both judges and clients and co-defending counsel. He is extremely bright and tactically astute, both excellent attributes. One of the most impressive juniors at the criminal Bar.’
Jennifer JosephsSt Philips Chambers ‘Jennifer is an experienced and dedicated senior junior. She commits fully to each case she is involved in and has a very good technical grasp of the relevant law. She shows excellent tactical awareness and works well as a key member of any team. Her advocacy is effective and measured. She has the respect of both the judiciary and her opponents.’  
John O’HigginsNo5 Barristers’ Chambers ‘John is very thorough in all cases and his technical ability is exceptional. He is very good at building rapport with clients and putting them at ease throughout their cases. His advocacy skills are also exceptional, often able to persuade judges and juries to accept submission he has made. He is very professional in his approach to clients and courts and is well respected by his peers.’  
Tim PoleNo5 Barristers’ Chambers ‘Tim is a very commercially astute barrister who always works tirelessly for the client's cause. The amount of case preparation work undertaken by him in each case never fails to impress a client. He is an excellent technical advocate.’
Rebecca WadeSt Ives Chambers ‘Rebecca is a tenacious and well-prepared barrister, whose advocacy skills are second to none. She clearly goes the extra mile for her clients and is fearless in front of a range of judges. She has a strong presence in the court room and is also an accomplished leading junior.’  
Ben WilliamsSt Philips Chambers ‘Ben is intelligent and pragmatic. He is responsive in his communications and has the ability to put clients at ease. He is robust with prosecutors and judges alike. His drafting of advice and applications is always of a very high standard.’  
Ben CloseSt Philips Chambers ‘Ben gets to grip with the details of a case quickly. He has excellent drafting skills and delivers a great service every time.’ 
Darron Whitehead  – St Philips Chambers ‘Darron is a class act. As an advocate he is highly persuasive and tenacious. He always has a firm grasp of the details of the case and is always diligent and well-prepared. His written work is precise, detailed and persuasive. He is a very effective cross-examiner and an astute trial tactician. He is well respected by colleagues and highly rated by judges.’ 
Oliver Woolhouse - Cornwall Street Barristers ‘Oliver always has a complete grasp of the details of the case and is able to bring sound tactical judgment. He has expert client care skills.’ 
Sharon BahiaNo5 Barristers’ Chambers ‘Sharon gives clear and concise advice. She takes time to ensure clients understand everything about the case against them.’  
Sarah GauntThe 36 GroupCertainly the one you want on your side.’
Rajinder GIllSt Philips Chambers ‘Rajinder is extremely good at calming nervous clients who are new to the criminal justice system and building confidence with them. He is a likeable barrister which is good for client relationships. The effort he puts in is always 110% and his attention to detail shows in trials.’ 
Marcus HarrySt Ives Chambers Marcus is the 'go to' counsel. He is calm under pressure, tirelessly hardworking, methodical in thought and respected by his peers. His IT skills complement his advocacy, leading to thoroughly prepared cases and confidence that complex cases will be defended properly. He has a gentle approach with clients to ensure that they fully listen to and fully understand the issues that will prove to be important to them in their defence.’  
Nadeem HollandThe 36 Group 'Calm, thorough, formidable advocate, meticulous case preparation.'
Amy JacksonSt Ives Chambers ‘Amy is a tenacious and able advocate whose light touch and strategic case view make her an opponent to be taken seriously. Juries like her realistic and sensible approach.’  
Andrew JacksonSt Philips Chambers ‘Andrew is extremely thorough and hardworking in preparing a case, and fearless in advocacy- both in cross-examination and with judges. He gets on extremely well with clients from across the spectrum of society and brings an air of confident calm to a case. He takes time to explain the issues to clients in a language they understand.’
