Criminal Defence

"Impressed solicitors note that the individuals at the set represent an amazing level of excellence."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

"The barristers at this set are known for being socially conscious, fully committed to their cases and very imaginative in court."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

“The clerks are easy to get on with, reliable, extremely well organised and quick to respond to calls and e-mails. They work to a very high and professional standard."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

"Garden Court is a chambers of choice for complex, high-profile cases. The quality of advocacy and preparation provided by the barristers is exceptional, and the fine service provided by the clerks ensures smooth case management."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

Winner Legal 500 Crime Set of the Year 2015
Winner Legal 500 Crime Set of the Year 2015

Our criminal defence barristers have defended in – and won – many of the landmark cases that have defined modern criminal law.

The Garden Court Chambers Crime team regularly defend individuals charged with the most serious offences. We have a strong presence at the Central Criminal Court, where our barristers are instructed on a daily basis.

The Garden Court Chambers Crime Team were nominated for 'Crime Set of the Year' at the Legal 500 Bar Awards 2023 and are ranked as a leading set in the Legal 500 and Chambers UK Bar Guide.

Areas of Expertise

  • Murder and violent crime
  • Sexual offences
  • Terrorism
  • Protest and public order
  • Baby-shaking
  • High-value frauds and confiscation
  • Criminal appeals

In 2021, our crime team was shortlisted for Crime Set of the Year at the Chambers Bar Awards. In 2015 our crime team won the Legal 500 Crime Set of the Year Award and we have since been shortlisted for this award a further two times. We are proud to have 19 King’s Counsel in our team. We have the highest number of ranked silks at the Bar in Chambers & Partners.

Multidisciplinary expertise within Chambers means that we are able to call on other specialists. A number of us also practise in the fields of judicial review (in particular, challenges to youth court practice and procedure), extradition, inquests into deaths in custody, actions against the police and public authorities and prison law.

We continue to actively lobby Government on policy proposals affecting the criminal Bar, in keeping with our ethos of defending access to justice.

Recent notable cases and news

Prosecution offers no evidence in class A drugs charge against youth client

Ifẹ Thompson represented LN, instructed by Jeffrey Muhammad of Amosu Robinshaw Solicitors.

19 February 2024

Jury’s acquittal at rape trial ends five year ordeal for man wrongly convicted

David Emanuel KC represented the defendant, instructed by Steven Bird of Birds Solicitors.

19 February 2024

Keir Monteith KC appointed Honorary Senior Lecturer at University of Manchester

We are delighted to announce that Keir Monteith KC has been appointed as an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Manchester within the School of Social Sciences.

15 February 2024

Carol Hawley secures not guilty verdict for defendant in murder trial

Carol Hawley of Garden Court Crime Team acted for the defendant, led by Emma Goodall KC of Doughty Street Chambers, instructed by Joseph Hill Solicitors.

13 February 2024

Michael Ivers KC secures not guilty verdict for defendant in murder trial

Michael Ivers KC of the Garden Court Crime Team led Paul Smith of St John's Buildings. Counsel were instructed by Shakeel Ahmed of Clarkes LLP.

7 February 2024

Ruby Selva secures not guilty verdicts by way of Judge directed acquittals

Ruby Selva of the Garden Court Crime Team, instructed by Vik Lalli of Bhandal Law, secured not guilty verdicts by way of Judge directed acquittals in a EncroChat case.

26 January 2024

Court of Appeal quashes half-century convictions based on racist police officer’s evidence

Henry Blaxland KC, of the Garden Court Criminal Appeals Team, acted for Saliah Mehmet and Basil Peterkin, instructed by Matt Foot of Appeal.

18 January 2024

Mark Robinson successfully obtains a Writ of Habeas Corpus

Mark Robinson of the Garden Court Crime Team, instructed by MMA Solicitors, was successful in obtaining a Writ of Habeas Corpus in the High Court (Administrative Court - Kings Bench Division).

20 December 2023

Mark Robinson secures acquittal at Wood Green Crown Court

Mark Robinson of the Garden Court Crime Team acted for the defendant, instructed by Bianca St Prix of Lawrence & Co.

20 December 2023

Ifẹ Thompson and Alex Ryle Join Garden Court Chambers as Crime Third Six Pupils

We are delighted to announce that Ifẹ Thompson and Alex Ryle have joined the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team as third six pupils.

13 December 2023

Good Practice Guidance on Certificates for Assigned Advocate in the Youth Court published

Kate Aubrey-Johnson, convenor of the Garden Court Children's Rights Team, has authored new guidance published by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Youth Justice Board (YJB)'s 'Youth Justice: Quality of Advocacy Working Group'.

5 December 2023

Russell Fraser secures acquittal at Old Bailey in DJ killing case

Russell Fraser, of the Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence Team, instructed by James O’Keeffe of O’Keeffe solicitors.

