John David Clifford

Year of Call: 1998


  • MPhil Criminology (Trinity Hall, Cambridge)

Area of work



John has extensive experience in serious and complex criminal litigation acting as both Leading and Junior Counsel in cases involving Attempt Murder, Rape, Conspiracy to Supply Class A drugs, Drugs Importation, Fraud and Appellate Advocacy. He has been referred to as,’ ‘careful, diligent, determined and well prepared', and 'conducts himself with the highest standards in Court’. Grade 4 Prosecutor on CPS Advocates Panel. Rape and Child Abuse Panel Advocate.


R –v- Riaz & Taj Uddin – Snaresbrook Crown Court

Conspiracy to Supply Class A drugs; Conspiracy to transfer firearms, Conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

Prosecuted Operation Trident investigation into an Organised Criminal Network involving the supply and use of firearms, supply of controlled Class A & B drugs on a commercial scale including importation of over 10kg of heroin from Pakistan and participation in fraudulent identity theft. Both Defendants convicted after trial and sentenced to a total of 25 years imprisonment.


R –v- Cooke – Inner London Crown Court

Attempted Murder

Prosecuted Attempt Murder case in which vulnerable elderly victim was stabbed several times in his own home, suffering serious injuries including a punctured lung. Pathologist and body mapping report on severity and causation of injuries. Defendant convicted of GBH with intent after trial and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.


R –v- Lukwiya – Blackfriars Crown Court

Historic Rape & Sexual Assaults

Prosecuted historic sexual abuse by uncle on niece involving 9 charges of indecent assault under 1956 Act, Attempted Rape and Rape. Ground rules hearing and use of Advocates Toolkit. Defendant convicted after trial and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.


R –v- Ossoro – Woolwich Crown Court

Multiple Sexual Assaults

Prosecuted multiple sexual assault case in which private tutor was alleged to have sexually abused two young children aged 8 and 11 years old. Ground rules hearing and use of Advocates Toolkit. Defendant convicted after trial and sentenced to 7 ½ years imprisonment.


R –v- Brandford & Ors, Court of Appeal Criminal Division/Woolwich Crown Court

Conspiracy to Supply Class A drugs

Operation Pibera - Instructed to prosecute as Leading Counsel. This case involved an investigation by Operation Trident Central Gangs Unit into multi handed county drugs lines operating out of London to the South Coast. All 15 Defendants were convicted. On Appeal against Conviction the defence of duress was considered and: (i) the circumstances in which a judge is entitled to withdraw the defence from the jury, (ii) whether the fact that a threat was conveyed indirectly is a fatal bar to the defence, and (iii) whether the defence is available where there is mere pressure based on the exploitation of a relationship, see R. v. Brandford (2016) 160(48) S.J. 43, CA ([2016] EWCA Crim. 1794) and  [2017] 4 W.L.R. 17. The Appeal against Conviction was dismissed.


R –v- Harwood – Blackfriars Crown Court.

Attempt Murder

Instructed to Prosecute. The Defendant was represented by a Q.C. Victim sustained life changing injuries in a domestic related incident. Convicted and sentenced under dangerousness provisions in Criminal Justice Act 2003 to an equivalent sentence of 18 years imprisonment.


R –v- GP & AL, Croydon Crown Court.

False Imprisonment & Sexual Assault

Instructed to Prosecute in case where Defendants were represented by two Q.C’s. The case involved extensive legal argument around disclosure and abuse of process. A ruling that stayed the case was successfully appealed under s.58 Criminal Justice Act 2003 a re-trial ordered. Acted as junior Counsel to Duncan Atkinson Q.C. T.C.


R-v- Darren Scott - Central Criminal Court

Attempt Murder

Instructed to Prosecute. The Defendant befriended the victim on the gay dating app 'Grindr' and stayed at his Mayfair address during which time he told friends that the victim's flat was his own and helped himself to use of the victim's credit cards. After two weeks during the course of which both had a sexual relationship, the Defendant stabbed the victim as he lay in bed twenty two times, causing life changing injuries.

The case involved the use of blood splatter forensic analysis, complex mobile and cell site analysis.

The Defendant was convicted and sentenced to 17 years imprisonment.


R-v- Kenan Bakht & John Howard - Wood Green Crown Court

AG Reference No. 48/49 of 2015

Conspiracy to facilitate unlawful immigration

Instructed to Prosecute. Bakht was a lecturer at the Kensington College of Business, which was accredited to offer University of Wales degrees, and a director of a company concerned in the recruitment of overseas students.

