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Tom Wainwright

Year of Call: 2003

“He’s dynamite – he goes above and beyond what any barrister would be expected to do. He always gets phenomenal results and is a tenacious and keen jury advocate who gets on well with clients.”

Chambers & Partners, 2020

"Clients are impressed by the tenacity and vigour he shows when putting their cases forward in court."

Legal 500, 2020 (Fraud: Crime)

"He combines great technical knowledge with a relentless desire to fight his client's corner."

Legal 500, 2020 (General Crime)

"A really bright, hands-on barrister who is really committed to his cases."

Legal 500, 2019

"Involved in challenging and high-profile cases spanning terrorism and human trafficking. Defends unled in significant cases"

Legal 500, 2017


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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Tom has a formidable reputation as a passionate defender and a strong advocate.

He has appeared in some of the most high-profile cases of recent years including the Hatton Garden burglary, the ‘Stansted 15’ protestors and representing the father of Jack Letts in his trial for funding terrorism. Tom has a particular interest and experience in Serious Fraud and Confiscation, Terrorism, Protest Cases and Criminal Appeals.

He is regularly instructed as Leading Junior Counsel in serious high-profile cases of significant complexity and legal importance. Tom is qualified under the 'Public Access' scheme and is able to take instructions direct from the public in appropriate cases.

Criminal Defence


Tom has always been a dedicated criminal defence barrister, devoted to providing full and fearless representation. He is ranked for Crime in the Chambers and Partners Directory 2020.

Notable Cases

Serious crime

R v ******, Woolwich Crown Court (2020)
Allegations of Perverting the Course of Justice and Money Laundering. Highly unusual proceedings, conducted almost entirely in camera, involving extremely sensitive evidence and novel legal issues. Defendant discharged following lengthy legal argument.

R v LB, Kingston Crown Court (2020)
Causing Death by Dangerous Driving. Case involved complex expert evidence on the issue of causation and the effect of medical negligence leading to death, as well as large amount of technical accident reconstruction evidence. Defendant acquitted.

R v Letts, Central Criminal Court (2019)
The Defendants were the parents of Jack Letts, a British Muslim revert who travelled to Syria in 2014 and the Crown alleged had joined ISIS. The Defendants were acquitted of two counts of funding terrorism on the grounds of duress after their son asked them for money in order to leave the group he was with, but were convicted on the remaining count. Prior to trial this extraordinary case went to the Supreme Court in order to determine the requisite mens rea for the offence and later to the Court of Appeal to consider the compatibility of the defence of duress with s.17 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Read reports of the case on the BBC here and the Daily Mail here.

R v Osman, Central Criminal Court (2019)
Defendant acquitted of attempted murder and GBH after the front seat passenger in his vehicle was caught on CCTV shooting a man at point blank range in a busy North London street.

R v Brown, Inner London CC (2017)
Nurse accused of stealing drugs from children's hospital, Prosecution relying on evidence from 'Omnicell' electronic drugs cabinets. Acquitted following successful submission of no case to answer. Reported in the Evening Standard here.

R v Newland, Manchester CC (2017)
Led junior in the appeal and re-trial of what was described as 'one of the most extraordinary and controversial criminal cases of recent times' in which the Defendant was alleged to have adopted a male persona in order to have a relationship with their female best friend. High-profile case which was reported in the Guardian here, the Mail here and the Telegraph here.

R v Thomas, Harrow CC (2016-2017) 'Operation Kadu'
Defendant acquitted of involvement in a large-scale conspiracy to manufacture and transfer firearms revolving around an illegal gun factory in North London which supplied converted weapons to criminal gangs.

R v Sofroniou, Chelmsford CC (2015) 'Operation Usurp'
Leading Junior acting for Defendant charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs across the Home Counties.

R v SS, Wood Green CC (2015)
Mother acquitted of causing or allowing serious harm to her toddler. Sensitive case involving expert paediatric and neurological evidence.

