5 King's Bench Walk

Crime Department

London (Bar)
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A set with a strong reputation in a broad range of criminal matters, whose members are frequently sought out to handle the full spectrum of general criminal cases, such as those relating to murder, terrorism, sexual assault, and financial crime. Sources praise it as “a truly wonderful set” that has barristers who “prepare everything early and give huge confidence to clients.” Its capacity has been strengthened in recent times with the addition of a number of new members, among whom Anthony Orchard QC and Natasha Wong QC are significant arrivals. Recent instructions include the prosecution of four men for proposed terror attacks in various places in London, including Parliament and Westfield shopping centre.

Client service: “I find the clerks at 5KBW, especially Lee Hughes-Gage, professional, helpful and friendly. They will do all that they can to accommodate your requests, even at incredibly short notice or long distance.” “They are very down to earth, easy to deal with, and good at co-ordinating matters.” Lee Hughes-Gage is the senior clerk at the chambers.

Jonathan Higgs QC
An established criminal silk who specialises in offences of homicide, serious and organised criminal activity and cases that involve serious fraud, money laundering and revenue evasion. He has extensive experience before the Appellate Courts and is regularly instructed in high-profile criminal trials.
Strengths: “Clever, articulate and brilliant at legal argument."
Recent work: Represented a man charged with the double murder of a mother and daughter and the attempted murder of another family member in a house in Kent.

Jonathan Polnay
A leading junior who prosecutes the most serious and highly complex criminal cases. His practice covers the full range of criminal matters including sexual assaults, murders and other violent offences. He has substantial experience of handling private defence work.
Strengths: “Has extensive experience of how the criminal justice system operates in practice, particularly in relation to the processes used by law enforcement and the mechanics of the various powers available to law enforcement agencies. He has excellent judgement and is able to offer simple, but highly useful suggestions.”
Recent work: Defended an alleged hacker charged with a vast blackmail attempt on Apple.

Mark Heywood QC
The former First Senior Treasury Counsel, who is praised by commentators for his skilful prosecution style. In his role he undertakes only the most serious and complex cases, and as a result has vast experience of homicide, organised crime and terrorism cases, to name but a few. He is also experienced in handling appellate matters.
Strengths: “A truly class act and one of the very best at the Criminal Bar.” “He just has a way of reducing what are extremely complicated submissions into a really easy, digestible and understandable form. He is first-rate.”
Recent work: Prosecuted two extremists for the Islamic State plot to kill Mrs Theresa May, Prime Minister of the time.

Sarah Forshaw QC
A dedicated silk who has acted in all manner of serious cases including those relating to murders and drug importation offences. She is particularly renowned for her expertise in defending those charged with sexual offences, in particular historic sexual offences. Forshaw regularly handles cases concerning sexual assaults and gang rape, and regularly defends high net worth individuals.
Strengths: “Sarah is a real force to be reckoned with, and hugely respected in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal. She will always stand up for her client, often against skilled and determined opposition, given the seriousness of the cases in which she appears. Her refusal to back down is one of her greatest attributes. She is extremely dedicated and hard-working, which instils great confidence in her clients and solicitors alike.”
Recent work: Successfully defended Samuel Armstrong, a young man accused of rape and sexual assault of an intern in the Palace of Westminster following a late-night party.