Ronald Thwaites QC

Call date: 1970 (QC 1987)

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law FirmsRonald Thwaites QC - Ranked in Chambers & Partners UK Bar Directory 2016

Areas of Practice

Experience & Expertise

There are only ever a handful of truly top advocates in every generation and Ronald Thwaites is one of them.  He has covered a vast spectrum of work during the course of a long career and he specialises in complex and high profile cases of all kinds. He originally established his reputation in heavyweight crime, made a unique but successful transition to defamation, privacy and media work, acting in almost equal parts for claimants and defendants, and has appeared in more libel jury trials than anyone else at the bar in the last fifteen years. He has not lost a jury libel case in the last ten years.

Apart from appearing for the police in major public inquiries, inquests and actions in malicious prosecution brought against them, he has developed a strong following in health and safety and other regulatory work, acting regularly for corporate clients as well as individuals. Pensions, including pension mis-selling cases are another area of activity in which he excels.

He is a versatile practitioner, equally at home in an advisory capacity as he is in when determining court strategy and in fighting cases to a finish in court.

Ronald Thwaites acted for the successful defendant Tom Bower in the last major picture-book jury trial in July 2009 and he was awarded ‘Defamation Silk of the Year’ award by Chambers Directory Awards the same year. He also won the libel case of Sarah Thornton v Daily Telegraph in July 2011.

He acted for the Comissioner of Police of the Metropolis in Fitzpatrick, Wilkey & TBW Solicitors v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2012] EWHC 12 (Admin), Globe J, a Malicious Prosecution case which he also won.

Current & Recent Work

Details of his historic and current cases are available on request

Directory Comments

“The best jury advocate of his generation. Over the years we’ve used him in a great number of cases.” “He’s fun, he’s bullish and he’s an absolute pleasure to work with”
Chambers UK 2014 – Defamation/Privacy
“He does the heavy cases and is one of the leaders in his field. We use him for the really big cases because of his unparalleled ability to cross-examine witnesses.”
Chambers UK 2014 – Police Law
Ronald Thwaites QC is hailed by instructing solicitors as “the quintessential jury advocate” and, as such, this “phenomenal cross-examiner” remains quite rightly a top choice for defamation cases before a jury. He successfully represented Sara Thornton against the Telegraph Media Group in a case notable for being the first matter in which an offer of amends defence was overturned by a finding of malice. Clients openly gawp at the power of his advocacy and his advisory work, while one in particular ruefully remarked: “I really wish we had a tape-recorder on in the first meeting; it was that good; he told us how the case would play, how the opposing counsel would play it, and he was entirely correct.” 
Chambers UK 2013 - Defamation/Privacy
Ronald Thwaites QC of Ely Place Chambers “is a superb cross examiner and an absolutely faultless advocate,” according to one market source. He has a varied practice, which takesin the occasional high-profile health and safety case. He represented the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis in a trial brought on health and safety grounds following the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.
Chambers UK 2013 – Health and Safety
Ronald Thwaites QC of Ely Place Chambers remains very popular with the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and has recently successfully appeared in the High Court in a misfeasance action in which the Claimants were ordered to pay all costs.
Chambers UK 2013 – Police Law
“A fantastic jury man, who is also great in front of judges,” Ron Thwaites QC has an excellent pedigree in high-profile jury trials. Acting on behalf of famous individuals, media organisations and sports stars, “he brings much swash and plenty of buckle to proceedings.”
Chambers and Partners 2011
‘The standing of the “venerable and hugely respected” Ronald Thwaites QC is such that to some he is known simply as “The Ron and only.”
Chambers and Partners 2011
‘Ronald Thwaites QC is a highly sought-after leading silk. He continues to be instructed by the Commissioner of the Metropolis and chief constables in relation to health and safety, inquiries and inquests.’
Chambers and Partners 2011
‘Ronald Thwaites QC at Ely Place Chambers is ‘truly first class’
Legal  500 2011
‘Of his courtroom style, peers remark: “He’s a real fighter. If you want a serious criminal-style cross-examination he’s really good; he will take on anyone – including the judge!”
Chambers and Partners 2011