Set Profile > Chambers of John Price QC and Cairns Nelson QC > London, England

Chambers of John Price QC and Cairns Nelson QC
23 Essex Street

Fraud: crime Tier 2

23 Essex Street's members are best known for handling defence work across a spectrum of fraud matters, although the group also has a strong relationship with the Crown Prosecution Service's Specialist Fraud Division and so frequently handles prosecution instructions. Recent cases include Richard Bentwood successfully defending the wife of the Westminster Council's chief investment officer, who allegedly laundered £1m stolen by her husband from the council's pension fund. Mark Fenhalls QC is chair of the Fraud Lawyers Association.

Leading Silks

Charles Miskin QC - 23 Essex StreetA silk with charm and panache.
Ranked: Tier 1
Cairns Nelson QC - 23 Essex StreetA natural advocate loved by juries.
Ranked: Tier 2
Paul Ozin QC - 23 Essex StreetProsecutes and defends across the gamut of financial crime matters.
Ranked: Tier 3

Leading Juniors

Richard Bentwood - 23 Essex StreetHe has a great work ethic and an unerring eye for technical details.
Ranked: Tier 3
Tom Godfrey - 23 Essex StreetHe always provides sound practical advice.
Ranked: Tier 4
Daniel Lister - 23 Essex StreetA very assured advocate who can immediately put clients at ease.
Ranked: Tier 4
Flora Page - 23 Essex StreetA brilliantly intelligent junior.
Ranked: Tier 4

Crime Tier 3

23 Essex Street 'has a great range of barristers for general crime'. The set prosecutes and defends in a mix of work across the board. Instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service, John Price QC prosecuted at trial – and appeared in subsequent appeals – Jemma Beale, who in 2019 had her ten year sentence for perverting the course of justice and perjury upheld by the Court of Appeal; Beale caused a man to be sentenced to seven years imprisonment for a rape he did not commit, and successfully claimed compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority; one key legal issue in the appeal was if the jury direction about "rape myths" given to juries in rape trials should be given to juries in perjury trials concerning rape allegations. Turning to defence work, in Court of Appeal, Francis FitzGibbon QC represented the appellant in R v GS, a case which concerned the prosecution of victims of trafficking. Unled junior highlights include Rupert Wheeler acting as sole counsel for the successful claimant in R (Poskitt) v Reading Magistrates' Court, in which the High Court quashed a decision of a Magistrates' Court to overturn another's decision using section 142 of the Magistrates' Court Act. Senior junior Rupert Pardoe has retired.

Leading Silks

Francis FitzGibbon QC - 23 Essex StreetA highly intelligent individual and a true gentleman.
Ranked: Tier 2
Cairns Nelson QC - 23 Essex StreetHe commands the highest respect from the judges before whom he appears.
Ranked: Tier 2
John Price QC - 23 Essex StreetHis submissions are expressed with lucidity, cogency and relentless logic.
Ranked: Tier 2
Zafar Ali QC - 23 Essex StreetStrong in multi-defendant trials.
Ranked: Tier 3
Paul Bogan QC - 23 Essex StreetA superb advocate who is uncompromising in his defence of his clients.
Ranked: Tier 3
Mark Fenhalls QC - 23 Essex StreetHe has a track record of murder cases.
Ranked: Tier 3
Allison Hunter QC - 23 Essex StreetOne of the best in the business, at the very top of her game. A superb advocate and tactician. Oozes class and charm.
Ranked: Tier 3
Charles Miskin QC - 23 Essex StreetNot afraid to argue forcefully with the court in the finest traditions of the Bar.
Ranked: Tier 3
James Mulholland QC - 23 Essex StreetApproachable, hardworking and sensible.
Ranked: Tier 3

2018 Silks

Kate Lumsdon QC - 23 Essex StreetShe brings a quiet sense of authority to proceedings.
Eloise Marshall QC - 23 Essex StreetAn impressive advocate with a real touch of humanity.
Rossano Scamardella QC - 23 Essex StreetHe defends and prosecutes in sex, violence and drugs offences.

