Keir Monteith was called to the Bar in 1994. After three years of practice he became one of the founding members of Acre lane Chambers and joined Garden Court in 2002.
He has acted as a legal advisor for court room scenes in The Bill, was a founding Editor of a Red Top legal tabloid in the 1990s and has been an external examiner for the Bar Professional Training Course for the last four years. He is also a member of the Criminal Bar Association and has worked for Oxfam and the NSC. His commitment to his clients comes from a firm belief in the absolute principle that everyone, no matter what the evidence may appear to be, is innocent until proven guilty.
Keir is meticulous in his preparation of cases and provides a first class service for all his clients who regularly congratulate him at the end of their trials, being described, amongst other things, as 'the very talented Keir Monteith'.[ Lewis Nedas and Co Solicitor's blog October 4, 2011']
An example of Keir's approach to his work is the Court of Appeal case of Robson. After being advised by trial counsel and two other lawyers that there was no appeal against his murder conviction Keir took on Mr Robson's case for free. He worked through all of the papers, drafted the Grounds of Appeal and took the case to the full court 7 years out of time. He obtained leave to appeal and had the Representation Order extended for Queen's Counsel. The conviction was eventually quashed. Click here, for more information. R v Michael Robson  EWCA Crim 2749.
Keir is a well respected leader whose practice concentrates on heavyweight, complex, serious crime, civil liberties and appeals. He is currently instructed in relation to the following allegations: a multi handed £137M Bureau De Exchange Fraud, a £246,000,000 API drugs case [ recently secured an acquittal in a 1/2M API drugs case] , a £2M Local Authority Fraud, a double murder and an attempted murder [ acquitted], the Manchester bogus police case and an appeal against an attempted murder.
Previous cases include:
- Keir was trial counsel [without a leader or junior] where the prosecution were represented by Queen's Counsel and a junior and 2 defendants had Queen's Counsel and a junior. This was a multi handed case involving allegations of kidnapping and an armed robbery of a bank in Birmingham which after the kidnappings was smashed into by a JCB. Despite the presence of DNA evidence in a vehicle central to the crime and cell site evidence placing the defendant near the scene his client was acquitted of all counts. R v H. Birmingham Crown Court 2011. Click here, for more information.
-A multi handed allegation of murder. Two vehicles containing upto 10 people descended on a bar in Bilston. One of the men produced a gun and fired a shot into the crowd outside the bar which resulted in a death at the scene. The defendant was acquitted at 'half time' Click here, for more information.
- Keir led in a £20M Nat West fraud case where the prosecution were represented by a QC and a junior and 2 of the defendants had a QC and a junior. This trial took place at Southwark Crown Court.
The case was split into three, and involved an allegation that the defendant and others defrauded the National Westminster bank in the amount of £20,220,629. Acquitted of the most serious allegation. Throughout the case Live Note was used. Click here, for more information.
- Keir led in a double-handed armed robbery allegation relating to numerous off licences where the suspects used handcuffs and guns. The defendants faced a further allegation of conspiracy to rob. The prosecution evidence ranged from identification and facial mapping to surveillance, DNA [gun and balaclava] and analysis of alleged exploding bank note residue.
- Keir led in a drive by shooting involving allegations of gangland violence where a pump action shotgun was repeatedly fired at a car containing passengers, on a separate occasion fired at an occupied house and a further allegation of threats to kill. The defence was a combination of duress and identification. Acquitted of both shootings and the threats to kill.
- Keir led in a multi million pound multi handed tobacco importation where Keir's abuse of process submission succeeded and provided others who had pleaded guilty to make an application to vacate their pleas.
- Keir led in a Microsoft counterfeiting case where as a result of obtaining around 10,000 pages of a linked case the trial was stopped and then abandoned.
- Keir also specialises in civil liberty law and defending protestors. From allegations of large scale conspiracies to commit criminal damage or Violent Disorder to allegations of harassment and other violence. He has also been instructed in many successful anti EDO cases including the infamous superglue 4 case, the die in at Churchill Square in Brighton and allegations of ABH at one of the many EDO protests. In each case all the defendants were acquitted He was also instructed in the EDO criminal damage case
- Keir has also been instructed in numerous murders, massive Class A drug importations and conspiracies R v C (click here, for more information), multi million pound tobacco importations, multi million pound confiscations, Escape from custody (click here, for more information), The Swansea crossbow case (click here, for more information). He represented a solicitor in a trial that consisted of over one million documents and a post trial investigation into whether the main prosecution witnesses had committed perjury. A law student on allegations of Perjury. The largest radio game show deception (click here, for more information). Allegations of a multi handed fraud conspiracy relating to Ebay client acquitted (click here, for more information). The first or one of the first sexual allegations based almost entirely on email evidence involving an undercover officer in America and then the UK - this case also concerned PII applications relating to Strap security. Keir also obtained a non custodial sentence for one of the first extreme pornography cases prosecuted in the UK.
Notable Court of Appeal cases:
Keir has also had significant success in the Court of Appeal:
R v Heggart  4 Archbold News 2, CA (page 1257 Archbold 2002); deals with the issue of disclosure and that the old 'custom' of blacking out telephone numbers on CAD reports should stop.
R v Hatami (Mohammed)  EWCA Crim 1653. Appeal against conviction for unlawful wounding where the alleged victim was stabbed in the back and leg and was initially on life support. Part of the incident was captured on CCTV and was witnessed by a number of people in broad daylight. Conviction quashed.
Director of Public Prosecutions v Jones  EWHC 110 (admin); right to protest and public order notices.
R v Jeremy Paul Pepper: R v Kenneth Leslie Barber : R v Martin Lamont : R v G : R v Richard Alexander Murray  EWCA Crim 1181 - guidance on extended sentences under the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 s.85. This case also involved Strap security.
R v Crosse (Samuel John) (2005)  EWCA Crim 53. The Lewes prison tennis ball case. The appellant tried to throw a tennis ball containing class A and C drugs over the prison wall. After a successful abuse of process submission in the Crown Court regarding the Class A drugs the eventual sentence was successfully appealed as well.
R v Michael Robson  EWCA crim 2749 - A conviction for murder was quashed and a verdict of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility was substituted where the trial judge had delivered a jury direction on diminished responsibility along the same lines as that which was held to be a misdirection in R v Dietschmann (Anthony) (2003) UKHL 10, (2003) Crim LR 550.
R v Uyiekpen (Chester) (2008)  EWCA crim 1457. Appeal against conviction for possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply. Conviction quashed.
Profile updated January 2013