Set Profile > Chambers of Jonathan Laidlaw QC > London, England

Chambers of Jonathan Laidlaw QC
2 Hare Court

Crime Tier 1

2 Hare Court 'boasts an impressive range of counsel and is able to offer a range of suitable options in relation to any enquiry'. Traditionally regarded as a prosecution set, chambers continues to receive Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) instructions for some of the most serious cases, but it also handles high-quality private defence and prosecution work, too. Recent instructions include Julia Faure Walker prosecuting three individuals for a sex trafficking conspiracy, including the "sale" of a prostitute for €10,000 in a case with issues as to the admissibility of Romanian intercept evidence. Turning to defence highlights, Martin Hicks QC and Scott Ivill represented a man who was acquitted of an alleged manslaughter after his brother died of a heart attack in the family home during a supposed exorcism. Also of note, Brendan Kelly QC defended Xeneral Webster, a 19-year-old drill musician who was acquitted of murder but received a 17-year sentence for manslaughter on a plea of guilty; this case is believed to be the first conviction for an acid attack killing in the UK. Turning to the juniors' unled work, Gudrun Young successfully represented well-known feminist activist Linda Bellos, who was privately prosecuted by a transgender rights activist for a supposed public order offence after indicating that she would defend herself against violent attack – the private prosecution was taken over and discontinued by the CPS.

Leading Silks

Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC - 2 Hare CourtThere is nothing she doesn't know about sex cases.
Ranked: Tier 1
Brendan Kelly QC - 2 Hare CourtJudges trust his judgement and juries love his cross-examinations.
Ranked: Tier 1
Orlando Pownall QC - 2 Hare CourtHis cross-examinations are carefully crafted and at times ruthless.
Ranked: Tier 1
Jonathan Rees QC - 2 Hare CourtA class act – he commands the court like no other advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Oliver Glasgow QC - 2 Hare CourtAn effective advocate and a formidable opponent.
Ranked: Tier 2
Martin Hicks QC - 2 Hare CourtVery impressive in his commitment and skills.
Ranked: Tier 3
Naeem Mian QC - 2 Hare CourtHe defends in gang-related cases.
Ranked: Tier 3
Brian O'Neill QC - 2 Hare CourtHe possesses that rare gravitas through which he can command a courtroom with ease.
Ranked: Tier 3

2019 Silks

David Whittaker QC - 2 Hare CourtMuch admired by judges and his peers, he is an excellent jury advocate.
Zubair Ahmad QC - 2 Hare CourtHe goes in to court knowing the papers inside out and backwards.
Narita Bahra QC - 2 Hare CourtShe has a unique style in front of juries, who like her approach.

Leading Juniors

Scott Ivill - 2 Hare CourtA fine jury advocate who will leave no stone unturned.
Ranked: Tier 2
Leon Kazakos - 2 Hare CourtExcellent at handling very challenging clients.
Ranked: Tier 2
Julia Faure Walker - 2 Hare CourtShe has the ability to master complex facts from which she identifies the salient issues with convincing accuracy.
Ranked: Tier 2
Gudrun Young - 2 Hare CourtShe brings a fresh and innovative approach, especially in sex cases.
Ranked: Tier 2
Nneka Akudolu - 2 Hare CourtCompelling on her feet.
Ranked: Tier 3
Harry Bentley - 2 Hare CourtA fantastic barrister.
Ranked: Tier 3
Peter Lownds - 2 Hare CourtHe exudes quiet authority.
Ranked: Tier 3
Will Martin - 2 Hare CourtA natural advocate with a real presence in court.
Ranked: Tier 3
Sarah Przybylska - 2 Hare CourtTenacious and firm in advocacy without alienating those who she is addressing.
Ranked: Tier 3
Fiona Robertson - 2 Hare CourtCalm, composed, great with clients and a great criminal trial lawyer.
Ranked: Tier 3

Fraud: crime Tier 1

2 Hare Court is a 'very strong' and 'talented' set with 'an impressive range of counsel'. Recent highlights include new silk David Whittaker QC successfully defending a businessman against two counts of alleged fraud and money laundering after £500,000 was found in his car at the time of his arrest and then at his home address. Meanwhile, Angus Bunyan successfully prosecuted businessmen Terrence Mitchell and Andrew Meikle, who were convicted of running an investment scam by offering investors a fixed interest plan with a guaranteed rate of return; the money was instead used by the defendants for personal means.