Sarah KnightThe 36 Group ‘Sarah is engaged by the prosecuting authorities on difficult and sensitive cases for good reason- sympathetic and closely attuned to the demands that they place on counsel.’ 
Ben MillsSt Philips Chambers ‘Ben has a relaxed and reassuring manner and cannot be fazed and is unflappable in court. He is collegiate and has very good working relationships with adversaries and benches and is a master tactician.’  
Sophie Murray – St Ives Chambers ‘Sophie is a high-quality junior. She is very hard-working and driven. She is an attractive and persuasive advocate, who has the confidence and presence to persuade a court and the charm to win over a jury. She is a thoroughly decent and fair-minded opponent.’  
Kevin Saunders23ES ‘Kevin is a fearless advocate. He is charming and persuasive and performs well with very different tribunals. He can produce ingenious legal arguments as if they were a rabbit from a hat and is able to reveal that even the most apparently watertight case against him could sink at any time.’ 
Samuel SkinnerThe 36 Group ‘Samuel has a thorough and assured grasp of law and procedure. He has excellent judgment and an unerring sense of the key issues in a case. He is meticulous in his preparation, and his courtroom advocacy is fluent and robust. He is always polite and respectful with opponents, colleagues, judges, and court staff.’  
Lisa Hardy - KCH Garden Square ‘Lisa is very thorough in the preparation of any case and always establishes a positive relationship with the client. She is always very well prepared and has a wonderful ability to put the client at ease very quickly. She is confident and always offers sound advice to anyone she represents.’ 
Philip Beardwell – St Philips Chambers ‘Philip has an encyclopedic knowledge of criminal law. He is quickly able to grasp the key concepts of a case and deploy them to his client’s best advantage. His trial advocacy is strong with a measured yet robust approach to cross-examination. He is a persuasive arguer, which enables him to make confident and concise submissions to the tribunal.’  
Matthew Iain BoltCornwall Street Barristers ‘Matthew has a sound grasp of black-letter law and procedure and is a superb advocate. He also has a good set of soft skills needed to reassure lay clients during the anxieties of litigation. He is able to take the lead when required. He fits well into any legal team, working together with solicitors and other counsel to ensure the best outcomes for clients.’ 
Claire Fraser – The 36 Group ‘Claire's ability to pick up work at short notice and get to the root of the issues is astounding. She has a way with clients which is delightful in often difficult circumstances.’
Tom Walkling – St Philips Chambers ‘Tom has always shown an excellent ability in analysing and assimilating the evidence in order to identify the issues in the case. He is able to identify very quickly those matters which are of importance and which require further scrutiny. He has a sound judgement in relation to case strategy and decision making. He is an intuitive trial advocate, with the ability to deal with issues as they arise throughout trials calmly and appropriately.’
Karen Walton Drystone Chambers ‘Karen is able to explain the law in a pragmatic way and is able to put even the most vulnerable defendants at ease. She is very efficient when complying with directions, has an eye for detail, extremely focused when conducting trials and always puts the clients first.’
Lucinda Wilmott-Lascelles - St Ives Chambers ‘Lucinda is a brilliant barrister. She is very thorough in her preparation and has a wonderful way with the clients. Her easy-going manner puts the client at ease whilst still giving them the confidence that they are in good hands. She explains things very clearly, including technical legal matters, so the client understands. She genuinely cares, which is important when dealing with clients facing serious matters. Her advocacy is also excellent, whatever the type of hearing.’
Sara WyethSt Ives Chambers ‘Sara is unflappable, measured, and bright. She is extremely bright, and succinct in her submissions. She endears herself to judge and jury very easily.’

