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36 Bedford Row
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Areas of Experience

36 Crime: An Introduction

36 Crime, the 36 Group's criminal law team, comprises more than 40 members, including 10 Queen’s Counsel. There is breadth and depth of experience and expertise in all areas of serious and complex crime.

We prosecute and defend publicly and privately funded cases at all levels of criminal tribunal, from the Magistrates' Courts to the Supreme Court. We appear for claimants and defendants on judicial review claims in the Divisional Court. We are frequently instructed to advise upon, and appear on appeals in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

We prosecute on behalf of the CPS, including the Complex Casework Unit, the Organised Crime Division and the Health and Safety Executive, amongst others, as well as being instructed in private prosecutions. We are regularly called upon to defend in cases of the utmost gravity.

We have specialist counsel available for areas of work where the prosecuting body or defendant is better served by being represented by specialists. This ranges from cases involving the perpetration of serious offences on the ‘Dark Web’ and the Cybercrime phenomenon (particularly fraud and sexual offences) to Trading Standards offences, Confiscations, Disciplinary and Regulatory work, Licensing and so on.

We have a strong presence in London and the South East, and a well established presence throughout the Midlands. In recent years, we have provided numerous members of the Circuit Bench, most particularly in the Midlands.

There is a strong international dimension to some of our work, provided through our team of extradition specialists (36 Extradition) and members who have appeared in some of the most serious international war crimes trials of recent times in Europe, Africa and Asia. A former member of Chambers is now a sitting judge of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Private clients

36 Crime offers a clear and competitive fee structure for private clients.

Direct Access

Many of our counsel are able to accept 'Direct Access' instructions should a client wish to instruct counsel directly, without first going through a solicitor.

Consumer Law and Trading Standards Offences

36 Consumer is recognised as a leading specialist practice group for consumer law. Members of 36 Consumer are recognised as leaders in the field by the independent legal directories, and have acted in some of the most significant consumer law cases of recent years. The group's expertise encompasses all areas of consumer law, including trading standards, product safety, animal welfare, the Enterprise Act and intellectual property and brand protection. 36 Consumer also has the two general editors of the leading text on consumer law, ‘Trading Standards - Law and Practice’, as well as a number of contributing authors. Members of the team act on behalf of consumers, consumer groups, corporations, and local authorities in cases ranging from compliance advice and criminal prosecutions to civil actions and judicial reviews. Click Here for more information.

Criminal Judicial Review

Members of our Chambers’ Criminal Judicial Review team are contributors to the leading practitioner textbook ‘Criminal Judicial Review’ (Hart Publishing). The book’s General Editor is Piers Von Berg, who leads the Criminal Judicial Review team.

The team’s members have deep knowledge of this highly specialised field, which requires a combination of knowledge and experience of both the criminal courts and public and administrative law.

Members of the team advise and appear in the Administrative Court and the Divisional Court in claims for judicial review that relate to:

  • The Police
  • The Crown Prosecution Service
  • The Magistrates’, Crown and Coroners’ Courts
  • The Prison Service and Probation Service
  • Statutory bodies such as the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) and the Legal Aid Agency
  • Claimants who are children, young persons or have mental health disorders
  • The international dimension, including extradition proceedings and European Arrest Warrants and EU criminal law.

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Members of 36 Crime are increasingly retained to prosecute or defend cases in which the growing phenomenon of cybercrime heavily features. The evidence in cybercrime cases is technically demanding, requiring counsel with specialist expertise and knowledge to prosecute or defend effectively. We have been involved in trials involving cutting edge developments in combating cybercrime.

Members of our cybercrime team have developed a national reputation in the field, having prosecuted and defended in some of the highest profile cybercrime cases in recent years.

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Disciplinary and Regulatory

We have a long established reputation as a centre of excellence for advocacy in the criminal courts. Over the past few years, our members have increasingly been instructed to apply those advocacy skills in the setting of professional, disciplinary and regulatory hearings involving the Fire Service, Police, Sport organisations, and the legal and medical professions, to name but a few.

We have a dedicated Police Disciplinary Team. We represent Officers facing gross misconduct hearings. The team is recognised as being at the quality end of barristers’ Chambers practising in this field. Rebecca Herbert is the national legally qualified Chair of the Police Appeals Tribunal, and Steven Evans is a legally qualified Chair of the Police Disciplinary Tribunals.


36 Extradition, the 36 Group's extradition team, is a highly specialist group of barristers, who are known for their dedication and expertise.

Members of 36 Extradition have have acted in some of the leading cases in this rapidly evolving area of law, including the seminal case of Kandola, concerning the ‘charge/try’ bar to extradition. The team are often instructed in prison conditions cases, and have been at the cutting edge of challenges to the conditions in Hungary, Italy, Greece and Bulgaria.

36 Extradition members have contributed as authors to the leading practitioners’ text book 'Criminal Judicial Review', and are able to advise on public law challenges to extradition decisions, as well as Habeas Corpus claims.

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Fraud and Business Crime

36 Crime has an established reputation in the Midlands and London for both the prosecution and defence of complex fraud and financial crime, including offences under the Fraud Act 2006, Companies Act 2006, Insolvency Act 1986 and the Bribery Act 2010.

Members are regularly instructed by a number of prosecuting authorities including the CPS, Local Authorities, Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the Financial Conduct Authority. Two members of Chambers are currently on secondment to the Serious Fraud Office, and another five have regular periods working at the SFO on long-term projects whilst remaining in full-time private practice as barristers.

