Practice area


Year of call: 2010

Kelly specialises in matters concerning complex and serious criminal offences, particularly those involving terrorism, homicide, cybercrime, fraud, bribery, firearms and large-scale drugs supply.

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Kelly is regularly instructed in politically sensitive and high-profile cases, often as either leading counsel or as a led junior. He has particular expertise in matters involving sensitive material and investigative procedures. He also has experience of cases with cross-jurisdictional issues, such as war crimes, international cybercrime, and terrorist offences committed abroad. Before coming to the Bar, he was an officer in the Royal Marines.

Kelly is a CPS grade 4 prosecutor and a member of both the CPS Counter-Terrorism and Serious Crime Group panels. He is appointed to the Serious Fraud Office panel B of junior counsel. He is regularly instructed by the CPS Divisions and more recently by the SFO.

He is experienced in working with a range of investigative agencies and government departments and much of his practice involves cases with an international dimension. This sees him regularly instructed to advise and work alongside multi-disciplinary teams and assist in the management of reviews concerning very large volumes of material. He is therefore well-versed at advising in the early stages of a prosecution in regard to evidential and disclosure issues pre-charge.

Kelly also advises and represents private individuals facing investigation and prosecution. In particular, he has experience of assisting those being prosecuted in their professional capacity, or for whom an adverse finding will have significant professional repercussions. He has provided advice in the commercial sector and is able to combine his knowledge of criminal law with an understanding and appreciation of corporate structures and commercial concerns.


Examples of recent and ongoing cases include:

R v HQ and Others (ongoing) – Birmingham Crown Court: leading counsel prosecuting four defendants charged with conspiring to assist unlawful immigration. This case concerns systematic people smuggling by an organised crime group spanning the UK and Europe.

R v RG and Others (ongoing) – Chelmsford Crown Court: leading counsel prosecuting four defendants charged with conspiring to import 280 kg of cocaine. An ‘encro-chat’ case.

R v FP and Others (ongoing) – Southwark Crown Court: led junior prosecuting eight defendants accused of conspiracy to bribe a police officer.

R v JQ and Others (2021) – Winchester Crown Court: leading counsel prosecuting five members of an organised criminal gang conspiring to burgle high-net worth homes and steal performance vehicles.

R v HC (2021) – Birmingham Crown Court: led junior prosecuting a defendant charged with being a member of the so-called Islamic State and funding terrorism. The case involved the use of bitcoin transfers conducted across a number of countries in order to funnel proceeds into the so-called Islamic State.

R v Y (2021) – Portsmouth Crown Court: defending company accounts manager accused of stealing over £190k from employer.

R v DB, PN & SN (2020) – Central Criminal Court: led junior prosecuting three defendants for their respective roles in the preparation and funding of acts of terrorism.

R v HA (2020) – Central Criminal Court: second junior led by First Senior Treasury Counsel prosecuting a defendant on an indictment that included twenty-two counts of murder arising from his involvement in an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in 2017.

R v AJ (2019) – Central Criminal Court: prosecuting a fighter returning to the UK for attendance at training camps in Iraq and Syria. Led by First Senior Treasury Counsel.

R v K & A (2019) – Central Criminal Court: led junior prosecuting two defendants accused of distributing terrorist publications via a website that supported the so-called Islamic State and promoted the sermons of radical extremist preacher Abdullah el-Fasial.

R v L (2019) – Central Criminal Court: defendant made plans to launch a terrorist attack against pedestrians in Oxford Street. Led by First Senior Treasury Counsel, Mark Heywood QC.

R v K (2019) – Blackfriars Crown Court: led junior prosecuting a defendant who was paid to conduct denial of service (DDoS) attacks against a telecoms provider and did so on such a large scale that his actions resulted in taking a whole African state offline.

R v D (2018) – Portsmouth Crown Court: defending a soldier against allegations of theft from a public department in the context of a highly sensitive intelligence role and complex accounting procedures.


Inn: Gray’s Inn

Education: BA, GDL, BVC (Outstanding), Uthwatt Scholar (Gray’s Inn) 2009

Misc: Pupil Supervisor

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