Leading Silks

Jonathan Laidlaw QC - 2 Hare CourtA superlative advocate who is tremendous with clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Brian O'Neill QC - 2 Hare CourtHe has the jury eating out of his hand.
Ranked: Tier 2
Orlando Pownall QC - 2 Hare CourtHis recent work includes MTIC fraud matters.
Ranked: Tier 2
Martin Hicks QC - 2 Hare CourtAn impressive cross-examiner.
Ranked: Tier 3
Andrew Radcliffe QC - 2 Hare CourtA brilliant jury advocate.
Ranked: Tier 3

2019 Silks

Narita Bahra QC - 2 Hare CourtA very polished operator; tenacious and fearless.
David Whittaker QC - 2 Hare CourtHighly experienced in financial crime cases.

Leading Juniors

Vivienne Tanchel - 2 Hare CourtFocused and determined.
Ranked: Tier 2
Angus Bunyan - 2 Hare CourtHis judgement is sound and his manner unflappable.
Ranked: Tier 3
Leon Kazakos - 2 Hare CourtA junior who shows mastery of the facts.
Ranked: Tier 3
Gavin Irwin - 2 Hare CourtHe prepares well and knows his topic.
Ranked: Tier 4

Business and regulatory crime (including global investigations) Tier 2

Financial crime forms a core area of 2 Hare Court's expertise; recent highlights  for its members include Jonathan Kinnear QC successfully representing the Serious Fraud Office in the prosecution of shipping company FH Bertling, including six directors and employees, over an oil project in Angola; the defendants were convicted of paying bribes to a local state oil official to secure shipping contracts worth $20m.

Leading Silks

Christopher Coltart QC - 2 Hare CourtA high-quality silk who has great client handling skills.
Ranked: Tier 1
Jonathan Kinnear QC - 2 Hare CourtHighly experienced in handling large-scale bribery and corruption cases.
Ranked: Tier 2
Brendan Kelly QC - 2 Hare CourtJudges trust his judgement, and juries love his cross-examinations.
Ranked: Tier 3
Jonathan Laidlaw QC - 2 Hare CourtA very smooth and hardworking silk.
Ranked: Tier 3

Leading Juniors

Vivienne Tanchel - 2 Hare CourtShe is a talented advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Christopher Foulkes - 2 Hare CourtAn unflappable junior.
Ranked: Tier 3

Inquests and inquiries Tier 2

Leading Silks

Jonathan Laidlaw QC - 2 Hare CourtA superlative advocate who is tremendous with clients, providing empathy at the same time as delivering spot-on advice.
Ranked: Tier 3

Leading Juniors

Alexandra Tampakopoulos - 2 Hare CourtShe is superb with clients, has the capacity to master huge amount of detail and is totally client-focused.
Ranked: Tier 2
Craig Ferguson - 2 Hare CourtA formidable advocate who commands the attention of the court and knows how to present a case in the best possible way.
Ranked: Tier 3
Nikita McNeill - 2 Hare CourtShe has an excellent knowledge of the law.
Ranked: Tier 3

Licensing Tier 2

Leading Silks

Martin Heslop QC - 2 Hare Court'An outstanding advocate, commercially astute and gets straight to the point.' 
Ranked: Tier 2

Professional disciplinary and regulatory law Tier 2

2 Hare Court is 'a very strong set' with 'flair', and houses an 'excellent group of barristers with extensive experience in professional disciplinary work'. Healthcare is a core sector of expertise for the set, with members handling work for doctors, dentists, opticians, and osteopaths, and has also been active in the veterinary space. Andrew Colman defended a practitioner of Vaser liposelection (a form of liposuction) against 28 allegations – divided into over 100 sub-heads – of misconduct. However, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service tribunal found only six of the sub-heads amounted to misconduct, and only two to have a basis of impaired fitness to practise; the tribunal decided to take no action by way of sanction. Also of note, Tom Day acted for the General Optical Council in a misconduct case brought against an optometrist accused of harassment; the defendant was erased from the register. In March 2019 Andrew Hurst was appointed to the circuit bench.

