Christopher Johnston

Called in 1983

About Christopher Johnston

Called in 1983

Chris has been in continuous practice at the Bar since 1983 and has a broad breadth of knowledge and experience with skills honed from thousands of casesHe is known to work extremely hard on case preparation and ensures he’s fully briefed before setting foot in court. Chris provides excellent client care and ensures all concerned are kept abreast of case issues. He is a specialist criminal barrister who predominantly defends but also prosecutes. He is a Level 3 CPS advocate for the South Eastern [London/Non London] and Midland circuits. He is also on the CPS rape panel.

Chris has frequently been instructed in a number of leading criminal cases including; murder & manslaughter, kidnap with torture & blackmail, allegations of violent assaults, sexual offences & rape, firearms offences and serious fraud. He has acted as leading defence counsel in a large number of cases including murder.

Chris’s abilities and successes have secured the backing of a large body of solicitors who regularly instruct him. He has worked extensively in sexual assault cases, involving historic allegations of familial sex, which have involved detailed forensic examination of social services files, educational and psychiatric reports.

He has also undertaken the role of leading counsel in large-scale car-ringing cases, local authority internal frauds, sophisticated retail frauds and armed bank robberies. He’s regularly instructed in criminal appeals from referrals and appears for appellants in the Court of Appeal.

Chris has enjoyed a thriving practice in the Military Courts and is often abroad conducting court martial trials. In 2010, he was instructed by one of the “Magic Circle” firms to advise a multi-national company on an internal employee fraud.

Chris has been a pupil supervisor since 1996.


Criminal Bar Association

South Eastern Circuit


R v Pommel (1995) 2 Cr. App. R

R v. Jason Graham [2007] EWCA Crim 1499





Criminal Law

R v. Bishop 2015 Represented the alleged leader of gang of five men responsible for the kidnap, false imprisonment and torture of two separate victims and subsequent blackmail of the families.

R v Smith 2015 Defended one of five men accused of largest haul of ram -raid burglaries of rural banks in East Anglia.

R v Nizio 2015 Successfully defended man accused of multiple rape counts.

R.v Hilton 2015 Prosecuted a case of familial sexual allegations dating back to 1965.

R v Delroy Grant 2015 I represent the man known as the “night stalker” in his appeal against conviction for several rapes of elderly people in their homes.

R v Reid 2014 represented man accused revenge slashing of former police officer investigating licensed taxi offences.

R v Tetlay 2015. Successfully prosecuted a leader of a gang of men who had embarked upon a campaign of rape and sexual offences towards a 12-16 year old girl in Bucks in 2004-13.

R v Brendan Murphy 2013 £1.5 m VAT Evasion Prosecution Central CC for HMRC

R v. Wynne 2012/13 Leading defence counsel in the largest ever Flying Squad Bank Robbery Operation involving over 12 armed bank robberies spanning 10 years

R v Hirst 2013 Successfully defended one of the three acquitted defendants out of ten Charlton FC fans accused of racist violence .

R v Kiani 2013; Defended man in multi handed trial in which he was accused of firearm possession in large Trident case.

R v Taylor 2013 Defence counsel in successful defence of man accused of domestic violence featuring all the accused’s children supporting his battered wife”.

R v Martinho 2013 Successfully represented woman accused of stabbing her former boyfriend in the street.

R v Carter 2012 Defence counsel in multi handed car ringing/burglary case in Maidstone CC

R V Ali 2012 Successfully defended when led by QC man accused of murdering drugs rival with shotgun

R v. Ashok Mahajan 2010

Conducted an appeal against conviction before full Court of Appeal in the case of an appellant who had been convicted of throwing acid over barristers appearing against him in a High Court action he was bringing. High Court barrister burned in courtroom acid attack.

R v. Andre Matthews 2010

Defended an alleged gang member accused of having a sawn off shotgun which was alleged to have been used to threaten others.

R v. Giblin and others 2008

Represented a defendant who was acquitted of his part in a murder and further stabbing of another victim in an alleged racist gang attack in the Isle of Sheppey.…/Teen-knifed-death-racists-seaside-break.html

R v. Allen 2009 Familial historic sexual assault

R v. Gerald Wilson 2007 Leading defence counsel for one member of a cash-in-transit robbery gang. Kevin Brown, the leader of said gang, was a notorious criminal. The trial lasted three months and was conducted under the tightest security ever witnessed in an English court.

Video: How police caught dangerous robber (From News Shopper)

R v. Adekunle 2007

Representing as leading counsel one female member of a gang said to have committed the largest alleged fraud of its time on a health authority: NHS fraudsters jailed (From News Shopper)

R v. Hunt 2010

Sexual assaults on children within a church congregation.

R v. Nash 2010

Random slashing of stranger giving rise to IPP sentence.

R v. Stoker and others 2010

An internal fraud of a national bread manufacturer by managers worth £300k.

Business Crime

Instructed for the Finance Officer of a business who along with others is accused of a £1.5m fraud on State/ local authority agencies in a trial listed for 2016.