Over a period of about a year, Bakht and Howard plotted to provide false documents and educational certificates which enabled students to apply to the Home Office for visa extensions.

Students paid up to £4,000 each for the certificates. In total there were some 177 Home Office visa applications which were found to be fraudulent with a value of £300k.

Both Defendants were convicted. Sentences of 5 years for Bakht and 2 1/2 years imprisonment for Howard were subsequently increased by the Court of Appeal to 8 years and 5 years imprisonment respectively.


R –v- Owen Saunders & Ors – Woolwich Crown Court

Attempt Murder

Instructed to Prosecute. Case involved dispute within the travelling community which resulted in one victim sustaining life changing injuries. One Defendant was represented by a Q.C. The victims did not appear on the day of trial and an application was made and allowed to have the ‘sole and decisive’ evidence read to the jury under s.116 Criminal Justice Act 2003. Due to events, the Defence renewed the application on two further occasions and on each occasion the Court upheld the initial ruling.


R-v- Ky-Shan Muir - Blackfriars Crown Court

Violent Disorder

Instructed to prosecute. The Defendant acted in an aggressive and threatening manner as the leader of a gang with a, 'Rambo-style' knife when he was challenged by the victim who was defending his friend at a party attended by nearly 400 young people at the Andover Community Centre. The victim was then dragged along the ground and stabbed in the thigh. Fifteen similar knives were seized from the Defendants room as well as rap lyrics which were of a violent and sadistic nature.

The Defendant was convicted and sentenced to 51 months imprisonment.

The case involved an anonymity and voice modulation application under s.88 Coroners and Justice Act 2009.


R-v- Mirembe & Ors - Isleworth Crown Court

Conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Instructed as leading Prosecution Counsel. The principal defendant, Wilson Mirembe, was running an organised criminal drug supply network from his prison cell. Operation Trident Gang Command carried out surveillance in Maidenhead. One vehicle was stopped which was found to be loaded with 8 kilos of ketamine, 8 kilos of mephedrone and eight kilos of methadrone-hydrochloride, also known as meow meow. More than £54,500 in cash was discovered in two other vehicles.


Pupillage Supervisor

Inner Temple Advocacy Assessor

Inner Temple Interviewing Panel member for Scholarship Awards

Evidence training for Metropolitan Police at Hendon

Visiting Lecturer King's College, London

Secretary to Chambers and Member of the Management Commitee 


Mr John Clifford is regulated by the Bar Standards Board, holds a current practising certificate and his details can be found on the BSB’s Barrister Register'-register/

Mr John Clifford holds insurance cover for all legal services supplied through professional indemnity insurance with the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund (BMIF) The coverage is worldwide subject to their terms which are available on their website

Mr John Clifford is registered with the Information Commissioners office under the Data Protection Act

If you are not satisfied with the service that Mr John Clifford provides you can make a complaint to Chambers. Information on Chambers Complaints Procedure is available on Chambers website

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from Chambers you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman (This must be done within the time limits set out) The contact details can be found on the Legal Ombudsman’s website    


9KBW successful CPS grading applications
9 KBW are delighted to announce that all of our members who applied this year for upgrading on the Crown Prosecution Service Advocate Panels were successful.

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9KBW Roadshow team receive commendation from Borough Commander
On 1st December 2017 Lambeth Borough Commander Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Wood commended 9 KBW for it’s ‘Selflessness and Generosity’ in providing training to police officers. In providing the training Robyn Murdo-Smith and John Clifford were assisted by Chambers colleagues James Dick, Sophie Quinton-Carter, Ben Edwards, Tom Aiken and Charles Drinnan.

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Graeme Molloy prosecutes man accused of racially abusing MP
Graeme was instructed by the Crown to prosecute in the sentence of Andrzejv Gajowniczeka, a Polish National, who had pleaded guilty to racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm and distress

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James Dick appointed as Rape List Counsel
Congratulations to Jim Dick on his successful application to join the Rape and Serious Sexual Abuse Panel Counsel list. Chambers are delighted to see a valuable addition to the strong team of Rape List Counsel at 9KBW.

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Julian Jones and John Ojakovoh appointed as Serious Fraud Office Panel Counsel
Chambers are delighted to announce that following their successful applications, Julian Jones has joined panel A and John Ojakovoh Panel B of SFO External Counsel. Many congratulations to both of them.

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