Leading Silks

Christopher Coltart QC - 2 Hare CourtHe can hold his own in any case.
Ranked: Tier 4

Leading Juniors

Stephen Brassington - 2 Hare CourtA superb cross-examiner, who can reduce the most robust experts to kittens.
Ranked: Tier 1
Andrew Colman - 2 Hare CourtHe combines a natural flair for advocacy with a fantastic ability to spot the overlooked killer detail.
Ranked: Tier 1
Christopher Geering - 2 Hare CourtVery astute, and very persuasive on his feet.
Ranked: Tier 3
Christopher Gillespie - 2 Hare CourtA very able advocate with gravitas, who will go the extra mile.
Ranked: Tier 3
Scott Ivill - 2 Hare CourtEfficient, thorough and prompt.
Ranked: Tier 3
Marios Lambis - 2 Hare CourtReassuringly confident, with an excellent legal mind.
Ranked: Tier 3
Sarah Przybylska - 2 Hare CourtDetail-oriented and has a wonderful manner with clients.
Ranked: Tier 3
Tom Day - 2 Hare CourtHe charms clients and witnesses alike, and is very impressive on his feet.
Ranked: Tier 3
Vivienne Tanchel - 2 Hare CourtShe has a great bedside manner with clients and is a pleasure to work with.
Ranked: Tier 4

Sport Tier 3

Leading Silks

Christopher Coltart QC - 2 Hare CourtHe prosecutes disciplinary matters for the FA.
Ranked: Tier 3

Health and safety Tier 4

2 Hare Court houses ‘a strong cadre of health and safety counsel’. Noteworthy instructions include Jonathan Laidlaw QC acting for cladding company Harley Facades in the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry. Laidlaw QC also acted for Pret a Manger following the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse; the teenager collapsed and died on board a flight in July 2016 after having an allergic reaction to an "artisan" baguette purchased from the sandwich chain. Pret has announced it will include full ingredient labelling on all its products following Ednan-Laperouse’s inquest, while the government is considering a legislative change.

Leading Silks

Jonathan Laidlaw QC - 2 Hare CourtHe is tremendous with clients, combining empathy with direct advice.
Ranked: Tier 2

Leading Juniors

Tom Day - 2 Hare CourtVery personable and an excellent communicator.
Ranked: Tier 3
Craig Ferguson - 2 Hare CourtRobust and meticulous; a talented advocate.
Ranked: Tier 3
James Buchanan - 2 Hare CourtVery good on his feet with a great client manner.
Ranked: Tier 4
Alexandra Tampakopoulos - 2 Hare CourtAn excellent advocate who builds good rapport with clients.
Ranked: Tier 4

Set overviews: England and Wales

Counsel at the ‘classy2 Hare Court are ‘a cut above’ in the fields of criminal and professional discipline and regulatory law. Solicitors note it has ‘strengthened considerably its private prosecutions’ offering of late; its expertise in the field of health and safety law; and its ‘respected’ experts in the licensing and sport arena. The ‘first-choice’, ‘forward-thinking’ set boasts ‘an impressive range of clever, accomplished counsel’ who ‘instinctively understand the needs of the client’. In recent chambers news, Alison Levitt QC, the founder of Mishcon de Reya LLP’s white collar crime practice, has joined the set, while Narita Bahra QC, Zubair Ahmad QC, and David Whittaker QC took silk in 2019, further strengthening chambers at the senior end. Meanwhile, the junior ranks have been bolstered by the arrival of Merry Van Woodenberg and Nneka Akudolu, formerly of Foundry Chambers and 187 Fleet Street Chambers respectively. Leaving chambers, Andrew Hurst was appointed to the circuit bench. Chambers has a ‘strong’ clerking team which is ‘modern in its outlook’ and ‘recognises that the traditional flow of work is not going to apply in every case’. The team is led by director of clerking Julian Campbell, who is ‘widely recognised as being amongst the best in the business’ and ‘provides an extremely slick and professional service’. All the clerks are ‘attentive, quick’, and ‘efficient in sending through information and truthful regarding availability’. Senior practice clerk Ben Heaviside is an ‘A+ clerk; approachable, reasonable, and accommodating’. The ‘exceptionally efficient, prompt, and friendly’ Tara Shah has moved to Twenty Essex. Offices in: London

