David Martin-Sperry

Year of Call: 1971

David Martin-Sperry

A renowned independent-minded defence barrister in high profile criminal cases, his enthusiasm for his work is undiminished by four decades of experience, as demonstrated by his recent hectic but successful case schedule. 

Widely known as a fearless advocate, he is committed to the practice he has built up over an illustrious career. His successes have been built on his finely honed skills as an advocate and factual analyst and on his appreciation of human psychology.

His practice extends across the full range of Crown Court cases including successful leading defence briefs in fraud, murder, rape, corruption and international drugs conspiracy cases. He has established himself as one of the leading figures at the Bar in ‘miscarriage of justice’ cases.

Significant Cases



  • MA (Cantab)

Areas of Specialism


His diverse career has led him as far as Tanzania (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, appearing for the Chief of Military Operations at the time of the Genocide ) and Cairo.  He is experienced in cases requiring a close understanding of cultural influences from all parts of the globe. This includes the successful defence of an attempted murder trial involving the potential influence of witchcraft.

His case list features famous cases:

  • He was instrumental in discrediting the now-disbanded West Midlands Serious Crime Squad, quashing convictions in all 23 of the cases in which he was instructed.
  • He was involved in the quashing the appeal of murder convictions in 13 separate cases where he was not counsel at first instance. He is currently working on a further four.
  • In the course of his cases he has built up a close working relationship with a number of leading experts in such fields as Pathology, Psychiatry, Anthropology, DNA and Blood Distribution, Telephony, Accident  Reconstruction, Computer Analysis and Accounting.


Miscarriage of Justice

He has done a substantial amount of pro bono work advising on miscarriage cases for ‘Justice’, as well as for the television programmes Trial and Error and Rough Justice.

He is currently assisting ‘The Innocence Project’  helping the law faculties of both Gloucester University and Bristol UWE in preparing Criminal Case Review Commission submissions in two troubling murder cases.


Other Details

He has lectured students on Advocacy and has been invited by Clifford Chance to participate in their programme teaching Advocacy to students at the School of Law in Dar-es-Salaam.

He has co-written court scenes with Linda LaPlante in the Trial and Retribution TV series and has advised on scripts and court dialogue for Poirot and Eastenders.  He plays regular bridge and skis to Instructor level.