Darren Snow

Year of Call: 2000
Inn of Court: Middle Temple

Darren Snow

He can cut through the uncertainty to get to the heart of the issue’ – Crime – Leading Juniors (Legal 500 – 2017)

Described by clients as a “team player” and “down to earth, pragmatic and user friendly” Darren Snow has gained a reputation as a strong and versatile advocate, a robust cross examiner and trusted advisor to his clients. He started his working life straight from school, working his way up through the ranks of the insurance industry before studying for the Bar. He has legal experience working with a city law firm and as in-house counsel with international loss adjusters.  Darren is an accredited commercial mediator.

Darren is an active member of the Bar Pro Bono Unit and is involved in various community and law career projects. He spoke at the 2017 Urban Lawyers Careers Conference in London. In 2016 and 2017 he mentored a secondary school in the national mock trial competition run by the Citizenship Foundation and both times took his team through to the national finals.

Darren is authorised to conduct direct access work and is one of a new breed of barristers who is an approved litigator enabling him to manage litigation for his clients. He has conducted numerous direct access cases.

Significant Criminal Cases

  • R v. O & Others – Represented the third defendant in this £57 million conspiracy to steal case re widescale thefts of rare rhino horn and jade artefacts from museums for resale in China. Also appeared in the subsequent POCA proceedings listed for 5 days, securing a £1 order on behalf of his client in the face of a £30m benefit figure.
  • R v. R – Represented the third defendant in this £250,000 theft of watches from a Russian Billionaire – only Defendant to maintain a not guilty plea to trial. Acquitted on a submission of no case to answer.
  • R v. C – represented defendant in £1.5million fraud through a dating website, victim defrauded by a fake boyfriend with numerous transfers to overseas bank accounts. Only Defendant to maintain her pleas to trial and acquitted. All other Defendants pleaded guilty.
  • R v. M – Defence counsel for female bank clerk involved in £1.5 diversion frauds. Manipulated by gang, defence of duress, defendant suffered mental health breakdown in the lead up to trial, Case resolved through the fitness to plead procedure, contested by the Crown, found unfit and case resolved through trial of issue and non-custodial mental health disposal.
  • R v. B – POCA Confiscation proceedings re Sainsburys Supermarket “potato” fraud, Defendant had pleaded guilty to a fraud & corruption charges re price fixing between buyers and the potato suppliers, benefits running into several hundred thousand pounds. Agreed figures negotiated at court on day one of the hearing.
  • R v. O – Defence in allegations of gang related intimidation of a key witness informant placed in witness protection following a murder trial. Client was a professional footballer with Leyton Orient.
  • R v. C – Defence in £500k cannabis smuggling from Africa. Heavy document case involving scrutiny of bills of lading and principles of international trade law.
  • R v. B – Defence in alleged £150,000 money laundering case involving international cash transfers from Pakistan and associated hawala banking practices.
  • R v. D – Defence in allegations of rape & sexual assault against ex-partner. Case complicated by ongoing custody battle over children and financial settlement of divorce.
  • R v. D – Defence of driving instructor charged with multiple sexual assaults of students going back over         15 years. Heavy local media coverage resulted in numerous further complainants coming forward during course of the proceedings.
  • R v. R – Grooming and child sexual images case. Defendant was former special forces soldier with growing film and media career. Close work with expert computer witness led to the Crown offering no evidence on all counts on first day of trial.
  • R v. H – Defence in allegations of sexual assault by shop keeper against customer. Established behaviour was triggered by relapse of historic PTSD from traumatic events in youth with little if any sexual motive behind the behaviour.
  • R v. A – Defence in alleged £50,000 fraud against personal injury solicitors. Inflated PI & commission payments paid into the defendant’s business account.
  • R v. V – Defence in £40,000 benefits fraud. Established complete lack of dishonesty, resolved on a plea with a community order.

