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Leading Silks

Kate Blackwell KC – Lincoln House ChambersKate is a superb advocate and her speeches are works of art. She is excellent with clients, her preparation is meticulous, and she has a tremendous court presence; she ticks every box.’
Simon Csoka KC – Lincoln House ChambersSimon is exceptionally bright and a fearless barrister at the top of his game. He is one of the most sought after silks in the country due to his immense ability and complete control of the court room.’
Nicholas Johnson KC – 7 Harrington Street 'Nicholas is undoubtedly one of the very best criminal KCs practising today. Committed, hard-working, urbane, relatable, sensible, laconic, charming, and persuasive, he is trusted by judges without giving an inch in the promotion of his client's interests.'
John Jones KCExchange Chambers ‘John has the ability to put the client at ease from their very first meeting, which is no mean feat bearing in mind the seriousness of the allegations they may face. He has a down-to-earth approach and readily engages everyone present, he is never fearful of asking people their thoughts and views, his preparation of a case does not go without notice, and his eye for detail is phenomenal.’
Richard Littler KCExchange Chambers 'Richard is a very hard working silk - his advocacy, both written and verbal, are excellent. He is an excellent advocate that juries warm to, and clients are delighted to have him on their side.'
Benjamin Myers KCExchange Chambers ‘Ben is exceptionally hardworking and time and time again masters the most serious and complex technical information. In terms of advocacy, Ben is a true heavyweight of the Bar and with good reason, as he is able to bear the immense pressure of some of the most daunting and distressing cases brought before the courts with unwavering professionalism and integrity.'
Pete Weatherby KC – Garden Court North Chambers ‘Pete has an imaginative intelligence which he uses to explore the legal landscape. It is not that he pushes boundaries, he sets where they are. His advocacy style is thoughtful and forthright.'
Nina Grahame KC – Garden Court North Chambers ‘Nina is meticulous in all aspects of her case preparation, always demonstrating that she takes a deep-dive approach, down to its finest detail. Because of this, Nina brings a nuanced approach to each case, and a deep sense of trust within her team knowing that important and crucial details have not been missed.'
Michael Hayton KC – Deans Court Chambers 'Michael is a leader in his field. Thorough in terms of preparation, he is an exceptional advocate and is excellent at building good client relationships.'
David Temkin KC – Exchange Chambers 'David is highly effective cross-examiner whose meticulous preparation is used to devastating effect. He has an affable and persuasive style of advocacy which is attractive to both juries and judges.'
Michael Brady KC18 St John Street Chambers ‘Michael rings true as a pragmatic, sensible, and measured advocate. He is a safe pair of hands with any prosecution or defence brief, and he is regularly instructed in particularly difficult murder cases on the Northern Circuit.’
Mark Ford KC – Lincoln House ChambersMark is a first-rate advocate, incredibly rigorous when it comes to preparation in paper-heavy cases, and a team player. He is excellent with clients, especially with vulnerable and young clients charged with serious and grave offences.’
Richard Pratt KC – 7 Harrington Street 'Richard is never flustered and he always looks like he is in full control. When you are facing life in prison, it is that calmness and overall professional confidence that you want to see from your leader.'
Mark Rhind KC – Exchange Chambers 'He is highly professional, an exceptionally good lawyer equally adept in written and oral work. He is an effective and fearless advocate who advances his client's case to the absolute maximum. If I was ever in trouble I'd want him to act for me!'

2022 Silks

Andrew Ford KC – 7 Harrington Street 'Andrew's attention to detail and in depth preparation is of a very high quality.'