Described by The Legal 500 as “€first class’ crime set“€™ that “will not let you down” and by Chambers UK as a set which is “€˜outstanding” and “highly impressive“€™ with “very strong advocates” €™that “offers a complete service”, 2 Hare Court has been recognised consistently as one of the UK’s leading chambers specialising in crime, business crime, private prosecution, financial services, tax, professional discipline, health & safety, regulatory law, inquests and inquiries and sports law and other related fields.

The set: Chambers comprises 66 tenants including 21 Queen’s Counsel and 12 members who sit as recorders. Many former members of chambers have become High Court and District Judges. Chambers provides counsel of first choice to leading defence firms as well as principal prosecuting authorities in London, nationwide and abroad. It has a proven track record of delivering the highest standards of service to clients, together with excellence in advocacy and trial management in cases of the utmost gravity and complexity.

2 Hare Court is consistently recognised as one of the UK’€™s leading sets of expert barristers in their specialised practice areas with members and the set alike being shortlisted for numerous awards in both the Legal 500 and Chambers UK awards. The set’€™s barristers provide early and strategic analysis and advice, as well as advocacy of the highest quality where cases cannot be resolved at an early stage and need to progress to trial.

2 Hare Court was recognised as one of the top sets in the country for client service at the Bar in Chambers UK 2017 and were quoted as “very approachable, organised, contactable even late into the night, and always clear about what they can achieve and offer”.

“The clerks are outstanding. They bend over backwards to help and have an incisive understanding of specialist areas of law which enables them to tailor their assistance accordingly.”

More information on its barristers and work can be found at

Types of work undertaken:

Crime: the strength and depth of experience among 2 Hare Court’s specialist advocates sees them advising, defending and prosecuting in all forms of criminal work, particularly in serious and complex cases of terrorism (including special advocate work), murder, honour killings, international drug and human trafficking, serious organised crime and sexual offences (especially historic). Recent cases include: Paddy Jackson trial, Finsbury Park Attacker Darren Osbourne, the French nanny Sophie Lionnet murder trial, The Adam Johnson trial, Operation Tabernula, Operation Yew Tree, Operation Elveden (phone hacking), Huhne and Pryce, Lee Rigby and others.

Business crime and financial services: members of chambers are routinely instructed in the largest and most complex financial crime cases. Its experience includes all forms of fraud, MTIC/VAT tribunal hearings, market abuse (insider dealing, LIBOR and manipulation of other benchmark rates), asset recovery/forfeiture and restraint/confiscation proceedings. Recent cases include: Cambridge Analytica, Operation Amazon, SFO v Rolls Royce,  FOREX, ‘€˜Blue Index’€™, BA price fixing case, Operation Tabernula, SFO v Tchenguiz, lnnospec, and MP/Lords’€™ expenses.

Private Prosecution: 2 Hare Court is a pioneering set in the area of private prosecution and their private prosecution team have considerable experience of advising and representing clients on both sides of private prosecutions. Numerous members are senior former and current prosecutors, including those who have acted as First Senior, Senior and Junior Treasury Counsel. Recent cases: Swiss oil company Allseas Group  (largest privately prosecuted fraud to have ever been brought), R v K (private prosecution brought following long running civil fraud proceedings, R v G, H & A (defence of a privately prosecuted fraud).

Professional Discipline: members have extensive expertise in this field, appearing, in particular, before all healthcare regulators, primarily defending members of all the major MDOs as well as other professionals. The set also appears in proceedings involving the police, accountants and actuaries, tax advisers, solicitors, sports professionals, telecommunications and others.

Regulatory crime: Members of 2 Hare Court advise and represent corporate and individual clients facing proceedings brought by regulators including the Health & Safety Executive, Environment Agency, Trading Standards and local authorities. The team advises at every stage of an investigation pre-charge on issues such as the approach to take in interview, evidence gathering and legal privilege. Recent cases: Grenfell, Chevron, Topcon, Monovan, Hillsborough, Essar Oil, Princes Sporting Club, Lion Steel, Cavendish Masonry and Hugo Boss.

Inquests: 2 Hare Court has a team of specialists with extensive experience of advocacy. Members of the Inquest & Public Inquiry team have acted in the most complex and high profile cases of recent times, including; Hillsborough, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the In Amenas hostage crisis, the London 7/7 bombings and the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

Tax: With a long established background in tax litigation, the team at 2 Hare Court have established a formidable reputation in cases involving disputes in direct and indirect tax appeals. The disputes span the full spectrum of tax litigation before the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber), Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) and Court of Appeal, where members are instructed both by Taxpayers and by the Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs.

Sports law: Members of 2 Hare Court are instructed in cases involving gambling regulation, corruption, inquests and public inquiries, anti-doping, licensing, On-field and off-field violence, disorder by athletes. Members of the sports team regularly appear before the Football Association, the British Horse Racing Authority, International Association of Athletics Federations, National Anti-Doping Panel, to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Recent cases: FA v Tony Henry, BHA v Jim & Suzie Best, BHA v Jim Best, FA v Joey Barton, IAAF v Valentin Balakhnichev & Ors and Hillsborough.


