Clerk Details

  • Clerk Name: Stuart Pringle
  • Clerk Telephone: 01962 868 884
  • Clerk Email: [email protected]


Tom’s criminal practice sees him instructed in an array of both heavy weight and complex criminal cases.  He is particularly noted for his experience in prosecuting and defending regulatory offences. Often praised for his hard-work and attention to detail he is recommended in both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners Guides.

Outside of court Tom supports Wimbledon AFC and flies aeroplanes.

Serious and Organised Crime

Operation Cowling
Instructed by the CPS Complex Casework Unit. Prosecution of an Organised Criminal Group following the seizure of 42 kilos of pure cocaine and nearly 1 million ecstasy tablets valued at approximately £12 million.

Operations Gharial and Saffron. Southwark Crown Court
Instructed by the Specialist Fraud division in linked cases prosecuting an international group responsible for the largest attack on HMRC’s online VAT and ITSA systems.

Operation Afterburn II
Multi-handed large scale drug conspiracy involving an Organised Criminal Group operating in Manchester and Portsmouth.

Operation Accord
Conspiracy to kidnap and supply of Class A drugs. Nationwide drugs supply network selling heroin and cocaine via ‘deal lines’.

R v N and others
Successful defence of gang member alleged to have kidnapped, imprisoned, robbed and tortured a university student. Case received widespread media coverage.

Other serious Crime

R v CA
Defending a CCTV operative who unlawfully accessed the footage of an autopsy featuring a footballer who tragically died in a well-publicised plane crash.

R v KB
Leading defence counsel for care home manger in respect of allegations of dishonesty and neglect arising from the death of an elderly dementia patient. The patient tragically died as a result of pressure sores that had not received proper care or treatment.

R v K
Defending mother who poisoned son to intentionally prolong stay in hospital. Case involved arguments as to extent of mitigation available where diagnosis is “factitious disorder”.

R v C
Successful defence of a carer for vulnerable adults accused of a campaign of abuse and humiliation against a number of residents.

R v AL
Led by Nigel Lickley QC. Non-accidental brain injuries sustained by a 6 month old child.

R v Spry
Defence junior in infamous case of extreme cruelty by mother against children over many years.

Homicide (Murder and Manslaughter)

R v Shane Mays
Defence junior (to Andrew Langdon QC) in a trial arising from the disappearance and murder of 15-year-old Louise Smith in Leigh Park, Portsmouth. A prosecution appeal against the 25 year minimum term on the grounds it was “unduly lenient” failed.

R v RT
Defence junior for 17-year-old who strangled and then stabbed to death his mother.

R v Vicky Arthur
Defence junior (to Nigel Lickley QC) in case involving a disabled Defendant who stabbed to death another woman .

R v Bosha and Others
Prosecution junior (to Nigel Lickley QC) in multi-handed murder trial. A drugs gang organised a pre-arranged ambush in retaliation for a previous robbery.

R v Boyle
Defendant who randomly attacked a student in broad daylight, cutting their throat.

R v Hemming
Attempted murder involving a hammer attack against a vulnerable sex worker.

Fraud, Business and Financial Crime

R v KR
Leading defence counsel for director of a pre-school and nursery alleged to have defrauded the local authority in respect of 15 and 30 hour free child care payments.

R v F+ F
Successful defence of the Director of a private ambulance company, alleged to have defrauded the NHS and stolen high value medical equipment. The case involved arguments about the legality of searches, the integrity of NHS stock keeping records and allegations of evidence having been deliberately planted.

R v Powis
Successful defence of conveyancing executive alleged to have been at centre of £3.5m mortgage fraud.

R v Gibson
Instructed by Specialist Fraud division. Widely publicised prosecution of watch dealer who had claimed to have exported £1.9m of Rolex watches.

R v Arif
Successful appeal against immediate custodial sentence in case of pharmacist convicted of defrauding NHS. Court of Appeal found ‘wholly exceptional circumstances’ to substitute a lengthy custodial term for suspended sentence

Sexual offences

R v Badawi
Rape. Successful appeal against a sentence of 8 years plus 5 years extended licence in respect of one count of rape. The Court of Appeal agreed with Tom’s submission that the sentencing judge should have disregarded a previous acquittal for rape, reducing the sentence to one of 6 ½ years.

R v KW
Defence of man accused of a stranger rape in a busy shopping centre.

