John Black QC > 33 Chancery Lane > London, England > Lawyer Profile

33 Chancery Lane
33 Chancery Lane
John Black photo


Over many years John Black has maintained a distinctive specialist practice split between both prosecuting, defending and acting for corporates in very high-profile, complex and serious domestic and international criminal cases, which has led in recent times to him being heavily in demand to appear in multi-million pound corporate fraud, money laundering, corruption and murder cases in particular. He has also led in many civil fraud and tax cases in the Tax Tribunal and in the Chancery Division. John is particularly well known for his advocacy and advisory work in matters involving civil and criminal fraud, corruption and business crime, and the crossover between them in all types of courts and tribunals. He is able to undertake direct access instructions.

In recent years John has developed an international practice, which includes the provision of strategic and tactical advice to corporate and private clients in relation to civil and criminal proceedings. His current caseload includes clients in the United Kingdom, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Monaco. Over the last two years John has been appearing in extradition and corruption proceedings in the BVI. John is also instructed in several civil and criminal cases in the UK, as well as inquests.

John is particularly well known for his advocacy and advisory work in matters involving civil and criminal fraud, corruption and business crime, and the crossover between them in all types of courts and tribunals.  He combines his expert tactical advice, renowned advocacy skills, consummate case preparation and approachable style for every case, making him highly recommended and sought after by all who instruct him.

Throughout his career John has appeared in many murder cases in behalf of the prosecution and defence. These include high profile contract killings, gangland murders and multiple killings. John’s experience involves the use of accomplices, scientific evidence, jury tampering and complications, and specialised phone and cell site analysis. He also has experience of terrorist-related murders.  Over the years he has appeared in over 200 murder cases.

Current instructions include advising clients in the UK and Monaco in relation to criminal and civil fraud proceedings, as well as prosecuting corruption and murder cases in the BVI. John is also engaged in inquests in the UK and as an arbitrator in the Dubai International Arbitration Centre.

Recent instructions included advising and successfully representing a defendant in a multi-million pound corruption prosecution; representing the successful appellant individual in an appeal in the Tax Tribunal; and he has defended in two highly complex confiscation cases, prosecuted a UN Development Programme corruption case, represented the appellant in a civil case concerning the registration of classic cars, and defended a very high-profile traveller murder case.

Since taking silk, John has further developed his heavyweight practice in complex criminal work and civil work, especially those involving serious fraud and financial crime, cases in the Tax Tribunal, regulatory offences, murder, bribery and corruption, serious sexual offences, people-trafficking, large-scale drugs importations and multi-million pound confiscation proceedings.  Many of John’s cases have involved notorious defendants and attracted high levels of media publicity, and he enjoys a very successful track record of appellate advocacy.

John has developed particular expertise in dealing with cases involving issues of complex disclosure, jury tampering, accomplice evidence, offenders/defendants assisting in investigations and prosecutions, and complicated mental and psychological topics. 

John is regularly sought to provide highly effective and specialist advice on whether civil and criminal proceedings should be brought, evidence sufficiency and admissibility of evidence plus witness and defendant immunity.  He is increasingly instructed in cases of judicial review and inquests, and often represents professional third parties in connection with their disclosure obligations and legal professional privilege in criminal and civil cases.

In all cases John is renowned for his careful and conscientious approach to every case, his ability to master and marshal large volumes of documentation, his witness handling skills, and his receptive management of teams of instructing lawyers, junior counsel and officers.  John is also highly adept at dealing with cases involving cultural sensitivities, international practice and procedure, and defendants and witnesses from ethnic minority backgrounds.

John is also very familiar in dealing with the complicated issues arising for both the defence and prosecution in confiscation hearings, having appeared in many cases concerning the various confiscation regimes of the Drug Trafficking and Offences Act 1986, the Criminal Justice Act 1988, the Drug Trafficking Act 1994, and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

John also specialises in extradition matters and in the legal aspects of the registration of Classic cars and their authenticity.


Called 1975; Silk 1998.