Murder & Manslaughter

Unrivalled expertise in the prosecution and defence of all forms of homicide; we draw from four decades of experience dealing with the most high-profile and complex cases in this field.


QEB Hollis Whiteman is the market leader for criminal expertise in dealing with all cases of unlawful killing. These include the most serious cases of Murder and Manslaughter and all forms of defence thereof. Our exceptionally talented team of Silks and Juniors are regularly instructed to both prosecute and defend in the most high-profile and complex murder cases in the country. These include contract killings, multi-handed gang murders, historic murders, infanticide, and domestic murders, amongst others. Our experience of manslaughter cases is equally extensive. Cases undertaken often involve gross negligence manslaughter, manslaughter cases arising from acts or omissions in a medical/clinical setting, and deaths arising from health and safety breaches.

Our Experience

We have extensive experience working for the prosecution and the defence of homicide. Our work is invariably high profile and complex. Counsel of all levels are experienced in the field. We have former Senior Treasury Counsel, current Senior and Junior Treasury Counsel and Treasury Monitorees in Chambers, appointed by the Attorney General to deal with the gravest offences, who are therefore well versed in dealing with acts of unlawful killing. Notable murder cases include: the prosecution of the murder of Baby P, who died after suffering more than 50 injuries over a sustained period of time; the prosecution of the highly publicised racially motivated murder of Stephen Lawrence; the successful defence of a well-respected horse breeder, Kirsti Windsor, for the murder of her on/off lover and alleged disposal of the body on a bonfire; the prosecution of Ben Butler who was convicted for the murder of his daughter, Ellie; the prosecution of Stuart Hazell who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend's 12-year-old daughter; the defence of Danilo Restivo of the ritualistic killing and mutilation of a mother of two; the successful prosecution of Stefano Brizzi, who had strangled and murdered a Police Officer after arranging to meet on an Internet dating app; and the murder trial of Tania Clarence for the murder of her three children, after struggling to cope with their extreme medical condition. 

Recent and notable manslaughter cases include: the prosecution and defence of David Naylor & Express Hi-Fold Doors Ltd, a highly technical case involving a bi-fold door, which collapsed at a live concert venue in Guildford; the successful defence of a GP for failing to diagnose a rare health condition in a young child; the prosecution of Cherrywood Investments Limited for the death of a carpenter after he fell through a floor; the successful defence of GP Joanne Rudling for the death of a child after allegedly failing to act to prevent his death; and the pre-charge advice and subsequent prosecution of Optometrist Honey-Rose who was convicted after failing to spot an eye condition in an eight-year-old boy.

It follows from the nature of our work, that we have substantial experience of dealing with experts in a wide and diverse range of specialist subjects. We are particularly adept at quickly mastering novel and complicated subject matters. Our competence in dealing with clinical matters is enhanced by our substantial work in healthcare regulation.

Furthermore, we pride ourselves on our understanding of mental health issues and our ability to identify those issues in our analysis of a particular case, and we are highly skilled therefore in the presentation of psychiatric defences.

We are acutely aware of the pain and distress that are associated with all cases of this nature and have been praised, in particular, for our professionalism and the sensitive manner in which we deal with these matters both in relation to our clients and the victims' families.

Recent Cases


Alexandra Felix to be appointed Queen's Counsel

We are delighted to announce that the Queen has approved the Lord Chancellor’s...


The Use of Gang Affiliation as Evidence of Bad Character

Oliver Mosley  of QEBHW examines gang affiliation as evidence of bad character. The word gang can be a powerful tool in the hands of a skilled prosecutor. The allowances within the Criminal Justice Act means juries are now often furnished with...

R v Manning: Sentencing considered during the period of the pandemic

Philip Stott considers R - v -  Manning and the observations of the Lord Chief Justice on sentencing during Covid-19 A recent ‘unduly lenient’ sentencing reference to the Court of Appeal – R v Manning – provided an opportunity...

Criminal Courts: Coping with Covid-19

Edmund Smith  of  Kingsley Napley  and  Kerry Broome  of QEB Hollis Whiteman review how the administration of criminal justice has changed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and what this might mean for the future.  ...

The Coronavirus Act, and the emergence of a 'Virtual Court' - perhaps without Juries?

This briefing note from Edward Henry QC , Susannah Stevens , Philip Stott with the assistance of Anna Bond and John Morrison  provides an expert and detailed exposition of the procedural and legislative changes implemented by the...