Hugh Davies OBE QC

Call: 1990 / QC: 2013

"An excellent cross-examiner and a great tactician."

Legal 500 2020: Inquests & Inquiries

"He manages to pick out elements from the evidence and deal with them in a way that is often not even considered by other parties. He finds the right solution to each question and his rapport with the clients is always exceptional. "

Chambers UK 2020: Professional Discipline

"Excellent both in conference and in court, and is treated universally as the authority in the room."

Chambers UK 2020: Professional Discipline

"He's exceptional - very strong without being aggressive and absolutely on top of his game."

Chambers UK 2019: Inquests

"Phenomenally clever. A very confident advocate who is able to identify the sharp and fine points in cross-examination, which he uses to devastating effect."

Chambers UK 2019: Police Law

Instructing Hugh

To instruct Hugh please contact our Clerks on +44 (0)20 7400 6400 or email clerks@3rblaw.com.

Hugh Davies QC has achieved national recognition (and associated high ranking) in the practice areas of crime; professional discipline; inquests and public inquiries; and police related misconduct and regulatory proceedings.

Professional directories consistently highlight academic ability coupled with strategic leadership and exceptional advocacy. In recent history he has led major reviews into institutional safeguarding failures, and is engaged in related multi-agency national initiatives including into the regulation of international aid workers.

SFO cases include the defence of the most senior US-based Barclays trader accused of manipulating the $Libor rate.

He has extensive experience of prosecuting and defending serious crime of all types, including leading multi-handed prosecutions involving serious organised crime investigated by national policing agencies. He has been at the forefront of criminal proceedings involving cybercrime. He regularly prosecutes homicide offences at the Central Criminal Court.

In relation to professional misconduct, the nature and extent of his work as to the actions and accountability of police forces and police officers, including defending charges of manslaughter, corruption, attempts to pervert the course of justice, and misconduct in public office, is reflected in the comments made by national directories. He has extensive experience advising and representing police officers at public inquiries; inquests; during IPCC investigations; internal disciplinary proceedings; and associated judicial review proceedings, and is co-author of the leading OUP practitioner textbook Police Misconduct, Complaints, and Public Regulation.

Other professional misconduct work includes proceedings against medical practitioners arising from alleged clinical negligence. This reflects extensive experience of mastering subject matter relating to pathology, clinical norms and causation from the criminal and coronial jurisdictions.

He was Chambers and Partners professional discipline junior of the year in 2009, and QC of the year in 2016.

He was instructed as Counsel to the Inquest into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian former KGB officer allegedly poisoned by polonium 210 in London in 2006.

In 2011 he was awarded an OBE for services to children and young people reflecting his role as voluntary legal adviser to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). In 2013 he was lead author of an ACPO commissioned multi-specialist report that resulted in the Government enacting legislative reform of the sexual civil prevention order regime in the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.

He advises institutions as to safeguarding responsibilities and performance and has led major independent reviews into practices within individual organisations and following specific incidents (for example, into the conduct of William Vahey at Southbank International School, and the governance and management of RNIB following statutory intervention at RNIB Pears Centre in 2018). He is a member of Government-led multi-agency national groups directed at regulation of institutional safeguarding in the UK, and (separately) the development of an international aid worker registration/passport scheme following the London 2018 international conference.

Legal Expertise

Crime overview

He has been a specialist criminal practitioner since 1990 and has corresponding experience. Particular specialist areas within this include homicide and sexual offences; serious individual and corporate fraud; offences relating to the police; and proceedings in emerging areas (over time) such as internet-based offending against children; cybercrime; causing or allowing the death of a child; and offences under the Modern Slavery Act.

Notable Crime cases

R v Lincoln White & Others

Led NCS prosecution of 12 defendants accused of £170m international crack cocaine conspiracy. All 12 convicted, with “Mr Average” Lincoln White receiving 25 years’ imprisonment. Two others were subject to historic extradition proceedings from Jamaica.

Operation Opaque

Leading 24 handed prosecution alleging industrial scale cannabis cultivation across the UK by organised criminal network.

Jonathan Vai

Prosecution of a man for grooming a child, the first under section 15 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Sandra Mujuru

Prosecution of mother for allowing the death of her child at the hands of a violent babysitter partner, the first under section 5 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2003.

GhostMarket

Prosecution of four individuals (teenagers) responsible for extraordinary internet forum dedicated to fraud.

Ryan Cleary & Others

Prosecution of Cleary and others in relation to widely publicised alleged offending through the international LulzSec group, requiring close co-operation with concurrent US proceedings.

