About the Author
Robert Banks became a barrister in 1978 and has specialised exclusively in criminal law since.
He read Economics at the University of Wales and he read law at the Inns of Court school of Law in the last year the School offered the course.
In 1986, he was leading counsel in the first two Brink's Mat £26m handling trials, R v Kenny Noye and Others, and has done mostly leading counsel work since. Over the years, he has represented many members of the Adams family from London.
Robert Banks was the leading junior for Wayne Hurran who was described by the police as Britain's most wanted man. He was also leading junior for Michael O'Connor who was implicated in a drugs conspiracy in which the cocaine was alleged to be worth £1 billion. The presiding judge of the circuit said the case was so serious only he could try it. Robert Banks was not however acting for the leading defendant.
Robert Banks was leading counsel for Gary Crane at Reading Crown Court. The case was split in two parts with the first trial in 2005 and the second trial in 2006. This case had over 1 million pages. In 2008, he represented a defendant in the first case where the prosecution applied for the whole trial to be a judge only trial before a High Court Judge.
Robert Banks wrote the first edition of Banks on Sentence in 2002. He reads all new Court of Appeal Sentencing cases, statutes and statutory instruments. Those that are relevant are summarised. He writes a column about sentencing in the prisoners' newspaper, Inside Time, answering prisoners' sentencing questions. Since 2007, he has answered about 400 letters. Robert Banks also writes articles about sentencing in legal publications.
He works from an office in Sussex, overlooking what is said to be the hill Rudyard Kipling based Pook's Hill on.
Robert Banks has spoken at many sentencing conferences. He has addressed both the Western Circuits annual conference and the Northern Circuits annual conference on sentencing.
In April 2009, Robert Banks was invited to China to advise judges and academics about guidelines for sentencing. The event was organised by Wuhan University and the Great Britain China Centre funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the EEC. It focused on those offences which carry the death penalty.
In December 2009, Robert Banks represented the United Kingdom at a Sentencing symposium in South Korea. The symposium was organised by the South Korean Ministry of Justice. The Americans were represented by Chief Justice William Sessions III who chairs the US Federal Sentencing Commission which issues the US sentencing guidelines. The symposium was to consider the proposed South Korean sentencing guidelines.
Robert Banks was a member of the South Eastern Circuit committee for 8 years. He was Chairman of the Bar Sole Practitioner's Group from 2000 - 2008. He was also a member of the Bar Council Carter Group and a member of its core committee. In 2006, the joint committee of the Houses of Parliament examined the Legal Services Bill and considered a large amount of written evidence. The only two barristers the committee asked to give oral evidence were the Chairman of the Bar and Robert Banks.