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Members of Chambers Criminal Team have extensive experience of all aspects of criminal work and are regularly briefed by a variety of prosecuting authorities (including the CPS, Home Office, National Crime Agency, Local Authorities and Trading Standards) as well as by Defence solicitors.

Members of the Criminal Team appear in cases in Magistrates and Crown Court, acting for defendants as well as the CPS and other prosecuting authorities, and their experience includes the appellate courts.

The Criminal Team has experience of dealing with a wide variety of cases involving crimes of violence or offences against the person, theft and fraud (including benefit fraud).

They appear in various cases dealing with matters involving the interception of vehicles travelling to or from the continent where cash, excise goods (alcohol or tobacco) and/or the vehicle are seized by Customs officers.

We represent businesses and private individuals as well as acting for the Home Office (NCA, Customs, etc.) in connection with cash seizure and forfeiture proceedings arising from interceptions at Dover or the Channel Tunnel and have experience in working with clients where the additional services of an interpreter are required.

The team has also advised local authorities relating to criminal litigation (including changes in legislation), and are often instructed in confiscation hearings arising from Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) Orders made following conviction.

Individual team members have particular areas of expertise which include dealing with mentally ill offenders.

Individual team members have specific areas of expertise which include:

  • Customs and Immigration offences
  • Drug offences
  • Firearms
  • Fraud, theft and dishonesty offences (including Benefit Fraud)
  • Local Authority prosecutions
  • Offences against the person
  • Road traffic matters (including driving offences)
  • Proceeds of crime

Benefit Fraud

Becket Chambers Criminal team has extensive experience of prosecuting benefit fraud cases on behalf of local authorities – prosecuting fraudulent claims including housing benefit and council tax – including multi-day trials. We also act for the defence in such cases, when requested. As well as providing representation in Court, the team provides oral and written Continue reading

Driving Offences

Becket Chambers Criminal team has considerable experience in defending individuals, in both the Magistrates and Crown Courts, on charges under the Road Traffic Act 1988, including offences such as speeding, drink driving and failure to provide information. A driving offence is often the first experience of the criminal justice system our client has had, and Continue reading


Environmental Law covers matters such as food hygiene, waste disposal (particularly relating to controlled waste), habitat and species protection, air quality, pollution and contamination. Becket Chambers represents local authorities, government agencies, private companies and individuals in prosecutions in Magistrates and Crown Courts. We also work in an advisory capacity.

General Crime

Members of the Criminal Team deal with a wide variety of general crime cases including crimes of violence or offences against the person, assaults against the police, robbery and theft, harassment, criminal damage and arson. Our experience also encompasses criminal public order offences including threatening and abusive behavior. Becket Chambers Barristers appear in cases in Continue reading

Case Studies

Acting for a Local Authority in a benefit fraud case

Paul acted for a Local Authority, prosecuting a long-running benefit fraud case involving overpayment of over £50,000 of Income Support, Housing benefit and Council Tax benefit/support over three-year period. It was alleged that the Defendant had deliberately and repeatedly failed to declare that she was living with her partner (later her husband, and the father Continue reading

Successful Crown Court Appeal against conviction

Rachel’s client had previously been convicted in the Magistrates’ Court of an offence of failing to provide information as to the identity of a driver (section 172 Road Traffic Act 1988). Following his appeal, Rachel represented him at the Crown Court for a full rehearing of his case. The defence was based partly on the Continue reading

Avoidance of disqualification for a client with 15 points

Rachel represented a Defendant with 15 points on their driving licence, in a case involving failing to give information (a ‘section 172’ offence). The client also had a recent conviction for the same offence, something which was of concern to the Magistrates. However, Rachel used her considerable advocacy skills to argue ‘exceptional hardship’ on behalf Continue reading

Crime Articles

Crime Testimonials

“I just wanted to thank you personally for all your help.  You were so kind to all of us and it was always very reassuring to have you there to explain everything – it really meant a lot.

What a wonderful outcome!

Once again thank you so much for everything – you really were a rock to help us through this difficult time.”

Ms S Instructing Gayle Ashley through Solicitors – March 16