R v F
Defending the 16-year-old son of a “high net worth” individual alleged to have sexually abused a younger cousin. Case successfully stayed as an abuse of process on the grounds of delay and breach of prosecution policy.

R v MS
Successful defence (following trial then re-trial) of a music teacher facing allegations of sexual touching spanning his whole career made by 12 separate complainants.

Motoring offences

Tom Horder has considerable experience in defending the full range of driving and motoring offences.  He is regularly instructed in cases involving serious injury and complex expert evidence (including tachographs, accident reconstruction, mechanical and medical defect) as well as those in which a period of disqualification would result in exceptional hardship. He receives instructions from both private individuals and insurers and can be instructed on a direct access basis.

Recent cases

R v Davison
Defence of recovery truck driver whose vehicle mounted a curb, hitting a family on an outing to a pantomime. Victims included a 12 year old girl who sustained life changing injuries.

R v ZK
Defending a lorry driver who tragically ran over an 89-year-old man who was crossing the road using his Zimmer frame. The Prosecution offered no evidence following Tom’s cross-examination of their tachograph expert.

R v A
Successful exceptional hardship argument on behalf of a consultant surgeon.

R v R
Defending a former premier league footballer in respect of a failure to respond to a s.172 notice.

R v T
Successful defence of Company director said to have ridden his motorbike at 121mph. The court withdrew the case at half-time on the basis of the Prosecution not being able to exclude mistaken identity.

Military/Courts martial

Tom has a broad range of experience in Court Martial work and has represented personnel from all 3 branches of the military.

Cases of note

  • the successful defence of a serving Special Forces soldier charged with aggravated burglary in what was an unusual and sensitive case
  • a senior Army NCO charged with allegations of racially aggravated assault
  • a successful appeal on behalf of a young soldier facing custody as a result of alleged involvement in an initiation ceremony that made the front pages of a national newspaper
  • defending a Guardsman charged with fraud in another case that made the front pages of national newspapers. Tom help to ensure that a custodial sentence was avoided.

Tom is well versed in all aspects of service law. He learnt to fly via an RAF flying scholarship and then as an Officer Cadet on Northumbria University Air Squadron. He continues to fly and is well versed in all aspects of military aviation. He is also a pupil supervisor and has had a number of pupils who were serving Royal Naval officers.

Regulatory crime


MCA v Tarmac Marine Ltd
Instructed by the MCA in Prosecution arising from the discovery of asbestos containing material on board the City of Westminster. The Defendant Company were fined £120,000.

Health and Safety (and Inquests)

Defence of Health and Safety Consultant in an unusual prosecution arising from the drafting of inadequate risk assessments and advice to a furniture manufacturer. The Prosecution arose following two serious accidents involving cutting equipment.

Defence of agricultural college in respect of serious injuries caused to students observing tree-felling.

HSE v PG Ltd
Prosecution involving serious chemical burns caused by the incorrect use of an Intermediate Bulk Carrier as a reaction vessel to dispose of spent cleaning chemicals.

HSE v UF Ltd
De-gloving injury caused during the cleaning of an industrial dough maker.

HSE v BB Ltd
Collapse of basement excavation leading to prosecution of developer.

HSE v Apex
Defending a scaffolding gang leader following a collapse of scaffolding resulting in fatality.

Defence of contractor instructed to decommission a petrol station. The resulting explosion caused serious injury and extensive damage to neighbouring properties.

HSE v R.S Ltd
Proceedings relating to the alleged unsafe removal of asbestos.

Recent inquest work

Acting for the owners of a care home following the fall from height of an elderly dementia patient.

Representing Police Force following case involving heart failure following arrest using CS spray and subsequent restraint in Police custody.

Acting for family of deceased who died following NHS failure to diagnose a pulmonary embolism.

Food Safety and Standards

R v BB
Defence of director of food business prosecuted for Fraudulent Trading. Case involved allegations of the misselling of bacon as UK produced and free-range.

R v RB
Defence of the manager of an abattoir alleged to have been selling lamb as goat meat.

Defence of food wholesaler in respect of multiple allegations of food hygiene offences in respect of the storage and transportation of refrigerated products.

Cherwell DC v Premier Foods
Prosecution of UK’s largest food producer (turnover £3bn) in respect of food hygiene offences resulting in a mouse being found sliced within a loaf of bread sold by a leading supermarket.

