- Serious and Heavyweight Crime
- Large-Scale Fraud
- Serious Sexual Crime
- Drugs Conspiracies
- Election Fraud
- International Crime
Summary of Practice:
A heavy criminal practice with a predominance of defence work. In recent years he has concentrated on murder and fraud cases although he has undertaken cases involving serious sexual crime, drug importation and conspiracies as well as election fraud. He is experienced in conducting high profile cases. He is licensed to receive instructions direct from members of the public.
Member of the Panel of Advocates at the Internaional Criminal Court
Head of Chambers (9 Bedford Row) from 1999 to 2016
Chairman of Head of Chambers Committee England and Wales, 2005 -2012
Recorder of the Crown Court 1995-2005
Bencher, Gray’s Inn since 2000
Former member of The General Council of the Bar
Former Secretary of the Criminal Bar Association of England and Wales
Criminal Bar Association
International Bar Association
European Criminal Bar Association
Fraud Lawyers Association
Association of Commonwealth Lawyers
Association of Military Court Advocates
Lincoln College, Oxford
College of Law, London
Rugby and Theatre
Areas of Practice
Quotes from Directories
Legal 500 (2021): “A very impressive and eloquent trial advocate. His advocacy is first class and he has a wonderful manner with the jury. He is a very commanding presence in court and his ability to distil complex legal and factual issues rapidly, succinctly and persuasively is one of his very best attributes.”
Chambers UK (2021): “Great at getting on with juries, he knows how to build a rapport with them”
Legal 500 (2020): “A superb defence silk at the top of his game.”
Chambers UK (2020): ” He has a wealth of experience and is strategic, savvy and has a very pleasing manner in front of the jury”.
Legal 500 (2018): “His ability enables him to make the job look easy.”
Legal 500 2017: “He has a devastating technique in cross examination and disarming charm”
Legal 500 2016: “A veteran of murder cases”
Chambers UK, 2016: “Offers pragmatic legal advice and demonstrates prowess in defending individuals faced with serious criminal charges including murder.”
Strengths: “A doyen of the Criminal Bar who is loved by solicitors and who is able to charm jurors with his easy style”
“He works incredibly hard and is really effective in court. He is very eminent”
Recent work: “Acted for the defendant in a joint enterprise trial regarding the attempted murder of a rival gang member using a firearm.”
Chambers UK 2015: “Regularly instructed in murder trials, often involving gang violence. He is also experienced in fraud and corruption cases”.
Expertise: “He is a really polished performer. He has got many years of experience and it shows, he gets to his feet and people sit up and listen”
“He is just brilliant at cross-examination and fantastic with clients”
Legal 500, 2015: “Recommended for defending murder charges”
Legal 500 2014: “Recognised for his experience handling murder and fraud cases”
Chambers UK 2013: “Described as having an “ability to extract the answers that really matter”.
Legal 500 2013: “His cross examination skills are described as ‘formidable’ ”
Notable Recent Cases
R v F (October 2019): Client tried for Murder, the allegation being that he strangled his partner before stabbing her through the heart numerous times in the bath. Her body was only discovered three weeks later. He pleaded not guilty but changed his plea just before he was about to give evidence. (Wolverhampton Crown Court)
R v U (September 2019): Defendant acquitted of Murder of a youth in a Brixton youth club. (Old Bailey)
R v A (2019): Defendant faced trial for the murder of a drug dealer who had been lured to his girlfriend’s home. (St Albans Crown Court)
R v BW (December 2018) Defended a head gamekeeper of a shooting estate in North Wales who was tried for manslaughter by reason of gross neglience. A semi automatic shotgun that was carried in his vehicle went off, killing another gamekeeper seated in the rear. The trial lasted several weeks. A retrial was ordered when the jury failed to agree. Caernarfon Crown Court.
R v L (September to November 2018) Client faced charge of Conspiracy to cause GBH along with several others said to be members of a travellers’ community. A drugs deal with another such group went badly wrong which, late at night, led to an invasion of the second group’s camp where there were many women and children. It was claimed that L and his associates arrived brandishing and firing shotguns. One young man was shot at nearly point blank range.
R v LM (July to September 2018) Defended a young man charged with murder. He was said to be a member of a Manchester gang which hunted down members of a Moss Side gang and attacked them with knives. Serious injuries were sustained and one young man was killed. LM ran the defence of alibi. Manchester Crown Court.
R v O (Liverpool CC, February 2018). A dispute between rival drugs gangs in relation to a substantial importation which had gone missing, led to the victim being beaten, extensively tortured and then murdered. His mutilated body was found in a burned out car in the city. Client convicted of Assisting an Offender but was acquitted of Murder and Manslaughter.
R v M (Manchester CC, December 2017) M acquitted of Murder and Manslaughter after two week trial following a stabbing on the streets of Salford.
