Criminal Law

“A popular set with an impressive profile in Kent and a strong bench of silks and juniors. Its barristers regularly prosecute and defend a range of serious criminal cases, including murders, drug conspiracies and sexual assault. They win praise from interviewees for their advocacy skills as well as their client care”.

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2021 – Leading Set (Crime)

“Six Pump Court has expertise in heavyweight criminal cases, notably serious sexual offences, high-profile murders and serious violence”.

Legal 500 2019 – Leading Set (Crime)

“…a strong practice across the full spectrum of criminal law, and is particularly well recognised for its expertise in homicide and sexual offence cases. Its team of highly qualified silks and juniors are experienced in both prosecution and defence work and also regularly take on major cases relating to drug trafficking, fraud and animal cruelty. The set wins high praise overall from instructing solicitors, with one remarking: “The quality of the advocacy is very high, but their client manner is also excellent and the clerks will go out of their way to help you if they can.”

Chambers UK Bar Guide


The Six Pump Court Criminal Law Team has universally recognised and long-established excellence at all levels in all aspects of advisory and advocacy work within the broad context of criminal practice. As a leading set in this area, its members are regularly instructed both to prosecute and defend, a feature ensuring a balanced, informed and incisive approach.

Areas with which our criminal law barristers are particularly associated include homicide, complex fraud and serious sexual offences, together with regulatory, inquest, disciplinary and other tribunal work, and the more varied assistance often required by private clients.

The Criminal Law Team was established and took deep and proud root almost one hundred years ago in Kent and Sussex where it established a reputation second to none and from which emerged eminent Silks, Circuit, High Court and Court of Appeal Judges. The reputation and practice of the criminal law barristers in the Team has now expanded throughout England and Wales, and offshore. With 4 Queen’s Counsel and 22 highly rated Juniors, the Team offers the depth and breadth of experience that ensures efficient, imaginative and robust representation in any case, irrespective of gravity or complexity. Furthermore, as an integral part of a true ‘mixed set’, the Team has a proven track record beyond mainstream crime dating back many decades, something of particular relevance in the context of quasi-criminal/criminal-civil litigation, advice and representation.

Our Criminal Law Barristers are also members of other Teams within Chambers and operate in the narrower fields of Environmental, Health and Safety and Regulatory prosecutions by the CPS and other agencies. Senior Members of the Team act in the most sensitive of cases and are often brought in to lead in the Court of Appeal.

Our Criminal Law Barristers are expertly managed by a dedicated Clerks’ Room which insists in each case that the client’s expectations are understood and advanced. The Clerks have built up ‘second to none relationships’ with the list offices at the many court centres where members of the Team appear and are well positioned to overcome listing difficulties should they arise.

Criminal Law Barristers at Six Pump Court accept publicly or privately funded and direct access work.


Stephen Hockman QC:  “A formidable advocate with great court presence.” “He has superb judgement and is a first-class advocate. He is very much respected by the judges in front of whom he appears.” Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019  Brilliant advocate, with fantastic acumen for complicated cases.Legal 500 2019

Richard Barraclough QC: He has a wonderful ability to simplify complex cases.” Legal 500 2019 “He is very persuasive, very engaging and his work is of a very high standard.” Chambers UK Bar Guide 2018. “He’s very hard-working and shows meticulous attention to detail.” Chambers UK Bar Guide 2017. “He has an incredible presence in court.” Chambers and Partners 2016. “Amazing ability to cross-examine, thanks to his preparation, application and intellect. Legal 500.