Leading Juniors

Elisabeth Acker - 23 Essex StreetShe has a track record of sex cases.
Ranked: Tier 3
Lesley Bates - 23 Essex StreetWell-versed at seeing through the noise of a case.
Ranked: Tier 3
James Bloomer - 23 Essex StreetHe has a clarity and simplicity to his approach which really appeals to juries.
Ranked: Tier 3
Patrick Duffy - 23 Essex StreetHe can present complicated evidence to a jury with patience, charm and wit.
Ranked: Tier 3
Hugh Forgan - 23 Essex StreetHe defends and prosecutes, including in sex offence cases.
Ranked: Tier 3
Tom Godfrey - 23 Essex StreetHis advocacy is attractive and persuasive.
Ranked: Tier 3
Rhodri James - 23 Essex StreetSimply outstanding when it comes to cross-examining vulnerable witnesses.
Ranked: Tier 3
Richard Milne - 23 Essex StreetComfortable in handling young and vulnerable witnesses, he has a relaxed and measured style.
Ranked: Tier 3
Flora Page - 23 Essex StreetShe prosecutes serious cases.
Ranked: Tier 3
Nathan Rasiah - 23 Essex StreetHe fights his corner very hard without appearing belligerent.
Ranked: Tier 3
Jeremy Rosenberg - 23 Essex StreetA real fighter – great at preparing and delivering legal arguments.
Ranked: Tier 3
Madeleine Wolfe - 23 Essex StreetPersuasive and fearless in legal argument.
Ranked: Tier 3

Business and regulatory crime (including global investigations) Tier 3

Leading Silks

Mark Fenhalls QC - 23 Essex StreetHis work includes significant SFO cases.
Ranked: Tier 3
Paul Ozin QC - 23 Essex StreetHighly experienced across a range of financial crime cases.
Ranked: Tier 3

Professional disciplinary and regulatory law Tier 3

At 23 Essex StreetTim Grey successfully represented the General Dental Council (GDC) in a case brought against Steven Bal Sharma, a high-profile UK dentist, concerning alleged false advertising of the defendant's dental services and charges of misconduct relating to deficient dental work; Sharma was erased from the GDC's register in January 2019. Elsewhere, Christopher Hamlet successful prosecution of a chiropractor over claims of unacceptable conduct. Matthew Kewley left the set in August 2018 to become an assistant coroner.

Leading Silks

Paul Ozin QC - 23 Essex StreetA very diligent silk, who is excellent in complex cases.
Ranked: Tier 3

Leading Juniors

Tim Grey - 23 Essex StreetCongenial, polished and easy to work with.
Ranked: Tier 3
Rebecca Vanstone - 23 Essex StreetClients like her dedication to a case and her straightforward demeanour.
Ranked: Tier 3
Christopher Hamlet - 23 Essex StreetHe both prosecutes and defends in disciplinary cases.
Ranked: Tier 4

Commercial, banking, insolvency and Chancery law

23 Essex Street's Manchester offering is particularly active in company and shareholder disputes, professional negligence and insolvency work. The set also includes specialist Chancery practitioners such as Tom Gosling, who recently represented a claimant with complex learning disorders and care needs, who sought financial provision from the estate of a man who was thought to be have been his father, however paternity was disputed.

Leading Juniors

Brad Pomfret - 23 Essex StreetAlways well-prepared and totally unflappable.
Ranked: Tier 1
Jonathan Smith - 23 Essex StreetAn astute negotiator and excellent advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Claire Bunbury - 23 Essex StreetGoes above and beyond in order to find a solution.
Ranked: Tier 2
Tom Gosling - 23 Essex StreetA great advocate, concise and thorough in all his work.
Ranked: Tier 2


The criminal barristers in 23 Essex Street's Manchester office primarily defend, with recent cases including allegations of fraud, serious violence and both recent and historical sexual offences. One particularly notable matter is Bob Sastry's defence of an individual said to be the leader of a gang which trafficked women from Romania into Luton, Preston and Manchester for purposes of forced prostitution.

