Philip Astbury

Philip Astbury - Barrister at St John's Buildings


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

Legal Directory Recommendations

“Highly experienced in fraud and complex criminal casework”. – Legal 500 2009


  • Crime

    Philip is frequently instructed in multi-handed conspiracies involving serious organised crime. He has experience being led, and appearing as a leading junior.

    He is a level 4 prosecutor and is included within the CPS rape panel. He often 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.


    Operation Mainframe (2018): Defending conspiracy to supply controlled drugs between the North West of England and Scotland.

    Operation Manhattan (2018): Defending conspiracy to distribute Class A drugs across the UK.

    Operation Portrayne (2018): Prosecuted a conspiracy to supply cocaine between Organised Crime Groups in Liverpool and Glasgow. Associated prosecution of those who laundered the substantial cash proceeds via the “Hawala” banking system.

    Operation Milden (2017): Prosecuted the importation of controlled drugs from Spain into the UK, via France and the Channel Tunnel.

    R v Daniels Waste Management (2017): Defended environmental offences involving the export of dangerous pollutants to West Africa, featured in a BBC Panorama investigation.

    Operation Waterscape (2016): Prosecuted a series of shootings across the region together with drug trafficking offences which lay behind the conflict.

    Operation Camaro (2015): Defended allegations of the supply of automatic firearms between organised crime groups.

    Operation Airdrie (2015): Defended a conspiracy to manufacture adulterants for use in the illicit drug trade on an industrial scale.

    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 Ash (2013): Defended a conspiracy to possess explosives involving a significant quantity of anti-tank landmines stolen from the MOD.

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