Jonathan Barker

Jonathan Barker

Jonathan Barker


Jonathan Barker is a criminal law specialist and an accomplished trial advocate. His practice covers all areas of criminal law, including regulatory crime. He is ranked by the latest edition of the Legal 500 as one of the Midlands’ leading barristers specialising in criminal law. Jonathan is a grade 4 prosecutor and has been appointed to the CPS Serious Crime Group panel at level 4, the highest level. He is also on the ‘Rape and Child Sexual Abuse List’ meaning that he can be instructed in cases involving sexual offences. While he accepts legal aid instructions, he has a flourishing private practice. He is direct access qualified.

Jonathan has been appointed to the ‘B’ list of Specialist Regulatory Advocates.

Jonathan is committed to defending those accused of criminal wrongdoing, whether it be an individual or corporate entity. Instructing solicitors often praise Jonathan’s commitment to his cases and his unwavering determination to secure the best possible result.

Jonathan prides himself in providing first-class trial advocacy. He is experienced in cross-examining experts and has provided training to witnesses who give expert evidence in criminal proceedings. He is also trained and experienced in cross-examining young and vulnerable witnesses. In a recent case, involving an allegation of rape, the trial judge described Jonathan’s cross-examination of a young complainant as a “model example”. Jonathan’s client was ultimately acquitted of rape and associated offences.

Jonathan’s cases are often paper heavy and usually the result of significant police operations. He is adept at coming to terms with such cases. He is said to have a ‘technical mind’ which ‘allows him to assimilate complex information quickly’.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of specific areas of practice:

  • Fraud and Money Laundering;
  • Homicide;
  • Misconduct in a public office;
  • Proceeds of Crime;
  • Regulatory Offences (including Health and Safety offences);
  • Road traffic Offences (including where death has resulted);
  • Serious Organised Crime (e.g. drug conspiracies, firearms etc);
  • Serious Violence (e.g. arson, robbery, s18, attempted murder);
  • Sexual offences (including rape and offences against children and the vulnerable);
  • Trading standards.

Examples of Jonathan’s work and experience is available below and upon request from his clerks.

Jonathan read law at University College London. He is a Queen Mother Scholar of the Middle Temple. He is a member of the Criminal Bar Association.

Homicide (Murder and Manslaughter)

Jonathan is instructed in cases involving allegations of Homicide. Recent experience in this area includes:

  • R v Corry – the murder of a Jaguar Land Rover employee in Birmingham;
  • Operation Castwell – 7 defendants accused of conspiring to torture and murder a vulnerable person;
  • R v Birch – successful defence of young man accused of attempted murder;
  • R v H others – contract killing of a Staffordshire man;
  • R v Mohammed Arshad – murder of a taxi driver in Kings Norton.

Fraud, Business and Financial Crime

Jonathan is instructed in the following type of cases:

  • Banking fraud;
  • Breach of trust fraud e.g. fraud committed by employees, fraud against the vulnerable;
  • Illegal money lending;
  • Immigration fraud;
  • Insurance fraud e.g. ‘crash for cash’ fraud;
  • Money laundering;
  • Tax fraud e.g. Benefit fraud, VAT fraud;
  • Trading standards offences.

Jonathan is experienced in cases which invoke principles regarding confiscation, forfeiture and restraint.

Serious Sexual Offences

Jonathan is instructed in the following type of cases:

  • Indecent images;
  • Undercover ‘sting’ operations;
  • Rape;
  • Sexual Assault;
  • Sexual Grooming.

He is also trained and experienced in cross-examining young and vulnerable witnesses. In a recent case, involving an allegation of rape, the trial judge described Jonathan’s cross-examination of a young complainant as a “model example”. Jonathan’s client was ultimately acquitted of rape and associated offences.

Jonathan has experience in the victim’s right to review scheme and was instructed to judicially review a CPS decision to prosecute an individual for rape.

Organised Crime and Terrorism

Jonathan has considerable experience in cases involving serious organised crime. He is on the CPS panel at level 4, the highest level. Jonathan is instructed in the following type of cases involving allegations of organised crime:

  • Drugs
  • Fraud
  • Firearms
  • Kidnap
  • Murder
  • Prison escape
  • Robbery
  • Theft

Restraint and Confiscation

Jonathan has been involved in many cases involving the application the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. He has particular experience in confiscation, asset restraint and cash forfeiture and has lectured on these subjects.