Fraud overview

His academic ability is recognised and is reflected in a history of instruction in cases involving allegations of complex and serious fraud, including cases of international corporate bribery and corruption.

Notable Fraud cases

Barclays $Libor

Defending senior New York based Barclays trader.

R v Dougall & Others

Junior counsel (to John Kelsey-Fry QC) for SFO in relation to proceedings arising from corporate corruption quantified at £40m in the Greek orthopaedic market by Johnson and Johnson.

Michael Wilson-Smith (reported as R v G, R v B)

Junior counsel for defence of solicitor in alleged £80m fraud (as reported, the case collapsed in consequence of disclosure errors by SFO).

Frank Warren

Junior counsel for boxing promoter accused of substantial VAT fraud.

Public Inquiries overview

Notable Public Inquiries cases

Alexander Litvinenko

As Counsel to the Inquiry.

Anthony Grainger

On behalf of the police officer responsible for the fatal shot.

Police overview

Directory entries are consistent as to his longstanding national reputation in relation to proceedings involving the police. He has appeared in a high proportion of the highest profile and most demanding public hearings for many years, and in the multiple and often complex related judicial review proceedings.

Recent judicial reviews include those challenging the IPCC as to its powers under Schedule 3 of the PRA 2002 (IPCC v West Yorkshire Police (Armstrong); Mackaill and others (the ‘Plebgate’ Police Federation representatives) v IPCC); PC Andrew Birks (challenge to suspension of officer with proven intention to become vicar); WYP v IPCC (Armstrong) (challenge to power of IPCC investigation reports to determine civil or criminal liability); Chief Executive of IPCC v IPCC (IPCC seeking to quash its investigation report into death of Jordan Begley following use of taser, representing affected officers); and David Crompton v Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire Police (successful challenge by former chief constable to decision by PCC under section 39 to require him to resign following comments relating to the Hillsborough stadium disaster).

Notable Police cases

DCI White & DS Bennett

Officers accused of unlawful bugging of privileged conversations in Lincolnshire police stations (misconduct, judicial review).

Tania Moore (Deceased)

Police misconduct proceedings arising from failures preceding the murder of Ms Moore (Derbyshire Fed: misconduct).

PS Andrew Hickinbottom

Officer accused of manslaughter of heroin addict having authorised her release at roadside near Grimsby (crime (led); misconduct).

Operation Kalmia

Investigation into conduct of police officers at ranks up to chief officer arising from the murder of Kevin Nunes.

Inquests overview

He has appeared in most of the highest profile police-related inquests over many years and continues to do so. Existing instructions include representing West Yorkshire Police in all proceedings following the shooting of Yassar Yaqqub on the M62.

Notable Inquests cases

Shooting of Yassar Yaqub on the M62

The Birmingham Pub Bombings

Anthony Grainger

Instructed to represent the firearms officer responsible for shooting the deceased.

Jordan Begley

Representing individual officers, including the taser officer, in circumstances where Mr Begley died following discharge of a taser.

Alexander Litvinenko

Counsel to the Inquiry & Inquest.

Colin Berry

Deceased died from a gunshot wound during a police entry and search of his home address (West Yorkshire).

Kingsley Burrell

Representing individual officers responsible for restraining Mr Burrell when he was demonstrating acute behavioural disturbance in a psychiatric hospital.

Alistair James Bell

Instructed by West Yorkshire Police to represent all officers at inquest following fatal shooting of Mr Bell during containment. Bell discharged some 34 rounds at these officers, some of which were unarmed and hit whilst retreating.

Flt Lt Cunningham

Instructed by Lincolnshire Police in relation to the fatal ejection of a Red Arrows pilot.

Reece Staples

Misconduct and pending inquest proceedings arising from the death in custody of Reece Staples following cocaine overdose.

Raoul Moat

Instructed on behalf of West Yorkshire Police taser officers.

Mark Saunders

Junior counsel for widow of Mark Saunders, the barrister shot by police in Markham Square, Chelsea.

7/7 London Bombings

One of team of four counsel instructed by the MPS.

Paul Coker

Representing 13 officers at the 6 week inquest into the death of Paul Coker at Plumstead police station (MPS Fed: inquest, misconduct, judicial review).

Peter Connelly

Instructed as leading counsel by the MPS to argue against the resumption of the inquest into the death of Peter Connelly (previously referred to as “Baby P”).

Colette Lynch

Officer accused of misconduct arising from the circumstances preceding the murder of Colette Lynch, in the first (and only) public discipline hearing directed by the IPCC, and subsequently appeared for various officers at the associated subsequent 10 week inquest (Warwickshire Fed: leading counsel).

