David Richards > Chambers of David Berkley QC > Bournemouth, England > Lawyer Profile
3PB BOURNEMOUTH, 30 CHRISTCHURCH ROAD
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Crime, Public law and regulatory, Licensing, Marine and Fisheries.
David is committed to the practice of criminal law. This applies as much to regulatory law as to ‘traditional’ crime.
His background of 25 years in practice both prosecuting and defending across all courts in England and Wales and beyond, together with his study of international criminal law, maritime law and the law of armed conflict, demonstrates a breadth of expertise and interest that reflects his passion for criminal law across a range of areas of life and practice.
Unlike some he is not ‘a prosecutor’ or ‘a defender’ rather he approaches every case with a forensic scrutiny of the issues and a determination to find how best to advance his client’s case.
In the last 5 years (2015-2020), David has prosecuted gross negligence manslaughter and other homicide cases of the utmost complexity involving incidents at sea with multiple fatalities and on army firing ranges; he has also defended high value importation and complex healthy and safety cases. He has led for the Crown and the defence in lengthy multiple defendant cases.
He has defended and prosecuted in cases concerning the full calendar of sexual offences including rape and multiple victim child sexual abuse.
He has appeared in health and safety cases concerning systems of work in construction sites and office maintenance in London and the Midlands.
For two decades he has regularly appeared in courts martial defending and prosecuting in matters of homicide, rape, child sexual abuse, fraud and bullying.
His advisory practice has encompassed several complicated maritime fatality inquiries; he has also advised the MoD on charging decisions arising from the inquiries into alleged war crimes in Iraq, drawing together tens of thousands of pages of evidence, working with service police and some of the country’s leading silks.
He has advised on matters as diverse as responsibility for the disposal of waste water held on vessels destined for China through to challenges to the Marine Management Organisations’ penalty points scheme for commercial fishing and to advising government departments on the draft of new Victims Right of Review schemes.
His criminal practice takes him across the South and South West, to London, the Midlands and military court centres in the north and south of England.
His marine regulatory practice has taken him across the South, to Newcastle, London and the Falkland Islands.
His health and safety practice includes cases in London, the South West, the Midlands and North of England.
David is appointed to the Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety as well as the Environmental Law List.
He is a grade 4 prosecutor and CPS Rape specialist
David believes those caught up in the criminal process: defendants facing charge and the fear of the consequences of conviction; witnesses required to attend court to talk about stressful events; victims appearing in court just because their rights have been abused: all deserve the best service and assistance in coping with and navigating the experience of the court case.
From 2015 to 2020, David has deliberately chosen to focus on the more complex casework. His study of maritime law and international criminal law, together with his work as the Principal Legal Adviser to the Director of Service Prosecutions and a background as an army officer (1992-1996), his interest span a variety of sub areas within criminal and regulatory law.
Noted for his sympathetic manner with clients and complainants he is often instructed to prosecute or defend in cases requiring a particularly sensitive approach e.g. with vulnerable victims or witnesses, and cases where deaths have been caused through driving. One recent case concerned a 15 year old accused charged with the rape of younger children.
His cases have involved murder, manslaughter, multi million pound fraudulent importations, multi handed drugs conspiracies, maritime fraud and collisions at sea; he has prosecuted and defended in cases of historic child abuse, rape and domestic abuse.
Recent cases include
- R v Gayle and Others – Portsmouth Crown Court Sept 2019 and February 2020: led for the prosecution in 7 handed county lines conspiracy. Following discharge of original jury at end of the prosecution case, retrial resulted in all accused convicted.
- R v M – Lewes Crown Court December 2019: prosecution of fisherman charged with Merchant Shipping Act offence arising from the deaths of 3 leisure fishermen.
- R v X – Kingston Crown Court April – August 2019: David led Audrey Archer of 3PB in the defence of man charged with coordination of a £12.2million evasion of the duty on hand rolling tobacco by two organised crime groups. The case against their client turned on detailed financial and telephone evidence together with extensive undercover work by HMRC.
