Sir David Calvert-Smith


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QEB News: JUSTICE Working Party on Complex and Lengthy Trials chaired by Sir David Calvert-Smith issues report
4.3.2016 More >

QEB News: Deferred Prosecution Agreements
16.12.2013 More >

QEB News: Sir David Calvert-Smith
15.1.2013 More >

Sir David Calvert-Smith

Called to the Bar 1969

Career milestones

Sir David Calvert-Smith is an honorary member of QEB Hollis Whiteman Chambers.

Became a tenant at 3 Temple Gardens which later became QEB Hollis Whiteman 1970

Began with mixed common law practice but soon focused on crime both prosecuting and defending.

1981 Assistant Recorder. Appointed to DPP panel of counsel. Regularly prosecuted for Customs and Excise.

From 1985 onwards part of and latterly head of the Bar Council team negotiating with the then Lord Chancellor’s Department and the CPS concerning legal aid/prosecution fees. Negotiated the first graduated fee scheme. 

1986 Recorder.  Junior Treasury Counsel at the Central Criminal Court. Instructed by the Serious Fraud Office from and before its official inception having prosecuted and defended fraud cases for many years before that.

From the early nineties a member of the Educational and Training Committee of the Bar Council latterly its Vice-Chairman.

1991 Senior Treasury Counsel at the CCC.

1995-7 1st Senior Treasury Counsel. Vice Chairman Criminal Bar Association

1997 QC.

1998 Chairman Criminal Bar Association until appointment the same year as DPP.

1998-2003 DPP. Implemented the biggest structural change ever in a government department following the recommendations of the Glidewell report.  Negotiated the transfer of the charging decision from the police to the CPS in all but the least serious offences.

2003 Chaired a committee set up to investigate the possibility that the Bar could assist, by levy or otherwise, those who could not otherwise afford to do so to study for the bar. The report “Funding Entry to the Bar” was published at the end of that year.

2003-5 returned to practice at Hollis Whiteman.

2004-5 headed the Formal Investigation of the Commission for Racial Equality into racism within the Police Service of England and Wales.

2004 September to December. Occupied the position of Solicitor of Customs and Excise following the incumbent’s suspension until the appointment of David Green QC.

2005-2012 High Court Judge (Queens Bench Division)

2005-2012 Judge in charge of the Terrorism List.

2006-2010 Presiding Judge of the South Eastern Circuit.

2012 Judge of Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey. Chairman of the Parole Board of England and Wales.

Interesting cases. Provided advice, prosecuted or tried.

Health and Safety

Herald of Free Enterprise. Marchioness. Buncefield.


Marconi, Polly Peck (Part 1)


Iraqi Sanctions


Israeli Embassy (Botmeh and Alami), Hindawi (plot to blow up El Al plane), Airlines bomb plot, Karim (plot by BA employee) and a number of the cases tried since 2005.

General crime

Many of the highest profile homicide cases from 1986-1997. Hanson (murder of banker John Monckton), Tobin (murderer of 3 women, 2 of whom he buried in the garden of his house).  

Notable cases: