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Chambers of Richard Pratt QC

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Ian Unsworth QC

Work 0151 242 0707
7 Harrington Street (Chambers of Richard Pratt QC)

Work Department



Ian Unsworth QC is cited by Chambers UK and the Legal 500 as a Leading Silk in the fields of Crime and Sports Law. In Chambers 2016, he was said to be, “extremely charming, so persuasive and immaculately prepared”, whilst the Legal 500 refer to his, “strong track record in prosecuting serious crime and fraud.” The directories have said that he is, “very thorough, well prepared and puts up a bloody good fight in court, ”

His practice is predominantly in serious and complex crime, sports law, and related areas requiring the expertise of a specialist advocate. He acts for prosecuting agencies and police forces across the UK and also offshore. He advises and represents individuals, companies, directors, athletes and sporting organisations. He has presented reports into the internal workings of major organisations.

Recent murder cases include the murder of Nicholas Robinson in Bristol (featured in a major Channel 4 series “The Murder Detectives”), the “Shallow Grave, Love Triangle Murder” in Nottingham, the murder of Sophie McDonald in Dawlish, Devon, the murder of Stephen Bennett in Liverpool, and the “Loved Ones murder” in Chester.

Described in Chambers UK as a Leader in the field of Sports Law and a Silk who,“has considerable expertise of anti-doping and concussion regulations. He continues to act for parties in a wide range of sporting disciplines and is particularly highly regarded for his work in rugby union” his recent cases include acting for Australian Cricketer James Faulkner and Team Sky Cyclist Jonathan Tiernan-Locke. He has appeared before the Court of Arbitration of Sport in Lausanne and the National Anti-Doping Panel.

Other recent instructions include advising Lloyds underwriters, a former senior officer of a “Big 4” accountancy/ audit firm and the Chairman of a major UK Exporting Company

Ian Unsworth QC is a Single Judicial Officer and Appeal Chairman for the Rugby Football Union and is a Judicial Officer for the RBS Six Nations Tournament. He was the Single Judicial Officer for the World Club Sevens 2014.

Areas of Practice and Notable Cases

Serious and Complex Crime
Before taking Silk, Ian Unsworth QC was a Category 4 Prosecutor, an A list Prosecutor for the Attorney-General and on the Serious Fraud A List. Since taking Silk he has appeared in numerous cases involving Murder, International Drugs Conspiracies, Gangland Warfare, Serious Fraud, Corruption and all categories of Heavy Crime. He is highly experienced in criminal cases with an international dimension and cross-border issues. He has advised offshore investigating agencies and appeared offshore.
His current workload includes cases involving Murder, Large Scale Drug Conspiracies, Money Laundering and MTIC Fraud. In 2013 Chambers and Parners described him as, “the next superstar of the Northern Circuit”. Legal 500 2015 ranked Ian Unsworth QC in Tier 1 of Leading Silks stating that “He has a strong track record in prosecuting and defending serious crime and fraud”
 Sports Law
Ian Unsworth QC advises and represents International Athletes, Sporting Organisations, Sports Management Companies, Professional Sports Men and Women and other elite sporting individuals. His knowledge of medical matters has meant that he has developed a keen interest in cases involving allegations of anti - doping as well as concussion.
He has appeared before Disciplinary and Regulatory Tribunals as well as the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.
He has represented various professional sportsmen and other individuals connected with sport in proceedings before the Crown Court. 

Regulatory cases include those relating to Environment, Health and Safety, Business, Innovation and Skills, Revenue and Customs as well as Transport. His clients have included Government organisations, private individuals, small, medium and large organisations, FTSE 100 blue chip corporate bodies.
In Disciplinary Proceedings Ian Unsworth QC has acted in cases involving professionals both from commerce and cross-over areas of sport.


Called 1992, Lincoln’s Inn; QC 2010; appointed as Category 4 prosecuting counsel 2003; licensed as an advocate on the Isle of Man 2008; appointed to the SFO QC Panel 2010 (formerly a member of the SFO A List from 2006).


RFU chairman of disciplinary appeals panel.

Regional Bar : Northern Circuit


Within: Crime – Leading silks

Ian Unsworth QC - 7 Harrington StreetA specialist in criminal matters.

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Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing

Within: Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing – Leading silks

Ian Unsworth QC - 7 Harrington StreetHighly recommended for sports law matters.

Within: Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing

7 Harrington Street’s regulatory practice prosecutes and defends across a range of health and safety cases, including corporate manslaughter trials and breaches of regulations. Ian Unsworth QC has particular expertise in representing companies and individuals from the field of professional sport.

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