Joint Head of Chambers

Practice area


Year of call: 1991

Before being elected to be one of 2KBW’s two Heads of Chambers, Russell was the joint Head of its Criminal Team for several years.  He has 30 years of experience in prosecuting and defending criminal cases of gravity and complexity, including homicides, drug importations and conspiracies, fraud and all types of sexual offences.

Russell is a Leading Junior and a Grade 4 CPS prosecutor, as well as a member of the CPS RASSO approved panel. His practice covers a wide geographical area, including large parts of the Western, South Eastern and Midland Circuits. He has lectured police on methods of effectively presenting police evidence in the courtroom.

Read More

Russell has particular experience in dealing with witnesses who have vulnerabilities – children and the very old, and those who have problems with their physical or mental health. He is a ‘Vulnerable Witness Facilitator’, responsible for coordinating the training of members of 2KBW as to the new requirements for dealing with such witnesses. He has recently been playing an active role in assisting the Bar and the CPS with their responses to the Law Commission’s proposals for changes to the ways in which sexual cases are dealt with at trial.

Recent Cases

Russell’s cases in 2019 – 2023 have included:

  • Operation Amalfi (leading junior, Worcester CC, March – June 2023) – prosecuting to convictions, in a series of linked trials, prisoners and their family members and friends, who had conspired to import drugs and mobile phones into prison
  • Operation Madrigal (leading Daniel Wright, St Albans CC, Feb – March 2023) – prosecuting to convictions four defendants involved in the murder of a young Eritrean man in Stevenage
  • R v H (Winchester CC, December 2022) – defending a man accused of “motor manslaughter” – driving his car at a group of people and fatally colliding with one
  • R v L (Reading CC, November 2022) – prosecuting a nurse, employed at Broadmoor hospital, accused of encouraging a patient to start a sexual relationship with her
  • R v K (leading Richard Sedgwick, Kingston CC, Oct – Nov 2022) – prosecuting to convictions a man on 12 counts of rape and serious abuse over a 20 year period
  • R v B (Portsmouth CC, October 2022) – prosecuting to conviction the “stranger rape” of a vulnerable teenager
  • R v S (Reading CC, July 2022) – prosecuting to conviction a serious sexual offence committed by a businessman on his young employee
  • R v K (Wood Green CC, May 2022) – prosecuting to conviction a case of “stranger rape”
  • R v J (Southampton CC, Jan – Feb 2022) – successfully defending, over a 6 week trial, a man who had been in charge of the Isle of Wight’s NHS primary care budget for several years, on allegations of bribery
  • R v S (Aylesbury CC, June 2021) – prosecuting a doctor accused of sexually assaulting a patient
  • R v C (Oxford CC, April 2021) – prosecuting, to conviction for rape, a man who had groomed a much younger girl to the point where she had agreed to have sex with him
  • R v N (Peterborough CC, Feb 2021)  – prosecuting, to conviction for attempted murder, a prisoner who had cut another prisoner’s neck with a razor blade
  • R v S &A (Wolverhampton CC, Feb 2021) – prosecuting to conviction two defendants for attempted murder by shooting
  • R v S (Bournemouth CC, December 2020) – prosecuting to conviction a police officer who had sexually assaulted a fellow officer
  • R v C, Isleworth C.C, March 2020: prosecuting historic allegations of indecency within a care home against a member of staff.
  • R v E, D, F, Hereford C.C, November – December 2019: prosecuting to convictions a trial of three men for armed robberies.
  • Operation Kimber (led by William Mousley QC), Winchester C.C, November 2019: successfully defending, over a three week trial, a man accused of the gross negligence manslaughter of his elderly mother.
  • Operation Rate (leading Rob Harding), Salisbury C.C, October 2019: defending, over a three week trial, a woman accused of being part of a complex and substantial conspiracy to  deal Class A drugs.
  • R v S, H, H, A, A, Wolverhampton C.C, August – September 2019: prosecuting five defendants, over a three week trial, for various allegations of ‘gang violence’, including a section 18 assault and an arson attack.
  • R v M and C, Blackfriars C.C, July – August 2019: prosecuting to convictions a trial of a seven-year conspiracy to receive, convert and export to Bangladesh many hundreds of mobile telephones.
  • R v H, Birmingham C.C, July 2019: prosecuting to convictions allegations of rape made by a child against her grandfather.
  • R v C and another, Isle of Wight C.C, April – May 2019, successfully defending at trial a man accused of child cruelty.
  • Operation Baldock (leading Alex Kettle-Williams), Inner London C.C, March – April 2019: defending, over a five week trial, the alleged ring-leader of a substantial conspiracy to defraud members of the public and to convert the proceeds.  Russell and Alex were asked to take over the defence mid-trial, after previous instructed counsel had withdrawn.
  • Rv V, Kingston C.C, March 2019: successfully prosecuting a man who had conned a series of women he met on a dating site for over £1 million.
  • R v M, K, R, A, Warwick C.C, 2019 – successfully prosecuting four security guards employed at a delivery centre for very substantial fraudulent activity.

