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Call: 2013

Rupert Russell

Albion Chambers

Broad Street Bristol BS1 1DR

  • Overview

    Rupert is a skilful advocate who undertakes work across the criminal spectrum, including organised crime, serious violence, high-value fraud, and sexual offences. He is equally confident acting as junior defence counsel in high-profile murder cases, handling vulnerable witnesses in cases involving the gravest sexual offences, or prosecuting complex, multi-handed conspiracies to supply class A drugs.

    Rupert is a CPS Grade 3 panel advocate and a member of the Rape & Serious Sexual Offences Panel (“RASSO”). He is also a member of the Regulatory Advocates Panel in Health & Safety and Environmental Law.

    Rupert was appointed a Fee-Paid Judge of the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration & Asylum Chamber) in 2023.

    Rupert sits on chambers’ Equality & Diversity Committee and acts as a Pupil Supervisor.

  • Murder/Serious Violence
    • R v LB & Others (Bristol CC, 2023): Secured a complete acquittal for a 16-year-old defendant charged with murder in a multi-handed case involving a gang-related stabbing in Gloucester. Led by Tahir Khan KC.
    • R v CN (Taunton CC, 2022): Instructed to represent a client charged with Attempt Murder after stabbing his victim through the chest. Rupert persuaded the Crown to accept a plea to Grievous Bodily Harm. He then made successful submissions that his client’s culpability was substantially reduced due to complex PTSD, resulting in a sentence of just 28 months.
    • R v JW (Gloucester CC, 2022): Successfully prosecuted a Health Care Assistant charged with ill-treatment of an elderly patient in a care home. Rupert applied to adduce rebuttal evidence during the defendant’s testimony which fatally undermined his account of his relationship with the victim.
    • R v LB & Others (Bristol CC, 2021): Instructed as junior counsel for a defendant charged with 25 counts of child cruelty in relation to two nurseries which she ran for over twenty years. Secured acquittals on all counts after successfully undermining the credibility of multiple staff members who gave evidence for the Crown.
    • R v AG (Bournemouth CC, 2021): Prosecuted a defendant charged with s.18 GBH after driving his car into a young woman’s legs. Despite the defendant being identified solely from a fleeting glimpse of the lower half of his face, Rupert was able to sufficiently discredit him in cross-examination to secure a conviction.
    • R v OP (Bristol CC, 2020): Secured acquittal for client charged with Unlawful Wounding involving an alleged stabbing at a party with multiple eyewitnesses.
    • R v MH (Isleworth CC, 2019): Rupert’s client was one of a number of Bristol City supporters alleged to have taken part in violent disorder with a large group of Millwall fans outside a pub in Bermondsey. He was acquitted after a three-week trial in which the defence successfully exposed police failings which left Bristol fans vulnerable to attack from the home supporters.
    • R v EA (Bristol CC, 2018): Led by Edward Burgess KC in a high-profile murder involving a fatal stabbing at a nightclub in Stokes Croft.
  • Drugs/Firearms
    • R v RR & Others (Bristol CC, 2023): Instructed to prosecute a South West Regional Organised Crime Unit investigation into a criminal network moving wholesale quantities of cocaine across the South West, Wales & the Midlands.
    • R v RB (Bristol CC, 2021): Represented a client charged with conspiracy to supply over 5 kilos of cocaine after police uncovered a botched attempt to cook up ‘cutting agent’ above a take-away shop. Rupert secured an acquittal by persuading the jury they could not be sure his client had agreed to do anything more than dispose of the useless cutting agent.
    • R v SD & Others (Bristol CC, 2021): Instructed by the CPS Complex Case Unit to prosecute a multi-handed conspiracy to supply Class A, B and C drugs and prescription steroids throughout Wiltshire and Devon.
    • R v LF (Liverpool CC, 2020): Represented client at the top of a conspiracy to produce cannabis at an industrial unit in Birkenhead with a potential street value of £1.5 – £2 million.
  • Sexual Offences
    • R v DE (Bristol CC, 2023): Secured a unanimous guilty verdict when instructed by the CPS RASSO unit to prosecute a defendant charged with relationship rape. This case required sensitive witness handling of a traumatised victim.
    • R v KD (Bristol CC, 2023): Represented vulnerable client charged with multiple rapes of his younger sister when aged between 12 and 15.
    • R v AH (Bristol CC, 2023): Secured sentence of just 33-months for elderly client convicted of sexually assaulting his niece and his neighbour’s daughter. Successfully argued that sentence should be substantially reduced due to issues with his client’s health.
    • R v MJ (Bristol CC, 2023): Defended a client serving multiple life sentences for historic sex offences accused of abducting a nurse with intent to commit sexual offences when on day release from prison.
    • R v PS (Bristol CC, 2022): Secured acquittal for client accused of assault by penetration by arguing that any penetration of the complainant’s vagina was for the purposes of a drugs search and therefore not “sexual” as defined by s.78 of the Sexual Offences Act.
    • R v AH (Bristol CC, 2022): Client of good character acquitted of rape after retrial on direction of the court despite text exchanges with the complainant in which he appeared to admit the offence.
    • R v AC (Bristol CC, 2022): Instructed to represent a client charged with multiple rapes and sexual assaults on his teenage stepdaughter and her friend. This case required sensitive handling of child complainants to challenge their accounts without alienating the jury.
    • R v BP (Taunton CC, 2022): Client of good character acquitted of assault by penetration despite making a full confession in interview. Rupert successfully argued that the jury could not rely on his client’s confession due to his fragile mental health at the time of the alleged offence.
