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

He is recommended in five practice areas in Chambers & Partners 2022: crime (star individual), financial crime, health and safety, professional discipline and inquests and public inquiries.

Scope of Practice

  • Serious crime, principally financial crime, homicide (including corporate manslaughter and manslaughter by gross negligence), terrorism and organised crime, including crime with an international aspect. Often advises at the investigation stage. Most work is conducted on a privately funded basis, although does continue to act on a publicly funded basis in some cases.
  • Regulatory crime, with an emphasis on health and safety enforcement, data protection, trading standards issues, environmental health, food standards and prosecutions arising out of planning disputes. Often advises at the investigation stage.
  • Public Inquiries (instructed as Counsel to the Manchester Arena Bombing Inquiry and acting on behalf of a core participant at the Grenfell Tower Inquiry).
  • Inquests, particularly those involving allegations about the conduct of the police and/or medical practitioners and those involving health and safety issues (eg. acted as leading counsel to the Police Federation at the Hillsborough inquests and on behalf of the owners of one of the tallest buildings in the UK at an inquest into a death said to be linked to the design of that structure and behalf of the family of Pte. Sean Benton at the Deepcut Inquest).
  • Disciplinary proceedings, including proceedings before professional sporting bodies, (eg. acted in the Football Association proceedings in the Suarez/Evra racist abuse case and the Anelka “quenelle” case), police misconduct proceedings and proceedings before the General Medical Council.
  • Warrants and production orders. Regularly instructed on behalf of companies and prominent individuals in challenges, eg. acted on behalf of a media organisation on many occasions on applications for production orders by the Metropolitan Police arising out of the phone hacking investigation.
  • Public law, particularly claims relating to the criminal justice system, police law and coronial law, but extending but other areas of the law.
  • Police law.
  • Licensing.

Paul has prosecuted and defended in many homicide cases. He has a particular interest in cases involving complex psychiatric issues (diminished responsibility, loss of control and fitness to plead) and scientific issues (including issues relating to the reliability of LCN DNA results and the relevance of stochastic effects to DNA findings).

A small selection of recent serious crime cases of significance (all of which attracted substantial media attention) include:

Notable Cases

Has appeared in many serious and complex fraud cases and is currently acting on behalf of the former director of a major international company in corruption proceedings in Greece.

Has appeared in many cases concerning complex money laundering issues, always involving significant sums.

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.


Notable Cases

  • R v WI [2014]

    Defence of a prominent Yorkshire businessman on a charge of conspiracy to defraud.

  • R v H & G [2012]

    Prosecution of two solicitors for a £1,000,000 fraud on the client account of the commercial property firm of which they were the senior partners.

  • R v B [2011]

    Defence of a solicitor charged with a fraud on the client account of the firm of which she was principal.

  • R v K.D [2010]

    Defence of the first defendant in a trial arising out of an alleged massive procurement fraud on contractors within the railway industry.

Has been involved in many serious and complicated regulatory prosecutions, including cases involving multiple fatalities and complex issues of law and cases involving potential reputational damage. That has involved defending individuals, companies and organisations facing allegations, and prosecuting such cases. Currently acting on behalf of a property developer in proceedings before the Court of Appeal and advising the owner of a business under investigation for corporate manslaughter.

Notable Cases

  • R. v X [2018]

    Defence of a major company facing data protection charges.

  • R. v X [2017]

    Defence of the Managing Director of a company facing serious trading standards offences.

  • R v Sherwood Rise Limited [2015]

    Defence of the operator of a care home on a charge of corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences; instructed by Kamrans.

  • R v X [2013]

    Defence of a prominent figure charged with offences relating to alterations to a listed building; instructed by Gordons.

  • R v C Ltd [2013]

    Defence of a major company in connection with one of the largest prosecutions ever mounted by the Environment Agency; instructed by Ward Hadaway.

  • R v National Trust [2012]

    Defence of the National Trust in a case regarded as being of national importance to the organisation; complex issues relating to enforcement responsibility; instructed by Berrymans.