Other Cases (Violence)

  • R v A & H (Birmingham C.C, 2018): prosecuting to convictions two defendants who had left their victim with brain injury and in a coma.
  • R v J & G (Kingston C.C, 2018): prosecuting to convictions a nine day trial against two defendants on serious firearms offences.
  • R v P, C (Kingston C.C, 2017): prosecuting to conviction an ‘acid attack’ on a member of a rival gang.
  • R v N, (Winchester C.C, 2017): prosecuting (led by Sally Howes QC), to conviction a murder with a background of domestic violence.
  • R v C (Reading C.C, 2016): prosecuting to conviction a section 18 stabbing which left the victim with life changing injuries.
  • R v H (Oxford C.C, 2016): prosecuting to conviction a woman accused of the abduction of her own child.

Other Cases (Sexual Offences)

  • R v G (Aylesbury C.C, 2018): prosecuting to conviction a man who raped his 11 year old daughter.
  • R v C (Southampton C.C, 2016): successfully defending a man accused of breaking into the house of a 101 year old woman and then attempting to rape her: the trial required extremely delicate and careful cross-examination, over a link to a nursing home, of the complainant.
  • R v S (Oxford C.C / Blackfriars C.C, 2016): prosecuting, over two trials, against a QC and a junior, an Oxford university undergraduate accused of rape.

Other Cases (Fraud):

  • R v H (Lincoln C.C, 2018): successfully defending a woman accused of laundering the proceeds of crime for her partner.
  • Operation Launch (Blackfriars C.C, 2017): this was London’s ‘Oyster Card cloning fraud’, a complex , lucrative and lengthy criminal operation utilising technology, ticket machines … and many thousands of blank white plastic cards.  After many defendants entered guilty pleas, Russell successfully prosecuted the remaining five suspects, including the two ‘ring leaders’.

Other Cases:

  • R v C and others – acting as a Leading Junior, prosecuting a seven week trial of nine youths accused of Section 18 GBH and violent disorder
  • Operation Lamb – acting for a senior police officer accused of misfeasance in a public office and perverting the course of justice
  • R v L – defending a man accused of a £35,000 confidence fraud of a vulnerable victim
  • Operation Topic – defending one of twelve defendants accused of the kidnap and false imprisonment, over a four day period, of a businessman, with the demand of a £1 million ransom
  • R v K – defending a police officer accused of raping his daughter
  • R v F – acting as junior to Queen’s Counsel in a three week trial of a man accused of raping his own four children
  • R v C – prosecuting a two week trial of historic allegation of indecency, acting against Queen’s Counsel
  • R v M – acting alone, prosecuting an allegation of causing death by dangerous driving
  • Operation Crossbow – acting as Leading Junior in a seven week trial, for a woman accused of allowing her own children to be sexually assaulted by her husband and his friends


  • LLB Bristol


  • Inner Temple (Advocacy Award)


  • Approved pupil supervisor

Click here for my Personal Privacy Statement