Richard is a criminal silk described by Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 as “exceptionally bright”, “a stand out name”, “ a leading name in his field” and “ has a wonderful calming manner with clients.” He is simply outstanding in front of a jury, has exceptional advocacy skills and his wealth of experience is clear to see.
He is involved in the most serious/high-profile criminal cases. He successfully defended the first Defendant Gregory Frankel (Director of Fowler Oldfield) in R v Frankel and Others [2021- 22] the largest Money Laundering case in UK legal history attracting huge media interest as the son in law of Bernie Ecclestone was a defendant, and the FCA had already prosecuted the NatWest (the bank used by Fowler Oldfield) who had pleaded guilty to Money Laundering offences arising out of the facts of the case. Cash was deposited approximating £264m into Nat West over five years. The result after an 8 month trial was a hung jury; the re-trial is listed for October 2024.
He defended in R v Reynard Sinaga (2016-20), the most prolific sex offender in worldwide legal history, a case attracting international interest and influencing Government policy on the classification of GHB. Richard successfully prevented an Attorney General appeal for a whole life sentence in the Appellate court.
He defended in R v Mark Peers (2021-2022) in what the BBC reported as the “UK’s biggest ever drug conspiracy” concerning importation of controlled drugs in vast quantities from the European continent into the UK. The case is ongoing.
He represented two directors in two companies in a complex multi-million pound Fraudulent Trading case alleging both Directors were complicit in misleading consumers nationally in the Bi-Fold doors industry. Both were acquitted of all charges brought [R v Green and Warren 2020].
Richard also famously defended and dismissed the largest HMRC tax avoidance case in legal history (£134m film scheme fraud) R v Jonathan Hirst.
His skills as a defence jury advocate and his desire to fight for his client is obvious from the numerous repeated acquittals he secures (see cases below).
Richard is instructed by the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS in complex matters including an Appeal Conviction concerning a high profile execution murder in Liverpool. Richard successfully argued against the conviction being held unsafe due to a suggested Gateway F bad character misdirection [R v Gabbana 2020].
Richard has defended with success in significant reported cases such as R v Rainzeib Ahmed & Habib Ahmed, the first prosecution in the UK alleging membership of Al Qaeda and leading authority on hearsay admissibility. He successfully defended in R v Farah, a defendant charged with international terrorism connected to the Jihadi Twins, and also in the famous case of R v Stringer, a significant reported pre R v Jogee joint enterprise parasitic accessorial liability murder case.
He is Head of Manchester Exchange Chambers Criminal Department and Head of Professional Discipline. He also specialises in defending police officers up to and including the rank of superintendent, both in the Crown Court, before their disciplinary bodies, the Police Appeal Tribunals and in the High Court. He is also regularly instructed to defend those before the GMC, GCC, Football Association Disciplinary Panels and Inquests.
Richard has written many published legal articles, regularly presents lectures to fellow professionals, attends schools and universities to meet with students and is currently part of a professional committee advising and contributing towards a government report on ADHD in the Criminal Justice System: A case for Change (a topic Richard has a strong personal interest in).
Cases in Silk
Below are some of the cases Richard has conducted in silk.
R vs James Johnson (2023) – secured an acquittal for his client on murder and manslaughter charges.
R vs Lynette Myers (2023) – secured the only acquittal in a multi-handed murder, rape and false imprisonment trial lasting 7 weeks.
R v Herish Zandi & Others (2023) 5 defendants charged with the murder of one man and a separate causing of grievous bodily harm to another man in a rival business feud. Mid trial after effective cross examination of prosecution witnesses and negotiation between prosecution and the Herish team, not guilty verdicts were returned for both murder and separate s18 matter. Instead this defendant accepted manslaughter on a carefully agreed “loss of control” basis. The result was a comparatively modest sentence.
R v TK (2023) – defending a student in a complex consent rape trial and acquitted.
R v Gregory Frankel (2023) – defending main defendant Mr Frankel in a £260m Money Laundering trial involving Natwest and the son in law of Bernie Ecclestone. Attracting considerable national publicity. Hung Jury following 8 month trial and re-trial now October 2024. This case was vastly complex concerning the gold industry and AML regulations. The case has been described as the largest international money laundering case in UK legal history.
R v Mark Peers (2021-2022) – Defending in the largest Class A importation case in UK legal history. Ongoing.
R v Pharrell Roberts (2022) – defending multiple defendant joint enterprise murder trial lasting for 17 year old defendant in complex cut throat case. The only defendant acquitted.
R v Anthony Atha (2021) – defending in multi hander murder trial at Bradford Crown Court and again the only one to be acquitted.
R v Denver Walton (2021) – defending 18 year old in a murder trial concerning the fatal stabbing of best friend. Issue self-defence. Acquitted.
R v Reyhnard Sinaga (2020) – defending the world’s most prolific sex offender. Success in Appellate court resisting Whole Life Order.
R v Ray Green and Claire Warren (2020) – defending two directors and two companies in a Trading Standards prosecution alleging Fraudulent Trading in a multi-million pound case alleging Directors complicit in misleading consumers nationally in Bi-Fold Industry. Both acquitted.
R v Gabbana (2020) – instructed by the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS in a complex Appeal Conviction concerning a high profile execution murder in Liverpool and successfully argued against the conviction being unsafe due to a suggested Gateway F bad character misdirection.
R v McKeon (2019) defending Detective Constable in Merseyside Police charged with unauthorised use of the police computer systems for private purpose during her duties in the Major Crime Unit investigating the Kinsella/Paul Massey Murder case. Acquitted.
Professional Discipline Cases in Silk
Superintendent Paul Staniforth (2023) defending 6 week misconduct and PAT in discipline case brought by Gwent Police concerning sexual harassment of a junior female colleague.
PC Gaffney (2023) – defending misconduct and PAT in discipline case brought by GMP concerning abuse of process issues and dangerous driving / dishonesty allegations.
DI Ben Meakin (2021) – defending misconduct and PAT in discipline case brought by Derbyshire Police for senior officer alleged to have contravened professional standards by engaging in a campaign of sexual harassment towards 6 young female police officers whilst on duty.
Sgt Emmett (2021) defending misconduct brought by GMP regarding senior officer alleged to have deliberately spat at a detainee. Officer’s conduct caught on CCTV. Issue for the Panel was not simply factual; the psychiatric condition of the Officer and whether her impulsivity and lack of control was brought on from her previous diagnosis of PTSD.
PC Frazer Green (2020) – Officer at a misconduct hearing. Alleged to have accessed police systems without policing purpose. Issues of Abuse of Process and the
relevance of a mental health diagnosis of adjustment disorder to the actions of the officer.
Professional Inquests in Silk
Death in Custody Inquest (2022) – 6 week Inquest touching upon the death of KHB, a detained person in police custody, at Preston Coroner’s Court acting for PC Price, one of the arresting officers. No adverse findings made against this officer.
Inquest representing Naveed Gill (2019) – defending in an inquest concerning death following car accident alleging defective vehicle responsible and defending those responsible for service/ repairs to vehicle. No adverse findings.