John Hurlock

Year of Call: 1993  


John Hurlock is a criminal law specialist.

John is regularly instructed to act in heavyweight criminal cases and has an extremely busy and successful practice in all areas of criminal law, both publicly and privately funded. He has considerable experience of dealing with cases of murder & manslaughter, complex fraud, major drugs importations, drugs supply, armed robbery serious sexual offences and other violent organised crime.

Over the years John has successfully and discreetly represented very high profile individuals from the worlds of commerce, celebrity and sport.

Having been instructed as sole junior or led junior for many years, he is now increasingly instructed as leading junior counsel, often in multi-handed cases of complexity or sensitivity.

John’s down to earth manner makes him an effective advocate and popular with both lay and professional clients who repeatedly instruct him.

John is qualified to accept instructions on a public access basis and is registered with the Bar Council’s public access directory.



  • R v H: Successfully advised and represented the defendant through criminal allegations, civil restraint and HM Revenue and Customs’ investigation.


John has regularly appeared in the Court of Appeal in relation to appeals against conviction and sentence and Attorney Generals References.

He has provided advice and/or second opinions on appeals to the Court of Appeal and potential CCRC references in cases where he was not trial counsel.



  • R v Smith & Vary: Acted for both defendants in large scale drug importation / supply operation. Successfully defended both defendants re allegations of hidden assets and the confiscation of their assets here and abroad.
  • R v Zykin & Others: 17 million pound fraud plot Britain’s biggest ever credit card fraud.
  • R v Jordon & Others: Successfully defended the defendant against allegations of hidden assets abroad and excluded various assets from the confiscation order.



