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Leading Silks

Kate Blackwell QC - Lincoln House ChambersA silk truly at the top of her game.
Simon Csoka QC - Lincoln House ChambersHyper-intelligent with a huge knowledge of the law and an expert on issues of disclosure and legal privilege.
Mark George QC - Garden Court North ChambersA good tactician with strong advocacy skills, he shows empathy to all concerned and is liked and respected by the judiciary.
Tania Griffiths QC - Exchange ChambersOnce she has identified a weakness in the testimony of a witness she will seek to exploit to the full.
Nicholas Johnson QC - 7 Harrington StreetHe displays excellent client care skills.
John Jones QC - Exchange ChambersA formidable advocate whose attention to detail is second-to-none.
Ben Myers QC - Exchange ChambersHe has an exceptional ability to digest complex cases, nothing is too much.
Andrew Thomas QC - Lincoln House ChambersIntelligent, considered and robust.
Pete Weatherby QC - Garden Court North ChambersHe has a remarkable knowledge of the law and an unrivalled ability to present clear and rational argument.
Gordon Cole QC - Exchange ChambersParticularly recommended for high-value fraud cases.
Michael Hayton QC - Deans Court ChambersA powerful advocate - most impressive before a jury - who gives outstanding performances, meaning he is considered the go-to silk for historical sexual offence trials.
Richard Littler QC - Exchange ChambersHis broad practice includes cases of serious violence and terrorism.
Stephen Meadowcroft QC - Exchange ChambersHis powers of analysis and persuasion are staggering.
Nigel Power QC - 7 Harrington StreetA superb advocate with a real attention to detail.
Ian Unsworth QC - 7 Harrington StreetRecent work has included serious violence, drug conspiracies, and gang-related cases, primarily for the prosecution.
Nina Grahame QC - Garden Court North ChambersA brilliant advocate who persuades by calm, reasonable but ferociously intelligent argument.
Jaime Hamilton QC - 9 St John StreetA committed and excellent silk with a strong presence in court.
Richard Pratt QC - 7 Harrington StreetVery active in serious violent crime, including areas such as infanticide.

2020 Silks

Mark Ford QC - Lincoln House ChambersOne of the few advocates who can literally turn a hopeless case into a winner purely by court room performance.
Tim Storrie QC - Lincoln House ChambersOne of the most eloquent members of the Bar - a joy to listen to.

2021 Silks

Alexander Leach QC - Lincoln House ChambersIntelligent, articulate and with a jury presence - when instructed he is able to advise the client in terms they understand.
Mark Rhind QC - Exchange ChambersHe is forthright and realistic which client and solicitors really do appreciate, yet at the same time he instills confidence and really fights for his clients.
Imran Shafi QC - Exchange ChambersPersonable, great rapport with clients and the court. Fantastic tactician and very fine judgement. Sharp intellect, lateral thinker. Encyclopaedic knowledge which he deploys to the very great benefit of his clients. Peerless in legal argument.
David Temkin QC - Exchange ChambersHe is an extremely effective communicator.

