John Cooper QC
  • Incredibly good with clients and good at getting the judge on side.

    Chambers UK 2022

  • He is ferocious in court

    Legal 500 2022, Crime

  • A skilled advocate.

    Legal 500 2022, Civil Liberties and Human Rights 

  • Incredibly good with clients and excellent at getting on the right side of both the judge and the jury.

    Chambers UK 2021

  • Utterly fearless in his representation of clients.

    Legal 500

  • ‘Forensic skills that are of the highest possible order.

    Legal 500

  • Experienced in testing the boundaries of the law. An expert in crime-related matters.

    Legal 500

  • An excellent advocate, who provides well-researched and thought-out advice.

    Legal 500

  • Disarming to judges and prosecutors alike.

    Legal 500

  • Excellent on his feet and very good on tactics.

    Legal 500

  • A charismatic trial advocate.

    Legal 500

  • Instructed in serious violent crime cases.

    Legal 500 2020

  • A skilled advocate.

    Legal 500 2020

Called 1983

Silk 2010

John Cooper QC


Leading in serious crime including murder, serious violence, drug trafficking, terrorism, fraud, human rights and media. Regulatory work including fraud and sports regulation. Inquest work including Judicial Review.

Has fast developed a reputation as being head and shoulders above the majority of other QCs.Legal 500

He has a significant International practice representing clients all over the world. Most recently, he has been instructed in the well known case of Marrache a long running fraud trial in Gibraltar.

John Cooper QC, was Chair of the International Steering Committee and Prosecutor at the Iran Tribunal in The Hague. Two years since it was first initiated, the Tribunal has now delivered its Judgment. The full Judgment can be downloaded here.

John Cooper QC has been named by The Times as one of the Top 100 Influential Lawyers of 2012 in the UK. He is also visiting Professor of Law at Cardiff University and a Master of the Bench at Middle Temple.

  • has considerable expertise in private prosecutions being credited as a Grade 4 (most serious cases) Prosecutor.
  • has also been assessed as an A list (most serious) Attorney General Prosecutor.

For more information:

Direct Access

Includes international contractual advice most recently in relation to Australian law, as well as domestic written advice and conferences.

John Cooper QC also uniquely utilises in-depth knowledge of the media, press and broadcast to advise clients upon reputation and crisis management, as well as neutralising in advance any legal action and adverse publicity.

John Cooper QC was Vice Chairman of the Bar Council Public Affairs Committee for a number of years and writes regularly for a number of newspapers including The Times, Observer and the Daily Telegraph.

Recently advised MP opposition spokesperson on criminal charges against them and was able to achieve, without going to court, the dropping of the case.

Advised and assisted person arrested for child sex offences, including liaising with Police to demonstrate wrong identification resulting in the case being dropped before charge.

Articles & Publications (include)


  • Cruelty – An Analysis of Article 3 (Sweet & Maxwell) with a foreword by Lord Hope
  • Judicial Review (Sweet & Maxwell)
  • Police Interviews (Sweet & Maxwell)
  • Encyclopaedia of Data Protection and Privacy (contributor; Sweet and Maxwell)
  • The Link between Animal Abuse and Human Violence (Sussex Academic Press 2009)
  • Inquests (Hart Publishing, 2011) with a foreword from the Lord Chief Justice
  • Cases that Changed our Lives (Butterworths) 2011

Papers and Articles

Over 500 papers and articles appearing in most legal publications, including;

