Chris Whitehouse

  • Year of Call 1997

"An exceptional advocate with a good rapport with juries" - Legal 500 Leading Individual 2020

Career Overview

Chris is a leading junior with a reputation for winning cases against the odds. He is instructed in high-profile defence work and appears regularly at the Central Criminal Court. He leads other counsel in serious criminal cases as well as appearing with Queen’s Counsel or alone.

Chris’s cases often involve challenging expert evidence such as DNA, cell-site, toxicology and computer/internet use. He often represents those with complex needs, vulnerable defendants and those suffering mental impairment.

He is trusted by those instructing him to fight their client’s corner fearlessly and to handle the most difficult situations, both inside and outside court. He engages easily with clients to put them at their ease and bring out their best evidence, even in the most serious of allegations.

In 2018 Chris delivered a lecture to the Cabinet Office at in the Treasury on “Fraud, Defence and Disclosure”.

Areas of Expertise

  • General crime
  • Murder, attempted murder and serious violence
  • Fraud and financial crime, POCA and confiscation proceedings
  • Drugs conspiracies
  • Sexual offences

Notable Cases

Murder and serious violence

R v JDN (January 2019) – Central Criminal Court – armed gangland ‘ride out’

Led by Queen’s Counsel for the second defendant in a gangland case where the defendants were alleged to have been on a ‘ride-out’ with a car full of deadly weapons.

The defendants were arrested in a high speed chase in which three SO19 firearms officers alleged that they had been fired upon. Chris was instructed when the defendants were charged with attempted murder, charges which were downgraded when forensics disproved the discharge of a shotgun.


Within the stolen car were a cache of weapons including a zombie knife, an axe, three other knives, face coverings, latex gloves and a can of petrol to destroy the car and the evidence.

The prosecution relied heavily on expert evidence on gang culture, local postcode intelligence up-loaded drill music lyrics and videos from two of the defendants.

Read BBC article
Read the Standard article

R v AA (March 2019) – Central Criminal Court – attempted murder

Attempted murder where the alleged victim was stabbed eight times in an altercation with a knife that was brought to the scene.

R v AS (May 2018) – Central Criminal Court – multi-handed murder

Led junior for the first defendant in a multi-handed ‘revenge’ murder heard at the Old Bailey over three months. The victim was killed in a pre-planned revenge-killing, following a string of tit-for-tat incidents over previous months.

The case involved complex issues of DNA and telephone cell-site which put the defendant at the scene.

A former co-defendant (‘PM’) turned Queen’s Evidence and testified against the other defendants and gave evidence over two weeks. Chris and his leader managed to uncover sections of CCTV which had been missed by the murder squad and which they deployed in cross-examination to demonstrate that PM had been circling the victim’s location in his car for a whole hour earlier than he claimed to have been on the scene.

Read BBC article
Read Mirror article
Read news article

R v RG and others (May 2018) – Central Criminal Court – multi-handed murder

Led junior in a multi-handed ‘revenge’ murder.

Financial Crime

R v MAR (ongoing) – Kingston Crown Court – four-month £12m fraud

Leading junior for the second Defendant in this four-month case alleging over £12 million-worth of fraud and money laundering against HMRC.

R v KA (February 2019) – Central Criminal Court – diversion fraud

Leading junior in £6million international diversion fraud and money laundering conspiracy prosecuted by the National Crime Agency.

The defendant was alleged to have been the leading figure in a criminal conspiracy covering multiple jurisdictions and twelve identified victim companies over three years.

The case involved expert computer evidence, use of VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), telephone Whatsapp, Skype and social media messaging evidence. Read the Standard article

R v HK (May 2018) – Southwark Crown Court – immigration fraud

Led junior in a multi-handed fraud arising from the BBC Panorama programme’s investigation into widespread immigration fraud.

The prosecution alleged a web of fraudulent companies involved in faking immigration tests. The case involved undercover footage at examinations where fake sitters were used and others where the multiple choice answers were read out.

The jury were unable to reach verdicts on the defendant in the first trial causing him to be re-trial with one other defendant.

General Crime

R v SD and others (July 2018) Criminal Court – people-trafficking

This high-profile people-trafficking case was heard over two months at the Old Bailey.

The defendants were alleged to have conspired together to bring over illegal migrants in small boats from the French coast over a number of months. On one occasion 18 Albanian migrants had to be rescued at sea by the coastguard. Read BBC article

R v X (September 2017) Central Criminal Court – blackmail

This malicious communications case concerned a blackmail allegation made against a sitting circuit judge. It was heard before a High Court Judge and a jury at the Central Criminal Court.

The case focused on an email demand for a judge’s resignation coupled with a denial-of-service threat to a local newspaper. Both were concealed behind a wall of VPNs (virtual private networks) leading to an investigation by the NCA in multiple jurisdictions.

The case involved an Abuse of Process argument, fitness to plead issues and expert computer evidence. The defendant was cleared by the jury of having done the criminal act at a trial of issue.

R v HW (2016) Blackfriars Crown Court – robbery/firearms

Complex robbery/firearms case when the defendants were alleged to have lured a man to their home using an internet dating site, drugged him and taken his car and his identity to commit a late-night revenge attack.

The cases involved what the Crown alleged were false rape allegations, a cut throat defence from the co-defendant (alleging months of abuse and coercion) and sensitive issues around sex, gender, consent and identity.

Education

  • University of East Anglia (1992-1996) LLB Degree (2:1)
  • Masters in International Law and Human Rights (LIM) - University of Lund, Sweden 1995 and post-graduate thesis

Other Information

Professional Memberships
  • Gray's Inn
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Employment Law Bar Association
  • Justis
  • Amnesty International
Latest News

Members of Farringdon Chambers ranked in Legal 500

October 01 2019

Farringdon Chambers are delighted to announce that nine members have been recognised in the 2020 Legal 500 UK Bar directory. The...

Latest Successful Cases

February 18 2019

Soraya Lawrence leading Elizabeth Lambert secure acquittal of their client for conspiracy to cause GBH in alleged gang warfare following...

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  • 180 Bermondsey Street,
  • London,
  • SE1 3TQ