R v T (Isleworth CC, April 2017) Appeared for the first defendant in a seven handed case involving an allegation of ‘ reverse people smuggling’. Surprisingly, hundreds of people are smuggled out of the country every month, some to take up arms in the Middle East. It was alleged that T and others arranged for twice weekly batches of individuals to be transported across the channel. The investigation was conducted in the first place with undercover journalists from the Sun newspaper. The Jury was discharged after several weeks and, at the retrial, pleas were entered by the defendant which were acceptable to the Crown, thus reducing significantly the sentence he would otherwise have received on conviction.
R v B (Preston CC, March 2017) Defended a young man for murder and wounding with intent to cause GBH. He was a member of a county lines Liverpool drug dealing gang and was occupying a house of a couple of users who were encouraged to sell drugs for their own supplies. He was said to have attacked them one afternoon armed with a very substantial knife. The deceased received a considerable number of knife wounds to the back of his head and his back one or two going straight through his rib cage. The pathologist suggested that these blows must have been inflicted with severe force. The lady received knife wounds to her back as well as the back of her arm.
The defendant was acquitted of murder and wounding the lady with intent to cause GBH. He was convicted of manslaughter as an alternative to murder on the basis of lack of sufficient intent for murder.
R v W (Bulford Court Martial Centre, February 2017) Defended a soldier serving in Germany facing four charges of rape of his wife over a two year period. When giving evidence the lady in question made further claims involving many more allegations or rape, indecent assault and serious domestic violence.
The defendant was acquitted of all charges.
R v F (Bulford Court Martial Centre, 2016) Represented one of two soliders facing allegation of raping a female soldier seven years earlier in barracks in Germany. Immediatley after the incident both men were told they would not be prosecuted. Years later the complainant committed suicide and, at a subsquent coroner’s hearing claims were made about the incident which were picked up by the press. Following a newspaper campaign, the new Head of Service Prosecutions instituted a further investigation which led to the rearest of the soldiers and their trial taking place before a seven member board. Both soldiers were acquitted.
R v U (St Albans CC, 2015) Client acquitted of murder after a long trial in which several members of his family were tried for various offences against a vulnerable adult family member which took place over many years.
R v S (Sheffield CC, 2016) Client tried for murder, possession of firearms with intent, possession of class drugs with intent to supply and threats to kill. He was allegedly the ruthless leader of a drugs gang in central Sheffield. It was said that he and others armed themselves with shotguns and pistols with the intention of hunting down members of another gang. There followed a shootout late at night in a residential district of the city where one man was killed.
R v C (Liverpool CC, 2015) Represented Sicillian Sea Captain who pleaded guilty to having more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his body when arrested in charge of MV Quercianella, a ship carrying 11,000 tons of petroleum in the Manchester Ship Canal. He received a short suspended prison sentence.
R v S (Old Bailey, June 2014): Client aquitted of Attempted Murder following the allegation that he and three others set out to execute a rival from another gang. The victim was lured to an open location and, at a given signal, was approached by two men on a fast driven motorbike. They stopped and, at point blank range, one of them fired a gun several times into the man’s body. The case was withdrawn from the Jury at the conclusion of the prosecution case.
R v L (Liverpool Crown Court, 2014): One of seven youths charged with murder and, after an eight week trial, the only one to be acquitted.
R v W (Chester Crown Court, 2014): Wagner, a German national, was tried in respect of assisting an offender in the commission of murder. Over several weeks he was said to have assisted in building a brick and mortar tomb while preparations were being made for the execution of a french national living in Ellsmere Port and, after his death, in moving the body and shoring up the tomb. He was acquitted while two other were convicted of murder.
Other Significant Cases
Between 2008 and 2012, instructed by the DPP of Malawi to prosecute the Vice President of Malawi for a conspiracy to murder the President and High Treason by planning to overthrow the Government by murdering members of the cabinet. The trial took place in the High Court of Malawi sitting in Blantyre.
R v C (Old Bailey, 2012): The Defendant was acquitted of murder in a case in which the defendant was alleged to have shot a drug gang rival at point blank range on his doorstep.
R v T (Old Bailey, 2012): The client was acquitted of murder following a gang’s pursuit of a young man after an incident at a party.
R v W (Isle of Man 2010): Young woman convicted of manslaughter but acquitted of murder after stabbing boyfriend with ceremonial dagger.
R v D (Bradford Crown Court 2010): The Defendant was a young woman acquitted of murder following an allegation in which she was said to have been involved in a racially motivated attack on a young man.
R v S (Old Bailey 2005-2007): A number of defendants faced allegations of fraud and corruption in what became known as the Jubilee Line Case as it arose out of the construction of the most recent addition to the London Underground system. The case was extremely complex with tens of millions of pages of statements and exhibits. The case was halted after two years and the defendant acquitted on all counts.