Rhiannon Sadler

Introduction

Rhiannon is regularly instructed in criminal cases that involve the use of firearms, having expertise in firearms and firearms legislation.

Rhiannon is a dynamic advocate with broad experience in criminal, court martial and regulatory law. A persuasive negotiator with exceptional communication skills, she is analytical, pragmatic and personable – and puts her heart and soul into cases.

She has been recommended in Chambers & Partners every year since 2009 – as well as in Legal 500.

Background and expertise

Rhiannon is a Grade 3 prosecutor, regularly appearing at Crown courts to prosecute complex cases including conspiracies, serious violent and sexual offences, and fraud.

Her defence practice has taken Rhiannon all over the country. She has successfully defended in a succession of ‘multi-handed’ drugs cases including conspiracy to supply cocaine; conspiracy to supply cannabis, involving an international plot to import goods from the Caribbean; and conspiracy to cultivate cannabis.

Read more

Other notable successful defence instructions have included trials relating to honour-based kidnap and false imprisonment; cigarette smuggling; and firearms.

Rhiannon is a highly skilled junior and has been led in cases at both the Court of Appeal and Crown Court – including murder; conspiracy to defraud; conspiracy to steal and handle stolen goods; and conspiracy to traffic people.

She conducts her practice with enthusiasm, professionalism and skill – irrespective of case, client or location.

Notable cases

R v B, 2018

Junior counsel for third defendant. The defendant was the second of three defendants who faced an indictment alleging importation of cocaine, heroin and prohibited firearms. The case arose from a joint surveillance operation undertaken by the Metropolitan Police Service, The National Crime Agency and the French Police.The defendants were part of a much larger network of criminals who conspired to bring in vast quantities of narcotics and dangerous weaponry in from Europe.The defendant travelled to Belgium whereupon he collected bags which were subsequently discovered to contain cocaine, heroin and firearms. The next day he drove to a car park in Loon Plage, France. He was observed placing three bags into a van which belonged to his co-defendant – a serving UK Border Agency Officer. Police arrived shortly afterwards and made arrests.The bags were searched and contained the following:

  • 34.6 kilogrammes of cocaine;
  • 6.6 kilogrammes of heroin;
  • 8 automatic revolvers;
  • 2 revolvers;
  • 3 silencers; and
  • Firearms ammunition.

The defendant was said by the Judge to have played a significant role in a “major enterprise”.

R v M, 2018

Junior Counsel for Defence. 6-handed conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation whereby the Directors of LMT (including the defendant) fraudulently obtained millions of pounds in funding from further education training colleges. LMT operated by securing contracts with FE colleges to provide training to students who LMT claimed were interested and eligible for enrolment on FE courses. Two of the defendants  were ex professional footballers and utilised their contacts in this industry. The investigations by individual FE colleges, exam boards and the SFO uncovered a wealth of evidence to suggest the courses were a sham. Students said to complete these courses had often been unaware that they had been enrolled on an apprenticeship. Many, in any event, did not meet the eligibility criteria. Those who met the criteria were often not in receipt of the minimum payments they were entitled to. The prosecution claim that the value of the fraud totalled £5,090,876.50. The POCA proceedings concluded in November 2018 with a benefit figure of £293,753.18 and available amount of £15,702.30. Southwark Crown Court.

R v L and Others 2017

The defendant was a former police officer and a former army officer, with a keen interest in firearms. The prosecution allege that he stole weapons, and parts of weapons, belonging to the Army during his time at the Small Arms School Core Collection in Warminster. They included a number of SA80 rifles, sniper rifles and Lee Enfield rifles. Some were sold on to other firearms enthusiasts, while others were kept by him at his home address where they were found by the police. Some were passed on to the co-defendants and ultimately sold for vast amounts of money, in excess of £100,000. Winchester Crown Court

Read more Notable cases

R v Balvinder Singh, 2013
Secured an acquittal for a Sikh father accused of an honour-based kidnap and false imprisonment involving his daughter’s secret boyfriend.
R v Vitalius Lapinskas and others

Junior counsel for Crown in five-handed trial for conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to handle cars and parts worth in excess of £500,000. Case involved extensive covert surveillance and expert evidence; Rhiannon was commended for preparation of extensive schedules for use in presenting the case to the jury.

R v McDonagh and others, 2009
Led junior in 12-week, 10-handed conspiracy trial at Winchester Crown Court, which resulted in an acquittal.
R v Abdul Tafader and others, 2016-17
Junior counsel for defence in 40-day, seven-handed trial for conspiracy to facilitate the unlawful immigration of non-EU citizens from the UK to France – arising from an undercover operation by journalists working for the Sun.
R v Bartosz Lewicki, 2017
Defence counsel in four-handed trial for cigarette smuggling, involving a client who instructed counsel in his absence for medical reasons. Acquitted of conspiracy to import cigarettes. Jury convicted of a single substantive.
R v Smith, 2011

EWCA Crim 1098 Defence appeal against conviction. Appeal allowed on the basis of misdirection regarding adverse inferences. Conviction quashed.

R v Rogers, 2013

EWCA Crim 2406 Respondent in appeal against conviction. Conviction upheld.

Other Activities and Interests

  • Speaker for schools

Professional commentary and attribution

“Regularly instructed to prosecute cases concerning fraud, as well as serious sexual and violent offences. She also defends a wide variety of cases, including those involving child sexual abuse and multi-handed drugs conspiracies.
"She is very calm and measured, and she shows very good judgement."
"Rhiannon is a dynamic prosecution and defence advocate with broad experience at all levels of criminal law. She has an outstanding reputation, a strong work ethic and excellent organisational skills."
"She is a highly regarded junior and has been led in a multitude of cases including a 3-month long conspiracy to steal, a conspiracy to defraud the Secretary of State involving international visa fraud, as well as murder, both prosecuting and defending."
"She is a persuasive negotiator with exceptional communication skills and experience in handling highly sensitive cases. She has a keen interest in honour based crimes and successfully secured an acquittal for a father accused of honour based kidnap and false imprisonment."
"Rhiannon is lauded for her willingness to go the extra mile and delivery at the highest of standards. She is a Grade 3 prosecutor and routinely briefed in both London and the Provinces. She has a proven ability to adapt quickly to new and complex environments and thrives under pressure."

Chambers UK, 2018

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PROFILE: Rhiannon Sadler

“A very capable advocate with a mixed criminal practice…hard-working, diligent and very intelligent.”

Chambers UK, 2015 and 2016

Year called

2004

Specialisms

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Crime

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Financial Crime

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Fraud, Bribery & Corruption

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Military

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Disciplinary

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Regulatory / Disciplinary

Direct access

Yes

Contact

020 7489 2727

Education

BVC, The College of Law, London, 2003–04

LLB (Hons) in Law, Kingston University 2000–03

Memberships

CBA, South Eastern circuit, Sussex Bar Mess, North London Bar Mess

Appointments

Grade 3 prosecutor

Association of Military Court Advocates – committee member

Recognition

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