Clare Montgomery

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Clare Montgomery
Nationality British
Alma mater University College London



Clare Montgomery QC (born 29 April 1958) is an English barrister at Matrix Chambers, Recorder in the Crown Court and Deputy High Court Judge. She sits on the Court of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey.

Early life and education[edit]

She studied at Millfield School, followed by an LLB at University College London. Clare Mongomery is married with two children, Anna and Natasha.

Legal career[edit]

Montgomery was called to the Bar in 1980 and was made Queen's Counsel in 1996.[1]

She did pupillage at 2 Gray's Inn Square with Peter Leighton, Keith Knight and Charles Welshman (now His Honour Judge Welshman). She received a Senior Award from Gray's Inn (1980) and became a Master of the Bench (Gray's Inn) in 2002

Judicial career[edit]

Montgomery was appointed as an Assistant Recorder (1999), a Recorder (2000), Deputy High Court Judge (2003) and to the Court of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey (2007).

Professional reputation (as counsel)[edit]

  • Chambers and Partners 2011 rates Clare as a ‘Star Individual’ overall,[citation needed] and a leading Silk in Crime, Extradition and Fraud. Described as “scarily bright”, she is also praised as a "formidable opponent who's as sharp as a knife" and “so down to earth and sensible". Commentators conclude that "she is arguably the best barrister at the Criminal Bar. She's ludicrously intelligent, quick, hard-working, and phenomenal in court." Another declared: "Her reputation has been well earned; she's just fantastic at what she does."
  • Legal 500 2010/11 describes Clare Montgomery QC as “excellent and now has no equal”, concluding that “she continues to justify and build upon her stellar reputation”.
  • Chambers and Partners 2010 describes Clare as "an absolute star of the profession." One of Matrix's biggest names, "she has the complete rainbow of skills and can seemingly do anything."
  • Named as one of the contenders for the Lawyer's barrister of the year 2008, Clare was named Crime Silk of the Year in the 2005 Chambers & Partners Bar Awards and has been a top ranking Crime Silk in both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners directories for many years. 'Set against other rising criminal barrister steals the superlatives. "She is outstandingly clever," says her former pupil master, Stephen Batten, QC. "The brightest of them all," confirms Ed Lawson, QC. "She has a beautiful mind," adds Alex Cameron, QC. (See the Times interview with Dominic Carman 28 February 2006)
  • The Legal 500 2009/10 recommends Clare Montgomery QC as a leading Silk in Crime; Fraud Crime, “one of the most outstanding advocates at the Bar”; and Human Rights and Civil Liberties.
  • Chambers and Partners 2009 recommends Clare Montgomery QC as a starred Silk in Crime “eclipses her rivals…the very epitome of a modern silk” and Fraud: Crime “achieve miraculous results for her clients”. Clare is recommended as a leading Silk in Fraud: Civil “one of the best” and in Civil Liberties “one of the greats of her generation”.
  • The Legal 500 2008/9 recommends Clare Montgomery QC as a leading Silk in Banking and finance ‘clearly has the trust and confidence of the bench’, Crime ‘quite brilliant …phenomenal advocate’ Fraud Crime ‘In a league of her own’ and Human Rights and Civil Liberties.

Notable cases[edit]

When Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was detained in London and faced extradition to Spain, Montgomery defended him in court.

In January 2013, Montgomery is counsel for defendant Vicky Pryce in R v Huhne and Pryce. Pryce is being prosecuted with her former husband and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne MP for perverting the course of justice in relation to a 2003 speeding case.[2]

In 2017, Montgomery acted as the defence counsel of the former Chief Executive of Hong Kong Donald Tsang GBM for charges of misconduct in public office.[3]


  • Editor with Professor David Ormerod of Fraud: Criminal Law and Procedure (OUP 2008)
  • Practitioner editor of chapter on commerce, financial markets and insolvency in Archbold Criminal Pleading Evidence & Practice (since 1993)
  • Co-authored The Law of Extradition and Mutual Assistance 2nd Ed (OUP 2007)
  • 'Forensic science in the trial of Sally Clark' (2004) article in Med Sci LJ


External links[edit]