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Clare is a highly respected specialist in criminal, regulatory and fraud law, perhaps best known for her work on legally and factually complex cases. For the past decade Clare has focussed on dealing with the most demanding and difficult legal cases. She has featured in the starred category of QC’s recommended for crime and fraud for the whole of that period. Formerly a member of the Attorney General’s Panel, Clare has also been concerned in a wide range of public law and due process cases both for and against the Government. Clare has been admitted in Northern Ireland and specially admitted in the courts of Antigua, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Brunei, Hong Kong, Mauritius and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

  • Competition and Regulation

    Clare defended in the British Airways/Virgin cartel prosecution where she was instrumental in setting the strategy which saw her client avoid prosecution in the US and secure an acquittal in the UK. She provides incisive strategic advice in connection with cartel investigations and prosecutions.

  • Integrity + (Governance, Investigations and Solutions)

    Clare is widely valued as a pre litigation adviser, providing strategic guidance and advice to companies and individuals caught up in regulatory and criminal investigations, particularly those with an international dimension and where civil, administrative and criminal law problems are present. Clare is presently advising a number of FTSE 100 companies in dealing with current SFO enquiries, most involving complex cross border issues

    Directory Recommendation 2021:

    High net worth: “Remains the foremost financial crime barrister in the country.” “Clare Montgomery is one of the real brains of Britain,” states a source, adding: “She is amazing – she rips through work at twice the pace of a lot of her contemporaries.” One solicitor describes her as “an absolute star,” and continues: “She is an absolute go-to barrister for so many matters, and I would use her over any other counsel. She is sensible, clever and user-friendly. She is very collaborative with others and gives speedy and efficient advice.” Another market source comments: “She is a natural – the court relaxes when she speaks. She is super, super smart. There is no one like Clare.”

  • Commercial law

    Since taking silk, Clare has come to be valued as a trial advocate in complex civil disputes. She continues to work on civil fraud and arbitration cases both as an advocate and an adviser. She is instructed by News Group Newspapers in the Mobile Telephone Voicemail Interception litigation. She is valued for her ability to work in a team, her attention to detail and her skill as a cross examiner.

    Directory Recommendation 2021:

    Fraud – Civil: She is brilliant and hugely knowledgeable.” “A remarkable barrister.”

  • Crime and Regulatory Law

    Clare is able to take a case through from investigation to trial and appeal, as with the high profile investigation and prosecution of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner arising out of the death of Jean Charles de Menezes and her successful defence of the UK Government in the related proceedings in Strasbourg.  She represents a range of prosecuting authorities, such as the FCA and SFO as well as acting for private clients and corporations.

    She has a very strong appellate practice in the UK and abroad. She represented the Bar when the issue of barristers’ immunity arose in the House of Lords; she appeared for Sally Clark when Clark was finally cleared of murdering her two sons by the Court of Appeal in 2003. She was brought in to lead the argument for the defence when the Court of Appeal confirmed the dismissal of the pharmaceuticals case brought by the SFO in 2008. She has appeared in courts of appeal in Brunei, Bermuda and Hong Kong. In the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal she acted for Mo Yuk Ping, in the leading case on conspiracy to defraud, in HKSAR v Andrew Lam securing the acquittal of a solicitor charged with perverting the course of justice. She led the successful appeal to HKCFA on behalf of Donald Tsang, the former Chief Executive of the HKSAR. She represented the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth, when he was cleared of conflict of interest allegations by the UKPC in 2019.

    Directory Recommendation 2021:

    Crime: ‘She is at the top of the legal pecking order and unrivalled. She is clear, concise, and continues to attract the most complex cases. Brings to this her incredible intellect and eye for detail and strategy in a case. Continues to be incredibly busy, and so hard to instruct at times, but is the absolute go-to counsel for complex, high-profile case”

  • Extradition and Mutual Assistance

    Clare has extensive experience in extradition, international mutual legal assistance and international criminal law, representing both governments and individuals. She works with lawyers outside the UK on national and international criminal cases assisting with strategy and legal challenges. She represented Augusto Pinochet in the House of Lords. She advised the former Prime Minister of Thailand after he was ousted in a military coup. She led the prosecution team in relation to the extradition of the founder of Wikileaks and is acting for Nirav Modi in relation to allegations made against him in India. She is a co-author of The Law of Extradition and Mutual Assistance (3rd Ed published by OUP, 2012). She regularly advises governments on crimes of universal jurisdiction.

    Directory Recommendation 2021:

    Extradition: Phenomenal in terms of her knowledge, preparation and ability to think outside of the box.” “She prepares very thoroughly and is supremely intelligent. Always on top of the papers, she is a highly collaborative and proactive lawyer.” “An incredible advocate who has the court eating out of the palm of her hand.”

  • Fraud, Financial and Business Crime

    Clare is presently advising several FTSE 100 companies in dealing with current SFO enquiries, most involving complex cross border issues. Completed advice has enabled GSK to answer concerns raised by the MHRA in relation to clinical trials procedures by reference to EU and domestic regulation. She acted on behalf of BAE throughout the long running SFO investigation negotiating the ground breaking settlement that ended the investigation. She represented Tesco and more recently G4S in connection with their deferred prosecution.