Crime (general and fraud) in Regional Bar

No5 Barristers' Chambers

No5 Barristers’ Chambers is a ‘well run professional set of chambers with range of experience and expertise’ in the crime sector. Michael Duck KC is a specialist in serious organised crime and is currently leading a prosecution of Polish and Kurdish organised crime groups on behalf of HMRC, while Michelle Heeley KC has built a reputation for handling cases involving vulnerable clients or witnesses. Newly appointed silks Harpreet Singh Sandhu KC and Sultana Tafadar KC are regularly instructed by the CPS in cases of grave and complex nature. Turning to the set’s juniors, Ian Bridge is described as a ‘formidable advocate who is able to quickly grasp the real issues in the case’ and is regularly instructed in high profile fraud and money laundering cases.



‘The chambers has strength in depth of astute and intelligent silks and grade four prosecutors.’ 

‘Reliable and trustworthy.’ 

‘Very professional chambers.’ 

‘The set is large and full of experienced, competent practitioners. It has strength in depth and breadth.’

‘Professionally run set of chambers with vast experience.’

‘Good availability of experienced Counsel when required.’

‘Very professional with a high level of expertise available.’

‘No. 5 Chambers is a very large and leading set of chambers that provides an excellent range of advocates for all criminal cases.’


‘The clerking team is always happy to assist. Andrew Trotter is especially helpful, responsive, and organised, he anticipates your requests or what counsel will require before being asked.’

‘The clerks provide a first-rate service.’

‘Always really helpful and go out of their way to ensure Counsel is available to assist.’

‘Clerks provide an excellent service, very efficient and always keep us informed of any changes with counsel or listing of cases. Andrew Trotter and Marc Forest stand out as the more experienced and professional in the service they provide.’

‘Well organised and accessible team of clerks.’

‘Always available to support and assist. All clerks are able to provide information when required.’

‘The clerks are perfectly adequate.’

‘Andrew Trotter is an exceptional clerk. He cannot do enough to help and is always 10 steps ahead. Extremely organised and efficient. Tony McDaid is a very impressive and charismatic CEO. He has excellent business sense and clearly holds the best interests of No5 Chambers closely at heart.’ 

St Philips Chambers

St. Philips Chambers is a ‘large and efficiently run set of chambers’ with an ‘extensive range of advocates available to cover all levels of criminal cases’. Head of the chamber and ‘excellent orator’ Richard Atkins KC specialises in murder cases and regularly appears in the Court of Appeal. Andrew Smith KC’s recent work highlights include prosecuting Gareeca Gordon, who was convicted of murdering a former friend and attempting to dispose of her body in the Forest of Dean. Jennifer Josephs is praised for her ‘preparation and care during cases’ and secured a conviction for a father accused of shaking one of his twin babies to death in case that dealt with complicated medical evidence. Simon Davis is now the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Cayman Islands.



‘Lovely set, full of excellent barristers with varying levels of strengths and experience. Counsel instructed are always very informative and try to cover their cases as much as possible.’ 

‘St Philips Chambers is a strong set with a good range of counsel even when an instructed advocate is not available.’ 

‘The strongest spread of counsel at all levels in criminal work, including the best selection of silks in the Midlands.’ 

‘The best set in Birmingham.’ 

‘A very strong set, with great strength in depth.’ 

‘The premier set for crime in Birmingham. Many of its members go to the bench or take silk. It is a breeding ground for high quality advocates.’ 

‘St Philips Chambers is the go-to set in the Midlands area.’ 

‘St. Philips has numerous strong advocates practicing in crime and fraud at all levels.’ 

‘Good efficient set of chambers with wide range of experienced counsel.’ 

‘A powerful set with a wealth of talent in criminal advocacy.’ 

‘Fantastic set who care for their instructing solicitors and who will endeavor always to provide excellent alternative counsel if instructed counsel is unavailable. They regularly provide training sessions that deal with updates in the law and showcase the talent of their counsel.’ 


‘Clerking is excellent.’ 

‘The clerks are helpful in the extreme and efficiently deal with problems when they arise.’ 

‘The clerks are very helpful and considerate.’ ‘The clerks are always willing to assist and will go the extra mile.’ 

‘The clerks will endeavor to assist however they can.’ 

‘Clerks are accommodating of needs and always assist in helping with the court.’ 

‘The Clerks provide a first-class service. The clerks are efficient, friendly, and sensitive to customer needs.’ 


7BR is a London based set with a long-running connection to the Midland circuit. James House KC recently managed to secure murder and manslaughter convictions for four defendants from London accused of murdering a homeowner from Northampton after a robbery attempt. Adrian Langdale KC successfully led the prosecution of an internet based sexual abuser, who targeted thousands of victims worldwide. Vanessa Marshall KC has appeared in several complex murder trials and recently successfully prosecuted a 6-week multi-defendant murder trial.

