Organised Crime and Terrorism


The St Philips’ Criminal Group Organised Crime and Terrorism team comprises of Barristers who have a huge depth of experience in the defence and prosecution of these cases. Members of the team regularly appear in the leading cases heard in the Midlands and further afield; many of these have been cases of national importance and notoriety.

The team is able to deploy an unrivalled level of expertise in cases such as gangland killings, riot and firearms offences, drugs importation, people trafficking, prosecutions under the animal rights legislation and offences relating to explosions and terrorism. Members of the team have wide ranging experience in the issues arising around the use of intercepted telephone call recordings from prison and from foreign jurisdictions.

In the prosecution of these cases members of the team work closely alongside members of the security services, SOCA (NCA), the Organised Crime departments of the major Midland police forces and other relevant prosecuting agencies. Members of the team have developed real expertise in the most sensitive and specialised of evidence gathering tactics and the presentation or challenge of covertly gathered material, regularly utilising the provisions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

There has been considerable growth in the area of terrorism work and members of the team have delivered training to other legal professionals on the intricacies of terrorism law drawing on their experience of having dealt with these cases. Members of the team have prosecuted and defended cases brought under the Terrorism Act and the Explosive Substances Act.

A short consideration, by topic, of some of the cases in which members of the team have been engaged in the recent past best illustrates the capabilities of the group.

Murder & Serious Organised Violence

The prosecution and defence of a street gang for the killing of Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare. This is reported as one of the leading authorities on the anonymity of witnesses.

The prosecution and defence of the targeted killing of a member of a rival motorcycle gang – “The M40 murder.”

The prosecution of the members of a notorious Birmingham gang for the shooting of a nightclub bouncer.

The prosecution of a drug related gang killing.

The prosecution of a Birmingham street gang for riot and firearms offences where; in the midst of the summer disturbances of 2011, police officers were lured out onto the streets and shot at with firearms.

Drugs Offences

The prosecution of a 10 handed conspiracy to produce cannabis following the seizure of one of the largest cannabis growing facilities ever seen in the UK.

The prosecution and defence of a 10 handed conspiracy to supply Class A drugs across the Midlands.

The prosecution and defence of a 12 handed conspiracy to import and supply some 20million worth of cannabis.

The prosecution of a 10 handed conspiracy to import and supply 150 kg of high purity cocaine this was the largest seizure of cocaine ever made in the West Midlands.

The prosecution of a 6 handed conspiracy to import bulk loads of cannabis from the continent. Telephone calls intercepted in Holland formed a part of the prosecution evidence.

The prosecution of a multi-handed drugs supply network infiltrated by the use of undercover officers.

Serious & Organised Fraud

The prosecution and defence of a major organised fraud involving the theft of a vast quantity of beer kegs.

The prosecution of a gang of men who obtained and then sold on numerous high value motor vehicles. Some £1 million worth of cars were obtained.

Animal Rights

The prosecution of the first contested case brought under section 145 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 200: conspiracy to harm an animal research organisation. In this case activists had targeted companies providing goods and services to an animal research organisation.

People Trafficking

The prosecution and defence of an organised crime group arranging for the illegal immigration of large numbers of workers from Asia into a bogus college extorting huge sums from them.

Terrorism & Explosive Act Offences

The prosecution of an organised crime group that had deployed and exploded viable pipe-bombs (nail bombs) into the home addresses of targeted associates of their rivals.

The defence of a man charged with a racially motivated bombing campaign.