- R v Hicks and others: Operation Attica – the successful prosecution of conspiracies to supply heroin, cocaine and cannabis in Bristol, the West Midlands and Reading. David led for the prosecution in this 6 week trial.
- In May and June 2018 David was led by Nigel Lickley QC in the successful prosecution of an Army Captain for the gross negligence manslaughter of a soldier on ranges he was running in Castlemartin, Wales in May 2012. The case concerned the safe operation of a live firing range; experts in ballistics, pathology and range management were called to address the key factual issues of where the fatal round came from and the extent of the fault that attached to the accused.
- Also tried by the same court were a Lieutenant Colonel and Sgt Major both of who were convicted of negligent performance of their duties in the planning for, setting up and running of these ranges. The prosecution followed investigations by Dyfed Powys police, the Health and Safety Executive, the Army’s Land Accident Investigation team and a coronial inquest. Despite complex legal challenges and an extremely complicated factual scenario the case was brought to trial and successfully prosecuted.
- CPS & MCA v Doug Innes and Stormforce Coaching (Cheeki Rafiki) (2018) Prosecuted defendant charged with 4 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence after failing to ensure the safety of the yacht Cheeki Rafiki that capsized in the Atlantic causing the deaths of the four crew. Technically complex. Led by Nigel Lickley QC.
- R v W (Winchester Crown Court April 2016) Prosecution of 15 year old charged with multiple rapes of 11 and 13 year old children.
- R v Brown (Winchester Crown Court December 2016) – led by Nigel Lickley QC in the prosecution of mother who murdered her 19 day old baby.
- R v T (Winchester Crown Court April 2017) – prosecution of attempted murder
- R v TB – Newcastle Crown Court July 2015 – Accused charged with substantial fraud on the European Fisheries Fund. Negotiated pleas with the prosecution to regulatory offences; fined £2,800 total.
- Re: HP June 2015 – Inquest into the death of marine scarp yard worker.
- R v A  2 Cr App R (S) 12 – The Court of Appeal gave guidance on the drafting of multiple incident counts and indictments.
- R v F (Bournemouth Crown Court August 2014) – Successfully argued the accused, suffering acute psychotic disorder, was not guilty by reason of insanity
- R v Conlin (Winchester Crown Court July 2014) – Led by Nigel Lickley Q.C. in the successful prosecution of a. father for the murder by shaking / trauma of his 4 and a half month old daughter. Case involved complex expert evidence relevant to causation and timing of injury.
- R v S 2013 – Defence of soldier charged with causing death of two civilians in road traffic collision Afghanistan.
- R v G 2013 – Defence of high value watch trader charged with substantial VAT fraud.
- R v F 2011 – Defence of man charged with serial rape and sexual assault of five victims from 1980 to 2010.
- R v AL (2011) – Child cruelty – parent causing severe injuries (multiple fractures) to 5 month old child.
- R v P (2011) – Haulier carrying catering trailer charged with causing death by dangerous driving when hatch opened and collided with traffic lights, resulting in death of pedestrian.
- R v W and S (2011) – Defence of accused charged with wide ranging conspiracy to steal from fruit machines at service stations across the midlands and south of England.
- R v B and B (2010) – Two men charged with the rape and buggery of a school friend when in Cyprus in 1988; neither had further connection with military but due to location and date of offence court martial the only available venue; successfully challenged terminating ruling by Judge Advocate.
- R v S (2010) – Defence of the first ever prosecution by trading standards for selling legal highs.
- R v F (2010) – Prosecuting international conspiracy to clone and distribute false credit cards.
- R v MoD (ex p Al Sweady) (2009) – Judicial review of conduct by British Army at the ‘Battle of Danny Boy’ in Iraq.
