John Smith

Crime & Fraud Barristers

Crime & Fraud

Criminal Law

Our talented team of criminal barristers are well regarded, successful, professional and approachable with members at all levels of seniority both prosecuting and defending across the whole spectrum of criminal law. Our experience prosecuting affords us a perspective which can help our defence clients from whom we accept instructions funded privately, through insurers, and legal aid.

We have an experienced team that includes Senior Treasury Counsel and Queen's Counsel, leading and junior counsel, many of whom are ranked in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500. Silks in chambers are appointed to sit as Recorders and past members have been elevated to judicial posts.

More junior members bring experience of other practice areas to their criminal advocacy. This combination of breadth of practice and depth of experience enables us to provide a service to our clients which we consider cannot be matched by more traditional criminal sets.

The team is clerked by David Landa and Matthew Shepherd, who between them have a wealth of experience, and are highly regarded. They are efficient, professional and approachable and are able to assist you in choosing the right barrister for your case and ensuring smooth diary management, liaising with you and the courts as the case proceeds.

We regularly appear in high profile, sensitive and difficult cases. Some notable cases that members have been involved in include:

  • R v Thomas Mair: high profile murder of Jo Cox MP
  • R v Max Clifford: prosecution of media mogul for sexual offences
  • R v Watt: double jeopardy rape case where Court of Appeal quashed defendant’s acquittal for an offence of attempted rape dating back to 1989 and he was convicted at retrial
  • R v HP, KM, and AS: attempts to abort foetus with defences advanced under the Modern Slavery Act
  • R v Daniah and Folami: defending allegations of conducting an unregistered school
  • R v Weir: double jeopardy case that made legal history as the first case in which the acquittal that was quashed by the Court of Appeal was an appellate acquittal for an offence of murder. Weir was convicted at the retrial of that murder and another similar murder.

All of our members are CPS Panel Advocates, whilst many of our members are on more specialist lists; the CPS Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Panel, the Serious Crime Group Panel, the Counter Terrorism Panel and the Extradition Panel.

Whilst most of our work is in the Crown Court on the South Eastern Circuit, our members also regularly appear in the Court of Appeal, Administrative/Divisional Court, and Magistrates' Courts in every part of the country.

Financial Crime

We appear for both the prosecution and for defendants in some of the most significant and complex fraud trials, acting both for and against various regulators and government departments, particularly the SFO, CPS Specialist Fraud Division, the FCA, and the Department for Work and Pensions. Our members are used to dealing with cases which can be extremely document-heavy, often advising at the investigatory stage.

Members are ranked by the Serious Fraud Office and CPS specialist Fraud panels of advocates whilst others are instructed by the Financial Conduct Authority. Several members, both leading and junior counsel, are ranked for criminal fraud in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500.

We also regularly appear in confiscation and restraint hearings and other proceedings relating to money laundering and civil recovery. We have been involved in this growing area ever since the enactment of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and we recognise that it is far more than a simple adjunct to criminal proceedings: as a mixed-common law set our members are able to bring to bear an expertise in both civil and criminal law and procedure which can prove invaluable whether appearing for respondents, the Crown, or affected third parties.

Some notable cases that members have been involved in include:

  • R v Mackinlay and others [2018] UKSC 42; [2018] 3 WLR 556: Supreme Court case in relation to meaning of election expenses
  • NCA v Hajiyeva [2018] EWHC 2534 (Admin); [2020] EWCA Civ 108: first Unexplained Wealth Order granted and upheld on appeal
  • R v Mire: first UK prosecution involving Apple Pay
  • Operation Apple: prosecution of a banker who received bribes whilst working for the European bank for reconstruction and development
  • R (DAS UK Holdings Ltd) v Asplin and others: the largest private prosecution to date
  • R (DEFRA) v F and T: the first fraud prosecution using the Common Agricultural Policy Regulations
  • R v Teresko:  First seizure of cryptocurrency (£1.25million bitcoin)
  • Operation Vomerine: Longest DWP prosecution to date
  • Operations Amaryllis and Ensete: global conspiracy to defraud a large pharmaceutical, private equity fund and individual investors
  • Operation Alfreton: unauthorised share dealing
  • R v Little: Investment fraud where a ‘dragon’ from televisions ‘Dragon’s Den’ was duped

Contact us

For more information please call our clerks on
020 7832 0500 or Email »

Follow us

twitter   linkedin   rss

Subscribe to our updates

Subscribe email

Search