Members of both 36 Commercial and 36 Family (Chambers’ commercial and family teams, respectively), complement the expertise of Chambers’ criminal practitioners in dealing with issues of fraud in the civil context. Members drawn from different practice areas within Chambers, recently delivered a joint seminar on alleging fraud in civil and family cases, and on the emerging ‘self-help’ remedy of businesses bringing private prosecutions for fraud.

Health and Safety Including Fire

36 Crime offers the services of leading Silks and Juniors who have a wealth of expertise in defending and prosecuting fatal and non-fatal Health and Safety offences, Corporate Manslaughter, Gross Negligence Manslaughter and Fire Safety cases.

Our barristers have experience in mastering the technical detail in high profile cases including fatalities and injury in the workplace and in the transport sector on both road and rail.

Members of the Health and Safety team provide bespoke seminar training and Advice to Local Authorities and the Fire & Rescue Services on the investigation of cases, disclosure responsibilities, and presentation of evidence in the prosecution of health and safety offences and breaches of the Fire Safety regulations.

Homicide and Related Grave Offences

36 Crime, 36 Group’s criminal law team, has a long tradition of its barristers representing prosecution and defence in homicide cases (including murder, manslaughter, corporate manslaughter & fatal road traffic accidents). 36 Crime is highly regarded, with enviable strength in depth. For homicide cases, we have 7 Silks and more than 35 juniors available, offering the highest degree of legal expertise and trial advocacy in both prosecution and defence work. We have a strong presence in London and the South East, and are particularly well established in the East Midlands, where our specialist trial advocates are regularly instructed in the most serious and high profile Crown Court cases. Increasingly, we appear in the West Midlands, particularly in Birmingham.


The 36 Group’s Licensing team is made up of specialist practitioners who act in cases at all levels of complexity. We provide advice and representation to licence- holders, businesses, local authorities, regulatory bodies, and the police in both civil and criminal proceedings. Members of the team routinely appear before licensing sub-committees, Magistrates’ Courts (in both civil appeals and criminal prosecutions), the Crown Court, and the High Court. Our expertise spans the full range of licensable activities, including alcohol and entertainment, sex entertainment venues, private hire and Hackney carriage licensing, firearms, residential property, gambling, and the security industry.

Restraint, Confiscations and Civil Asset Recovery

Members of 36 Crime have extensive experience in defending and prosecuting in cases involving large-scale confiscation orders, and challenging final orders in the appellate courts.

The law concerning restraint of assets is increasingly complex, and members are able to advise and represent both those facing orders and third parties whose assets are affected.

Where assets have been or are the subject of requests from other jurisdictions for freezing or enforcement of confiscation orders, either under mutual legal assistance requests or mutual recognition procedures, members are able to provide advice in this specialist area. Equally where requests are made by UK authorities to enforce against assets abroad, members are experienced in the challenges that can be brought. In particular, Jonathan Spicer, has been seconded to the Crown Prosecution Service as a European Asset Recovery Advisor and lectures widely on this subject.

Non-conviction based asset recovery under Part V of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 involves an understanding of both criminal and civil litigation practice. As a multi-discipline set of chambers our members have considerable experience in both areas, and are involved in civil recovery actions from an early stage through to final determination of the litigation.

Serious and Organised Crime Including Terrorism

Members of 36 Crime conduct the most serious and complex organised crime cases, throughout the country. Some of our members have considerable experience advising and appearing in cases where Terrorism offences are charged.

We appear in high profile large-scale conspiracy trials involving drug importation and drug supply networks, both defending and prosecuting. We are involved in cases concerning the operation of international criminal gangs who carry out ‘People Trafficking’ for sexual and economic exploitation.

We are engaged in trials involving organised criminals carrying out or planning murder. These cases involve conspiracies to murder, contract killings and the activities of organised criminals, including the use of firearms, kidnapping and robbery.

36 Bedford Row barristers have a high reputation for their case preparation in these difficult and large cases. They advise quickly and fully, and provide leadership throughout the most complex and challenging criminal trials.

Our serious organised crime team barristers will travel to see clients in custody and provide regular conferences with all their clients, in any part of the country.

Serious Sexual Offences

36 Crime has especial expertise in the prosecution and defence of serious sexual offences. Many of our criminal law practitioners specialise in this area and practice almost exclusively in it. Our sexual offences team has significant experience in cases involving allegations of child sexual exploitation by gangs of men. Our practitioners have long experience in trials of rape and sexual assaults. We continue to update our advocacy for vulnerable complainants and defendants.

We are instructed in sex trafficking cases, in female genital mutilation, in kidnap and in exploitation cases. We deal with child pornography, extreme pornography, child prostitution and all computerised offending, including offences by persons operating on the ‘Dark Web’ (described by a former head of GCHQ as a haven for “the worst aspects of human nature”). 

We have expertise in historic allegations including the group prosecution and defence of teachers, social workers, priests, carers and foster carers for sexual abuse of children in their care. We understand that this involves careful and thorough examination of the unused material in the case, and providing timely advice. This work also involves considered care of elderly accused with dementia, Alzheimer's disease and other mental or physical infirmities.

We deal with sexual violence where the act also involves extreme violence or torture.

We have specialised practitioners dealing with very young witnesses, those with learning disabilities or mental and physical disabilities. We work regularly with witnesses with autism.

We lecture and give seminars on sexual offences, write articles, give advice, and provide radio and television interviews. Members assist on a variety of working parties, concerned with designing questioning procedures for witnesses and on the creation of new criminal offences.