Michael Powell

Represented the senior police officer in relation to misconduct in public office charges arising from the controversial death of Michael Powell in Birmingham (trial 2006), and 10 officers at the associated 6 week inquest and various judicial review proceedings (West Midlands Fed: crime, misconduct, judicial reviews, inquest).

Jean Charles de Menezes

21 surveillance officers at the inquest and associated judicial review proceedings (MPS Fed: inquest, judicial review; led).

Simon Murden

Police inspector that authorised deployment of a firearms team to A63 near Humber Bridge resulting in fatal shooting (Humberside Fed: 6 week inquest).

Roger Sylvester

Represented eight MPS officers from outset of proceedings, at inquest and through to successful judicial review of inquest verdict of unlawful killing (MPS Fed: reported as Anderson and others; led).

Institutional Safeguarding & Regulation of International Aid Workers overview

In 2013 he was lead author of an ACPO commissioned multi-specialist report that resulted in the Government enacting legislative reform of the sexual civil prevention order regime in the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. He advises institutions as to safeguarding responsibilities and performance and has led major independent reviews into practices within individual organisations and following specific incidents. He sits on national working groups directed at producing better training and regulation in the domestic context and as to the development of an international aid worker registration/passport scheme.

Notable Institutional Safeguarding & Regulation of International Aid Workers cases

Independent Review

Independent review into the criminal conduct of William Vahey at Southbank International School.

Independent Review

Independent review of RNIB’s safeguarding management and governance of regulated services (publication pending).

Against a wider background of prosecuting and defending many allegations of serious crime, including murder, manslaughter, rape and blackmail, cases include:

Prosecuting

R v Lincoln White & Others
Led NCS prosecution of 12 defendants accused of £170m international crack cocaine conspiracy. All 12 convicted, with “Mr Average” Lincoln White receiving 25 years’ imprisonment. Two others were subject to historic extradition proceedings from Jamaica

Operation Opaque
Leading 24 handed prosecution alleging industrial scale cannabis cultivation across the UK by organised criminal network

Jonathan Vai
Prosecution of a man for grooming a child, the first under section 15 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003

Sandra Mujuru
Prosecution of mother for allowing the death of her child at the hands of a violent babysitter partner, the first under section 5 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2003

Operation Alpine
Prosecuting ‘ground-breaking’ international conspiracy to distribute indecent photographs of children through commercial internet newsgroups

GhostMarket
Prosecution of four individuals responsible for extraordinary internet forum dedicated to fraud

Ryan Cleary and others
Prosecution of Cleary and others in relation to widely publicised alleged offending through the international LulzSec group, requiring close co-operation with concurrent US proceedings

Fraud

Substantial confidential advisory work for City-based proceedings

Barclays $Libor
Defending senior New York based Barclays trader

R v Dougall and others
Junior counsel (to John Kelsey-Fry QC) for SFO in relation to proceedings arising from corporate corruption quantified at £40m in the Greek orthopaedic market by Johnson and Johnson

Michael Wilson-Smith (reported as R v G, R v B)
Junior counsel for defence of solicitor in alleged £80m fraud (as reported, the case collapsed in consequence of disclosure errors by SFO)

Frank Warren
Junior counsel for boxing promoter accused of substantial VAT fraud

Public Inquiries

Alexander Litvinenko (as Counsel to the Inquiry)

Anthony Grainger (on behalf of the police officer responsible for the fatal shot)

Police

[Representing the individual officers unless otherwise stated]

Recent judicial reviews include those challenging the IPCC as to its powers under Schedule 3 of the PRA 2002 (IPCC v West Yorkshire Police (Armstrong); Mackaill and others (the ‘Plebgate’ Police Federation representatives) v IPCC); PC Andrew Birks (challenge to suspension of officer with proven intention to become vicar); WYP v IPCC (Armstrong) (challenge to power of IPCC investigation reports to determine civil or criminal liability); Chief Executive of IPCC v IPCC (IPCC seeking to quash its investigation report into death of Jordan Begley following use of taser, representing affected officers); and David Crompton v Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire Police (successful challenge by former chief constable to decision by PCC under section 39 to require him to resign following comments relating to the Hillsborough stadium disaster)

Misconduct cases include:

DCI White and DS Bennett
Officers accused of unlawful bugging of privileged conversations in Lincolnshire police stations (misconduct, judicial review)

Tania Moore, deceased
Police misconduct proceedings arising from failures preceding the murder of Ms Moore (Derbyshire Fed: misconduct)

PS Andrew Hickinbottom
Officer accused of manslaughter of heroin addict having authorised her release at roadside near Grimsby (crime (led); misconduct)

