Bernard Tetlow KC

Call: 1984 | Silk: 2011


Bernard is a top-ranked criminal defence KC specialising in murder and serious fraud. He combines compelling and persuasive advocacy with excellent judgment and a down-to-earth manner which is very successful with juries and makes him highly sought after as leading counsel by clients, solicitors and juniors.


He defends in complex and high-profile murders and has achieved great results in many notable murder cases in recent years.

He is particularly experienced in complex multi-defendant cases involving issues such as cell site analysis, telephone attribution, call data, CCTV analysis, cut-throat defences, bad character, hearsay, ID, joint enterprise, pathology and DNA.

He also has a particular interest in trials, inquests or inquiries which involve exposing alleged lies, corruption, malpractice or negligence by the police or other investigating and prosecuting authorities.

Bernard is also regularly instructed privately across the whole range of serious trials and appeals.

Financial Crime and Confiscation

Bernard is highly ranked in Legal 500 and experienced in all areas of fraud, including missing trader intra-community (MTIC) and other VAT frauds, boiler room frauds, money laundering, corruption, insider dealing, other Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) offences, asset restraint and confiscation.

Bernard has defended some of the biggest MTIC and carousel frauds, including representing the main defendant in a £50 million carousel fraud where the conviction was quashed following the malpractice exposure at HMRC.

Bernard can provide legal, strategic and tactical advice at all stages of an investigation and during the trial process.

Professional Regulation

Bernard has experience of regulatory work, particularly at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

“A very shrewd tactician who knows when to ask questions and when not to ask questions."-Chambers UK (2024)
"Good at presenting difficult arguments relating to admissibility of evidence, and someone who can gain the trust of even the most difficult of clients."-Chambers UK (2023)
"Bernard represents his clients with flair using his personality. They manage to use humour appropriately whatever the allegations. A powerful jury advocate."-Legal 500 (2022)
Notable Cases - Murder

R v Kavindu Hettiarachchi and others (Old Bailey) 2023. Victim was robbed and murdered for a high-value Patek Philippe Nautilus watch after an exclusive party in the City of London. Extensive CCTV and phone evidence. Bernard represented Mr Hettiarachchi, who was found not guilty of murder.

R v Biniamin Ayub and others (Manchester Crown Court) 2023. Rival Asian gang feud in Manchester. Victim attacked with machetes and baseball bats. Left with life changing injuries. All five defendants charged with conspiracy to murder. Bernard represented Mr Ayub who was acquitted at end of prosecution case after a successful argument to exclude all phone evidence, and a legal submission of no case to answer.

R v Hasnian Razaaq and others (Leamington Crown Court) 2023). Multi-defendant murder and attempted murder by stabbing. Long running family feud. Two victims were attacked and stabbed outside a mosque. Bernard represented Hasnian Razaaq.

R v Lee Wood and others (Winchester Crown Court) 2023. Bernard represented Lee Wood who, together with three others, was charged with murder arising out of a revenge attack for the robbery of drugs. The victim was attacked with clubs and a machete. This case is currently the subject of an appeal to the Court of Appeal.

R v Hassan Tasleem and others (Loughborough Special Court Centre) 2022/23. Hassan and seven others were charged with murder by shooting of a member of a rival gang. Four shots were fired from colt revolver, one a fatal head shot. Bernard’s defendant, Mr Tasleem, was allegedly the shooter. Evidence included facial recognition, phone calls and extensive CCTV evidence. He was also identified by the other four co-defendants who travelled in the same car.

R v Kasim Ifzaal and others (Birmingham Crown Court) 2022. Revenge attack following shooting and firebombing of a house. Mr Izaal and others gave chase and caught the perpetrators. Victim stabbed and died at scene. Despite extensive CCTV footage of the scene and other evidence including phone messages, cell site and eye witnesses, the defendant, Mr Ifzaal, was not convicted of murder.

R v Daniel Mensah and others (Old Bailey) 2022. Rival blue and red gangs. Rideout to avenge the killing of a friend. Daniel Mensah and others allegedly involved in a shootout on Stonebridge Park estate. All defendants charged with murder, even though the victim was shot by someone from the rival gang. Extension of transferred malice principle. Bernard represents Daniel Mensah. This is a highly unusual and important case. The case is currently awaiting resolution in the Court of Appeal.

R v Daniel Hyde and others (Croydon Crown Court) 2021. The defendant Daniel Hyde and his two brothers were charged with murder. They carried out a revenge attack on the victim who had just attacked their front door. They pursued him down the street with knives and baseball bats and attacked him. Despite extensive CCTV evidence, witnesses and cell site evidence, Daniel Hyde was acquitted.

R v Queeney and others (Bradford Crown Court) 2021. Eight defendant murder involving the torture and beating to death of a gang member in a warehouse near Bradford. Much of the severe and graphic violence was filmed by some defendants on their phones. Bernard represented Mr Queeney who was acquitted of murder and all other charges, despite being present at the scene.

R v Kashif Arshad (Birmingham Crown Court) 2021, Multi defendant drug and gang related shooting murder. Mr Arshad disposed of the murder vehicle immediately after the shooting. Bernard represented Mr Arshad who was acquitted of all charges.

R v Jason Cornwall (Leamington Crown Court) 2021. Bernard represented Jason Cornwall who was charged, alongside four defendants, with murder. The victim was attacked with a knife and other weapons all visible on CCTV. Jason Cornwall was acquitted of murder.

R v Trevor Atkin (Leamington Crown Court) 2020, 70-year-old farmer of impeccable character charged with gross negligence manslaughter arising out of the electrocution of his son’s partner in a caravan with faulty electrical installations. Father and son both charged. Bernard acted for the father who was found not guilty of manslaughter.