Appeal against Court Martial sentences: has anything changed?  Crim L R 480
The Armed Forces Act 2006 – Civilianising Military Justice?  Crim L R 191
As the PLA at the Service Prosecuting Authority, David has been responsible for overseeing the entire case work of the prosecution at courts martial. He has introduced new arrangements for coordination between the service police and the SPA. Working on behalf of the DSP and JAG he has helped guide the introduction of Better Case Management to the UK military courts.
Having appeared in military courts for defence and prosecution throughout his career and having written and lectured on the Armed Forces Act 2006, he is a pre-eminent expert on the service justice system.
PUBLIC AND REGULATORY
Marine and Fisheries
Full / further Details appear under the Marine and Fisheries section.
David has a commitment to maritime law demonstrated by his successful completion of a masters degree in Maritime Law at Southampton University in 2014-15 whilst in full time practice at the Bar.
He wants to engage with the maritime community both in safe regulation and in supporting those caught in processes they are not prepared for in their every day lives at sea.”
In the last 5 years he has appeared in courts across the UK and in the Falkland Islands on matters relating to collisions, marine navigation offences, fisheries offences and fraud on the European Fisheries Fund.
He has advised the MCA and defence solicitors and clients on matters arising from oyster fisheries in Kent, the MMO’s penalty points scheme for commercial fishing, the disposal of waste water held on board cargo vessels destined for Turkey and China. He has advised prosecution and defence on the prospects of conviction in various cases concerning marine fatalities.
He has advised on applications for disclosure from the MAIB before the High Court in Winchester and Hull.
He has represented the regulator and the operator of a scrap yard at inquests arising from marine fatalities.
Other Public and Regulatory work
David has a busy practice advising on public and regulatory law issues. Cases include:
- February 2020: appeared in Westminster Magistrates Court for shopfitting company charged with offences arising from unsafe erection of hoarding in central London site.
- July 2019: appeared for a London Window Cleaning Company charged with health and safety offences arising from unsafe practices operating at height.
- July 2018 Bulford Military Court Centre – led by Nigel Lickley QC prosecuting three army officers for their role in the gross negligence manslaughter of a soldier shot dead on army ranges in 2012. The case involved detailed consideration of the regulations applicable to ranges and the safe operation of live firing exercises. All three accused were convicted after trial.
- He has represented estate agents prosecuted under the HMO regulations.
- He has advised as to the proper packaging of foodstuffs.
- In August 2018 he appeared for a large midlands roofing company in responding to applications for enforcement notices before Coventry County Court.
- David has appeared for national supermarkets charged with selling out of date food; he has represented dockyard scrap merchants at inquest proceedings. He appeared for the defendant in the first ever trading standards prosecution for the sale of legal highs.
- Led by Nigel Lickley QC in CPS & MCA v Doug Innes and Stormforce Coaching (Cheeki Rafiki) (2018) he prosecuted a defendant charged with 4 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence after failing to ensure the safety of the yacht Cheeki Rafiki that capsized in the Atlantic causing the deaths of the four crew. A technically complex case.
- He has experience of cases concerning the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) regulations 2013. He has appeared in the County Court for the defence in opposing enforcement orders under the Enterprise Act 2002.
- In 2018 in Folkestone he appeared for care home owners charged with breaches of noise abatement notices.
- In 2014 at Bournemouth Crown Court he appeared for the defence against the local authority involving the alleged wide scale breach of trade mark and copyright he was determined and uncompromising in resisting the claims against his clients who had inadvertently fallen foul of the local trading standards department.
- He has represented car dealers charged under the unfair trading regulations.
- He has represented local authorities prosecuting the deposit of waste without a waste management licence.
- He has lectured local authorities in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight on the EU Toy Safety Directive and the Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011 and the implications for market surveillance and enforcement thereunder.
- He has represented Sussex Police and applicants before council committees in matters of alcohol and entertainment licence applications.
David has appeared before the Traffic Commissioner in Birmingham and Chelmsford and at public enquiries on behalf of hauliers seeking goods vehicle operators licences.
