John Harding

Legal Counsel

Criminal Litigation | Criminal Defence and Police Investigations | Sexual Offences

"He is a great lawyer with excellent judgement" who "has tons of experience and really cares about what he does."

Chambers and Partners, 2018

"If I were in trouble, I would go to John. He is just a pleasure to work with, so experienced, and clients adore him"

Chambers and Partners 2019

John represents individuals in relation to all areas of crime including police station advice, specialising particularly in relation to allegations of serious assaults, offences of a sexual nature and those relating to child abuse/abuse of positions of trust.

He is listed as a leader in his field in crime, fraud and professional discipline in Chambers UK. He is described as “a very strong lawyer” and wins considerable market acclaim for his “down to earth approach' and “good client care'.

John represents clients in relation to all forms of serious fraud and business crime prosecuted by  Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)Serious Fraud Office (SFO)Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and other government agencies.

He also acts for members of the Chief Police Officers Staff Association (CPOSA) providing regulatory and criminal advice including representation at inquest for senior police officers.

Cases of note

  • represented Swiss Re executive charged with murdering his 18 month old daughter
  • represented a Russian student from an affluent family, charged with sexual assault.
  • represented a number of high profile individuals investigated in relation to historic sex abuse by Operation Yewtree
  • represented a member of the clergy in relation to allegations of historic sex abuse

Serious fraud and business crime

  • a high net worth Kenyan national in relation to an allegation of fraud which was, following representations, discontinued.
  • a former Chief Executive of a property company in relation to the break-up of the MG Rover Group and the resulting Companies Act Inquiry.
  • a number of individuals in relation to the LIBOR investigation by the FCA/SFO

​CPOSA advice and representation

  • represented the command team of the Metropolitan Police in relation to the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes
  • represented police officers in relation to both Stockwell Inquiries and the resulting Inquest in relation to the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes
  • represented Sir Norman Bettison in relation to matters arising from the Lawrence inquiry
  • represented Chief Constables of Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Cleveland in relation to allegations of corruption and misconduct in public office and disciplinary issues
  • represented a number of senior officers in relation to Operation Kalmia


What Clients and Directories have said

John Harding's "experience and judgement stand out," as does his "excellent client care."

Chambers and Partners, 2018

a man of immense experience in police discipline, with fantastic judgement.”

Chambers UK, 2017

"a great lawyer with excellent judgement."

Legal 500 2017

"...well known and highly regarded" John Harding is praised for "his excellent judgement" and abilities in representing high-profile individuals. Commentators say: "He is a super lawyer - he has a great lawyer's mind and he instils a confidence in his clients. He really cares about what he is doing, which is apparent when you work with him...”

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2016

"He is a super lawyer - he has a great lawyer's mind and he instils a confidence in his clients. He really cares about what he is doing, which is apparent when you work with him...”

Chambers and Partners, 2016

"John Harding has a broad-based practice encompassing general crime, fraud and professional discipline. He is often instructed in sensitive cases led by the large UK prosecutors and has extensive experience dealing with fraud and corruption within the police force."

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2016

“John Harding is well versed in investigations and prosecutions brought by HMRC, CPS and the SFO. He acts for high-profile individuals in well-publicised matters relating to corruption and misconduct in public office."

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2015

"..recommended for his ‘fantastic client care and eye for detail..."                 Legal 500 UK, 2015

"...a force to be reckoned with and knows his stuff, but he's also got the common touch, which is very helpful," according to market sources. He has particular expertise in the police law field..."  

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2014

"...handles high-profile matters and is well established in the field of chief police officer discipline...'he is the practice area leader and the go-to guy for the Chief Police Officers' Staff Association'..."

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2014

"...praised for his broad experience and tactical nous. Fraud defence is a significant aspect of his highly regarded criminal practice."

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2014

“personable nature and conciseness which clients really appreciate”.

“Excellent judgment…..has his feet firmly on the ground”.

“The one I would turn to if I was in trouble”.

“Harding draws respect from peers for being exceptionally thorough in his work: he covers all of the bases all of the time”.




Professional societies and memberships

  • The Law Society
  • European Criminal Bar Association (ECBA)
  • London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association (LCCSA)
  • The Criminal Law Solicitors Association (CLSA)
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers (ARDL)
  • Solicitors Association of High Court Advocates (SAHCA)


Hugely experienced and really understands how best to prepare tactically for these cases."

Chambers UK 2020 - A client's guide to the UK Legal Profession the calm influence you'd definitely want in your corner if you were in trouble."

Legal 500 UK 2020

"The ‘hardworking’ John Harding leads the general crime team."

Legal 500 UK 2019

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