DEPARTMENT PROFILE

QEB Hollis Whiteman

Crime

33 ranked barristersBand 1London (Bar)UK Bar 2021 View ranking table
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Ranked Barristers
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Ranked Barristers

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An outstanding criminal defence and prosecution set that handles the full gamut of matters including those pertaining to financial crime. Its barristers are regularly engaged in the most serious cases, including youth-related matters, and routinely handle instructions that attract great media attention. They are noted for having particular experience of dealing with vulnerable defendants and issues under the Mental Health Act. Criminal clients of all stamps are catered for, although the set is noted for being particularly adept at dealing with cases for and against professionals. Recent matters of interest include R v Manish Shah, which concerned a GP convicted of sexual offences, and the defence of Boy B at the trial for the murder of Youssef Makki, a 17 year old Manchester Grammar School student. Commentators say this is "a terrific set that is perfect for important and tricky cases."

Client service:

Senior clerk Chris Emmings, in concert with first junior clerk Faye Stimpson, leads a clerking team that is "very polished and collaborative in its approach." All involved are "very attentive, commercial and client-focused."

Strengths:

Adam King
"Someone who has real charm; he is well liked by juries. He is a very nice advocate to listen to." "He gets to grips with the case quickly and always has everything under control."

Strengths:

Adrian Darbishire QC
"Eloquent in court. He masters written legal arguments in a way that few others can match."

Strengths:

Alexandra Felix QC
"Fiercely intelligent and committed, and someone with a meticulous eye for detail." "A rigorous and hard-working barrister who fights hard for her clients and commands the respect of the court."

Strengths:

Anne Whyte QC
"An incredibly hard worker who gets exceptional results and is extremely good with both witnesses and juries. She has a good grasp of legal arguments."

Strengths:

Ben FitzGerald
A prominent junior with in-depth experience across the full spectrum of criminal matters, who acts as both prosecution and defence counsel. He has been instructed in some of the most high-profile criminal matters of recent times, including a number of murder cases.
"A very bright and highly effective advocate whose written work is very good." "He has a forensic approach to cases" and is "extremely quick in getting up to speed and providing insightful advice."
Recent work: Acted in R v Medouni and Kouider before the Central Criminal Court. The case, which attracted national media interest, concerned the murder of French nanny Sophie Lionnet.

Strengths:

Benn Maguire
A terrific advocate who specialises in defending those accused of serious crime, including cases of homicide, historic sex abuse and firearms offences. He is also known for his work on appellate matters and for his representation of high-profile individuals, including athletes and journalists.
"A brilliant jury advocate who has a commanding presence in court."
Recent work: Prosecuted a man who was convicted of the attempted murder of his wife, whom he stabbed repeatedly. The defendant claimed he was acting under the influence of an evil spirit.

Strengths:

Crispin Aylett QC
A star individual who is enormously respected for his abilities as a prosecutor. In recent times he has undertaken several complex and high-profile murder cases, along with other matters such as terrorism and firearms offences. Interviewees highlight his expertise in the most serious criminal matters, including those relating to sexual allegations and joint-enterprise murder. Aylett has experience dealing with cases involving vulnerable defendants, such as those suffering from a mental health condition.
He has a "very fine brain and is charming in court." "A real star performer who is highly intelligent, he is very effective and doesn't get flustered under pressure."
Recent work: Acted in R v Petrovic and Others, a case concerning the murder of 17 year old Jodie Chesney in Romford.

Strengths:

David Jeremy QC
Respected advocate with a strong reputation for homicides in particular. He has experience of both prosecuting and defending high-profile murder cases, and has also recently handled matters concerning fraud. Jeremy is well regarded for his commanding courtroom presence and superior cross-examination skills.
"A charming man but an absolutely brutal cross-examiner, he works hard and is an excellent advocate." "A strong performer who stands up for his clients robustly. His closing speeches are always highly persuasive."
Recent work: Acted for the defendant in the 'Maids Moreton' murder case.

