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Robert Smith

Year of call 2005, Gray's Inn  

Areas of Expertise
Criminal, Inquests & Public Inquiries

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Robert Smith is Deputy Head of the Criminal Team with over 18 years’ experience of both prosecution and defence cases. His practice encompasses complex and serious cases that include allegations of murder, organised crime, violence, sexual offences, drug trafficking, dishonesty, and fraud.



Robert is regularly instructed in confiscation proceedings, he has advised in relation to an application for restraint orders in a multi-million pound international crypto-currency fraud, and in cases involving assets of over £10 million.

He has been instructed in numerous cases for local authorities and other public bodies including an NHS authority in a large, multi-handed child grooming case at Liverpool Crown involving material subject to public interest immunity. Robert advises police forces acting as special counsel where material is subject to legal professional privilege. Over the course of 2018/2019 Robert gave continuous advice on legal professional privilege to a police force investigating the activities of a suspected "fake" solicitor, which involved attending at the search of the suspects premises and subsequent review of hundreds of documents that were seized.

Robert is regularly instructed by the police in respect of civil applications for renewal/ revocation of firearms certificates, reviews of liquor licences, football banning orders and gang injunctions.

His experience extends to general advisory work including a Manchester Shisha Bar on their responsibilities under the Health Act 2006. In 2016 Robert advised Copeland Borough Council on their response to a local campaign for confiscation proceedings to be brought against a major supermarket and parking company in Whitehaven - Parking Eye Press Report

He frequently represents private clients in motoring matters.

Robert is a pupil supervisor, a category 4 prosecutor and has been a member of the CPS RASSO Panel since 2019.



  • Operation Chicago - January 2023 (Manchester Crown Court) – Conspiracy to Murder (Defence)
    Led by Jaime Hamilton KC, defending in a two-month trial where the defendant was charged along with others with conspiracy to murder. The background was an alleged dispute between two rival Rochdale drug gangs. During the trial issues arose around the admissibility of rap lyrics found on the defendant’s phone. The defendant was acquitted of conspiracy to murder and convicted of the alternative charge of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm Press Report
  • R-v- B January 2022 (Derby Crown Court) – Murder (Defence)
    Led by Jaime Hamilton KC, the defendant was charged with murder having run over the deceased with his motor car following a physical confrontation in the street. The defendant was acquitted of murder and convicted of the alternative charge of manslaughter. BBC Press Report
  • R -v- M - March 2020 (Liverpool Crown Court) – Murder (Prosecution)
    Led by Charles Garside KC in prosecution of defendant charged with murder of a young man in Failsworth. The case involved the presentation of detailed CCTV and cell siting evidence. Follow the link to the press report for the earlier trial of the other defendants - BBC Press Report
  • Operation Scarlet March 2019 (Manchester Crown Court) - Attempted Murder (Prosecution)
    Led by Darren Preston in the prosecution of three defendants charged with attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. The three defendants drove from Liverpool to an address in Salford in order to execute a gangland shooting. Press Report


  • Operation Marigold - December 2021 (Preston Crown Court) – Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs
    Prosecution of defendants involved in large scale drug supply in the North West of England. The case involved cell-site and ANPR evidence. One defendant convicted after trial. Press Report
  • Operation Along - March 2021 (Manchester Crown Court) – Conspiracy to facilitate illegal immigration - Prosecuting
    Prosecution of two defendants in a document heavy trial. The main defendant was also charged with identity document offences going back years in which a false passport and immigration documents had been obtained. The case involved multiple experts including facial mapping, handwriting and telecommunication evidence. The main defendant was convicted and received 11 years imprisonment, reduced to 10 years on appeal. Court of Appeal Judgment (which also contains a summary of the case)
  • Operation Emboss 2 October 2018 (Birmingham Crown Court) Conspiracy to import drugs – Prosecuting
    Led by Mark Monaghan in prosecution of a multi-handed drugs conspiracy where the OCG sought to use an international haulage firm to import cannabis into the UK from continental Europe. Case involved cell siting and the presentation of complex fingerprint evidence. Press Report
  • Operation Solar 2016 (Minshull Street Crown Court) Conspiracy to launder money - Prosecuting
    Led by Jaime Hamilton in the prosecution of an OCG who sought to launder money through a garage premises.
  • R-v-S 2015 (Liverpool Crown Court) – Drugs - Defending
    Advised and represented female defendant of good character in a ten-handed, paper heavy case concerning drugs offences under the Serious Crime Act 2007. Submissions made regarding disclosure issues 3 weeks into the trial. Indictment stayed.
  • R-v-A 2009 (Liverpool Crown Court) - Conspiracy to supply drugs and firearms - Defending
    Led defence junior in a 6-month multi handed trial. Defendant was charged with supplying drugs and firearms. Case also involved allegations of murder in the context of organised gang activity in South Manchester. Press Report


