Tony has, since 2003, developed a strong criminal practice and appears regularly in Courts across the North East and beyond.

Tony receives instructions in cases across the full spectrum of serious criminal cases. He has considerable experience of public interest immunity (PII) disclosure issues arising from serious sexual offences. He receives regular instructions in cases involving serious violence, robbery, murder, firearms, dishonesty, fraud, historic sexual abuse and drugs conspiracies as well as road traffic and other offences in the Magistrates' Court.

He is well regarded among solicitors for the high level of client and witness care that he provides and has particular strengths when it comes to the representation of the more demanding clients and those with complex needs. He has developed a reputation for his approachability and the way he puts even the most anxious of lay client and witness at ease.

Tony is always more than happy to provide written advice on evidence and sentence as well as the prompt and very full drafting of all documents for use at, or prior to and following trial.


Tony has undertaken work in local Magistrates' and Crown Courts in the areas of:

  • Environmental Protection
  • RSPCA and animal welfare
  • Marine Management
  • Local authority (trading standards, benefit fraud, planning contraventions, RIPA and taxi licensing)
  • Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order cases
  • Ionising Radiation Regulations

Motor Offences

Tony is regularly instructed in relation to motor offences . He deals with all aspects of road traffic offences including death by dangerous driving, drink driving, speeding, excess alcohol, totting up offences, driving whilst disqualified and “road rage” offences. He has a particular interest in "loophole" cases.

Legal Professional Privilege

Tony is also instructed to provide on-site advice to police forces and the NHS in this complex and ever-developing area of law. He has advised in complex charity frauds, large-scale money laundering offences as well as suspicious deaths and murder. Issues of legal professional privilege often arise, sometimes at very short notice, during the course of an investigation, long before any formal charge is laid. Ensuring compliance with issues of privilege preserves the integrity of an investigation and can prevent problems arising later in court, sometimes leading to the collapse of a case at huge cost.


  • CPS Grade 3 Prosecutor
  • Associate Lecturer Northumbria University
  • Northumbria Local Criminal Justice Board Member and Bar Representative


  • North Eastern Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Chartered Institute of Linguists
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers


  • BA(Hons) French and Spanish
  • Licence-ès-Lettres in Applied Modern Languages
  • PGDL and BVC


Tony is an Associate Lecturer at Northumbria University and is an accredited advocacy teacher by the Advocacy Training Council. Prior to his appointment Tony has, for several years, conducted advocacy workshops with Bar students at Northumbria University and delivers lectures on “Interpreting within the Justice System” to Postgraduate students of Bilateral Interpreting at Newcastle University. Prior to becoming a barrister Tony worked as a freelance interpreter, with particular involvement in Asylum and Immigration matters and speaks French to Court standard.


Clerking team

Liam Gorman

Lead Criminal & Regulatory Clerk

0191 245 9521

Clerk (Middlesbrough)

01642 247 569

Criminal & Regulatory Clerk

0191 245 9542

Criminal Clerk

0191 245 9550
  • "Tony brings a unique blend of panache and close attention to detail to every case he is instructed in"

    Legal 500 2024

  • "Knowledgeable and professional representation"

    Client feedback

  • "the friendly and relaxing nature of communication with Tony Cornberg...was appropriate and more than helpful in my moments of uncertainty and stress"

    Client feedback

  • "Tony is very personable, and is able to develop an immediate rapport with any client, even very difficult or demanding ones. He has good way of cutting to the heart of a matter and explaining things in a client-friendly manner."

    Crime, Legal 500 2023

  • "approachable, reassuring within reason and positive at times when I feared the worst or was exhausted by the process"

    Client feedback

  • "the expertise of Tony preparation for and appearance at court were second-to-none"

    Client feedback

  • "Tony is very dedicated and hardworking. He has an excellent grasp on a case from the start, and a manner which clients warm to easily."

    Legal 500 2022

  • "Tony is an exceptional barrister. He is down to earth and I know that he will build an immediate rapport even with the most challenging clients"

    Legal 500 2021

  • "Experienced in handling cases involving serious violence"

    Legal 500 2019

  • "His practice covers the full spectrum of serious criminal matters"

    Legal 500 2017

  • "Experienced in cases involving violent crime, sexual offences and fraud"

    Legal 500 2016

  • "Very knowledgeable, and his research and written work are second to none"

    Legal 500 2015

R v Raymond Brown and others – junior Counsel in a murder where the deceased was stabbed more than 30 times.

R v Kelly-Ann Raisbeck and others – a section 18 GBH trial following a savage group attack on a homeless man.

R v Shaun Robson – a section 18 wounding trial involving the “householder defence” and the question of “grossly disproportionate force”.

R v NJ – junior Counsel in a murder trial involving 2 teenage girls.

R v SR – 6-week trial involving allegations of modern slavery, representing the only defendant to be acquitted.

R v Nicholas Wilson and others – trial involving a large-scale conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine in the North-East, with links both national and international.

R v Tron and others -  £23m international cocaine smuggling and associated money laundering trial, defendants having conspired to smuggle drugs using employment at P&O ferries as a cover.

R v SK and others - large-scale conspiracy to supply “spice” – a new psychoactive substance – in the Newcastle area.

R v Guthrie and others – large-scale football-related violence following Newcastle United FC vs Sunderland AFC involving the widely-reported “horse-punch” incident.

R v Maxwell Brennan - bomb-hoax and hostage-taking offence that occurred at Byker Jobcentre in the wake of terror attacks in London and Manchester.

R v PP and others - large-scale case of sexual exploitation involving young females in care who became addicted to drugs, part of Operation Wren.

R v LH – acting for a vulnerable female defendant where she was groomed by a predatory male and persuaded to exchange indecent images involving her own child.

R v SA – leading junior counsel in 8-week trial involving widespread historical allegations of abuse against vulnerable young women, under the umbrella of Operation Optic. No evidence offered during the trial, which later collapsed completely due to widely- reported problems with the investigation.

R v KM and others – junior counsel in a series of trials under the umbrella of Operation Sanctuary/Shelter

R v Barber – trial with allegations of systematic and sexual abuse on young boys over a period of 3 decades.


R v Daljit Rai and others – junior counsel in an 8-week trial relating to the widespread provision of illegal labour on large building projects

R v Wayne Cullen and others – a large “points-swapping” conspiracy orchestrated by a well-known local businesswoman and OBE recipient

R v Shiya Zhang and others – a trial that centred around the alleged large-scale importation and sale of counterfeit goods.

R v MK and others – prosecuting part of a wide-spread "vishing" fraud totalling over £80m and spread across various jurisdictions.

R v Wright and others – “cash for crash” motor accident insurance fraud conspiracy with over 90 Defendants.

R v Wright – defending an environmental prosecution with an alleged benefit figure in excess of £3m.

R v Muldoon – defending a POCA application in a class A drugs conspiracy involving an alleged benefit of £2.5m. 

R v Cheng and Zhou – prosecuting for trading standards in a POCA case involving criminal lifestyle said to be funded by the wholesale importation of counterfeit designer goods.

R v AS – a case involving a car-chase where shots were fired from a moving vehicle

R v Ireneus Pierik – a case of people-smuggling from India to the UK via Europe.

R v CL – representing defendant in complex computer case.

Reid v Burnside and others – a 13 day appeal against conviction, co-defending alongside Leading Counsel in a noise nuisance case.

R v JB – defending in a gangland retaliation case involving co-ordinated damage to vehicles, the procuring of firearms and a cross-over between several large-scale police operations. The case ultimately collapsed against the defendants following 8 days of legal argument.