4 December 2023

Icah Peart KC leading Thalia Maragh secures acquittal in Old Bailey murder trial

Icah Peart KC and Thalia Maragh, of the Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence team, instructed by Vendrys Henry of VH Lawyers Limited.

4 December 2023

Mark Robinson secures acquittal for defendant at Inner London Crown Court

Mark Robinson of the Garden Court Crime Team acted for the defendant, instructed by Caroline Downs of Wainwright Cummins.

23 November 2023

Art Not Evidence Launches Campaign to Stop Rap Lyrics Being Used as Evidence

Keir Monteith KC, of the Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence Team, is a member of Art Not Evidence. Keir is frequently instructed in trials and appeals where rap evidence is prejudicially used.

22 November 2023

High Court Dismisses DPP's Appeal Against Acquittal of Protestors Who Called Iain Duncan Smith “Tory Scum”

Tom Wainwright led Elena Papamichael. Owen Greenhall led Mira Hammad. Tom, Elena and Owen are members of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Rights Team.

21 November 2023

Extinction Rebellion activists cleared of £500,000 damage to HSBC

Owen Greenhall, of the Garden Court Protest Team, acted for an Extinction Rebellion protestor, instructed by Jane Cleasby of Kellys Solicitors.

17 November 2023

Extinction Rebellion protestors cleared of criminal damage to Treasury building

Michael Goold, of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Rights Team, was instructed by Jenny Winter of Birds Solicitors.

17 November 2023

Mark Robinson successful in Criminal Court of Appeal

Mark Robinson of the Garden Court Crime Team was instructed by the Criminal Appeals Office after the single Judge granted a Representation Order.

16 November 2023

Tom Wainwright acts for defendant cleared of violent disorder at protest

Tom Wainwright of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Rights Team acted for the defendant, instructed by Hester Cavaciuti of Bindmans LLP, who was assisted by Shivani Soni, trainee solicitor.

16 November 2023

Alex Taylor-Camara secures acquittal in fraud trial

Alex Taylor-Camara of the Garden Court Crime Team acted for the defendant, instructed by Abdul Mojid and Tarjana Hussain at Wainwright Cummings.

13 November 2023

Russell Fraser acts in successful appeal against ‘Kill the Bill’ protestor's sentence

Russell Fraser, of the Garden Court Protest Team, acted for the Appellant. He was instructed by Laura O’Brien of Hodge Jones & Allen.

10 November 2023

Sam Robinson KC secures acquittal of murder and manslaughter at Croydon Court

Sam Robinson KC of the Garden Court Crime Team acted for the defendant, leading Tom Mayall of GT Stewart, instructed by Clare Dissington of GT Stewart.

3 November 2023

Court of Appeal quashes conviction for murder

Peter Wilcock KC and Catherine Oborne of the Garden Court Criminal Defence Team represented the appellant, Stuart Layden.

27 October 2023

Mark Robinson secures acquittal for defendant at Guildford Crown Court

Mark Robinson of the Garden Court Criminal Defence Team successfully acted for the defendant, instructed by Wainwright Cummins.

26 October 2023

Garden Court Chambers welcomes four new pupils

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to welcome four new pupils: Matthew Banks, Abby Buttle, Daniella Davenport, and Christopher Lambert.

9 October 2023

Garden Court secures top tier rankings in the Legal 500 UK 2024

Garden Court Chambers is proud to be recognised as a Top Tier set again in the Legal 500 UK 2024 rankings.

4 October 2023

Defendant acquitted of perverting the course of justice in under 90 minutes

Danielle Manson of the Garden Court Criminal Defence Team successfully represented the defendant, instructed by Emma Tingling of Amosu Robinshaw.

19 September 2023

New practical guide for lawyers to help reduce the over-criminalisation of care experienced children and young adults launches today

Dare to Care: Representing care experienced young people, written by Kate Aubrey-Johnson of the Garden Court Chambers Children's Rights Team, and Dr Laura Janes, consultant solicitor at GT Stewart, in collaboration with the policy forum at the Drive Forwa

13 September 2023

Garden Court Chambers shortlisted in seven categories at Chambers UK Bar Awards 2023

We are delighted to announce that Garden Court Chambers has been shortlisted in seven categories at The Chambers UK Bar Awards 2023.

11 September 2023

Sentencing Council responds to Clare Wade KC's Domestic Homicide Sentencing Review

Clare Wade KC, who was appointed Independent Reviewer on domestic homicide, published the Domestic Homicide Sentencing Review earlier in 2023.

7 September 2023

Kate Aubrey-Johnson and Elena Papamichael contribute to Legal Action Youth Justice Update

Kate Aubrey-Johnson and Elena Papamichael of the Garden Court Children's Rights Team have written for Legal Action Magazine.

5 September 2023

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