No5 Barristers' Chambers

Crime Department

Midlands (Bar)
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No5 Barristers' Chambers retains its reputation as a leading set for criminal work on the Midlands Circuit, housing a strong bench of highly regarded barristers who regularly act for both the prosecution and the defence. Members are experienced in the handling of cases involving serious crimes such as homicides, sexual offences and corporate manslaughter. Additional areas of expertise for the team include criminal frauds and terrorism cases. Instructing solicitors praise No5 as "a top-quality set."

Client service: "The clerks are always totally organised and prepared to go the extra mile to assist." Practice Director of the Crime and Regulatory group Andrew Trotter is "an excellent clerk - always approachable, friendly and very clear about counsel's availability, fees and time frames. This makes for a very professional but friendly working relationship."


Adrian Keeling QC

Highlighted for his strategic approach to heavyweight drugs and homicide cases. He also has significant experience of handling fraud cases. He frequently acts for both the prosecution and the defence.

Strengths: "He has an absolutely fantastic manner and he glides through a court case like a swan on water. He is a fantastic jury advocate." "A very good problem-solver." "Adrian is a first-class barrister, who has an innate sense for the right tactical approach to a case and a magical touch with juries."


Antonie Muller

Respected junior who prosecutes and defends in serious criminal matters. He handles homicide offences as well as firearms, drugs and sexual offences.
Strengths: "He is a robust and able barrister who is adept at fighting his corner, easy to get on with and has a good sense of humour."


Brian Dean

Skilled senior junior with the ability to handle a wide range of criminal matters, including murder, drugs and gang violence. He is also well known for his expertise in financial crime matters.
Strengths: "He is confident and a good advocate."


Daniel Oscroft

Junior who attracts praise for his ability in criminal cases. He offers further experience in cases concerning proceeds of crime and regulatory issues.
Strengths: "A good advocate who will stand his ground against a judge."


David Mason QC

An esteemed all-rounder who has significant experience of handling heavyweight criminal cases. He is particularly well regarded for his work in infant death, child cruelty and murder cases and he receives accolades for his skill in matters involving complex medical expert testimony.
Strengths: "A brilliant jury advocate - he has a very persuasive manner. He knows the law and how to cross-examine in sensitive criminal cases without alienating the jury." "He has a keen eye for detail and is meticulous in his preparation."


Harpreet Singh Sandhu

Has expertise in heavyweight criminal cases such as those involving rape and murder. He is a Grade 4 CPS prosecutor and has experience handling multi-handed matters. He also has expertise in dealing with drugs conspiracies and violent offences. He is noted for his sensitive handling of vulnerable defendants.
Strengths: "He is a polished advocate and people have a lot of confidence in him." "He is a class act and has a calmness and authority beyond his years."
Recent work: Acted as junior counsel in the prosecution of a man charged with soliciting the murder of his first wife and with murdering his second wife.


John O'Higgins

An accomplished junior who has acted in a vast number of cases, including those concerning homicide, serious violence, sexual offences and fraud. He regularly acts for both the prosecution and the defence.
Strengths: "Very calm, measured and experienced. He is a tough opponent."
Recent work: Acted for the prosecution in R v Ashton & Others, a case concerning a 15-year-old boy who was lured to a flat by three teenagers where they detained him for a number of hours and subjected him to a horrifying catalogue of humiliating assaults which amounted to torture.


Jonas Hankin QC

Silk who provides expertise in complex criminal cases. He has developed a particular niche in infant and child murder cases involving complex expert evidence. His practice takes in cases requiring sophisticated analysis of pathological evidence.
Strengths: "He is very skilled in making sure experts deliver information to juries in an accessible way." "He has a precise style of advocacy."


Mark Heywood QC

Versatile silk offering considerable experience prosecuting and defending serious criminal proceedings. He maintains a broad practice that comprises work on cases concerning murder, fraud and sexual offences. He also has considerable experience handling drug-trafficking cases.
Strengths: "Practical and thorough."


Martin Liddiard

Experienced practitioner who regularly acts as prosecution and defence counsel. His practice spans the full ambit of criminal law, with noted expertise in drug-related offences, commercial fraud and violent and sexual offences.


Matthew Brook

Experienced in the handling of both prosecution and defence work. He is regularly instructed in serious drug supply and trafficking cases and cases involving undercover police officers.
Strengths: "He exercises very good judgement. He has a relentlessness about him - he's very persistent and keeps refining things to make sure he presents his cases as effectively as he can."


Michael Burrows QC

Respected silk who regularly handles a broad variety of complex criminal cases. He has experience of acting for both the prosecution and defence and is regularly instructed in serious cases involving sexual offences, drug trafficking and murder.
Strengths: "Brilliant at prosecuting multi-handed cases. He is just very clever and methodical." "He has a real gravitas in court and is a go-to for top-level cases."


Michael Duck QC

Highly regarded practitioner who regularly acts as prosecution and defence in serious criminal cases. He has noted expertise in fraud and organised crime with a strong track record in high-profile criminal cases.
Strengths: "A brilliant jury advocate. He is good at working out a strategy when faced with complex forensic evidence."


Michelle Heeley QC

Well-regarded silk who provides experienced prosecution and defence counsel across a broad range of high-profile matters. She has expert knowledge of criminal fraud, drug trafficking, rape, murder and other serious criminal offences. She has significant expertise in dealing with vulnerable witnesses.
Strengths: "She is very detail-oriented, and her strength in part derives from her command of the material."


Samantha Forsyth

Noted for her expertise in defending sexual offence cases, including those involving gang rapes, the sexual abuse of children and organised paedophile rings. Her broad practice also encompasses other serious criminal matters such as attempted murder and infanticide.
Strengths: "A force to be reckoned with."


Tim Pole

Accomplished Crown Court practitioner with specialism in cases concerning motoring and regulatory crime. Health and safety prosecutions and confiscations form a particular area of focus.
Strengths: "He is a fantastic and very charismatic barrister. A great jury advocate - he is superb in his presentation and has fantastic client handling skills."
Recent work: Successfully represented a defendant charged with death by dangerous driving.