David Webster

A persuasive, highly experienced advocate who will prosecute or defend serious criminal cases including murder, sexual offences, fraud, human trafficking, and drugs-related offences.

David Webster is an accomplished academic lawyer and a creative, persuasive advocate. A former solicitor advocate, he was called to the Bar in 1998.

He prosecutes or defends in serious crime cases including murder, rape and other serious sexual offences, fraud and money laundering, modern slavery and human trafficking, and drugs and related offences. He is a member of the CPS RASSO panel.

His practice is largely on the Midlands Circuit, including Derby, Nottingham and Lincoln. He also receives instructions in his native city of Sheffield.

“David is a trusted expert on all aspects of criminal advocacy. His smooth and uncompromising style makes him a firm favourite with juries and judges alike. A fierce proponent of his clients’ cause, David is a just the sort of barrister you want in your corner.”

Instructing solicitor

“A powerful and forceful advocate who has a caring and empathetic approach to his work. He is most definitely a master of mitigation.”

Instructing solicitor

David Webster specialises in criminal advocacy and will act for the prosecution or the defence in a wide range of criminal matters including murder, rape and other serious sexual offences, fraud, money laundering and similar offences, modern slavery and human trafficking, drugs and related offences, and football violence and disorder.

He is well-known for his imaginative approach to cross-examination and highly effective conversational closing speeches. He argues points of law in an elegant and eloquent style; focused, well-researched and effective.

He adopts a teamwork approach with the client right at the heart of decision-making. He is highly valued by his lay clients and generates a substantial amount of repeat business.

David has acted as junior counsel to Mr Justice Jeremy Baker; the Recorder of Sheffield, HHJ Richardson QC; HHJ Kelson QC; and HHJ Shaun Smith QC. As junior counsel, he has prosecuted or defended in several murder cases, and acted as sole counsel in cases of attempted murder. He has appeared as leading junior in cases of fraud and modern slavery.

David regularly handles historical cases of rape and other serious sexual offences, including cases involving child witnesses. He has extensive experience with vulnerable witnesses, having worked with intermediaries for both Crown witnesses and defendants. He has also taken instructions in a number of rape cases featuring issues of incapacity through intoxication.

He is frequently instructed in multi-defendant drugs conspiracy cases, notably in Derby, Nottingham and Stafford. He is experienced in the cross-examination of police drug experts and forensic scientists. He has conducted numerous Proceeds of Crime Act enquiries and acted for defendants in opposition to the making of serious crime orders.

David was instructed on behalf of the youngest defendant in South Yorkshire’s ‘largest-ever football disorder case’ (The Sportsman). His client was acquitted by the jury following a trial lasting several months.

He has also made successful legal submissions in opposition to football banning order applications.

Significant Cases

Murder, violence and public order offences

R v Simmonds, Nottingham Crown Court [2011] – The defendant originally denied murder, but changed his plea to guilty. This was reported by the BBC.

R v Griffiths (and Lockhart), Nottingham Crown Court [2014] – Defending a vulnerable female charged with murder as an accomplice to the primary offender. Achieved a not guilty verdict following a plea to the lesser offence of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

R v Andrewatha and Others, Sheffield Crown Court [2016] – Defence counsel for one of four defendants indicted with arson with intent to endanger life; client and one other acquitted, two convicted. This was reported by the BBC.

Sexual offences

R v Swindin, Nottingham Crown Court [2016] – Defence counsel for a young mother who pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a local teenager after a marriage breakdown. This was reported in the Mansfield and Ashfield Chad.

R v Wood and Others, Derby Crown Court [2018] – Defence counsel for one of four Chesterfield bus drivers accused of serious sexual activity with an obsessive, vulnerable teenager. The client was one of three found not guilty. This was reported by the BBC.

R v Titterton, Derby Crown Court [2018] – Defence counsel for a defendant who was acquitted by the jury for the charge of assault by penetration of a child family member.

R v Adamson, Derby Crown Court [2018] – Defending a Latvian man acquitted by the jury for assault by penetration and threats to kill.

R v Bannister, Shrewsbury Crown Court [2018] – Defence of a man acquitted by the jury of historical indecent assaults on two child family members, dating back to 1983.

Modern slavery and human trafficking

R v Ainars Pelcis and Others, Nottingham Crown Court [2018] – Leading junior for the first defendant (the ‘Gypsy Baron’) in an 11-defendant trial concerning allegations of conspiracy to traffick vulnerable victims from Latvia and subject them to forced labour and exploitation. This was reported by the BBC.

Fraud, money laundering and similar offences

R v Higginson, Leeds Crown Court [2013] – Defence counsel for a director of Compass Mobility in a case involving fraud, where the firm used high-pressure tactics to sell over-priced scooters and bath lifts to the elderly. This was reported in the Mirror.

R v Shelley, Nottingham Crown Court [2018] – Prosecuting in a case involving the theft of a substantial sum of money from a vulnerable victim in a breach of trust. The defendant was found unfit to plead.

“His skill as an advocate, legal knowledge and courtroom presence are first class. He always goes the extra mile with all briefs sent to him and assists his instructing lawyers with advice and assistance in case preparation.”

Instructing solicitor

“I've been instructing David Webster for over 15 years. He plays a key role in our defence team. He’s happy to help from the simple lesser offences to those that are complicated and difficult.”

Instructing solicitor

How much will David Webster’s services cost?

David mostly works on a fixed-fee basis for the main hearing, with a daily refresher rate for any subsequent date of hearing, although this depends on the type of work you request. If you’d like a quotation for his legal services in a particular matter, please contact our clerk using the details below and we’ll be very happy to help. Please also refer to Bank House Chambers’ standard terms & conditions.

What might influence the timescales of the services David offers?

David would normally expect to arrange a preliminary conference with your client within 7 days of first contact from you. After that, despite our best intentions, we can’t always control timescales or the amount of time we spend on a case. These can be affected by factors such as urgency; complexity; your own (or your client’s) availability; David’s availability and that of any third parties; the volume of documents he needs to review or must request; and the court’s availability.

Can you have confidence in David’s work?

He is regulated by the Bar Standards Board.

How can you contact David Webster?

In the first instance, please contact our senior clerk, Wayne Digby, on 0114 275 1223 or email him at w.digby@bankhousechambers.co.uk.