St. John's Buildings is 'a fantastic set, with some impressive counsel'. In recent instructions of note, Richard Thyne prosecuted, as a led junior, a murder case concerning the late-night stabbing of a man by a drug dealer in a dispute over payment. Thyne is also a long-standing CPS level 4 prosecutor and member of the specialist Serious Crime and RASSO panels.
Crime (general and fraud) in Regional Bar
St John's Buildings
St Philips Chambers' Charles Blatchford is regularly instructed by criminal defence firms in the North East to represent defendants in cases of homicide, serious sexual offences, and drug conspiracies, among other offences. Instructing solicitors say he is 'extremely thorough, he is knowledgable and up to date with all aspects of criminal law. He has a great manner with clients, he is friendly and his advice is clear to understand. Clients always comment on his friendliness and witty nature.'
Wilberforce Barristers' Michele Stuart-Lofthouse – a new recruit from the recently closed Zenith Chambers – has considerable experience as a led junior in serious sexual offences, both defence and prosecution, including child prostitution, firearms, and conspiracies relating to robbery and drugs, as well as cases involving vulnerable complainants and defendants.
New Park Court Chambers
New Park Court Chambers in Leeds is for some 'one of the leading criminal sets in the country', with 'highly-regarded criminal barristers'. Daffyd Enoch QC prosecuted a six-defendant gangland murder case with complex telecoms evidence, while Paul Greaney QC is instructed to prosecute two police officers scheduled to be tried for the murder and ABH of former Aston Villa player Dalian Atkinson, who died after being Tasered by police in 2016. Turning to the set's juniors, Lee Fish defended a serving police officer, who received a non-custodial sentence after pleading guilty to offences concerning unauthorised use of the Police National Computer. In recent news, Nicholas de la Poer QC is a 2020 Silk appointment, strengthening the senior end of chambers, while highly regarded Tom Storey has joined from the now-defunct Zenith Chambers strengthening the junior end of the set.
'A fantastic set with great reach and depth', Park Square Barristers is 'a large set with considerable strength in depth across age and experience ranges'. The team has grown of late following the arrival of several practitioners from the now-closed Zenith Chambers. In recent instructions of note, Richard Wright QC prosecuted a teenager who was convicted of the murder of a solicitor in broad daylight at the entrance to a Newcastle shopping centre. Kama Melly QC and Kate Batty prosecuted an incestuous half-brother and half-sister who attempted to murder all six of their children and killed two; in a separate matter, Batty prosecuted as junior alone a woman who was convicted of attempted murder after chasing members of the public around Barnsley town centre with knives and pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Turning to defence work, Mark McKone successfully defended a vigilante who was charged with falsely imprisoning men he lured online who he alleged were paedophiles.
Broadway House Chambers
Members of Broadway House Chambers are comfortable on either side of challenging criminal cases. Stephen Wood QC, a 2020 silk appointment, prosecuted former Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins for further offences while in prison, including use of a prohibited mobile phone to contact a former partner. Peter Hampton, unled, prosecuted a one-punch manslaughter case in which some evidence was given via video link from Australia.
Dere Street Barristers
The criminal practice group at Dere Street Barristers is 'fantastic, vibrant, and technically diverse in their ability to deliver excellent advice, guidance and service with clients in this field'. John Elvidge QC prosecuted a 78-year-old man who was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter after accidentally shooting his great-grandson dead with an illegal high-power air rifle. Anne Richardson prosecuted a married couple – the husband was convicted of numerous historical sex offences, while the wife helped him feign disability, including pushing him into court in a wheelchair.
St Paul's Chambers
St Paul's Chambers is notable for the strong focus fraud and business crime, including bribery and corruption offences, of its members who are instructed to act for both the prosecution and defence. In recent news, Jonathan Sandiford and Cameron Brown were both elevated to silk in early 2020, while Nick Worsley has joined the set from the now-defunct Zenith Chambers.
Bank House Chambers
Exchange Chambers 'is a top drawer set across three northern cities' with 'an incredibly high level of expertise across the whole spectrum, but in serious fraud and serious crime are particularly strong, with a strength in depth which other sets can only dream of'. Andrew Haslam QC, who joined from St Paul's Chambers in 2019, prosecuted a 12-defendant, ten-week heroin, cocaine, and money laundering case featuring covert surveillance and cell site evidence. Andrew Petterson represented a solicitor who received a suspended sentence for running a fraud through a supposed PPI claims company.
KBW 'is very helpful for counsel in criminal work', covering the gamut of prosecution and defence mandates covering violence and fraud, also having 'strength in depth in the field of historical serious sexual offending'. As an example of the set's expertise in complex violence cases, David Brooke QC and Anthony Dunne prosecuted a three-week baby-shaking case. Turning to unled junior work, Christine Egerton represented a serving prisoner who was acquitted on charges of throwing boiling water at a prison officer after the prosecution was unable provide documentary evidence, and important documents were claimed to have been lost, while Rupert Dowsell prosecuted a 17-defendant drugs conspiracy case involving issues of cell site analysis and public interest immunity.
A set with 'an exceptional reputation in the criminal arena', Trinity Chambers is active for prosecution and defence in some of the North East's most serious cases. In recent instructions of note, Caroline Goodwin QC, the recent outgoing chair of the Criminal Bar Association, represented a retired police officer who was acquitted of 11 sexual assault charges after a three-week trial, as well as a teenage who was convicted of the random murder of an in-house solicitor outside of a shopping centre in Newcastle. Meanwhile, Toby Hedworth QC represented a woman who was acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter in a case with issues as to coercive control.