18 St John Street Chambers has 'a good variety of highly experienced counsel'. An 'exemplary advocate' Richard Vardon prosecutes and defends across a range of offences, his recent caseload consisting of murder, sexual abuse, organised crime, conspiracy to possess firearms, fraud, and drug conspiracies. Also of note in chambers, the 'enthusiastic and confident' Rachel Faux has a practice focusing on violent crime, drugs, and sexual offences.
Crime (general and fraud) in Regional Bar
9 St John Street
A set with 'many excellent practitioners at all levels', 9 St John Street covers a range of matters on either sides of cases in the Northern circuit. Jaime Hamilton QC represented a man whose plea of guilty to the manslaughter of his grandmother was accepted; the defendant was of a condition that he was persistently deluded into believing his grandmother had been replaced by a witch. Unled, Vanessa Thomson represented a boy (aged 17 at trial and 15 at the time of the alleged offence) who was acquitted of the rape of a younger teenager in a youth court trial involving issues of telephone record evidence.
Cobden House Chambers
Cobden House Chambers is home to members with specialisms in serious sexual offending, fraud, and drug offences, as well as violent crime. Other key areas of work include cases with vulnerable complainants and defendants, including children.
Doughty Street Chambers' crime team has several of the most serious and high-profile cases of alleged homicide and terrorism, including the Manchester Arena bomb attack. A key name in the set's Manchester office, Erim Mushtaq recent cases have included cases involving allegations of terrorism, historic sexual abuse, and organised crime.
'A top-drawer set across three Northern cities', Exchange Chambers has 'great strength across the entire range of criminal matters, from junior juniors to heavyweight silks'. Gordon Cole QC prosecuted a former associate vice-president at Barclays who killed with his wife with a crow-bar and was convicted of murder after attempting to run a loss of control defence. Richard Littler QC defended Reynhard Sinaga, who was convicted of 48 rapes of men and described by the CPS as the 'most prolific rapist in British legal history'. Charlotte Kenny represented a single mother who was acquitted of charges concerning the alleged supply of methamphetamine through the darkweb, in a case that involved complex issues of shipping record and bitcoin evidence.
For many 'the top set in Manchester' and 'a national contender for crime work', Lincoln House Chambers has 'a formidable reputation for heavy fraud and serious criminal work'. In one such heavyweight instruction, Simon Gurney, led, appeared for a defendant charged in the SFO's investigation into Global Forestry Investments, which has been alleged to be a fraud concerning investments in non-existent Brazilian teak plantations. Simon Csoka QC has been involved in several high-profile murder and manslaughter instructions of late. Mark Ford and Tim Storrie were elevated to silk in early 2020.
7 Harrington Street's members prosecute and defend in very serious cases in Liverpool and beyond. Nigel Power QC represented a woman who was convicted of a neglect offence rather than gross negligence manslaughter after her dementia-suffering husband was found dead in their home. Ian Unsworth QC represented a gamekeeper, who was acquitted of manslaughter but convicted of possessing a loaded shotgun in public, which discharged accidentally while in a parked car. Turning to the set's juniors, Andrew Ford prosecuted a dark web methamphetamine dealer who was caught with 3.5kg of the substance. Alex Langhorn is a new recruit from 9 St John Street.
Deans Court Chambers
Deans Court Chambers 'retains a strong cadre of criminal experts and has always been able to provide quality advocates, even at short notice, in this area'. In particular, it has been praise for 'taking on a number of new pupils and junior barristers to strengthen the availability of the lower end of chambers, which is a strong move in the current climate'. Unusually, Joseph Hart prosecuted a historic sexual abuse case in the Falkland Islands. Turning to defence work, Virgina Hayton represented an 88-year-old Salvationist who was acquitted of rape but convicted of indecent assault concerning events in the 1970s and 80s.
Garden Court North Chambers
'An excellent criminal defence set clearly committed to its work', Garden Court North Chambers has 'some of the best silks in the North West who are now supported by a strong team of juniors'. Mark George QC represented a man who was acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter in a trial with issues of joint enterprise liability. Rebecca Filletti represented a serving prisoner who was charged with, and acquitted of, threats to kill after answering questions about who he considered it acceptable to be violent towards during a prison psychology session.
An 'excellent all-round set' that is 'well-organised and friendly', Kenworthy's Chambers handles both publicly and privately-funded defence work as well as prosecution instructions. Daniel Harman represented the lead of 14 defendants in a "county lines" drug dealing case concerning a Manchester-based gang's activities in Blackpool.
Primarily known for defence work in Manchester, 23 Essex Street 'has gone from strength to strength with some really good additions to chambers'. Hugh McKee was a led junior representing the only defendant acquitted, after a submission of no case to answer, in a three-defendant joint enterprise knife murder case in which the two other defendants were convicted. Bob Sastry represented an 18-year-old who received a non-custodial sentence after pleading guilty ABH after glassing her future mother in law in a pub. Daniel Lister appears for the defence in a seven-handed trial related to conspiracy to import cannabis; the case was investigated by the NCA.
St John's Buildings
St John's Buildings is 'a fantastic set with some of the most impressive counsel working across the North of England', covering a range of work and specifically is 'a chambers wishing to develop its POCA offering'. Mark Connor prosecuted a litigant in person who waged a campaign of harassment against a school, culminating in an arson attack, after falsely accusing the headteacher of raping a pupil. Rising star Charlotte Johnson is 'a driven lawyer and a fierce advocate. Her attention to detail is second to none and coupled with her conduct with lay clients, provides all-round representation'.