Mr Dean Armstrong QC

Queen's Counsel

Qualified: 1985 London

Qualified to practice in:

  • England and Wales

Areas of Expertise:

  • Criminal Appeals
  • Criminal Law

Languages Spoken:

  • English

About Dean

Dean Armstrong QC was first called to the Bar in 1985. However, he left to pursue a career in company and commercial law in the City, but returned to the Bar after 6 years in 1991, since when he has developed a strong, exclusively defence practice.

Such is his unique combination of experience that he is equally at home in matters with either a criminal or civil bias and as such, is able to advise on the whole picture which is particularly valuable when clients require assistance on all the potential consequences.

Dean is a heavyweight in crime and financial matters, and has been instructed in many of the last decade’s most high-profile, serious, and complex cases. Dean successfully defended a client charged in the trial over alleged misconduct in the running of the now defunct News of the World newspaper, and has advised clients involved in the ‘cash for honours’ investigation, as well as the Leveson Inquiry. Dean appeared as counsel for Vincent Tabak in the murder trial of Joanna Yeates, and represented Anne Darwin, wife of John Darwin, the canoeist who faked his own death.

In recent times Dean has developed a strong Appellate practice securing success in the Court of Appeal on many cases and successfully appealing a referral from the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Dean’s City background enables him to understand what it is like to work in the demanding world of financial institutions, and to be able to see the wider picture from a practical perspective. He has been instructed in many high profile fraud allegations including, amongst others, Asil Nadir. This combination of legal and commercial experience makes Dean ideally suited to be instructed by those working in financial services.

Cases in which Dean leads the defence are often noteworthy for their uniqueness. Within the last year, Dean successfully defended the alleged principal on a drugs conspiracy charge described as ‘the real life “Breaking Bad”‘. He conducted the first fully paperless trial in the UK, and has appeared in a large scale money laundering trial inextricably linked with the political and social situation in Iran.

Dean is a regular commentator on TV and radio for both Sky and BBC on matters of serious crime and fraud.

Dean has been classed as a leader in the field in the principal legal directories for more than a decade, and has twice been nominated for the Chambers & Partners Bar Awards.

Appointed Queens Counsel in 2014, Dean has quickly established himself as distinguished Leading Counsel. He is ranked as a leader in the field in the current editions of both Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500.

a class act with devastatingly effective powers of cross-examination

Legal 500

Cases of Note

  • 2011R v Tabak-

    William Clegg QC led then junior counsel Dean Armstrong, on behalf of the defendant accused of murdering Joanna Yeates who went missing following an evening out with colleagues. Suspicion initially and erroneously fell on her landlord before police finally arrested Tabak who was living in her neighbouring flat.

    View this case

Work Experience

  • 1985 - Present

    Barrister and Queens Counsel

    Crime: R v W: Represented a defendant in the first ever joint prosecution conducted by HMRC, CPS, and FSA. R v S: Represented a banking executive accused of conducting a multi-million pound money laundering scheme. R v K: Represented the CEO of an ethnic minority housing association which had become insolvent owing substantial sums of money. The case involved complex questions of company law and procedure. R v W: Represented a defendant accused of a multi-million pound boiler room fraud in a case in which 2 additional co-defendants sought to blame my defendant for the crime.


  • -

    Fitzwilliam College Cambridge

Membership of professional organisations, associations, committees

  • Jan 1985 - Current

    Criminal Bar Association

Speaking Events

  • Current

    Regular commentator on Fraud & Serious Crime

    Sky and BBC


  • Jan 2015

    Leading QC in Crime

    Legal 500

Send a message to Dean

Instructions accepted

  • From solicitors
  • From professional bodies
  • Privately funded work
  • Publicly funded work

Governing Body

  • Bar Council of England and Wales


  • I accept public funded work
  • I accept privately funded work

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