Specialist Criminal & Regulatory Barristers

London: 020 7520 6000 | chambers@18rlc.co.uk

East Anglia: 01245 280 880

Sexual Offences

Red Lion Chambers’ reputation as an outstanding criminal set is long established, boasting strength in depth both prosecuting and defending in the most serious criminal cases across the country and abroad.

Ranked as a top tier set in crime and led by the Leader of the South Eastern Circuit, Max Hill QC, Red Lion Chambers has for seventy years developed an outstanding reputation for prosecuting and defending sexual offences and other criminal offences.

We are routinely instructed in serious sexual offence cases due to the experience and expertise of our team of barristers. At any one time, our barristers will be involved in numerous complex and multi-handed sex offence cases across the country.

Our barristers are proud to be considered some of the finest advocates in the country.


Chambers’ Expertise

Our members regularly appear in the Magistrates Courts, UK Supreme Court and the European Court and International Tribunal.

In the field of serious sexual (and related) offences, Red Lion Chambers barristers have a number of QCs and top (Grade 4) prosecutors who prosecute for the specialist Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit (‘RASSO', part of the CPS Complex Crime Unit). In addition, many of our QCs and leading juniors defend in the most notorious and complex cases in this area of the criminal law.

Chambers have vast experience and expertise in the field of serious sexual offences. Enormously complex and one that is growing in volume, this area of law encompasses a wide-range of serious criminal offences, such as:

  • Rape and serious sexual assaults
  • Domestic violence and marital/relationship rape
  • Child abuse
  • Grooming
  • Internet offences
  • Sexting and harassment
  • Paedophile rings
  • Historical offences
  • Human trafficking and sexual exploitation 
  • Indecent images/pornography/obscene publications
  • Offences in breach of trust (e.g. allegations against teachers, medical professionals, family members)
  • Prostitution and controlling prostitution
  • Licencing offences connected to public places of entertainment


Because of our experience prosecuting and defending sexual allegations and offences, members are regularly asked to provide professional training to the judiciary, Inns of Court, solicitors, the police and other professional bodies. This includes specific training that focuses on serious sexual offence cases involving vulnerable witnesses and defendants on behalf of the Advocacy Training Council.

In addition, Chambers are regularly called upon by the media to provide expert analysis of complex legal issues. Our representatives have given evidence and assisted Parliamentary select committees, the Home Office and Ministry of Justice.

Notable cases

Red Lion Chambers’ barristers have prosecuted or defended in the following notable cases:

  • R v Max Clifford – serial sexual abuse of children and young women
  • R v Dharmasena and Hussain – the first FGM case in the UK
  • Operation Svanetia - conspiracy to traffic vulnerable Roma women from Slovakia to the UK in order to exploit them 
  • R v Kelly and 11 others (Operation Barzini)- 62 count, VHCC, multi-victim paedophile ring indictment 
  • R v S - rape of patient suffering from Multiple Sclerosis in hospital by healthcare assistant
  • R v C - making indecent images of children by man with Huntingdon’s Disease
  • R v B - internet grooming and subsequent sexual assaults/rape of 13-15-year-old girls
  • R v Broughton – historical rape and sexual assaults of daughters, granddaughters and teenage friends over a 30-year-period.
  • R v XX – public school teachers’ paedophile ring


We have a large team of experienced practitioners who prosecute and defend the full range of violent and sexual offences. We are proud of the reputation we have in providing expert advice and advocacy in trials and appeals to our clients and solicitors.

For more information on specific cases, please see our individual member’s profile pages.


Vulnerable witnesses and defendants

Red Lion Chambers has an outstanding team who specialise in working alongside vulnerable witnesses and defendants. We apply special care to all cases. Each case commonly involves people who are vulnerable, often due to age, education, behavioural issues, substance misuse, learning difficulties and mental or physical health issues.

On this sensitive subject, we help provide specialist training to the judiciary and other legal professionals.

Red Lion Barristers also provide expert advice on:

  • Pre-charge strategy
  • Charging decisions
  • Review and analysis of evidence
  • Admissibility of evidence (for example, interviews, Bad Character)
  • Expert evidence 
  • DNA and other forensic scientific evidence
  • Special measures for vulnerable witnesses and defendants
  • Use of intermediaries
  • Dealing with multi-complainants and/or defendants
  • Trial Preparation and presentation 
  • Sentencing 
  • Interlocutory and post-conviction appeals
  • Second opinion advice on appeal
  • Appeals out of time
  • Applications to Criminal Cases Review Commission
  • Criminal injuries/victim compensation


Choosing your barrister

Identifying the right barrister and ensuring their early involvement is essential to maximising the prospects of a positive outcome. With our expert understanding of the criminal justice system, we help guide our clients through the legal process.

Our barristers regularly undertake legal aid, direct access and privately funded work.

To discuss your options in more detail and for more information about our transparent fees structures, please contact our clerking team, led by Chambers Director, Mark Bennett.

For specific case enquiries, please contact our clerking team.

For partnership opportunities or training and seminar requests, please contact Jennifer Ukaegbu.




Chambers UK - Crime

”The clerks are very dependable," and “always anxious to help.”


Chambers UK - Fraud

"Red Lion Chambers both prosecutes and defends serious fraud cases, securing involvement in some of the causes célèbres of the day such as the BAE Systems corruption affair and the pharmaceuticals cartel investigation."

Chambers UK - Crime

"Red Lion Chambers offers clients a great deal of experience and a high level of professionalism. Observers note that it has proved skilful in maintaining the standards of its members over the years and it is widely expected to thrive in this period of uncertainty at the Criminal Bar."

Chambers UK - Fraud

"Substantial number of talented criminal fraud practitioners."

Chambers UK - Crime

"When instructing barristers from Red Lion Chambers, you always know that you will get a safe pair of hands. The large group of capable barristers specialises in the full range of criminal and related regulatory work."

Chambers UK - Crime

"Likeable, knowledgeable, responsive and proactive clerks."

Chambers UK - Crime

"Because Red Lion Chambers has that strength and depth, if you cannot obtain your barrister of choice, there is always someone of equal stature and ability to then take on the case."

Chambers UK - Fraud

"Red Lion Chambers is viewed as "one of the prestige sets" and is a popular choice for fraud work."

Chambers UK - Fraud

"The clerks are very helpful and always do their very best to accommodate us at short notice. They work closely with the members, so they are very good at knowing who you will like and who you will want."

Chambers UK - Fraud

Home to some of the most cogent, eloquent and outstandingly prepared advocates."

Legal 500 - Crime

"Around 80 members dedicated exclusively to the full range of crime work."

Chambers UK - Fraud

"You can't go wrong at Red Lion Chambers if you are facing a serious, high-value fraud matter. Its team is well versed in all aspects of white-collar crime, and excels when defending lengthy and labyrinthine fraud trials. It also proves equally strong on the prosecution side ..."


020 7520 6000

18 Red Lion Court



DX: 478 London / Chancery Lane

East Anglia

01245 280 880

Thornwood House

102 New London Rd


DX: 139165 Chelmsford 11


© 2016 Red Lion Chambers