Pump Court

Kieran Vaughan QC

Call 1993
Silk 2012

"A devastating cross-examiner with a lovely manner."

Legal 500 2020

"Highly recommended for a wide range of fraud cases."

Legal 500 2020

"A top silk and criminal heavyweight who comes highly regarded due to his exceptional legal mind and effective jury advocacy."

Chambers & Partners 2019

  • Criminal Bar Association
Directory Quotes
  • “A devastating cross-examiner with a lovely manner.” Legal 500 2020
  • “Highly recommended for a wide range of fraud cases.” Legal 500 2020
  • “A top silk and criminal heavyweight who comes highly regarded due to his exceptional legal mind and effective jury advocacy.” Chambers & Partners 2019
  • “A very skillful and deliberate man who is a brilliant jury advocate.” Chambers & Partners 2019
  • “A top silk and criminal heavyweight who comes highly regarded due to his exceptional legal mind and effective jury advocacy. He’s calm, unflappable and great in front of the judiciary.” Chambers & Partners 2018
  • “His cross-examination is first rate, his submissions concise and his speeches excellent.” Legal 500 2018 (Business & Regulatory Crime)
  • “He has a lovely manner which is as effective on difficult clients as it is on a jury.” Legal 500 2018 (Fraud)
  • “Very calm and a good advocate, with good judgement.” Legal 500 2018 (Crime)
  • “Exceptionally bright, very sharp, and someone who combines intellectual talent with a very approachable manner.” Chambers & Partners UK 2017
  • “Kieran is constantly working. He never stops thinking about the case and has an eye for detail which is second to none.” Chambers & Partners UK 2017
  • “A standout defence silk.” Legal 500 2017 (Crime)
  • “He commands complete respect for his handling of cases and is fantastic at dealing with difficult clients.” Legal 500 2017 (Fraud: Crime)
  • “A great speech-maker, who is exceptional in difficult cases.” Legal 500 2017 (Business & Regulatory Crime)
  • “He combines advocacy in rate-rigging cases with a strong fraud and violence practice.” Legal 500 2016 (Business & Regulatory Crime)
  • “A real class act in court.” Legal 500 2016 (Crime)
  • “One of the hardest working silks solicitors know.” Legal 500 2016 (Fraud: Crime)
  • “He is enthusiastic and applies himself with vigour.” Chambers UK 2016
  • “A joy to watch in court.” “He has a grasp of cases long before they get to court.” Legal 500 2015

Instructing Kieran Vaughan QC

To instruct Kieran or for any further information please contact our clerks.

John Grimmer

Clerk: John Grimmer
Telephone: +44 (0)7776 154 664
Email: Click here

Kieran Vaughan QC is a highly successful criminal practitioner who is constantly in high demand and much sought after to defend in the most serious and complex of cases. A leading practitioner who practices in crime, fraud and financial /commercial crime. He has also advised and continues to advise in relation to criminal and quasi-criminal matters. Over the years he has successfully represented defendants in many of the country’s highest profile fraud, murder and terrorist trials. In addition, he has been instructed to advise and represent individuals on appeals against conviction and sentence in the Court of Appeal (Ched Evans, Christine Connor, Michael Baxter, Edward Austin).

Ranked in Band 1 for Crime in Chambers & Partners 2020, who state that Kieran is “a top silk and criminal law heavyweight who comes highly recommended due to his exceptional legal mind.”

Ranked in the Legal 500 in three categories – Crime (General), Fraud and Business and Regulatory Crime 2020 who state that Kieran is “a devastating cross-examiner with a lovely manner.”

Kieran was one of six Silks shortlisted for ‘Crime Silk of the year’ by the Legal 500 2017.

Practice Areas


Kieran has extensive experience in dealing with all types of fraud and financial crime and has defended individuals accused of corruption, bribery, VAT, tax fraud, mortgage fraud, fraudulent trading, MTIC fraud, diversion fraud and money laundering. A selection of some of these cases is set out below.

He regularly advises individuals and companies pre-charge on matters connected to fraud and has been involved in and advised on a number of international arbitrations involving companies.

Kieran has co-authored the Sweet & Maxwell textbook The Confiscation Manual and has been defended in many complex confiscation hearings involving multi millions of pounds.