Leading Juniors

Bob Sastry - 23 Essex StreetDevastating in cross-examination and commands respect in the court room.
Ranked: Tier 2
Barry White - 23 Essex StreetCompetent and no-nonsense with first-class preparation.
Ranked: Tier 2
Hugh McKee - 23 Essex StreetHis recent work includes serious fraud, historic sexual abuse and firearms cases.
Ranked: Tier 3


23 Essex Street is home to several practitioners visible on the circuit, with particular areas of focus including representing vulnerable defendants and serious organised crime cases, as well as sexual offences and violent crime.

Leading Juniors

James Bloomer - 23 Essex StreetKnows all his cases inside-out, no matter how complex.
Ranked: Tier 1
Stephen Shay - 23 Essex StreetCalm, measured, unflappable and completely on top of his brief.
Ranked: Tier 2
Alan Gardner - 23 Essex StreetA prosecution specialist.
Ranked: Tier 3


23 Essex Street is home to Brad Pomfret, who is predominantly instructed on behalf of lenders in claims against securities. He recently obtained a summary judgment for £4.5 million for a bridging lender against a borrower, who claimed the original loan was entered into under duress.

Leading Juniors

Brad Pomfret - 23 Essex StreetExcellent on his feet.
Ranked: Tier 2

Set overviews: England and Wales

For such a large set of chambers, 23 Essex Streetmanages to maintain consistent quality throughout’. The set’s ‘reputation as a leading criminal law set is well deserved’ with ‘an impressive depth across the junior ranks’. In recent chambers news, James Mulholland QC has been elected vice chair of the Criminal Bar Association and Sarah Morris, formerly of 2 King's Bench Walk, joined chambers in September 2019. The addition of ‘excellent’ chambers director Wayne King to the ‘efficient’ clerking team has been ‘positively received’ by clients. ‘The clerking team is always pleasant to deal with and always constructive should any problems arise. They go the extra mile to assist.’ London-based senior crime clerk Adam Chapman ‘definitely stands out’ as he ‘really understands the cases and is able to recommend who would be best counsel with an informed suggestion’. Jack Shah, first criminal junior in London, is also highly rated by instructing solicitors. The names to note in Manchester are senior crime clerk Sean Hulston, deputy senior clerk Kevin Ambridge, and senior commercial clerk Colin Perrin. Offices in: London and Manchester

Regional Bar > South Eastern Circuit > Crime

23 Essex Street is home to several practitioners visible on the circuit, with particular areas of focus including representing vulnerable defendants and serious organised crime cases, as well as sexual offences and violent crime.

Leading Juniors

James Bloomer - 23 Essex StreetKnows all his cases inside-out, no matter how complex.
Ranked: Tier 1
Stephen Shay - 23 Essex StreetCalm, measured, unflappable and completely on top of his brief.
Ranked: Tier 2
Alan Gardner - 23 Essex StreetA prosecution specialist.
Ranked: Tier 3


23 Essex Street is a modern, innovative, approachable set of barristers, with a leading reputation in crime, fraud, a range of regulatory and disciplinary matters and more recently commercial law. John Price QC and Cairns Nelson QC were elected as joint head of chambers in November 2015. Under their collective stewardship chambers has continued to grow and is a national criminal set in London and Manchester.

The set: Chambers has a genuine commitment to teamwork, supported by both its formal training programme and its inherent culture, which ensures important recent experience is shared across chambers. This experience is broad, with members of chambers undertaking the entire range of mainstream criminal law, as well as associated regulatory and civil work. Within this, chambers has set up a number of specialist teams, offering a strong portfolio of barristers who are effective at all levels, to harness and develop expertise in certain niche practice areas.

Members regularly appear in high-profile cases in all levels of court in England and Wales as well as other jurisdictions, including the International Criminal Court and the European Court of Human Rights.