Significant Environmental Cases

  • EA v. B – Defence of director of a recycling business, described in the media as the “Kent Mattress Mountain”.
  • EA v. BC Ltd – Defence of chemical company charged in respect of accidental chemical escape causing 30 miles of pollution of river, loss of fish stocks and substantial clean-up costs.
  • EA v. D – Appeal against £45,000 fine for unlawful waste disposal in respect of fly tipped waste outside D’s business which he disposed of by way of a series of bonfires. Reduced to £1500.
  • EA v. GB Ltd – Defence in illegal waste disposal case concerning commercial scale fly tipping alongside M2 in Kent. 15 Co Defendant companies.
  • EA v. HPC Ltd – Defence of company charged following accidental chemical leak at factory. Advised on PACE Interview and response by insurers to EA clean up, assisted with risk management review introducing new procedures & training to manage chemical accidents, resulting in all charges being discontinued. 

Significant Road Traffic Cases

  • R v. B – Defence in death by careless driving case where motorist hit two horses killing one rider and seriously injuring another. Successfully defended at Newton Hearing securing non-custodial sentence.
  • R v. C – Defence in death by careless driving case where motorist hit an oncoming car head killing two people on a country lane in Norfolk. Following plea secured a financial penalty and no loss of license. Also instructed in the inquest.
  • R v. G – Defence of coach driver facing dangerous driving allegations following accident involving cyclist in central London.
  • R v. W – Drink Drive Defence to failure to provide – successfully argued that level of intoxication rendered the Defendant physically incapable of providing two breath samples leading to not guilty finding and retention of his driving licence.
  • R v. T – Defence in dangerous driving case where Defendant lost control and crushed a person, causing near fatal head injuries, on a petrol station forecourt. Resolved on a plea to careless driving.

Significant Professional Discipline Cases

  • NMC v. N – Defence Counsel – male nurse facing allegations of serious sexual assault of a female patient and drug maladministration. Acquitted of all sexual misconduct allegations. Defence involved complex expert evidence on morphine side effects, confabulation & false memory in alleged sexual offences by clinical staff.
  • NMC v. A – Defence Counsel – male nurse facing allegations of sexual misconduct towards some female patient & multiple clinical failures.
  • NMC v. N and B – Defence Counsel – acting for one of two nurses alleged to have conducted a negligent mental health assessment where following a decision to admit to home care rather than admit to hospital the patient committed suicide the following day.
  • NMC v. X & Others – Defence counsel in 8 handed NMC case. Allegations of negligent drug administration, failure to give critical medication over 8 days causative of death. Acquittal at half time and as a result of the defence case the original inquest finding of neglect and naming of nurses by the Coroner is subject to an ongoing judicial review application.
  • NMC v. T – Defence Counsel – health case re underlying mental health and fitness to practice. Following submissions, the Registrant remained in practice subject to supportive conditions of practice.
  • NMC v. C – Defence Counsel – drink drive on way to work, underlying alcohol dependency issues, resolved with a short suspension and action plan to manage a return to nursing.
  • NMC v. A – Defence Counsel – Registrant in a care home faced allegations of assault to a patient. The NMC relied upon the Registrant accepting a caution from Police. At substantive hearing it was shown that the patient had challenging behaviour with a habit of grabbing onto staff. The Registrant acted in self-defence but accepted that the force used had crossed the line. Resolved with a short suspension.

Significant Inquests

  • Southwark Coroners Court Re Sadhushi (2016) – Representing a nurse in a 3-week Art 2 inquest concerning the death of a prisoner on the health wing at HMP Belmarsh.
  • Milton Keynes Coroners Court Re McManus (2016) – Representing nurse in Art 2 inquest concerning the death of a patient who took his own life at a secure mental health establishment operated by the Priory in Bedfordshire.
  • North London Coroners Court Re Aves & Babla (2003) – Representing Securitas with Richard Hartley QC at inquest into two deaths following accidental ignition of a security cash in transit cash box inside a pawn broker retail premises which then caught fire trapping two employees inside the building.