Trading Standards/Trade Marks

DCC v WE Ltd
Complex prosecution of building firm in respect of high value residential building contracts. Company prosecuted under Consumer Protection Regulations, Fraud Act and Insolvency Act.

Prosecution of rouge builder routinely targeting vulnerable and elderly victims and undertaking expensive but unnecessary roofing repairs.

Prosecution for fraudulent trading of an individual who miss-sold advertising in a range of publications that never materialised.

A1 Distribution Limited
Successful prosecution of company supplying electronic goods under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. The case involved consideration of the measures an importer of goods from China should take in order to establish a defence of ‘due diligence’.

Novel but successful prosecution of owner of residential caravan park under s.9 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development At 1960.

X Ltd
Advising manufacturer of Moses baskets in respect of prosecution under both the General Product Safety and Toy (Safety) Regulations.

Defending individual who ran profitable business importing counterfeit handbags. Acted in subsequent confiscation proceedings.

GB Ltd
Acting for a well-known building firm facing civil proceedings (and subsequent committal application) under the Enterprise Act.

SBC v Roshni
Prosecuting wholesale supplier of counterfeit alcohol.

Counterfeiting designer clothes, confiscation and restraint dealt with in POCA proceedings.

Direct Access/Aviation

Tom welcomes instructions on a direct access basis.

He particularly welcomes direct access instructions relating to aviation offences and Pilots facing the prospect of CAA prosecution.

Tom has previously prosecuted, defended and advised in a range of aviation related matters including; an allegation of low flying by a CPL(H) holder during a filming assignment, airspace infringement in Class A airspace, licensing and type certificate infringements by a microlight pilot and an allegation of log book fraud against a senior airline pilot.

Tom has a PPL having learnt to fly during an RAF Flying Scholarship and as a member of his University Air Squadron. He flies his Rollason Condor from Thruxton and has been lucky enough to fly a wide range of aircraft ranging from Bulldogs to an SF260.

  • Recommendations

    Tom Horder has a robust practice in regulatory offences which sees him instructed by a range of parties including public sector bodies, companies and private individuals. He also handles cases concerning violent crime and sexual abuse, as well as fraud and drug offences. Additionally, he has expertise in cases involving regulatory offences.
    Strengths: “Tom is very experienced in complex, multi-handed cases.” “He really is a first-class advocate.” “Tom is an excellent lawyer and a robust advocate.”

    Chambers UK 2024/Crime/Western Bar/Band 1

    Strengths: “He is a thorough, conscientious, and effective first-class advocate.”
    “Tom is a powerful advocate who is charming yet forceful when needed.”

    Chambers UK 2023/Crime/Western Bar/Band 1

    Strengths: "A conscientious, thorough and extremely effective advocate. He listens to his client and has a rare talent of getting the best out of everyone."
    Recent work: Acted as junior defence counsel in the trial of Shane Mays for the murder of 16-year-old Louise Smith.

    Chambers UK 2022/Crime/Western Bar

    Strengths: "He has a really nice manner in court and very good judgement." "Mr Horder is extremely experienced in all areas of criminal defence. He takes a hand-on approach to trial preparation, which makes him a popular choice among solicitors and clients alike."
    Recent work: Defended a CCTV operative who unlawfully accessed the footage of an autopsy featuring a footballer who tragically died in a well-publicised plane crash.

    Chambers UK 2021/Crime/Western Bar

    Strengths: "He is an extremely affable barrister who deals with difficult clients with commendable patience. He delivers calm and measured advocacy with the right amount of flair and is an exceptionally impressive trial advocate and lawyer behind the scenes."
    Recent work: Defended a care worker accused of assaulting and abusing a large number of mentally and physically disabled residents at an adult care home.

    Chambers UK 2020/Crime/Western Bar

    "His advice is always clear and concise and precisely what is required. His client care and commitment is exceptional. His willingness to go the extra mile has been impressive."
    Recent work: Prosecuted an organised criminal gang controlling the supply class A drugs across the South of England.

    Chambers UK 2019/Crime/Western Bar

    Strengths: "He is meticulous and tenacious, both in terms of his preparation and his conduct of cases in court." "He is smart, clever and pragmatic."

    Chambers UK 2018/Crime/Western Bar

    Strengths: "Very able, a rising star."'