Chambers is supported by a motivated clerking team that are committed to delivering a first-class service to clients and members alike.

Types of work undertaken: Chambers deals with Crime, Financial and Corporate Crime, Regulatory and Professional Discipline work , Civil and Commercial work. Specialist areas include corporate and financial regulatory, healthcare discipline, police discipline, environmental crime, IP crime and trading standards. Chambers also undertakes court martial, inquests and tribunals, private property, prison law, public inquiries and direct access work. Chambers also has a strong track record in international work with members appearing in human rights cases involving genocide, war crimes, and international terrorism.

Crime: 23 Essex Street is one of the largest and strongest sets of criminal barristers in England and Wales. Chambers currently has over 100 barristers. The size and national presence of chambers enables it to offer a ˜genuine€™ depth and expertise across the full spectrum of criminal law. Chambers not only defends at the highest level, but is also instructed by all of the major prosecuting agencies including the Serious Fraud Office,  Organised Crime Division, the Complex Casework Units and BEIS, on a national level. The general crime team also have a particular expertise in sexual offences involving vulnerable witnesses, and county-lines drug offences.

Financial and Corporate Crime: 23 Essex Street continues to enjoy a superb reputation in this field, with talented and sought after Members prosecuting and defending in many serious and notable fraud cases both in the UK and other common law jurisdictions. Chambers has significant and growing experience in advisory and investigation work in fraud related HMRC tribunal work. Alongside the financial crime practice, runs the civil fraud team comprising commercial law specialists with expertise in civil consequences of fraud such as insolvency. Many of the juniors undertake secondments at the key financial regulators, including the FCA, HMRC and SFO, enhancing chambers’ knowledge and experience.

Professional regulatory and discipline: Chambers continues to present the most serious of cases on behalf of various regulators, including appellate and public law work. These include healthcare regulators (GMC, GDC, GCC, GOC, NMC, RCN, SRA, HCPC), financial regulators (notably ACCA and CIPFA), police work and niche work regulators, including the British Psychoanalytical Council and the Forensic Science Regulator.

Chambers services cross-over criminal/regulatory work from BEIS, FCA, Environmental,Trading Standards and CMA. There is strength across call bands, including the junior members of chambers have a depth of experience beyond their call built on secondment posts with the regulators.

Commercial: The team offers barristers of differing seniorities and styles, with specialisms ranging from traditional chancery areas such as trusts, wills, probate and real property, company law, partnership, Inheritance Act claims, charities and taxation to general commercial litigation, sale of goods and professional negligence. It also has considerable expertise in corporate and personal insolvency.

Additionally, a number of members of the team have significant experience in banking and finance matters, acting for a number of large lenders as well as borrowers on areas ranging from securities to the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Education and training: Members of chambers are involved in all stages of education and training at the Bar. Chambers is proud to have provided several chairmen of the Criminal Bar Association as well as a leader of the South Eastern Circuit and many members of the committees of these and other organisations; thereby contributing to the sustainability and growth of the bar. Paul Ozin QC co-authors a leading practitioner’s text on the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and was co-ordinating editor of 23 Essex Streets €˜Financial Crime Update€™ in Butterworth€™s Journal of International Banking and Financial Law. The general editor of Archbold and Criminal Law Week, James Richardson QC, remains a door tenant having practised from chambers and members regularly contribute to a range of legal periodicals. 23 Essex Street is a recognised leader in the field of legal training, running its own continuing education seminars and a well renowned pupillage training programme. Chambers commitment to education and training is ongoing.

Tenancy: Applications should be addressed to the director of tenancy, Rossano Scamardella QC. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence. Please see the website for further details.

Pupillage: Applications are advertised on the website –

Mini-pupillage: A limited number are available.