  • R v Rogers & Others: Conspiracy to supply class A drugs and conspiracy to manufacture crystal meth, amphetamine and ecstasy. The case involved submissions on Abuse of process, an analysis of the workings of probe devices, the admissibility of probe evidence and dementia as a defence. The case was likened to the American TV series “Breaking Bad”.
  • R v Neville & Others: Large scale drug supply of class A drugs from a prison.
  • R v Marshall & Others: Large scale drug supply conspiracy of class A drugs. The case involved Abuse of process, recusal of Judges, disclosure and Section 8 CPIA applications. The indictment was eventually stayed as an abuse of process.
  • R v Rees & Others: Large scale multi -handed drugs case involving the supply of class A and B drugs in the West Country. The case involved a supergrass who gave evidence for the crown against all defendants. He was successfully cross-examined to such an extent that the crown no longer relied upon him as a witness of truth. Verdict of Not guilty.
  • R v Jones & Others: Conspiracy to supply drugs, confiscation and Money laundering. The case involved an application to change the defendant’s plea from guilty to Not Guilty, and an application for the recusal of a Judge due to perceived bias.
  • R v Cole (Michael Michaels series of trials): Large scale Drug supply/ importation conspiracy, of both class A and B Drugs. The case involved Confiscation, Money Laundering and Extradition. The main witness in the case was an accountant who kept the books of various drug organisations and who later turned supergrass.
  • R v Kensella & Others: Multi handed large scale drug operation in the midlands area involving the supply of class A and B drugs. Not guilty.
  • R v O’Conner & Others: The case involved the supply of class B drugs in the midlands area and Mortgage Fraud.
  • R v French & Others: Large scale drug operation involving over 200 hours of probe material from undercover police officers. The defendant’s case was that he was acting under duress by an undercover police informant who involved him in the enterprise. Not guilty.
  • R v Andrews & Others: The case involved a large scale drug operation in the London and Leeds areas involving the supply of class A and B drugs. The allegation was that the defendant was part of an OCG (Organised Crime Group) responsible for the supply of class A drugs between the London and Leeds areas. The evidence against the defendant was observation evidence, association and cell site evidence. The defence case was that the defendant had been set up by a registered police informant who had entrapped the defendant into involving him into the offence. Application was made to either exclude the totality of the evidence as against the defendant or to stay the prosecution as an abuse of process of the court. The case involved a detailed defence case statement and various requests for disclosure under section 8 of the CPIA. Due to the complexity of the disclosure issues “Special Counsel” were instructed by the court to protect the interests of the defendants during Ex parte Public Interest Immunity Applications made by the Crown. After two weeks of Public Immunity Applications made by the Crown, the Crown offered no evidence against all defendants and the defendant was found not guilty.
  • R v N: A Conspiracy involving the supply of class A and B drugs. The case involved a large scale drug operation involving the importation of drugs from Europe via various legitimate companies importing items into the jurisdiction.
  • R v McNamara: Represented one of 7 defendants in a huge drugs conspiracy involving importation of over a 100 kilos of class A and B Drugs into the North London area. The case once again involved probe material in a car, a local pub and a local café. After mitigation was advanced on his behalf the defendant received a sentence of 12 years imprisonment.
  • R v Saltmarsh & Others: Successfully defended one of six men accused of a conspiracy to blackmail at Newcastle Crown Court. In a trial lasting 6 weeks, it was alleged that the six men had operated together to blackmail a large number of small businesses across England. The method was to carry out work and then demand in some cases 100 times the quoted price, followed by threats of violence to the families of victims when payments were refused. The 4 other defendants were convicted.
  • R v Carter & Others: The defendant was charged with conspiring to supply firearms and ammunition. The defendant was said to have been the head of an organisation which supplied firearms and ammunition to the criminal underworld. The police operation lasted over 16 months. It involved video and human surveillance and probes recording all conversations in his address. Defendant was acquitted on both counts.
  • R v Hassan: A terrorist case where the allegation was that the defendant was involved in collecting monies from various jurisdictions to finance a terrorist organisation. The defence denied support of the organisation and stated that the monies were collected to illegally bring people into the country. Not Guilty.
  • R v Acourt & Norris: The defendant, one of the men accused of murdering Stephen Lawrence, was charged with racial harassment after throwing a cup of cola at an off-duty black policeman and calling him a “nigger”.
  • R v Stephen Fry & Others: Allegation of Conspiracy to Rob various addresses and building societies. The case involved abuse of process, exclusion of identification evidence due to breaches of the Codes of Practice and analysis of cell site material. Not Guilty.
  • R v Payne, Swallow & Others: Allegation of Violent disorder. Large scale football violence between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham fans at White Hart lane. The allegation was that both sets of fans were professional football hooligans who frequently met to fight. The defence was that Mr Payne was a legitimate West Ham fan who had been ambushed at the train station by Spurs fans, in self defence he and others had chased their aggressors in to the Cockerel pub and kept them there until the authorities arrived. Not guilty of violent disorder.
  • R v Molski & Others: Allegation of Violent disorder, large scale unrest at Mile End between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham fans. The defendant was a Spurs fan. Successfully appealed banning orders imposed by the court at first instance.
  • R v Muaimba: Allegation of gang Rape and Assault, by throwing acid on the victim after she had been raped. Successfully opposed Attorney General reference to increase the defendant’s sentence of six years.
  • R v Walter Douglas: Extradition, fraud and money laundering
  • R v Harvey: “How the cops became the robbers case”
  • R v Ashton & Others: An allegation of aggravated burglary and possession of firearms. The case involved an aggravated burglary by six men of a drug dealer’s house so as to steal 1 million pounds in cash. The allegation was that a sawn off shotgun was placed to the head of a young girl on the premises with threats to kill her unless the money was produced. The case against the defendant was one of association with co defendants and cell site evidence placing the defendant at the scene of the offence. The defence case was presence in the car with co defendants on way to burglary, however the defendant withdrew himself from the enterprise and went home, playing no part in the offence. The defendant was found not guilty.
  • R v Herbert & Others: Allegation of Conspiracy to supply and manufacture firearms and ammunition. The defendant having pleaded guilty, John successfully resisted an Attorney General’s reference to increase sentence.
  • R v Nelson: Firearms and money laundering
  • R v Grant (McVicker): Armed Robbery, and firearms

Murder & Manslaughter


  • R v Mahmod Mahmood: An allegation of honour killing.
  • R v Bennett: An allegation of the attempted Murder of two police officers, the case involved a thorough examination of expert evidence re the firing of guns and in particular the distinction between misfiring marks and light contact marks on a gun. The allegation was that during the course of a police chase the defendant on two separate occasions against two different police officers fired the gun at them but the gun didn’t fire. The defence case was that at no stage did he fire the gun, although he accepted he had it in his possession during the course of the chase. Not Guilty of both counts of attempted Murder.
  • R v P & Others: Allegation of a juvenile in a gang being involved in the murder of a rival gang member by an attack that began with kicking and punching him and which culminated in a stone slab being smashed on his head. Defence was present through some of incident but took no part in incident and didn’t join the agreement to cause the deceased serious harm or kill him. Not Guilty.
  • R v Fury & Others: Allegation of being involved in the murder of a traveller at a travellers wedding, kicking and punching the victim to death culminating with a table being smashed on his head. The defence was that the defendant was present but played no part in the assault. Not guilty.
  • R V Azille & Others: An allegation of the attempted Murder of a millionaire jeweler who was robbed and beaten to death with a champagne bottle by masked raiders.

Road Traffic

John specialises in acting in all aspects of road traffic law including dangerous driving, drink driving, speeding and all other matters. He has successfully acted for a wide range of celebrity clients and many Premiership footballers and mangers.


  • Association of Football Agents
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Fraud Lawyers Association


  • LLB Hons