David Bentley QC > Doughty Street Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Doughty Street Chambers
Doughty Street Chambers

Work Department


David Bentley QC is a highly regarded criminal defence specialist, whose practice encompasses a wide range of serious and complex crimes, including murder, terrorism, fraud, business crime and sexual offences.

In addition to his trial work, he has an extensive local and international appeals practice.

David has recognised expertise in dealing with DNA and other areas of forensic evidence.

He also acts in inquests – particularly where issues of police misconduct arise.

David has extensive experience in all aspects of homicide defence and appeal. He regularly defends in multi-handed “joint enterprise” trials, often on behalf of young and vulnerable defendants.

He is instructed in several upcoming multi-handed murder trials at the Old Bailey and elsewhere.

David has developed a particular specialism in DNA cases, appearing in many of the leading trials and appeals in this controversial field. This too has been noted by commentators, who state that “DNA evidence is his thing, and he has the ability to understand forensic stuff that is not easy” (Chambers Guide 2014).

David has extensive experience in providing focused pre- trial advice, trial representation and appeal advice. He also advises on related confiscation matters. He has advised professionals in relation to resisting or limiting the scope of PACE production orders and related issues of legal professional privilege (LPP) .

He has defended in numerous large scale frauds and in money laundering trials.

David has successfully represented an alleged dissident IRA terrorist (the Massereene Barracks murders), and secured an acquittal in a case involving allegations of home grown terrorists leaving the UK to fight for ISIS in Syria.

Potential miscarriages of justice are a particular area of interest, and he receives instructions on a referral basis on a range of serious cases – including being instructed to provide a second opinion, as assigned counsel by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals, and in cases involving referrals from the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).

He has several pending appeals. He is also advising on appeal in relation to a number of murder cases – some relating specifically to joint enterprise convictions based on the now discredited pre-Jogee foresight test and has recently authored an article on post- Jogee  joint enterprise appeals for the Law Society Gazette. He is currently advising a doctor in relation to a CCRC referral against a conviction for an assault offence which has blighted his medical practice.

David was asked to advise jailed Malaysian politician and “PM in waiting”, Anwar Ibrahim, prior to his recent release and pardon. David identified a number of concerns over the safety of the conviction for Sodomy which were subsequently highlighted in a press conference. He was pardoned due to “a clear miscarriage of justice. Anwar subsequently agreed to be a guest speaker at a Doughty Street event about his case, and David was on the panel, and spoke about the legal issues that had arisen.


Called 1984; Gray’s Inn. Publications of note: article on recent developments in money laundering in Archbold News; ‘Fair trial’ chapter in ‘Human Rights in the Investigation and Prosecution of Crime’ (OUP); ‘Developments in DNA law/practice’. Archbold News, February 2011.


CBA, South East Circuit.


Bedford School; London University (1982 LLB (Hons)).

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Crime

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 3

David Bentley QCDoughty Street ChambersDavid is a calm, tactically astute and diligent QC who goes the extra mile for his clients. He is not a showman but relies on conversational, easy going advocacy to get the best results for his client. He is easy on the ear and accordingly exudes low key authority and reliability to the jury.