Significant Civil & Commercial Cases

  • Air Tropiques v. North Western Insurance Company – [2015] – represented Congo based airline, a direct access instruction, in an action against its insurer following a 2012 air crash and subsequent claim for total loss under its aviation hull insurance policy. Insurer registered as an entity in Nevis & St Kitts but directors and business operation established to be Texas, USA. The Insurer alleged fraud and repudiated the claim, initial attempts to arbitrate in London were obstructed by the insurer. Litigation commenced in Texas as the business was operating there in an attempt to establish jurisdiction to bring the claim in the USA rather than in Nevis & St Kitts. Insurer subsequently placed itself into administration and liquidated itself in Nevis, no assets. Acted as managing counsel, working with US Lawyers and Lawyers in Paris co ordinating the defence to underlying personal injury claims for passengers – the aircraft itself having been chartered by a French oil company at the time of the crash.
  • Chauvidul-AW v. Phongphongsavat [2012] EWHC 3224 (Ch) – Joint Defence counsel with Tyrone Silcott, acting under direct access. Successfully defended in this case for US$ multimillion damages in a shareholder dispute, claiming a 1/3 shareholding, regarding an online TV platform “Doo Tv” that provided digital access to Thai TV programmes. Instructed only 4 weeks before trial – one of the few cases where two counsel have acted jointly in a direct public access case without solicitors in the High Court
  • Paul Gascoigne v. Daily Mail & Others – represented Gascoigne in his defamation action against the Daily Mail online for publication of various stories and posting on their website a link to unauthorised video footage taken by a third party. Settled out of court.
  • V v. Patel & Others [2013] – Central London County Court – Defence counsel in £250k construction dispute & 4 linked cases, Claimant represented by a QC, at trial exposed potential fraud by claimant, claimant’s expert evidence discredited, judgment for the Defendant, instructed to defend in subsequent appeal abandoned literally on the day by the Claimant’s administrators and subsequently instructed in successful third-party costs order against the Claimant’s sole director when the company was put into administration.
  • Re Metso & Insurers – High Court, Tasmania – Managing counsel for Finnish insurers working with counsel and solicitors in Melbourne in respect of the defence to an AUD$50 million professional negligence claim against various contractors following a catastrophic machinery breakdown and fire at an iron ore mine in Tasmania, Australia.
  • X v. Easy Jet & Others – Instructed to advise on defence to a defamation claim following an altercation between check in staff and a customer, who happened to head a leading city law firm’s defamation practice
  • AT v. Air India & Others – Northampton County Court – Representing the 2nd Defendant, the airport ground services operator in a disability discrimination claim against both airline and airport operators in respect of an alleged failure to provide wheelchair services to a disabled passenger at Heathrow. Claim dismissed.
  • LL.B (Hons), Holborn College, London
  • LL.M (Lond), City Law School, University of London
  • BVC, The College of Law “Very Competent”
  • IBA Diploma International Commercial Arbitration
  • DipH.E. Law, Holborn College, London
  • MCIArb Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Pupil Supervisor
  • BTAS Misconduct Panel Member
  • Essex Youth Offending Team Referral Order Panel Member
  • Direct Access approved & an Authorised Litigator with the BSB
  • CIArb Accredited Commercial Mediator
  • Fellow, Prime Dispute
  • ADR ODR International, Panel Mediator
  • Middle Temple
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Civil Mediation Council
  • Association of Regulatory & Professional Discipline Lawyers
  • Association of Commonwealth Criminal Lawyers
  • Bar Pro Bono Unit

Areas of Specialism


Darren is a leading junior in the Legal 500 2017 for Crime.

Since joining Chambers he has built up a busy criminal defence practice with a growing specialism in fraud and serious crime work. After several years prosecuting for the CPS he is now predominantly a defence lawyer. He has a wide range of experience defending in serious violence, sexual offences, organized crime, drugs, public order, fraud, proceeds of crime and regulatory cases. In 2016 he defended the third defendant in R v O’Brien & Others, a £57 million organised crime conspiracy to steal rare rhino horn and Chinese jade artefacts from museums, one of the largest cases of its kind ever. He also defended in R v M, a £1.5 million banking diversion fraud, where he successfully argued that his client was unfit as a result of a mental health breakdown occurring during the lead up to trial whereupon the case resolved through a contested fitness to plead procedure with a mental health order imposed, avoiding custody. In 2017 he defended in R v Rositta & others, a trial concerning the theft of over £250k of watches stolen from a London based Russian billionaire, his client was the only defendant acquitted.