Notable fraud cases

R v Mills

Represented David Mills in the high profile HBOS fraud and corruption trial. Mr Mills owned a turnaround consultancy firm, Quayside Corporate Services (QCS) and was accused of bribing a director of HBOS to place a number of consultants into various firms that were within the Impaired Assets Division of the bank. The companies were then said to have been fraudulently traded enabling QCS to acquire a substantial amount of monies. The losses were said to be in the region of £250.

R v J

Represented a chartered surveyor who was accused of a multi million pounds fraud on a bank and involved a large number of commercial properties. The prosecution offered no evidence against the defendant after cross-examination of the prosecution expert.

R v Twum

Represented a solicitor who was accused of a multi million pound fraud on the Legal Aid Agency.

R v Menicou

Represented a defendant who was accused of laundering the proceeds of Tommy Adams’ criminal activities by setting up a number of off-shore companies through which significant sums of monies passed.

R v H

Representing the director of a major company who is accused of money laundering.

R v Ali

Represented a defendant who was accused of cheating the revenue of many millions of pounds in a fraud said to involve the fraudulent importation of gold from outside the European Union to the UK.

R v Hardy

Represented a defendant who was accused of a multi million pound fraud on the Revenue over a period of several years. The investigation spanned several jurisdictions and involved a number of different law enforcement agencies.

R v Goni

Represented a City trader in confiscation proceedings in which the prosecution sought to relieve him of several million pounds, which he had earned.

R v Hanna

Represented Mr Hanna in his confiscation proceedings in which it was said that he and his brother had benefitted to the sum of over £1 billion.


Over many years Kieran has gained vast experience in representing those accused of the most serious of crimes including murder, terrorism, armed robbery and the importation of drugs. He has defended in some of the most high profile, complex and grave cases in the UK and N Ireland, see a selection of those below.

In addition to representing individuals at trial he regularly reviews the convictions and sentence of those who have been convicted and represents such individuals in the Court of Appeal, Ched Evans is but one such example.

Throughout his career Kieran has developed extensive experience in dealing with many areas of expert evidence and was asked to write the forward for the only comprehensive text on DNA evidence in criminal courts (A Guide to DNA Forensic Profiling).

Notable crime cases

R v Ched Evans

At the time of his original trial (at which he was not represented by Kieran Vaughan QC) Mr Evans was a professional footballer. Subsequent to his conviction Kieran Vaughan led the case for Mr Evans in the Court of Appeal. Having heard legal argument for two days the Court quashed Mr Evans’ conviction.

R v Okigbo

Represented Jonathon Okigbo who was accused of murdering Harry Uzoka, one of the UK’s most successful male models. Mr Okigbo was acquitted of murder.

R v Foster

Successfully defended Patrick Foster who, along with three others, was accused of raping a fellow student at the Royal Agricultural University. Following legal arguments relating to disclosure the prosecution offered no evidence against all defendants on all counts.

R v Dich

Represented Mina Dich who was accused of plotting with her two daughters to carry out a terrorist attack in Westminster. The three defendants were widely reported as being the first ever female terrorist cell in the UK

R v B

Successfully represented Mr B in the Court of Appeal. Mr B and two others (DS and RP) had been convicted in 2010 of conspiracy to murder. A covert police operation apparently recorded the three men plotting to shoot a local business rival involved in the supply of drugs. The appeal lasted three days and largely concerned the attempt to introduce fresh expert voice analysis evidence (Bat Vox system) that has never been used before in this jurisdiction. The original convictions were quashed and Mr Baxter was subsequently acquitted in a re-trial.

R v Adams

Represented a defendant in the case involving Terry Adams in relation to a number of allegations of money laundering in what has been described as one of the largest and most detailed cases in British history. It was alleged that Adams was the head of one of the most successful criminal families the country has ever known.

R v Nicolas

Successfully defended a defendant who was accused of being party to steal £1,000,000 worth of gold bullion in Belgium. The case involved, amongst other matters, the use of foreign intercept telephone evidence.

R v Hoey

Kieran successfully defended Sean Hoey who was accused, amongst other offences, of 29 murders following the Omagh Bombing.