R v Amin, Southwark CC (2013)
Leading Junior in trial of Defendant alleged to have assisted in disposing of the body of a young woman murdered by members of her family in a so-called 'honour-killing'. Reported in the Telegraph here, the Daily Mail here, the Evening Standard here and ITV News here

R v Bacon and others, Sheffield CC (2012) 'Operation Manifest'
Multi-handed conspiracy to supply cocaine and launder the proceeds of crime. Defendant alleged to be financier of large-scale operation to supply controlled drugs in the South Yorkshire area.

R v Williams, Blackfriars CC (2010)
Defendant acquitted of serious assault on the basis that the smoking cessation drug Varenicline may have combined with alcohol to produce a state of automatism. Reported in the Mail here and the Metro here.

Contact Tom

Financial Crime and Confiscation


Tom has brought his analytical and advocacy skills to bear on large-scale complex frauds brought by the Serious Fraud Office, Trading Standards and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills amongst others. He is particularly well-known for his expertise in confiscation proceedings and has co-authored 'The Confiscation Manual' - a practical guide to the proceeds of crime.

Notable Cases

R v Gold, Southwark CC (2018 - 2019 ) ‘Operation Amazon’
Complex multi-million pound confiscation proceedings arising from what was said to be the most complex tax fraud ever investigated by HMRC. Read the report in the Mail here.

R v Hameed, Southwark CC (2019)
Lengthy and complicated Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings in which the Crown were initially seeking in excess of £100m. Reported in The Times here and the Mail here.

R v Bond, Southwark CC (2018) 'Operation Twilight'
Led junior in large-scale Conspiracy to Cheat the Revenue relating to a fraudulent scheme to obtain sideways tax relief from bogus film development companies.

R v Ahmed, Southwark CC (2017 - 2018)
Leading junior for Defendant charged with a conspiracy to launder the proceeds of a series of brothels in central London, totalling millions of pounds over a period of years.

R v Reader, Woolwich CC (2018)
Led junior representing one of the Hatton Garden safety deposit box burglars in their confiscation proceedings. The burglary was said to be the largest ever in British legal history and attracted international publicity. Read reports from The Guardian here, The Independent here, The Telegraph here and The Mirror here.

R v Xu, Southwark CC (2016 - 2017)

Corbiere v Xu [2018] EWHC 1650 (Ch); [2018] 4 WLR 125
Led junior defending in a private prosecution brought by a large hedge fund against a former employee in relation to the loss of millions of pounds worth of confidential intellectual property. Prosecution represented by two Queen's Counsel, one junior Counsel, one corporate solicitors' firm and one specialist prosecution firm. Case required detailed understanding of quantitative analysis, computer coding and the use of Optical Character Recognition software.

Further representing the same defendant in contempt of court proceedings brought by the same complainant in the Chancery Division and the Court of Appeal (Civil Division).

R v Byrne, Southwark CC (2016)
Led junior and junior alone for the main Defendant in two prosecutions for large-scale 'boiler room' and land-banking frauds. Total alleged loss said to be in the region of £9m.

R v Maclean, Truro CC (2014)
Leading junior in multi-handed fraud representing architect alleged to have secured fraudulent investments for multi-million pound building developments throughout Cornwall.

R v Advani, Croydon CC (2009-2011)
Large-scale fraud dating back to 1984 arising out of the collapse of the Johnson-Matthey Bank. The size and scope of the original investigation was a significant impetus in the establishment of the Serious Fraud Office.

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Protest Rights


As lead author on The Protest Handbook, Tom specialises in upholding protestors' rights under Articles 8, 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and challenging the excessive or unlawful use of force by police officers. Tom's practice in this area includes high-profile cases such as the 'Rotherham 12', the 'Occupy Parliament' demonstrations, R v Caroline Lucas MP and R v Zac King and Alfie Meadows.

Notable Cases

Stansted 15 (2018-2019)
Acting on behalf of two of the fifteen Defendants charged under the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990 with Endangering Safety at an Aerodrome after entering into Stansted Airport and chaining themselves around the base of a Boeing 767 in order to prevent it being used to deport individuals to countries where their lives were in danger.

The case has attracted widespread international attention. Read reports from the Guardian: ' Stansted 15: no jail for activists convicted of terror-related offences' and Stansted protesters believed deportees were at risk of death, court told.


