Jon Swain

‘Jon is undoubtedly top of his class both as a courtroom advocate and a lawyer. He is exceptionally gifted in his ability to cut through the chaos and confusion often found in paper-heavy cases and explain the key issues in a simple-to-understand formula. Jon is excellent with clients and is a well-liked advocate with a pleasant but robust courtroom manner.' (Legal 500, 2024)
"Jon is a very good, hardworking, diligent advocate." (Chambers UK 2024)

I am a highly experienced junior, with a practice including leading in significant complex, multi-defendant cases. I have featured annually as a ‘Leading Junior’ in Chambers and Partners for many years, reflecting my high standing amongst instructing solicitors and their clients.
I have appeared for both prosecution and defence, concentrating more recently in representing defendants in serious crime, in courts throughout England, and so have extensive experience in the complexities of the developing areas of criminal law.

I have led in multi and single defendant murder trials, substantial fraud and money laundering trials, and other categories of serious crime such as drugs importation and supply, and vehicle related crime, over recent years. This has meant that I have developed the ability to recognise the tactical requirements in a huge variety of different situations within both single defendant and multi defendant trials. In combination with the ability to assimilate and understand the significance of vast quantities of documentary exhibits, which are a characteristic of modern trials, I am equipped to deal with the requirements of representing lay clients who face long and complex trials.

I have led, and been led, in many murder cases, ranging from gangland executions to sexually motivated killings, and those with special defences such as provocation and diminished responsibility.

I have led in very complex fraud and money laundering cases, including defendants who were professionals, such as solicitors and chartered accountants, and so have an understanding of the practices involved. I am computer literate; an essential attribute in preparing and presenting such cases before the courts. I have been instructed in cases involving bureau de change, where substantial sums were said to be paid through such organisations in order to launder the proceeds of crime by conversion between currencies.

I pride myself on thorough preparation, and the ability to communicate effectively, and sympathetically, with lay clients from all backgrounds, which I have always believed to be an essential element of the task of the barrister.

Notable cases

R v Ince (2008)
defendant acquitted of attempted murder of wife by strangulation, issue being intent to kill.

R v Nguyen (2008)
large-scale conspiracy to cultivate cannabis.

R v Blake (2007)
large-scale, multi-defendant conspiracy to supply class A drugs

R v Fish (2007)
Historic sexual abuse

R . Akinpelu & others (2007)
conspiracies to rob Securicor type vans of large quantities of cash

R v Webster (2006)
Three-month trial of nurse accused of theft of controlled drugs from the Leeds General Infirmary. Heard at Leeds Crown Court.

R v Phillips and others (2005)
Represented a corrupt Customs & Excise officer in a major diversion fraud. £3 million in duty was evaded. Heard at Southwark Crown Court.

R v Balasubramaniam Uthayathas and others (2004)
A three-month multi-defendant murder trial heard at the Central Criminal Court.

R v Hughes and others (2003)
A two-month multi-defendant drugs trial heard at Winchester Crown Court.

R v Gangar and others (2003)
Multi-defendant money laundering case heard at Wood Green Crown Court.

R v Capitano and others (2002)
A four-month multi-defendant drugs trial, heard at Bradford Crown Court.

R v Harris and others (2002)
A multi-defendant drugs trial, heard at Basildon Crown Court.

R v Sayed and Hamilton-Farrell (2001)
Prosecuted an advance-fee fraud (Ponzi type) with associated mortgage frauds. Successfully achieved convictions followed by a £2 million confiscation. Heard at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court.

R v Crowther and others (1999)
Re-trial of a second drugs conspiracy, heard at Leeds Crown Court.

R v Crowther and others (1998)
A four-month trial of a second drugs conspiracy. Heard at Leeds Crown Court.

R v Crowther and others (1997)
A three-month trial of a drugs conspiracy. (The conviction was later overturned in the Court of Appeal). Heard at Leicester Crown Court.

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Furnival Chambers