Russell Fraser

Year of Call: 2010

"Russell is charming to judges and juries alike, with an unerring ability to put his finger on the point."

Chambers UK, 2024 (Protest)

“Russell is a dedicated first class advocate who brings a sharp analysis to every case, is driven by his commitment and has a humanity that shines through. His ability to distil a case, have a clear vision and develop a defence results in excellent outcomes and ensures his clients have absolute confidence in him.”

Kate Goold, Bindmans

"Russell is a cool, calm and measured barrister. He has a straightforward but highly compelling style of advocacy."

Legal 500, 2024 (Crime)

"He was all over the detail and really creative in his arguments."

Legal 500, 2024 (Crime)


To get in touch:​ Or you can contact the relevant​ Practice Team Clerks directly and they will be happy to assist with your enquiry.

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Russell is a criminal defence specialist with experience defending in a range of cases including murder, terrorism, serious violence, fraud, and drug supply. He is particularly interested in public order, protest, and terrorism.

He has also represented clients in the parole board and prison adjudications, as well as before the mental health tribunal.

Russell is currently instructed in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

He is qualified under the ‘public access’ scheme and is able to take instructions in appropriate cases.

Criminal Defence


Russell is a criminal defence specialist with a particular interest in cases involving protest, public order, and terrorism.

Notable Cases

Past notable cases can be viewed below. Click here to see a list of recent notable cases.

R v AZ [2024] Warwick Crown Court
Young man acquitted of attempted murder after being accused of participating in a group attack, following a live music event in Coventry city centre.

R v OK [2024] Central Criminal Court
OK faced a count of violent disorder, following a fight and subsequent group attack outside a London nightclub, which led to a man’s murder.

R v EU [2023] Central Criminal Court
EU was acquitted of perverting the course of justice in connection with the murder of a north London DJ. 
Press coverage: BBC News, Sky News

R v YZ [2023] Central criminal court
YZ stood trial for the attempted murder of his estranged wife.

R v AH [2023] Southwark Crown Court
The defendant was attacked by another while sitting in his car. While driving away, he knocked over his assailant and ran over his legs, causing serious injury. He was acquitted of GBH with intent and the lesser alternative.

R v CC [2023] Warwick Crown Court
Defendant charged with others with possession a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. The case involved two incidents of firearms being charged towards two different residential properties containing cannabis factories.

R v EA [2023] Southwark Crown Court
Large-scale fraud of over £1 million involving a small group assisting people to complete fraudulent loan applications, which were submitted to a high street bank. Led by Tom Wainwright. 

R v MB [2021] Woolwich crown court
Young defendant charged with murder arising from a vehicle chase and subsequent stabbing. The background to the incident was said to be a territorial drugs dispute. Led by Rajiv Menon KC.

R v KR [2021] Central Criminal Court
KR had accompanied his cousin to a south London estate after an alleged drug deal double-cross. The confrontation ended in a young man’s death and both men stood trial for murder. Led by Rajiv Menon KC

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 one count of attending a place used for terrorist training. Led by Hossein Zahir.

R v JE [2017] Southwark Crown Court
Represented one of a group charged with fraud arising from a multi-million pound land banking ‘boiler room’ fraud. The case received national press and television coverage

R v RH & others [2017] Kingston Crown Court
Represented a member 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 of 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.

Protest cases

R v JY [2022] Bristol Crown Court
Acquitted of young protester charged with causing the riot in Bristol city centre following a ‘Kill the Bill’ demonstration in protest against the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

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.

Contact Russell

Civil Liberties and Human Rights


Russell is experienced in defending clients exercising their right to protest. He also appears before the parole board and is interested in cases where crime, humans rights and public law meet.

Notable Cases

R v SE, PS, PT [2019] City of London magistrates' court
Represented three people charged with failing to comply with a section 14 condition placed on an assembly. The case concerned the Extinction Rebellion protests in central London in April this year and was reported in the Guardian. Russell is instructed on a number of other cases concerning the same protests.

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

Contact Russell

Notable Cases & News

Garden Court Chambers revises policy on Stratford Magistrates' Court

23 May 2024

Defendants acquitted of attempted murder following five-week trial at Warwick Crown Court

Russell Fraser and Hugh Mullan of the Garden Court Crime Team acted for the defendants.

