Member of Chambers Profile

Hugh French

Year of Call: 2004



Hugh is a leading criminal barrister who has developed a respected and thriving criminal practice which sees him both prosecuting and defending in equal measure.  

He is instructed by the CPS both as a leading and a led junior and has considerable experience of prosecuting multi-handed cases of the utmost seriousness. He is a Grade 3 prosecutor for the CPS who appears on the specialist fraud panel as well as the Rape and Child Sexual Abuse List.

His defence practice takes him out of London where his attention to detail and tenacity is in much demand by returning clients and Instructing Solicitors. He is instructed in the most serious cases including cases of murder, violence, fraud and serious sexual offences

Recent cases include:


Op. Darenth. Leading Junior for the Crown in a seven week trial prosecuting nine defendants accused of being part of an international Organised Crime Group involved in the illegal importation of millions of cigarettes. 

R v. S – Leading Junior for the Crown in the prosecution of an employee of a multi-national company who had stolen hundreds of thousands of pounds from his company.

Op. Boldo – Led Junior in the Prosecution of individuals involved in the ‘Horsemeat Scandal’ which received nationwide press coverage. 

R v. H – Defence counsel in a conspiracy to murder.

R v. U – Defence counsel instructed in a prison mutiny where part of a prison was said to have been taken over by prisoners and significant damage caused. 


R v. BW – Instructed for the Defence in a brutal axe murder which occurred on New Year’s Eve 2015. Hugh obtained an extension of representation for a QC who acted in the case as well.

R v. PE – Prosecution counsel in a horrific stranger rape by a practicing Satanist. 

R v. JO – Defence counsel for JO, accused of GBH with intent and witness intimidation.

R v. J & others – Prosecuting six defendants for a serious breach of public order which occurred in the visiting room of HMP Wandsworth. 

R v. AJ – Defending AJ who was accused of the armed robbery of a co-op, 5 years after he had been accused of an identical crime. 

R v. MC – Prosecuting three defendants for their involvement in a multi-million pound money laundering scheme.

R v. HW – Defence of a carer accused of the systematic physical and sexual abuse of his disabled client. 

R v. WR – Defence of a marine of good character accused of a GBH in a night club.

R v. AM – Prosecution of a gang of men who entered a Carphone warehouse armed with knives in order to attack rival gang members. 


R v. F – Junior counsel to the Crown in a substantial fraud perpetrated on a high street bank by several individuals. 

R v. M – Prosecution of three defendants for kidnap, false imprisonment and firearm offences. The victim had made a 999 call from the boot of the car which led the Police to her captors. 

R v. JC – Defence of a man accused of being part of an organised crime group who were stealing high performance vehicles and shipping them to Africa on false plates. 

R v. AS – Prosecution on behalf of HMRC of a businessman accused of the shipment of dual-use items to Iran in breach of sanctions that were in place at the time. A confiscation order of over a million pounds was obtained. Hugh also appeared for the Crown in the Court of Appeal where the Defendant attempted to appeal against the sentence that was imposed.

R v. CP – Defence counsel for a young man accused with his brother of the false imprisonment and torture of a local drug dealer.