He has developed particular expertise in cases of death through driving and has been involved in more than a dozen such cases in the last five years. These have ranged from two accused racing on country lanes, to a blacksmith with a defective trailer and a haulier with an allegedly insecure load (R v P). He has become adept at dealing with complex issues of causation and analysis of road traffic collisions.
This latter case of R v P required a detailed forensic examination of the reliability of locking mechanisms on a catering trailer; the prosecution evidence that failure of the locks was impossible was challenged, resulting in a volte face by the prosecution expert accepting the possibility of the locks appearing secure yet failing during the course of the journey. David was praised for the clarity of his advice in this matter, without which the client (54 years old, never been in court before) would have found the case overwhelming.
In 2013 he represented a driver charged with causing the death of two Afghan civilians through careless driving of a 15 ton vehicle. Through challenging the prosecution expert evidence the case was dropped by the SPA.
David has appeared on behalf of and advised claimants against the police for the excessive use of force and libel / slander / breach of duty. He has advised on the options open to a claimant aggrieved by police action amounting to potential false imprisonment and malicious prosecution of a judicial office holder.
He has appeared for the police at disciplinary tribunals. He has advised and assisted the police in obtaining various orders including Risk of Sexual Harm Orders and Premises Closure Orders
David served in the Army from 1992 – 6, deploying on operations in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. He knows the stresses of service life. He wants to assist those caught in the service justice system in navigating the processes that can be immensely daunting to people unfamiliar with the criminal process, having spent their working lives in the service of their country.
In May and June 2018 David was led by Nigel Lickley QC in the successful prosecution of an Army Captain for the gross negligence manslaughter of a soldier on ranges he was running in Castlemartin, Wales in May 2012. The case concerned the safe operation of a live firing range; experts in ballistics, pathology and range management were called to address the key factual issues of where the fatal round came from and the extent of the fault that attached to the accused.
Also tried by the same court were a Lieutenant Colonel and Sgt Major both of who were convicted of negligent performance of their duties in the planning for, setting up and running of these ranges. The prosecution followed investigations by Dyfed Powys police, the Health and Safety Executive, the Army’s Land Accident Investigation team and a coronial inquest. Despite complex legal challenges and an extremely complicated factual scenario the case was brought to trial and successfully prosecuted.
From 2015 to 2016 David held the post of Principal Legal Adviser to the Director of Service Prosecutions. This role placed him at the heart of the Service Justice System. He introduced new measures for cooperation and engagement between the service prosecuting authority and the service police. Working with the Judge Advocate General he guided the introduction of Better Case Management in the Court Martial.
This builds on his background as an army legal service officer (1992-6) and his regular and frequent appearances before the Court Martial. He has defended cases of attempted murder, rape, corruption, service fraud, gbh with intent and child abuse. He has been instructed to prosecute cases of rape on behalf of the Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA).
He has previously represented the SPA in the Administrative Court (R v MoD (ex p Al Sweady) ) and has taken a case (R v Bulford Court Martial ex p Bowyer (1999) EWHC 239) to the House of Lords.
He secured the first successful challenge to a terminating ruling by a judge advocate (R v B and B .
His articles on the service justice system have appeared in the Criminal Law Review and he has lectured the Service Prosecuting Authority and defence solicitors.
He has Developed Vetting Security Clearance.
Called 1989; Middle Temple.
- Principal Legal Adviser to the Director of Service Prosecutions 2015-16
- Grade 4 prosecutor
- CPS Rape Specialist
- Recorder, Midlands Circuit
- Legal Assessor Nursing and Midwifery Council
- Specialist Regulatory Advocates in H&S and Environmental Law List
- Western Circuit
- Health and Safety Lawyers Association
- MA (Cantab) 1988
- Bar Finals 1989
- New York State Bar 2000
- LLM Maritime Law Southampton University 2015