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  • Brian Altman QC and Jim Sturman QC are the new joint heads of chambers at 2 Bedford Row.

Brian Altman QC and Jim Sturman QC are the new joint heads of chambers at 2 Bedford Row.

Corporate Crime and

Brian has extensive experience in handling cases of complex fraud, cybercrime, bribery, corruption and cartels MORE >>


Serious Crime and

Brian’s wide ranging portfolio covers murder, manslaughter, terrorism, official secrets and war crimes MORE >>



Brian provides top legal advice to individuals, corporate companies and public sector organisations


Brian Altman QC - Leading Barrister Brian Altman QC

Brian has a remarkable reputation as a leading criminal lawyer and as lead counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). The hugely respected 2020 Chambers Bar Guide refers to him as a “stalwart of the criminal Bar” and as a “pre-eminent silk”. The 2018 Guide to the World's Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers names him as one of the experts in the field in the UK and Who's Who Legal UK Bar 2018 names Brian as one of "47 standout barristers who are considered leaders in the field of criminal fraud."  The London Evening Standard considered him one of the top three “criminal masterminds” in the UK. He is also consistently listed as one of the top Leading Silks in the Chambers Bar guide where he is top ranked in their ‘Crime’ and ‘Financial Crime: Corporates’ sections. He is also top ranked in their ‘Inquests & Public Inquiries’ section for his work on IICSA, and he is top ranked in The Legal 500 (UK Bar) where he is featured as a Leading Silk in the top tier of Crime silks and in the Business and Regulatory Crime tables. ‘Lawyer Monthly’ awarded him ‘White Collar Crime Barrister of the Year 2015 – UK.’ 

"Stalwart of the criminal Bar who has attracted significant attention and commendation for his work at the helm of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse."

"He's been precisely what the Inquiry needed: he's an extremely competent leader who really puts the hours in and has been able to step in and calm everything down."

"He deserves credit for his steady stewardship of the Inquiry and for being hugely effective in ensuring the investigations culminate in reports which have real value."
Chambers Bar guide for 2020 (Inquests & Public Inquiries)

"Pre-eminent silk whose experience as former First Senior Treasury Counsel cemented his status as a highly in-demand prosecutor of some of the most noteworthy murder and terrorism cases of recent years. He now boasts a flourishing defence practice and undertakes work in murder and drug trafficking cases among others. He is also noted for his skill in handling high-profile terrorism cases."
Chambers Bar guide for 2020 (Crime)

"He is frequently sought out by global corporations to advise on the potential criminal ramifications of officer conduct and corporate transactions. His deep expertise in financial crime cases encompasses significant SFO and CMA investigations.”"
Chambers Bar guide for 2020 (Financial Crime: corporates)

“A very high-quality advocate who is assured and never fails to prepare his cases 100%. Both inquiries and juries are impressed by him as he doesn't leave any stone unturned. He is an impressive all-round barrister at the top of his game."
Chambers Bar guide for 2019 (Crime)

“Amazingly thorough and someone with an unrivalled attention to detail." "If anyone will make it work, Brian will. You can't stop him"
Chambers Bar guide for 2018 (Crime)

“He makes sure that he considers an issue from every possible angle before providing detailed, accessible, constructive and definitive advice”
Chambers Bar guide for 2018 (Financial Crime: Corporates)

“Brian Altman QC, is extensively experienced in representing high-net-worth individuals and large corporates, as well as prosecuting for the FCA and CMA in large fraud cases. According to one peer, "He is extremely influential and carries significant personal gravitas".
Who's Who Legal UK Bar 2017

"Thorough and hardworking; he never makes a mistake"
The Legal 500 (UK Bar), Crime, Leading Silks

Brian has exceptional insider knowledge and experience. In June 2013, he completed his highly successful 16 year tenure as Treasury Counsel at the Old Bailey, the last two and a half years of which were as as First Senior Treasury Counsel - the country’s most senior practising prosecuting barrister. During that period he was involved in prosecuting some of the most high profile cases of the day.

Since then Brian has advised the Boards of national and multinational corporations on bribery, corruption, fraud and money laundering, as well as corporate governance, compliance and regulation. Additionally, Brian advises and represents corporate and individual private clients on a variety of issues, including private prosecutions. He prosecutes and defends in serious crime cases, such as homicide, terrorism, money laundering and drugs, fraud and business crime.

In January 2017, Brian was appointed lead counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. In October 2017, Brian led in the Inquiry’s hearings into allegations (among others) of child sexual abuse by Cyril Smith in Rochdale, and, in March 2019, he led in the Inquiry’s hearings which examined whether there was a culture of deference and tolerance by the political parties and the police towards persons of public prominence in the Westminster establishment. In October/November 2019, he led in the Inquiry’s Wider Catholics investigation.  In October 2020, he is leading in the Inquiry’s investigation into institutional responses concerning allegations of child sexual abuse against the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC and in December the investigation into Effective Leadership in Child Protection.

Brian’s defence work is highly regarded. In January 2019 Brian acted privately for SG who was accused of committing a substantial housing benefit fraud. After a two week trial, SG was acquitted. September 2017 Brian acted for AB who was charged with multimillion pound money laundering offences. Despite the defendant pleading guilty to most of the charges only just before trial, and in spite of the amount said to have been laundered, Brian was able to secure a non-custodial sentence for AB. In June 2017 Brian secured the acquittal of GD, a former senior police chief in Avon & Somerset, who was accused of sexually assaulting women on cross country trains in the West Country. Following a 5 day trial at Bristol Crown Court, the jury acquitted GD of all the charges.  In 2015 Brian was instructed to represent a businessman accused of a large-scale drugs conspiracy, who was subsequently acquitted at Snaresbrook Crown Court. Brian also represented one of four serving police officers accused of misconduct in public office arising from a high profile murder case in Bristol in July 2013. The officer was unanimously acquitted after a seven week trial just before Christmas 2015.

Call Brian Altman QC on 020 7440 8888 or email:

Brian Altman QC is a barrister regulated by the Bar Standards Board


The Chambers UK Bar 2020Legal 500 Leading Individual 2019Lawyer Monthly 2015 Legal AwardsThe Times Law list 100golden legal eagles

Who's Who Legal