Leading Juniors

Denise Fitzpatrick - Linenhall Chambers  ‘Denise is a brilliant advocate. She immediately puts clients at ease, she never fails to attend a conference without being fully prepared, and she is equally outstanding conducting hearings themselves.’
Paul Hodgkinson – Exchange Chambers 'Paul is both highly experienced and a very able advocate. He has a particularly good manner in dealing with lay clients and is able to explain often complex legal issues  clearly. He is also an extremely personable character which means that he can readily engage with a jury at trial.'
Andrew JebbExchange Chambers ‘Andrew is very calm and controlled at all times, which keeps the client focused on the points in issue at all times, and his calm manner of presentation before the jury provides to them a confidence the case he is presenting to them is the account they should accept as a factual one.'
Charlotte KennyExchange Chambers ‘Charlotte is an exceptional barrister. She commands the court room and she is an excellent advocate.'
Damian NolanExchange ChambersDamian is a barrister that fights your corner leaving no stone unturned. He is unflappable during the trial process, and his ability to withstand intense pressure from the prosecution is second to none.'
David Toal – Exchange Chambers ‘David is a dedicated barrister and a great advocate. He always masters his case, is extremely well regarded by the judiciary, and he commands the respect of his clients and solicitors through his measured and thorough approach.'
Ian WhitehurstExchange Chambers ‘Ian is excellent and recommendable.'
Richard Brigden – Exchange Chambers ‘Richard is an incredible advocate and is able to bring passion and compassion to his advocacy. He is brilliant with vulnerable defendants and has the capacity to make them feel at ease and to trust him in a very short space of time.'
Patrick Cassidy – Kenworthy’s ChambersPatrick extremely personable and has fantastic client care. Every client that has been represented by Patrick has sent rave reviews, regardless of the outcome for them.'
Mark Connor – St John’s BuildingsMark's advocacy is tenacious and forthright. He always pushes hard for his clients.'
Richard Dawson – Lincoln House ChambersRichard is an incredibly hard working barrister. His drafting of legal arguments and written submissions is particularly impressive, and in relation to advocacy, he is a confident, persuasive, and seriously impressive court room presence.’
Richard English – Lincoln House Chambers 'Richard prosecutes and defends in serious and often sensitive cases, and he is an intelligent and astute advocate who jurors like. His closing speeches are some of the finest on the circuit, and he has significant experience in cases with a mental health element and is frequently sought out for severely mentally disordered defendants, as well as cases involving very vulnerable witnesses and complainants.'
Andrew Evans – 18 St John Street Chambers    ‘Andy’s knowledge and grasp of technical POCA legislation and case law is superior and unmatched. His work in and out of the courtroom is absolutely stellar.’
Rachel Faux – 18 St John Street Chambers ‘Rachel is a formidable advocate and she can put her points across in a complex legal argument succinctly while advising clients in a straightforward manner. It is refreshing that she takes time to explain to instructing solicitors her reasoning and point of view and that she is always open to a challenge.'
Rebecca Filletti – Lincoln House Chambers ‘Regardless of the seriousness of the allegations, Rebecca always gives 100% commitment to a case in order to achieve the best result. She is a fearless and engaging advocate in court, but also has a very empathetic nature with those she represents, and she prepares all her cases extremely thoroughly and very quickly identifies the issues in a case.’
Simon Gurney – Lincoln House ChambersSimon is an extremely impressive barrister who has a rapidly expanding reputation in regulatory work. He is the busiest junior on the circuit, he is a first-class barrister, a quick thinker, and a persuasive advocate.'
Martin Hackett - Lincoln House Chambers 'Martin is an outstanding criminal lawyer. He is able to draw on a remarkable combination of experience at the English Bar and as a prosecutor before international courts, he is extremely incisive and penetrating in legal and factual analysis, and his advice is unfailingly practical.'
Sara Haque – Kenworthy’s Chambers 'Sara has an incredible attention to detail combined with fantastic client care. You get a real sense that she cares about every case and that is conveyed well to the client, she is very accessible, which is a real asset when preparing a case over what are increasingly lengthy periods, and her advocacy is of the highest quality.'
Michael Lavery – Exchange Chambers 'Michael is an extremely competent and charismatic barrister. He puts clients at ease but at the same time gives them realistic and forthright advice, he is well respected by all in the criminal justice system as a highly-experienced, first-class barrister, and he has an impressive court presence and judges really listen to him.'
