Criminal Law Barristers Chambers in London

25 Bedford Row is the only criminal barristers’ chambers devoted exclusively to defence work. We are experts in assisting those accused of wrongdoing.

Are you looking for the best criminal defence barrister?

25 Bedford Row has been fighting on behalf of defendants since 1975. We are ranked as one of the leading barristers’ chambers in Chambers and Partners and in the Legal 500. We were awarded Crime Chambers of the Year 2014 by Legal 500.

Our criminal law barristers have been involved in almost every high profile criminal case in recent years. Our expertise in the area of criminal law is unrivalled.

Why choose criminal defence barristers at 25 Bedford Row?

  • We fully understand the impact of a criminal investigation and trial on our clients, who can expect our support from the outset, including pre-charge advice.
  • We exclusively defend and are committed to providing the highest quality advice and representation in every case.
  • We are approachable and offer practical, sensible advice.
  • We are renowned for setting the highest standards in courtroom advocacy.
  • We prepare cases meticulously, ensuring that we have a total grasp of the detail.
  • We work to win cases at an early stage wherever possible.
  • We are a diverse and progressive set. We pride ourselves on our ability to represent clients of all backgrounds.

What types of cases do 25 Bedford Row’s criminal defence barristers take on?

Our criminal defence barristers appear in court in London and across the country every day, and at every level from the Magistrates’ Court to the Supreme Court. We defend individuals accused of a wide variety of offences:

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Terrorism
  • Serious violence
  • Kidnapping
  • False imprisonment
  • Firearms offences
  • Robbery
  • Knife crime
  • Serious organised crime
  • Drug trafficking
  • Money laundering
  • Sexual offences
  • Driving offences
  • Extradition

Why should I use a criminal barrister at 25 Bedford Row?

Criminal barristers at 25 Bedford Row provide the highest level of advice and representation across the whole spectrum of criminal law – from murder and serious violence to fraud and financial crime.

We are considered to be the leading criminal barristers in all areas of sexual crime including rape, sexual assault, historical sexual abuse, indecent images, prostitution and soliciting.

We provide specialist representation in terrorism cases, culture based crime, including honour killings, FGM and forced marriage and cases relating to slavery and servitude.

Our criminal defence barristers also provide expert advice in relation to the full range of driving offences including speeding offences, dangerous and careless driving, alcohol and drug related driving offences, failing to provide, failing to stop and HGV offences.

We are committed to helping clients secure the best outcomes when defending applications for freezing, restraint and confiscation orders, and orders for asset forfeiture under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

If you are facing extradition proceedings within the EU or elsewhere, whether you are a UK or non-UK national, we have some of the best specialist criminal barristers to represent you.

We have unrivalled expertise in appellate work including appeals from the Magistrates’ Court, Crown Court, High Court by way of case stated and Judicial Review, Appeals against conviction and sentence to the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court.

Criminal Barrister FAQs

Why do I need a criminal barrister?

Barristers are specialist legal advisors and court-room advocates. Criminal barristers have specialist knowledge and experience which can make a substantial difference to the outcome of a case. Criminal barristers are renowned in particular for providing the highest quality advocacy and independent legal advice. They deal with the vast majority of serious and high profile cases and are expert in the presentation of cases in court, including cross-examination of witnesses and legal arguments. A barrister may appear in court on your behalf, give you legal advice, draft documents for you and advise on the steps to be taken in proceedings. Advice from a barrister at the early stages of any case can help to resolve problems quickly and efficiently.

Can’t I just use a solicitor? What are the main differences between a criminal barrister and a solicitor in the UK?

It is likely that your solicitor will employ the services of a criminal barrister to deal with the presentation of your case. Barristers and solicitors work together to prepare and present cases in court.

Solicitors provide legal advice and support to their clients. They often attend police stations to represent their clients immediately after they are arrested. They take instructions from the client and deal with the necessary paperwork and communication before the case comes to court. Solicitors are primarily litigators, although many can now do their own advocacy. If a case goes to trial, a solicitor will generally refer the client to a specialist defence barrister for expert advice and representation in court.

Barristers are engaged by solicitors and individual clients to provide specialist advise on the law and the evidence, to draft legal documents, and to structure and present the case in court in order to achieve the best result. Criminal barristers can help by advising clients from a very early stage, even before a charging decision is made.

Some solicitors provide advocacy services to their clients, although many prefer to instruct a barrister to do this because criminal barristers are trained and specialist advocates. Clients are entitled to ask their solicitor to instruct the barrister of their choice, whether or not the case is privately funded or Legally Aided.

What is the process of instructing a criminal barrister?

Barristers are usually instructed through a solicitor. 25 Bedford Row has a good working relationship with solicitors and together will be able to help identify the most suitable criminal barrister to deal with your case. If a client has a chosen barrister in mind they may ask their solicitor to instruct that barrister. Your barrister will consider the papers in your case and may advise in writing or at meeting with you prior to going to court.

Many barristers at 25 Bedford Row also accept instructions directly from members of the public under the Direct Access Scheme.

What is the Direct Access Scheme?

Members of the public seeking legal advice or representation can now approach a criminal defence barrister directly without the need to first engage the services of a solicitor.

To instruct a barrister directly, contact chambers by telephone or email with details of your case and your requirements. Our experienced clerks will advise on which barristers may be suitable and the likely cost.

Why should I use a criminal barrister directly instead of a solicitor?

The Direct Access Scheme allows clients to access immediate legal expertise and opinion from a specialist advocate. Instructing a criminal defence barrister directly is an efficient means of accessing legal advice and can keep costs low.

Is it possible to get Legal Aid for criminal barristers using the Direct Access Scheme?

Legal Aid is not available for direct access criminal cases.

Click here for further information on the Direct Access scheme.

Their reputation for excellence is demonstrated by involvement in almost every recent major serious trial

Chambers UK