    • R v JC (Bristol CC, 2018): Represented a client charged with multiple counts of rape and other serious sexual offences. The allegations involved the creation of numerous fictional online identities to blackmail women into engaging in sexual conduct against their will.
  • Fraud/Dishonesty
    • R v LS (Bristol CC, 2023): Rupert’s client was the only defendant to be acquitted in a 4-handed conspiracy to handle very high value stolen farm machinery.
    • R v AG & IF (Bristol CC, 2023): Secured convictions on all counts in relation to the main defendant who abducted a drunk young man on a night out in Bristol and blackmailed his elderly grandmother over the phone.
    • R v LK (Exeter CC, 2021): Client acquitted of robbery despite DNA evidence linking him to the crime scene and being picked out by the victim in an identification procedure.
    • R v JWW (Bristol CC, 2019): Client acquitted of all seven counts of fuel card fraud alleged to have taken place at various locations over a twelve-month period. Despite strong circumstantial evidence, Rupert successfully persuaded the jury that they could not be sure the defendant knew or suspected the transactions he was making were fraudulent.
    • R v MP (Bristol CC, 2019): Represented an Independent Financial Adviser charged with Fraud by Abuse of Position in an eight-day trial involving detailed forensic analysis of accounts and transactions over a four-year period.
    • R v KK (Derby CC, 2017): Represented 89-year-old client ruled unfit to plead accused of defrauding his son out of his inheritance by making false representations to the land registry.
    • R v MP (Harrow CC, 2016): Client acquitted on all five counts in a multi-handed property fraud after trial lasting six weeks. Allegations included making false representations about the status of residential properties and the misappropriation of holding deposits.
    • R v NWD (Southwark CC, 2015): Led by Charles Bott KC and Chris Henley KC in two linked tax frauds which ran for over six months. Acted for the Independent Financial Adviser who sold film schemes to “high net-worth” individuals to offset personal tax liabilities. The schemes utilised LLPs as investment vehicles allegedly created for the sole purpose of allowing the LLP partners to make fraudulent claims for sideways tax relief.
  • Appeals
    • R v JJ (Court of Appeal, 2022): Achieved 50% reduction in sentence for client convicted of s.20 GBH by successfully arguing the judge had placed the offence in the wrong category on the Sentencing Council Guideline.
    • R v JD (Court of Appeal, 2020): Advised the CPS to refer a sentence for Controlling and Coercive Behaviour under the unduly lenient sentence scheme. The Court of Appeal increased the sentence from a 24-month community order to 3-years immediate custody in a case reported in the The Guardian as a “landmark appeal”.
    • Bristol CC v AC (High Court, 2020): Represented Bristol City Council in an appeal by case stated against the award of costs in the magistrates’ court against the principles established in Bradford v Booth [2000] All ER (D) 635.
  • Confiscation
    • R v RC (Bristol CC, 2023): Successfully applied to stay confiscation proceedings as an abuse of process on the grounds that the Crown had unfairly applied interest to a confiscation order when the assets required to realise it were not under the defendant’s control.
    • R v RK (Bristol CC, 2020): Prosecuted confiscation proceedings in relation to a defendant convicted of producing cannabis. Reaching an agreed benefit figure required detailed analysis of gold bullion trading over many years.
    • R v D (Bristol CC, 2019): Instructed to resist an application to vary a confiscation order by over £100,000 nearly ten years on from the original conviction.
    • R v W (Swindon CC, 2018): Represented a client resisting the Crown’s application to vary a confiscation order in relation to a multi-million-pound fraud.
    • R v MN (Wood Green CC, 2017): Represented client convicted of conspiracy to supply Class-A drugs in a three-day confiscation hearing involving a third-party intervener.
  • Regulatory & Civil Proceedings
    • Gloucestershire County Council v GF (Gloucester CC, 2020): Successfully prosecuted a woman under the Consumer Protection Regulations who held herself out to be a ‘faith healer’ capable of ‘reversing’ various incurable diseases.
    • Cornwall County Council v MD (Truro CC & Truro County Court, 2020): Instructed to represent Cornwall County Council in both criminal and civil proceedings relating to persistent breaches of planning control. Successfully opposed an abuse of process argument and prepared detailed submissions on Article 8 rights as they relate to planning enforcement.
    • Avon & Somerset Constabulary v AP (North Somerset MC, 2020): Instructed to represent a client resisting an application for a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (“SHPO”) founded on a conviction dating from 2010. Successfully argued that the scope of the proposed SHPO was too wide and ensured that the order eventually imposed was proportionate to the risk.
    • Lancashire Constabulary v MR (Blackburn MC, 2017): Represented client resisting the imposition of a Slavery and Trafficking Risk Order in a four-day civil hearing. One of the first orders of its kind imposed under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Rupert Russell


‘Rupert is adept at thinking on his feet and has an in-depth knowledge of his cases so he can give a swift yet considered response to everything that arises. He has an assured manner in court which both judges and juries find persuasive.’

Legal 500 2024


  • BA (Hons) Emmanuel College, Cambridge
  • GDL, City University
  • BPTC, Kaplan Law School
  • Triple Scholar of Gray’s Inn: David Karmel Award, Shakespeare Memorial Award, Ann Felicity Goddard Scholarship

Professional memberships

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Western Circuit


  • CPS Advocate Panel Grade 3
  • CPS Rape & Serious Sexual Offences Panel
  • List C Prosecutor, Regulatory Advocates in Health & Safety and Environmental Law Panel
  • Fee Paid Judge of the First-Tier Tribunal (Immigration & Asylum Chamber)