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David Etherington QC

David Etherington QC

Call: 1979     Silk: 1998

David Etherington QC is an established criminal and regulatory barrister with over 35 years’ experience.  He was previously Head of Chambers at Red Lion Chambers and his criminal practice focuses on fraud and serious organised crime, he is acknowledged as a leader well known to solicitors who instruct in these areas. He is described in Chambers UK 2016 as ‘highly praised by instructing solicitors as one of the Financial Crime Bar’s heavy hitters’ and as having “extensive expertise in complex and serious fraud matters including those relating to Ponzi schemes, pensions and property” and as ‘a superb jury advocate’. He has also defended in many cases of murder and other serious criminal cases including the gangland murders involving Britain’s first black-on-black supergrass and the case of the so-called ‘Walthamstow cannibal’.

David believes in team work and placing the client at the centre of the process. In an earlier edition of Chambers UK he was praised for ‘his client care and advocacy skills’.

In addition to his criminal practice, David has substantial experience in the regulatory field, having been Chairman on the Professional Conduct Committee and the Professional Practice Committee of the Bar Council, as well as a member of both committees for over ten years.  Additionally, he has also been a legal adviser to the General Optical Council and General Dental Council and has defended in front of the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority.

David has also acted as legal adviser to a number of television drama series, such as Kavanagh QC, The Brief, Judge John Deed, Wing and a Prayer and Incognito (film) as well as advising in factual programmes such as Hypthotheticals in which he also appeared as a panellist. He was the legal adviser to The Verdict (2006) and The Trial (2017) in which real juries, together with actual barristers and judges, tried two fictional cases to explore the workings of the jury system.


Crime
Homicide and Serious Organised CrimeFinancial Crime

Recent cases include defending in a quadruple murder case involving allegations of drugging young homosexual men R v Port (2016) and defending a consultant gynaecologist R v P (2016) for alleged sexual assaults on patients.

Defended in major Cornish currency fraud R v Benstead (2017) which was the first fully digital fraud trial and appeared for the defence in Operation Amazon (the alleged carbon trading tax evasion fraud) tried throughout much of 2017 at Southwark Crown Court.

Inquiries & Appellate Work

Successfully appealed before the Court of Appeal a rape conviction in a fresh evidence rape case featuring psychiatric evidence not available at trial R v B (2017) and appeared for the appellant in the Supreme Court examining the law concerning diminished responsibility in murder R v Golds [2017] 1 Cr. App. R. 18.

 

Recommendations

Chambers UK (2017): Crime – Band 1

Chambers UK (2017): Financial Crime

Legal 500 (2017): Crime – Tier 2

  • Highly respected and experienced silk who is considered by commentators to be in a ‘league of his own.’ An ‘elegant wordsmith,’ he possesses in-depth knowledge of all areas of criminal law including fraud. Interviewees praise his jury advocacy in particular. – Chambers UK 2017
  • He has real flair and is a very elegant advocate.’ ‘A class act with a great jury manner who knows how to handle a judge.’ ‘Good-humoured, succinct and to the point.’ – Chambers UK 2017
  • Well known for his astute and effective counsel across a variety of criminal matters, he regularly defends in high-value investment fraud cases. Interviewees praise him for his attractive advocacy style and diligent case preparation. – Chambers UK 2017
  • One of the most well-known and best prepared barristers around,’ who ‘produces advocacy of the highest standard. – Chambers UK 2017
  • He gives a great speech and is able to command the trust and respect of the most difficult clients. – Legal 500 (2017)
  • Highly praised by instructing solicitors as one of the Financial Crime Bar’s heavy hitters. Has extensive expertise in complex and serious fraud matters including those relating to Ponzi schemes, pensions and property. ‘ A superb jury advocate.’  – Chambers UK 2016
  • Praised for his client care and advocacy skills  . . A delight to listen to in court’Chambers UK 2014


Education

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M.A. (Oxon) Jurisprudence, Keble College 1976

Diploma in Public and Social and Public Administration (Distinction), Keble College, Oxford 1977

Memberships

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Criminal Bar Association

Ecclesiastical Judges’ Association

Middle Temple  (Bencher 2005)

South Eastern Circuit

 

Professional Appointments

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Recorder (2000-present)

Chancellor of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich (2009-present)

Deputy Chancellor of the Diocese of Ely (2012 -present)

Sometime Legal Adviser to the General Dental Council and the General Optical Council

Former Chairman, Professional Conduct Committee and Professional Practice Committee of the Bar