R v Iqbal

Defending in a case that achieved enormous national media attention due to the lurid details of the plot to kidnap and behead a British soldier.

R v Naseer

According to the prosecution opening, the planned bombing campaign would have been more devastating than 7/7.

R v Burns

Successfully represented Leigh Burns who was accused of murder. The victim was stabbed 14 times in the middle of High Wycombe High Street.

R v Monteith

Successfully represented Samuel Monteith who was accused of murder. Three men broke into the victim’s house and fatally stabbed him with samurai swords in what was alleged to be a gang revenge attack.

R v Allen

Successfully represented Gavin Allen who was accused of murder. The victim was shot five times when he was in a nightclub in Leicester Square on Christmas Day.

R v Hansen

Successfully represented Ata Hansen who was accused of murder. The prosecution’s case was that he was a part of a gang of youths who murdered a young man at a party.

R v Ta

Successfully represented Peter Ta who was accused of murder. Mr Ta had supposedly orchestrated the murder of a man in south-east London. The victim was shot to death with a sawn off shotgun.

R v Gutierez Cortez

Successfully represented Felix Gutierez Cortez who was accused of murdering his landlady by strangling her to death. Mr Guteriez Cortez was acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter.

R v Wellington

Successfully represented a defendant accused of organising the murder of a drugs rival. The case involved audio surveillance and complex scientific evidence such as cell site and firearms evidence.

R v Russell

Successfully defended one of two twins charged with a double murder. The two victims were shot in the head with a shotgun in their flat. Following legal argument, the identification evidence was excluded. The prosecution appealed to the Court of Appeal failed and all four defendants were acquitted of all counts.

R v Shamlian

Successfully represented Zareh Shamlian who was accused of money laundering the proceeds of a sophisticated fraud.

R v Mohammed

The defendant pleaded guilty to killing his partner by stabbing her over 57 times.


Kieran is frequently instructed to represent individuals on appeal, where he did not act in the original trial, both in this jurisdiction and in Northern Ireland. This often includes advising upon whether there are grounds to refer a conviction to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. Once there has been an unsuccessful appeal this is the only way in which an appeal can be referred to the Court of Appeal.

Kieran advised and represented Ched Evans, the international footballer, whose conviction was referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission. After a lengthy appeal, which involved calling fresh evidence, Ched Evans’s conviction was successfully overturned.

Notable appeals cases

Ched Evans

A professional footballer who was originally convicted of rape. Kieran did not appear at the original trial but was instructed to lead the appeal on behalf of Mr Evans. As Mr Evans had already had his appeal against conviction refused by the Court of Appeal the only route to appeal was via the CCRC. Having considered submissions, the CCRC referred the case to the Court of Appeal who heard a lengthy appeal against conviction involving fresh evidence from a number of witnesses. The Court of Appeal quashed his conviction.

Michael Baxter

Kieran represented Michael in the Court of Appeal, not having represented him at trial. Mr Baxter and two others (Denis Slade and Richard Pearman) had been convicted in 2010 of conspiracy to murder. The entire appeal process lasted three years. The appeal largely concerned the use of forensic voice evidence and involved the Court of Appeal hearing evidence from a number of expert witnesses. The original convictions were quashed and Mr Baxter was subsequently acquitted in a re-trial.

Christine Connor

Not having represented Christine at her original trial Kieran was instructed to advise and represent CC on an appeal against conviction in the Court of Appeal, Northern Ireland. CC had been convicted of a number of terrorist related offences including attempting to murder a number of police officers. After a lengthy three day appeal involving live evidence all of CC’s convictions were quashed.

Edward Austin

Kieran, not having represented Mr Austin at trial, is presently advising Edward on an appeal. Mr Austin was convicted of being involved in the multi million pound importation of cocaine on the Isle of Wight. The case has achieved a significant amount of national and international press coverage.

Michael McKevit

Kieran advised and represented Michael in an appeal against the findings of the High Court in N Ireland that he was responsible for the Omagh Bombing. Mr McKevitt had been convicted in Dublin of leading and directing the Real IRA. The mainstay of the evidence against him came from a FBI and Mi5 agent David Rupert, who has subsequently written a book about his involvement with the organization.

Practice Areas


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