Daniel Lister – 23 Essex StreetDaniel has many strengths, but his judgement and tactical acumen really are second-to-none. He has an excellent eye for how cases are likely to unfold and tailors his advice accordingly, clients really appreciate his foresight and the straightforward way in which he explains the problems they face and possible solutions, and in court, he is an excellent advocate with gravitas beyond his call.’
Charlotte Rimmer – Exchange Chambers ‘Charlotte is extremely well-organised, she knows the cases inside out, and is extremely good with clients. She is a superb trial advocate, and she is a tough examiner of witnesses but always maintains a fair attitude.’
Bob Sastry – 23 Essex StreetBob is a very conscientious barrister, with an exceptionally good, patient way with clients, many of whom will suffer from mental health or addiction issues. He is exceptionally organised and his paper work is second-to-none in relation to the preparation of legal arguments and defence statements.’
Rachel Shenton – 18 St John Street Chambers 'Rachel is an exceptionally good counsel. Her attention to detail is meticulous and her working relationship with clients is outstanding. Her strength is in dealing with disclosure at the earliest stage and identifying the issues in the CPS disclosure management.'
Vanessa Thomson – 9 St John Street 'Vanessa is very helpful and has attention to detail, when speaking to lay clients she always put them at ease as she guides them through the process, and one feels that clients are always in a safe pair of hands when they are represented by her. She is extremely knowledgeable and is always well prepared.'
Richard Vardon – 18 St John Street Chambers ‘Richard is a top junior on the Northern Circuit. He is a great advocate, juries love his charm and humour, and judges immediately recognise his ability to deal with difficult situations with eloquence and realism.’
Geoff Whelan – 9 St John StreetGeoff is a powerhouse in court and he is dedicated to his clients. Nothing is too much trouble, he is extremely thorough in his case prep, and he makes a lasting impression on clients.'
David Birrell – Exchange Chambers ‘David can master a case immediately upon instruction and is always fully prepared in advance of conference, having digested all evidence in the case and having identified the issues immediately. He is always available to deal with issues on a case or to provide advice, his preparation of his cases lead to successful legal argument, and his advocacy is incredible.'
Claire Brocklebank – 18 St John Street Chambers ‘Claire is level-headed, hard-working, and decisive. As an advocate, she is driven, capable of making difficult points despite opposition from her opponent and the court, and can think very quickly on her feet.’
Daniel Calder - 18 St John Street Chambers 'Daniel produces the most beautiful written work. It is very clear that he absorbed the art of judgment writing when working in the Court of Appeal.'
Fiona ClancyExchange Chambers 'A fierce advocate who has honed her skills and has a real presence in court.'
Jonathan Duffy – 7 Harrington Street 'Jonathan is a tremendous court presence. He has the intellectual capacity to never be caught out by a response or question from a judge and he is always in command of his own arguments.'
Huw Edwards - Exchange Chambers 'Huw has an excellent grasp of complex and voluminous material and is particularly skilful at cross-examining expert witnesses.'
Peter Gilmour - St John's Buildings 'Peter's oral advocacy is calm, direct, and to the point, based on thorough preparation and an intimate knowledge of the case. His attention to detail and breadth of knowledge are a powerful combination, and he also has a calm demeanour with lay and professional clients, which inspires trust.'
Jane Greenhalgh - Exchange Chambers 'Jane is tenacious and fierce in her defence advocacy. She is hard working and gets to grips with the case quickly and effectively, she is supportive of her clients and has a very easy approach with a different and sometimes difficult client base, and she is stylish in court and has an innate ability to reach a jury.'
Gwen Henshaw – Cobden House Chambers ‘Gwen is a highly experienced criminal barrister who has not lost the ability to relate to clients who are often vulnerable, and certainly in a vulnerable position. Gwen is someone who gets results by her compelling advocacy.'
David John James – St John’s Buildings ‘David is a thoughtful, tactically astute practitioner who immerses himself in the evidence in a case so that his decision-taking is apt and assured. He is tremendously calming and re-assuring to the lay clients, judges trust him and rely on him, and he is highly regarded by his colleagues at the Bar.'
Gemma Maxwell – St John’s BuildingsGemma is a highly persuasive advocate with such detailed knowledge of the facts of every case she deals with that she can draw upon this in a second. She is formidable in court and is always a first choice because of her attention to detail and persuasive style.'
Rebecca Penfold - St John's Buildings 'Rebecca is tenacious in her written and oral advocacy and will never give up a good fight. She is an unbelievably hard worker, she always knows the relevant law inside out, she has tactical skill, and nerve beyond her years; she is an asset to the Northern Circuit and to her set.'
Isobel Thomas - Lincoln House Chambers 'Isobel is incredibly sharp, tactically astute, and has a peerless work ethic. Her written and oral advocacy is outstanding.'

