Stephen Kamlish KC

Year of Call: 1979 | Year of Silk: 2003

"Steve is one of the few barristers that clients actively ask for by name, and when you watch him in court you can see why. He is a real street fighter and a truly fearless advocate whose cross-examination is often devastating. As much as he is known for his combative advocacy, though, his success is all based on his innate understanding and control of trial strategy. He is a real legend."

Chambers UK, 2023

"He is probably the best person to go to for abuse of process arguments. Feared by prosecutors and respected by judges, barristers don't get much better than him."

Chambers UK, 2022 (Crime, Band 1)

"Steve is intuitive in his approach and can almost smell a good legal point or area to pursue. He has outstanding knowledge of the law but can always see the narrative behind the prosecution case and is expert at teasing it out through, sometimes, daring legal arguments but always through outstanding cross examination."

Legal 500 2022 (Crime, Tier 1)

"He is a specialist in handling murder and terrorism cases, and is frequently acclaimed as 'one of the best jury advocates at the Bar."

Chambers UK, 2021 (Crime, Band 1)

"A most powerful, dynamic and brave advocate. Takes on the hardest of cases and is always totally committed to the client’s cause.

Legal 500, 2021 (Crime, Tier 1)

"He's hard-working, an excellent advocate and a barrister who's very good with clients. He's a real fighter in the courtroom."

Chambers UK, 2020 (Crime, Band 1)


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 2023: Leading Silk

Stephen Kamlish has been instructed in serious and high-profile cases throughout his career. He has had a leading practice for the defence in the Central Criminal Court and on Appeal in the House of Lords, Privy Council and the Court of Appeal.

His first leading brief was in 1985, when he was six years call, in the case of R v Maher at the Central Criminal Court (attempted murder of a police officer).

Criminal Defence

R v Bhadresh Gohil, Southwark Crown Court, 2016
Bhadresh Gohil was accused of perverting the course of public justice by making allegations of police corruption to the press. The defence in this case was that allegations of police corruption were, in fact, true. Following an abuse of process argument and repeated requests for disclosure and review, the Crown offered no evidence on 21 January 2016. In October 2016, Stephen represented Mr Gohil at confiscation proceedings. The case has received substantial media coverage, see the BBC, The Telegraph and Daily Mail.

R v Nana Oppong Central Criminal Court, 2015
First and most active defendant of seven tried for the brutal murder of a young man, all of which was caught in daylight on two clear CCTV cameras. Others were convicted of murder.

R v Stacey Hyde Winchester Crown Court, 2015
Stacey was convicted of murdering a violent man in 2010 when she was aged 17 and he was aged 32. Her conviction was quashed and a retrial ordered in 2014 on the ground that fresh medical evidence showed she may only have been guilty of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility. At her retrial she was acquitted of both murder and manslaughter on the grounds of self-defence. This case was reported widely by the media, including by The Guardian, the BBC and The Telegraph.

R v Fiaz Munshi Oxford Crown Court, 2014
The defendant was put on trial 16 years after four others were convicted of the murder of two children in a deliberately-started house fire in Oxford in 1997. It was alleged that the defendant had recruited the four men (convicted of murder) to set fire to the house which contained six people in the course of a family feud. The defendant was acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter.

2013/14: Stephen was currently instructed as one of a team of lawyers by the Freedom and Justice party in Egypt on behalf of the imprisoned President Morsi to advise upon bringing international and national criminal proceedings for crimes against humanity and crimes of universal jurisdiction against the current military junta.

R v Dr X, 2013 (Salisbury Crown Court)
Dr X, a GP was accused of multiple unlawful sexual assaults by penetration of a woman police officer who had attended the surgery for a swollen bee sting on her lower right leg. Acquitted on all counts.

R v Khan, 2012 (Sheffield Crown Court)
Four defendants charged with murdering a youth by driving into him in a public street in the presence of witnesses. The remaining defendants pleaded guilty to lesser offences. Mr Khan was then tried on his own for murder. He was acquitted on this and all lesser counts.

R v McEwan and Smith, 2012 (Woolwich Crown Court)
A shooting case in which Stephen applied for the case to be stayed as an abuse of process on the ground that the police and CPS had permitted the main prosecution witness to commit crime without charging him in order that he should give evidence for the prosecution in this trial. Judge found that the case should be stayed for abuse. Not guilty verdict recorded.