St Ives Chambers

St Ives Chambers is a ‘pool of highly talented criminal practitioners’ often involved in complex and lengthy murder trials and large-scale drug, firearm, and fraud conspiracies. The criminal practice group is led by ‘the tremendously diligent and hard-working’ Rebecca Wade who has ‘good judgement and great eye for detail’. Justin Jarmola is known for his ‘exceptional written advocacy’ and secured acquittal for a teenager defendant in a multi-week attempted murder trial. William Douglas-Jones ‘demonstrates the gravitas and demeanour of a highly experienced barrister’ and was led junior for a defendant in this 9-handed conspiracy to murder trial in the Crown Court.



‘St Ives retains the ‘cut above’ edge when it comes to barristers. It offers the brilliant professionalism and expertise of counsel who are ready to assist at the last minute. Their insight of other local chambers offers a positive and informative approach in addition to understanding adversaries when on trial. The barristers are always courteous and immaculately presented when in Court. There are a variety of barristers to call upon for their opinion on legal issues and to assist with cases up and down the country.’

‘St Ives Chambers is available whenever someone require counsel and is always on hand to assist.’

‘St Ives Chambers is a strong set with a number of heavyweight juniors.’

‘St Ives Chambers punches above its weight in Crime. It has a relatively small criminal group but one of genuine quality.’

‘St Ives Chambers is a superb growing set populated by immensely talented advocates.’

‘A very strong set, with a strong team of criminal practitioners.’

‘St Ives is a wonderful set full of enthusiastic and able counsel.’ ‘St Ives Chambers is a great set of criminal barristers. The criminal set has a number of brilliant barristers who deal with all types of criminal law cases, from the mundane to the extremely serious.’


‘Clerks are excellent in communicating and try their very best to accommodate the demands. Philip Hidson will always ‘go the extra mile’ to help with logistics and availability of counsel.’

‘Philip Hidson is proactive and responsive.’

‘Clerking service at the chambers is efficient and helpful.’

‘The clerks are always helpful, even when something urgent needs to be covered. Philip Hidson stands out, who is always willing to help.’

‘The clerking is excellent, and they compete well with much larger chambers – the ever approachable and hardworking Philip Hidson is in particular a credit to chambers.’

‘Philip Hidson is determined to do the very best for both counsel and instructing solicitors. He does not shirk the hours demanded or complexities of his role.’

‘The clerks are always helpful and willing to help. Phillip Hidson stands out. The addition of Sheila Doyle makes the team stronger.’

The 36 Group

The 36 Group is a ‘good all-round chambers’ with a set of ‘good quality advocates’ and strong presence in the Midlands circuit. Mary Prior KC is ‘particularly good at questioning vulnerable witnesses’ and recently handled a murder case involving complex medical evidence. Sarah Gaunt handled a case of a widescale and country-wide sophisticated ATM theft conspiracy. Nadeem Holland prosecuted and convicted a thirteen-defendant drug conspiracy case, in which all defendants were convicted. Samuel Skinner is an ‘ambitious and astute lawyer with excellent judgement’ and prosecuted around 109 defendants in dozens of linked trials of conspiracy to supply drugs. Mary Loram KC and William Harbage KC, as were, have been appointed circuit judges, based in Chelmsford and Nottingham respectively.



‘The 36 Group is a well-managed multi-disciplinary set with a traditionally strong presence on the Midland Circuit.’ 

‘The 36 Group has a very solid cadre of silks and many of their juniors are either leading or being led in cases of note across the country.’ 

‘The 36 Group is a very organised and well-respected chamber which produces advocates of the highest standard.’ 

‘The 36 Group is a leading group of chambers. Their members are all well regarded, and it has especial expertise in the more serious cases of homicide, cybercrime and fraud, gang related offending and significant sexual violence. Members are sought after and work nationally.’ 

‘The 36 Group is very helpful, very accommodating, always keeping us up to date, constant communication, offering training programs and legal updates.’ 


‘The senior clerk Michelle Simpson always goes above and beyond to try and accommodate the solicitors’ demands.’ 

‘The clerks are very professional, in particular Elliot Styles, who will go out of his way to keep you updated and make sure suitable counsel is available.’ 

‘All clerks are very helpful and try to assist you to the best of their ability.’