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Senghin Kong

Call 2008

Practice Profile

Senghin specialises in privately funded criminal litigation and civil litigation with a criminal aspect to it. He may also act for public prosecution authorities, having been appointed to the SFO Prosecution B Panel in 2017 and the CPS Grade 3 Panel in 2014. He is ranked as a leading junior in Chambers and Partners 2019.

Senghin is renowned for his responsiveness and work ethic. By prioritising quality of service over quantity in his select caseload, he takes pride in being able to dedicate himself fully to each case. He understands that success in high end litigation requires nothing less.

He is especially valued for his ability to manage, analyse and assimilate the masses of information generated by the largest investigations. He is currently representing the solicitor charged in the prosecutions arising from the Hillsborough Stadium disaster of 1989. The CPS have publicly described the Hillsborough investigations as “the largest in English criminal history”.

Senghin is a barrister to whom other barristers turn in cases involving complex or novel points of law. He represented former Royal Marine Sergeant Blackman (Marine A) in his widely reported successful appeal against conviction for murder, following a successful application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. Senghin is accordingly sought out by clients seeking to challenge their conviction or sentence.

He has expertise in financial crime, bribery and corruption, corporate crime and proceeds of crime. He spent several years working on the criminal investigation into manipulation of interbank lending rates, which was one of the largest ever conducted by the SFO. He has advised pre-charge in relation to allegations of international bribery against corporates and individuals. Drawing upon his significant prosecution experience, Senghin also acts for and advises private prosecutors.

Senghin recently represented a GP at trial and on appeal in the first contempt proceedings to be brought against a doctor in his capacity as a medical expert. The appeal hearing was streamed live from the Master of the Rolls’ court and can be viewed here. The appeal judgment, which can be read here, is the new leading authority on the proper approach to sentencing for contempt arising from the making of false witness statements.

He also represents defendant insurers in road traffic cases where dishonesty is alleged against the claimant and in related contempt proceedings. This is but one of several areas where Senghin has put his expertise in advocacy earned at the criminal Bar to effective use on behalf of clients involved in civil litigation.

In appropriate cases, Senghin may accept instructions directly from members of the public, without the need for a solicitor.

Senghin’s Privacy Notice may be downloaded here.

Significant Reported Cases

  • LVI v Zafar [2019] EWCA Civ 392: The judgment of Etherton MR, Hamblen and Holroyde LJJ is the new leading authority on the proper approach to sentencing for contempt arising from the making of false witness statements. Senghin appeared for Dr Zafar at trial and on appeal, where the sentence was found to be unduly lenient, but was not increased because the Court of Appeal agreed with the submission on behalf of Dr Zafar that it would be unfair to increase his sentence as a result of the new guidance being given.
  • R v Blackman [2017] EWCA Crim 190: Successful second appeal against conviction for murder based on fresh evidence of diminished responsibility. This followed a successful application to the CCRC to refer the case for a second appeal. Exceptionally, the case was heard by a special 5-judge constitution of the Court Martial Appeal Court, including the Lord Chief Justice, the President of the Queen’s Bench Division and the Vice President of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division.
  • R v S [2016] EWCA Crim 1908; [2018] 4 WLR 24: Successful appeal against conviction for rape as a result of an inadequate hearsay direction. This was the first reported case where the Crown’s case depended on hearsay evidence from an absent complainant who had retracted her original account to the police.  
  • R v Anwar & Others [2016] EWCA Crim 551; [2016] 4 WLR 127: Successful prosecution interlocutory appeal against a ruling that there was no case to answer on counts of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent. The President gave important guidance on the effect of Jogee on half time submissions. The trial continued following the expedited appeal and resulted in the conviction of all six defendants for possession of a firearm with intent.


  • BVC
  • CPE
  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics, M.A. (Oxon), Balliol College

Notable Cases

  • R v Alexander Blackman [Court Martial Appeal Court] 2017

    Murder reduced to manslaughter following CCRC reference and second appeal

    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.”

    To read more about this case please use the links below:

    Daily Mail report on the sentencing (28 March 2017)

    Telegraph report on the sentencing (28 March 2017)

    The sentencing remarks (28 March 2017)

    Daily Mail report on the conviction being quashed (15 March 2017)

    Guardian report on the conviction being quashed (15 March 2017)

    The appeal judgment (15 March 2017)

    Joshua Rozenberg’s commentary in anticipation of the appeal hearing (5 February 2017)

    Daily Mail Campaign for Justice page

  • R v S [Court of Appeal] 2017

    Appeal against Rape Conviction

    Senghin Kong led by Jonathan Goldberg QC represented S at his appeal against conviction for rape and other offences against his ex-wife. The prosecution case depended on the hearsay evidence of the ex-wife who had sent a number of letters from Israel, some of which stated that her initial complaint to the police was false or inaccurate. Fulford LJ allowed the appeal on the basis that the trial judge’s direction had been inadequate in circumstances where the complainant had given two contradictory accounts. Instructed by Sonn McMillan Walker.

  • R v. Anwar & ors [C.C.C.] 2016

    Attempted Murder

    Catherine Farrelly leading Senghin Kong in this prosecution of 6 defendants on charges including attempted murder, possession of a firearm with intent to commit robbery and conspiracy to rob. At the close of the prosecution case the learned Judge upheld submissions of no case to answer on the charges of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to commit robbery. As a result the prosecution appealed this at an expedited hearing. The Court of Appeal allowed the prosecution appeal and the trial continued on all charges. Leveson LJ gave the judgment of the court reported here. The 6 defendants were eventually convicted of possession of a firearm with intent to commit robbery and conspiracy to rob. The case involved complex cell site evidence and legal argument. Guardian report here.

  • R v. F & ors [Canterbury] 2013

    Conspiracy to assist Unlawful Immigration

    Mark Dacey led Senghin Kong defending an accounts manager at a security company. The defendant was charged with two counts of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration. The allegation was that the company was receiving refugee passports unlawfully issued by a corrupt Home Office official. The defendant was acquitted of one of the counts at the close of the prosecution case following a successful submission of no case to answer, and acquitted of the other by the jury after a 3 month trial. Instructed by Thomas Boyd Whyte Solicitors.

  • R v. B & ors [Harrow] 2013

    Bogus college immigration fraud

    Jonathan Higgs QC led Jonathan Polnay and Senghin Kong prosecuting three defendants involved in running a bogus college for conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration. The defendants were convicted after a 3 month trial. The case involved complex legal argument in relation to Griffiths-type conspiracies and substantial disputed evidence from forensic accountants. Senghin Kong was instructed to prosecute the resulting 3 day confiscation hearing without a leader, against three QCs and juniors. Instructed by CPS Central Fraud Group.