  • R v UK Coal Plc, JA & TD [2011]

    Defence of the manager of a coal mine on a prosecution arising out of a mining fatality; instructed by Irwin Mitchell.

  • R v WEFCO (Gainsborough) Limited [2011]

    Defence of a company charged in respect of a serious crushing accident; instructed by Everyman Legal.

  • R v Craegmore Healthcare Limited [2010]

    Prosecution of a company operating care homes in respect of the death of a patient caused by restraint.

  • R v Matrix Direct Recycle Limited & CT [2010]

    Defence of the operations director of a company on charges arising out of mercury poisoning of company employees; instructed by Ward Hadaway.

  • R v Next Distribution Limited [2009]

    Defence of national company on serious health and safety charges; instructed by DLA Piper.

  • R v MacDonald [2009]

    Defence of prominent distributor of pesticides by DEFRA; instructed by Hill Dickinson.

  • R v H.T.M

    Prosecution arising out of a double fatality; Crown Court at Middlesbrough; led to the leading case on a number of aspects of health and safety legislation.

  • R v Pola

    Defence of a businessman said to be responsible for building work causing an accident which severely disabled a worker; led to a Court of Appeal ruling on the ambit of the term “employment” in the 1974 Act; instructed by Kamrans

  • R v Richmond Homes Limited

    Defence of a company and its managing director; asbestos case; instructed by Lupton Fawcett.

  • R v Strimech Engineering Limited

    Prosecution of a company in respect of a fatal accident.

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 has acted on behalf of companies and company directors, police officers, doctors and other interested persons at inquests involving deaths in police custody and in hospital or in connection with medical treatment and in other circumstances. He has appeared in inquests and inquiries concerning mass fatality events, eg. the Hillsborough Inquests, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the Manchester Arena Bombing Inquiry.

Relevant Experience

  • Currently acting as leading counsel (CTI) to the Manchester Arena Bombing Inquiry.
  • Led the team (comprising other barristers, including a second QC, solicitors, paralegals and researchers) representing the Police Federation at the Hillsborough Inquests.
  • Acting on behalf of the owners of a prominent, city centre commercial development at the inquest into a death said to have been connected with a wind tunnel effect created by the building.
  • Acting on behalf of many custody sergeants in relation to deaths in custody, eg the Christopher Alder Inquest (at one time the longest single death inquest in history).
  • Acting on behalf of a police officer involved in the death of a football fan during football violence, the Coles Inquest.
  • Also appears on behalf of interested persons at inquests involving complicated health and safety issues.
  • Long experience of acting on behalf of individuals, companies and organisations at such hearings.

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

Notable Cases

Paul has acted on behalf of those applying for licences and also for Police Forces. Has also undertaken firearms licence appeals.

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.

Currently acting on behalf of the former director of a major international company in corruption proceedings in Greece. Admitted to the Bar of Athens for that purpose.

Notable Cases

"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 a strong performer in high-profile national cases." [Inquests and Inquiries]
Chambers and Partners 2022

"He is super experienced. He makes cross-examination look easy - it looks as if he's doing it in his sleep." [Crime].."An excellent reputation in the regulatory field." [Professional Discipline].."He's hard-working, very thorough and a very good advocate. He's also excellent with clients." [Financial Crime].."An outstanding silk." [Health and Safety]
Chambers and Partners 2022

"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. A class operator...leader of the pack; incredibly bright, an excellent strategist and very personable."
Legal 500 2022

"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. He also displays superb advocacy skills during legal arguments." "He is a class act, massively hard-working and hugely prepared."
Chambers and Partners 2021 (Crime)

"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. He is also very good on the detail, and has a lovely way with clients and a particular bearing in court which commands a huge amount of respect."
Chambers and Partners 2021 (Inquests and Public Inquiries)

"A QC with considerable gravitas and exceptional technical capabilities; he is without doubt one of the leading advocates." "His written work is always first class, as are his advocacy skills. He is very personable, down to earth and a pleasure to work with
Chambers and Partners 2021 (Financial Crime)

