Paul Greaney KC

Year of call 1993 / 2010

“Paul is the best advocate I know on circuit or beyond. ”

Chambers & Partners 2024 (Crime)

Paul Greaney KC specialises in serious crime, public inquiries and inquests, regulatory crime and professional discipline.

For many years he has been recommended in the leading professional directories. In Chambers & Partners 2024, he was recommended in four practice areas: inquests and public inquiries; crime (star individual); financial crime and health and safety.

Scope of Practice

  • Public Inquiries and Inquests;
  • Serious crime, including financial crime and crime with an international dimension;
  • Regulatory crime, with an emphasis on the healthcare sector; health and safety enforcement; data protection; trading standards issues; environmental health;
  • Disciplinary proceedings;
  • Licensing;
  • Warrants and production orders and
  • Public law, particularly claims relating to inquiries and inquests and the criminal justice system.


Current instructions include acting as Counsel (CTI) to the Omagh Bombing Inquiry, acting as leading counsel for the Royal Military Police at the Independent Inquiry Relating to Afghanistan, acting as leading counsel to a corporate core participant at the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and advising a large corporate organisation in relation to the COVID Inquiry and the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry. Concluded instructions include acting as Counsel (CTI) to the Manchester Arena Inquiry and acting as leading counsel for a senior lawyer core participant at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

In the world of Inquests, Paul acted as leading counsel for a prominent institutional client at the Hillsborough Inquests, as leading counsel for the family at the Deepcut Inquest, as leading counsel for the family in the Jack Ritchie Inquest (state regulation of the gambling sector) and as leading counsel for Manx Care and the DHSC at a recent inquest on the Isle of Man.

Paul continues to maintain a major profile in serious crime and has prosecuted and defended in many cases of national importance.

Cases of significance (all of which attracted substantial media attention) include:

Prosecution of the murderers of Ashley Dale, an innocent young woman executed in her own home in Liverpool with a machine gun as the result of a gangland feud.

Defence of the First Defendant in a major case in which the admissibility of Encrochat data was challenged.

Defence of company director charged with manslaughter by gross negligence arising out of a workplace death.

Defence of lottery winner on serious criminal charge

Defence of an international company on charges brought by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Defence of a university student charged with serious sexual offences.

Defence of police officer charged with serious offences of violence.

Prosecution of teenage bomb maker.

Prosecution of the contract killers of Paul Massey and John Kinsella.

Prosecution of two schoolboys in respect of a plot to carry out a Columbine-style massacre at their school in North Yorkshire.

Defence of Sir Norman Bettison, the former Chief Constable of both Merseyside and West Yorkshire Police on charges of misconduct in public office.

Defence of a politician on a charge of misconduct in public office.

Prosecution of four persons for the torture and murder of a vulnerable man; the “Dark Ages Torture” murder case.

Prosecution of a member of the Greggs the Bakers family for historical sexual abuse.

Prosecution of a police inspector and others for corruption.

Prosecution of the murderer of a local Imam; “ISIS inspired”.

Prosecution of a schoolboy for plotting an ISIS attack on an Anzac Day parade in Melbourne.

Defence of a nurse charged with manslaughter by gross negligence arising out of the death of a child in hospital.

Prosecution of the schoolboy who stabbed his Spanish teacher to death in class.

Prosecution of a psychopath for the sadistic murder of a child.

Defence of a man charged with the execution of an alleged police informer.

Prosecution of a mother who starved her child to death and then kept the child’s mummified body in her bedroom for almost two years.

Prosecution of one of the largest police corruption cases ever.

Paul has appeared on behalf of members of the legal profession charged with serious criminal offences, including the managing partner of a well-known firm of solicitors on a charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and a barrister on a charge of wounding with intent.

Paul has been involved in many serious and complicated regulatory prosecutions, including cases involving multiple fatalities and complex issues of law and cases involving the risk of significant reputational damage. That has involved defending large private and public bodies and individuals facing allegations.

