The top five criminal talents

Claire Montgomery QC
3 Raymond Buildings
Called to the Bar: 1980
Appointed QC: 1996
Professional achievements/associations:
Junior counsel to the Crown (Common Law) 1991-1996; practitioner editor of chapter on commerce, financial markets and insolvency in Archbold Criminal Pleading Evidence and Practice since 1993.
Areas of practice:
Criminal law, particularly white collar crime, extradition and administrative law.
Recent reported cases:
Seaboard Offshore v Secretary of State (1994); R v Gray (1995); R v Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate ex parte Pinochet (1998) and No.2 (1999); R v Commissioner of Police ex parte Bennett (1995); R v Secretary of State ex parte Fininvest (1997).
What they say about her:
“Very sharp mind”; “tough”; “combative”; “absolutely excellent from every angle”.
Vera Baird
14 Tooks Court
Called to the Bar: 1975
Professional achievements/associations:
Member of the Criminal Bar Association; member of the British Academy Forensic Science; local group chair Fawcett Society; member of the Labour Criminal Justice Forum; Gray's Inn advocacy trainer.
Areas of practice:
Criminal law, principally murder, armed robbery and drugs cases.
Recent reported cases:
R v Lord & ors (1993); R v Wilson & ors (1996); R v Martin & Grainey (1997); R v Mills and Poole (1998) (HW); R v Diana Butler (1998); R v Brand (1999); R v Kray and Field (1998);
What they say about her:
“Brilliant client-handling skills”; “exceptional cross-examiner”; “great with juries”; “a silk without silk”.
Michael Mansfield QC
14 Tooks Court
Called to the Bar: 1967 Appointed QC: 1989
Professional achievements/associations:
Executive Committee member of Criminal Bar Association; former vice-chair of Labour Campaign for Criminal Justice and former vice-president of the Haldane Society;
Advisory Board member JUST Television. Associated with many leading civil rights groups and organisations.
Areas of practice:
Criminal and civil rights work.
Recent reported cases:
R v McKinley (1998); R v Gilbert McNamee (1998); R v Abdul Hussein (1998); R v Mattan (1998); R v Malloy (1997).
What they say about him:
“Still the bravest”; “the most impressive at the cutting edge”; “amazing presence”; “knows no rank”; “an impressive ability to listen and be humble”.
Ben Emmerson
Doughty Street Chambers
Called to the Bar: 1986
Professional achievements/associations:
Editor of European Human Rights Law Review; editor of the human rights chapter in Archbold Criminal Pleading Evidence and Procedure; lecturer on human rights law for the Judicial Studies Board; consultant to Law Commission regarding its response to the Macpherson Inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence.
Areas of practice:
European human rights law as it applies to criminal proceedings.
Recent reported cases:
McLeod v UK (1998); Osman v UK (1998); R v DPP, ex parte Jones (1998); R v DPP, ex parte Kebilene & ors (1999).
What they say about him:
“A superb intellect”; “very sound judgement”; “a goliath in the area of human rights law”; “knows the law, not just silver-tongued”
Stephen Batten QC
3 Raymond Buildings
Called to the Bar: 1969 Appointed QC: 1989
Professional achievements:
Assistant recorder of the Crown Courts 1986, recorder since 1986.
Areas of practice:
Criminal law, both blue collar and white collar and health and safety.
Recent reported cases:
R v Clarke & ors (1991); R v Bailey (1992 & 3); R v Acourt & ors (1996); R v Port Ransgate & ors (1997); R v Thomas & ors (1994); R v Richard Gee (1998).
What they say about him:
“All round brilliant”; “demonstrates commitment to client”; “calm, confident and persuasive”; “Rolls Royce mind”; “an outstanding advocate”.