Christopher Prior is an established criminal practitioner, appearing for both the prosecution and defence across London and the South-East. He is ranked in the Legal 500 as a Tier 1 Leading Junior in crime on the South-Eastern Circuit, and has wide-ranging experience across all aspects of the criminal law.
Leading Junior (Tier 1) Legal 500:
2022 – ‘A truly gifted advocate who is very considered and articulate. Christopher is renowned for his mastery of his briefs and leaving no stone unturned in complex cases’
2021 – ‘He is an incredibly safe pair of hands and instils confidence in both clients and the court.’
2020 – ‘A calm, diligent and accomplished barrister.’
Chris is an experienced practitioner, appearing in the Crown Court across the full range of criminal offences. His practice includes dealing with serious violent, sexual, drug, fraud and firearms offences, as well as multi-handed conspiracies. Chris also has experience appearing in the High Court and Court of Appeal.
Chris further specialises in defending motor offences, particularly in arguments for retaining a driving licence.
Chris has been praised for his ability to deal with vulnerable clients/witnesses, and prides himself on his ability to put them at their ease. He takes a pro-active approach to ensuring matters reach court in the best possible shape, and is happy to provide advice and assistance at any stage of a case.
“We were incredibly lucky to have Chris to defend X. He has a calm and kind but totally professional manner. Every aspect of this case was explained so carefully and in depth. The not guilty verdict totally exonerated X and we most certainly owe that result to Chris. He is a genuinely nice guy, who is an exceptional barrister.”
Chris has considerable experience dealing with regulatory and quasi-criminal cases, appearing in matters involving forfeiture and confiscation. He advises on questions of legal professional privilege and other matters for police forces across the south-east and is regularly instructed by them to appear in applications for protective orders such as SPOs, DVPOs and SHPOs and SROs.
Level 3 Crown Prosecution Service Panel Advocate
Vulnerable Witness trained
BVC (Very Competent) 2007
LLB (Hons) 2006
Criminal Bar Association
South Eastern Circuit
Sussex Bar Mess
- R v JC and LW (2021) – prosecuting two teenage girls accused of arranging to meet another after an argument and attacking her with a knife, inflicting serious wounds.
- R v DD (2021) – defending male accused of attempted rape and sexual activity with a child. It was alleged that, whilst at school, the defendant had attempted to rape his younger girlfriend.
- R v AR (2021) – instructed by prosecution in case involving importation of class A drugs purchased via the ‘dark web’.
- R v AC (2021) – defending male accused of grooming and multiple sexual offences against a 14-year-old.
- R v JH (2020) – prosecuting defendant accused of stabbing young male as part of gang-related attack.
- R v OC (2020) – representing defendant accused of sexual offences, assaults and controlling and coercive behaviour against his long-term partner.
- R v SM (2020) – defending male accused of rape, GBH, sexual assault and controlling and coercive behaviour by two former partners in very similar circumstances. Issues including collusion and complainant engaging in contact with the defendant after the offences.
- R v PI, KO, SB, RN, MG & PR (2019) – led junior for the prosecution in a conspiracy case involving a criminal gang supplying drugs including ‘crystal meth’ to ‘chem-sex’ parties in the Brighton area. The drugs were being imported and the seized quantities were worth in excess of £60,000.
- R v LH (2019) – led junior defending male accused of attempted murder against his partner. The case involved complex cross-examination and understanding of forensic material, with the defendant accused of stabbing the complainant 39 times.
- R v RG (2018) – prosecuting property fraud case in which defendant took deposits for properties which she had no authority to sell and persuaded vulnerable victims to invest over £100,000 in non-existent properties. Complex issues of disclosure and abuse of process arguments.
- R v JF, LN, JU and JU (2018) – prosecuting multi-handed conspiracy. Defendants alleged to have stolen thousands of cigarettes from duty-free carts on aircraft at Gatwick where they were employed as cleaners.
- (2018) – Instructed by Sussex Police to advise on LPP as independent counsel.
- R v VG (2018) – prosecuting personal trainer who recorded himself sexually assaulting multiple clients.
- R v TH (2018) – instructed to prosecute 18-year-old charged with armed robbery and firearms offences.
- R v IF (2017) – led junior for defendant on a drugs conspiracy trial and retrial (lasting 2 months each) involving multiple kilos of heroin being brought from Liverpool and distributed across Sussex. Case involving thousands of pages of telecoms data.
- R v AB (2017) – defending in trial and re-trial for s18 wounding involving stabbing complainant in the eye causing loss of sight. Issues of collusion resulting in first trial collapsing. Defendant with significant difficulties including autism running self-defence.
- R v PM (2016) – defending in conspiracy to rob where care workers accused of robbing children in effort to cover up impropriety at children’s home.
- R V EH (2015) – prosecuting counsel in s18 wounding trial involving a 15-year old being stabbed in the face in a gang dispute. Complainant initially refused to give evidence and then to answer questions due to fear of reprisal and family concerns.