Justin Rouse QC


Justin is an exceptionally experienced and committed criminal counsel, with expertise in all types of serious crime, including the representation of those charged with murder, rape and white collar crime. He is also extremely experienced in handling criminal cases attracting major press attention.

Background and Expertise

Justin has amassed substantial experience over a 35-year career and has been cited as a leading individual in Legal 500 and Chambers UK. He has lectured widely on criminal issues and has advised Parliament on statutory drafting. His practice is now principally defending serious crime and he has been instructed to prosecute and defend persons from a variety of backgrounds - including police officers.

His forces background gives him insight when defending in Courts Martial cases. He has represented forces personnel across the UK and in Germany on serious offences including rape and grievous bodily harm with an outstanding success rate. He uses his knowledge of firearms to benefit civilian clients.

He also specialises in serious and complex fraud.

Justin can be instructed to appeal a decision to the Court of Appeal, and can advise both orally and in writing upon the prospects for success.

He is authorised to receive instructions directly from the public in private cases.

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Notable cases

R v P, 2019

Defence Counsel leading 9 BR’s Simon Stirling in nationally reported murder of victim on a Guildford commuter train in front of his son. Psychiatric, diminished and manslaughter loss of control complications.Admissibilty issues: data,previous character and vulnerable witness ABEs. Central Crown Court.

News report here

R v TC and others, 2019

Successfully defended a youth accused of the Clapham South station murder. The defendant, who admitted carrying a hunting knife to the scene before giving it to his co-defendant, was acquitted of murder and manslaughter. Central Criminal Court.

News report here

R v C, 2019

Defendant faced murder charge for stabbing his aunt. Found guilty of manslaughter through diminished responsibility. Blackfriars Crown Court.

News report here

R v H 2018

Defending gamekeeper accused of unlawfully killing peregrine falcons. Series of submissions relating to trespass, data protection, breaches of PACE codes, breach of RIPA requirements and unlawful search resulted in all charges being dismissed.

R v M and C, 2018

Defending 2 hunt employees facing criminal accusations made by hunt sabateurs. Submissions on entrapment, self defence, prevention of crime (s.3 CLA), data protection breaches, perverting the course of justice. Prosecution were compelled to make further disclosure resulting in their having to abandon the prosecution. Acquittal.

R v RH, 2018

Historic rape case involving a teacher and a 5 year old boy. Abuse said to have continued for 5 years. Required very sensitive cross examination. Acquitted. Heard at Southwark Crown Court.

R v TG, 2018

Defending a 14 year old boy charged with 4 co-defendants in a gang related murder. Cut throat defences run by all defendants. Issues of causation, telephone data analysis and expert evidence on image analysis. Heard at St. Albans Crown Court.

R v NS, 2018

Adult son stabbed mother to death during psychotic episode. Psychiatric and forensic expert evidence. Heard at Guildford Crown Court.

R v MZ, 2018

Defending 18 year old charged with involvement in gang drugs related murder and violent disorder. Issues of forensic evidence, telephone material and joint enterprise. Acquitted of murder. Heard at the Central Criminal Court.

R v CM, 2018

VHCC fraud involving the Government apprenticeship scheme. Nationwide operation defrauding colleges and the government scheme across Britain. Southwark Crown Court

R v R, 2017

Charges of murder and manslaughter. Successful acquittal of husband who admitted killing his wife by cutting her throat during an argument. Cross-examination of 5 experts.

Press reports:

Daily Mail Here

The Sun Here

The BBC Here

R v N, 2017

Prosecuting: two men who shot and killed a teenager. Verdicts: both guilty of murder. Made the subject of Channel 4 documentary "Catching A Killer"

News story here

R v B and others, 2017

Allegations of conspiracy to defraud the public – by high-profile limousine company, whose clients include X-Factor stars, royal family and international celebrities. Acting for principal shareholder. Heard at Chester Crown Court.

Appeal of Popovs, 2016

Instructed to represent the Crown in the Court of Appeal on a murder trial involving the killing of a son in front of his mother. Issues of fresh evidence, errors in the Summing Up and conduct of counsel. All grounds and sentence appeal successfully opposed.

Read more Notable cases

Additional specialisms:

  • Specialist in firearms law and the defence of young persons.
  • Experienced in Appellate work, he is tenacious, with good analytical skills and is always alert to unseen avenues of argument. Good client manner.
  • Substantial experience of defending in murder cases both at the Old Bailey and elsewhere

Professional Commentary and Attribution

"He is clearly quite formidable in terms of his passion for defending a case, but equally he has that remarkable common touch so that he gets clients straight away and clients get him." (Chambers UK, 2020)
‘Always very good with the lay clients, he can pick up cases at lightning speed.’ (Legal 500 - 2018)
'A "fearless advocate",  identified him as an outstanding individual in his field and pronounced him as a UK’s leading barrister 2014, 2015, 2016. Listed QC in 2017'

Legal 500, 2017

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PROFILE: Justin Rouse QC

"In court, the kind of advocate that makes you want to sit up and pay attention"

Legal 500, 2020

Year called






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Confiscation / POCA

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Corporate Offences

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Financial Crime

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Fraud, Bribery & Corruption

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Serious Crime

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Sexual offences


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Inquests / public inquiries

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Regulatory / Disciplinary

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Financial and Corporate law

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VAT Tribunals


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Road Traffic

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Road traffic

Direct access



020 7489 2727


Inns of Court School of Law (Bar finals)

BA(Hons) in Law, London

Winner of the Lord Denning Mansfield Cup for mooting

Ryde School


CBA South Eastern Circuit NRA Bar Yacht Club Amersham and Chiltern RFU


2015: Queen’s Counsel

2012: Tutor to Lincoln’s Inn Advocacy course.

2004: Recorder (Sexual Offences ticketed 2006, Appeals ticketed 2006).


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