Rising Stars

Anna Chestnutt – Lincoln House Chambers ‘Anna has exceptional forensic analysis and she is a once-in-a-decade quality advocate on all levels. All judges trust her judgement and listen with an acceptance that her points have validity.'
Helen Longworth – 9 St John Street ‘Helen is a bright rising star. She quickly assimilates information and gets to the heart of the matter, her preparation is second-to-none, and her advocacy is punchy and persuasive. She fights her client’s corner with skill and determination, whether defending or prosecuting.’

Crime (general and fraud) in Regional Bar

Exchange Chambers

Exchange Chambers is praised as a ‘veritable Northern powerhouse’ with an ‘array of highly-respected practitioners’. The crime team in chambers defends and prosecutes at all levels, covering the entire spectrum of serious crime, including murder, financial crime, alleged serious sexual offending and drug offences. The set is home to John Jones KC, who has a thriving practice working exclusively for the defence in serious crime, fraud, money laundering, and insider trading cases; he acted for the defendant in a gangland murder case concerning the execution-style murder of a rival drug dealer in a public street in broad daylight in Liverpool. Gordon Cole KC has a well-established and varied practice, having acted in murder and manslaughter cases, and Ben Myers KC has substantial expertise in high-value fraud and money laundering cases. The set also houses Richard Littler KC, who has significant experience in cases concerning terrorism, fraud, and organised crime – he is acting for a defendant in a drug importation case stemming from the interception of 350kg of cocaine, 90kg of heroin and 150kg of cannabis. Mark Rhind KC is strong in high-value MTIC and tax fraud cases. Imran Shafi KC also primarily defends in serious and high-profile cases regarding murder, terrorism, and drug conspiracies – he represented a woman who was acquitted on charges concerning her alleged membership of an extreme-right group planning violence using, among others, 3D-printed firearms. Turning to the set’s juniors, David Birrell was sole counsel for a defendant who played a leading role in a case concerning the supply of 180kg of Class A drugs, involving a significant amount of Encrochat evidence. James MacAdam was appointed to the circuit bench in September 2023 as was Ian Harris in October 2023.


‘A large clerking team with bags of experience. Head criminal clerk Nick Buckley stands out as a great networker and a real asset.’

‘Very professional and efficient. In Manchester, this is run by chambers director Nick Buckley, who is simply a legend. He cannot be praised highly enough.’

‘There are an abundance of clerks at this set, and Kate Masher and Neil Wright stand out. You only have to raise an issue with them once and it gets done.’

‘Chambers’ clerks, particularly from the Liverpool branch, are second to none. Graeme Hipkiss is incredible, honest, hard working, and dedicated to the role. Nothing is too much trouble for him.’

