Nine Bedford Row


Justin Rouse QC

Called 1982
Silk 2015

Related resources:
23 February 2016: Justin Rouse QC and Sean Sullivan Secure Murder Acquittal




Summary of practice:

Chambers UK 2016

Legal 500, 2015: ‘A fearless advocate.’

Now promoted to Silk, Justin’s advocacy, integrity, judgement and tactical ability is recognised as outstanding. He has wide experience of many forms of criminality – and how to investigate it, prosecute, defend and adjudicate upon it.

FRAUD : 2014-15 has just concluded leading for the defence in an MTIC fraud trial which lasted six months and involved a £100,000,000 fraud upon HMRC. This was an international and complex money laundering operation prosecuted by Queen’s Counsel assisted by three juniors. This work involves a strong command of international money laundering, use of telephone and cellsite data, banking procedures, as well as a real understanding of the workings of fraud. His command of this area of law is illustrated by a privately defended fraud in which an acquittal was secured from a jury deliberating for 13 minutes. Story here

PROSECUTING: A level 4 (highest)  prosecutor when a junior, Justin continues to be instructed by London CPS in very serious prosecutions, currently advising and representing the prosecution in an appeal before the Court of Appeal.

JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE: Justin is a Recorder of the Crown Court with wide judicial experience in trying fraud, corruption and money laundering. He has additionally been approved to try serious sexual offences and appeals. He has tried banking corruption and fraud cases and is experienced in controlling volatile advocates and clients.  In addition to sitting in Courts around the South of England, he has tried cases at the Central Criminal Court in London.

DRUGS:  Justin recently defended in a £30 million heroin and cocaine importation. He handled for CPS Special Casework division a serious and complex drug importation involving three foreign jurisdictions but he is also frequently instructed to defend such cases. Currently instructed to lead for the first defendant in a drugs related gangland murder – a case which requires a knowledge of ballistics, telephone tapping, surveillance techniques and the law surrounding covert policing.. 

GUNS: With a lifelong personal interest and expertise in firearms, Justin has conducted numerous firearms licence appeals and gun related trials and has lectured on firearms law.

MURDER Justin regularly leads for the defence in murders – currently instructed in a wife killing and  recently defended a son (successfully avoiding a cutthroat defence) where two brothers killed their stepfather. In a third illustration, he also secured an acquittal on murder where the prosecution had refused to accept the proffered manslaughter plea – a case in which a husband was accused of killing his wife.

SEX : Specialist in offences involving allegations of child abuse. Recently he privately represented a headmaster in relation to serious historic sexual offences in which he mounted a ground-breaking argument on abuse of process and successfully resisted the prosecution QC’s application to lift a stay of the indictment. He is recognised as an expert in defending allegations of sexual impropriety. He has lectured to specialists on this area of law and is certified to judge rape and serious sexual offences as a Recorder of the Crown Court.

Coming from a military background, Justin takes a particular interest in forces law. In the last four Courts Martial in which he has defended, every prosecution case has been stopped by the Judge following  cross examination. His integrity, abilities and experience are recognised by the police and he has been instructed to both prosecute and defend serving police officers. In 2015 he represented a police officer who, over a period of years,  sold highly sensitive police information to a national newspaper. This type of case requires a deep understanding of the operational methods of the police, but also the methods of corruption employed to engage the services of public officials. He also defends professionals, most recently defending a doctor at the Central Criminal Court.

Direct Access:

Justin is qualified to accept private cases directly from the public through the Bar Council Direct Access scheme.

Notable cases:

Corruption, fraud and money laundering:

2016: R -V- 25203257 Ex Cpl Fulton: Anthony Berry QC and Justin Rouse QC secure acquittals in soldier threesome suicide case - Guardian story here

2016 R v X: (current) -  corruption of official to obtain substantial financial advantage for company
2015 R v Harvey - leading for the defence MTIC fraud. A six month trial against QC with three juniors, in a multi-million pound VAT fraud.
R v Asghar Sheik - prosecuted and secured conviction and successful confiscation proceedings of multi million pound counterfeiting and copyright fraud for Special Casework unit.                                                                                                                                              
R v Stares - leading for the prosecution in Special Casework unit case involving fraud on London Underground.
R v Harper - defending in substantial fraud on Mars plc.                                                                                                                                 
2015 R v Brady alleged rape and sexual abuse of step child and her daughter by him
2015 R v Ozberkcan defending death by dangerous driving
2015 R v Hill: leading in defence murder of wife
2015 R v Small – rape of partner
2014 R v Palmer - for defence in murder of a stranger                                                          
2013 R v Wright - defending historic sexual abuse allegations involving complex legal argument regarding lifting stay on earlier proceedings. Attorney General and DPP involved in prosecution.
2013 R v Ellis - leading for defence in murder..
R v Pilipow - leading for defence in cut-throat murder trial.
R v Hunnisett - murder and dismemberment of vicar.

R v Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court ex parte Marsden. Divisional Court case delaying with custody time limits


Recorder of the Crown Court - licenced to try rape and other serious sexual offences and hear appeals in the Crown Court
Defence: Inns of Court teacher of advocacy to qualified barristers                                             
Prosecution:  Senior Prosecutor (Grade 4)
Specialist rape prosecutor
Specialist proceeds of crime prosecutor.


Inns of Court School of Law


Some French and Spanish


Criminal Bar Association
BASC, Scottish Gamekeepers Assoc.
South Eastern Circuit
Bar Yacht Club

Other activities and interests:

Wildlife and Countryside issues; travel; Wasps rugby, diving.


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