Criminal Barristers for Drugs Offences

25 Bedford Row’s criminal barristers are specialists in advice and advocacy in proceedings relating to the supply, importation & possession of legal and illegal drugs.

We have particular experience of complex cases involving serious and organised crime, large-scale conspiracies, and undercover police investigations.

Our criminal defence barristers can provide advice and representation at every stage of drugs cases. We are experts in defending clients facing the most serious drug charges, including allegations of conspiracy to supply drugs, and have defended in the country’s most high profile, largest and most complex drugs prosecutions.

We will work tirelessly to secure the best outcome for your case, ensuring you are properly advised and that you have the very best representation at every stage. Our specialist drugs barristers will carefully assess your situation and determine the best possible defence strategy.

Our barristers include some of the leading experts on synthetic drugs and psychoactive substances, with extensive experience of issues relating to the classification of drugs.

We have extensive experience of cases involving virtually every type of illegal drugs including cocaine, heroin, cannabis, MDMA, ecstasy, ketamine and drugs classified under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016.  

Our team will fearlessly represent you, understanding and unpicking the evidence and providing effective assistance for even the most challenging drug prosecutions.

For advice and representation for any type of drug offence, please contact us.

Our criminal defence expertise for drug offences

We have experience of prosecutions of all types of offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 and other related legislation, including

Possession of drugs

Personal possession of drugs, even in small quantities, can lead to criminal charges and imprisonment in more serious cases. While these types of cases are common, for many defendants a criminal conviction for possession of drugs will have serious consequences for their personal and professional life. It is therefore important to take these charges seriously and make sure you have the best possible defence team to support you.

Possession with intent to supply

Possession of drugs with intent to supply, commonly referred to as drug dealing, is significantly more serious than possession for personal use. Sentences can be severe. Defending cases where drug supply is alleged, requires a knowledge and understanding of complex investigation techniques and an ability to ensure that conduct is viewed in its proper context.

Prosecutors will often rely on a range of supporting evidence including mobile phone data, cash and financial records, and expert evidence. Our leading criminal defence barristers are experienced in the careful analysis of evidence of alleged drug supply and trafficking, so can ensure all relevant factors are considered and every angle of defence is explored.

Drug importation

Importation of illegal drugs is a serious offence. Investigations into this type of crime can take many months and involve numerous suspects and strands of evidence in the UK and abroad. Our criminal defence barristers have extensive expertise in importation of drugs cases.

Cultivation and production of illegal drugs

Our barristers have a wealth of experience in dealing with prosecutions involving drug production and cultivation, from small individual producers, to commercial-scale operations worth millions of pounds.

If you have been charged with the cultivation or production of illegal drugs, we can make sure all relevant factors are taken into consideration, including where you dispute your involvement, the scale of the operation or that any drugs produced were intended for supply to third parties.

Manufacture or supply of a controlled substance

Controlled substances often include drugs which are not normally for recreational use but can lead to dependencies or be otherwise misused. Such drugs are controlled by legislation and can include some prescription medications. Regulations relating to controlled substances can affect a variety of individuals and businesses and our drugs barristers frequently advise on such cases.

Psychoactive substances

The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 came into force in May 2016.  It dramatically extended the criminalisation of the possession and supply of substances, which can generically be referred to as ‘drugs’. It is not substance-focused, but was designed to deal with the rise in the supply and use of so-called legal highs. A psychoactive substance under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 is defined as any substance “capable of producing a psychoactive effect” which is not an exempted substance. An exempted substance is anything that is already illegal plus medicines, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine or food. Our barristers are among the leading experts in this emerging area of law.

Cannabis Legislation

Specialist drugs law barristers at 25 Bedford Row advise individuals and businesses on the legislation and regulations concerning the licencing and framework necessary to produce and provide products derived from cannabis and other previously prohibited products, following the significant changes to UK legislation which allows some pharmaceutical providers to cultivate cannabis for medicinal use.  

 Contact us for further information on related services for business.

Why choose 25 Bedford Row for cases concerning the possession or supply of drugs cases?

Our collective defence experience has ranged from representing those facing multi-million-pound drug trafficking charges both nationally and internationally, to individuals accused of simple possession of small quantities of drugs.

25 Bedford Row’s specialist drugs barristers are used to handling multi-defendant complex conspiracy trials. We understand the sensitivities involved in multi-handed trials and are frequently instructed in trials concerning serious allegations of drug trafficking. We also deal with the entire range of related offences, including allegations of money laundering.

Our criminal defence barristers provide the highest quality of advice and representation to clients facing the most serious and challenging charges relating to drug offences, so whatever your situation, we are committed to ensuring you have the best possible defence.

Why do I need a barrister? Can’t I just use a solicitor?

Barristers are engaged by solicitors and individual clients to provide specialist advise on the law and the evidence, to draft legal documents, and to structure and present the case in court in order to achieve the best result. The specialist criminal defence barristers at 25 Bedford Row can help by advising you from a very early stage, even before a charging decision is made.

Some solicitors provide advocacy services to their clients, although many prefer to instruct a barrister to do this because barristers are specialist advocates and experts in the presentation of cases in court. Clients are entitled to ask their solicitor to instruct the barrister of their choice, whether the case is privately funded or publicly funded through Criminal Legal Aid.

At 25 Bedford Row our drugs barristers are instructed by the leading solicitors in the field, reflecting our exceptional reputation as leading defence advocates.

What is the process of instructing a criminal barrister?

Barristers are usually instructed through a solicitor. 25 Bedford Row has a good working relationship with solicitors and together will be able to help identify the most suitable barrister to deal with your case. If a client has a selected barrister in mind, they may ask their solicitor to instruct that barrister.

Your barrister will consider the papers in your case and may advise in writing or at meeting with you prior to going to court. Many barristers at 25 Bedford Row also accept instructions directly from members of the public under the Direct Access Scheme.

What is the Direct Access Scheme?

Members of the public seeking legal advice or representation can now approach a specialist barrister directly without the need to first engage the services of a solicitor.

If you wish to instruct a criminal barrister directly without a solicitor, you can do so by getting in touch with our clerks. A clerk will advise on which member of chambers would be suitable for your case. From there you will work directly with a specialist drugs barrister who will be at hand for pragmatic legal advice and representation.

To instruct our barristers directly, please contact us with details of your case and your requirements. Our experienced clerks will advise on which of our criminal defence barristers may be suitable and the likely cost involved.

Can I use the Direct Access Scheme for drugs law cases?

It may be possible for you to instruct one of our barristers specialising in drugs cases directly. 

Contact us via our clerks’ room to find out whether or not your case is suitable for the Direct Access Scheme.

Is it possible to get legal aid for representation by a criminal barrister using the Direct Access Scheme?

Legal aid is not available for Direct Access clients. However, our barristers do accept legal aid instructions from solicitors. If you wish to be represented by a defence specialist barrister from 25 Bedford Row, you may request that your solicitor instructs the barrister of your choice.


Chambers work very closely supporting the work of Release.

Release is the national centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law. They provide a range of services including providing advice, expertise and information to both members of the public and professionals on all issues related to drug use and to drug laws.

Their reputation for excellence is demonstrated by involvement in almost every recent major serious trial

Chambers UK


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