    Chambers UK 2017/Crime/Western Bar

    'Praised by instructing solicitors for his expertise in cases concerning fraud, drugs and other serious criminal offences.
    Strengths: "He has a particular skill in dealing with extremely demanding clients. He is very committed to his work and is very accessible when it comes to seeking advice or updates."'

    Chambers UK 2016/Crime/Western Bar

    '...covers the full range of criminal offences, and is best recognised for his expertise in regulatory criminal cases. He receives regular instructions from local authorities, government bodies and insurers in relation to cases concerning health and safety, trading standards, environmental, aviation and maritime issues.
    Expertise: "His advocacy is very good and he impresses with his knowledge of legislation and case law in niche areas."'

    Chambers UK 2015/Crime/Western Bar


    Tom Horder both has considerable expertise in relation to health and safety matters at sea.

    ‘Tom is always very friendly, approachable and contactable. He quickly gets to the core of the issues and expresses his advice in a user-friendly manner. He has a good eye for detail and in court his submissions are well-crafted. He is also conscious of effective jury handling and decanting complex matters into the key facts in a digestible manner.’

    Legal 500 2024/Business and regulatory crime (including health and safety)/Western Circuit

    Tom Horder is ranked in the Legal 500 2024/Crime (General and Fraud)/Western Circuit/Leading Juniors

    'His knowledge is exceptional. There is no case he is not able to manage. He is a capable and effective cross examiner. He pursues the right legal arguments and is totally respected by the judiciary.'

    Legal 500 2023/Crime (General and Fraud)/Leading Juniors/Western Circuit - Ranked Tier 1

    ‘Tom is very conscientious, hard working, and a top class lawyer. He is gentle and considerate with clients and a very good team player. Judges trust him, and his advocacy is highly persuasive.'

    The ‘thorough and methodical‘ Tom Horder fields expertise in cases involving food safety, environmental and health and safety issues.

    Legal 500 2023/Business and regulatory crime (including health and safety)/Western Circuit

    ‘Tom is a charming, intellectually nimble advocate with an excellent client manner. Judges respect him and juries warm to him.’

    Legal 500 2022/Crime (General and Fraud)/Leading Juniors/Western Circuit

    ‘ Tom is a very able barrister. He is an excellent, very persuasive advocate. His cross-examination is always well-considered and appropriate to the witness he is dealing with. He is hard-working and always well prepared. ’

    Legal 500 2022/Business and regulatory crime (including health and safety)/Western Circuit

    ‘He has sterling advocacy skills and exceptional levels of client empathy.’

    Legal 500 2021/Crime/Leading juniors

    ‘Reliable and meticulous in his preparation for conferences and hearings with good presentation at trial.’
    "Tom Horder is another key name within the set"

    Legal 500 2021/Business and regulatory crime (including health and safety)/Leading Juniors

    ‘He is an exceptionally impressive advocate; calm and measured, with just the right amount of flair.'

    Legal 500 2020/Crime/Leading juniors

    ‘His preparation is meticulous and he inspires confidence in his clients.’

    Legal 500 2020/Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing/Leading Juniors

    ‘An unruffled barrister with a light touch.’

    Legal 500 2018/19/Crime/Leading juniors

    ‘Experienced across a broad spectrum of criminal cases.’

    Legal 500 2017/Crime/Leading juniors

    'An excellent advocate with a strong courtroom presence.'

    Legal 500 2016/Crime/Leading juniors

    'He is led, and often leads, in some of the most complex cases, including those involving serious violence'

    Legal 500 2015/Crime/Leading juniors

    'Particularly highly regarded for his ability to handle the most serious and complex cases.'

    Legal 500 2014/Crime

    '...attracts praise, and is ‘very good at explaining procedure and tactics to clients’
    'Particularly highly regarded for his ability to handle the most serious and complex cases'

    Legal 500 2013/Crime


    "I would like to thank you for your diligent work on this case.  Your client care and commitment to the case was exceptional.  Your willingness to “go the extra mile” was impressive and proved crucial.  Your planning and delivery of the cross examination proved decisive. An ok case (partly because of the statute) transformed into a strong case, according to his honour the Judge, before our very eyes, as our opponent was exposed as a liar."

    Instructing solicitor, 2017

    "Tom was brilliant, stood head and shoulders above the other barristers"

    Instructing solicitor, 2016

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