Leading Juniors

Brigid Ballie - Garden Court North ChambersAlways goes the extra mile to ensure that defendants are made to feel that their case matters.
Denise Fitzpatrick - Kenworthy's ChambersShe leaves no stones unturned when analysing and identifying the issues, planning strategy and delivery.
Barry Grennan - Kenworthy's ChambersAn excellent who is very thorough.
Joseph Hart - Deans Court ChambersHe easily distills complex issues of fact and law into focused and concise argument.
Virginia Hayton - Deans Court ChambersForthright, she is a strong court room advocate with excellent client manner who takes no nonsense from prosecutors.
Paul Hodgkinson - Exchange ChambersJuries absolutely love him - he is brilliant with people; he is not afraid to provide the right advice at the right time.
Andrew Jebb - Exchange ChambersAn exceptional advocate who commands presence in the courtroom - and his ability to establish respect from demanding clients is truly remarkable.
Charlotte Kenny - Exchange ChambersHer cross-examination of vulnerable witnesses is skilled and sensitively undertaken.
Alex Langhorn - 7 Harrington StreetHe has an incredibly sharp mind and handles complex matters with considerable guile.
Damian Nolan - Exchange ChambersA quality barrister, master tactician and a real fighter.
Daniel Thomas - Lincoln House ChambersVery strong on the law and always accessible.
Ian Whitehurst - Exchange ChambersApproachable, pragmatic and good with clients.
Patrick Cassidy - Kenworthy's ChambersImpressive, client-focused and accessible.
Nicola Daley - Exchange ChambersA highly experienced advocate who commands respect from her peers and the judiciary alike.
Richard Dawson - Lincoln House ChambersHis diligence, preparation and communication help put clients at ease.
Gerard Doran - Lincoln House ChambersHe constantly impresses with his advocacy.
Rosalind Emsley-Smith - Deans Court ChambersHer true strength comes in trials, and her closing speeches to juries are masterful without a wasted word.
Richard English - Lincoln House ChambersAn extremely thorough and personable advocate who has an excellent rapport with juries and clients..
Andrew Ford - 7 Harrington StreetApproachable and responsive, he gives every case his all.
Sara Haque - Kenworthy's ChambersA hard worker who cares about her clients.
Peter Horgan - Deans Court ChambersHe commands the court room with authority, expounding with a smooth, assured delivery.l
Oliver Jarvis - Exchange ChambersA master of the theatre of court and is most impressive in closing speeches.
Michael Lavery - Exchange ChambersA real people person, which translates effectively in his performance before a jury.
David Morton - Kenworthy's ChambersAn excellent advocate who always makes himself available to his solicitors.
Bob Sastry - 23 Essex StreetAn excellent trial advocate with a really good way with jurors and witnesses - he presents excellent closing speeches even in the most difficult cases.
Vanessa Thomson - 9 St John StreetParticularly sought-after for cases involving young or vulnerable witnesses.
David Toal - Exchange ChambersOne of the circuit's best jury advocates.
Neil Usher - Lincoln House ChambersWell-prepared and always goes the extra mile to represent his clients.
Geoff Whelan - 9 St John StreetVery conscientious and good with clients.
Barry White - 23 Essex StreetCompetent and no-nonsense with first-class preparation.
Mark Ainsworth - Exchange ChambersGreat with difficult clients.
Clare Ashcroft - Garden Court North ChambersClare is extremely hard working and thorough. Her preparation means that she is always able to advance every argument on behalf of her clients. She communicates well with clients especially the most disadvantaged. She is an excellent advocate.
Waheed Baber - Kenworthy's ChambersHandles difficult clients with ease.
Richard Brigden - Garden Court North ChambersA hard working, clear thinker with a real eye for tactics. Totally dedicated to the environmental cause. Excellent on his feet.
Mark Connor - St John's BuildingsVery thorough in all cases, even the most seemingly straightforward.
Jonathan Duffy - 7 Harrington StreetDefends in a range of serious criminal cases.
Rachel Faux - 18 St John Street ChambersEnthusiastic, good client care skills, and always willing and happy to assist. She is confident in court and able to put forward strong arguments on behalf of the clients.
Rebecca Filletti - Garden Court North ChambersRebecca is a superb oral advocate, always personable and persuasive in negotiation and in court. She is a forceful and courageous advocate who will not relinquish a good argument without a fight.
Chudi Grant - Kenworthy's ChambersHe is able to put clients t ease, and works hard to ensure that their case is properly put to the jury.
Jane Greenhalgh - Exchange ChambersRecent work includes immigration fraud, historic sexual offences and armed robbery cases.
Simon Gurney - Lincoln House ChambersSimon is a hugely impressive advocate, whether he is arguing a complex issue of law before the Court of Appeal or arguing a case before a jury.
Daniel Harman - Kenworthy's ChambersAn extremely able advocate who is always willing toadvise both before and after hearings.
Ian Harris - Exchange ChambersIan is brilliant with people and has a wealth of experience. He is a master craftsman in the court room and is an exceptional jury advocate.
Keith Harrison - St John's BuildingsCross-examines with precision and cuts to the key issues in every case.
Gwen Henshaw - Cobden House ChambersRecent work includes sexual, drug-related, and violent crime.
Ben Lawrence - St John's BuildingsHighly experienced in fraud and confiscation cases, as well as drugs and firearms conspiracies.
Daniel Lister - 23 Essex StreetGreat confidence, judgment, hard worker. Very user friendly. Professional and lay clients trust him.
Jason MacAdam - Exchange ChambersHe can deal with the closest details and still be extremely jury and client-friendly.
Hugh McKee - 23 Essex StreetHis recent work includes serious fraud, historic sexual abuse and firearms cases.
Erimnaz Mushtaq - Doughty Street ChambersRecommended for terrorism-related offences.
Laura Nash - St John's BuildingsA clever and articulate advocate who never backs down from a fight.
Katherine Pierpoint - Lincoln House ChambersCounsel is strong, confident, articulate and extremely intelligent. Her presence in court is known and felt in each case.
Martin Reid - 7 Harrington StreetParticularly recommended for multi-handed drug cases.
Charlotte Rimmer - Exchange ChambersCharlotte is tenacious, methodical, well prepared, and has a great eye for detail. She has good legal thought process which generates a confidence that her judgement is sound.
Richard Vardon - 18 St John Street ChambersHe has an analytical mind and can easily spot the essential issues in cases involving huge volumes of material. Both his written work and advocacy skills are exemplary.
Amos Waldman - Doughty Street ChambersRecommended for drug conspiracy cases.
John Wyn Willams - Exchange ChambersHis relationships with clients are friendly and down to earth but at all times ultimately professional, all the facets of a real diamond.

Rising Stars

Charlotte Johnson - St John's BuildingsShe has a presence above her years and a level of confidence which puts the client at ease. Her advocacy and ease at charming opponents and Judges makes her exemplary at negotiation and getting POCA cases concluded.

Crime (general and fraud) in Regional Bar

18 St John Street Chambers

18 St John Street Chambers has 'a good variety of highly experienced counsel'. An 'exemplary advocateRichard 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.

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

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.

Exchange Chambers

'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.

Lincoln House Chambers

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

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.

Kenworthy's Chambers

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.

23 Essex Street

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'.