Recognised in Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500, 5SAH criminal defence barristers are a dedicated team, providing the highest quality advice and representation for their clients.


Team members are regularly instructed to defend in complex and serious fraud litigation. The team's areas of expertise include Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) investigations, Excise duty fraud, VAT fraud, missing trader intra-community (MTIC) fraud, tax credit fraud, NHS fraud, insurance fraud, mortgage fraud, charities fraud, corruption, bribery and other high-level financial crime.

The 5SAH Criminal Team are recognised in the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, along with leading silks and juniors within the team. 

‘5SAH is a top set with a range of excellent practitioners for defence work.’

The Legal 500 2024.

Members have significant experience of handling serious criminal matters such as sexual assault, murder and gang-related cases.

Chambers and Partners, 2019

A well-regarded set equipped to handle all criminal cases.

Chambers and Partners, 2021

Complementary specialist areas include those relating to Asset Recovery and Confiscation, our expertise places us at the forefront of the enforcement of new legislation and powers such as unexplained wealth orders (UWO’s), and account freezing and forfeiture orders (AFO’s). They also specialise in challenges to investigation orders and warrants, under POCA, PACE and other legislation.

Members have defended cases against all of the main prosecuting authorities, including: Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), National Crime Agency (NCA), CPS Complex Casework Unit, CPS Serious Fraud Division, CPS Proceeds of Crime Unit, HMRC, UK Border Agency, Local Authorities and the Attorney General of Jersey.

In the field of Business Crime, 5SAH defence barristers have been instructed to defend in the LIBOR manipulation trials. David Stern acted as leading defence counsel in SFO v Contagoulas. He also defended in the first-ever acquittal of the alleged manipulation of the LIBOR benchmarks in SFO v Wilkinson. James Fletcher was also junior in the case of Mr Contagoulas. This led to the successful defence of Mr Contagoulas. The jury were unable to reach a verdict and he was acquitted in a later re-trial. Davis Stern is one of the leaders in the field in relation to Cum-Ex. 

A respected set, well known for its deep bench and long-standing focus on criminal matters. Members are renowned for their handling of complex and specialised cases.

Chambers & Partners, 2022

It has now become my number-one, go-to set. This is in no small part thanks to the excellent and committed clerking service.

Chambers & Partners, 2020

5SAH are experts in the defence of allegations involving sexual assault, rape and indecent images, advice is frequently provided pre-charge, often resulting in the investigation being discontinued without court proceedings. Clients are often high profile; recent successful defences include JLS frontman Oritsé Williams.

In the field of homicide law members have experience of defending in cases involving joint enterprise and young or otherwise vulnerable defendants. We are adept at dealing with clients with mental health issues notably in issues of fitness to plead and stand trial, as well as the ‘forensic’ sections of the Mental Health Act (MHA).

5SAH were instructed to defend one of the first Modern Slavery Act trials and have extensive experience of representing defendants facing culture-based offences, including honour killing, female genetic mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage.

We represent clients facing allegations across the full range of criminal offences, including: 

  • Murder and manslaughter
  • Serious violence
  • Public order offences
  • Sexual offences
  • Female genital mutilation (FGM)
  • Terrorism
  • Forensic evidence
  • Modern slavery offences
  • Harassment and intimidation
  • Kidnap and false imprisonment
  • Serious domestic violence
  • Drug trafficking
  • County line cases
  • Knife and firearms offences
  • Human trafficking and other immigration offences
  • UK border agency offences
  • HMRC criminal offences
  • Money laundering
  • Fraud
  • Theft and robbery
  • Driving offences
  • Culture-based cases
  • Local authority negligence cases
  • Extradition & International criminal law

Instructing 5SAH

To speak with our experienced clerking team further about which barrister will best suit your case, please contact our clerking team.

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