DEPARTMENT PROFILE

2 Bedford Row

Crime

21 ranked barristersBand 1London (Bar)UK Bar 2021 View ranking table
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''Home to highly skilled and dedicated barristers," 2 Bedford Row has long had a standing in the top rank of criminal sets. It is regularly involved in high-profile cases across the full spectrum of criminal law and has practitioners, instructed both for the prosecution and defence, who have particular expertise in dealing with complex defences including insanity. Peers say of the individuals here that they are "fantastic prosecutors and defenders" who are of "excellent calibre." Testament to the set's standing, it maintains a team of barristers acting in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Client service:

"The clerking service is of a high standard, and there is a clear line of communication open between instructing solicitors and barristers at all times." The clerks are "amenable and organised and keep a good grasp on matters." Senior clerk John Grimmer is praised as a "legend" who is "the archetypal and ultimate clerk." Fellow clerk Joe Martin is commended for being "absolutely fantastic."

Strengths:

Alastair Smith
"Thorough and considered, he is someone who fights hard for clients and keeps them involved and up to date. Instructing him is good because he is transparent and cooperative." "He assimilates complex material quickly and has an impeccable manner with clients."

Strengths:

Anand Beharrylal QC
"Anand's strengths are his charm and meticulous preparation. On his feet he is completely on top of his brief and completely unfazed even under pressure." "Diligent and knowledgeable, his attention to detail is second to none."

Strengths:

Andrew McGee
"Takes a sensible, pragmatic approach and achieves good outcomes for the client."

Strengths:

Ashraf Khan
"He's exceptionally talented and an extremely able barrister due to his grasp of the law and sensible approach to the jury. He can outshine leading silks on his day."

Strengths:

Brian Altman QC
Recently appointed as joint head of chambers, Altman is a leading counsel on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. His general crime practice comprises high-profile murder cases and terrorism work, as well as fraud matters. He also has particular expertise in dealing with police officer and misconduct cases.
"He is an absolutely top silk and is very determined." "Fearless in his approach to cases." "A real class act who displays huge attention to detail."
Recent work: Prosecuted the killing of PC Andrew Harper in Reading, who died after being dragged behind a car while trying to apprehend suspects.

Strengths:

Charles Langley
A well-regarded barrister, praised for his advocacy skills and expert knowledge. He acts in serious crime cases and is often to be seen in the Court of Appeal. Cases relating to murder and nationwide drugs conspiracies form part of his full caseload.
"A man with a great presence in court. He is balanced, measured and very charming." "Charles is an excellent and persuasive advocate who builds up a strong rapport with the client." "He is a brilliant lawyer whose command of legal principles and case law is second to none."
Recent work: Successfully acted for a defendant in a five-handed murder case involving issues of joint enterprise.

Strengths:

Christine Agnew QC
A highly regarded silk with a vast criminal practice who prosecutes and defends the gravest criminal matters such as murder, manslaughter and serious sexual offences. She is well regarded by market sources for her excellent manner with clients, as well as for being a good tactician. Agnew is noted for her strength in dealing with sensitive cases and vulnerable defendants.
"A splendid barrister." "She is excellent to work with, gets on brilliantly with clients and is a really good jury advocate."
Recent work: Defended a mother charged with the murder of her three-month-old baby. The case involved sensitive psychiatric issues.

Strengths:

Craig Rush
Acclaimed criminal junior with a strong history of defending complex cases. He is particularly adept at handling privately funded criminal matters such as those involving homicide or firearms. He is also highlighted for his expertise in domestic violence, blackmail and international gang-related cases.
"A very confident courtroom performer and a 'man of the people' kind of barrister." "He is a polished performer."
Recent work: Successfully ran the defence of insanity in the case of a mother who killed her child during a psychotic episode following post-natal depression.

Strengths:

Dean George QC
"He is highly intelligent, able and charming."

Strengths:

Ian Stern QC
"Impressive advocate with a measured style and delicate touch." "One of the smoothest barristers you will come across."

Strengths:

Jacqueline Carey
"Has a calm and measured style of advocacy." "Brilliant and polished in court," she is "skilled in both prosecution and defence, and a good cross-examiner."