R v Saleem, R v Sultan, Sheffield CC (2016 and 2018)
Representing two of the 'Rotherham 12', all of whom were acquitted of violent disorder on the grounds that they were defending themselves and their community after a peaceful demonstration was directed into the path of far-right football hooligans.

Ten defendants were unanimously found Not Guilty by a jury and the remaining two were later acquitted after the Prosecution offered no evidence against them, following revelations about the credibility of the Silver Commander in charge of policing the protest.

Read the reports from the Independent here, the Guardian here, Channel Four News here, The Mail here and Socialist Worker here

R v GP, Lewes CC (2016)
Defendant acquitted of violent disorder after confrontation with members of the EDL. Cut-throat defence against the other six defendants, all of whom were participants in the far-right 'March For England'.

R v YI, Southwark CC (2015)
Defendant acquitted after a trial for violent disorder following her participation in the 'Million Mask March' in London on 5th November 2014.

'Occupy Democracy' City of Westminster MC (2015)
Together with Owen Greenhall, representing thirty protestors over a series of ten trials arising out of the 'Occupy Democracy' demonstrations in Parliament Square in Autumn 2014. A variety of charges involved leading to complex legal argument on a wide range of issues including Articles Ten and Eleven of the European Convention, challenges to the validity of the Parliament Square Byelaws and the definition of 'sleeping equipment' in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. Not a single demonstrator was convicted.

Read the press coverage here.

R v Lucas and others, Brighton MC (2014) 'Operation Mansell'
Representing Caroline Lucas MP and others charged with offences arising out of a peaceful sit-down demonstration, protesting against a fracking operation being set up outside the small village of Balcombe. Following a six-day trial, not only were the Defendants acquitted of all charges, but the District Judge went on to rule that the conditions imposed on the protest by the police were unclear, without proper foundation and unlawful.

Read the reports from The Guardian here and here, The Independent here, the Times here and the BBC here and here.

R v Zac King, Woolwich CC (2013)
On 9th December 2010, Alfie Meadows and Zac King were both struck on the head by police batons whilst peacefully protesting in Parliament Square against the exorbitant rise in tuition fees being introduced by the coalition government. Alfie was nearly killed by the blow. Both young men then found themselves charged with Violent Disorder and facing a Crown Court trial. Tom's cross-examination of the Silver Commander challenged the Metropolitan Police's decision to 'kettle' hundreds of schoolchildren until late at night in the middle of winter. After a four-week trial, the jury returned within a short time to unanimously acquit both Defendants.

Read extracts from Tom's cross-examination and closing speech here and here.
Read the New Statesman's observations on the trial here and here.
Read the reports from The Independent here, The Guardian here and the BBC here.

R v Jahnke, Cambridge MC (2009)
Protestor who threw a shoe at Chinese Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, acquitted.
Read reports in The Guardian (1 June 2009) here, The Guardian (2 June 2009) here, and Time magazine here.

Contact Tom

Criminal Appeals


Tom has a strong track record in having convictions quashed and sentences reduced where previous Counsel had advised there was no merit and where the Single Judge has refused leave.

Tom acted in R v Bassett, the leading case on the offence of voyeurism and R v Court, the leading case on the definition of 'keeping a disorderly house'. He also appeared as Leading Counsel in R v McNally which dealt with the question as to whether alleged deception as to gender could nullify consent in sexual offences.

He is more than happy to take instructions pro bono in relation to the merits of making renewed applications.

Tom is the Treasurer for the Criminal Appeal Lawyers Association.

Notable Cases

R v Coltman [2018] EWCA Crim 2059
Interlocutory appeal arguing that a public interest defence should be read into the Computer Misuse Act 1990, so as to render it compatible with Articles 2, 3, 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

R v Stockli [2018] 2 Cr. App. R. 29; Archbold §31-33
Whether it amounted to an abuse of process for the Crown to charge a defendant with the offence of public nuisance, contrary to public law when alternative statutory offences were available.

