Barrister Category: Tenants

Iain Edwards

Iain is a seasoned and compassionate barrister specialising in serious crime. He is a fighter who always goes the extra mile for his clients, whether before domestic or international jurisdictions. Iain represents defendants charged with the gravest of offences and has a particular expertise in international crimes, firearms, and immigration-related cases. He is developing a strong practice in extradition. Iain prides himself on his meticulous preparation and intelligent trial strategy. Clients regularly comment favourably on his down-to-earth, unpretentious approach. 

Since 2009, Iain has divided his busy defence practice between domestic and international criminal work. For the last seven years, he has been one of a small handful of barristers ranked by  Chambers and Partners as a leading junior in international criminal law, and by  The Legal 500  as a Tier 1 leading junior in international crime and extradition. 

Iain is currently assigned as defence counsel before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. His client is alleged to be a notorious commander of the Arab militia in Darfur, Sudan commonly known as the Janjaweed. He is charged with 31 counts of murder, rape, forcible transfer, persecution and torture as crimes against humanity, and numerous war crimes, all arising out of the conflict in West Darfur between August 2003 and April 2004. 

Iain also represents a client who was granted early release from his sentence by the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in Arusha, Tanzania, in his efforts to be permanently resettled in a safe country. Until recently, he was assigned for the defence of a client on appeal in a multi-hander contempt case before the Mechanism.

Iain has a developing interest in all areas of national and international sanctions work, including before the  UN’s Ombudsperson to the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, and under the UK’s new Magnitsky regime introduced through the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020. 

Iain is accredited by the Bar Standards Board to undertake public access work. 

Parveen Judge

Parveen is an experienced barrister who believes in representing her clients fearlessly and compassionately. She aims to ensure that her client always feels well supported and effectively represented in court proceedings, always taking the time to make sure that the client understands proceedings.

She has had a thriving and broad ranging criminal practice through which she has amassed extensive trial and court experience and has developed a sound sense of strategy, pragmatism and tactics. Parveen has also practised in family law and is further developing her family practice. She also has experience of appearing at inquests.

She has provided advocacy training on the Bar Transfer Test and provides in house advocacy training to pupils in chambers. She has been appointed as an External Examiner by the Bar Standards Board. Parveen has provided witness training to counter fraud officers as part of their accreditation.

Prior to joining Chambers, she completed an internship at the Office of the State Public Defender in California, working on appeals for those on death row. In England, she represented many clients through the Free Representation Unit.

Jemma Levinson

Jemma is a busy criminal defence practitioner with extensive experience in the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal. She also has a varied practice in the area of judicial review.

Jemma is committed to providing fearless and thorough representation to all her clients and particularly focuses on cases involving young or otherwise vulnerable defendants, expert evidence and issues of disclosure.

Jemma has been recognised as a notable practitioner in Chambers & Partners.

Michael Chambers

Michael has a mixed general criminal and civil practice.

His criminal practice covers all areas of crime including gang related serious violence, public order disturbances and drug related allegations; fraud, including benefit fraud; domestic violence and sexual offences including rape and serious sexual assault.

His civil advice draws upon his 15 years’ experience of working in the commercial sector, before retraining as a barrister in 2003. He has advised and represented clients in defamation suits, applications for injunctions and several breach of contract cases.

He also has a rapidly developing family practice including private children law, financial orders and confiscation proceedings.

He is a witness and case preparation trainer for the UK’s leading legal training company where he has run numerous courses for professionals involved in the legal system as witnesses and/or investigators.

Before qualifying as a barrister Michael spent over 20 years in advertising in London and New York where he was responsible for the negotiating, planning and buying of multi-million pound television advertising campaigns for major companies including Fiat, Twentieth Century Fox Films, Procter and Gamble and Nationwide Building Society.

He also undertakes public access work.

Anna Watterson

Anna has a busy and varied practice. This allows her to maintain real expertise across multiple areas of law and in different forums from the First-tier Tribunal and County Court up to the Court of Appeal. Her cross-cutting knowledge means that no aspect of her client’s situation is overlooked. She is approachable to clients and clearly explains her legal advice. In court she is persuasive and is able to respond with agility as a hearing develops, because of her thorough grasp of the law and careful preparation.

Anna joined 1MCB as a tenant in 2009 after successfully completing her pupillage in chambers. She is committed to chambers’ ethos of ensuring that all members of society can enjoy access to justice through first-class representation. She therefore accepts instructions from legally aided clients and particularly prides herself on ensuring vulnerable clients have the best possible experience of the justice system.

She accepts instructions on a direct public access basis in appropriate cases.

Before coming to the Bar she both worked at a leading immigration & human rights solicitors’ firm (Wesley Gryk LLP) and volunteered with Camden Community Law Centre, the Immigration Advisory Service and the Free Representation Unit. She continues to undertake pro bono work for Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID).

In 2019 Anna was appointed as a First-Tier Tribunal Judge, sitting in the Social Entitlement Chamber.