Oliver Saxby QC:  “A thoroughly modern advocate with charm, skill and steely determination.” Legal 500 2019 “…extremely knowledgeable, hard-working and personable…he has a very skilful and intuitive approach to juries…” Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019  “A distinguished silk…particular expertise in high-profile homicide and sexual abuse cases…skilled in the treatment and handling of vulnerable witnesses…very popular with his clients and those he represents…very down to earth, personable and gets on well with clients. An all-round excellent advocateChambers UK Bar Guide 2018A good communicator and charming advocate with an outstanding ability to grasp the issues quickly…A masterclass in cross-examination techniques.Legal 500 2017. “Outstanding preparation, excellent court manner…He went out of his way to be particularly helpful, very proactive and very quick in terms of his responses.Chambers UK Bar Guide 2017. “Charming and courteous with a steel core…An excellent jury advocate.Legal 500 2016. “He has a strong reputation for acting in high-profile serious crimes, in particular acting for the defence in homicide cases. He has also been instructed on a number of high-profile serious sexual offences… He gets right to the heart of the case at a very early stage… He is calm, succinct and persuasive.” Chambers and Partners 2015.

Paul Taylor: “…a persuasive and tenacious advocate.”  The Legal 500

John O’Higgins:Very intelligent, tactically astute and inspires confidence in his clients.” Legal 500 2019 “An accomplished junior who has acted in a vast number of cases, including those concerning homicide, serious violence, sexual offences and fraud.” “A really canny operator and a first-rate advocate.” Chambers UK Bar Guide 2018. “He’s an extremely confident and commanding advocate, capable of undertaking the most serious work. His written work is also excellent: prompt and succinct.” Chambers UK Bar Guide 2017. “He is an exceptional advocate who has a commanding courtroom presence. He is a fearless opponent who nevertheless possesses the soft skills to deal with the most vulnerable of clients. He quickly identifies the heart of a case but also finds points of law that elude other.” Chambers and Partners 2016. “A terrifyingly good advocate.” Legal 500 2018

Nina Ellin: She has expertise in serious sexual offences cases.Legal 500 2019A highly effective and no-nonsense advocate.” Legal 500 2017

Danny Moore: Charismatic and hardworking.” Legal 500 2019A highly rated junior who specialises in multi-defendant and multi-complainant cases. He has gained considerable expertise in historic and current sexual abuse cases, especially those involving professionals and institutions. He also has experience of cases concerning violent crime, fraud and firearms”. “He’s hard-working and very good with professional criminals. Chambers UK Bar Guide 2018

Ian Whitehurst: “A very good performer. He is fearless and defendants love him. He will get stuck in but knows when not to lock horns with witnesses. A very good tactician.” Chambers UK Bar Guide 2017. “…has real strength in terms of his ability to tease out the issues of the case.” Chambers and Partners 2015. “A much praised criminal fraud junior. His experience encompasses a range of fraud and money laundering issues. “He is a talented and pragmatic defence counsel, tactically astute and very hard-working…He is very good with clients.” Chambers & Partners 2014.

Peter Alcock: “A sophisticated advocate.” Legal 500 2019 Great with complex cases and very calming with clients.” Legal 500 2016

Catherine Donnelly: “A good advocate: a great tactician, charming and hardworking…A charming strategist.” Legal 500 2019 A top-rate advocate with a very appealing jury manner and robustness during legal argument...An oasis of calm in a trial.” Legal 500 2017She is an expert in the field of child sexual abuse.” Legal 500 2016

Simon Taylor: “He has the makings of a future silk.Legal 500 2019 “He has an excellent client manner and a real eye for detail. “His advocacy style is thoroughly effective before both juries and judges alike.” Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019A leading junior for serious sexual offence or homicide cases, particularly those that involve highly challenging evidential concerns or vulnerable witnesses. Serves as both prosecution and defence counsel on heavyweight criminal matters”. “He’s efficient, co-operative and very good on his feet.Chambers UK Bar Guide 2018. “His conduct of a case defines case ownership.” Legal 500 2017 “He’s user-friendly for defendants, juries and judges, and his preparation is among the best I’ve seen from anyone.” “He’s very organised, very user-friendly and incredibly efficient.” Chambers UK Bar Guide 2017.

John Fitzgerald: “Well known for defending across a purview of serious criminal matters.” Legal 500 2019He has a first-class reputation for serious criminal defence work.” Legal 500 2017

Tom Dunn“Very experienced in heavyweight criminal matters.” Legal 500 2019

Kieran Brand: “Calm, charming, measured and hardworking.” Legal 500 2019