Bernard has vast experience and expertise defending in serious cases across a broad range of crime, particularly murder and serious fraud. He has recently defended in several complex and high-profile cases in London and elsewhere.
Bernard combines compelling and persuasive advocacy with excellent judgment and a down-to-earth manner which is very successful with juries and makes him highly sought after as leading counsel by clients, solicitors and juniors.
“A brilliant and passionate advocate.”
Legal 500 2016, Crime
“He is completely relentless, extremely personable and a great team player.”
Legal 500 2016, Fraud: Crime
Bernard has recently appeared in several notable murder cases. He has an enviable track record in all types of murder but is particularly experienced in complex multi-defendant cases involving issues such as cell site analysis, telephone attribution, call data, CCTV analysis, cut-throat defences, bad character, hearsay, ID, joint enterprise, pathology and blood staining.
Bernard also has a particular interest in trials, inquests or inquiries which involve exposing alleged lies, corruption, malpractice or negligence by the police or other investigating and prosecuting authorities.
FRAUD AND COMMERCIAL
Bernard is highly experienced in all areas of fraud including missing trader intra-community (MTIC) and other VAT frauds, boiler room frauds, money laundering, corruption, insider dealing, other Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) offences, asset restraint and confiscation.
Bernard has defended in some of the biggest MTIC and carousel frauds, including representing the main defendant in a £50 million carousel fraud where the conviction was quashed following the exposure of malpractice at HMRC.
Bernard is able to provide legal, strategic and tactical advice at all stages of an investigation as well as during the trial process.
INTERNATIONAL LITIGATION AND ADVOCACY
Bernard is on the list of lead counsel at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague. He has a Masters degree in International and EEC law and is available to act for defendants and victims at tribunals in The Hague and elsewhere.
OTHER AREAS OF PRACTICE
Bernard is regularly instructed, often privately, in cases such as indecent assault and other sexual offences, perverting the course of justice, money laundering, violent crime other than murder, major drug trafficking and people trafficking, armed robbery and other serious offences.
He has recently developed an expertise in ‘baby shaking’ cases, particularly in cross examining experts regarding the ‘triad’ of injuries.
He also has experience of regulatory work particularly at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
R v Christopher Jeffrey-Shaw (Guildford Crown Court)
Christopher Jeffrey-Shaw was cleared of murdering student Janet Muller and was found guilty of manslaughter. Ms Muller died after Christopher set fire to his car whilst she was trapped in the boot. The case was reported in the Independent, Metro and the Evening Standard.
R v Campbell and 3 others (Central Criminal Court)
A drug and gang-related kidnapping and murder. Client acquitted after two-month trial.
R v Casey (Southwark Crown Court)
Stabbing outside London nightclub. Defendant acquitted of murder despite extensive CCTV footage.
R v Smith and another (Cambridge Crown Court)
78-year-old man beaten to death during course of burglary. Bernard’s successful cross examination of the co-defendant was featured on the BBC regional news.
R v Davey (Nottingham Crown Court)
Ongoing murder trial. Victim stabbed 16 times.
R v Small (Court of Appeal)
Murder by shooting with Mach 10 sub machine gun. Defendant represented by different counsel at trial. Bernard is now appealing the conviction on a pro bono basis.
R v Venclovas (Central Criminal Court)
The Lithuanian sat nav murder. The case was extensively covered in national the press and on Crimewatch.
Fraud and Commercial
R v Wilmot (Southwark Crown Court) 2013
Bernard recently appeared for a defendant in a £25 million boiler room fraud at Southwark Crown Court. The defendant was represented by other counsel at trial but Bernard and his junior Lisa Freeman, instructed by Shearman Bowen solicitors, achieved an extremely favourable confiscation settlement and the conviction is currently being appealed.
R v Horey and others (Southwark Crown Court)
Bernard secured the acquittal of the defendant in a £15 million VAT fraud.
Bernard has extensive experience as an advocacy trainer both in the UK and abroad. He has taught advocacy at Middle Temple, the Keble International Advocacy course, the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague and on pro bono schemes in Tanzania, funded by firms such as Herbert Smith and Linklaters.
He is available to assist barrister and solicitor in-house advocates who wish to improve their advocacy skills either individually or in groups, through their firms. He is happy to do this on a pro bono basis.
Financial crime and confiscation
APPOINTMENTS & MEMBERSHIPS
Criminal Bar Association (CBA)
South Eastern Circuit
Fraud Lawyers Association