Bernard Tetlow QC

Year of Call: 1984 | Year of Silk: 2011

"Absolutely fantastic in court and has that charisma you need. He absolutely cares about making sure the case is put forward as strongly as possible."

Chambers UK, 2022 (Crime)

"Bernard represents his clients with flair using his personality. They manage to use humour appropriately whatever the allegations. A powerful jury advocate."

Legal 500, 2022 (Crime)

"A softly spoken advocate who picks up on issues very quickly."

Chambers UK, 2021 (Crime)

"He is a dynamic and approachable counsel who is meticulous in his preparation of cases. One of the leading jury advocates at the bar, he can distil complex fraud matters to juries with ease."

Legal 500, 2021 (Fraud)

"A great jury advocate. Extremely hardworking he treats every case like his first and it is this hunger which elevates this barrister to top echelon of silks working at the criminal bar."

Legal 500, 2021 (Crime)


To get in touch:​ Or you can contact the relevant​ Practice Team Clerks directly and they will be happy to assist with your enquiry.

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Legal 500 2022: Leading Silk

Bernard is a top-ranked criminal defence QC specialising in murder and serious fraud. He combines compelling and persuasive advocacy with excellent judgment and a down-to-earth manner which is very successful with juries and makes him highly sought after as leading counsel by clients, solicitors and juniors.

Criminal Defence


Bernard defends in complex and high profile murders and has achieved great results in many notable murder cases in recent years.

He is particularly experienced in complex multi-defendant cases involving issues such as cell site analysis, telephone attribution, call data, CCTV analysis, cut-throat defences, bad character, hearsay, ID, joint enterprise, pathology and DNA

He also has a particular interest in trials, inquests or inquiries which involve exposing alleged lies, corruption, malpractice or negligence by the police or other investigating and prosecuting authorities.

Bernard is also regularly instructed privately across the whole range of serious trials and appeals.

Notable Cases


R v Sakib Ditta and others (Bradford Crown Court) June 2019
Defendant acquitted of conspiracy to murder with a firearm. There was CCTV , phone and cell site evidence linking him to the offence.

R v Jammal Chase (Birmingham Crown Court) September-October 2018
Defendant charged with murder with a knife inflicting 20 stab wounds. The defendant was also charged with attempted murder with a gun.

R v Spencer and others (Oxford CC) 2018
10-handed murder started April 2018. Gang related, anonymous witnesses, cctv, DNA, cell site, cut throat defences.

El Bakkali and others (Old Bailey) 2017
Four defendant joint enterprise murder and robbery using knives and a handgun. Mr El Bakkali and other defendants acquitted of all charges despite strong CCTV and eyewitness evidence.

William George and six others (Manchester CC) 2017
William George and others charged with gang-related stabbing murder in Manchester. Evidence included CCTV, eyewitnesses and the victim's blood on his jacket. Acquitted of murder after two-month trial.

Ziaurahman Khan and others (Bradford CC) 2017
Mr Khan and three others were in a car from which several shots were fired from a handgun hitting and killing the victim outside his home. Joint enterprise murder alleged. Mr Khan acquitted of murder and manslaughter on basis that he was not aware of the gun and did not encourage the shooting.

Olatunde Odunyemi and others (Old Bailey) 2016
Mr Odunyemi was one of three charged with murder following a knife attack outside a club in London. Prosecution case relied heavily on a voice enhancement expert who we successfully undermined in cross-examination, leading to acquittal on murder and manslaughter.

Jonathan Legris (Winchester CC)2016
Mr Legris, a Formula 3 racing driver was accused of conspiracy to murder together with his mother and father. The victim was the father's new wife who was beaten to death by this defendant's father. Extensive phone evidence, CCTV, ANPR and other strong circumstantial evidence. Mr Legris acquitted after two-month trial.

Jordan Glasgow (Old Bailey) 2016
Mr Glasgow charged with murder after fight in the street involving fists and a knife. Victim stabbed to the heart. Defence of self-defence using knife because victim also had a knife. Many eyewitnesses. Acquitted of murder and manslaughter.

R v Christopher Jeffrey-Shaw (Guildford Crown Court) 2016
Christopher Jeffrey-Shaw was cleared of murdering student Janet Muller and was found guilty of manslaughter. Ms Muller died after Christopher set fire to his car whilst she was trapped in the boot. The case was reported in the Independent, Metro and the Evening Standard.

R v Campbell and 3 others (Central Criminal Court)2015
A drug and gang-related kidnapping and murder. Client acquitted after two-month trial.

R v Casey (Southwark Crown Court) 2014
Stabbing outside London nightclub. Defendant acquitted of murder despite extensive CCTV footage.2015

R v Smith and another (Cambridge Crown Court) 2015
78-year-old man beaten to death during course of burglary. Bernard's successful cross examination of the co-defendant was featured on the BBC regional news.

R v Davey (Nottingham Crown Court) 2014
Victim stabbed 16 times. Cut throat defence.

R v Small (Court of Appeal)
Murder by shooting with Mach 10 sub machine gun. Defendant represented by different counsel at trial. Bernard is now appealing the conviction on a pro bono basis.

R v Venclovas (Central Criminal Court) 2014
The Lithuanian sat nav murder. The case was extensively covered in national press and on Crimewatch.