Strengths:

David Spens QC
Praised for his advocacy, he has vast experience of both serious general crime and financial crime. He is a defence specialist who has represented those accused of murder and sex crimes. Spens frequently defends in high-profile and complex cases including those involving diminished responsibility. A number of his matters have attracted media attention, one example being a recent case following on from a police investigation, Operation Tendersea.
"He has a fantastic manner, is brilliant with clients and isn’t afraid to roll his sleeves up. He has great tactical judgement and is a pleasure to work with." "An amazing cross-examiner who has real gravitas."
Recent work: Prosecuted and convicted a man with a history of domestic violence for the murder of his estranged wife and their two children on New Year's Day 2007. The defendant was extradited back to the UK in 2019.

Strengths:

Edward Brown QC
Well-regarded silk and a former Senior Treasury Counsel praised by interviewees for his ability to support clients through difficult trials. He is a highly experienced criminal practitioner who is also a strong regulatory lawyer. Brown is highly thought of for his exemplary cross-examinations and skilful advocacy in serious criminal cases. He has expertise in prosecuting cases involving juvenile defendants and those subject to Mental Health Act orders.
"Incredibly nice, very thoughtful, and measured in his approach. " "A man with a superb reputation."
Recent work: Acted for a defendant charged with the murder of Joy Morgan, a fellow member of the Israel United in Christ Church.

Strengths:

Edward Henry QC
"Judges find his style attractive as he can drill down to the essence of a case." "Solicitors like him as he has a wonderful way of managing people's expectations."

Strengths:

Eleanor Laws QC
An outstanding silk who specialises in serious crime and has particular expertise in murder and sexual offences. Her recent work includes acting as both prosecution and defence counsel in cases concerning historic sexual abuse and sex trafficking. Market commentators have praised her "very rounded vision," a virtue born of her experience acting for both the prosecution and the defence., "Understands all the strategic complexities and difficulties inherent in a case superbly, and has a brilliant manner with clients." "She is a paragon of sheer class and gravitas, and a very skilled cross-examiner who commands the respect of the court." 
Recent work: Acted in the Manchester Grammar School murder case, which received national coverage. The matter involved issues of knife crime and conspiracy to rob.

Strengths:

Fallon Alexis
"Dedicated, full of common sense and someone who gets on with everyone."

Strengths:

Fraser Coxhill
"A confident and thoughtful advocate who deals well with cantankerous judges."

Strengths:

Jocelyn Ledward
A leading junior at the Criminal Bar who acts primarily as a prosecutor but also handles complex defence work. She has experience with sexual offence allegations and drugs matters, and has been instructed in terrorism and murder cases, some of which relate to organised crime.
"A master of cross-examination," "she is unflappable and very tactically astute." "Jocelyn operates at the top of her game and has an incredible ability to analyse a significant amount of material and mould it into a fine piece of written work."
Recent work: Prosecuted the brother of the Manchester Arena suicide bomber, who was charged with 22 counts of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to cause explosions in connection with his part in the planning of the attack.

Strengths:

Julian Evans
Senior Treasury Counsel with an impressive criminal practice. He routinely acts in high-profile cases concerning multi-handed murders, manslaughter and firearms offences, among others. His expertise further includes professional regulation, inquest and inquiry work, including the investigation into the death of Anthony Grainger. , "A charming and articulate barrister who has an encyclopedic grip of the law." "He has got phenomenal energy and is incredibly driven."
Recent work: Appeared in a murder and manslaughter case relating to the killing of a 15 year old boy, who was stabbed in the chest and back nine times after a chase through a park in Hackney.

Strengths:

Karen Robinson
"Has a strong practice and is fully committed to her cases."

Strengths:

Linda Strudwick
A reputable junior praised for her advocacy style. She is well versed in both prosecution and defence work, and regularly handles manslaughter, drugs and rape cases, among others. Strudwick has recently acted in a number of high-profile and serious matters. , "A robust advocate" who is "persuasive and passionate in her delivery."
Recent work: Acted for the prosection in a kidnapping case where the defendants physically assaulted, raped, tortured and blackmailed the victim.

Strengths:

Mark Ellison QC
"Tough but fair, he has superb command of the facts in a case, and is able to put his case in a succinct and understandable way."

Strengths:

Nicholas Corsellis QC
"A great advocate who really excels in his dealings with clients. He has a great temperament, is good with opponents and is tactically spot on."

