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 the UK Legal 500. He has lectured widely on criminal issues and has advised Parliament on statutory drafting. He has defended soldiers in courts martial in this country and abroad. His practice now principally defending serious crime and he has been instructed to prosecute and defend persons from a variety of backgrounds - including police officers.

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

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His forces background gives him insight when defending armed services personnel – and 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 has a strong record on sex cases, and has had some remarkable successes in defending murder cases.

Notable cases

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 October 2018

Defending 2 hunt employees facing criminal accusations made by hunt sabs. Submissions on entrapment, self defence, prevention of crime (s.3 CLA), data protection breaches, perverting the course of justice. Prosecution abandon prosecution.

R v TG, 2018

Defending a 14 year old charged with murder in gang related drug feud. Cross examining other members of the gang. Cut throat defences run.

R v MZ, 2018

Defending 18 year old charged with involvement in gang drugs related murder and violent disorder.

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

Read more Notable cases

R v M, 2016

At Harrow Crown Court, successfully defended the only Operation Yewtree jury trial to end in acquittal. BBC staff member accused of historic sexual assault of subordinate over an entire year. Sensitive press and professional issues surrounding the client's subsequent employment discretely managed.

BBC article here

R v CM, 2016 – 2018

Currently defending multi-million pound fraud of substantial complexity, in case due to run for four months.

R v H, 2016

Defended £100 carousel fraud case, including cross-border issues, complex tecnical material and cross-examination of expert witnesses. Trial lasted 5 months.

R v M and others, 2016

Murder trial with aggravated burglary. The defendant, with an organised gang, smashed their way into a home and violently assaulted a couple before going on to kill. Complex DNA, telephone material and identification issues were argued. Heard at Maidstone Crown Court.

R v J, 2016

High-profile allegation of rape against two former military police officers, said to have raped a female colleague in Germany. Legal argument was mounted to exclude a video interview with the complainant, because she had committed suicide and could not be cross-examined. Case also involved jurisdictional issues. Heard at Bulford Court Martial Centre.

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.

R v S and others, 2016

Only one of five defendants to be acquitted of gangland murder, arising from a drugs feud and involving numerous guns and the shooting of rival. Issues around firearms expertise, telephone evidence and cut-throat defences. Heard at Sheffield Crown Court.

News story here

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.
  • 2016 defended a complex 5 month carousel fraud at Kingston Crown Court, involving overseas tax havens, complex algorithm methodology and multiple defendants. Current 6 month fraud trial is at Southwark, concluding February 2018.
  • Renowned in his practice for a thorough commitment to criminal justice on and off the Bench which commitment rises to the most serious, complex and challenging of cases.
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PROFILE: Justin Rouse QC

Legal 500 : 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

Year called





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Confiscation / POCA

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Financial Crime

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Fraud, Bribery & Corruption

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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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Corporate Offences

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VAT Tribunals

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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