Operation Kalmia
Investigation into conduct of police officers at ranks up to chief officer arising from the murder of Kevin Nunes

Inquests

Shooting of Yassar Yaqub on the M62

The Birmingham Pub Bombings

Anthony Grainger
Instructed to represent the firearms officer responsible for shooting the deceased (now a public inquiry)

Jordan Begley
Representing individual officers, including the taser officer, in circumstances where Mr Begley died following discharge of a taser

Alexander Litvinenko
Counsel to the Inquest

Colin Berry
Deceased died from a gunshot wound during a police entry and search of his home address (West Yorkshire)

Kingsley Burrell
Representing individual officers responsible for restraining Mr Burrell when he was demonstrating acute behavioural disturbance in a psychiatric hospital

Alistair James Bell
Instructed by West Yorkshire Police to represent all officers at inquest following fatal shooting of Mr Bell during containment. Bell discharged some 34 rounds at these officers, some of which were unarmed and hit whilst retreating

Flt Lt Cunningham
Instructed by Lincolnshire Police in relation to the fatal ejection of a Red Arrows pilot

Reece Staples
Misconduct and pending inquest proceedings arising from the death in custody of Reece Staples following cocaine overdose

Raoul Moat
Instructed on behalf of West Yorkshire Police taser officers

Mark Saunders
Junior counsel for widow of Mark Saunders, the barrister shot by police in Markham Square, Chelsea

7/7 London bombings inquests
One of team of four counsel instructed by the MPS

Paul Coker
Representing 13 officers at the 6 week inquest into the death of Paul Coker at Plumstead police station (MPS Fed: inquest, misconduct, judicial review)

Peter Connelly
Instructed as leading counsel by the MPS to argue against the resumption of the inquest into the death of Peter Connelly (previously referred to as “Baby P”)

Colette Lynch
Officer accused of misconduct arising from the circumstances preceding the murder of Colette Lynch, in the first (and only) public discipline hearing directed by the IPCC, and subsequently appeared for various officers at the associated subsequent 10 week inquest (Warwickshire Fed: leading counsel)

Michael Powell
Represented the senior police officer in relation to misconduct in public office charges arising from the controversial death of Michael Powell in Birmingham (trial 2006), and 10 officers at the associated 6 week inquest and various judicial review proceedings (West Midlands Fed: crime, misconduct, judicial reviews, inquest)

Jean Charles de Menezes
21 surveillance officers at the inquest and associated judicial review proceedings (MPS Fed: inquest, judicial review; led)

Simon Murden
Police inspector that authorised deployment of a firearms team to A63 near Humber Bridge resulting in fatal shooting (Humberside Fed: 6 week inquest)

Roger Sylvester
Represented eight MPS officers from outset of proceedings, at inquest and through to successful judicial review of inquest verdict of unlawful killing (MPS Fed: reported as Anderson and others; led)

Institutional safeguarding

Independent Review into the criminal conduct of William Vahey at Southbank International School

Independent review of RNIB’s safeguarding management and governance of regulated services (publication pending)

Instructing Hugh

To instruct Hugh please contact our Clerks on +44 (0)20 7400 6400 or email clerks@3rblaw.com.

“Clever and meticulous. He has a fierce intellect that commands respect.” Chambers UK 2018: Crime

“Very academic but very calm and good with officers. He’s incredibly well prepared and incredibly thorough.” Chambers UK 2020: Inquests

“Hugh was a standout. He had the hardest job and did it very well, without being more confrontational than necessary.” Chambers UK 2020: Inquests

“A go-to for fatal shootings and custody inquests.” Chambers UK 2020: Police Law

“He thoroughly impresses me with his judgement; he is brilliant in every way.” Chambers UK 2020: Police Law

“He manages to pick out elements from the evidence and deal with them in a way that is often not even considered by other parties. He finds the right solution to each question and his rapport with the clients is always exceptional.” Chambers UK 2020: Professional Discipline

“Excellent both in conference and in court, and is treated universally as the authority in the room.” Chambers UK 2020: Police discipline

“An excellent cross-examiner and a great tactician.” Legal 500 2020: Inquests & Inquiries

“He’s exceptional – very strong without being aggressive and absolutely on top of his game.” Chambers UK 2019: Inquests

“An outstanding silk who has huge experience.” Chambers UK 2019: Professional Discipline

“Phenomenally clever. A very confident advocate who is able to identify the sharp and fine points in cross-examination, which he uses to devastating effect.” Chambers UK 2019: Police Law

“Extremely bright. A clever tactician and simply one of the best police law silks.” Chambers UK 2019: Police Law

“He is an excellent performer – his beautifully measured advocacy is particularly effective.” Legal 500 2019: Inquests & Inquiries