‘Proactive and helpful. Andy Leech in Manchester and Kate Masher in Liverpool have excellent knowledge of their team and provide good advice and assistance with regards to counsel selection.’

‘Exchange Chambers is an extremely strong and well-managed set; a veritable Northern powerhouse. They have a strength in depth which is second to none and their can-do approach runs right through the organisation.’

‘Exchange Chambers is a fantastic set as a whole. They will advise of counsel’s availability honestly which is refreshing, and if preferred counsel are not available, there are always alternate counsel available who have significant expertise.’

‘Great range of counsel across many areas and a number of excellent barristers with a good range of experience and expertise, allowing the right choice to be made for individual clients.’

Lincoln House Chambers

Lincoln House Chambers is praised as ‘a set with a deserved reputation as being the elite criminal set in the North West with real quality amongst its members’, who handle a wide variety of criminal law matters, from road traffic offences, sexual offences, violence, and drug offences, to financial crime and fraud. Simon Csoka KC has expertise in defending in organised crime, fraud, and high-profile murder cases, and Kate Blackwell KC and Mark Ford KC are also notable silks; Ford KC represented a female teacher, who was acquitted after being accused of entering into a sexual relationship with a male pupil. Rachel Cooper is often instructed on cases where clients have significant mental health needs, and she represented a defendant charged with attempted murder after the victim was stabbed in the head with a screwdriver. Richard Dawson specialises in road traffic and transport law and represents those accused of driving offences – he represented a paramedic who was prosecuted and acquitted after his ambulance was involved in a head-on collision, killing both occupants of the other vehicle, when he passed the site where the previous day he saw a child die. In 2023 Rebecca Filletti, Clare Ashcroft and David Pojur joined the team, and Katherine Pierpoint and Neil Usher were appointed to the circuit bench.


‘The clerking service is second to none. Andy McGuinness succeeds in providing the highest level of service.’

‘Andy McGuinness and Ty Price stand out as exceptional. They are always at hand to assist and really do strive to provide the highest levels of service. All of the clerks work extremely hard and are a pleasure to deal with.’

‘The service of Lincoln House Chambers is second to none. David Gibbons is particularly excellent, always responds, and will go out of his way to help.’

‘David Wright, Andy McGuinness, Dave Gibbons, and the rest of the team bend over backwards to help. They are great to deal with and always bring a positive approach to any difficulties.’

‘David Gibbons is the stand-out performer, but all the clerks are efficient and get the target result.’

‘A set with a deserved reputation as being the elite criminal set in the North West with real quality amongst its members.’

‘Lincoln House Chambers is a fantastic set of chambers with highly skilled advocates. If instructed counsel is unavailable, you will be provided with equally competent counsel.’

‘Lincoln House Chambers has a solid team of barristers with special knowledge of driving offence cases.’

7 Harrington Street

The criminal law team at 7 Harrington Street has broad-ranging expertise and its members handle a broad range of criminal cases. The set is home to Nicholas Johnson KC, who is regularly instructed on cases regarding gross negligence manslaughter, alleged gangland murders, major drug importation and distribution networks, serious sexual offences, and fraud. A notable highlight was his defence of a 14-year-old boy charged with the murder of 12-year-old Ava White, who was stabbed to death in central Liverpool. Head of chambers Richard Pratt KC prosecutes and defends, and he defended a woman who was convicted of abusing her husband in addition to subjecting him to severe controlling and coercive behaviour. Nigel Power KC is another key member of the set and he has significant expertise in murder and fraud cases.


‘The set is very user friendly and very approachable for solicitors, and they are understanding of the difficulties solicitors face in the modern, professional world.’

‘7 Harrington Street has added greater depth over the years and now ranks as the best in the Liverpool area.’

‘The set is very approachable and understands the difficulties of a solicitor’s practice.’

‘All the clerks are very efficient. The head clerk is excellent at making an instructing solicitor feel valued.’