    Directory Recommendation 2021:

    Financial Crime (including Corporates): ‘A silk at the pinnacle; precise, responsive, hugely knowledgeable and a delight to work with.’ “A first-class adviser to a board in a criminal crisis; aside from her technical legal brilliance, her approach is always focused, practical and commercial, which is unusual among her peers and most welcome to a corporate client.” “Strategically brilliant and a pleasure to work with. She is a huge asset to any defence team acting for a corporate facing a crisis involving anything financial crime-related.”

  • Human Rights

    Throughout her time in practice Clare has been closely connected with the development of human right arguments in Strasbourg, from Soering though to Yukos related cases. She represented the Government of Cyprus before the Grand Chamber in Güzelyurtlu and others v Cyprus and Turkey [2019] ECHR 36925/07.

    Directory Recommendation 2021:

    Civil Liberties & Human Rights: “Her technical quality is impressive.” “She is fearsome and absolutely brilliant.”

  • Public Law

    Formerly a member of the Attorney General’s Panel, Clare has also been concerned in a wide range of public law and due process cases both for and against the Government in the UK and abroad.

    Directory Recommendation 2021:

    Administrative & Public Law: “She is an absolute go-to barrister for so many cases. She is very collaborative with others and gives speedy and efficient advice. She tells it like it is and I love that – a real sage voice.”

  • Proceeds of crime and asset forfeiture

    Clare has been involved in the development of money laundering case law in Hong Kong including the landmark case of Pang Hung Fai.

    She has a particular expertise in connection with regulatory obligations.

    She recently represented respondents in the first successful application to discharge Unexplained Wealth Orders.

    Directory Recommendation 2021:

    POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture: “The depth of her knowledge is second to none. Her intellectual capacity, the speed at which she works and her strategic vision of a case are all truly impressive.” “She is brilliant, incisive and just really clever.”

  • Protest law

    Clare represented members of the Stansted 15 in their recent appeal to the Court of Appeal.

  • Regulatory offences

    Clare advises professionals caught up in complex regulatory investigations.

  • Serious crime

    Clare is able to deal with the whole range of serious criminal cases. She is instructed to defend Soldier A, charged with murder in connection with the death of IRA activist Joseph McCann. She has recently secured a retrial in an appeal against a conviction for murder in the Bahamas.

Privacy Notice

Clare is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to her clients, including advice and representation services, Clare needs to collect and hold personal data. This includes her client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the matter upon which she is instructed. To read Clare’s privacy notice in full, please see here.

Clare is regulated by the Bar Standards Board and accepts instructions under Standard Contractual Terms. To find out more information on this and the way we work at Matrix, including our fee transparency statement, please see our see our service standards.


Ranked in 2019 by Chambers & Partners, Legal 500, Who’s Who Legal and Best Lawyers in:

Stars of the bar: Lauded for her “firm, clear and practical advice,” Clare Montgomery QC also receives praise for having “an exceptional ability to spot issues” and for her “brilliant strategic nous.” A star individual in both our general crime and financial crime rankings, Montgomery’s skill and expertise in criminal defence is roundly praised by her peers, of whom one says “she deserves every accolade.” Also recognised as an “international crime specialist” she frequently handles cases with complex jurisdictional elements, including extradition requests and POCA proceedings. “Clare is legendary for extradition work,” one peer remarks, while an instructing solicitor credits her with “unrivalled expertise in cross-border criminal and regulatory enforcement.” She also demonstrates a ready command of the interplay between civil and criminal law, handling fraud and public law cases and providing impeccable advice on issues relating to civil liberties and human rights. Sources are full of praise for her advocacy, describing her as “incredible to watch” and “fearless in court,” while also commending her as a silk with “an unerring eye for the detail and a reassuring client manner.”

Administration & Public Law: “Super persuasive, balanced, committed and highly intellectual.” “Her answers are as clear as you can get. She will give you a view when you really need it.”

Civil Liberties & Human Rights: “She is very decisive and practically oriented. Her legal analysis and breadth of knowledge are really impressive.”

 Crime: “An amazing, go-to barrister” who is “exceptionally dedicated and hard-working.”

Extradition: “A formidable opponent who is at the top of the tree and has the respect of clients, judges and opponents.”  “She combines a formidable intellect and brilliant advocacy with a highly combative style.”

Financial Crime (including Corporates): “The go-to person when there’s a significant crisis situation.” & “She is an exceptionally talented advocate who is hard-working, excellent with clients and a brilliant team leader. Her advice is clear and her approach dynamic. At trial she is very focused and excellent at looking after clients dealing with the stresses and strains of an extensive trial.”

Fraud – Civil: “An excellent technical lawyer who is also very pleasant to deal with.” “An expert in her field and a formidable advocate.”

POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture: “She is incredibly intelligent and strategically astute.” “Clare is absolutely first-class: she’s incisive, collaborative and an excellent technical lawyer who is very pleasant to deal with.”