R v Gohil and Preko [2018] 1 Cr. App. R. 30; Archbold §7-222b
Case arising out of a series of prosecutions relating to the activities of James Ibori, former governor of the Delta Province in Nigeria. Acting on behalf of the second applicant seeking leave to re-open a previous appeal on the basis of material non-disclosure by the Crown.

R v VSJ and others [2017] 1 Cr. App. R. 33; Archbold §19-464
Representing three out of the six appellants, all of whom were victims of human trafficking, in a specially convened conjoined appeal considering the relationship between the pre-existing law and the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the law on duress and the role of the Competent Authority.

R v McNally [2013] 2 Cr. App. R. 28; [2014] Crim LR 3, 207-223; [2014] Crim LR 7, 492-510; Archbold §20-29
Leading Junior in this key authority on what can and cannot vitiate consent for the purposes of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. The young female appellant was alleged to have deceived another female into believing she was male prior to having sexual relations. Following an expedited hearing, the sentence of imprisonment was quashed and replaced with a suspended sentence leading to the appellant's immediate release from custody.
Read articles in New Statesman here, the Mirror here and the Daily Record here.

R v Court and Gu [2012] 1 WLR 2260; [2012] 1 Cr. App. R. 36; Archbold §20-277
One prostitute, working by herself from an address and simply carrying out straight-forward sexual services was not sufficient to amount to the ancient common law offence of 'keeping a disorderly house'.

R v Dale [2011] EWCA Crim 1675
Defence should have been allowed to call expert evidence to demonstrate that there was a body of opinion that cannabis assisted in the control of epilepsy. Conviction unsafe as a result and quashed.

R v Pimm [2009] All ER (D) 141; [2009] EWCA Crim 2019; Banks on Sentence 305.16
Partially severing the victim's tongue was not 'particularly grave' harm for the purposes of the Sentencing Guidelines. Sentence reduced leading to appellant's immediate release. Initially advising pro bono.

R v Bassett (2008) Crim LR 998; (2009) 1 Cr App R 7; (2009) 1 WLR 1032; Archbold §20-243
Leading case on the offence of voyeurism under section 67 and 68 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Conviction quashed by Court of Appeal who agreed that the reference to 'breasts' in s.68 does not include a man's breasts. Defendant initially represented pro bono after leave to appeal refused by Single Judge.

Read reports in The Sun here, The Telegraph here and The Daily Mail here.

R v Eccleston and ors [2008] 2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 56; Archbold Sentencing Guidelines Supplement S-252
Applicability of Sentencing Guidelines Council Guidelines on Robbery to a pre-planned robbery of a large shop by three young people.

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Professional Regulation

HSE v Mooney, Southwark CC (2015)
Multiple Health and Safety breaches alleged in criminal proceedings brought by the Health and Safety Executive, arising out of numerous shortcomings on a construction site.

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Latest News

MS patient found not guilty of cultivating cannabis for medical use

Tom Wainwright of Garden Court represented the patient, Lesley Gibson, instructed by Tayab Ali of ITN Solicitors.

6 January 2020

Final two members of the 'Rotherham 12' acquitted

The final two members of the 'Rotherham 12' were acquitted today following legal argument by Tom Wainwright.

13 February 2018

Criminal Disclosure Referencer – Second Edition now published

Criminal Disclosure Referencer, Second Edition written by Tom Wainwright, Emma Fenn and Shahida Begum has been published. 

21 December 2017

Kurdish restauranteurs acting in self-defence were acquitted of affray and possession of offensive weapons on a submission of no case

Lalith de Kauwe represented the father and Tom Wainwright represented the son who were attacked by a group of men armed with weapons late at night as they closed their restaurant.

3 October 2017

Tom Wainwright secures acquittal for nurse accused of stealing drugs from children’s hospital

The defendant was represented by Tom Wainwright of Garden Court Chambers.

21 July 2017

Tom Wainwright secures acquittal of defendant charged with large scale conspiracy to manufacture and transfer firearms

Tom Wainwright has secured the acquittal of a defendant charged with a large scale conspiracy to manufacture and transfer prohibited firearms.