  • Criminal Law & Justice Weekly - 4 June 2011 - Consent and How to Prove?
  • Article 3 – The Road to Ultra Violence (University College London Jurisprudence Review)
  • The Links between Animal and Human Cruelty and its relevance to Criminal Law (Keble College Oxford).
  • Liability by Satellite; The Legal Minefield for Mobile Services.'
  • Satellite Communications Conference, London, 1988
  • 'Genocide'. The International Law Conference, Law Society, 2002. Chaired by Mr Justice Fulford.
  • 'The Human Rights Act- An International Perspective'. Human Rights and the Rule of Law Conference, Nepal, 2002
  • 'Private Grief: Privacy, Breach of Confidence and Interception of Communications' Law Society Lectures, 2002.
  • 'Broadcasting The Courtroom'. Royal Society Lecture, 2005.
  • 'The Evidential Value of Email'. London, 2005
  • 'The Rule of Law; Where now?' London Law Review Conference, Royal Courts of Justice, 2006.
  • 'Interception of Communication'. 5th Annual Covert Policing Conference, London, 2006
  • 'Due Process versus Administrative Action; The Future of Disciplinary Proceedings'. Getting Perspective on the Disciplinary Process- Annual Sports Law Conference, London, 2007.
  • 'Offending Patterns and Criminal Profiling of Individuals who Hunt with Dogs'. Relationship Between Animal Abuse and Human Violence International Conference, Keble College, Oxford University, 2007
  • 'Street Surveillance; The Law, Issues and Future'. 6th Annual Covert Policing Conference, Stormont, Belfast, 2007.
  • 'Human Rights and Military Justice'. Human Rights Law Conference (JUSTICE), London, 2007.
  • 'Monitoring the Public; The Law, the Issues and Practicalities'. Local Authorities Annual Conference, London, 2007.
  • 'The Art of Cross examination' American Bar Association Conference, London, October, 2007
  • 'Whistleblowers; Evidential Value and Use'. British Medical Journal Vol 305 p1343 and Solicitors Journal Vol 136 p 1166.
  • Fair Trials; An Analysis of the Louise Woodward Hearing. Amicus Curiae, March 1998 p18.
  • 'Article 3 and the Road to Ultra Violence'. University College, London, Jurisprudence Review, 2007.
  • 'Tolerating Torture- A Critique of the Court's Interpretation of Article 3 of the ECHR'. Kurdish Human Rights Project Legal Review (2007) 11 KHRP.
  • 'The Sentencing Guidelines Council- A Practical Perspective'. [2008] Criminal Law Review 277.

For Archbold News

  • 'Disclosure and Abuse of Process ' June 2008.
  • Taking Instructions and withdrawal from the case. July 2008.
  • Corroboration of sexual offences and abuse of process. July 2003 page 4.

For New Law Journal

  • From the Taylor Twins to Leah Betts. Vol 147 p 963.
  • The role of evil in the criminal justice system. 6th June 2008. 800.
  • 'A Step Too Far- Solicitors Duties in Police Interview'. (1999) 868
  • 'Should the Judiciary be influenced by the social climate of the day when they make their decisions?' (2006) 1896
  • 'Who should decide the parameters of justice?' (2007) 1168.
  • 'The legal profession has a duty to stand up to executive intimidation'. (2007) 1628
  • 'Cruelty to animals indicates a telling propensity for violent behaviour'. (2007) 828.
  • 'The jurisprudential gold standard of torture needs to be revisited'. (2007) 496.
  • 'Is the balance of justice shifting too far in favour of victims?'. (2007) 236.
  • 'A significant proportion of Tony Blair's reforms have been forced upon him by crisis.' (2007) 648.
  • 'Non- disclosure is as much in the interests of justice as disclosure.' (2007) 380.
  • 'Why do we allow revenge and neglect it play such major roles in our justice systems?'. (2007) 81.
  • 'Education, not more legislation, will help the public understand and respect the law'. (2007) 1441.
  • 'It is time to recognise the benefits of Restorative justice'. (2007) 988.
  • 'Swift justice, although desirable, is not always the best course.' (2007) 1248.
  • 'The British penal system deprives prisoners of basic citizen's rights'. (2007) 1745.
  • 'Disclosure: Is the Crown complying with its duty?' (2008) 227.
  • '1998-2008: State and Citizen- When two parties break up'. (2008) 80.
  • 'Extradition and retrospectively'. (2008) 428.
  • 'Establishing the truth can take time.' (2008) 569.

For The Lawyer; 2000-2003

  • 'Cuts in the justice system are criminal'
  • 'No justice in limiting rights to a jury.'
  • 'The cost of changing the system.'
  • 'When 'guilty' is the better choice'.
  • 'Will fair pay give a fair trial?'.
  • 'Excessive strain falls on jury members.'
  • 'Straw's scheme offers nothing new- Victim Personal Statements.'
  • 'Hooligans prove rights are not equal.'

