Nerida Harford-Bell

Year of Call: 1984

"She fights tooth and nail for her clients."

Chambers UK, 2024

"Nerida is extremely down to earth and calm. She is very good at getting to the heart of the issue in the jury's mind and in very complex paper-heavy cases."

Legal 500, 2024 (Crime)

"A barrister who displays excellent client care and sensitivity."

Chambers UK, 2023 (Crime)

‘Nerida is thorough and tenacious yet completely courteous and professional in her interactions with others.’

Legal 500, 2023 (Crime)

"Her approach before the jury is one of a confident yet realistic advocate who put forwards her client’s case in the best way possible."

Chambers UK, 2022 (Crime)

"Good tactically and someone who is able to establish a relationship of trust with even the most difficult of clients."

Chambers UK, 2022 (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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Ranked in Chambers UK 2023

Nerida Harford-Bell has a wide-ranging criminal practice and is regularly instructed to lead in complex criminal cases. She has built up considerable expertise in cases involving serious sexual offences including multiple and historic rapes and child abuse including multi-handed grooming cases.

She is also experienced in cases involving: money laundering and fraud including advance fee, banking immigration and internet fraud; confiscation; serious violence; representation of women who have killed their children whilst suffering from mental disorders; large-scale importation/supply drug cases; appellate work and inquests.

Criminal Defence


Nerida is regularly instructed to lead in criminal cases, including sexual offences involving many historical allegations against very young children, many of which date back decades, which have come to light in the wake of the Jimmy Saville enquiry. She is currently instructed as leading counsel in an 11-handed child grooming case.

She has experience acting in cases involving serious violence, large-scale importation/supply drug cases, appellate work and inquests.

Nerida represents clients across the social spectrum and will represent all who come to her fearlessly and with immense skill, regardless of the crime with which they are charged. Nerida sees it as important to establish an easy rapport with clients, particularly with younger, immature or inarticulate members of the public to enable them to have a voice. She is highly experienced in dealing with expert witnesses.

Nerida has undertaken training and has trained others in cross-examining Vulnerable Witnesses and is very experienced in cases where Intermediaries have been instructed both for prosecution witnesses and defendants. Nerida is highly skilled in cross-examining witnesses, many of whom are very young or vulnerable.

Notable Cases

Violence (including sexual violence) against the person

R v Hedley - Historic allegations of sexual abuse by uncle on two nieces. Defendant was acquitted in relation to one complainant.

R v IMK - representing long-term prisoner charged with serious assault on another prisoner. Client acquitted.

R v Stoican and 5 others - representing the second named defendant, alleged to have been the madam and enforcer for a serious organized crime gang who had trafficked women from Romania to the UK as sex workers. 

Matthew Quarterman - historic allegations of rape by brother on sister. Jury returned not-guilty verdicts on all counts.

Samuel Modeste - representing defendant charged with attempted murder and two counts of wounding with intent. After a trial, the special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity was returned and he was made subject to a s.37 with restriction order under the Mental Health Act.

R v Khan and others
Gangland shooting. To be tried at end of year.

Instructed in slavery case involving in excess of 50 complainants.
Defendants all of the Roma community and complainants vulnerable Polish men and women. Due to commence in New Year.

R v Tanweer Ali and others
Instructed in a Rotherham multi-handed child grooming case with political and racial issues, due to run for 8-10 weeks in Sheffield in the Autumn.

R v Iqbal and others, Oxford Crown Court: Oxford child grooming case.
Five months, 11 defendants, nine convicted. Nerida represented the second defendant leading Michael Goold. Widely reported in the media including BBC.

R v B: Attempted murder by a defendant with Asperger's syndrome who was accused of stabbing a total stranger 24 times. Defendant acquitted of attempted murder.

R v Mohammed and Stakele - alleged rape of Norwegian tourist by two separate men both of whom were strangers to her and each other. Successfully secured acquittal. Case was widely reported in the media.

R v [D] and 2 others - representing main defendant in very serious sex case, where husband, wife and friend are charged with multiple rapes and sexual assaults on various family members over a ten-year period. The complainants were all vulnerable witnesses, with variously educational and or mental health problems.

R v Glenister: leading counsel in historic alleged rapes of young child, involving over 50 binders of disclosure. Successfully mounted abuse half-time submission.

R v B: rape by stepfather over a 5-year period.

R v Byfield: multiple rapes of sister by brother over a decade 30 years ago.

R v Sialalleged "honour rapes of wife within marriage".

R v L: alleged serial rapes of daughter over a number of years.

R v H (historic sex allegations 20 counts of rape and buggery of defendant's sister between ages 7-13 and son aged 5-13 spanning 15-year time period)

R v Ikram (honour rape case across two jurisdictions - Pakistan and UK)

R v Ngola, Blackfriars CC (historic rape involving Congolese community, multi-complainant) R v Minchin, St Albans CC (historic rape and indecent assault across three generations of a family)


R v Addison: successfully defended a female charged with two counts of Perverting Justice. She was the girlfriend of a male charged with a postcode gang murder.

R v: an attempted murder by a defendant with Asperger's syndrome (accused of stabbing a total stranger 24 times. Defendant acquitted of attempted murder)

R v Malachi Halstead and others, Hove Crown Court (conspiracy to murder. Represented, as sole advocate, a rap artist charged with four others with a "gangland contract shooting". Defendant was successfully acquitted)

R v Dhillion & another (attempted murder of homeless alcoholic by group resulting in multiple slash and stab wounds to neck/throat/head severing main arteries. Represented 18-year-old vulnerable defendant in a cut-throat defence with mentally disordered co-defendant. Resulted in unanimous not guilty on all counts for defendant)

R v McCarvill, Maidstone CC (murder by mother of her child)

R v Begum, Central Criminal Court (manslaughter/child cruelty)

R v Latta, Winchester CC (baby shaking murder of baby)

R v John Barrett, Central Criminal Court (fatal stabbing of cyclist in park)

R v A CCC (Gang stabbing)

R v Alan Hedgcock, Southwark CC (conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to rape in virtual reality)

R v Faisal Wangita, CCC (gang land mob stabbing)

Drug offences

R v Kochar and others: international importation/ drug supply class A.