Alongside general crime work Darren has a keen interest in military work. He has represented RAF and Army personnel before the Court Martial in allegations of serious violence, drugs, sexual assault, theft and alleged bullying of subordinate ranks.  He is a former member of the Independent Monitoring Board for the Military Corrective Training Centre at Colchester Garrison.

Business & Regulatory Crime

Darren has a lot of experience defending in health & safety, environmental and serious road traffic prosecutions on behalf of companies, directors and individuals. He has been instructed to advise corporate clients in the early stages of criminal & regulatory investigations. He has prosecuted regulatory and fraud cases for the CPS, notably he prosecuted in a £1.5 million diversion fraud committed against a major construction company. He has also been involved in several criminal cases of alleged insurance fraud where his background in that industry has proved invaluable to successful defences. In 2017 he defended in R v Bertram, the Kent “mattress mountain” case prosecuted by the Environment Agency.

Darren has particular experience acting for hauliers, coach operators and other transport businesses in criminal cases and associated DVSA regulatory cases before the Transport Commissioner. He has defended commercial operators in prosecutions for tachograph offences, dangerous loads, regulatory non-compliance, controlled waste disposal, dangerous driving and fatal accidents.

Professional Discipline

Darren has a growing reputation in this field. He has acted for a wide range of professions – police, prison, legal, teaching and medical personnel facing their professional regulators, criminal courts, public inquiries and inquests. He acts through instructing unions, solicitors and under direct access. In 2017 Darren was appointed to the Bar’s misconduct body, BTAS and sits as a barrister panel member in misconduct cases prosecuted by the BSB.

In the last 24 months, much of Darren’s work has been defending before the Nursing & Midwifery Council. He has been instructed in a wide range of cases including some of the most serious allegations of misconduct contributing to patient death and allegations of sexual assault against patients. He has an excellent record of achieving favourable outcomes for nurses before the NMC.

Darren has extensive experience advising on case preparation, evidence gathering, the use of expert witnesses and representing clients at substantive hearings. He has represented police officers, prison officers and medical professionals in criminal proceedings and at inquests. Darren understands the sensitive nature of misconduct proceedings, the fact that careers and professional reputations are at stake and the pressures placed upon his clients. He has gained a great reputation for preparing clients for hearings, defending in serious cases and achieving excellent results.


Darren has gained a reputation as a versatile advocate, troubleshooter and tactician in dispute resolution work. He is instructed in a wide range of cases where strong advocacy and pragmatic advice are needed. His experience balances investigatory and advisory work, claims management, litigation, commercial arbitration, mediation and trial advocacy.

Darren is a versatile negotiator and a strong supporter of alternative dispute resolution. He is an accredited commercial mediator, a member of the ADR ODR International panel of mediators and a Fellow of Prime Dispute, an international panel of recognised specialists in dispute resolution.

A former international loss adjuster, Darren has gained a wealth of experience in the investigation and resolution of commercial disputes including the sale of goods, insurance claims, product liability, environmental pollution, media & defamation, intellectual property and professional negligence. He has experience working on cases in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, USA and throughout Europe.

Alongside dispute resolution work he has been instructed in numerous risk management and compliance projects.


Darren is developing a strong reputation in this field representing interested parties and the families of the deceased. He has completed specialist training in inquest practice. His experiences in criminal, civil and professional discipline proceedings bring a wealth of advocacy experience. He is unafraid to press hard for answers and is equally robust in protecting the interests of his clients when necessary. In the last 18 months, Darren has appeared in a number of Art 2 inquests before juries in respect of deaths in prisons and secure mental health establishments where he has represented the interests of medical personnel facing scrutiny for their actions. He has also acted in several inquests concerning deaths in NHS hospitals where there are concerns over clinical care.

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