For The Independent

  • 'Are innocent people being kept in detention?' 28th November 2007.
  • The role of evil in the criminal justice system. 6th June 2008. 800
  • Columnist for The Times and Feature Writer since 1999.
  • Consultant Editor for Criminal Law and Justice Weekly - 2009 to date
  • Editor for Criminal Bar Quarterly 2000 to date
  • Regular writer for The Observer - 2008 to date
  • Regular writer for the Daily Telegraph 2012 to date


John Cooper QC has appeared in many television and radio broadcasts, both as a presenter and contributor. His credits include;

  • Teens on Trial, Channel 4 Presented six part documentary.
  • Mindfield, BBC presented studio discussion programme.
  • Trial of the Allies, a Newsnight Special, BBC (2006) co-presenting.
  • The Moral Maze, Radio 4 guest.
  • In My View , Al Jazeera
  • Regularly reviews newspapers for Sky News.
  • Regular appearances on BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Radio 4 and other major broadcasting.

Recent Testimonials

  • "John has the ability to rapidly absorb a huge volume of material, distil it to the salient details and focus directly on the crucial legal and procedural issues. It is refreshing to work with someone who is at the top of his profession who maintains such levels of professional consideration and courtesy with both instructing solicitors and their ultimate clients, even on the most distressing and delicate matters." Legal 500 2022, Inquests and Inquiries
  • "Incredibly good with clients and good at getting the judge on side." Chambers UK 2022
  • "He is ferocious in court" Legal 500 2022, Crime
  • "A skilled advocate." Legal 500 2022, Civil Liberties and Human Rights
  • "Incredibly good with clients and excellent at getting on the right side of both the judge and the jury." Chambers UK 2021
  • "Utterly fearless in his representation of clients." Legal 500
  • "Forensic skills that are of the highest possible order" Legal 500
  • "Experienced in testing the boundaries of the law. An expert in crime-related matters." Legal 500
  • "An excellent advocate, who provides well-researched and thought-out advice." Legal 500
  • "Disarming to judges and prosecutors alike." Legal 500
  • "Excellent on his feet and very good on tactics." Legal 500
  • "A charismatic trial advocate." Legal 500
  • "Instructed in serious violent crime cases." Legal 500 2020

Associated Work

  • Board member of Prisoner of Conscience
  • Member of the Board of the Citizenship Foundation
  • President of League Against Cruel Sports
  • Associated with the “NUDGE” group
  • Freeman of the City of London : Worshipful Company of Coopers
  • Advisor to Foreign Office on Cambodian War Trials.
  • Assisted Medical Foundation for the Victims of Torture.
  • Listed in Debrett’s People of Today as one of the most influential people in his field.
  • Chambers & Partners Directory listed as a leading Silk in crime and civil liberties.
  • Entry in Who's Who.
  • Former lawyer at Clifford Chance.
  • Member of Law Commission Working Parties on (i) Reform of the Law of Homicide & (ii) Expert Evidence Procedure in Criminal Trials.
  • Honorary Advisor to UCL Jurisprudence Review.
  • Director of Media & Communications for the Halsbury Law Exchange (LexisNexis)

Professional Memberships

  • Master of the Bench at Middle Temple.
  • Vice Chairman of Bar Council’s Public Affairs Committee.
  • Vice Chairman of Bar Conference Organising Board.
  • Criminal Bar Association.
  • Editor of Criminal Bar Quarterly (National Magazine for Criminal Practitioners).
  • Middle Temple (Advocacy Trainer).
  • Bar Human Rights Committee.
  • Called to Australian Bar 1989.
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts 2009 (FRSA).

Other Interests

  • Writer for television and theatre including: “The Law Lord” [BBC2]; “The Advocates” [ITV] “The Cure” [Royal Court Theatre], Burning Point [Tricycle Theatre]. Represented by Independent Talent.
  • Regularly appears on television and radio as spokesperson for the Bar on legal issues.


  • LLB (Hons), Butterworth Law Prizeman, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • Member of the Australian Bar. Call 1989

Data Protection Officer for John Cooper QC: Peter Allsopp