3 March 2017

Important Court of Appeal judgment for victims of human trafficking

A number of defendants and the intervener were represented by counsel from Garden Court Chambers.

15 February 2017

'Jihadi Jack' parents plead not guilty to funding terrorism

John Letts is being represented by Di Middleton and Tom Wainwright of Garden Court's Crime Team.

6 December 2016

Ten Asian men cleared of violent disorder against far-right extremists

Nick Wrack, Tom Wainwright and Hossein Zahir represented three of the men.

16 November 2016

CPS drops case against arms factory protest after High Court declares injunction void

Owen Greenhall acted in the High Court proceedings and both Owen and Tom Wainwright acted in the criminal proceedings.

7 December 2015

All 2014 Occupy Democracy protestors cleared

All Defendants were represented by Tom Wainwright and Owen Greenhall of Garden Court Chambers' Crime Team.

20 November 2015

Garden Court wins Legal 500 crime set of the year award

The winners in these awards are chosen by the Legal 500 as a result of thousands of interviews with firms, sets and counsel.

8 October 2015

Occupy Democracy protestors cleared over sit-in during Parliament Square Protest

The defendants were represented by Tom Wainwright and Owen Greenhall of Garden Court Chambers.

21 July 2015

Anti-fracking protesters cleared

Five anti-fracking protestors, including Green MP Caroline Lucas, found not guilty.

22 April 2014

Tom Wainwright secures acquittal of 'Critical Mass' protestor

Tom Wainwright has successfully secured the acquittal of a participant in the ‘Critical Mass’ protest which took place on the opening night of the Olympic Games following a four-day appeal at Southwark Crown Court.

23 August 2013

Tom Wainwright secures Not Guilty verdict for student protestor struck by police batons

In 2010 Alfie Meadows and Zac King were both struck on the head by police batons whilst peacefully protesting against the rise in tuition fees. Alfie was nearly killed by the blow. Both then found themselves charged with Violent Disorder.

11 March 2013

All related news


Criminal Disclosure Referencer - Wainwright, Fenn and Begum
(Second edition, Bloomsbury - published December 2017)
Lead author on this detailed and important guide to the duty of disclosure in criminal proceedings.

The Confiscation Manual - Vaughan QC, Wainwright, O'Hara and McGuinness
(Sweet and Maxwell - published September 2015)
Co-Author of this practical guide to confiscation proceedings, providing a comprehensive yet accessible explanation of the law relating to the proceeds of crime.

'Civil disobedience'; 'Demonstrations: police rights and duties'
(Westlaw Insight Database)

'No Defence: Miscarriages of justice and lawyers'
(The Justice Gap - June 2013)

'Five pieces of law every protester should know' - 1st May 2012

The Protest Handbook - Wainwright, Morris, Craig and Greenhall
(Bloomsbury - April 2012)
Co-author on the guide to all aspects of protest law from police powers to criminal proceedings, from occupations to civil actions.

Blackstones Guide to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 - Co-Author
(OUP. Published February 2009)


Training and Seminars

Hot Topics in Confiscation
(LCCSA International conference, Valencia)

Disclosure: Something Changed
(Garden Court Seminar)
Recent cases, current problems and potential future changes to the disclosure regime.

TransJustice Conference
(Garden Court in association with City University and Birkbeck, May 2016)
Co-ordinator and speaker at conference on challenges faced by trans and gender non-conforming people in the criminal justice system.

'Sexual Offences'
(LexisNexis Live webinar - available here)

'Fracking: The Protests and the Court Cases'
(Haldane Society Human Rights Lectures 2014 - available here)

'Ancillary Orders for Financial and Corporate Crime'
(Webinar for ThomsonReuters - available here)

'Policing the Neoliberal University'
(Defend the Right To Protest Public Event 2014)

'Protest Law: What Every Protestor Should Know' (2012); 'Protest Law: Update' (2014)
Two two-part podcasts for


  • MA (Oxon) Jurisprudence

Professional Membership

  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association
  • Criminal Appeal Lawyers Association (Treasurer)
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
  • Network For Police Monitoring Lawyers Group
  • Bar Pro Bono Unit
  • Liberty

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