Jonathan Barnard KC > Cloth Fair Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Cloth Fair Chambers
Jonathan Barnard photo


Jonathan is a highly respected leading advocate in the fields of crime and fraud, operating “at the highest end of the market”. Singled out as an “elegant”, “charismatic” advocate and “excellent strategist”, he wins praise for his “supreme” judgement and “superb analytical skills”. Jonathan is routinely instructed to represent professional and corporate clients in high-profile, financial and heavyweight criminal matters both at trial and for strategic advice at the investigation stage. “A class act”, he is noted for being “incredibly intelligent”, “extremely industrious” and “really great to work with”.

Jonathan represented Victor Dahdaleh, the “power broker” acquitted on all counts of overseas bribery brought by the SFO. He also secured the acquittal of Eddy Shah, the former media magnate, on all historical rape charges.


More recently, Jonathan represented

  • Defendant no.1, SFO v Barclays Bank, re multi-billion pound capital raise in 2008. Acquitted of all charges (2020 winner – Most Important Court Case, GIR);
  • Defendant no.1, SFO v Tesco, re alleged fraud of over £300m. Acquitted of all charges;
  • former director, SFO v Alstom, overseas corruption. Acquitted of all charges;
  • former senior partner of a major accountancy firm charged with fraud (Supreme Court of Gibraltar). Acquitted of all charges;
  • gynaecologist in a high-profile private prosecution re gender abortion issues. Stayed – upheld by the High Court with costs;
  • CEO of a mining company in successfully resisting the SFO’s High Court application for a voluntary bill of indictment;

and advised:

  • Property tycoon Raymond Kwok, the only defendant to be acquitted in Hong Kong’s largest ever graft trial;
  • The last editor of The News Of the World in his long running contempt proceedings before Parliament;
  • A former high-ranking official at the Bank of England in relation to the SFO probe into LIBOR fixing.

Jonathan’s current instructions include:

  • Advising Rio Tinto Plc in SFO investigation;
  • Representing the former director of a hedge fund charged with defrauding the Libyan sovereign wealth fund;
  • Representing Dechert LLP in multi-million pound civil claim brought by ENRC (co-defending with the SFO);
  • Representing a former partner of a major law firm charged with fraud. 



Called to the Bar – 1997
QC 2020

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Business and regulatory crime (including global investigations)

(2020 Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Jonathan Barnard KCCloth Fair ChambersHighly experienced and sought-after counsel; razor-sharp intelligence combined with persuasive advocacy and an imperturbable manner.

London Bar > Fraud: crime

The ‘outstanding set‘ at Cloth Fair Chambers  has established itself ‘as the go-to set for all serious/complex bribery and corruption matters‘, including expertise in fraud. Nicholas Purnell KC and Rachel Kapila have been instructed to lead a mixed criminal and civil counsel team representing Dechert LLP and Neil Gerrard in a civil claim regarding allegations of fraud and bribery in Kazakhstan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has been joined to a claim brought by the ENRC against the SFO. Additionally, John Kelsey-Fry KC, leading Jonathan Barnard KC, successfully defended the former Executive Chairman of Investment Banking at Barclays charged with fraud following an investigation into its raising of funds from Qatari investors.