Less Recent Cases - Murder

R v Sakib Ditta and others (Bradford Crown Court) June 2019. Defendant acquitted of conspiracy to murder with a firearm. There was CCTV, phone and cell site evidence linking him to the offence.

R v Jammal Chase (Birmingham Crown Court) September-October 2018. Defendant charged with murder with a knife inflicting 20 stab wounds. The defendant was also charged with attempted murder with a gun.

R v Spencer and others (Oxford CC) 2018. 10-handed murder started April 2018. Gang related, anonymous witnesses, CCTV, DNA, cell site, cut throat defences.

El Bakkali and others (Old Bailey) 2017. Four defendant joint enterprise murder and robbery using knives and a handgun. Mr El Bakkali and other defendants acquitted of all charges despite strong CCTV and eyewitness evidence.

William George and six others (Manchester CC) 2017. William George and others charged with gang-related stabbing murder in Manchester. Evidence included CCTV, eyewitnesses and the victim’s blood on his jacket. Acquitted of murder after two-month trial.

Ziaurahman Khan and others (Bradford CC) 2017. Mr Khan and three others were in a car from which several shots were fired from a handgun hitting and killing the victim outside his home. Joint enterprise murder alleged. Mr Khan acquitted of murder and manslaughter on basis that he was not aware of the gun and did not encourage the shooting.

Olatunde Odunyemi and others (Old Bailey) 2016. Mr Odunyemi was one of three charged with murder following a knife attack outside a club in London. Prosecution case relied heavily on a voice enhancement expert who we successfully undermined in cross-examination, leading to acquittal on murder and manslaughter.

Jonathan Legris (Winchester CC) 2016. Mr Legris, a Formula 3 racing driver was accused of conspiracy to murder together with his mother and father. The victim was the father’s new wife who was beaten to death by this defendant’s father. Extensive phone evidence, CCTV, ANPR and other strong circumstantial evidence. Mr Legris acquitted after two-month trial.

Jordan Glasgow (Old Bailey) 2016. Mr Glasgow charged with murder after fight in the street involving fists and a knife. Victim stabbed to the heart. Defence of self-defence using knife because victim also had a knife. Many eyewitnesses. Acquitted of murder and manslaughter.

R v Christopher Jeffrey-Shaw (Guildford Crown Court) 2016. Christopher Jeffrey-Shaw was cleared of murdering student Janet Muller and was found guilty of manslaughter. Ms Muller died after Christopher set fire to his car whilst she was trapped in the boot. The case was reported in the Independent, Metro and the Evening Standard.

R v Campbell and 3 others (Central Criminal Court) 2015. A drug and gang-related kidnapping and murder. Client acquitted after two-month trial.

R v Casey (Southwark Crown Court) 2014. Stabbing outside London nightclub. Defendant acquitted of murder despite extensive CCTV footage.2015

R v Smith and another (Cambridge Crown Court) 2015. 78-year-old man beaten to death during course of burglary. Bernard’s successful cross examination of the co-defendant was featured on the BBC regional news.

R v Davey (Nottingham Crown Court) 2014. Victim stabbed 16 times. Cut throat defence.

R v Small (Court of Appeal). Murder by shooting with Mach 10 sub machine gun. Defendant represented by different counsel at trial. Bernard is now appealing the conviction on a pro bono basis.

R v Venclovas (Central Criminal Court) 2014. The Lithuanian sat nav murder. The case was extensively covered in national press and on Crimewatch.

Financial Crime and Confiscation Cases

R v Feezan Hameed  (Southwark CC) May 2019. £18,000,000 confiscation in phishing fraud case reduced to £2,000,000.

R v Taylor Sullivan and others (Southwark CC) October 2018 – March 2019. £20,000,000 VAT fraud. Missing and defaulting trader fraud involving metal trading on a vast scale. Two co-conspirators convicted. No verdict on Taylor Sullivan.

R v Ibrahim Ali and others (Croydon CC) 2018. Massive immigration fraud involving home office insider giving false identities to overstayers. Defendants included solicitors. Three-month trial.

R v Lin Chen and others (Bradford CC) 2017. Immigration fraud involving solicitors falsifying documents for applicants and providing fake accommodation reports. Client pleaded part way through three-month trial and received suspended sentence and no confiscation.

R v Shalim Ahmed (Croydon CC) 2016. VAT evasion on tobacco. Large-scale importation of non duty paid cigarettes from Dubai. Undercover HMRC operation involving covert cctv and audio. Jury discharged due to non disclosure of audio material with costs ordered against the prosecution.

R v Von Badlo (Southwark CC) 2015. £5,000,000 Ponzi fraud extensively reported in Evening Standard and National press. Investors money spent at casino and lavish living. Novel and successful point argued re self-incrimination.

R v Phillips (Cardiff CC) 2015. Police officer corruption. Large amount of money stolen from suspects. 3 week trial.

EL Kurd (Southwark CC) 2016. Multimillion pound money laundering. Pros claimed confiscation of £1,000,000. Legal argument by us led to a nil order.

R v Yeung (Isleworth CC) 2016. Fraud on post office self-declaration freight forwarding payment scheme of over £1,000,000. Agreed favourable basis of plea with pros and secured suspended sentence for client.

R v Oladeji (Wood Green CC) 2014. Multi-million pound mortgage fraud involving solicitors, accountants, valuers and developers. Defendant acquitted after four-week trial.

R v Wilmot (Southwark Crown Court) 2014. Bernard appeared for a defendant in a £25 million boiler room fraud at Southwark Crown Court. The defendant was represented by other counsel at trial but Bernard and his junior Lisa Freeman, instructed by Shearman Bowen solicitors, achieved an extremely favourable confiscation settlement.

R v Horey and others (Southwark Crown Court) 2011. Bernard secured the acquittal of the defendant in a £15 million VAT fraud.