Mountford Chambers is one of the longest established sets in the United Kingdom, specialising in all areas of criminal law but with a particular emphasis on serious crime, regulatory, public law and business crime.
Its barristers have a reputation for being assured and compelling advocates who provide forensic and rigorous advice and representation.
In 2021, Mountford Chambers rebranded from ‘Carmelite Chambers’ following a change of leadership and fresh strategy to grow its business and criminal regulatory offering.
Mountford Chambers is named after the famous English architect – Edward William Mountford – who designed the Old Bailey in London.
The Mountford name is synonymous with excellence, dependability, and longevity.
Chambers is a highly respected, leading set with a national and international reputation for excellence, our barristers provide the very best advice and advocacy and are regularly instructed in high profile cases.
Our members have a breadth of experience covering every aspect of criminal and regulatory law and advisory work.
In 2022, Mountford Chambers was shortlisted for the Corporate Crime Set of the Year at the Legal 500 Bar Awards.
This area of Holborn was bought in 1280 by John de Kirkby who was appointed Bishop of Ely in 1286. He passed the land to the See of Ely in 1290 and the creation of the London residence of the Bishops of Ely began. His immediate successor William de Luda built the chapel of St Etheldreda, and later Bishops built a palace with vineyard and orchards. By establishing the site as an enclave the Bishops ensured that the palace was not subjected to the laws and taxes of London but was legally part of the Diocese of Ely. The enclave covered some 60 acres before Elizabeth I began its break up over her obsession with Sir Christopher Hatton in 1577. The gardens were particularly noted for their strawberries as mentioned by Shakespeare in Richard III:
“My Lords of Ely when I was last in Holborn I saw good strawberries in your garden there; I do beseech you, send for some of them!”
St Ethelreda’s is the last remaining part of the palace and is arguably the oldest Catholic Church in England. St Ethelreda was an Anglo-Saxon queen, princess and saint who founded the monastery in Ely in 673 AD. The church survived the Great Fire but was severely damaged in the Blitz – the repairs took some 7 years. The 13th century crypt remained intact and the glorious Victorian stained glass windows were replaced with some equally fabulous stained glass installed in the 1950’s.
Ye Olde Mitre can be accessed via a narrow alley off Ely Place (as can the Bleeding Heart through a gate in the brick wall that blocks off Ely Place). Perhaps the most hidden pub in London it was built in 1546 but the current building only dates back to 1773 (with some mock Tudor remodelling in the 1970’s). Until the late 20th century the area was part of Cambridgeshire and the landlord had to seek the licence in Cambridge well into the 1960’s.
The current street and houses were built in 1772 after the land was sold to the Crown. It is privately managed by its own body of commissioners and we are safely guarded by a gatehouse and ferocious beadles.
Mountford Chambers is a specialist criminal, regulatory and public law set that is founded on principles of integrity, equality and representation for all.
Our KCs, Barristers and Clerks are united by a shared vision of delivering a client service that is focused on absolute excellence, assuring clients of strategic and vigorous representation that gets to the heart of the case, and the minds of judges and juries.
Legal publications describe chambers as follows:
“The set’s members have notable strength in defending across a range of fraud work, including VAT and MTIC frauds, tax evasion, carbon credit frauds, and money laundering cases. The set is well known for representing financial professionals, for example, accountants, bankers, and solicitors. Instructing solicitors say the set’s junior counsel are ‘extremely reliable and well-liked by defendants.”
(Legal 500, 2021)
“A respected set, well known for its deep bench and long-standing focus on criminal matters. Members act for both the prosecution and defence and often appear in complex and specialised cases. They handle the full gamut of criminal matters including cases relating to organised crime, terrorism, manslaughter and sexual assault… One instructing solicitor comments: “Carmelite is populated by very talented individuals and is a top-quality set.””
(Chambers & Partners, 2020)