DEPARTMENT PROFILE

25 Bedford Row

Crime

28 ranked barristersBand 2London (Bar)UK Bar 2021 View ranking table
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A dedicated criminal defence set with a "great reputation for fighting the fight." Its members regularly appear in reported murder, manslaughter, sex and terrorism cases, among others. They are regulars at the Old Bailey and Court of Appeal, and are particularly known for their involvement in multi-handed murder trials, including those relating to young offenders. Commentators say of 25 Bedford Row: "It undertakes heavy criminal work and has some outstanding barristers."

Client service:

Guy Williams is the director of clerking and Emma Makepeace is the deputy director. "The clerks are very friendly and efficient." They provide "an excellent service and invariably suggest suitable counsel for the level and complexity of the case."

Strengths:

Adrian Eissa QC
"A good tactician" who is "diligent and painstaking. He has an easy way with the jury."

Recent work:

Aisling Byrnes
An excellent junior who attracts praise from market observers for her handling of factually sensitive and emotive cases, and is noted for her sympathetic dealings with vulnerable clients. She focuses her practice on all areas of serious crime and has particular expertise in sexual offences and domestic violence cases. Byrnes has recently been instructed in serious cases relating to historic abuse, grievous bodily harm and child abduction.
"Thorough and extremely persuasive before a jury." "She is excellent on her feet and has the ability to adapt to a changing situation."
Recent work: Acted in R v Stang, which concerned an entrepreneur charged with rape following a party.

Strengths:

Arlette Piercy
A highly experienced and trusted junior, praised as a "real fighter." She engages exclusively in criminal defence cases, especially those relating to serious violence such as murder, attempted murder and armed robbery. Gang-related crimes in particular have become a feature of her recent practice.
"A persuasive advocate." "Tenacious in her defence of clients and very well prepared, Arlette is never afraid to stand her ground in a multi-handed cases."
Recent work: Acted in R v Robert Powell and Others, a case concerning conspiracy to commit armed robbery and GBH. The victim was a member of the travelling community and was stabbed and killed by multiple attackers.

Strengths:

Ben Smitten
A sought-after junior who acts exclusively as a criminal defence advocate and adviser in murder, large-scale fraud and serious organised crime cases. He also frequently defends UK nationals charged with criminal offences in other jurisdictions. Smitten mainly accepts privately funded cases unless the matter is of public importance, such as the inquest and criminal proceedings arising from the Hillsborough stadium disaster.
"Definitely a future silk. He is technically brilliant, has a very nice court manner and is great at client care."
Recent work: Defended in a multi-handed murder case. It was alleged that the defendant was involved in a joint-enterprise stabbing and murder of a man.

Strengths:

Beth O'Reilly
"Admired for her ability to get on with her clients, she takes on difficult situations and defuses them." "She is a good choice for heavyweight and high-publicity criminal matters."

Strengths:

Courtenay Griffiths QC
A highly regarded silk with an impressive practice spanning both domestic and international criminal law. He is an expert in serious violent crime matters and has handled numerous homicide and terrorism cases. Griffiths has an impressive reputation for dealing with joint enterprise crimes, and has recently handled a number of cases with political aspects attached to them.
"A fabulous jury advocate with masses of experience."
Recent work: Acted in a murder case arising from a gang conflict in which two out of three of the defendants were armed with guns.

Strengths:

David Wood
A well-respected junior who is often instructed in crime and regulatory matters. He has experience of handling serious crime cases such as murder, theft and drug-related matters.        
"An excellent advocate who fights points in a persuasive and tenacious fashion."
Recent work: Acted for one of the defendants in R v Eldar Iliazi, which concerned a fatal stabbing outside Turnpike Lane tube station.

Strengths:

Dominic Thomas
"He has a dry, witty manner in court and is a joy to watch."

Strengths:

Emma Akuwudike
"An extremely engaging and effective advocate who has a great eye for detail and is very good at appreciating the bigger picture." "She has a fantastic rapport with the jury, and is very clever."

Strengths:

George Carter-Stephenson QC
A well-regarded silk with a "huge intellect" who specialises as a defence advocate in criminal, regulatory and fraud matters. He has vast experience across a broad spectrum of criminal matters, including complex murder and conspiracy to commit murder cases. Sources praise him for his advocacy style and tremendous courtroom presence. , "Excellent on his feet and a phenomenal worker." "He's tenacious" and "commands huge respect."
Recent work: Acted in R v Curtis Moyse, in which the defendant was charged with rape, murder and arson. The case involved issues of diminished responsibility.