  • R-v-A – November 2022 (Manchester Crown Court) – Rape of a child (Prosecuting)
    Successful prosecution of defendant charged with rape of a child, the complaints having been made following media reports of the defendants conviction for other child sex offences in 2019. Press Report
  • R-v-T – August 2021 (Manchester Crown Court) – Rape of a child (Prosecuting)
    Prosecution of defendant charged with multiple sexual offences against a child dating back to the 1990’s. The defendant was convicted and sentenced to 17 years imprisonment. Press Report
  • R-v-M – June 2021 (Manchester Minshull Street) – Rape (Defending)
    Led by David Bruce, defending in multi complainant sex case. The defendant was a former professional footballer. Press Report
  • R -v- K 2017 (Minshull Street Crown Court and Court of Appeal) - Sexual activity with a child (Defending)
    Represented defendant at trial charged with inciting sexual activity and sexual assault of a six year old child. An 8 year sentence was reduced to 3 years on subsequent appeal. Press report of the original case here: Press Report
  • R-v- A 2013 (Minshull Street Crown Court) – Rape (Prosecuting)
    Led by Peter Cadwallader in prosecution of defendant, charged with multiple counts of rape against a victim who was both deaf and without speech. Case involved sign language interpreters and intermediaries. The victim had been trafficked into the UK from abroad. Press Report
  • R-v-Warburton 2012 (Court of Appeal) - Sexual Offender Orders (Prosecuting)
    Advised and represented prosecution in respect of an appeal against a SOPO. Consideration of R-v-Smith.


  • R -v- A February 2020 (Snaresbrook Crown Court) - Section 18 (Defending)
    Defendant charged with section 18 GBH. D was alleged to have driven at a stranger behind a nightclub in Stepney, crushing him against a wall before returning to the scene moments later to repeatedly stamp on the complainant's head causing catastrophic injuries. Case involved cell siting and DNA evidence.
  • R -v- July 2019 (Minshull Street Crown Court) – Section 20 (Prosecuting)
    Prosecuted soap actor for section 20 wounding. A case which received national media attention. Press Report


  • R v H (April 2022) – Southwark Crown Court – Conspiracy to Blackmail (Defending)
    Represented former Royal Marine, charged with conspiracy to blackmail the UAE ambassador for £3 million. Following representations to the prosecution, the defendant pleaded guilty to burglary and theft offences and was ultimately made the subject of a suspended sentence order. Press Report
  • R -v- D (January 2019) Manchester Crown Court - Fraud (Defending)
    Represented defendant at trial charged with defrauding a pensioner of her life savings. The complainant sadly died prior to trial and the evidence was adduced under the hearsay provisions of the Criminal Justice Act. Press Report
  • R-v-DM (2016) Bristol Crown Court – Money Laundering (Defending)
    Advised and represent female defendant in multi handed, paper heavy money laundering trial arising out of a nationwide drugs conspiracy. Successful application made to exclude evidence in relation the original conspiracy, leading to the defendant's acquittal.
  • R-v-HF (2014) Manchester Crown Court – Confiscation under the Terrorism Act (Defending)
    Advised and represented the defendant in an application to seize his family home under the Terrorism Act 2002. Press Report
  • R-v-B 2014 (Defending) Manchester Crown Court – Fraud (Defending)
    Led junior for the defendant, charged with her husband in respect of complex and paper heavy, large scale fraud of the NHS. Successful abuse of process application regarding material non-disclosure by the Crown led to case being stayed.
  • R-v-A and A 2014 Minshull Street Crown Court – Confiscation (Prosecuting)
    Led by Peter Cadwallader in a successful application under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Crown successfully sought to recover benefits obtained by the defendants through their use of a vulnerable victim as forced labour. Press Report


Deputy Head of the Criminal Team
Pupil Supervisor
CPS General Crime Panel - Category 4
CPS RASSO (Rape and Serious Sexual Offences) Panel
CPS Serious Crime Panel
Youth Court accredited


Criminal Bar Association


LLB, University of Bristol (2002)
Nottingham Law School

Prescribed Information

Robert Smith is a practising barrister, who is regulated by the Bar Standards Board. Details of information held by the BSB about Robert Smith can be found here.

Robert Smith's clerks will happily provide no obligation quotations for all legal services that he provides. Their contact details can be found here. It is most common for Mr Smith to undertake, Magistrates and Crown Court work for a brief fee plus refresher days. For any advisory work including paperwork and conferences, this is most commonly charged at an hourly rate, although fixed fees are available. Mr Smith also accepts instructions on legal aid rates where those are available, details of which can be found here. Mr Smith will typically return paperwork within 10 days, however professional commitments, complexity and volume of documentation can affect these approximate timescales.

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