‘The clerks are always keen to assist. They have a proper understanding of how a solicitor’s practice works.’

‘The clerks are very approachable and very willing to assist and engage with solicitors.’

Kenworthy's Chambers

With ‘solid strength in depth’, Kenworthy’s Chambers‘ criminal law team expertly handles multi-handed defence and prosecution cases, including drug conspiracies, fraud, serious violent offences, including murder and baby-shaking, gang-related cases, and serious sexual offences. Criminal defence specialist Barry Grennan is skilled in acting on cases regarding death by dangerous driving, firearms and multi-handed fraud cases, and historic sexual abuse claims. Patrick Cassidy is another reputable defence advocate, handling cases involving serious alleged violence, including with firearms. David Morton is regularly instructed on serious violence, murder, and organised gang cases. The set also houses Sara Haque, who defends and prosecutes and is especially skilled in serious sexual offence cases, and serious crime expert Waheed Baber.


‘Paul Mander and Greg Highton both provide immediate responses via email or call when needed. Both provide regular updates in cases when the courts fail to provide updates directly, and they are always on the other end of the line if needed.’

‘Very easy to deal with. Paul Mander and Gregory Highton are always happy to help.’

‘Paul Mander is very helpful and thorough.’

St John's Buildings

St John’s Buildings is praised for its ‘good strength in depth’ and ‘range of expertise’. The criminal law team at the set handles a broad variety of matters, from murder and serious sexual offences, to human and drug trafficking, child abduction, and the most serious road traffic offences. David John James, who is frequently instructed on cases involving serious violence and fraud, is representing a serving police officer accused of attempting to murder his partner. Mark Connor acts for both the defence and prosecution in cases regarding murder, death by dangerous driving, and firearms conspiracies. Other notable members of the set include Rebecca Penfold, who represented a co-defendant in a complex modern slavery and human trafficking case.


‘Brilliant clerks who are great at communicating listing information and clashes, and they work seamlessly. Andrew Booth is particularly helpful and Mark Heald is a brilliant head clerk.’

‘Very good clerking team. The chief criminal clerk, Mark Heald, is a consummate professional.’

‘The clerks are incredibly well organised and make the job of a solicitor easier by arranging listings.’

‘The clerks work hard to ensure the counsel of choice is available.’

‘St John’s Buildings is a brilliant set.’

‘The set as a whole is strong.’

‘St John’s buildings is a large chambers with good strength in depth and a range of expertise.’

‘A very strong set with talent at all levels.’

18 St John Street Chambers

The criminal law team at 18 St John Street Chambers is ‘very well-regarded with many individuals who are well known for their ability and expertise in criminal law’. Its members defend and prosecute in a range of serious, high-profile, and complex cases, from murder and serious sexual offences, to terrorism and fraud. The set is home to Michael Brady KC, who regularly defends and prosecutes in murder cases, and he was instructed to prosecute in a case where five men were charged with the murder of a man they did not know, believing he had drugs or money to steal. Rachel Faux has significant expertise in cases concerning violence, drugs, dishonesty, and sexual assaults, in addition to cases involving serious injuries to, and death of, children - she prosecuted a woman who was found guilty of the murder of a 13-month-old child she was seeking to adopt.


‘The clerks room is very efficient and accommodating. Particular praise goes to senior criminal clerk James Hotchin, who has a can do attitude and is always striving to provide the best service.’

‘James Hotchin is a stand-out clerk. He makes sure the job is done and anticipates potential listing issues and resolves them before they escalate. He is intuitive and extremely helpful.’

‘The clerks are very helpful. James Hotchin is always very helpful and will suggest suitable counsel to provide cover.’

‘James Hotchin is the best clerk in Manchester who sorts everything out for solicitors and barristers.’

‘The Clerks are extremely proactive in getting cases moved for counsels’ availability and they assist solicitors significantly in communicating with listing officers.’

‘The criminal department is very well regarded with many individuals who are well known for their ability and expertise in crime.’

