Richard Parry



Richard is a consultant and senior solicitor with over 30 years experience of criminal defence work. He began his career working for the defence in the infamous PC Blakelock murder case at the Central Criminal Court in 1987 which was the first death of a police officer in an urban riot since 1835.

He qualified as a solicitor in 1994. A Higher Rights Advocate, he appears regularly in the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts and is known for his fearless commitment to his clients. He accepts instructions on a private or legal aid basis.

Richard has two areas of practice: criminal defence and public inquiry work. He is currently instructed for the Advisory Service for Squatters, the anarchist ‘Freedom Press’ and other Core Participants in the Undercover Policing Inquiry, which is not set to conclude until the end of 2026. Richard’s involvement draws on his knowledge of radical protest movements and his experience of defending those involved in protest cases since the 1990s.

Richard had been in the news recently over his defence of a French publisher wrongly arrested under schedule 7 Terrorism Act 2000 for failing to provide his phone PIN number. After representations made, the Crown Prosecution Service ordered the police to stop investigating. Subsequently, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorist Legislation found the stop and arrest to be unjustified.

Richard is currently acting for the principal defendant where the Prosecution allege that 5 Bulgarian nationals collected information on behalf of Russia, a “potential enemy” contrary to the Official Secrets Act 1911.  The case is fixed for trial at the Old Bailey in October 2024.

Recently, Richard successfully defended a female defendant in a multi-handed Bulgarian sex trafficking case, which had made the headlines as a result of a joint Europol and Eurojust investigation over 2 years. His client was given an absolute discharge.

Richard has traveled extensively in Bulgaria and Eastern Europe over the years and enjoys working with clients from these countries.

Richard has particular expertise in the field of serious drugs offences, and is instructed in a major “dark web” conspiracy to supply cocaine that sprang from an FBI investigation. This is due to come to trial in Bristol in 2024.

In 2023 he was instructed in a 6 month drug conspiracy case at Wood Green Crown Court that became one of the longest running drug cases in the UK, and is now set for a re-trial for his client alone at the end of 2024.

He has dealt with many large scale cannabis cultivations and importations of drugs. Richard represented the sole appellant to take a cannabis ’medical necessity’ case to the European Court several years ago, and more recently, successfully defeated an attempt by the US Attorney to extradite a well-known British cannabis activist to the USA. Richard has spoken at Trafalgar Square in favour of cannabis legalisation and been interviewed for TV and radio on drugs issues.

Richard has also defended large scale money laundering prosecutions brought by the National Crime Agency, including Chinese ‘underground banking’ cases. He is currently involved in the largest money laundering case in the UK, with an alleged value of over £266 million involving the exportation of gold to Dubai, fixed for trial in Leeds Crown Court in 2024.

Richard has, in his lengthy career, defended a broad spectrum of criminal cases including murder, armed robbery, sex-trafficking, riot and violent disorder. Richard has defended British soldiers at Courts Martial (in Germany), represented at Inquests families of those shot by police, and has dealt with extraditions and requests for Mutual Assistance. He has taken appeals to the Court of Appeal, High Court,
Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights.

Richard is a member of the London Criminal Solicitor’s Association.

Richard has an MA in social history from the London School of Economics; he speaks French and has a smattering of German, Italian, Russian and Bulgarian. His prime interests are history, politics, good wine and good conversation. He has written a book on the infamous French anarchists known as the Bonnot Gang and has travelled to every country in Europe. His next target is to visit 100 of the 195 countries in the world.