Strengths:

Jeremy Dein QC
An incredibly capable defence practitioner who specialises in serious matters including murder, terrorism and organised crime. He is often entrusted with high-profile cases that have attracted significant media attention. Dein has significant appellate experience and is known for his sure touch when dealing with vulnerable defendants with mental illness. , “Calm, thorough and a man who takes his cases extremely seriously. Clients end up eating out of the palm of his hand."
Recent work: Acted in R v Kakaire, an attempted murder case arising out of a stabbing spree in north London.

Strengths:

Jo Sidhu QC
"He is a very experienced crime advocate who explains things clearly."

Strengths:

John Cooper QC
"Incredibly good with clients and excellent at getting on the right side of both judge and jury."

Strengths:

Laurie-Anne Power
"An extremely able advocate who has a confident and clear grasp of the law." "Her judgement is excellent."

Strengths:

Lisa Wilson
"The complete package of industry, charm, talent, dedication and fearlessness."

Strengths:

Melanie Simpson QC
"Melanie is very down to earth and comes across well because the jury feels she's one of them."

Strengths:

Michael Neofytou
"Produces beautifully pitched closing speeches - he always has the ammunition and deploys his points brilliantly." "Very good with clients, he's charming and has shrewd judgement."

Strengths:

Nicola Howard QC
"A thorough and efficient barrister who is friendly but tough." "She is a very good jury advocate who adopts a down-to-earth, clear and common-sense approach."

Strengths:

Osman Osman
"Excellent with clients and tenacious in court."

Strengths:

Paul Hynes QC
An "unflappable" barrister who is regularly instructed in very serious, complex and high-profile criminal matters. He focuses his practice on criminal defence and regularly appears in heavyweight crime cases including those relating to terrorism, firearms and violent criminal offences. Interviewees say he cross-examines with "surgical precision."
"Paul has a razor-sharp mind and is able to recall the most minute detail instantaneously. He is extremely articulate and calm both in court and in conference with the client. His advice to the client is always spot on, and his cross-examination of key witnesses is both thorough and effective. He has an amazing grasp of legal principles."
Recent work: Defended a 15 year old charged with the stabbing and murder of an 18 year old at a birthday party.

Strengths:

Paul Keleher QC
A silk highly experienced in all areas of crime, including in cases relating to terrorism, drug trafficking, fraud, serious violence and sexual abuse. He is regularly involved in efforts to advance the digitisation of the criminal justice system. Keleher is skilled at dealing with complex evidence and disclosure issues.
"Sharp-witted and an excellent performer before a jury." "A good and thoughtful tactician."
Recent work: Defended in R v Sidhu, where the defendant and co-defendant were charged with murder after a man was shot dead. The case involved extensive issues of bad character evidence.

Strengths:

Paul Mendelle QC
Respected and impressive silk with extensive experience of the most serious and high-profile criminal cases. He has handled numerous murder cases, including those relating to gangland warfare, and has also played a significant part in Operation Elveden. Sources say he has a "wealth of experience and is a real class act.", "Very smooth as an advocate and immensely experienced, he has a very soothing manner with the jury." "He is very meticulous and forensic in his approach and has huge gravitas in court."
Recent work: Represented the defendant in R v Abdirahman Abdullahi, where the client was accused of robbing his drug dealer at knife point and then proceeding to stab the victim to death.

Strengths:

Peter Doyle QC
"Very thorough and argues points of law immaculately."

Strengths:

Rudi Fortson QC
"His knowledge is unparalleled." "He is very bright indeed and extremely able."

Strengths:

Sebastian Gardiner
Has "a good eye for detail" and "excellent knowledge of the law." "Sebastian is able to master large amounts of information and always gets on top of the case, however extensive the material is."

Strengths:

Sheryl Nwosu
"Fabulous, charismatic and certainly on the money when it comes to putting together legal arguments and cross-examinations. She is very good with clients, and very engaging in court."

Strengths:

Simon Pentol QC
"A good old-fashioned criminal defence lawyer with great gravitas."

Recent work:

Tyrone Smith QC
An impressive silk who routinely acts in murder, manslaughter, drugs and all manner of other serious criminal cases. He is particularly noted for his skill in motor manslaughter matters, and is an expert in telecommunications evidence.
"A very fine silk whose judgement is spot-on every time." "He deals really well under pressure and is utterly unflappable."
Recent work: Acted in R v MK & Another, a murder case in which the defendant was alleged to have stabbed his new partner's ex-husband in the neck and torso 35 times. The case involved issues of self-defence and loss of control.

Crime Department

25 Bedford Row

firm
Department location

25 Bedford Row

London

Greater London

UK

WC1R 4HD

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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


Adrian Eissa QC
Band 6
Courtenay Griffiths QC
Band 1
George Carter-Stephenson QC
Band 1
Jeremy Dein QC
Band 1
Jo Sidhu QC
Band 3
John Cooper QC
Band 4