Strengths:

Jim Sturman QC
Specialises in defending high-profile individuals facing serious allegations and attracts high praise for both his client-handling skills and his presence in court. He often handles sexual offences cases such as indecent assault and serious criminal matters such as murder, assault and death by dangerous driving. Sturman further has experience of dealing with offences pertaining to the dark web.
"A heavyweight silk and one of the go-to barristers at the Criminal Bar."
Recent work: Secured acquittals for attempted murder, GBH and Section 20 for a wealthy businessman who shot a trespasser in the back having chased a gang of youths off his land.

Strengths:

Kieran Vaughan QC
A prominent defence barrister with expertise in major criminal matters including drugs smuggling, murder and attempted murder cases. He is noted for his capability in handling offences arising from multinational investigations into organised crime. Vaughan further maintains a practice acting in Northern Ireland and recently handled a case before the Court of Appeal in Belfast.
"A great court advocate of fierce intelligence who has an exacting eye for detail." "One of the most accomplished criminal silks around, he has unbelievable judgement. He can change gear in an instant to overwhelm his opponent, is fantastic with clients and can always see the wood from the trees in a case."
Recent work: Successfully defended Yosef Ahmed in what was known as the 'Regent's Park stabbing' case. Ahmed was the only defendant in the case to be acquitted of murder.

Strengths:

Louise Sweet QC
"A very tough cross-examiner with good judgement." "She is a determined advocate with an empathetic manner towards clients and juries alike." "She is very straight with clients when difficult discussions need to take place, but she never alienates them."

Strengths:

Mark Milliken-Smith QC
Handles all manner of criminal matters, and is an expert in serious crime including manslaughter, drugs and sexual offences cases. His recent work includes acting in organised crime related matters. Milliken-Smith frequently represents high-profile figures, including politicians, athletes and professionals.
"A highly intelligent and practical barrister who is an excellent communicator and has an easy manner."
Recent work: Acted in R v Colin Garrod & Andrew McVicar, a case concerning manslaughter arising out of a faked robbery designed to cover the drug activities of organised criminals in Essex.

Strengths:

Nick James
"Nick is an intelligent and pragmatic lawyer." "Passionate about his clients' cases, he will fight hard and make himself available to discuss matters at a moment’s notice. He has an excellent manner with clients in what can be extremely emotional circumstances."

Strengths:

Samuel Magee
"Extremely hard-working, diligent and confident." "An exceptionally eloquent and effective advocate whose written work is exceptional."

Strengths:

Shauna Ritchie
"Gets to grips with the meatiest of cases well. Nothing daunts her."

Strengths:

Stan Reiz QC
A noteworthy new silk who routinely acts in organised crime cases involving drugs importation. His practice also includes murder and manslaughter cases amidst the usual diet of general criminal work. 
"A calm and charismatic counsel who has a strong work ethic and a fantastic manner with clients."

Strengths:

Stephen Vullo QC
"Has a great grasp of expert evidence and knows how to cross-examine in difficult cases." "Inexorable in his preparation of cases and the presentation of them."

Strengths:

Tracy Ayling QC
A focused criminal practitioner who both prosecutes and defends. In silk she has handled some of the highest-profile serious sex and murder cases in the UK. By way of example, she appeared as leading defence counsel in Operation Bullfinch – a complex and widely reported case concerning an Oxford gang of Asian men grooming and abusing very young girls. She is well known for her specialist skill in the cross-examination of very young and vulnerable witnesses., "Exceptional and has a very good grasp of the law. She has wonderful courtroom manner."
Recent work: Defended a woman accused of murder by stabbing. The case involved the loss of control defence.

Crime Department

2 Bedford Row

firm
Department location

2 Bedford Row

London

Greater London

UK

WC1R 4BU

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Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)

London (Bar)

Crime


Anand Beharrylal QC
Band 6
Brian Altman QC
Band 1
Christine Agnew QC
Band 2
Dean George QC
Band 6
Ian Stern QC
Band 4
Jim Sturman QC
Band 1