Patrick Harrington QC

Call 1973

"It is difficult to find a silk with more class or better forensic judgement."

Chambers and Partners 2019
Photo of Patrick Harrington QC


Patrick Harrington QC was called to the Bar (Gray’s Inn) in 1973 and took silk in 1993. He was appointed an Assistant Recorder in 1985 and a Recorder in 1991. As a junior barrister he practised from chambers in Cardiff but after a successful first year in silk was invited to join the Chambers of Lord Williams of Mostyn QC at Farrar’s Building from where Patrick has practised ever since; he took over as Head of Chambers in 2005.

Patrick has an established practice in the most serious and high profile criminal cases. He has appeared in over 250 homicide cases with an almost equal division between prosecution and defence. Although he continues to conduct homicide and other cases normally categorised as ‘general crime’, in recent years the bias of his practice has turned to financial crime. This is an area of work familiar to him but has now become a predominant part of his practice.

He is also instructed in Health & Safety cases having appeared in multiple death cases as well as cases such as R v Porter.

The Chambers & Partners Directory 2019 ranks Patrick Harrington in Band 1 for Crime (General) and Financial Crime.

Over the years he has been consistently highly ranked in the Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 directories.

Criminal Cases

Notable cases include the following:

R v Ryder (Operation Lunar) acted for first defendant in alleged £150m fraud. Case dismissed by the trial Judge. Co-defended with John Charles Rees QC.

R v Shahzad and 3 others (Cardiff Crown Court) prosecution arising out of bitter love triangle;

R v Sarah Morris (Mold Crown Court) gross negligence manslaughter defence of mother of twin babies she left unsupervised in the bath with fatal consequences for one;

Reid v Price (RCJ) acting or claimant in interlocutory costs hearing in a defamation action brought by Alex Reid against his former wife Katie Price;

R v Baines (Court of Appeal) unsuccessful appeal against a murder conviction

R v Garner (Mold Crown Court) defence of alcoholic man charged with murder of his long term partner;

R v Brettle (Liverpool Crown Court) guilty plea by defendant to the murder of his partner;

R v Wilson and Fitzsimons (Caernarfon Crown Court) retrial for prosecution for gross negligence manslaughter and firearms offences. Four gamekeepers and one other spent an evening on a pub crawl with a loaded shotgun in their Land Rover. The gun discharged killing one of their number. The gun owner convicted of manslaughter, his co-defendant of possessing a loaded firearm in a public place.

R v Peter Morgan (Newport Crown Court) – Defence of multi millionaire property developer charged with the murder of his ‘girlfriend’, an escort for whom he had provided a lavish lifestyle.

Operation Bulkhead (2016) – Prosecuting a six month £100 million film fraud case with 4 defendants and over 50, 000 pages of served evidence. The case was described during sentencing by the Judge as “one of the most difficult and complicated cases presented at the Bar.” All four were found guilty of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue and sentenced to a total of 29 years.

R v Simon Drew (2014) – Successfully represented an independent financial adviser charged with 34 counts of investment fraud to the value of £15m; led Shawn Williams throughout a 4½ month trial; Simon Drew was acquitted on all counts.

R v P (2014) – Successfully represented a solicitor charged with money laundering in a dismissal application at the Swansea Crown Court. A conjoined argument with two other solicitors led to the charges being dismissed.

R v Evans [ERIC] 1 WLR 2817 (2014) – Successfully represented a senior solicitor charged with conspiracy to defraud arising from a complex land transaction involving restoration obligations at open cast mining sites. Patrick was first instructed in 2010; he led John de Wall QC, and Ben Douglas Jones, instructed by Phil Williams of Blackfords, Cardiff throughout the very complex proceedings. After a week of submissions, Hickinbottom J acceded and dismissed the charge.

R v Evans [ERIC] (2014) – Successfully represented the same solicitor in resisting an application by the SFO in the SFO’s application for a Voluntary Bill of Indictment. After two weeks of argument before Fulford LJ, (sitting as a Judge of the High Court) he reserved judgment and later handed down judgement dismissing the application. The same legal team acted for Eric Evans.

R v Beadell (2014) – Represented a 22 year old man jointly charged with a drug related stabbing murder. The same defendant were also charged with firearms offences. Beadell and another were convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a tariff of 27 years.

R v Hope & Richards (2014) – Representing the prosecution in resisting appeals and an application for leave in relation conviction and appeals against sentences of life imprisonment with forty year tariffs arising from convictions for murder: application and appeals refused.

Operation Valgus – Part 3 (2014) – Prosecution of sole remaining defendant in this long running case.

Operation Valgus – Part 2 (2013/2014) – Prosecution, with Ben Douglas Jones, of 7 defendants indicted in Part 2 of a massive mortgage fraud. All pleaded guilty (at earlier hearings) either as indicted or with alternative offences.

Operation Valgus – Part 1 (2013) – Prosecuted, with Ben Douglas Jones, six defendants charged with conspiracy to defraud arising from a massive mortgage fraud involving 800 residential properties in North Wales and elsewhere. A five month trial, which resulted in the conviction of five defendants.