Correspondence regarding mini-pupillages should be made via the email address

Manchester:  Waterhouse, 2nd Floor, 41 Spring Gardens, Manchester M2 2BG Tel: 0161 870 9969 DX: 303434 Manchester



Department Name Email Telephone
Joint Head of Chambers PRICE QC, John (1982)
Joint Head of Chambers NELSON QC, Cairns (1987)
MISKIN QC, Charles (1975)
Enoch QC Dafydd (1985)
FitzGibbon QC Francis (1986)
BOGAN QC, Paul (1983)
MULHOLLAND QC, James (1986)
ALI QC, Zafar (1994)
FENHALLS QC, Mark (1992)
OZIN QC, Paul (1987)
HUNTER QC, Allison (1986)
CLARK QC, Tim (1993)
LUMSDON QC, Kate (2018)
MARSHALL QC, Eloise (2018)
SCAMARDELLA QC, Rossano (2018)
MACHIN, Charles (1973)
MULHOLLAND, Michael (1976)
HARRISON, Michael (1979)
HORNSBY, Walton (1980)
MCKEE, Hugh (1983)
RILEY, John (1983)
BROWN, Roy (1983)
SHAY, Stephen (1984)
WILLIAMS, Brian (1986)
PRITCHETT, Stephen (1989)
FORGAN, Hugh (1989)
SMITH, Jonathan (1991)
AMIS, Christopher (1991)
MOORE, Richard (1992)
MILNE, Richard (1992)
O'CONNOR, Ged (1993)
MCCRINDELL, James (1993)
BENTWOOD, Richard (1994)
WATKINS, Adam (1994)
CASELLA, Bart (1995)
HARGAN, Carl (1995)
MCGRATH, Francis (1995)
HOSSAIN, Ahmed (1996)
MORRIS, Sarah (1996)
SASTRY, Bob (1996)
BRODY, Saul (1996)
HOPE, Ian (1996)
GARDNER, Alan (1997)
ROYLE, Charles (1997)
SANDYS, Neil (1998)
WOLFE, Madeleine (1998)
FUGALLO, Daniel (1999)
SMITH, Graham (1999)
BATES, Leslie (1999)
DUNKIN, Oliver (1999)
GREY,Tim (1999)
HUSBANDS, Abigail (2000)
HAMLET, Christopher (2000)
BLOOMER, James (2000)
POVALL, David (2000)
HARRIS, Adrian (2001)
FARLEY, David (2001)
EAGLESTONE, William (2001)
KHAN, Aisha (2002)
DYE, John (2002)
JAMES, Rhodri (2002)
HILL, Rina-Marie (2002)
SAUL, Sonya (2002)
BANKS, Nathan (2003)
COMMON, Hamish (2003)
GODFREY, Tom (2003)
POMFRET, Brad (2004)
GOSLING, Tom (2004)
UPTON, Alexander (2004)
MOHAMMED, Rashad (2004)
BUNBURY, Claire (2006)
TEMPLETON, Joseph (2006)
VANSTONE, Rebecca (2006)
MORGAN, Iestyn (2006)
RASIAH, Nathan (2007)
DUFFY, Patrick (2007)
WHITE, Barry (2007)
ROSENBERG, Jeremy (2009)
SAYNOR, Richard (2009)
CABRAL, Carolina (2009)
LISTER, Daniel (2009)
WHEELER, Rupert (2010)
ACKER, Elizabeth (2010)
DUONG, Helena (2010)
GAINZA, Victoria (2010)
MCINTYRE, Sarah-Kate (2011)
SMITH, Robert (2011)
TOLSON, Asa (2012)
MILLS, Alex (2012)
TREFGARNE, Sam (2012)
MURPHY, Micheal (2013)
DAINTY, David (2013)
O'DONOGHUE, Daniel (2013)
AYOO, Arnold (2014)
QUEFFURUS, Sasha (2014)
WHITE, Tom (2015)
CYPLES, Kelly (2016)
TEALE, Josephine (2016)
CLEGG, Amelia (2017)
STEWART, Caroline (2017)
HODGETTS, Matthew (2017)
Photo Name Position Profile
 Elisabeth Acker  photo Elisabeth Acker
 Zafar Ali QC photo Zafar Ali QC
 Christopher Amis  photo Christopher Amis
 Lesley Bates  photo Lesley Bates