Gwawr Thomas

Gwawr combines a heavyweight criminal defence practice with expertise in litigating claims against the police and other public authorities.  With her meticulous attention to detail, sound tactical judgment and tenacity in pursuing a just result for all those she represents, she is a much sought after leading junior who is equally at home making an engaging jury speech as she is arguing a creative point of law.  The breadth of her practice across a number of inter-related spheres not only allows her to take a holistic approach to any particular case, but also offers continuity of representation to clients whose problems straddle more than one area of law.

Gwawr excels at client care.  She prides herself on her approachable and down to earth manner and is quickly able to secure the confidence of clients, including those who may be vulnerable on account of youth, mental health difficulties, or experience of trauma.

Alongside her domestic practice, Gwawr regularly provides advice and representation to individuals, community organisations and NGOs on issues involving international human rights.  She has significant experience of advising and representing those facing the death penalty abroad, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa, having worked with Reprieve, the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide and the Evolve Foundation for International Legal Assistance on the resentencing exercises which followed the abolition of the mandatory death penalty in Malawi and Uganda, respectively, in many cases securing the immediate release of clients who had spent more than a decade on death row.  In addition, Gwawr has experience in strategic litigation, having worked within the public interest litigation department at Kampala-based law firm Onyango & Co Advocates, where she contributed to a number of important constitutional challenges.

Gwawr was recently invited to join the Detention ExPEERience Network, a panel of experts in international detention law co-ordinated by Avocats Sans Frontières.

In appropriate cases, Gwawr is able to accept instructions directly from members of the public, community based organisations, charities, NGOs and businesses, through the Bar Council’s Public Access Scheme.

Alex Chakmakjian

Alex has established a reputation for exceptional attention to detail, assiduous client care and an imaginative style of advocacy.  His range of abilities has allowed him to conduct the most challenging cases, including representing prisoners on death row before the Supreme Court of Uganda.

Alex came to the Bar after completing his Masters degree in human rights law.  Prior to this, he accumulated substantial experience in human rights with work ranging from voluntary legal advice in Southall to missions to gather evidence from witnesses in Nepal.  His further education and earlier experience frequently inform his established multi-disciplinary practice.

He is also qualified to accept instructions from members of the public directly.

David Parvin

David specialises in all areas of criminal law, both prosecution and defence, with significant experience of Crown Court and appellate advocacy involving serious and complex cases.

David has an approachable manner and is well liked by clients. He takes pride in thorough preparation and is prompt at communicating outcomes and advice.

Before joining 1MCB Chambers in April 2016, David worked for a number of years as an in-house advocate at a busy criminal law firm where he was a criminal litigation supervisor, head of the in-house advocacy department and duty solicitor.

Bernadette Smith

Bernadette has a busy practice with a focus on immigration, asylum, and public law challenges and an interest in international law. She is committed to representing publicly funded and vulnerable clients and is experienced in doing so in all areas of her practice.

She regularly delivers training on developments in asylum and case preparation and recently co-authored two working guides, one for representatives and one for unrepresented appellants, on the procedural changes that were introduced into the Immigration and Asylum Chamber due to the pandemic.

Bernadette has advised a number of organisations on legal challenges and applications including the Equal Rights Trust, Reprieve and Lambeth Law Centre as well as working with the Jesuit Refugee Service UK, in their legal team.

Before coming to the bar, Bernadette volunteered in immigration and housing for two and a half years at Lambeth Law Centre.  For the final year she worked as a senior immigration caseworker as well as being involved in providing outreach immigration advice to a domestic violence charity.

Prior to pupillage Bernadette developed an interest in restorative justice and mediation while volunteering on youth referral order panels for a couple of years as a panel chair, facilitating discussions with young people about reparation and minimising the risk of reoffending.

She is a trustee of Evolve – Foundation for International Legal Assistance and has been involved in its ongoing work, preparing written submissions for criminal appeals and re-sentencing in Uganda.

Bernadette has been ranked as a leading junior in the Legal 500 for the last three years, most recently in Tier 1: “She has a tremendous success rate with the most difficult of cases and is a first point of call for cases involving vulnerable clients”.

Janette Haywood

Janette is a highly experienced practitioner who has always been passionate about family law.

Solicitors and clients regularly comment that she has a friendly and personable approach and provides clients with a professional and sympathetic service, while also being tenacious when necessary.

Her considerable experience provides valuable reassurance to clients, which is based on realistic advice founded on many years of being able to anticipate judicial determinations.

Jeffrey Yearwood

Jeffrey practises exclusively as a defence advocate in the Crown Court, principally on the South Eastern Circuit.

He practises in all areas of criminal law and has a particular expertise in serious assaults, sex offences, drug trafficking, proceeds of crime and fraud cases.

Jeffrey was called to the Bar in 1975 and is a member of Inner Temple. He has practised solely as a defence barrister for over 40 years. He currently holds a part-time judicial appointment as a Recorder. Jeffrey is a certified pupil supervisor.

His significant cases include representing the Commission for Racial Equality in the Stephen Lawrence Enquiry.

John Benson KC

John Benson KC is a multi-disciplinary Silk with expertise and extensive experience in serious crime and civil litigation (mainly clinical negligence and personal injury). He has particular expertise in the cross-examination of expert witnesses.  He sits as a Recorder of the Crown Court and County Courts and is ticketed to sit on serious sex offences.

John is also a member of Atlantic Chambers in Liverpool.