Our Story

For over 80 years Kingsley Napley has been recognised for providing the highest quality legal advice and services and has been at the forefront of some of the UK's most important judicial cases and decisions.


Kingsley Napley is born

Sidney Kingsley and David Naphtali decided to start a law firm together, originally named Kingsley, Kennedy & Co. David offered civil and criminal litigation services and Sidney offered non-contentious services, in particular commercial property. After serving in the war, David (who by now had changed his name to Napley) and Sidney reopened the firm in 1945 as Kingsley Napley.


Making a name for ourselves

While we remained a small firm of less than 20 people, we began to make a name for ourselves as litigators of renown. We also started to take on licensing work, in particular for London’s celebrity restaurants and entertainment venues.

(Photo: Andy Eick)


One of the foremost criminal practices

Kingsley Napley became established as one of the foremost criminal practices in the country, largely thanks to our role in a number of high profile celebrity cases. These included the Jeremy Thorpe conspiracy to murder trial, the attempted kidnap of Princess Anne and the Steve Biko inquest.


The decade of growth

We became well known for our commercial and private client work alongside our criminal litigation expertise, and represented families of those who died in the Zeebrugge and Lockerbie disasters. In 1989 we merged with Egerton Sandler.


The go-to firm for white collar crime

Kingsley Napley became the go-to firm for white collar crime cases. We acted in several notable cases, including the Guinness affair, and represented a number of high profile clients including Ian Maxwell, Nick Leeson and General Pinochet. In addition, we continued to expand our range of services, with the formation of our Clinical Negligence, Employment and Immigration teams.

(Photo: Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional)


Playing a pivotal part in public life

We focused on expanding our corporate and commercial services, and acted in a number of notable M&A deals. Our Public Law team played an integral role in the Hutton Inquiry into the death of David Kelly (representing Tony Blair among others) and the Iraq Inquiry; our Regulatory team acted for a number of Metropolitan Police officers in the investigation into the shooting of Jean-Charles de Menezes; and our Criminal team provided assistance to the family of Madeleine McCann. In 2007 Linda Woolley became Managing Partner.

(Photo: Caroline Ford)


Going from strength to strength

Thanks to our burgeoning reputation we expanded our work in a number of legal areas. Our Public Law team in particular have acted in many high profile inquests, including the 7/7 bombings and the Westminster Bridge terror attack. In 2018 Stephen Parkinson became our Senior Partner.

(Photo: David Holt)


Looking to the future

In 2021 we moved to our new offices in Bonhill Street. Today, we are a highly-regarded, diverse firm recognised for our integrity, sensitivity and commercial excellence.

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