Craig Harris

Top_tier_firmsHe has “boundless knowledge”

Young, Summers & Corker on Abuse of Process in Criminal Proceedings (Bloomsbury, 3rd ed)

He shows “a high aptitude for dealing with thorny arguments”

Ranked as a leading individual by the Legal 500, 2016


  • All areas of serious crime, including murder and organised crime
  • Restraint, asset forfeiture and confiscation proceedings
  • Recovery of private costs in the criminal courts
  • Regulatory and driving offences
  • Extradition proceedings
  • Licensing committee hearings
  • Disciplinary tribunal proceedings

Craig has conducted cases before the European Court of Human Rights and the UK Supreme Court (leave proceedings), and is regularly instructed in the most serious and complex criminal matters before the Court of Appeal and at trial.  He also appears before disciplinary tribunals, representing high-profile individuals and the Football Association.


  • Retained in $billion international, multi-jurisdictional dividend arbitrage/withholding tax proceedings
  • Instructed in an alleged multi-handed £10m mortgage fraud


  • Acted for the Football Association in a high-profile Premier League player’s appeal against suspension
  • Acted for the first Defendant in the murder of Shahena Uddin
  • Defended in Operation Brutus; drug trafficking by an organised crime group

See the sections at the bottom of this page for other notable cases and press coverage by practice area.


Craig is a criminal defence specialist.

He regularly appears in cases of murder, kidnap, serious violence, firearms, large-scale drugs operations (including ‘Europe’s largest drugs conspiracy and the UK’s largest importation), arson, serious sexual offences and offences of dishonesty, including fraud and proceedings for perverting the course of justice.

His expertise includes:

  • Complicated conspiracy cases, centring around Organised Criminal Networks
  • Defending sensitive cases involving informants and Public Interest Immunity-protected material
  • Significant Trading Standards and Local Authority prosecutions
  • Sensitive cases concerning sexual conduct and related matters
  • Advising independently on appeal following criminal conviction
  • Applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission

Craig has a particular interest in cases involving novel law and legal argument, demonstrated in the notable cases section below.

He is experienced in conducting all ancillary proceedings that arise particularly out of drugs, fraud, money laundering and other dishonesty cases and has contested multi-million pound confiscation proceedings, forfeiture applications and applications for disqualification of directors.

He has prosecuted hearings on behalf of the CPS, DWP and RCPO and is appointed to the CPS General Crime Panel of advocates.

Craig has experience of dealing with cases concerning the mental health provisions and historical allegations.  He has conducted cases centring on fitness to plead, not-insane automatism and insanity defences, and cases involving young and vulnerable defendants and witnesses.


Craig has appeared before:

  • The County Court
  • The Coroner’s Court
  • Licensing Committee hearings
  • Disciplinary tribunals and Regulatory commissions
  • The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal

He is available to conduct site visits and provide advice at all stages of the licensing process, from the application and renewal stage through to breach and revocation proceedings.


Acknowledged contributor to Young, Summers & Corker on Abuse of Process in Criminal Proceedings (Bloomsbury, 3rd ed.)

Policy Knowledge Event Lecture: A New Strategy to Tackle Dangerous Dogs – Assessing the Reforms to the Dangerous Dogs Act, May 2015

Please contact Craig by email or via Chambers’ clerks to discuss inviting him to speak at any event.

Notable cases and press coverage by practice area below

Appellate Proceedings

R v F [2014] EWCA Crim 2788:  Successful appeal against sentence – sexual offences – submissions described by the Court of Appeal as “skilled” and “carefully formulated”

R v Robinson-Pierre [2013] EWCA Crim 2396Successful appeal against conviction – seminal case concerning interpretation of section 3(1) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 – extent to which liability is “strict” – prosecution application for leave successfully opposed at Supreme Court level – press reports here and here

Harkins and Edwards v the UK (European Court of Human Rights, 2012; Application No. 32650/07):  Argued that extradition to the USA to face charges for an “execution style murder” and possible life imprisonment without possibility of parole would violate Article 3 of the European Convention – overturned the House of Lords decision in Wellington regarding application of the Convention in extradition cases – Led by Mark Summers QC – ECHR press release of Chamber judgement here and press reports here

R v Maurice Flanders [2011] EWCA Crim 2121: Appeal against sentence – dwelling burglary – multitude of antecedent burglaries – effect on sentence – application of section 153 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 vis-a-vis public protection in sentencing

R v Lyons [2010] EWCA Crim 155Appeal against sentence against refusal of the single judge to grant leave – appropriate sentence for multiple breaches of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order – submissions described by the Court of Appeal as “exceptionally competent”, “bold” and “succinctly but forcefully made”