Strengths:

Orla Daly
"Tenacious and knowledgeable, she shows impressive attention to detail and has excellent client care skills." "She will quite subtly tell a narrative in a way that persuades judges and juries to reach a certain conclusion."

Strengths:

Paul Raudnitz QC
"Very shrewd and has a good tactical approach. He is good with clients and a fine all-round defence lawyer."

Strengths:

Paul Wakerley
"An accomplished senior junior who is persuasive and impresses at every level." "Has all the facts at his fingertips."

Strengths:

Peter Finnigan QC
"Deals with difficult situations elegantly and persuasively."

Strengths:

Philip Evans QC
"An extremely able lawyer who has a wonderful court manner - juries just love him. He wins people over with his talent, persuasive arguments and charm." "An impressive advocate and a hard worker."

Strengths:

Philip McGhee
"A delightful advocate who is very hard-working, highly committed and quite charming in front of the jury." "One of the most polished juniors around."

Strengths:

Philip Stott
Prosecutes and defends serious criminal cases at the highest level. His practice also encompasses regulatory work and fraud cases. , "Calm and does a good job cross-examining in high-pressure situations."
Recent work: Prosecuted a man accused of murdering a 73 year old widow whom he had befriended. Following the murder the defendant had committed arson to conceal his actions.

Strengths:

Rachna Gokani
A noted junior who is regularly entrusted with complex and challenging instructions. She has recently been instructed in several serious criminal actions, as well as financial crime cases. Gokani both prosecutes and defends, and attracts much praise from the market.
"She is clever, thorough and extremely hard-working. Solicitors love her as she just covers everything in a case for them."
Recent work: Acted in R (Marcus Ball) v Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson MP, appearing on behalf of the Prime Minister, who was privately prosecuted for misconduct in public office. The district judge allowed the summons, which was overturned at appeal to the High Court.

Strengths:

Sean Larkin QC
An admired barrister with decades-long experience of both prosecuting and defending serious criminal cases including those relating to murder and sexual offences. Larkin is an expert in terrorism matters and has experience of appearing in the Supreme Court.
"Very intelligent and excellent for complex cases." "Calm, cool and strategic in his approach," "he is a brilliant and charming advocate."
Recent work: Successfully defended a GP accused of sexually assaulting patients over a period of 14 years. The case involved complicated medical evidence.

Strengths:

Susannah Stevens
"Gifted counsel, who fights the client's corner to the nth degree and is very good at representing the vulnerable." "She is a clear thinker who is a reassuring presence on a case." "Susannah is quite unflappable and meticulous in her preparation."

Strengths:

Tom Kark QC
"Exceptionally knowledgeable and provides well thought through and considered advice."

Strengths:

William Boyce QC
A fantastic silk and a former Senior Treasury Counsel at the Central Criminal Court who stands out for his impressive track record in complex and high-profile cases. He focuses his practice on criminal defence matters and regularly handles murder and sexual abuse cases. His experience further includes World War II war crimes investigations and a range of fraud cases.
"A wonderful advocate who is very hard-working."
Recent work: Acted for Vauxhall Motors in connection with a criminal investigation into allegations of failures to identify and correct dangerous manufacturing faults in motor vehicles before sale.

Strengths:

Zoe Johnson QC
A brilliant silk, highly regarded for her advocacy and strong presence in court. She has expertise in both serious crime and professional discipline matters, and is praised for her skill in cross-examination. Johnson has been instructed in matters relating to terrorism, homicide, child murder and gross negligence manslaughter. She frequently handles complex criminal matters that heavily feature medical evidence.
"Intellectually sharp, very committed and deeply thoughtful." "She has great instincts, superior judgement and a huge intellect." 
Recent work: Defended in R v Manish Shah. The defendant, a GP, was charged with sexual offences committed against numerous patients.

Crime Department

QEB Hollis Whiteman

firm
Department location

1-2 Laurence Pountney Hill

London

Greater London

UK

EC4R OEU

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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 Darbishire QC
Band 3
Alexandra Felix QC
New Silks
Anne Whyte QC
Band 6
Crispin Aylett QC
Star Individuals
David Jeremy QC
Band 2
David Spens QC
Band 1