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 was shortlisted by the Legal 500 for Crime & Extradition Junior of the year 2022.
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.
Jeffrey is best known for acting on a Bar Direct Access basis in the successful appeal of Alexander Blackman – known as ‘Marine A’, who was convicted of murdering a dying Taliban insurgent whilst on active service in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
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.
Past cases include defending the ex-boyfriend of Cara Delevingne’s PA who was accused of assaulting her repeatedly, representing a former manager of Tottenham Hotspur FC for speeding, defending Tony Blair’s private secretary accused of rape, and defending the vice-chairman of Tottenham for an alleged assault in Harrod’s Food Hall.
In addition Jeffrey also accepts instructions on Legal Aid in serious cases. Recently these include representing a defendant in a large-scale drugs conspiracy, a woman accused of poisoning a 4 year old child, and a ‘gangland’ murder
Previously Jeffrey has defended in:
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.
21 July 2023
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"He is a great jury advocate who's very hardworking, astute and strategic in the way he fights a case." Chambers UK 2024
"Jeff made a brilliant closing speech that woke everyone up. It was both effervescent and potent." Chambers UK 2024
"His strength is in his judgement, passionate advocacy and his ability to leave the client with the idea that everything possible has been done." Chambers UK 2024
‘Jeffrey's jury-craft is superb. He grips your attention with sabre-like cross-examination and layers questions building to the skillful demolition of witness evidence.' Legal 500 - 2024
Excellent in all areas, his advocacy is excellent and precise.' Legal 500 2023
"He is incredibly robust and will fight all the way. You definitely want him on your side." Chambers UK 2023
‘He has a track record of criminal appeals. ’ Legal 500 2020
'An excellent jury advocate with excellent client care who can take a sensible and pragmatic view.’ Legal 500 - 2019
'A tenacious advocate, who is knowledgeable and very good with clients.' Legal 500 2017