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Russell Fraser

  • Call: 2010
Legal 500 UK Awards 2015: Winner


Russell is a criminal defence specialist working in the youth, magistrates and crown courts. He is developing his interest in public order and protest cases. He has also represented clients in the parole board and prison adjudications as well as before the mental health tribunal.

Russell is qualified to accept instructions from the public under the Direct Access Scheme.


Crown Court

R v TK [2017] Snaresbrook crown court Acquittal of a prominent Ethiopian opposition activist of seven counts of possession of material likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism and a count of attending a place used for terrorist training. Led by Hossein Zahir.

R v RH & others [2017] Kingston crown court Represented one of a gang who committed a series of burglaries in the south east attracting media attention owing to one of the homes belonging to a professional footballer.

R v MC & others [2016] Snaresbrook crown court Seven-week trial of a number of people prosecuted for affray following an eviction of a squat in East London. Hung jury. Crown did not seek retrial.

R v TP [2016] Blackfriars crown court Acquittal of man charged with possession of a bladed article following the police attendance a domestic disturbance.

R v AS [2015] Luton crown court Trial of defendant charged with robbery and car jacking.

R v GL [2015] Blackfriars crown court Trial of vulnerable client under section charged with robbery with a knife.

R v SA [2015] Snaresbrook crown court Client acquitted of dangerous driving.

R v MA [2015] Inner London crown court Importation of heroin.

R v SK [2014] Oxford crown court Secured a suspended sentence for two counts of making a false statutory declaration for defendant convicted following trial.

R v TC & anor [2014] Hove trial centre Acquittal after a four-day trial for a woman charged with obstructing a drugs search following a police raid on her home.

R v AH [2014] Bristol crown court
Acquittal after a five-day trial for a young defendant of Somali origin after being accused of a racially-motivated assault.

Magistrates’ and Youth Court

R v YS [2015] Highbury Corner magistrates’ court Successful half time submission of no case to answer concerning the lawfulness of a drugs search. This followed the bench’s decision to proceed in absence after the client failed to attend.

R v HW [2013] Stratford magistrates’ court Young man acquitted of possession of class B following evidence from four police officers that they had seen him discard something which they recovered and was found to be cannabis.

Protest cases

R v JG & others [2015] Willesden magistrates’ court Represented a group of activists tried following direct action protests against the evictions of residents of the Sweets Way estate in Barnet, north London. 

R v KM & others [2013] Cardiff magistrates’ court Represented a group of Tamil protesters tried for public order offences following a protest at an international cricket match between Sri Lanka and India. The case received local media coverage.


Russell regularly writes articles on legal issues and legal aid and has been published by the New Statesman, New Left Project, and Labour Briefing.


Russell joined Garden Court in March 2016. Before the law he worked for a number of years in local government including four years as a Special Educational Needs Assessment Officer for the London Borough of Brent. He was also a shop steward for the GMB trade union and was recognised for his contribution to trade unionism with awards from both the GMB and the Trade Unions Congress, in 2006 and 2007 respectively.

In 2016, he spent 12 months working as a political adviser to the Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon MP. His work included speech writing, briefing, and policymaking. He assisted with the Justice section of the Labour Party’s 2017 general election manifesto.

Russell was previously a caseworker at the human rights firm Birnberg Peirce & Partners. During his time there he assisted the work of solicitors in national security cases, particularly Control Orders and Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures and before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac). He assisted with the case W (Algeria) & ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] UKSC 8 concerning whether Siac had the power to make an order for an absolute and irreversible guarantee of confidentiality in respect of a witness’s identity and evidence before disclosing that information to the secretary of state.

He is the chair of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers and a member of the Administrative Law Bar Association, Bar Human Rights Committee, Criminal Bar Association, Human Rights Lawyers Association, and Liberty.


Certificate of Honour, Middle Temple