Brendan Kelly QC

Brendan Kelly QC

"He really gets under the skin of a case and commands the complete confidence of his audience."

Legal 500 2017
Year of call: 1988 QC: 2008
For enquiries please call: 020 7353 5324 or email vcard cv linkedin save

Criminal Defence

Alongside his fraud practice, Brendan’s jury-friendly style of advocacy has led to his instruction in some of the most serious criminal trials in recent years. In particular, he is requested for cases involving high-profile defendants; recent instructions include representing the defendant charged with the murder of Welsh schoolgirl, April Jones, as well as the son of a notable Conservative MP who was charged with a serious of offences of violence.

Brendan has also been a regular visitor to the Northern Ireland courts, where he represented with success in a series of terrorist trials. He is also one of the only English barristers to have appeared regularly in the Northern Ireland appeal court and divisional court.

Now he has returned for a series of cases in London and other English courts, over the coming months he is instructed to defend in four murder trials in London, having achieved 13 acquittals from his last 16 jury trials.

Cases

R v K

Brendan secured an acquittal for a Solicitor accused of Perverting the Court of Justice. The allegation, regarded unique in its kind, arose when a number of jurors alleged that the solicitor had been prompting and guiding his lay client when he was giving evidence before them. The Solicitor had been sitting behind counsel when the series of gestures were said to have occurred. The Solicitor was cleared of all charges.

R v JL

Acquitted of all charges in the longest ever UVF supergrass terrorist trial to be heard in Northern Ireland. Brendan’s client and his co-defendants were charged with more than thirty offences, including the murder of UDA leader Tommy English, kidnapping, hijacking, wounding, firearms offences and UVF membership. The case relied almost entirely on the evidence of so-called supergrasses Robert and Ian Stewart. After extensive legal argument, Mr Justice Gillen ruled that, in this case, the credibility of the principal witnesses was not such as to allow him to be satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the defendants. In his judgment he said that the Stewart brothers had been “ruthless terrorists who had lived on a daily diet of lies”, and that they were “witnesses of very bad character who have lied to the police and to the court; on some occasions wrongly implicated a number of men who were clearly not present at the crimes suggested”. The collapse of the case has led to significant debate over the future use of supergrass evidence. Brendan was instructed by John Greer at Reavey & Co.

R v Thakrar & Others

20 year old charged with the murder of three and the attempted murder of two others. Following a drugs transaction the defendant was said to have called a meeting to which all five victims were invited. He was said to have discharged in excess of 20 rounds of machine gun fire. The case lasted 8 weeks at St Albans Crown Court in front of Cooke J.

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