Jeffrey Israel is a leading barrister, listed in the Legal 500 directory as well as in Chambers & Partners, specialising in all aspects of criminal law.
Jeffrey has been instructed as both a leading junior and a junior alone in a wide range of serious criminal matters. He is admired for his robust handling of cases and his fearless approach in Court and is highly sought after by private clients, often on Bar Direct Access, enabling him to oversee every aspect of the case. This approach offers particular reassurance to his clients.
As a result of that landmark success he is regularly instructed to conduct appeals in cases where he did not represent defendants at their original trials. Current Direct Access instructions include appealing the convictions for historic rapes of a highly successful music impresario, an appeal against a murder conviction, and an appeal against a drug importation.
Jeffrey is also highly sought after to represent those who are accused and facing trial. Current instructions include a businessman who is alleged to have caused GBH against his business partner, a city trader who is accused of assaulting a doorman, and a garage owner who is accused of laundering over £6m.
A large-scale nationwide cocaine conspiracy involving 11 defendants;
A conspiracy to transfer loaded machine-guns by defendants in prison;
A multi-handed murder allegation arising out of a 'drug war' in a case that involved the US authorities;
A multi-million pound SFO case involving the creation of false identities and bank accounts that are then used to defraud HMRC;
The shooting at a uniformed police officer in the course of an armed robbery;
Human-trafficking for the purpose of forced prostitution;
A gang-related firearms case where over 100 guns, grenades, and live ammunition were being supplied across the country;
A large-scale importation of cocaine from South America.
As well as being a specialist criminal defence barrister, Jeffrey has a particular interest in Civil Actions against the Police, Judicial Reviews and Public Inquests. He is regularly instructed to advise charities such as MENCAP, National Autistic Society and Guide Dogs for the Blind on matters of potential criminal liability, including in Court of Protection proceedings. He has lectured in this field on topics such as ‘Capacity to Consent to Sex, a Civil and a Criminal Perspective’ and as such has particular expertise in this field.
In March 2017 after a legal battle lasting almost 2 years, Jeffrey, led by Jonathan Goldberg QC and leading Senghin Kong, succeeded in winning on appeal the historic case of Marine A, Acting Colour Sergeant Alexander Blackman of the Royal Marines. He had been convicted by court-martial in 2013 of murdering a wounded Taliban terrorist on a battlefield in Afghanistan and had been sentenced to life imprisonment together with reduction to the ranks and dismissal from the Armed Forces with disgrace. An appeal against conviction brought in 2014 by his old legal team had failed completely.
Following a public campaign new grounds of appeal were submitted to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) in December 2015.
Once an appeal has been tried and failed, this body represents the only possible route to challenge a miscarriage of justice. However, the CCRC refer less than 3% annually of all the cases they receive back to the Court of Appeal for a new hearing, and therefore it is a formidable mountain to climb. The legal team identified six grounds of appeal and the CCRC upheld three of these grounds as constituting a real possibility that the Court of Appeal would overturn the murder verdict, and referred the case back to the Court of Appeal. Shortly thereafter an expedited hearing was ordered by the Lord Chief Justice.
They succeeded on the first ground argued to reduce murder to manslaughter, thus leading to the Sergeant`s almost immediate release from prison and the quashing of his life sentence and there was no need to litigate the remaining grounds at all. In addition, his dismissal with disgrace from the Armed Forces was rescinded to simple dismissal, and his reduction to the ranks was quashed.
Jeffrey is able to accept instructions direct from the public in appropriate cases. For further information in this regard please contact the Senior Clerk.
Jeffery Israel led Aska Fujita representing the third defendant in this six-handed, eight-week trial. Aska represented her client, charged with 14 counts of conspiracy to supply drugs worth over £3.5m and possession of criminal property, from the outset. The evidence consisted of +100k pages of evidence and unused material. Instructed by Sternberg Reed.
Jeffrey Israel successfully defended a high profile case where it was alleged that the boyfriend of the fashion designer to socialite Cara Delevigne repeatedly assaulted her and controlled her. Following legal argument the case against Jeffrey’s client was dropped and he was acquitted of all charges.
Jeffrey Israel instructed by Jon Ross of EBR Attridges, led by James Scobie QC secured the acquittal of Sidique Kamara who was accused of murder having allegedly executed a teenager by plunging a large knife into the victim’s chest in revenge after a gang member was mocked for being caught by police with a samurai sword. The murder took place outside a Tesco Express in Southampton Way, Peckham in front of a number of witnesses.
Sidique Kamara was positively identified by the victim’s friend who was next to him when he was killed. In addition the prosecution relied on telephone cell site evidence, gang membership evidence, extensive CCTV footage, as well as Sidique Kamara’s ‘no comment’ police interview. The trial lasted 5 weeks.
There were two defendants and Sidique Kamara was accused of being the stabber and was the main defendant in the case. Both defendants were unanimously acquitted by the jury.
Jeffrey Israel, led by Jonathan Goldberg QC, represented David Buchler, the former vice-chairman of Tottenham Hotspur FC who was accused of breaking a shopper’s nose in Harrods in a row over a croissant.
Jeffrey Israel and Senghin Kong led by Jonathan Goldberg QC and instructed under the Bar Direct Access scheme, represented former Royal Marine Sergeant Alexander Blackman (also known as “Marine A”) who succeeded after a long campaign for justice in having his conviction for murder reduced to manslaughter by diminished responsibility. The campaign was led by the renowned author Frederick Forsyth and the Daily Mail, and supported by thousands of members of the public.
The new legal team submitted a 100-page report to the CCRC in December 2015. A year later the CCRC referred the case back to the Court Martial Appeal Court who swiftly quashed the conviction for murder and imposed a sentence for manslaughter which would allow for the former sergeant’s almost immediate release. Outside Court after the sentencing hearing on 28 March 2017, the wife of Marine A, Mrs Claire Blackman said:
“We are overjoyed at the judges’ decision to significantly reduce Al’s sentence, such that he can be released imminently. This is the moment that we have all been fighting hard for. It is hard to believe that this day is finally here. There are so many people we must thank for getting us here. They include of course our brilliant legal team, Jonathan Goldberg QC, Jeffrey Israel and Senghin Kong, thank you all. They also include the fabulous Frederick Forsyth and the wonderful Richard Drax MP, both of whom have fought tirelessly in support of Al.”
Mrs Blackman later added:
“Jeffrey consistently offered us calm, considered and professional advice. His patience knows no limits. His knowledge and observation skills meant that he was always open and honest - never promising anything he couldn't deliver. And he certainly delivered.”
“What Senghin doesn't know about the law and its application isn't worth knowing. His knowledge and attention to detail is incredible and yet his approach was always to help us clearly understand and explore solutions. Everyone needs a Senghin on their team.”
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