‘A superb choice for dealing with complex high-profile inquests and inquiries. His extensive knowledge of both criminal law and coronial law, together with his tenacity make him extremely popular with both solicitors and lay clients.’ [Inquest and Inquiries]
Legal 500 2021

‘Exceptionally intelligent, his technical ability and advocacy are second-to-none' [Crime]...'is a team player and will listen and act upon opposing views. 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.’ [Business, Crime and Regulatory]
Legal 500 2021

"Highly capable with inherent gravitas. He is, without doubt, one of the leading advocates in the country..He's a superb tactician and technically excellent."[Crime].."He's a superb advocate - he's got a lightness of touch and can make complex issues seem very straightforward..Paul is first class. He has a succinctness of words and will use one sentence where the rest will need three..He's an example of a criminal jury advocate who's transferred seamlessly and impressively to the inquiry field." [Inquests and Inquiries].."Comes highly recommended and his technical ability isn't in any doubt." [Professional Discipline].."An extremely accomplished, hard-working and effective barrister. He has the complete set of skills."[Financial Crime]
Chambers & Partners 2020

"One of the best in the business."[Crime].."Other barristers pale in comparison."[Inquests and Inquiries].."Has the complete respect and confidence of the Court at every level of jurisdiction."[Regulatory, Health and Safety and Licensing]
Legal 500 2020

"A powerful silk; judges love him [Inquests & Public Inquiries] ... superb cross-examination and advocacy skills [Inquests and Public Inquiries] ... He has an outstanding reputation and is a very insightful advocate – very measured and very persuasive [Crime] ... A QC who has considerable gravitas and exceptional technical capabilities [Financial Crime]"
Chambers & Partners/Legal 500 (2019)

"A brilliant and measured advocate who gets outstanding results...a top class operator [Crime]...a fantastic advocate [Inquests and Public Inquiries]...A top class operator and a commanding advocate. He's a leader in his field. He's a class act [Regulation and Professional Discipline]." Chambers & Partners/Legal 500 (2018)
Chambers & Partners/Legal 500 (2018)

" sources consider him one of the best silks in the country. He is routinely instructed in high-profile homicide and organised crime cases, and offers broader expertise in the areas of financial crime and sports law...Absolutely a leader in his field, a top-class advocate. He is extremely bright, excellent with clients and cerebral in his approach."
Chambers & Partners/Legal 500 (2017)

"He is the complete article, from preparation to client handling. His advocacy skills are second to none...Head and shoulders above everyone else in a courtroom, he doesn't waste a syllable and in cross-examination he gets admissions which no one else can...Measured, calm and focused."
Chambers & Partners/Legal 500 (2016)

"He's the best; if you can get him you're lucky" and "he commands respect in the courtroom."
Chambers & Partners/Legal 500 (2015)

"...the complete package"..."a prime example of a modern silk through his combination of first-class advocacy and advice with a commercial and client-oriented approach" and as "communicating with great ease at every level."
Chambers & Partners/Legal 500 (2014)

"(Has) immaculate advocacy skills."
Chambers & Partners/Legal 500 (2013)

"(Has) the rare ability to control the courtroom no matter who the tribunal" and "very industrious in the pursuit of the client's interests."
Chambers & Partners/Legal 500 (2012)

Practice Areas

Appointments & Memberships

  • 2020 Silk of the Year, Regional Bar (Legal 500)
  • 2016 Bencher - Inner Temple
  • 2016 Recorder - Class 2
  • 2012 Head of Criminal Team, New Park Court Chambers
  • 2012 Director of Advocacy Training, North Eastern Circuit
  • 2010 Queen's Counsel
  • 2009 Criminal Junior of the Year (Chambers & Partners)
  • 2002 Attorney General's Panel of Advocates (Crime)
  • 1995 Tenant at New Park Court Chambers
  • 1993 Call

Publications & Speaking

Recent talks include:

  • Advocacy in the Court of Appeal (with Pitchford L.J)
  • Changes to the Coronial System
  • Jury advocacy

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