R v Grant and others, 2012 (Central Criminal Court)
The shooting of two people by a youth aiming at another person in south London. One victim was a five-year-old girl who is now paralysed from the neck down. The other, an innocent shopper, was shot in the face. Convicted. Permission to appeal has been granted.

R v Lewis Wilson, 2010 (Central Criminal Court)
The defendant and others were charged with the murder of a youth in the street in east London. There were a total of 12 eyewitnesses who identified Wilson as present or as a knife-wielding attacker. His defence was that he was not in the area when the killing took place. There was also confession evidence and CCTV footage said to show him walking metres away from and towards the killing with a knife. Unanimously acquitted by the jury. Three prosecution witnesses were subsequently charged with perjury.

R v Khan and 6 others, 2010 (Sheffield Crown Court)
Seven defendants charged with a conspiracy to murder in which the victim was shot and killed. This was followed by the killing of the gunman a few days later by those who had employed him. Stephen sought a stay of proceedings against all defendants on the basis of an allegedly corrupt police investigation and a failure to disclose material (which pointed to the innocence of some defendants) by the police and the CPS. Seven days into the abuse of process hearing the Crown conceded and invited the court to record not guilty verdicts against all seven defendants.

Palestinian Families in Gaza v Tzipi Livni, 2009 (Westminister Magistrates' Court)
Stephen applied for and was granted an arrest warrant for war crimes arising out of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008 committed by the deputy prime minister of Israel. This was the first warrant to be granted against an Israeli politician in the UK, all earlier ones having been refused.

R v Baybasin, 2008 - 2010 (Woolwich Crown Court)
Long-running series of trials of an alleged drugs baron described by his accomplice who turned Queen's evidence as "controlling 90% of all the heroin smuggling in Europe." Convicted, quashed on appeal, re-tried and acquitted on a submission of no case to answer.

R v Dr Mohammed Asha and Dr Bilal Abdullah, 2008, (Woolwich Crown Court)
The London and Glasgow Airport bombing conspiracy of June 2007. Stephen's client, Dr Asha, was acquitted. Stephen then represented him before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission where he appealed against the Home Secretary's deportation order. The appeal was allowed and Dr Asha now works as a neurosurgeon in the NHS.

R v Nasri and 3 others, 2008 (Central Criminal Court)
The contract killing of Metropolitan Police Special Constable Nisha Patel-Nasri. Stephen's client was the only defendant of four to be acquitted.

R v Ibrahim and 5 others, 2006/7 (Woolwich Crown Court)
The alleged 21/7 London bombers. Stephen's client was the only one of the five alleged bombers not to have been convicted. The defendant later pleaded guilty to a lesser offence. He is now leading a team of four barristers and two solicitors on an appeal against conviction on behalf of his client and is also representing three of the convicted defendants on a Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) application against conviction. This appeal is on the ground that the principal scientist called by the Crown at trial gave false and perjured evidence as the viability of the devices.

R v Martin, Gregory and others, 2005 (Leicester Crown Court)
The New Year's Eve drive-by shootings in Birmingham. Two murders, three attempted murders.

Palestinian Families in Gaza v General Doron Almog, 2005, (Bow Street Magistrates' Court)
First successful application for an international arrest warrant under Geneva Conventions Act 1957 for war crimes in Gaza, against the Commander of the Israeli forces.

Counsel to Harold Shipman following his conviction for murdering 15 of his patients, in 2000 at Preston Crown Court. Advising on appeal.

Stephen Lawrence Inquiry
First junior counsel to the Lawrence family in the private prosecution of the alleged killers of Stephen Lawrence, 1998 (Central Criminal Court). Then counsel to the Lawrence family at the five month MacPherson Inquiry, 1999.

R v Donna Clarke and two others, 1999 (Bristol Crown Court)
Three murders and arson with intent. First convictions quashed on appeal, proceedings at retrial then stayed as an abuse of process, despite the `court of Appeal having ordered a retrial.

