Mr Richard Littler KC > Exchange Chambers > Manchester, England > Barrister Profile

Exchange Chambers
M3 3NW

Work Department

Criminal; Regulatory


Richard is a criminal silk described by Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 as “exceptionally bright”, “a stand out name”, “ a leading name in his field” and “ has a wonderful calming manner with clients.”  He is simply outstanding in front of a jury, has exceptional advocacy skills and his wealth of experience is clear to see.

He is involved in the most serious/high-profile criminal cases. He successfully defended the first Defendant Gregory Frankel (Director of Fowler Oldfield) in R v Frankel and Others [2021- 22] the largest Money Laundering case in UK legal history attracting huge media interest as the son in law of Bernie Ecclestone was a defendant, and the FCA had already prosecuted the NatWest (the bank used by Fowler Oldfield) who had pleaded guilty to Money Laundering offences arising out of the facts of the case. Cash was deposited approximating £264m into Nat West over five years. The result after an 8 month trial was a hung jury; the re-trial is listed for October 2024.

He defended in R v Reynard Sinaga (2016-20),  the most prolific sex offender in worldwide legal history, a case attracting international interest and influencing Government policy on the classification of GHB. Richard successfully prevented an Attorney General appeal for a whole life sentence in the Appellate court.

He defended in R v Mark Peers (2021-2022) in what the BBC reported as the “UK’s biggest ever drug conspiracy” concerning importation of controlled drugs in vast quantities from the European continent into the UK. The case is ongoing.

He represented two directors in two companies in a complex multi-million pound Fraudulent Trading case alleging both Directors were complicit in misleading consumers nationally in the Bi-Fold doors industry. Both were acquitted of all charges brought [R v Green and Warren 2020].

Richard also famously defended and dismissed the largest HMRC tax avoidance case in legal history (£134m film scheme fraud) R v Jonathan Hirst.

His skills as a defence jury advocate and his desire to fight for his client is obvious from the numerous repeated acquittals he secures (see cases below).

Richard is instructed by the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS in  complex matters including an Appeal Conviction concerning a high profile execution murder in Liverpool. Richard successfully argued against the conviction being held unsafe due to a suggested Gateway F bad character misdirection [R v Gabbana 2020]. 

Richard has defended with success in significant reported cases such as R v Rainzeib Ahmed & Habib Ahmed, the first prosecution in the UK alleging membership of Al Qaeda and leading authority on hearsay admissibility. He successfully defended in R v Farah, a defendant charged with international terrorism connected to the Jihadi Twins, and also in the famous case of R v Stringer, a significant reported pre R v Jogee joint enterprise parasitic accessorial liability murder case.

He is Head of Manchester Exchange Chambers Criminal Department and Head of Professional Discipline. He also specialises in defending police officers up to and including the rank of superintendent, both in the Crown Court, before their disciplinary bodies, the Police Appeal Tribunals and in the High Court. He is also regularly instructed to defend those before the GMC, GCC, Football Association Disciplinary Panels and Inquests.

Richard has written many published legal articles, regularly presents lectures to fellow professionals, attends schools and universities to meet with students and is currently part of a professional committee advising and contributing towards a government report on ADHD in the Criminal Justice System: A case for Change (a topic Richard has a strong personal interest in).


Called 1994


  • Criminal Bar Association
  • ARDL
  • PPA


  • LLB Manchester University
  • Inn: Grays


Richard has written many published legal articles, regularly presents lectures to fellow professionals, attends schools and universities to meet with students and is currently part of a professional committee advising and contributing towards a government report on ADHD in the Criminal Justice System: A case for Change (a topic Richard has a strong personal interest in).

He is also a keen musician and has played lead guitar in a number of bands performing at venues such as Kendal Calling Festival, the Cavern, Band on the Wall, the Deaf Institute and other well-known venues. He and the charity punk band Red Corner raised money for important charities and performed at the Manchester Legal Awards Ball in 2018.

Lawyer Rankings

Regional Bar > Northern Circuit > Professional disciplinary law

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Richard Littler KCExchange Chambers

The members at Exchange Chambers handle a wide range of disciplinary and regulatory matters, with a particular focus on police law. Richard Littler KC frequently defends Police Federation members before police misconduct tribunals and police appeal tribunals, as does Nicholas Walker. Jason MacAdam was appointed to the circuit bench in September 2023.

Regional Bar > Northern Circuit > Crime (general and fraud)

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Richard Littler KCExchange Chambers ‘Richard is a very hard working silk – his advocacy, both written and verbal, are excellent. He is an excellent advocate that juries warm to, and clients are delighted to have him on their side.’

Exchange Chambers is praised as a ‘veritable Northern powerhouse’ with an ‘array of highly-respected practitioners’. The crime team in chambers defends and prosecutes at all levels, covering the entire spectrum of serious crime, including murder, financial crime, alleged serious sexual offending and drug offences. The set is home to John Jones KC, who has a thriving practice working exclusively for the defence in serious crime, fraud, money laundering, and insider trading cases; he acted for the defendant in a gangland murder case concerning the execution-style murder of a rival drug dealer in a public street in broad daylight in Liverpool. Gordon Cole KC has a well-established and varied practice, having acted in murder and manslaughter cases, and Ben Myers KC has substantial expertise in high-value fraud and money laundering cases. The set also houses Richard Littler KC, who has significant experience in cases concerning terrorism, fraud, and organised crime – he is acting for a defendant in a drug importation case stemming from the interception of 350kg of cocaine, 90kg of heroin and 150kg of cannabis. Mark Rhind KC is strong in high-value MTIC and tax fraud cases. Imran Shafi KC also primarily defends in serious and high-profile cases regarding murder, terrorism, and drug conspiracies – he represented a woman who was acquitted on charges concerning her alleged membership of an extreme-right group planning violence using, among others, 3D-printed firearms. Turning to the set’s juniors, David Birrell was sole counsel for a defendant who played a leading role in a case concerning the supply of 180kg of Class A drugs, involving a significant amount of Encrochat evidence. James MacAdam was appointed to the circuit bench in September 2023 as was Ian Harris in October 2023.