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‘A Senior Statesman of the Criminal Bar…a masterful tactician.’

‘Possessing terrific gravitas…he is premier league…completely fantastic’.

‘An iron fist in a velvet glove.’

‘One of the safest pairs of hands at the Bar- he has supreme judgement, a super-fast analytical mind and real ethical rigour. He deals robustly with difficult issues and clients, and is enormously user-friendly.’

‘Gives sound advice and uses his knowledge and connections to navigate sensitive issues…a very astute negotiator listened to by clients and, more importantly, by prosecutors themselves.’

Chambers & Partners Directory

Former Director of Public Prosecutions Ken Macdonald is one of the country’s leading criminal, regulatory and international lawyers, with a first rank advisory, trial, appellate and arbitration practice. He has conducted and overseen inquiries and investigations for the UK government, the European Commission and many overseas governments and State authorities and he sits as an Arbitrator in the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris. Described in Chambers & Partners 2018 as a ‘Senior Statesman’ of the Bar, in 2007 he was knighted for services to the law and in 2010 appointed to the House of Lords.

Particularly well known for his ability to confront complex issues of detail with concision and clarity, his specialisms include business and corporate crime and associated extraditions, money laundering, sanctions and export control violations, market offences, financial regulation, licensing and international commercial and other arbitrations. Aside from governments and State authorities, his recent clients have included Heads of State and senior political figures, banks and financial institutions, international media organisations, major corporations in all sectors, gaming organisations, private family offices, and many individuals both at home and abroad.

As a former Director of Public Prosecutions (and the first prominent defence lawyer to have been appointed to that post), he has unrivalled insight into sensitive issues of criminal risk and associated prosecutorial responses. He is very familiar with the workings of prosecution and regulatory agencies at home and abroad, and uniquely placed to intercede where necessary with prosecutors, regulators and other state officials and to advise on robust responses to allegations of crime, regulatory failings or other misconduct, however and wherever they occur. He has met regularly with Heads of Government, Ministers of Justice and the Heads of leading enforcement and regulatory agencies worldwide.

He is a member of the East Caribbean Bar and is regularly admitted to the Hong Kong Bar to conduct cases in that jurisdiction.

He was a Visiting Professor of Law at the London School of Economics from 2009-2012, and he has been a member of the University of Oxford Law Faculty since 2012.

He is Warden of Wadham College, Oxford and Chair of the Orwell Foundation.

A founder member of Matrix Chambers, Ken Macdonald was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court in 2001, and a Deputy High Court Judge in 2010. He was elected Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association of England and Wales in 2003, and became a Bencher of the Inner Temple in 2004. He was Director of Public Prosecutions, 2003-2008, and has been a member of the House of Lords since July 2010.

Lord Macdonald QC is regulated by the Bar Standards Board and accepts instructions under Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.

Privacy Notice

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

DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS

‘A Senior Statesman of the Criminal Bar…a masterful tactician.’
Chambers & Partners 2018

‘Gives sound advice and uses his knowledge and connections to navigate sensitive issues. Listened to by prosecutors.’
Chambers & Partners 2018

‘One of the safest pairs of hands at the Bar- he has supreme judgement, a super-fast analytical mind and real ethical rigour. He deals robustly with difficult issues and clients, and is enormously user-friendly.’
Chambers & Partners 2016