He has particular experience of prosecutions in the healthcare sector (having represented many large private organisations and NHS Trusts in such cases), the workplace sector (having represented large companies and also individual directors) and the data protection context (having represented an international company in a prosecution brought by the ICO).

Paul represented the Football Association in the proceedings brought against Luis Suarez, the Liverpool player in respect of his racial abuse of Patrice Evra, the Manchester United player [2011], in the proceedings brought against Everton FC in respect of the tapping up of Jamaal Lascelles [2013] and in the proceedings brought against Nicolas Anelka in respect of his use of the quenelle gesture [2014] and Benoit Assou-Ekotto for tweeting his support for Anelka’s gesture [2014]. He has more than 20 years’ experience in representing police officers in misconduct proceedings and has also conducted proceedings in the GMC and SRA.

Paul deals with all forms of licensable activity.

Paul has been instructed on behalf of companies and prominent individuals in challenges. For example, he acted on behalf of a major media organisation on such issues arising out of the phone hacking investigation.

Particularly claims relating to the criminal justice system, police law and coronial law.

Paul has conducted cases in Fiji, including in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Fiji as a temporary member of the Bar of Fiji.

He acted on behalf of the former director of a major international company in corruption proceedings in Greece and was admitted to the Bar of Athens for that purpose.

He acted on behalf of Manx Care and the DHSC in proceedings in the Isle of Man for which purposes he was granted a temporary advocates licence.

Additional Information

  • Silk of the Year, Regional Bar, Legal 500 (2020)
  • Recorder (2016-2022)
  • Bencher, Inner Temple (2016)
  • Silk (2010)
  • Criminal Junior of the Year, Chambers & Partners (2009)
  • Called (1993)

Recent talks include:

  • Protecting Against the Threat of Terrorism to, among others, COBR, CONSEC, the English Football League and the Institute of Licensing.
  • Advocacy in the Court of Appeal.
  • Changes to the Coronial System.
  • Jury advocacy.

“Paul is highly thought of and well liked by clients; he is easy to deal with and highly responsive.”

“He's very strategic and clearly has significant gravitas. He also has a very lovely manner with clients. ”

“He has natural gravitas and an ability to take complex matters and distil them into reasoned argument, taking on board different views and delivering advice that is clear and well thought through.”

“He is a very high-profile and very able silk. "He is excellent.”

“A top performer, who has a very good manner and is very efficient.”

“He is a very skilled cross-examiner.”

“Paul is an advocate of the highest level, he commands the courtroom. "He is an excellent and efficient barrister.”

“An incredibly intelligent silk who inspires confidence in lay clients. He has the ability to make any issue appear straightforward and is very attuned to the needs and feelings of bereaved families.”

“Paul is very clever, very eminent and impressive, but also personable. He is a great communicator who instils confidence in those who instruct him, and he is a trusted adviser.”

“Without a shadow of a doubt he is the best advocate I've worked alongside. He can deal with any witness you put in front of him and get the best evidence from them.”

“He is super experienced. He makes cross-examination look easy - it looks as if he's doing it in his sleep.”

“He's hard-working, very thorough and a very good advocate. He's also excellent with clients.”

“An outstanding silk.”

“One of the best criminal silks in the business. He speaks with authority. His advocacy is a master-class to watch - it always gets results.”

“The best advocate I've seen on his feet: all others in the room tend to pale in comparison even if they are very good.”

“Paul Greaney QC brings great insight into the fundamental issues of the case and is able to communicate the complexities in a highly effective and straightforward way.”

“A QC with considerable gravitas and exceptional technical capabilities; he is without doubt one of the leading advocates.”

“A superb choice for dealing with complex high-profile inquests and inquiries.”

“Exceptionally intelligent, his technical ability and advocacy are second-to-none.”

“He takes a holistic approach in his advice and always takes into the consideration the wider picture, including the commercial and reputational impact of decisions.”

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