Ian West


Ian is one of our most experienced barristers in the field of criminal law, appearing for both the defence and prosecution in cases at all levels of seriousness, from assaults and dishonesty offences to murder, with a particular emphasis on fraud and serious sexual offences.

Ian is married with two sons, and is a keen (although not particularly accomplished) golfer, and enjoys watching football and cricket.

Whether prosecuting or defending, Ian is regarded as a tenacious advocate.  He is meticulous in his preparation, and he is able to quickly get to the heart of a case. Ian’s experience of prosecuting serious frauds means that he can translate and present often complex or difficult subject matter in a readily understandable way to a jury, using diagrams, animation, and other visual aids.

Ian prosecutes and defends rape and serious sexual offences. He has appeared for both sides in the Court of Appeal Criminal Division in both conviction and sentence appeals and for the respondent in Attorney-General’s Reference for unduly lenient sentences. He has conducted a murder appeal in the Court of Appeal against a QC and has appeared as leading junior for both prosecution and defence.

For more than ten years, Ian was active in Bar politics. He is a former elected member of the Bar Council, and was, until he resigned spectacularly in protest at the Bar’s acceptance of ‘the Deal’ with then Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, in 2014, to the exclusion of the solicitors’ profession, a member of the Executive Committee of the Criminal Bar Association. He has been guest speaker at meetings of the legal professions in London and the North East. You can find him on Twitter via @ianswest


Notable Cases

R v LR and JTR: April 2019: successful prosecution of two-handed aggravated burglary

R v AN: January 2019: successful defence of Romanian lorry driver on people smuggling charges.

R v SL: June 2018 Successful defence of IT consultant in NHS fraud.

R v JE: April 2018 Successful prosecution of 11-complainant child sexual abuse trial at Newcastle Crown Court

R v. EW: March 2018 Court of Appeal: Successful appeal against sentence – 8 year extended sentence quashed, replaced with 2 year determinate term.

R v. ML: February 2018 Successful defence of client in date rape trial at Newcastle Crown Court

R v. GS: January 2018 successful prosecution of financial adviser in multi-complainant fraud trial at Newcastle Crown Court

September 2017 Successful prosecution of Op. Tango – multi handed drugs supply trial at Teesside Crown Court

R v. GW (2016): successful defence in multi-million pound ‘Ponzi’ fraud/moneylaundering trial





Criminal Bar Association

North Eastern Circuit

Practice Areas