Set Profile > Cloth Fair Chambers > London, England

Cloth Fair Chambers
Cloth Fair Chambers

Business and regulatory crime (including global investigations) Tier 1

Business crime forms a core area of Cloth Fair Chambers' expertise; the set houses a team adept at handling cases involving bribery, corruption, and SFO investigations. Members of the set continue to act in the longrunning Barclays trial concerning its 2008 fundraising from Qatari investors. In February 2020, John Kelsey-Fry QC and new silk Jonathan Barnard QC represented Roger Jenkins, the former Head of Investment Banking in the Middle East, while Ian Winter QC acted for Tom Kalaris, the former Head of Wealth and Investment Management, in the SFO investigation concerning alleged bribery and corruption offences; both defendants were acquitted of all charges.

Leading Silks

Nicholas Purnell QC - Cloth Fair ChambersA consummate advisor and advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ian Winter QC - Cloth Fair ChambersWatching him in court is a real masterclass in advocacy.
Ranked: Tier 1
John Kelsey-Fry QC - Cloth Fair ChambersHe works prodigiously, has a real sense from a very early stage for a winning strategy.
Ranked: Tier 1
Tom Allen QC - Cloth Fair ChambersA hardworking and very enthusiastic barrister.
Ranked: Tier 2
Alison Pople QC - Cloth Fair ChambersIncredibly hardworking and able to devastate the most difficult witnesses in cross-examination.
Ranked: Tier 2
Clare Sibson QC - Cloth Fair ChambersHighly intelligent and discerning.
Ranked: Tier 3

2020 Silks

Jonathan Barnard QC - Cloth Fair ChambersHe has an excellent approach to strategic issues.

Leading Juniors

Kathryn Arnot Drummond - Cloth Fair ChambersA hardworking junior who gets on top of the details.
Ranked: Tier 2
Rachel Kapila - Cloth Fair ChambersHer work ethic is second to none.
Ranked: Tier 2
Aaron Watkins - Cloth Fair ChambersExcellent drafting skills for complicated matters.
Ranked: Tier 3

International crime and extradition

Leading Juniors

Aaron Watkins - Cloth Fair ChambersAn excellent leading junior. He is very good at cases with an extradition/financial crime crossover and is highly sought to advise on cross-border investigations.
Ranked: Tier 1

Rachel Kapila - Cloth Fair Chambers ‘She has a razor-sharp mind. A go-to junior for extradition matters.

Ranked: Tier 2

Fraud: crime Tier 2

'An extremely good and strong set', Cloth Fair Chambers' 'counsel are at the top of their field and have a deep understanding of the law'. Its members are well known for their established experience in financial crime matters, notably in providing pre-charge advice to professional individuals concerning tax evasion investigations.

Leading Silks

John Kelsey-Fry QC - Cloth Fair ChambersIn the field of commercial fraud there are a limited number of first-rate counsel. From experience, John Kelsey-Fry is certainly one of them.
Ranked: Tier 1
Nicholas Purnell QC - Cloth Fair ChambersA silk well liked by his clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ian Winter QC - Cloth Fair ChambersHe has an incredible strategic insight into cases.
Ranked: Tier 2

Leading Juniors

Aaron Watkins - Cloth Fair ChambersA very strong and efficient junior counsel.
Ranked: Tier 4
Rachel Kapila - Cloth Fair ChambersAn outstanding junior.
Ranked: Tier 4

Set overviews: England and Wales

Cloth Fair Chambers is a ten-member set containing leading silks and juniors specialising in criminal, fraud, and regulatory law and is seen as a go-to chambers for the most complex financial crime matters. The set's list of silks grew earlier this year after Jonathan Barnard QC was appointed Queen's Counsel in March 2020.

Chambers was founded in 2006 by seven QCs at the top of the criminal Bar. Its bespoke and focused set was created to meet the market’s growing demands for strategic advice and litigation experience in the developing interface between criminal/civil-commercial fields. Its members have been hand-picked for their proven performance in the very top tier of the criminal, fraud and regulatory Bar.

The set: Chambers’ unparalleled litigation expertise in these areas attracts considerable market attention from companies and company directors, City professionals and other high-profile individuals with a view to either avoiding litigation altogether or to ensuring the adoption of the best strategic position in preparation for it. The continuity that expert strategic advice provides from the earliest possible point pre-charge throughout the process often has a direct correlation to the achievable result.

Often working in tandem, members of chambers have been heavily involved in most of the large fraud, cartel, corruption and corporate crime cases as well as the most high-profile cases of general crime that have been investigated or prosecuted in this country and several of those investigated and prosecuted abroad.

In addition, members of chambers regularly advise potential defendants, companies and their directors globally across several jurisdictions in relation to pre-charge tactical strategic options; internal whistle-blowing inquiries; money laundering investigations; anti-bribery system requirements; CMA investigations and prosecutions; civil settlement negotiations; and DOJ investigations.

Types of work undertaken: Financial and corporate crime, regulatory and disciplinary proceedings, and high-profile general crime.

Department Name Email Telephone
Head clerks Adrian Chapman
Head clerks Mark O'Neill
Members of Chambers PURNELL QC, Nicholas (1968)
Members of Chambers KELSEY-FRY QC, John (1978)
Members of Chambers WINTER QC, Ian (1988)
Members of Chambers POPLE QC, Alison (1993)
Members of Chambers ALLEN QC, Tom (1994)
Members of Chambers SIBSON QC, Clare (1997)
Members of Chambers BARNARD, Jonathan (1997)
Members of Chambers KAPILA, Rachel (2006)
Members of Chambers WATKINS, Aaron (2006)
Members of Chambers ARNOT DRUMMOND, Kathryn
Photo Name Position Profile
 Tom Allen  photo Tom Allen Tom Allen is a leading silk specialising in cases of commercial and…
 Kathryn Arnot Drummond  photo Kathryn Arnot Drummond A mature court advocate, experienced in jury trial and appellate work, Kathryn…
 Jonathan Barnard  photo Jonathan Barnard Jonathan is currently ranked in Band 1 for Financial Crime (Individuals), Band…
 Rachel Kapila  photo Rachel Kapila Rachel is a sought-after junior in the fields of financial crime (individual…
 John Kelsey-Fry  photo John Kelsey-Fry John Kelsey-Fry QC is widely recognised as one of the leading silks…
 Alison Pople  photo Alison Pople Alison Pople is widely recognised as a leading silk with particular specialisms in…
 Nicholas Purnell  photo Nicholas Purnell Nicholas Purnell QC is Head of Cloth Fair Chambers. His career at…
 Clare Sibson photo Clare Sibson Despite only recently taking silk, Clare Sibson “is already attracting instructions of…
 Aaron Watkins  photo Aaron Watkins Aaron is a highly regarded advocate in financial crime and regulation. He…
 Ian Winter  photo Ian Winter Ian Winter QC is firmly established as one of the leading silks…