Charles Conway

Year of Call: 1969  


Charles Conway has an exclusively criminal defence practice that consists mostly of leading junior work.

As a junior he has been led in many high profile cases including the Russell Bishop “Babes in the Wood” murder, the Jason Swift paedophile killing, the Brinks Matt £26 million Gold Bullion robbery, for Freddie Foreman in the £6 million Security Express robbery and for Kenny Noye in the road rage murder.

For the last 25 years he has had a largely Leading Junior practice in a diversity of heavy criminal cases ranging from murders to fraud, drug importations to money laundering. He has also held leading junior briefs in a range of various types of fraud cases.

He represented all five Stephen Lawrence suspects in the Divisional Court and three of them in the McPherson Public Inquiry. He appeared as Junior Counsel for one of them at the Old Bailey.

He also has a substantial private practice and he has successfully represented Ray Winstone and Max Beesley.

In more recent times he has held leading junior briefs in long, complex, high profile drug, fraud and robbery cases many of which are said to have been amongst the largest of their kind ever brought e.g. the £53 million Tonbridge Securities robbery when he acted for a major player.

He has recently held the leading junior brief in a contested £3 million mortgage fraud at the Old Bailey and was recently instructed in a high profile murder case. He is instructed in a major high profile gangland murder case to be held in Birmingham next in the year. He is also instructed in a serious fraud to be tried at the Central Criminal Court later in the year and also in a serious multi-handed armed robbery when £600,000 was stolen (to be tried in Harrow Crown Court). He has been instructed in the last 5 years in many heavy drugs cases by solicitors from all over the country including Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.

Charles is an occasional contributor to TV news programmes.

In 2016 he represented one of 8 Defendants in a Rotherham sex abuse trial in the Sheffield  Crown Court. (RvA) and has been retained in another Rotherham sex abuse case to be heard in 2018. He also represented an organiser in a multi-handed conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin in Derby Crown court (RvR).

This year (2017) he successfully represented a Defendant charged with attempted murder (a shooting) in Birmingham Crown Court (Rv K) and successfully defended a major player in a serious perverting the course of justice trial in Manchester Crown Court which lasted 4 weeks (R v M). The Defendant was alleged to be an organiser of a large OCG in the north west of England.

He also represented a major organiser charged along with 8 others in a conspiracy to import 165 kilos of heroin from Pakistan (Rv MA). This was an 11 handed case in which the other 2 major organisers were represented by Queen’s Counsel.

In July 2017 he successfully represented a Defendant charged with possessing a firearm (a shotgun) with intent Rv S (St Albans Crown Court) and in September2017 secured the acquittal of a Defendant charged with fraud at Basildon Crown Court (Rv B).


Represented a variety of defendants, mostly in drug and fraud cases where millions of pounds have been at stake.


  • R v Contreras a major Dominican Republic cocaine importer.
  • R v Daniel Smith (major player allegedly in gangland drug deal).



  • R v Freddie Ross Johnson: 2 years ago held the leading brief for a major player in the biggest ever cannabis farm case in Europe, which lasted 3 months at the Central Criminal Court.
  • R v Michael Carbon: Represented a major defendant in a series of armed robberies involving firearms which lasted 2 months at the Central Criminal Court.
  • R v Daniel Smith: Represented an alleged major player in a well-known criminal family in Liverpool (the Fitzgibbons) in a conspiracy to import 35 kilos of heroin from Turkey and involved in a separate conspiracy to supply 167,00 tablets of ecstasy.


I have been involved in recent years in a variety of fraud cases including carousel frauds and diversion frauds. Recently I held a leading brief in a £3 million mortgage fraud. Soon I will be representing a director in a Company Directors Disqualification Act case, which is scheduled to last 2 weeks. I have done a number of these cases in the past and have represented an Appellant in a leading authority of R v Doring 2003 that is still cited in Archbold.


  • R v Shelley English: Acted for principle defendant in a month-long time share fraud.
  • R v David Harris: Represented a chartered accountant charged with aiding the theft of £650,000 from a well-known West End restaurant and assisting a disqualified director in managing it? Acquitted after a month’s trial.
  • R v Conroy: Leading Junior brief for the English organiser of an international alleged £18 million excise and VAT fraud involving the setting up and running of illicit counterfeit alcohol and tobacco factories.
  • R v Ian Gillespie: Acted for a chartered accountant in an international conspiracy to import and distribute counterfeit medicines. Said to have been the largest conspiracy of its kind ever to have been brought. Acquitted after a 4 month trial.

Murder & Manslaughter

I have held leading junior briefs in 5 murders in the last 10 years.

Serious Sexual Offences

In the last year I have represented a number of clients involved in a variety of sexual offences ranging from rape to sexual assault.


  • Criminal Bar Association