Christopher Whitehouse

  • Year of Call 1997

‘Chris has a devastating command of the details in cases. He holds the respect of the court and is a real class act who makes powerful and persuasive closing speeches and puts client care at the forefront. He has excellent forensic skills with particular talent in cross-examining expert scientific witnesses.’ - The Legal 500

Career Overview

Described as 'an exceptional advocate' by The Legal 500, Chris has a solid reputation for winning cases against the odds.

Chris has over 25 years' experience defending clients in the most serious cases, from murder and gangland violence to white collar fraud, drugs conspiracies and sexual offences.

His recent cases have involved Encrochat evidence/legal argument and Cryptocurrency fraud and money laundering.

He is ranked as a leading individual in crime in both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500:-

- 'Chris has extraordinary strength and depth. He is also able to grasp massively complex cases swiftly and effectively. Chris is a magnificent advocate who commands the respect of the court and grips jurors attention in a way that irresistibly invites justice for his client.' 

- 'A compelling advocate with a fiery intellect... He is a formidable opponent' 

- 'His cross-examination is always meticulously-planned, well-structured and incisive'

- 'Excellent, a very careful and considered advocate he is really good'

- 'Good sense of strategy' 

Chris’s cases often involve expert evidence such as DNA and fingerprinting, telephone cell-site, toxicology and computer misuse.

He has a track record of defending minority groups, especially members of the LGBT+ community. Chambers & Partners describe him as "really good with his clients". He represents those with complex needs or suffering mental impairment. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Murder and serious violence
  • Fraud, money laundering and confiscation proceedings
  • Large scale drug conspiracies
  • Sexual offences
  • General crime
  • Court of Appeal cases, including historic appeals.

Notable Cases

Murder and serious violence

R v R - Kingston Crown Court - attempted murder

Chris secured the only not guilty verdicts in a joint enterprise machette attack between rival gangs. The 16-year-old defendant was the only one of six defendants to be acquittal of all charges, despite being the only one arrested at the scene. He could be seen on CCTV chasing a rival gang member before he was stabbed, and fleeing with the attackers. The defendant's case was that he did not know what his co-defendants had planned.

R v F – Snaresbrook Crown Court – attempted murder

Chris secured the acquiital of the defendant of attempted murdered, where he gave evidence that the victim must have received his injuries at the hands of unknown strangers just moments before the defendant arrived at the scene.

R v S – Central Criminal Court – multi-handed murder

The trial of a multi-defendant revenge murder, heard at the Old Bailey over three months. The killing was the tragic culmination of tit-for-tat incidents over many months between rival groups.

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

A former co-defendant (‘M’) turned Queen’s Evidence before trial and testified against his co-accused. Chris and Queen's Counsel managed to unearth sections of CCTV which had been entirely missed by the murder squad. These were deployed in cross-examination to destroy M's alibi, showing that M had in fact been following the victim prior to the murder.

Read BBC article
Read Mirror article
Read news article

R v N – Central Criminal Court –  gangland attempted murder

A multi-defendant revenge attack where the defendants were alleged to have been on a ‘ride-out’ with a car full of deadly weapons, including a shot gun, axe and zombie knife. 

A high speed chase took place in which three SO19 firearms officers alleged they had been fired upon. Attempted murder charges were dropped when it was proved that the shotgun had not been fired.

The trial on conspiracy to commit GBH revolved around expert evidence of gang culture and postcode rivalries, drill-music lyrics and YouTube videos.

Read BBC article
Read the Standard article

R v A – Central Criminal Court – attempted murder

Attempted murder trial where the victim was stabbed eight times in a confrontation at a private party. The defendant (who was trans) had previously been the victim of anti-trans violence and had bought the knife for their own protection.

R v G and others – Central Criminal Court – multi-handed murder

Multi-handed ‘revenge’ murder, raising complex issues of legal privilege and joint enterprise (pre-R-v-Jogee). 

Financial Crime

Operation Dalmas – Kingston Crown Court – £12m tax fraud

Leading counsel in this four-month, multi-defendant trial alleging tax fraud and money laundering.

Operation Mutisia – Central Criminal Court – £6m diversion fraud

Leading counsel in an 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 at least 12 corporations 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 K – Southwark Crown Court – BBC Panorama immigration sting

Instructed for the first defendant in a multi-handed fraud which arose from BBC Panorama's investigation of industrial-scale immigration fraud (aired on TV in 2018).