R v Capone & others (leading junior, leading Alex Rose, in eight-handed Conspiracy to supply crack and heroin, class A drugs throughout England)

R v Malvern & another, St Albans CC (conspiracy to import Cocaine)

R v Marchelleck, Luton CC (conspiracy to supply large consignment of Cannabis)

R v Ryan, Kingston CC (firearms and drugs)

R v Asonye, Woolwich CC (conspiracy to import Cannabis and Cocaine)

R v Theodore, Kingston CC (conspiracy to manufacture class B drugs)

Contact Nerida

Financial Crime and Confiscation


Nerida has built up considerable expertise in cases involving money laundering and fraud including advance fee, banking immigration and internet fraud.

Notable Cases

R v Diljan Malhotra and 12 others
Successfully secured a 'not guilty' verdict for their client on two charges of money laundering. They were alleged to be one of the ringleaders of an international money laundering crime organisation. £40 million is said to have been laundered by couriers taking cash from the UK to Dubai, India and Hong Kong. Three of the co-defendants are also said to have participated in a people-smuggling conspiracy with another associated money laundering conspiracy. The four month trial took place from the beginning of January to the end of April 2023. The defendants were sentenced in September 2023. The case was covered in Sky News. Nerida led Giles Newell.

R v Milton and others 
Case involves the setting up of a fraudulent company selling shares in nonexistent property. Fraud prosecuted by SFO events dates back to 2013/14. Money defrauded approx £1 million. Defendant was said to be the senior sales officer, with proceeds said to have been diverted to Dubai and to owners of other fraudulent companies dealing ostensibly in gold and diamonds. POCA proceedings followed the trial. Leading Jacob Bindman.

R v Pavlovskyte and five others
Multi-handed sham marriage immigration fraud with associated money laundering counts. Represented the female organiser charged with Conspiracy to evade immigration controls by arranging sham marriages between Lithuanian brides and Pakistani males.

R v De Silva, Southwark CC: Secured acquittal of CCO accused of multi-handed £11.5 million money laundering conspiracy.

R v Usuro, Guildford CC: advance fee fraud.

R v Paskaradas and others, CCC multi-handed money laundering, acquitted after lengthy abuse arguments re-trial preparation and police investigation failures.

R v Moses, Bristol Crown Court: Eight-handed conversion fraud, representing the main defendant.

R v Kiala, Southwark Crown Court: banking fraud

R v Maharaj, Southwark CC: Million-pound post office fraud

R v Robinson, Kingston CC: 14-handed banking fraud

R v Zaidi, Kingston CC: Five-handed fraud concerning medicines and trademarks

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Mental Health Law

Nerida has represented a large number of clients with mental health problems and where there have been issues as to fitness to plead/and or stand trial. She has expertise in representing women who have killed their children whilst suffering from mental disorders.

Contact Nerida

Notable Cases & News

Garden Court Chambers revises policy on Stratford Magistrates' Court

23 May 2024

Garden Court Chambers statement on security searches at Stratford Magistrates' Court

8 May 2024

Garden Court Chambers and Garden Court North remember Ian Macdonald QC

Garden Court Chambers and Garden Court North were honoured to host a memorial event for Ian Macdonald QC 1939-2019 at Middle Temple Hall on Tuesday 7 February 2023.

17 February 2023

Garden Court secures top tier rankings in the Legal 500 2023

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

30 September 2022

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

Defendant unanimously acquitted of £12 million money laundering duty evasion fraud

Nerida Harford-Bell of the Garden Court Chambers Financial Crime Team represented Michael Howard, instructed by Ghulam Sohail of MPR Solicitors Hounslow.

11 January 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

Judge ruled no adverse inference to be held against one very vulnerable defendant in Rotherham grooming gang case due to associated complex mental health issues

Nerida Harford-Bell represented defendant, Tanweer Ali, in the case. She was instructed by Abid Hussain of Hussain Solicitors.

30 October 2018

Defendants acquitted of £11.5 million money laundering conspiracy

Michael Turner QC, Nerida Harford-Bell and Keir Monteith of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team represented the defendants.

23 August 2016

Garden Court wins Legal 500 crime set of the year award

The winners in these awards are chosen by the Legal 500 as a result of thousands of interviews with firms, sets and counsel.

8 October 2015

Trial collapses after defence submissions in £40million fraud case

Four of the defendants were represented by Keir Monteith, Clare Wade, Nerida Harford-Bell and Shahida Begum of Garden Court Chambers.

27 July 2015

Prince Philip's former aide cleared of indecent assault

Mr Herman was defended in court by Nerida Harford-Bell of Garden Court Chambers.

27 May 2015

Young man cleared of murder whilst his co-defendant girlfriend is cleared of perverting the course of justice

The defendants were represented by Catherine Oborne, Nerida Harford-Bell and Sam Parham.

7 January 2015

All related news

Training and Seminars

Nerida has undertaken training and has trained others in cross-examining Vulnerable Witnesses.


  • BA, MA Sussex[Professional Membership]
  • Amnesty International
  • Criminal Bar Association (CBA)
  • The Fraud Lawyers Association (FRA)

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

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