Christopher Whitehouse

  • Year of Call 1997

 ‘A compelling advocate with a fiery intellect... He is a formidable opponent' - Legal 500 Leading Individual 2021

Career Overview

Described as 'an exceptional advocate' by The Legal 500 in 2020, Chris has a solid reputation for winning cases against the odds.

Chris has over two decades of experience defending clients in the most serious cases, from murder and gangland violence to white collar fraud, drugs conspiracies and sexual offences. He appears regularly at the Central Criminal Court.

He is ranked as a leading individual in crime in both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 for 2021:

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

'He has an admirable, understated, well-measured and very sensible approach to advocacy - be it in front of a jury or judge alone...’ The Legal 500

'Good sense of strategy... He is quite subtle in court.' Chambers and Partners

'His cross-examination is always meticulously-planned, well-structured and incisive' Legal 500

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, attempted murder and serious violence
  • Fraud and financial crime, proceeds of crime and confiscation proceedings
  • Drugs conspiracies
  • Sexual offences
  • General crime
  • Court of Appeal cases, including historic appeals.

Notable Cases

Murder and serious violence

R v S (August 2020) – Kingston Crown Court – attempted murder

Attempted murder where the alleged victim was stabbed mutiple times in her own homr before fleeing through an upstairs window.

R v F (February 2020) – Snaresbrook Crown Court – attempted murder

Successfully defended a man for attempted murder where he stated that the victim must have received his injuries at the hands of unknown strangers just before he arrived at the scene.

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

Led by Queen’s Counsel in a revenge attack 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. The defendant had themselves been the victim historic anti-trans violence.

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.

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, raising pre-Jogee issues of joint enterprise. 

Financial Crime

Operation Dalmas – Kingston Crown Court – four-month £12m HMRC fraud

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

Operation Mutisia (February 2019) – 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 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 – BBC Panorama immigration sting

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 provided.

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

Operation Gwedreath (September 2020) Southwark Crown Court

Highly-organised car-ringing conspiracy where high-end vehicles were electronically compromised, stolen and driven to a secret location covered by jamming equipment, before being rapidly disassembled for onward sale. 

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

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. This high-profile people-trafficking case was heard over two months at the Old Bailey.. 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 National Crime Agency in multiple jurisdictions.

The case involved an Abuse of Process argument and expert computer evidence. The defendant, who was highly vulnerable and suffering from PTSD, was found unfit to stand trial and then entirely exonerated by the jury 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, trans-gender identity and consent.

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

Lectures and articles

In 2020 Chris gave a talk to Top Tier family law firm Rayden Solicitors on "Controlling or Coercive Domestic Abuse"

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

Chris 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
Latest News

Chris Whitehouse secures the acquittal of client charged with 8 counts of rape, threats to kill and assault.

May 19 2021

Chris Whitehouse secured the unanimous acquittal of his client after a two-week trial. The jury took just one hour...

Farringdon Chambers and 11 of its members are listed in Legal 500 edn 2021

October 05 2020

Farringdon Chambers are delighted to announce that we have been ranked in the Legal 500 directory for crime in 2021....

Chris Whitehouse appears in Telephone disclosure appeal hearing

March 27 2020

Chris Whitehouse appears at the Court of Appeal before the V-P in the first case where all judges, counsel and...

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