R v Kayretli, 1998 (Chelmsford Crown Court)
Essex 'kebab shop' murder, corpse stored in meat fridge whilst kebab shop continued to trade. Allegation (denied) that customers were being sold kebabs made of human meat as when the corpse was discovered it had virtually no flesh on the skeleton. Acquittal on murder but convicted of manslaughter. Conviction quashed on appeal.

R v Gannon and seven others, 1997 (Central Criminal Court)
Alleged IRA plot to disable the entire electricity supply to Greater London by bombing a number of electricity sub stations. Convicted. Sentence of 35 years imprisonment altered to two years following the Good Friday Agreement.

Stephen was instructed in a number of Prevention of Terrorism Act and Terrorism Act cases, representing alleged IRA members on charges including conspiracy to murder and cause explosions in the 1990s. There was only one conviction, as set out above.

Counsel for Flying Squad and Operation Trident number one targets including Charlie Knight, Tony Ward, George Ellis, Edwin Appiah and Mark Lambie in a series of trials throughout the 1990s.The charges ranged from murder to armed robberies and drug conspiracies.

R v Lady Dawn Kennedy, 1992 (Central Criminal Court)
Defendant had accused four men of rape. Following police investigation, which concluded that no rape had occurred, she was charged on four counts of perverting the course of public justice. She was acquitted on all counts on the defence that all four had raped her.

R v Stone, 1988 (Chelmsford Crown Court)
Operation Lager. At the time, the largest ever UK drugs operation, involving 53 defendants and 80 to 100 tonnes of cannabis in 41 separate importations. Stone was the principal defendant. Stephen represented him both in The Netherlands, during extradition proceedings, and in the UK on final disposal when he pleaded guilty.

R v Silcott, Braithwaite and others, 1986 (Central Criminal Court)
The murder of PC Blakelock and Broadwater Farm 'riots' and two subsequent appeals in which the convictions were quashed.

Contact Stephen

International Crime and Conflict Law

Palestinian Families in Gaza v Tzipi Livni, 2009 (Westminster Magistrates' Court)
Stephen applied for and was granted an arrest warrant for war crimes arising out of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008 committed by the deputy prime minister of Israel. This was the first warrant to be granted against an Israeli politician in the UK, all earlier ones having been refused.

Contact Stephen

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

Fresh Inquest Into the Death of Jessie Earl

Stephen Kamlish QC and Christopher Williams of Garden Court Chambers represented the family of Jessie Earl in the Divisional Court on 14 December 2021.

17 December 2021

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

Rapper Ceon Broughton wins appeal against manslaughter conviction following festival death of Louella Fletcher-Michie

Ceon Broughton was represented by Stephen Kamlish QC of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team leading Richard Thomas of Doughty Street Chambers instructed by Alastair Lyon of Birnberg Peirce Solicitors.

18 August 2020

Acquittal of four men at Kingston Crown Court for money laundering and evasion of duty offences

Stephen Kamlish QC, Brenda Campbell QC, Jacob Bindman, Emma Fenn and Alia Akram represented three of the defendants.

28 June 2018

Garden Court and Stephanie Harrison QC shortlisted for Human Rights and Public Law awards

Garden Court has been shortlisted at the Chambers Bar Awards, whilst Stephanie and our Public Law Team are shortlisted at the Legal 500 Awards.

21 October 2016

Trial collapses after CPS accused of covering up Metropolitan Police corruption

Stephen Kamlish QC and Catherine Oborne defended Mr Gohil, who was charged with making false allegations of police corruption.

25 January 2016

Chambers UK Bar Guide ranks Garden Court in Band 1

Garden Court Chambers recognised as a leading set for immigration, social housing, civil liberties, police law, Court of Protection, crime and inquests and public inquiries.

30 October 2015

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

Stacey Hyde cleared of murder in retrial

Stephen Kamlish QC and Clare Wade of Garden Court Chambers were defending.

22 May 2015

Garden Court Chambers ranked Band 1 in Chambers UK 2014

We are once again delighted to have been ranked as a leading set by Chambers and Partners in the Chambers UK 2014 directory.

31 October 2013

All related news


Stephen Kamlish QC joined Garden Court Chambers in 2013 after practising at Tooks Chambers.


  • BA (Hons) Law

Professional Membership

  • Criminal Bar Association (CBA)


  • French
  • Italian

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