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A distinguished set that handles general crime, as well as a broad range of matters relating to fraud, business crime and regulatory breaches. Members of the chambers prosecute and defend, and handle both publicly and privately funded work. They are expert in everything from murder, drug supply, and terrorism cases to corporate manslaughter and serious sexual offences. The set has a long history of being a recruiting ground for Treasury Counsel, who prosecute the most serious criminal cases at the Central Criminal Court, and is noted for its increasingly large private prosecution practice. It recently handled the Allseas case, which is reported to be the largest ever privately prosecuted fraud. Other cases of note include the successful defence of leading feminist and anti-racist campaigner Linda Bellos OBE following a private prosecution brought against her. Sources describe the set as being “a very impressive chambers with an exceptionally high quality of barristers” and acknowledge it as “one of the leading sets in the UK.”
Client service: “I have always been impressed at how the clerks will seek to go out of their way to ensure that appropriate counsel is allocated to any particular case.” “The service is second to none in every way – these clerks are at the top of their profession.” Julian Campbell leads the clerking team and is supported by Ben Heaviside, senior practice clerk.
Brian O'Neill QC
A strong silk who handles both prosecution and defence work. His practice spans a broad range of criminal matters, and he has undoubted expertise in serious and complex cases. O'Neill has further significant experience in related areas such as business crime and professional discipline.
Strengths: “Brian is very well known for his private prosecution practice, and he's a fantastic one-stop shop for advice in that regard.” “His strengths lie in his encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and procedure, and his down-to-earth approach even when handling the most serious of matters.”
Recent work: Prosecuted a case where an international jewel thief was convicted of murdering two men over stolen watches and a set of Napoleonic coins.
A well-respected junior with a broad criminal defence practice. Well versed in advising and representing professional individuals facing criminal charges, he attracts praise for his advocacy style and his client-handling skills.
Strengths: “Craig is an exceptionally astute advocate. He is very responsive and inspires confidence in clients. When you instruct him you know you are getting a first-class service. He has the quality needed to persevere in the most difficult cases.”
Recent work: Represented A.D. Hurst and Alan Hurst, who faced prosecution relating to the death of an employee who was crushed under a bus.
Jonathan Laidlaw QC
An impressive and highly regarded silk with over 15 years of Treasury Counsel experience, who now specialises only in private defence work spanning the areas of general crime, business crime and regulatory work, among others. He represents both individuals and companies in a vast range of complex criminal matters.
Strengths: “An exceptionally talented advocate who is brilliant with clients.” “Jonathan is absolutely at the top of his game. He is a superb advocate and first class in terms of the service he provides for both clients and solicitors. He offers in-depth analysis of all the issues that arise within the course of proceedings.”
Recent work: Represented Patrick Veitch, the country’s most successful racing tipster, who was charged and acquitted of counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
Jonathan Rees QC
A highly regarded and experienced practitioner who in his time as Treasury Counsel was entrusted to prosecute highly complex and challenging cases, including the Sarah Sands murder. He now has a mixed practice defending and prosecuting serious criminal cases included terrorism-related matters and historic sexual offences.
Strengths: “Jonathan has an impressive ability to master voluminous and complicated information and present it in a highly persuasive manner. He is completely unflappable and extremely jury-friendly. Quite simply one of the most impressive jury advocates out there.”
Recent work: Prosecuted in R v Delroy Forrester, a murder trial concerning the death of an 11-year-old that focused on expert psychiatric evidence.
A well-regarded junior who is noted for his broad criminal defence practice, which incorporates general crime, business crime and fraud. He has recently been instructed in slavery, sexual assault and ‘rogue trader’ prosecutions.
Strengths: “He is nothing short of brilliant and his work ethic is second to none. He can approach any offence from murder to fraud and does so with equal brilliance which never falters.”
Recent work: Represented an eBay trader facing allegations of the illegal sale of fur coats made from endangered species.
Martin Hicks QC
A talented silk with a broad criminal practice that takes in both domestic and international cases. He has appeared in some of the most high-profile trials of recent years and has extensive experience of handling serious murder and drug-related cases.
Strengths: “Martin gives clients the Rolls-Royce treatment, and is always my first choice for anything tricky. They love him because he is very charming and reassuring, and he gets great results.”
Recent work: Acted for Mariwan Fatah and another, who were charged with running an illegal tobacco factory imported from the continent.
Oliver Glasgow QC
An up-and-coming silk who impresses as an “immaculate prosecutor” and has a strong reputation for his detailed preparation and exceptional advocacy. He specialises in complicated and serious quasi-criminal and regulatory work, and has recently been instructed in various high-profile prosecutions.
Strengths: "An immaculate prosecutor." “His work rate is phenomenal. He turns papers around in an amazingly speedy way – he's excellent.”
Recent work: Prosecuted in R v Demario Williams & Others, a case where the defendants were prosecuted for a gang retaliation killing.
Orlando Pownall QC
A big-name silk who, following a successful tenure as Treasury Counsel, now specialises in representing individuals charged in the most high-profile and significant cases.
Strengths: “A superb silk and one who adopts a determined approach to defending clients' rights in the face of serious and complex allegations.”
Recent work: Represented Ouissem Medouni who was charged with the murder of a French nanny, a case that has captured significant media attention.
Peter Wright QC
An impressive practitioner who attracts praise for his determination and courtroom skills, and is extremely experienced in both prosecution and defence matters. His work involves the full gamut of serious crime and takes in terrorism, robbery and murder cases amongst others.
Strengths: “Hard-working, focused and never gives anything less than his best."
Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC
An accomplished silk who attracts praise for her private criminal and heavyweight fraud practice. A former Treasury Counsel, she now specialises in defending individuals against allegations of serious crime. She is praised for her "outstanding" advocacy skills and her approachability, and noted for her sensitive handling of vulnerable clients in serious harassment cases.
Strengths: “Sallie is loved by all and feared by many, and is counsel of choice for all if you are lucky enough to be able to obtain her services. You simply couldn't ask for more.”
Recent work: Defended Garron Helm against allegations of membership of a proscribed right-wing organisation that had plotted to kill a Labour MP.
A leading junior who prosecutes and defends serious criminal matters. She has experience of handling a number of high-profile criminal matters including murders and people trafficking cases.
Strengths: “She is very well prepared, provides prompt and detailed advice and is extremely able in her advocacy. Clients respond well to her.”
Recent work: Prosecuted a man for murder following a campaign of moped robberies for Rolex watches, which ended with the target of a robbery being stabbed to death.
An acclaimed junior with a strong track record in high-profile and serious cases. He is particularly adept at handling matters of homicide, serious violence and firearms offences. His recent cases have included matters relating to attempted murder, robbery and manslaughter.
Strengths: “Very measured, good on client care and tactically aware.” “He is very confident, sensible and robust when needed.”
Recent work: Defended Daniel Ife in a complex and high-profile case that concerned allegations of manslaughter by the defendant, his mother, father and five siblings of their own brother.