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Alastair Edie

  • Call: 1992
Alastair Edie
Legal 500 UK Awards 2015: Winner


Alastair has extensive experience in defending in all areas of heavy crime.

He is usually considered a ‘hard man’ with a reputation as a formidable cross-examiner and protector of his clients’ interests. His preparation is meticulous. His background as a legal academic and trade union negotiator put him in good stead from the beginning of his practice at the Bar, to take and argue difficult or complex issues of fact and law.

Alastair has been a recommended criminal advocate in Chambers & Partners for six years. He is regularly instructed as leading counsel.

His practice is truly national with widespread experience of crime, lawyers and courts in London, the Midlands, Wales and the North.

Recent Notable Cases

A ‘snapshot’ of his work since the start of 2010 includes the following:

Mankovskis & another, Wood Green CC (kidnap & blackmail)
Springer & others, Preston Crown CC (armed robbery of high class jewellers)
Spriggs, Dorchester CC (aggravated burglary)
Kirkby & another, Shrewsbury CC (cocaine importation & confiscation proceedings)
Alexander & others, Bolton CC (multihanded aggravated burglary)
Holloway & others, Snaresbrook CC (large scale theft from bank cash dispensers)
Nejloveanu & others, Manchester CC (rape & international trafficking for prostitution)
Buist, Snaresbrook CC (rape, five year old complainant, cross-examination of experts & successful abuse of process application)
Byrne, Liverpool CC (multiple rapes of prostitutes & sexual sadism)
Taylor, Bradford CC (alleged murder of father by daughter)
Waldron, & others, Leeds CC (wholesale distribution of Cannabis & confiscation)
Jones & others, Liverpool CC (wholesale distribution of Cocaine)
Takhar & others, Birmingham CC (shooting and gang murder)
Heward & others, Norwich CC (importation of 400 kgs of Cannabis)
Dawes & others, Inner London CC (police brutality)
Telli, Kingston-upon-Hull CC (false passport & mortgage applications)
Bates, Manchester CC (paedophilia, rapes & indecent images)
Hill & another, Newcastle-upon-Tyne CC (child abduction & drugs supply)
Rodda & another, Mold CC (woman charged with rape, successful Section 41 YJCEA 1999 application)
Snape, Birmingham CC (Section 23 POCA 2002 variation order)
Vekoko & another, Bolton CC (‘Russian mafia’, blackmail, consistent statements & Section 120 of the CJA 2003)
Bowering, Wolverhampton CC (threats to kill by a previously convicted killer)
Prest, Sheffield CC (self defence by stabbing)

Other Notable Cases

Fraud, Money-Laundering & Confiscation

Alastair’s diverse experience has involved him in cases such as:

Hancock & others, Northampton CC 1995 (franchise fraud) & [1996] 2 Cr. App. R. 554 (still a leading authority on particularising counts of conspiracy to defraud)
Scragg & others, Birmingham CC ongoing (alleged massive defrauding of the Revenue) (VHCC);

and also:

Cotton & others, Derby CC 2010 (advance fee fraud) (leading counsel)
Cale & others, Birmingham CC 2002 (£30m MTIC fraud) (leading counsel)
Shafiq & others, Southwark CC 2010 (international revenue share fraud)
Hill & others, Southwark CC 2010 (multi-million evasion of duty on alcohol & tobacco) (VHCC)
Clym & others, Southwark CC 2009 (false identities & banking fraud)
Butt & another, Liverpool CC 2008 (directors disqualification & property scam)
Thompson & others, Birmingham CC 2007 (tax credits fraud)
Wright & others, Bristol CC 2005 (£25m MTIC) (VHCC)
DTI v Bentley, Stoke-on-Trent CC 2004 (directors disqualification & bankruptcy offences)
Pattni & others, Southwark CC 2001; [2001] Crim. L. R. 570 (VAT fraud on gold bullion & jewellery)
Murfitt & others, Southwark CC 2000 (long firm fraud)
Ahmed & others, West Midlands Fraud Centre 1998 (MTIC fraud)

Alastair continues as a leading advocate in money crime.

He is accredited by the LSC to manage the VHCC contracts in which he is instructed.