‘Chambers is highly regarded in Manchester, and they offer training to solicitors which is always a plus.’

’18 St John Street has recruited consistently and is strong from the most junior to the most senior.’

23 Essex Street

23 Essex Street is praised as ‘a great set with strength in depth and a go-to set for crime’, and its members prosecute and defend on significant cases, including those involving serious sexual offences and murder. Hugh McKee has strengths in cases regarding road traffic, as well as conspiracies to rob and to supply drugs. Of recent note, McKee prosecuted in the case of Operation Porcupine, a conspiracy to supply class A drugs from Liverpool to Blackpool. The set is also home to Daniel Lister, who has a well-established criminal practice, and he defended in a case concerning alleged attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. Bob Sastry appears in complex cases, including large-scale drug cases.


‘Sean Hulston and Kevin Ambridge are exceptional clerks. If you contact them you can be assured that they will take all of the stress away from you having to find an advocate to deal with a case, as they will arrange cover for the case.’

‘Wayne King is excellent, as is Adam Chapman.’

‘Wayne King and Adam Chapman are first class. Always available and willing to go the extra mile for you.’

‘There is a depth of experience and professionalism within the clerks’ room at 23 Essex Street, with Chambers Director, Wayne King, being note-worthy.’

‘They have very good communication between chambers, solicitors, clients, experts, and other parties.’

’23 Essex Street has a number of very good advocates and offers strength in depth. It also has a number of junior advocates who are very quickly proving themselves to be very competent.’

’23 Essex Street is an excellent set with a good range of counsel.’

‘A great set with strength in depth and a go-to set for crime.’

9 St John Street

9 St John Street ‘is an excellent set of chambers in the criminal field’ and some of its members have more niche expertise in areas such as cash seizures, anti-social behaviour orders and sexual harm prevention orders. Jaime Hamilton KC both prosecutes and defends, and his practice includes representing police officers in criminal proceedings. Geoff Whelan handles a wide range of serious criminal cases including murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to supply, rape and other serious sexual offences, and fraud – in addition to his defence practice, he prosecuted an 80-year-old defendant who was convicted of rape and other serious sexual offences over a 30-year period against six victims. Helen Longworth is skilled in handling serious fraud, money laundering, serious sexual offences, and gang-related drug trafficking cases, and Vanessa Thomson is another notable name in the set with expertise in serious sexual offence cases.


‘The service provided by 9 St John Street and the clerks is always of an extremely high quality. Chris Swann, the senior criminal clerk, deserves a special mention. He is always willing to go over and above to assist both counsel and their instructing solicitors.’

‘The clerks are always a phone call away and go above and beyond to provide an excellent service. Chris Swann in particular is fantastic.’

‘The service in the clerks room is second to none and they are always there when you require their services; no task is too small for them. They are always welcoming and happy to assist you.’

Deans Court Chambers

Deans Court Chambers‘ criminal law team undertakes both defence and prosecution work, from minor offences to organised crime, the latter of which is within the expertise of head of chambers Michael Hayton KC – he defended in a high-profile eleven-defendant conspiracy to murder trial, in the context of a dispute between the M40 and RTD gangs, involving issues of the use of drill music lyrics as evidence. Joseph Hart is skilled in acting for the defence in significant financial crime cases, such as money laundering, in addition to acting in sexual offence cases and offences of violence, including murder. Virginia Hayton predominantly defends cases of historic sexual offences. Peter Horgan is now a circuit judge.

Garden Court North Chambers

Garden Court North Chambers houses Nina Grahame KC, who has significant expertise in representing defendants with complex mental health needs and handling defences of insanity, loss of control, and diminished responsibility – in addition, she also defended in a multi-defendant conspiracy to murder case in Manchester, featuring complex issues of social media evidence, including drill music. Pete Weatherby KC is another name of note with a large criminal defence practice.

Work highlights