Philip Astbury


Phone: 0151 243 6000

Year of call: 1999

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Philip Astbury practises exclusively in criminal law.

Combative and persuasive in equal measure, Philip is instructed across the entire spectrum of criminal work by both defence and prosecution.


  • Criminal Bar Association


  • Crime

    Philip is a level 4 prosecutor and is included within the CPS rape panel. He frequently defends and prosecutes rapes and serious sexual allegations in the Crown Court, and has been instructed to defend in a number of historic institutional abuse cases across the country.

    He regularly appears in multi-handed conspiracies involving serious organised crime.


    R v Tansey (2014): Presently defending historic allegations of sexual abuse of children in residential schools across the North East of England.

    R v Ash (2013): Defended in a conspiracy to possess explosives involving a significant quantity of anti-tank land mines stolen from the MOD.

    R v Swift (2013): Prosecuted the abuse of a disabled child based exclusively on expert evidence of bite marks and the Defendant’s dentition.

    R v Javadi (2013): Defended in the UK’s most significant importation of “crystal meth” to date.

    Operation Firethorn (2012, 2013 and 2014): Prosecuted a series of sophisticated conspiracies to counterfeit currency, creating over £750,000 in forged £20 notes which entered the UK economy.

    R v Oakford (2014): Defended a conspiracy in which over £100 million of cocaine was imported from South America and intercepted at Tilbury docks.

    R v Roach (2014): Defended a nationwide drug conspiracy in which successful submissions of no case to answer were immediately challenged and expedited before the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division.

    Legal Directory Recommendations

    “Highly experienced in fraud and complex criminal casework”.

    Legal 500, 2009

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