Russell Fraser

Year of Call: 2010

“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

Contact

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 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.

Criminal Defence

Overview

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 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 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 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.

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.

Contact Russell

Civil Liberties and Human Rights

Overview

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

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

Background

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 an executive committee member 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.

Publications

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

Awards

Certificate of Honour, Middle Temple

Education

  • 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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