Peter Glenser QC
Peter both prosecutes and defends very serious offences, in particular murder, serious violence, gang-related offending, serious sexual offences and firearms cases.
Peter also has a specialist knowledge of, and expertise in, firearms and firearms legislation, animal welfare, environmental offences and wildlife crime. In 2020 he successfully prosecuted a major CITES case involving the smuggling of European eels with an eventual retail value of £53m.
Peter is frequently instructed for the appellant in firearms licensing matters throughout England and Wales and is ranked in the legal directories in both crime and licensing.
Background and Expertise
In addition to a busy and heavy general criminal workload Peter specialises in military law.
He has been involved in many if not most of the more serious and high-profile court martial of recent years – including cases of murder, manslaughter, rape, serious sexual assault, other violence and dishonesty, as well as cases arising from alleged ill-treatment of enemy combatants, non-combatants and subordinates on operations.
He has experience of inquests with a jury and is licensed to receive instructions directly from members of the public.
Peter also practises from Cornwall Street Chambers in Birmingham and 18 St. John Street Manchester.
16 year old Louis Johnson was stabbed to death at East Croydon station. Peter, leading Sean Sullivan, is prosecuting the young man accused of his murder in a trial that will take place at the Old Bailey.
Prosecuting a trial where the defendant was charged with the illegal import and export of critically endangered European eels. Peter, leading Sean Sullivan, was instructed by the CPS Specialist Fraud Division after an investigation conducted by the National Crime Agency. European eels are considered so endangered that they are subject to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and there is a strict prohibition on exporting them to outside of the European Union. The offences spanned a two year period and involved 16 prohibited exports consisting of over 5 million elvers with an eventual retail value in the Far East of over £53 million. The defendant was found guilty of all offences. Southwark Crown Court.
See report here
Represented the defendant in three trials in 2019. He was a former army and police officer who worked at the MoD Smalls Arms School Corps Collection. Accused of wholesale theft of firearms from the collection over many years. He was acquitted of most counts at trial one with the jury undecided on 4 counts. The weapons involved included semi-automatic assault rifles, pistols and military sniper rifles. Retrial on 4 counts and then a firearms trial in relation to possession of a semi-automatic military pistol. Following a ruling before trial after several days of legal argument the defendant pleaded to this count. Instead of the mandatory minimum 5 years he was sentenced to 6 months for this particular offence. Winchester Crown Court.
See report here
Successful defence of gun club member for alleged breaches of licensing provisions regarding the storage of black powder revolvers. Peterborough Crown Court.
An unusual wildlife crime case concerning an allegation of disturbing ospreys by a farmer. Peter represented him on appeal. The decision to prosecute this case was widely criticised. The case was extensively reported. The Defendant accepted that he had disturbed the ospreys but claimed the statutory defence of taking part in routine agricultural activity just as he had done many times before without prosecution. Appeal successful. Carlisle Crown Court.
See report here
Defendant was a firearms manufacturer who inadvertently imported S5 shotguns from America, a strict liability offence with a mandatory minimum of 5 years. Complicated issues of fact and law about where any sale conducted over the internet had taken place and whether there was in fact a sale where the firearms had been intercepted before delivery. After legal argument he received a conditional discharge. The Defendant has a very successful business making high quality firearms which employs a number of people. Despite his eventual plea he kept his business and his personal certificates. Isleworth Crown Court
Two officer cadets at Sandhurst alleged to have waterboarded a fellow student. The case received national publicity at the time of the arrest of the defendants and at the beginning of trial. Following the complainant’s evidence and defence submissions the Crown applied to adjourn and then within a few hours offered no evidence. Bulford Court Martial Centre.
See report here
Conspiracy to murder. Prosecution alleged that Defendant was the “hitman” in a targeted attempted gangland assassination. B had shot the complainant in the abdomen at very close range in his home having broken in. Very strong cctv, cell site and other forensic evidence. Defence was that this was a robbery of a cannabis farm that had gone wrong. Acquitted. Pleaded to S18 and firearms matters. Bolton Crown Court.
See report here
Successfully leading for the Defence on behalf of a serviceman accused of Attempted Murder in Cyprus.
Successfully leading for the Defence on behalf of a British Army Warrant Officer accused of a variety of offences, including rape, in Germany, Canada and Britain.
Successfully defended two members of the Quantock Stag Hounds accused of unlawful hunting.
Exceptionally difficult client charged with multiple counts of vaginal and anal rape on his wife, assaults on his children and a variety of other serious offending. Norwich Crown Court
Very difficult defence of soldier accused of multiple familial rape of very young child. Already serving a sentence for sexual assault of same victim. Acquitted at half-time of all but one count.
Prosecuting in an attempted murder case arising out a parking dispute – involving complex medical and psychiatric issues, and exceptionally serious injuries. Kingston Crown Court.
Successfully defended three members of the Grove and Rufford Hunt on their appeal against a conviction for unlawful hunting.
Successfully defended a Master of Foxhounds on appeal against his conviction for threatening a hunt saboteur who had taken one of his foxhounds.
Read more Notable cases
Read more Licensing cases
Other Activities and Interests
- Peter is Chairman of the British Association of Shooting and Conservation, the UK’s largest shooting organisation. He writes for The Shooting Gazette and other publications on matters concerning firearms law
- He is a member of the Worshipful Company of Gunmakers
- Away from work, Peter is usually found enjoying the British countryside or in the kitchen
Professional commentary and attribution
"Very impressive with his examination of witnesses" (Legal 500, 2020)
"Easy to work with, accessible and very knowledgeable about firearms." (Chambers UK, 2020)
"Extremely good with lay clients and on his feet. His manner with clients gives him an edge - he is superb in how he commands respect." "Very persuasive and someone with a good court manner, he gets on well with judges at court." (Chambers UK, 2019)
"Excellent with lay clients, and a skilled and formidable advocate." (Legal 500, 2017)
"Has cornered the market in firearms licensing, and regularly defends private clients who have breached firearm licence requirements. He is praised for the depth of his knowledge of this area."
"A lawyer with a good network of connections in the firearms community" who is "approachable, amenable and always well liked by clients."
Chambers UK, 2018
"An extremely good advocate before tribunals."
Legal 500, 2016
PROFILE: Peter Glenser QC
"He's adept at winning over professional tribunals and is great both in terms of his paperwork and his performances on his feet.”
Chambers UK, 2020
Confiscation / POCA
Fraud, Bribery & Corruption
Inquests / public inquiries
Regulatory / Disciplinary
020 7489 2727
Inns of Court School of Law
Criminal Bar Association
Association of Military Court Advocates
Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
Agricultural Lawyers Association