Clerking team

Mark Heald
Mark Heald

Senior Clerk - Criminal and Regulatory

Andy Booth

Lead Criminal Clerk

Joe Murphy

Criminal and Regulatory Clerk

Shell Edmonds

Criminal Clerk

“Head of the crime group and a leading silk who possesses an in-depth knowledge of all areas of criminal law. He continues to act in all areas of serious and complex crime, and has extensive experience of handling homicides, large-scale drug importations and historic sex allegations.”

Chambers UK Bar

Strengths: “A very good practitioner and a safe pair of hands.”

Chambers UK Bar, 2020

“Highly experienced in heavyweight criminal cases”

Legal 500, 2019

“Highly experienced in high-profile cases of murder and fraud.”

Legal 500, 2019

Andrew O’Byrne KC is a leading Silk who practises throughout the country. He was Leader of the Northern Circuit (2014-2016) and has featured in the Legal 500 and Chambers UK. He is an extremely experienced, heavyweight practitioner who is well regarded by his lay and professional clients.

He is also willing to provide pre-charge advice and likes to get involved with a case as early as possible.

Crown Court & appeals

Notable Cases

R v Barber and others – Birmingham Crown Court: Defence Counsel in major drug importation case. September/October 2006.

R v Callaghan – Manchester Crown Court: Leading Counsel for the Prosecution in cold case review Murder. November 2006.

R v Letts and others – Birmingham Crown Court: Leading Counsel for the Defence in then biggest drug importation case in the Midlands. October 2007.

R v Harris and others – Preston Crown Court: Leading Counsel for Defence in so called “Goth” killing of  Sophie Lancaster. 2008

R v Michael Williams – Manchester Crown Court: Leading Counsel for the Defence in a widely publicised Murder case reduced to Manslaughter. October 2010.

R v Claire Flanagan – Manchester Crown Court: Represented a defendant who was charged with the Murder of her child, aged 15 months. Acquitted of Murder. October 2010.

R v C D and others – Liverpool Crown Court: Homeless man kicked to death by teenagers. March/April 2013.

R v Paul Hamilton – Central Criminal Court: Murder of another family member in street fight. January/February 2014.

R v Mark Slater – Chester Crown Court: Defence Counsel for lorry driver convicted of a “Road Rage Murder”. August 2014.

R v Lethbridge and Rider – Sheffield Crown Court: Prosecution of two women for murder and robbery. June 2024.

Historic Sex Allegations

R v H – Manchester Crown Court: Allegations of sexual assault against a retired Scoutmaster spanning 20 plus years. January 2013.

R v Howell – Manchester Crown Court: Rape in city centre car park 24 years previously, Defence Counsel. November 2013.

R v Amanda Spencer – Sheffield Crown Court: Recruitment of young girls in care for prostitution. February / May 2014.

Health & safety

Andrew is accustomed to representing parties in serious and significant health and safety cases, including those involving allegations of corporate manslaughter, negligence by Directors and Officers leading to death of an employee or employees and large scale health impact cases (inhilation, failure of equipment, lack of protective equipment or training etc).

Notable Cases

R v Preston, the Ford Motor Company and others: Winchester Crown Court. Corporate Manslaughter, employee drowned in paint recycling paint tank at Ford Motor Company, Southampton. June 2003.

R v Sanders – Mold Crown Court: Defence Counsel in case concerning Death of employee at work. August 2014.

Fraud & financial crime

Fraud / VHCC Notable Cases

R v Amin and others – Maidstone Crown Court: Leading Junior for Defence in major VAT Fraud. September to December 2005.

R v Rahman and others – Leicester Crown Court: Leading Counsel for Defence in large VAT fraud involving motor vehicles. 2009.

R v Boston and others [Operation Inertia] – Kingston Crown Court: Leading Counsel for Defence in £120 million VAT Fraud. Involved from November 2009, final hearing, POCA, due October 2015.

R v Durose and others – Northampton Crown Court: Leading Counsel for Defence in scrap metal VAT Fraud. January / March 2012.


Andrew is experienced at cases requiring the expertise of King’s Counsel, including arguments of abuse of process, interpretation of law and large scale abuse/breach. His cases include:-

R v Nineham – Preston Crown Court. Defence Counsel: Trial involving alleged unlawful waste recycling stayed after five weeks of Abuse of Process Argument. April / May 2013.

R v Jagger- CCA: Instructed in appeal as to definition of waste in construction industry. October 2014.