Richard Pratt QC

Year of Call: 1980
Year of Silk: 2006
Email Address: richard.pratt@3pb.co.uk
Secure Email: richard.pratt@3paper.cjsm.net

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Overview

Richard Pratt QC is a door tenant at 3PB, with expertise in prosecuting and defending all types of criminal cases with particular experience in homicide, fraud and money laundering and drug trafficking.

1978: BA (Hons) degree in Business Law
1980: Called to the Bar (Gray's Inn)
1981: Elected to the Northern Circuit and joined 5 Castle Street Chambers in Liverpool
1989: 5 Castle Street merged with 27 Dale Street to become Corn Exchange Chambers
1997: Appointed Assistant Recorder
1999: Corn Exchange Chambers merged with Martin's Bank Buildings to become 7 Harrington Street Chambers
2000: Appointed Recorder authorised to sit in the Crown and County Courts
2002-2006 appointed to the Attorney General's panel (A list) authorised to prosecute the most serious cases on behalf of government departments. (Appointment relinquished automatically upon taking Silk)
2006: Appointed Queen's Counsel
2009: Approved to try serious sex cases in the Crown Court
2010: Elected Bencher of Gray's Inn
2011-2013 Leader of the Northern Circuit
2012- date Head of 7 Harrington Street Chambers
2014: Authorised to undertake Direct Access Work

Expertise

  • Crime
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    Notable cases:

    Homicide 
    Over the years both as a junior and in silk Richard has prosecuted and defended in many cases of murder and manslaughter of which the following are a small sample.

    • R v. Morgan Smith (2000) HL. Junior Counsel for the defendant in case which was at the time a landmark case on the law of provocation
    • R v. RG (2005) Court of General Gaol Delivery, Douglas IoM.  Counsel for the owner of the Solway Harvester (which capsized in the Irish Sea) charged with gross negligence manslaughter of the seven crew members who were lost
    • R.v O'D (2007) Liverpool Crown Court representing defendant a student charged with murder of a fellow student during brawl outside city centre night club
    • R.v. SM (2008) Liverpool Crown Court representing 18 year old charged with murder of 11 year old schoolboy Rhys Jones
    • R.v. MS (2010) Liverpool Crown Court representing defendant charged with murder.  Medical causation was a significant feature of the case, involving consideration of PRIS (propofol infusion syndrome) and alleged failures in the victim's medical treatment
    • R.v F (2010) Manchester Crown Court representing defendant charged with murder of taxi driver who was already terminally ill raising issues of medical causation
    • R.v B (2010) Liverpool Crown Court defendant charged with manslaughter of baby, raising issues of 'shaken baby syndrome' with the usual confrontation of complex expert opinion
    • R.v. C (2011) Belfast Crown Court representing defendant charged with terrorist murder, 37 years earlier, of Captain Robert Nairac an undercover soldier who had been posing as a republican militant
    • R.v GA (2014) Liverpool Crown Court representing defendant charged with murder of drug dealer involving a full blown 'cut throat' defence
    • R.v TW (2014) Liverpool Crown Court representing defendant charged with murder by shooting said to represent a gangland 'contract killing' execution.

    Fraud and Money Laundering 
    MTIC

    • Operation V959 (2004) Manchester Crown Court Prosecuted this early MTIC fraud firstly as junior Counsel and then as leader upon the proposed retrial.  The case involved far-reaching abuse of process arguments
    • Operation Gelling (2005-2008) Manchester Crown Court. Represented Prosecution in the trial of six alleged money launderers arising out of the V959 trial. Case was prolonged due to incapacity of principal defendant and major abuse of process arguments
    • Operation Echogramme (2009) Manchester Crown Court Represented, DH, one of three defendants in trial lasting 10 weeks charged with money laundering of proceeds of MTIC fraud
    • Operation Vex (2012) Kingston Crown Court.  Represented SH, one of five defendants on trial for conspiracy to cheat in multi million pound VAT fraud in trial lasting 5 months
    • Operation Vaulter (2013) Kingston Crown Court. Represented DM, one of five defendants involved in the freight forwarding limb of the multi million pound MTIC fraud in trial lasting 3 months.

    Other Frauds 

    • R.v PK (2009) Leeds Crown Court. Represented defendant PK, the lead defendant in so-called red diesel fraud in trial lasting 2 months
    • Operation Valgus (2013) Mold Crown Court.  Represented principal defendant in what was described as the largest mortgage fraud ever to be prosecuted in the UK. Trial lasted 5 months.

    Drugs Cases 

    • As a junior, Richard represented defendants in most of the high profile drug trial in Liverpool Crown Court in the late 1990's and 2000s including Operations Ayres Rock, Kingsway, Top, Dolphin and Montrose.  In silk, he has prosecuted 13 defendants charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs
    • R.v F (2007) Liverpool Crown Court defending man charged with conspiracy to import Class A drugs via light aircraft, R.v McG (2012) Liverpool Crown Court defending lead defendant in high profile case which involved large scale drug trafficking.

    Miscellaneous 

    • R.v P.  (2006)  Manchester Crown Court.  First case in silk- defending serial rapist in case which raised numerous arguments on the bad character and hearsay provisions
    • R.v T (2006) Preston Crown Court. Gangland kidnapping and blackmail
    • R.v A (2008) Liverpool Crown Court. Defending Police officer charged with corruption alongside local authority officers.  Prosecution were ultimately driven to offer no evidence in the face of abuse arguments arising out of disclosure issues
    • Operation Leyden (2011).  Prosecuted six defendants charged with conspiracies to supply firearms and to cause explosions with the distribution and use of hand grenades. Described by the Judge who ultimately passed sentence as 'urban terrorism'
    • Att. General of the IoM v. W (2012) Conspiracy trial - represented defendant who was charged with offences under the Representation of the People Act in the Isle of Man amounting to election fraud
    • Prosecuting Authority v. H and G (2013) Extraordinary case in the Isle of Man in which the Island's Attorney General and the Deputy Assessor of Taxation (whom Richard represented) were themselves prosecuted for alleged offences of perverting the course of justice.

Recommendations

‘Recommended for heavyweight criminal cases.’

Legal 500 2016/Regional Bar - Northern Circuit, Crime – Leading silks

'...skilled as both prosecution and defence counsel for a range of criminal matters. He is particularly experienced in crimes of violence, including assault, manslaughter and murder.
Strengths: "He is a very charismatic silk."'

Chambers UK 2017/Northern (Bar) - Crime, Band 3

Academic qualifications

  • 1978: BA (Hons) degree in Business Law

Professional qualifications & appointments

  • 1997: Appointed Assistant Recorder
  • 2000: Appointed Recorder authorised to sit in the Crown and County Courts
  • 2002-2006 appointed to the Attorney General's panel (A list) (Appointment relinquished automatically upon taking Silk)
  • 2006: Appointed Queen's Counsel
  • 2009: Approved to try serious sex cases in the Crown Court
  • 2010: Elected Bencher of Gray's Inn
  • 2011-2013 Leader of the Northern Circuit
  • 2014: Authorised to undertake Direct Access Work

Direct Access

Richard Pratt QC is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.

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