Mr Richard Bentwood  photo Mr Richard Bentwood
Mr James Bloomer  photo Mr James Bloomer
 Paul Bogan QC photo Paul Bogan QC
 Roy Brown  photo Roy Brown
 Carolina Cabral  photo Carolina Cabral
 Bart Casella  photo Bart Casella
 Tim Clark  photo Tim Clark
 Hamish Common  photo Hamish Common
 Wayne Cranston-Morris  photo Wayne Cranston-Morris
Mr David Dainty  photo Mr David Dainty
 Patrick Duffy  photo Patrick Duffy
 Oliver Dunkin  photo Oliver Dunkin
 Helena Duong  photo Helena Duong
 John Dye  photo John Dye
 William Eaglestone  photo William Eaglestone
Mr David Farley  photo Mr David Farley
 Mark Fenhalls QC photo Mark Fenhalls QC
 Hugh Forgan  photo Hugh Forgan
 Daniel Fugallo  photo Daniel Fugallo
 Victoria Gainza  photo Victoria Gainza
 Alan Gardner  photo Alan Gardner
 Tom Godfrey  photo Tom Godfrey
 Tim Grey  photo Tim Grey
 Christopher Hamlet  photo Christopher Hamlet
 Adrian Harris  photo Adrian Harris
 Michael Harrison  photo Michael Harrison
Ms Rina-Marie Hill  photo Ms Rina-Marie Hill
 Ian Hope  photo Ian Hope
 Walton Hornsby  photo Walton Hornsby
 Ahmed Hossain  photo Ahmed Hossain
 Allison Hunter  photo Allison Hunter
 Abigail Husbands  photo Abigail Husbands
 Rhodri James  photo Rhodri James
 Aisha Khan  photo Aisha Khan
 Hannah Kinch  photo Hannah Kinch
 Daniel Lister  photo Daniel Lister
 Kate Lumsdon  photo Kate Lumsdon
 Eloise Marshall  photo Eloise Marshall
Mr James McCrindell  photo Mr James McCrindell
 Francis McGrath  photo Francis McGrath
Ms Sarah-Kate McIntyre  photo Ms Sarah-Kate McIntyre
 Alex Mills  photo Alex Mills
 Richard Milne  photo Richard Milne
 Charles Miskin QC photo Charles Miskin QC
 Rashad Mohammed  photo Rashad Mohammed
Mr Iestyn Morgan  photo Mr Iestyn Morgan
Mr James Mulholland QC photo Mr James Mulholland QC
 Cairns Nelson QC photo Cairns Nelson QC
 Ged O’Connor  photo Ged O’Connor
 Paul Ozin QC photo Paul Ozin QC
Mr Daniel O’Donoghue  photo Mr Daniel O’Donoghue
 Flora Page  photo Flora Page
 David Povall  photo David Povall
 John Price QC photo John Price QC
 Roshani Pulle  photo Roshani Pulle
Ms Sasha Queffurus  photo Ms Sasha Queffurus
 Nathan Rasiah  photo Nathan Rasiah
 John Riley  photo John Riley
Mr Jeremy Rosenberg  photo Mr Jeremy Rosenberg
 Charles Royle  photo Charles Royle
 Neil Sandys  photo Neil Sandys
 Sonya Saul  photo Sonya Saul
 Richard Saynor  photo Richard Saynor
 Rossano Scamardella  photo Rossano Scamardella
 Stephen Shay  photo Stephen Shay
 Graham Smith  photo Graham Smith
 Joseph Templeton  photo Joseph Templeton
 Sam Trefgarne  photo Sam Trefgarne
 Alexander Upton  photo Alexander Upton
Mr Rupert Wheeler  photo Mr Rupert Wheeler
Mr Barry White  photo Mr Barry White
Clerks : 9
Fees : 3
Administration : 2