“Clever and meticulous. “He has a fierce intellect that commands respect.” Chambers UK 2018: Crime

“A highly impressive advocate. He rolls his sleeves up and has excellent judgement.” Chambers UK 2018: Inquests

“A fantastic lawyer and a great jury advocate.” Chambers UK 2018: Professional Discipline

“He is really excellent.” Chambers UK 2018: Police Law

“He has a flawless academic approach.” Chambers UK 2018: Police Law

“Simply exceptional.” Legal 500 2017: Inquests & Inquiries

  • Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Reading School
  • Pembroke College, Oxford (BA(Hons) Jurisprudence, Domus Scholar)
  • University of Oxford Winter Williams Prize in Law, 1988
  • Lincoln’s Inn, Walter Wigglesworth Major Scholar, 1990
  • Review of Civil Prevention Orders under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Lead Author May 2013. This report was commissioned by the ACPO Child Protection and Abuse Investigation Working Group and resulted in legislative reform under the Anti-Social Crime and Behaviour Act 2014.
  • Police Misconduct, Complaints, and Public Regulation, Oxford University Press. A comprehensive practitioners’ text book, co-written with John Beggs QC, covering the national organisation of policing; the IPCC; chief officer appointment and removal; police performance and misconduct regulations 1999-2008; internal reviews and appeals; Police Appeals Tribunals; abuse of process; inquests; and police related criminal offending.

Lectures

Regular delivery of training to other professionals, the judiciary and the police in the areas of expertise listed above.

  • Queen’s Counsel 2013

I, HUGH CURRY DAVIES, am a data controller and can be contacted at 3 Raymond Buildings, Gray’s Inn, London WC1R 5BH or by telephone on 020 7400 6400 or by email at hugh.davies@3rblaw.com. My Data Protection Policy can be found below.

All personal data that I process is for the purposes of providing legal services, conducting conflict-checks, marketing, defending potential complaints, legal proceedings or fee disputes, keeping anti-money laundering records, research purposes in relation to academic articles and/or writing textbooks, training other barristers and pupils and when providing work-shadowing opportunities, and/or exercising a right to a lien. The types of data I process vary upon the nature of the legal matter in relation to which I am engaged to advise, but can include names, contact details, biographic details and ‘special category personal data’ (such as details of racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, health, sex life and criminal convictions and proceedings).

Depending upon the circumstances of the case, the legal bases upon which I process personal data are (i) the performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract, (ii) the processing is necessary to comply with legal obligations to which I am subject, or (iii) the processing is necessary for the legitimate interests set out above, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subjects which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child. When I rely on (iii) legitimate interests, my ‘Legitimate Interests Assessment’ can be found here. When I process data which has not be obtained directly from the data subject (e.g. personal data contained in evidential materials), it will have been supplied to me as part of my instructions in circumstances covered by legal professional privilege.

Depending upon the circumstances of the case, I may share the personal data with:

  1. my Chambers, which supplies professional and administrative support to my practice;
  2. Courts and other tribunals to whom documents are presented;
  3. my lay and professional clients;
  4. potential witnesses, in particular experts, and friends or family of the data subject;
  5. solicitors, barristers, pupils, mini pupils and other legal representatives;
  6. ombudsmen and regulatory authorities;
  7. current, past or prospective employers;
  8. education and examining bodies;
  9. business associates, professional advisers and trade bodies.

I retain personal data for no longer than 7 years after the case has come to an end or as otherwise required by law.

I do not intend to transfer data to any country which is not either within the European Union, ‘white listed’ by the EU or otherwise permitted by EU law (e.g. to the USA under the provisions of the ‘Privacy Shield’).

Under the GDPR, data subjects whose personal data I process have the right to request from me access to, and rectification or erasure of, their personal data, the right to the restriction of processing concerning them, the right to object to processing as well as the right to data portability. Data subjects also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ico.org.uk).

In cases where there is a contract between me and the data subject, the provision of personal data is a contractual requirement and the data subject is obliged to provide the personal data in order that I can supply legal services. A failure to provide such data may mean that I will not be able to provide the legal services.

Rev 1.1 -08.06.2018

Data Protection Policy

Legitimate Interests Assessment

Hugh Davies OBE QC is qualified to accept instructions direct from clients under the Bar Council’s Public Access Scheme. This means that members of the public who seek specialist advice can come direct to him. In addition, he welcomes instructions from solicitors, in-house law departments, qualified foreign lawyers, and clients licensed by the Bar Council to give instructions direct to barristers under the Bar Council’s Licensed Access Scheme.

For further information please contact our Clerks.