Peter Birkett Q.C. began his career in London before moving to Manchester in 1977. He practised in general Common Law as a junior but since taking Silk in 1989 has built his reputation in the Criminal courts. In April of 2017 he celebrated 28 years as a Queen’s Counsel making him one of the senior and most experienced Criminal Silks in the country.
He is first and foremost an Advocate and his work in recent years has been in cases of the greatest gravity. He has acted both for the Prosecution and the Defence in over 200 murder trials but he is equally at home in cases of gross negligence manslaughter, fraud and corruption.
He now combines his practice with sitting part time as a Judge in various jurisdictions. As a Recorder he sits in the North West but has also been approved to sit at the Central Criminal Court in London. In 1999 he was appointed a Deemster of the High Court in the Isle of Man where he has tried cases of the most serious type including murder, rape and serious fraud.
In addition his interest in the development of Advocacy skills has lead to appointment as Vice Chairman of the Advocacy Training Council of England and Wales; he has developed and delivered Advocacy training programmes in a variety of foreign jurisdictions and has lead or assisted in such programmes in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Lahore, Islamabad ,Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Belize, Sierra Leone, Ghana, the Hague and closer to home at Keble College Oxford.
Now approaching 70 he plans to continue in practice part time and to undertake work where his experience and particular skills are most required.
In January 2017 he was appointed the Judicial Consultant on a DFID funded Anti Corruption project in Ghana “ Strengthening Action against Corruption”. This two year project which requires him to make 5 trips a year to Ghana involves capacity building and training of the Judiciary and reforming the trial process to render it more efficient in dealing with serious cases of financial fraud and corruption. He plans to accept further overseas consultancies in the future but will make himself available to undertake criminal cases in the UK when his diary permits.
He is married with 2 grown up boys; he lives in Cheshire and his recreations include golf ( Captain Wilmslow GC 2011/12 ) music of all sorts ( for 9 years he was the keyboard player for the Circuit 60’s revival band The Prestons) travel and country living.