Year of Call: 2000
Inn of Court: Middle Temple
‘Effective in cross-examination’ – Crime – Leading Juniors (Legal 500 – 2020)
‘Excellent for client care, as well as providing detailed advice on evidence and appeals’ – Crime – Leading Juniors (Legal 500 – 2018)
‘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 and user friendly” Darren Snow specialises in three main fields – Crime, Professional Discipline and Inquests. He is a pupil supervisor, advocacy trainer and an accredited commercial mediator.
Darren undertakes direct access work and is an authorised litigator. He has experience working in the City before the Bar. Prior to pupillage he also qualified as a solicitor.
Darren started his working life straight from school, working his way up through the ranks of the insurance industry as a claims specialist, international loss adjuster and in-house lawyer before the Bar. He completed his law degree as a mature student whilst working full time. He draws upon a wealth of experience conducting investigations into complex commercial claims, managing litigation and dispute resolution work. He has worked on legal cases in Australia, Singapore, USA, and throughout Europe.
Charter Chambers and its members are regulated by the Bar Standards Board
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.
- 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 –  – 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  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  – 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.
- Northern Irish Bar (2008)
- Solicitor (2004)
- BVC – University of Law, London
- LLB(Hons) – Holborn College London
- Diploma International Arbitration – IBA / College of Law
- LL.M – City Law School, London University
- MCIArb – Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- Dip.H.E. Law – Holborn College London
- Pupil Supervisor
- Advocacy Trainer – Middle Temple
- Legal Chair – Police Disciplinary Tribunals
- Panel Chair – England Boxing Safeguarding Panel
- Panel Member – BTAS Bar Misconduct Panel
- Panel Member – Essex Youth Offending Team Referral Order Panel
- Accredited Commercial Mediator – Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- Panel Mediator – ADR ODR International
- Middle Temple
- South Eastern Circuit
- Criminal Bar Association
- Bar Pro Bono Unit
- Social Mobility Foundation
- Civil Mediation Council
- Association of Regulatory & Professional Disciplinary Lawyers
- Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- Association of Legally Qualified Chairs
- Association of Commonwealth Criminal Lawyers
- Arab Lawyers Association
- Fraud Lawyers Association
Areas of Specialism
Darren is a leading junior in the Legal 500 2017 and 2018 for Crime. He is predominantly a defence lawyer with a wide range of experience defending in murder & serious violence, sexual offences, organized crime, drugs, public order, fraud, proceeds of crime and regulatory cases. He is a Grade 3 Prosecutor with the CPS and a member of their Serious Crime and Fraud panels.
In 2016 he defended in R v O’Brien & Others, a £57 million organised crime conspiracy to steal rare rhino horn and Chinese jade artefacts from museums across the UK to ship to China, 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, a vulnerable female bank employee who was targeted and groomed, was unfit as a result of a mental health breakdown whereupon the case resolved through a contested fitness to plead procedure. In 2017 and 2018 he defended in several “county lines” drug conspiracies together with several sensitive sex and mental health cases.
In 2018 Darren was junior defence counsel, led by Dr Andreas O’Shea, in R v Dalton, a complex VAT fraud raising the legal concept of “ne bis in idem” in respect of prosecution in France. He was also junior counsel on the prosecution team in R v McInerny & Others, led by Tyrone Silcott, working with the CPS Serious Crime Unit and the Metropolitan Police Flying Squad on the prosecution of an organised crime group. So far 2019 has been dominated with defence work in sensitive sex & mental health cases and “county Lines” drug conspiracy cases.
Business & Regulatory Crime
Darren has a lot of experience defending in health & safety, environmental and serious motoring cases incl death by dangerous driving, on behalf of companies, directors and individuals. He has been instructed to advise corporate clients in the early stages of criminal & regulatory investigations. His recent work has included advising clients facing criminal investigations by the HSE and CQC in the private healthcare and care home industries.
Darren 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. In 2017 he defended in R v Bertram, the Kent “Mattress Mountain” case prosecuted by the Environment Agency. Darren’s environmental law experience includes defending in water pollution cases and several substantial cases regarding controlled waste disposal and commercial scale fly-tipping.
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.
Darren has a growing reputation in this field defending in complex and challenging cases in disciplinary hearings before regulators and on appeals before the High Court. He has built a reputation for sensitive client handling and solid case preparation putting his clients at ease.
Darren has acted for a wide range of professions – police, prison, military, legal, teaching and healthcare personnel facing their professional regulators, criminal courts, public inquiries and inquests. He is a very experienced advocate in healthcare related work acting for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. He was counsel for the second respondent, instructed by the Royal College of Nursing, in the recent PSA Appeal in the High Court of Ndlovu where the PSA sought to challenge the outstanding outcome for the nurse achieved at the underlying substantive hearing.
In the last few years much of Darren’s work has been defending nurses and midwives before the Nursing & Midwifery Council in misconduct and health cases. He has been instructed in a wide range of cases including some of the most serious allegations of misconduct re patient death in clinical, mental health and midwifery practice and allegations of sexual assault against patients. Darren has acted pro bono in several cases for nurses through the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
Darren is now also developing an expertise in police and legal regulatory work. In 2017 Darren was appointed to the Bar’s misconduct body, BTAS and now sits as a panel member on misconduct cases prosecuted by the BSB. In 2018 he was appointed as a legally qualified chair on Police disciplinary tribunals and began sitting in 2019 as chair on panels for the Metropolitan Police, BTP, City of London and MOD Police.
Darren also sits on England Boxing’s safeguarding panel and is a registered lawyer with the Football Association.
Darren is developing a strong reputation in this field representing interested parties, insurers and the families of the deceased. He has been appearing as an advocate at inquests for over 10 years. He is unafraid to press hard for answers when required and is equally robust in protecting the interests of his clients when necessary.
In 2018 Darren was counsel for the GP practice nurse, instructed by the Royal College of Nursing, in the high-profile inquest Re Lauren Sandell which examined the responsibilities of practice nurses and access to the meningitis vaccine for university students through GP practices.
Recent Art 2 Inquest work representing interested parties has included the inquest Re Sadhushi, concerning a prisoner who died at HMP Belmarsh whilst on the health wing; Re Horton, concerning a patient who escaped a secure mental health unit and was discovered days later at her home having committed suicide and Re Dunwell, concerning a patient on a secure mental health ward who had been able to consume “spice” on the ward and was found to have collapsed and died in his room overnight, possibly undiscovered for several hours despite being on specified hourly observations.
Darren has provided training on Inquest practice to solicitors and healthcare defence organisations. He is an Associate of the Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine and recently completed the Kings College Coroners Course taught by Sir Peter Thornton QC, the former Chief Coroner.
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 Chambers representative with Advocate, the Bar Pro Bono Unit. He coordinates Charter Chambers’ pro bono work which is a growing area for us. His work representing several nurses pro bono before the NMC led to him being a nominee at the 2018 Bar Pro Bono Awards for junior barrister of the year.
Darren has a keen interest in social mobility work. He spoke at the 2017 & 2018 Urban Lawyers Careers Conferences in London. In 2016, 2017 and 2018 he mentored a secondary school in the national mock trial competition run by the Citizenship Foundation and in 2016 and 2017 his school won the regional heats to reach the national finals. He has recently become a mentor with the Social Mobility Foundation, a charity focused upon opening the professions to non-traditional applicants.
Darren has been working pro bono with Essex Youth Offending Service since 2008 as a panel member on their community referral order panel dealing with young offenders.