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Financial Crime and Confiscation


Bernard is highly ranked in Legal 500 and experienced in all areas of fraud including missing trader intra-community (MTIC) and other VAT frauds, boiler room frauds, money laundering, corruption, insider dealing, other Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) offences, asset restraint and confiscation.

Bernard has defended in some of the biggest MTIC and carousel frauds, including representing the main defendant in a £50 million carousel fraud where the conviction was quashed following the exposure of malpractice at HMRC.

He is able to provide legal, strategic and tactical advice at all stages of an investigation as well as during the trial process.

Notable Cases

R v Feezan Hameed  (Southwark CC) May 2019
£18,000,000 confiscation in phishing fraud case reduced to £2,000,000. 

R v Taylor Sullivan and others (Southwark CC) October 2018 - March 2019
£20,000,000 VAT fraud. Missing and defaulting trader fraud involving metal trading on a vast scale. Two co-conspirators convicted. No verdict on Taylor Sullivan.

R v Ibrahim Ali and others (Croydon CC) 2018
Massive immigration fraud involving home office insider giving false identities to overstayers. Defendants included solicitors. Three-month trial.

R v Lin Chen and others (Bradford CC) 2017
Immigration fraud involving solicitors falsifying documents for applicants and providing fake accommodation reports. Client pleaded part way through three-month trial and received suspended sentence and no confiscation.

R v Shalim Ahmed (Croydon CC) 2016
VAT evasion on tobacco. Large-scale importation of non duty paid cigarettes from Dubai. Undercover HMRC operation involving covert cctv and audio. Jury discharged due to non disclosure of audio material with costs ordered against the prosecution.

R v Von Badlo (Southwark CC) 2015
£5,000,000 Ponzi fraud extensively reported in Evening Standard and National press. Investors money spent at casino and lavish living. Novel and successful point argued re self-incrimination.

R v Phillips (Cardiff CC) 2015
Police officer corruption. Large amount of money stolen from suspects. 3 week trial.

EL Kurd (Southwark CC) 2016
Multimillion pound money laundering. Pros claimed confiscation of £1,000,000. Legal argument by us led to a nil order.

R v Yeung (Isleworth CC) 2016
Fraud on post office self-declaration freight forwarding payment scheme of over £1,000,000. Agreed favourable basis of plea with pros and secured suspended sentence for client.

R v Oladeji (Wood Green CC) 2014
Multi-million pound mortgage fraud involving solicitors, accountants, valuers and developers. Defendant acquitted after four-week trial.

R v Wilmot (Southwark Crown Court) 2014
Bernard appeared for a defendant in a £25 million boiler room fraud at Southwark Crown Court. The defendant was represented by other counsel at trial but Bernard and his junior Lisa Freeman, instructed by Shearman Bowen solicitors, achieved an extremely favourable confiscation settlement.

R v Horey and others (Southwark Crown Court)2011
Bernard secured the acquittal of the defendant in a £15 million VAT fraud.

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Professional Regulation

Bernard has experience of regulatory work, particularly at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

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What Others Say

"I would like to thank Bernard for helping me and believing in me in my murder trial. I will never in my life forget that I’m only living the rest of my life with my family because of him and would like to ask him if it would be ok if I put his name in my next child’s name, thank you " - Lay Client, 2020

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Notable Cases & News

Members of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team support escalating proposed CBA action to include days of action

17 June 2022

Stephanie Harrison QC, Chair and Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, comments on the Nationality and Borders Bill receiving Royal Assent

29 April 2022

Garden Court Crime Team statement on no returns action

30 March 2022

Garden Court secures number one rankings in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2022

21 October 2021

Garden Court Chambers Crime Team shortlisted for Crime Set of the Year by Chambers Bar Awards 2021

We are delighted to announce that the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team has been shortlisted by the Chambers Bar Awards 2021 for Crime Set of the Year.

27 August 2021

Defendant found not guilty of murder, police officer’s imagery comparison evidence excluded

Bernard Tetlow QC led Shahida Begum, both of the Garden Court Criminal Defence Team, and were instructed by Tahir Mahmood and Yusuf Khan of Abrahams Law Solicitors.

18 November 2020

Defendant found not guilty of attempted murder and wounding with intent in a case involving a death

Bernard Tetlow QC led Shahida Begum, both of the Garden Court Criminal Defence Team, and were instructed by Arlene Mansoor of Shearman Bowen Solicitors.

16 October 2020

Defendant unanimously acquitted of murder and manslaughter

The defendant was represented by Bernard Tetlow QC of the Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence Team leading Nick Worsley of St Paul’s Chambers, instructed by Sav Khan of Eldwick Law.

11 March 2020

James Scobie QC and Bernard Tetlow QC secure acquittal at the Old Bailey for murder, manslaughter and robbery

James Scobie QC and Bernard Tetlow QC of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team represented two of the defendants.

30 August 2017

Two brothers acquitted of murder and manslaughter

The men were represented by Peter Wilcock QC and Bernard Tetlow QC of Garden Court Chambers.

1 July 2016

All related news


Bernard has extensive experience as an advocacy trainer both in the UK and abroad. He has taught advocacy at Middle Temple, the Keble International Advocacy course, the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague and on pro bono schemes in Tanzania, funded by firms such as Herbert Smith and Linklaters.


  • BA South Bank
  • LLM Cambridge

Professional Membership

  • Criminal Bar Association (CBA)
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Fraud Lawyers Association

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

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