Department Name Email Telephone
Director of clerking Julian Campbell
Members of Chambers LAIDLAW QC, Jonathan (1982)
Members of Chambers POWNALL QC, Orlando (1975)
Members of Chambers HESLOP QC, Martin (1972)
Members of Chambers WRIGHT QC, Peter (1981)
Members of Chambers RADCLIFFE QC, Andrew (1975)
Members of Chambers PICKUP QC, James (1976)
Members of Chambers HICKS QC, Martin (1977)
Members of Chambers BENNETT-JENKINS QC, Sallie (1984)
Members of Chambers LEVITT QC, Alison (1988)
Members of Chambers KELLY QC, Brendan (1988)
Members of Chambers REES QC, Jonathan (1987)
Members of Chambers O'NEILL QC, Brian (1987)
Members of Chambers HAYTON QC, Michael (1993)
Members of Chambers COLTART QC, Christopher (1998)
Members of Chambers GLASGOW QC, Oliver (1995)
Members of Chambers KINNEAR QC, Jonathan (1994)
Members of Chambers MIAN QC, Naeem (2002)
Members of Chambers COLMAN, Andrew (1980)
Members of Chambers BELGER, Tyrone (1984)
Members of Chambers DAWSON, James (1984)
Members of Chambers WHITTAKER, David (1986)
Members of Chambers LAMBIS, Marios (1989)
Members of Chambers GRAFFIUS, Mark (1990)
Members of Chambers GILLESPIE, Christopher (1991)
Members of Chambers FERGUSON, Craig (1992)
Members of Chambers GRAY QC (Scotland), Peter (1992)
Members of Chambers HURST, Andrew (1992)
Members of Chambers BUCHANAN, James (1993)
Members of Chambers FOULKES, Christopher (1994)
Members of Chambers BRASSINGTON, Stephen (1994)
Members of Chambers AHMAD, Zubair (1995)
Members of Chambers IRWIN, Gavin (1996)
Members of Chambers BAHRA, Narita (1997)
Members of Chambers IVILL, Scott (1997)
Members of Chambers LOWNDS, Peter (1998)
Members of Chambers HAWKINS, Quinn (1999)
Members of Chambers BUNYAN, Angus (1999)
Members of Chambers KAZAKOS, Leon (1999)
Members of Chambers RINDER, Robert (2001)
Members of Chambers RAWLINSON, Michael (2002)
Members of Chambers YOUNG, Gudrun (2001)
Members of Chambers HUMMERSTONE, Rebekah (2002)
Members of Chambers FAURE WALKER, Julia (2004)
Members of Chambers TANCHEL, Vivienne (2005)
Members of Chambers PRZYBYLSKA, Sarah (2006)
Members of Chambers DUMMETT, Emily (2006)
Members of Chambers WATKINSON, Howard (2006)
Members of Chambers TAMPAKOPOULOS, Alexandra (2007)
Members of Chambers WARE, Christopher (2007)
Members of Chambers BENTLEY, Harry (2007)
Members of Chambers DAY, Tom (2008)
Members of Chambers ROBERTSON, Fiona (2008)
Members of Chambers GEERING, Christopher (2009)
Members of Chambers RICH, Ben (2010)
Members of Chambers MARTIN, Will (2010)
Members of Chambers MCNEILL, Narita (2010)
Members of Chambers STEPHENSON, Laura (2012)
Members of Chambers WATTS, Charlotte (2012)
Members of Chambers RENTEURS, Paul (2013)
Members of Chambers DACRE, Robert (2013)
Members of Chambers DOWER, Sophia (2013)
Members of Chambers MACDONALD, Lewis (2014)
Members of Chambers CAREY, Joshua (2015)
Members of Chambers FORBES, Grace (2015)
Photo Name Position Profile
 Zubair Ahmad  photo Zubair Ahmad
 Narita Bahra  photo Narita Bahra
 Tyrone Belger  photo Tyrone Belger
 Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC photo Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC
 Harry Bentley  photo Harry Bentley
 Stephen Brassington  photo Stephen Brassington
 James Buchanan  photo James Buchanan
 Angus Bunyan  photo Angus Bunyan
 Joshua Carey  photo Joshua Carey
 Andrew Colman  photo Andrew Colman
 Christopher Coltart QC photo Christopher Coltart QC
 Robert Dacre  photo Robert Dacre
 James Dawson  photo James Dawson
 Tom Day  photo Tom Day
 Emily Dummett  photo Emily Dummett
 Julia Faure Walker  photo Julia Faure Walker
 Craig Ferguson  photo Craig Ferguson
 Grace Forbes  photo Grace Forbes
 Christopher Foulkes  photo Christopher Foulkes
 Christopher Geering  photo Christopher Geering
 Christopher Gillespie  photo Christopher Gillespie
 Oliver Glasgow QC photo Oliver Glasgow QC
 Quinn Hawkins  photo Quinn Hawkins
 Martin Heslop QC photo Martin Heslop QC
 Martin Hicks QC photo Martin Hicks QC
 Rebekah Hummerstone  photo Rebekah Hummerstone
 Scott Ivill  photo Scott Ivill
 Brendan Kelly QC photo Brendan Kelly QC
 Jonathan Laidlaw QC photo Jonathan Laidlaw QC
 Marios Lambis  photo Marios Lambis
 Peter Lownds  photo Peter Lownds
 Lewis MacDonald  photo Lewis MacDonald
 Nikita McNeill  photo Nikita McNeill
 Brian O’Neill photo Brian O’Neill
 Orlando Pownall QC photo Orlando Pownall QC
 Sarah Przybylska  photo Sarah Przybylska
 Andrew Radcliffe QC photo Andrew Radcliffe QC
 Jonathan Rees QC photo Jonathan Rees QC
 Paul Renteurs  photo Paul Renteurs
 Ben Rich  photo Ben Rich
 Robert Rinder  photo Robert Rinder
 Fiona Robertson  photo Fiona Robertson
 Laura Stephenson  photo Laura Stephenson
 Alexandra Tampakopoulos  photo Alexandra Tampakopoulos
 Vivienne Tanchel  photo Vivienne Tanchel
 Christopher Ware  photo Christopher Ware
 David Whittaker  photo David Whittaker
 Peter Wright QC photo Peter Wright QC
 Gudrun Young  photo Gudrun Young
Senior Clerk : 1