22 May 2024

Garden Court Chambers statement on security searches at Stratford Magistrates' Court

8 May 2024

Defendants found with nearly £500,000 cash in baggage acquitted of money laundering

Lucie Wibberley and Russell Fraser of the Garden Court Crime Team represented MT & AU in a 12-day trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, instructed by Ali Has & Dilara Demir of Morgan Has Solicitors.

19 April 2024

Russell Fraser secures acquittal at Old Bailey in DJ killing case

Russell Fraser, of the Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence Team, instructed by James O’Keeffe of O’Keeffe solicitors.

4 December 2023

Russell Fraser acts in successful appeal against ‘Kill the Bill’ protestor's sentence

Russell Fraser, of the Garden Court Protest Team, acted for the Appellant. He was instructed by Laura O’Brien of Hodge Jones & Allen.

10 November 2023

"The end did not justify the means" - Undercover Policing Inquiry Interim Report Released by Inquiry Chair Sir John Mitting

Garden Court Chambers counsel, of the Inquests & Inquiries Team, are instructed in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

29 June 2023

Garden Court Chambers and Garden Court North remember Ian Macdonald QC

Garden Court Chambers and Garden Court North were honoured to host a memorial event for Ian Macdonald QC 1939-2019 at Middle Temple Hall on Tuesday 7 February 2023.

17 February 2023

Defendant found not guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent

Russell Fraser of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team represented AH in a week-long trial at Southwark Crown Court.

10 January 2023

Garden Court secures top tier rankings in the Legal 500 2023

Garden Court Chambers is proud to be recognised as a Top Tier set again in the Legal 500.

30 September 2022

Members of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team support escalating proposed CBA action to include days of action

17 June 2022

Stephanie Harrison QC, Chair and Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, comments on the Nationality and Borders Bill receiving Royal Assent

29 April 2022

Garden Court Crime Team statement on no returns action

30 March 2022

Bristol ‘Kill the Bill’ protester acquitted of riot

Russell Fraser, of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Team, represented JY instructed by Freya Colvin of Hodge Jones and Allen.

8 February 2022

Garden Court secures number one rankings in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2022

21 October 2021

Garden Court Chambers Crime Team shortlisted for Crime Set of the Year by Chambers Bar Awards 2021

We are delighted to announce that the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team has been shortlisted by the Chambers Bar Awards 2021 for Crime Set of the Year.

27 August 2021

Undercover Policing Inquiry - Opening statement on behalf of Piers Corbyn

Rajiv Menon QC of Garden Court Chambers delivers opening statement at Tranche 1 (Phase 2). Rajiv Menon QC is leading Russell Fraser, also of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Richard Parry of Saunders Law.

23 April 2021

Defend our Freedom to Protest - Why the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is Dangerous

Blog by our Jacob Bindman, Russell Fraser and Zehrah Hasan, members of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Law Team.

18 March 2021

Undercover Policing Inquiry - Garden Court counsel instructed

Garden Court Chambers counsel instructed to represent clients at the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

18 February 2021

Drill music, gangs and prosecutions – challenging racist stereotypes in the criminal justice system

By Shina Animashaun and Russell Fraser of the Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence Team.

28 August 2020

Defendant acquitted of four offences of human trafficking and exploitation in major modern slavery trial

Bill Evans and Russell Fraser of Garden Court represented the defendant, instructed by Jim O'Keeffe of O'Keeffe Solicitors.

30 July 2019

Kurdish protesters found not guilty of affray

The defendants were represented by Michael Goold and Russell Fraser, both of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Sevim Tonbul of Morgan Has Solicitors.

3 May 2019

Prominent Ethiopian opposition campaigner acquitted of terrorism offences

Hossein Zahir and Russell Fraser of Garden Court Chambers represented the defendant, Dr Tadesse Kersmo.

21 December 2017

Garden Court welcomes Russell Fraser to its Crime Team

Russell Fraser is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team.

16 March 2016

All related news


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


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

'In the future our police, lawyers and jails will be run by G4S', New Statesman

'Justice is not for sale', New Left Project


Certificate of Honour, Middle Temple


  • Bar Vocational Course (BVC) (Outstanding)
  • College of Law Graduate Diploma of Law (GDL)
  • College of Law LLB, College of Law
  • Master of Arts (MA), Joint Honours History and Philosophy, University of Glasgow

Professional Membership

  • Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers (Executive Committee Member)
  • Administrative Law Bar Association
  • Bar Human Rights Committee
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Human Rights Lawyers Association
  • Liberty

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