Thakrar & others, St Albans CC 2008 (‘massacre’ at Plaw Hatch, Bishops Stortford, 3 murders & 2 attempts with a Mac 10)
Taylor & others, Preston CC 2008 (joint enterprise killing)
Darby & others, Birmingham CC 2007 (gang killing)
Lawrence, Birmingham CC 2005 (one punch manslaughter)
Bowering, Wolverhampton CC 2005 (knifing neighbour)
Campbell & others, Birmingham CC 2004 (gang killing, ‘Johnson crew)
Ras & another, Birmingham CC 2003 (SA contract killers for Ann Trigwell)
Lloyd & others, Central Criminal Court 1996 (contracted stabbing at the Lazerdrome, Peckham Rye)
Caswell, Bradford CC 2002 (manslaughter by injection)


Gamble & others, Cardiff CC 2006 (gun fired during armed robbery of cash in transit) (leading counsel)
Khan, Birmingham CC 2005 (armed robberies) (leading counsel)
Nguyen & others, Birmingham CC 2004 (killing & riot at the China Palace Casino) (leading counsel)
Alexander & others, Birmingham CC 2002 (armed robberies) (leading counsel)
Morrison, Birmingham CC 2001 (audacious street robberies of gold jewellery) (leading counsel)
O’Halloran & others, Snaresbrook CC 1994 (103 armed robberies of banks, building societies & betting shops)
Palmer & others, Birmingham CC 1997 (armed robberies of banks & post offices)
Robinson & another, Manchester CC 2003 (attempted murder by shooting)
Lawlor & others, Birmingham CC 2004 (armed robbery of cash in transit)
Pami, Wolverhampton CC 2005 (attempted murder & disfigurement of prostitute)
France, Birmingham CC 2006 (attempted murder by stabbing)
Lawlor & others, Birmingham CC 2006 (attempted murder by shooting)
Berkeley & others, Manchester CC 2006 (armed robberies)
Mills & others, Birmingham CC 2006 (violent disorder Aston Villa/West Bromwich)
Nissar & others, Manchester CC 2007 (kidnap, blackmail & torture)
Ewing & others, Manchester CC 2007/8 (‘Gooch gang’, kidnap & blackmail)
McIntosh & others, Wolverhampton CC 2008 (gun crime)
Smith & others, Leicester CC 2009 (kidnap at gunpoint, imprisonment and ransom)


Lock & others, Newcastle-upon-Tyne CC 2009 (prostitution & racketeering) (leading counsel)
Prince, Manchester CC 2006 (rape between juveniles) (leading counsel)
Jones, Mold CC 2003 (multiple historic rapes)
Bradbury, Manchester CC 2004 (historic rape)
Burman, Leicester CC 2004 (multiple rapes & indecent assaults of child)
Merza & others, Central Criminal Court 2005 (male gang rape)
Roman, Wood Green CC 2005 (rape of prostitute)
Hemraj, Leicester CC 2006 (rape, unfit to plead as ‘deaf isolate’)
Esbrand, Southwark CC 2007 (multiple historic rapes)


Hill & others, Croydon CC 2010 (importation of 117 kgs of amphetamine, 51 kgs of Cocaine & 58 kgs of Heroin!) (leading counsel)
Faisal & others, Bradford CC 2009 (bogus college as front for huge supplies of Heroin from Pakistan, money-laundering the proceeds, all in the context of ‘cut-throat’ defences) (leading counsel)
Snape & others, Birmingham CC 2008 (another conspiracy to import Cannabis) (leading counsel)
Wilson & others, Birmingham CC 2006 (wholesale distribution of Cocaine) (leading counsel)
Snape & others, Birmingham CC 2005 (conspiracy to import Cannabis) (VHCC) (leading counsel)
Millard & others, Isleworth CC 2001 (Cocaine importation)
Liburd & another, Bradford CC 2004 (street distribution of class A drugs)
Walker, Birmingham CC 2005 (operating the ‘Johnson crew’ drug phone)
Davis & others, Birmingham CC 2005 (wholesale distribution of Class A drugs)
Anderson & another, Nottingham CC 2006 (guns, violence & supplying Heroin)


Wayne & another, Wood Green CC 2009 (insurance scam & the nut that defies gravity!)
Cannings & others, Birmingham CC 2009 (people trafficking & ‘sham’ marriages)
Meakin & another, Stafford CC 2008 (wheel clamping as conspiracy to blackmail)
Noonan, Manchester CC 2005 (death by dangerous driving)
Barry Horne, Bristol CC 1997 (animal rights & conspiracy to commit arson with intent)

Court of Appeal Cases

Alastair looks forward to an argument in the Court of Appeal. Of his numerous outings, some of the more memorable are:

Thakrar [2011] Crim. L.R. 399 (multiple hearsay & Section 121 CJA 2003)
Heward [2011] EWCA Crim 1453 (discretion of judge to sentence on facts unproved)
Smith & others [2010]200903933 A7 (18 year starting point severe but not manifestly excessive)
Nissar [2008] EWCA Crim 3016 (failure to accede to submission of no case)
Robinson [2005] EWCA Crim358 (fresh evidence)
Millard [2003] EWCA Crim 2063 (lack of structure in summing-up)
Re D [2001] Cr. App. R. 13 (duplicity & jury unanimity)
Offen & others [2001] Cr. App. R. 24 (semi-automatic life sentences)
Horne [1999] 9708312 Z4, 26/02/1999 (unwarranted judicial comment in summing-up)


When not at work, Alastair tries to remember that he isn’t!