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The set offers considerable expertise in the prosecution and defence of complex and unusual matters concerning UK and international criminal law. Its members often handle politically motivated charges, protest crime and high-profile criminal appeals to the Privy Council. They recently advised major London firms representing survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire on the potential criminal liability of both corporate parties and the public authorities involved. Sources say: "Whenever a case involves a really tricky point of law where there are crossovers with other areas of law, Matrix is first choice."
Client service: “Matrix has an extremely good clerking team.” Paul Venables leads the criminal law team and is a prominent figure with an extensive practice area network.
Adrian Waterman QC
Strengths: "He was instrumental in identifying the best strategy in a high-profile trial, with a client who was quite emotional. He made very powerful arguments in court, which were very effective."
Alex Bailin QC
Strengths: "Just fantastic at everything;" "very accomplished in numerous courts, with ability spanning a wide variety of different litigation settings." "He provides answers to complex legal questions almost instantly. He has great judgement and tactical skill."
Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh
Strengths: "I've worked with lots of excellent juniors but have never seen anything like Blinne: she's absolutely astonishing. She operates at a completely different level to anyone else I've ever worked with."
Clare Montgomery QC
An excellent advocate with experience of both defending and prosecuting. Interviewees praise her for her client care and no-nonsense approach to demanding cases. She is a noted criminal appellate lawyer and has further expertise in extradition work. She regularly appears in complex cases which have international elements, as well as in public law and due process cases both for and against the Government.
Strengths: “Very experienced and knowledgeable, she gives firm, clear, practical advice.” "Without question, she is a star deserving of every accolade.”
Recent work: Acted in the prosecution of two paratroopers for historic murder in Northern Ireland.
Danny Friedman QC
Strengths: "Professorial: very cerebral, clever, committed and on top of his brief. He puts in the midnight hours, never wings it, and can be relied upon to come up with great ideas."
Strengths: "Highly intelligent and capable, and a very, very hard worker."
Ken Macdonald QC
A former Director of Public Prosecutions with vast experience of handling domestic and international crime cases. Macdonald attracts praise from interviewees for his formidable advocacy. He frequently assists clients in strategically liaising with prosecution authorities.
Strengths: "Incisive and collaborative, he offers clients a very strategic view built on his experience as a leading criminal defence practitioner of many years' standing.” “He is a supreme tactician.”
Recent work: Successfully appealed on behalf of three Friends of the Earth anti-fracking protesters against a sentence of imprisonment for an obstructive but peaceful protest on the highway.
Mark Summers QC
Strengths: "His attention to detail is just phenomenal. Every single last ounce of the material is dealt with. He is unflappable and is very effective on pre-charge work."
Matthew Ryder QC
After concluding his mandate as Sadiq Khan's Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, Ryder is now fully back in practice. He is a well-regarded expert in all aspects of digital surveillance and digital offences and is also a noted expert on police powers.
Strengths: “A really effective, low-key silk who gets important points across in a very understated manner.” "He is a powerful advocate."
Recent work: Acted as leading counsel in a high-profile case on bulk surveillance by UK authorities. Ryder successfully represented a range of international NGO claimants.
Tim Owen QC
Has a practice encompassing the full spectrum of criminal law. Owen also has extensive experience of handling confiscation, regulatory and fraud matters. He regularly appears before the Supreme Court.
Strengths: "One of the biggest legal brains at the Criminal Bar. He’s very forceful when he has to be and stands up for both professional and lay clients - he will not be intimidated by any judge."
Recent work: Appealed Hong Kong police inspector Wong Cho Shing’s conviction for leading an assault on demonstrators during the 2014 Occupy democracy protests at the Court of Appeal of Hong Kong.