Homicide & Serious Violence

The murder of Shahena Uddin (2015): Murder – familial homicide – death of vulnerable adult – Led by Lisa Wilding QC – press reports here

R v Merice Brown (2015): Attempted murder – shooting – confession 10 years after the event – press reports here

R v Darko-Kwakye (2014-2015): Leading counsel – Gangland kidnap for ransom – drugs deal gone wrong – second revenge kidnap followed – torture – firearms – hot irons – GBH – perverting the course of justice – see the trial judge’s observations here

The Surjeet Singh killing (2014): Conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent – violent disorder – stabbing – press reports here

The Reece Menzies murder (2013): Alleged gangland murder – shooting – manslaughter verdicts –press reports here

R v Garratty & Others (2013): Armed robbery – Flying Squad  – conspiracy to rob to multiple small businesses with live firearms – press reports here

R v Bethel & Others (2013): Armed robbery – orchestrated raid of a high value goods storage facility – use of cable ties, CS gas and multiple getaway vehicles

Football-related violence:  Including West Ham and Sunderland violence (2014) – Violent disorder at the Wembley FA Cup Final amongst Millwall fans (2013) – Operartion Balconi (widespread violence between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham fans)

R v Sahil Patel (2010): Gangland drug-related kidnap for ransom

Craig regularly appears in cases of section 18 and 20 GBH, robbery at all levels (from robberies on the street and in the home, to armed cash-in-transit), ABH and all forms of violent offences involving weapons.


Operation Brutus (2015):  Widespread commercial drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracy – press reports here

R v Bhatia (2013-2014):  SOCA prosecution – multi-million pound drugs and cigarette importation – approximately 50kg of cocaine, 100kg of cannabis and millions of cigarettes imported through a bonded warehouse – Led by Oliver Blunt QC

Operation Nemesis (2013) – Acted for Scott Rafferty – family drugs “empire” – press reports here

R v Dang & Others (Operation Opaque; Central Criminal Court, 2012): International organised crime syndicate conspiring to produce cannabis on largest ever scale in the UK – said to be the largest drugs conspiracy ever uncovered in Europe – acquitted following 4-month trial – press reports here

R v Glen Cornick (Operation Beath II, 2011): The UK’s largest drugs importation – tonnes of cocaine and cannabis imported worth more than £100million – £28million confiscation proceedings conducted alone – Led by Oliver bunt QC – press reports here

The “K Network” (2011): Conspiracy to supply drugs from London to Norwich – flooding Norwich with class A drugs – represented a leading defendant

Fraud, Dishonesty, and Regulatory Offences

R v Iqbal (2015): Trading Standards prosecution – large-scale conspiracy to produce and import counterfeit clothing from Pakistan – confiscation proceedings pending

R v Karl Gilleeney – VAT fraud conspiracy

R v Smith (Operation Bugs, 2013): Trading Standards prosecution – conspiracy to defraud – national Sky box warranty fraud – press reports here

R v S & Others (2013): Newham Borough Council prosecution – extensive HMO and regulatory/welfare offences charged against a limited company and its directors in person – successful application of the ruling in Sumal and Sons to stay confiscation proceedings worth more than half-a-million pounds

R v Omarov & Angelov (2013): Perverting the course of justice – alleged to attempt by a Russian billionaire and a head hotel concierge to “buy off” a prosecution witness – acted for the concierge – press reports here

R v Nicholas & Smith (2012): Retained as leading counsel – DEFRA prosecution – animal welfare and “cattle ringing” fraud

Operation Icicle (2012): Successful application to dismiss charges arising out of a large-scale car ringing and exportation conspiracy

Serious Sexual Offences

R v SH (2014): Rape following serious violence within relationship – issues surrounding application of the ‘section 75’ presumptions against consent

R v MH (2014): Rape – adult defendant with IQ of a child – fitness to plead in issue

R v MP (2012):  Alleged kidnap, false imprisonment and violent gang rape

R v RJ (2010): Sexual offences against children – historical allegations – multiple complainants – making and possession of indecent images

R v D (2009):  Perverting the course of justice – juvenile charged with making false allegations to have been victim of a double rape by two brothers

Other High Profile Cases

Thomas Hitzlsperger: Represented the former German international and Premier League football star, “Der Hammer” – press reports here

Derek Chisora:  Represented the World Heavyweight title contender

Eric Hall:  Represented the flamboyant football and entertainment industry agent

Kent Police v Rusha:  Cash detention and forfeiture proceedings stemming from the infamous £50m Tonbridge Securitas depot heist