Reported Cases:

  • Serious Organised Crime Agency v Lawrence. Basildon Crown Court. Led junior for the defence in 5 day contested confiscation of a trading standard prosecution where criminal benefit alleged as 36.7m and assets 1.2m.

Motoring and Road Traffic

Jonathan is available to receive instructions in road traffic cases in the Magistrates Court on a private basis, including instruction on a Direct Access basis. He has experience in representing individuals facing allegations of:

  • Careless driving;
  • Driving whilst under the influence of drugs;
  • Driving with excess alcohol;
  • Driving whilst using a mobile phone;
  • Speeding

Jonathan also has experience in successfully arguing ‘Exceptional hardship’ and ‘Special reasons’.

In the Crown Court, Jonathan has experience in representing those accused of serious driving related offences, including of Death by careless/dangerous driving. He is prepared to take on such cases on both a legal aid and private basis.

Animal Welfare

Jonathan has experience in defending cases to do with the welfare of animals.

Examples of such cases include representing a farmer at trial accused of offences contrary to the Animal Welfare Act and the Animal By-Products Regulations. Jonathan’s client was funded by the National Farmers Union. The case involved expert evidence; representing a defendant at trial facing offences contrary to the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Jonathan has experience of contesting the making ancillary orders, including Animal Destruction Orders.

Disciplinary Tribunals & Professional Regulation

Jonathan’s experience includes successfully representing a high school teacher before his professional body, and successfully representing a nurse in relation to the death of a patient. He has amassed significant experience in representing teachers, prison officers, carers and police staff.


He has considerable experience in representing local authorities in cases to do with waste disposal and breach of enforcement notices.

Jonathan has in the past appeared in cases brought by Severn Trent Water.

Health & Safety, Corporate & Gross Negligence Manslaughter

Jonathan’s recent experience includes defending a nurse in a very high-profile multi-defendant prosecution relating to the death of a patient outside a West Midlands Hospital. The defendant was indicted with an offence contrary to s 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety Work Act 1974; representing a Scaffolder for one offence contrary to section 8(b) of the Work and Height Regulations 2005 and section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974; representing the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Combined Fire Authority in respect of offences contrary to Article 32 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Act) Order 2005.

Inquests and Coronial

Jonathan has experience of representing interested parties at inquests.


Jonathan has represented individuals and businesses before council committee hearings, and before the Magistrates’ Court.

Trading Standards, Consumer Protection & Food Safety

Jonathan has significant experience in these areas having prosecuted and defended in many cases brought by local councils, including Birmingham City Council, both before the Magistrates and Crown Court. His is also fully acquainted with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, which typically operates in such cases and can be of significant concern to defendants.


 “Jonathan can always be trusted to provide a first-rate service for clients and solicitors.” Chambers and Partners 2024

“Jonathan is a really excellent jury advocate. He is also very engaging with lay clients.” Chambers and Partners 2024

“Jonathan is a very hard-working and capable advocate. He obtains the trust of the lay client immediately through his thorough preparation and gentle manner. He is impeccable in court. He is genuinely respected by all at the bar and judiciary. His closing speeches are engaging and persuasive to a jury, and his cross-examination is on point.” Legal 500 2024

“Jonathan has a very technical mind and is able to assimilate in-depth evidence very quickly. He has a good presence in front of a jury and commands the attention of the court room. He has good relationships with other members of the Bar and respect for the judiciary.” Legal 500 2023

“Jonathan is extremely approachable and helpful.” Legal 500 2023

“A confident, thoughtful, hard-working advocate with a great manner in court. He is excellent.” Chambers UK 2022

“I have come to admire Jonathan’s work ethic, enthusiasm and determination to provide the absolute best representation for his clients. Jonathan works tirelessly on behalf of his clients and unsurprisingly has achieved excellent outcomes for them over the years.” Legal 500 2022

“A straight talking down to earth jury advocate who has a fantastic ability to cut through complex subject matter and present it to a jury in a clear, concise and engaging manner.” Legal 500 2021

“Prepares cases well and does not miss anything.” Legal 500 2020

“His technical mind allows him to assimilate complex information quickly.” Legal 500 2019



Jonathan Barker

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