Fern Russell

Call: 1994


Fern Russell is a very experienced senior criminal practitioner. She defends and prosecutes the full range of serious and complex criminal offences, including murder, manslaughter, serious sexual offences, child abuse, drugs offences and fraud.

Fern prosecutes at the highest Grade (4) on behalf of the CPS and has been listed on its specialist Rape and Serious Sexual Offences panel since its inception. She is also instructed to advise the prosecution prior to charges being brought. The same level of experience, insight and skill is brought to all her defence work.

Fern appears as both sole and leading counsel. She has established a reputation for first class advocacy. Although a tough and effective cross-examiner, she is noted for her sensitive handling of vulnerable witnesses and has particular expertise in cases involving vulnerable people as defendants or complainants.

Fern is regularly instructed in cases involving serious criminal offending by professionals, including police officers, teachers, medics and therapists.

She also represents military personnel both in the Crown Court and at Court Martial.


Recent cases include:

  • R v JW:  permitting the death of a child (defence)
  • R v DLT: Rape by police officer (defence)
  • R v PLC: Multiple-complainant historic child sexual abuse within schools (prosecution)
  • R v MB: Multiple-complainant historic child sexual abuse within church setting (defence)
  • R v JE: Large scale trading standards fraud (defence)
  • Re GH: Disciplinary proceedings re police misconduct (defence)


"Fern is formidable. She is so good at presenting her client's position and invests everything she has into a case.”
Source: Chambers and Partners 2024

“She is skilled, graceful and absolutely fearless in representing clients."
Source: Chambers and Partners 2024


  • BA Hons Linguistics 1991
  • Dip. Law 1993
  • Bar Vocational Course 1994 (Outstanding: 1994 Scarman Scholar)
  • Dip. Forensic Medical Science 2012

Professional appointments

  • Deputy District Judge (appointed 2012)
  • Pupil Supervisor


  • Middle Temple (Mentor)
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Western Circuit


29 Oct 2015

Fern Russell secures acquittal in attempted murder trial

Fern Russell was instructed by Jacobs and Reeves Solicitors of Poole for the defence in a trial listed before Mr Justice Parker at Winchester...

24 Jun 2015

“Forced Marriage” acquittal – Fern Russell defends

Fern Russell defended an individual indicted for human trafficking and forced marriage offences. Following a 4 week trial at Bournemouth Crown Court the Prosecution...


Crime Team

+44 20 7353 1746