The prosecution alleged that the defendant and his company had manipulated hundreds of immigration tests for money. The case involved undercover footage at examination centres where fake exam-sitters were used in place of the real applicants, and where multiple-choice answers were provided to applicants as they sat the tests.

The jury failed to agree on the defendant at his frist trial, leading to a second trial at Southwark Crown Court before a fresh jury.

General Crime

Operation Dybek - Encro and international drug-trafficking conspiracy (7 months)

Chris acted as leading counsel in this long-running international drug trafficking case which involved quantities of class-A drugs in the multiple hundreds-of-kilos. 

The trial incldued mutiple arguments on the admissibility of Encro evidence and of late-arising telephone evidence.

R v D- Modern Slavery trial

Leading counsel in this 3-month modern slavery / human-trafficking case where five victims were alleged to be held in servitude for up to five years.

R v D - Court of Appeal - conspriacy to supply drugs

Chris successfully overtunrned the defendant's conviction for conspiring (with others who were also convicted) to supply cannabis across the north of England. Other counsel had represented the defendant at trial. Chris secured his release on bail and the matter was set down for a re-trial. 

When the case was heard before a fresh jury at Middlesbrough Crown Court, Chris secured a uninimous not guilty verdict.

R v D and others - Central Criminal Court – people-trafficking

A high-profile people-trafficking consiracy heard over two months at the Old Bailey. The group were alleged to have conspired to bring scores of illegal migrants from France to the UK in small boats. On one occasion, a boat carrying 18 Albanian migrants got into trouble and had to be rescued by the coastguard. Read BBC article

R v X - Central Criminal Court – blackmail

A case that involved the attempted blackmail of a sitting Crown Court Judge, where electroninc threats had been concealed behind a wall of VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) and which led to a National Crime Agency investigation in multiple jurisdictions.

The trial was presided over by a High Court Judge at the Central Criminal Court and involved complex argumentts on Abuse-of-Process and Fitness-to-Plead. The defendant, who was highly vulnerable and suffering from PTSD, was found unfit to stand trial. At a trial of issue, Chris secured a unanimous verdict from the jury that the defendant had not been responsible for the threats. 

R v W - Blackfriars Crown Court – robbery/firearms

A unique and complex robbery case where the defendant and their girlfriend [sic] were alleged to have lured a man to their home using an internet dating site, drugged him into unconciosuness, took his car and his identity, and used them in a plan to commit a late-night revenge attack on a third-party. When the car was stopped by police, it contained home-made balaclavas, plastic wrist-ties and a stun gun disguised as a torch.

The case involved a complex cut-throat defence with allegations and counter-allegations of abuse and coercion. it also invovled sensitive issues of sex, consent and trans-gender identity.


  • 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

Lectures and articles

The Cabinet Office: Chris has delivered a lecture on “Fraud, Defence and Disclosure” to the Cabinet Office inside the Treasury.

He has also addressed a talk to Top Tier family law firm Rayden Solicitors on "Controlling or Coercive Domestic Abuse"

He has published articles on 'Witnesses and Victims of Crime: A Survival Guide" (2020) and a short guide to police stop and search powers.


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


‘Chris has a devastating command of the details in cases. He holds the respect of the court and is a real class act who makes powerful and persuasive closing speeches and puts client care at the forefront. He has excellent forensic skills with particular talent in cross-examining expert scientific witnesses.'

Legal 500 2024 edition

"Christopher is a very thoughtful, thorough and persuasive advocate."

Chambers and Partners 2024 edition

Latest News

Chris Whitehouse secures acquittal for 19-year-old charged with violent disorder

January 16 2024

After a 7 day trial in Reading Crown Court, Chris Whitehouse secures acquittal for 19-year-old charged with violent disorder in...

Congratulations to all members ranked and recognised in the Chambers and Partners Directory 2024 edition

November 22 2023

Barristers at Farringdon Chambers have experience of serious crime cases, including those relating to homicide, firearms and drugs offences, among...

Chris Whitehouse secures acquittal of rising rugby hopeful

November 02 2023

Following a trial at Woodgreen Crown Court, Chris Whitehouse secures not guilty verdicts for rising rugby hopeful accused of a...

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