Richard Orme

Richard Orme - Barrister at St John's Buildings


Phone: 0161 214 1500

Year of call: 1993

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  • Leeds University
  • Fudan University (Shanghai, People’s Republic of China)


  • French,
  • German
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Spanish


  • Crime

    In crime, Richard receives instructions from both the Defence and Prosecution in Magistrates, Crown Court and Appellate levels and particularly in cases of the utmost seriousness including complex fraud, MTIC/multi-cell VAT frauds, drug trafficking, people trafficking, murder, corporate manslaughter, firearms offences, robberies, money laundering, proceeds of crime and sexual offences. Richard also accepts private work in all areas which includes private road traffic defence work.

    Amongst the private work undertaken, Richard is regularly instructed by the Far Eastern community given his unique knowledge of the culture having previously studied, lived and worked in that region for a number of years, including the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong and Thailand.

    In 1997/98, Richard was the first counsel in the country to successfully advance a defence which colloquially became known as ‘Medical Necessity’ in respect of cannabis cultivation, possession and possession with intent to supply. In the few years thereafter before the Court of Appeal eventually ruled that there was no such defence, Richard represented therapeutic users of cannabis throughout England and Wales. Richard takes pride in the fact that on no occasion following a contested trial, was a client of his ever convicted in such cases.

    Richard is a Grade 4 Prosecutor and receives instructions from the Complex Crime Unit of the CPS and also undertakes advisory and advocacy work in respect of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in cases such as Fraudulent Evasion of Excise Duty, Multi-Cell VAT frauds and Proceeds of Crime. Richard has been instructed to prosecute the following Operations on behalf of CPS Fraud Group and HMRC. Orate/Oblivion/Tudor/Impervious/Ivanhoe/Applelamp/Redpepper/Cloudcastle/Cheshire/Oklahoma/Nautical.

    Richard regularly receives instructions on behalf of the Defence in cases of Missing Trader Intra Community (MTIC) frauds as well as Multi-Cell VAT frauds.

    Richard has been a specialist Rape and Sexual offences prosecutor for many years and undertakes both Defence and Prosecution work in this area.

    Significant Cases

    • 2002 £3m amphetamine production operation
    • 2002 Gangland contract-killing (drugs turf war)
    • 2005 Contract killing of wealthy business man
    • 2006 One of the largest north Wales child sex abuse cases
    • 2006 £85m MITC/VAT carousel fraud
    • 2006 £1.7m print procurement fraud
    • 2007 Substantial money laundering case
    • 2009 Contract killing involving the use of illic SIM cards by prisoners
    • 2010 £1 million European Social Fund fraud
    • 2010 Large scale people trafficking case
    • 2011 Million pound Housing fraud
    • 2011 Multi-million pound international cocaine smuggling operation by use of private planes
    • 2012 Conspiracy to Defraud HMRC
    • 2012 Trial of Police Commander
    • 2012 Liverpool shooting trial
    • 2013 Gangland Murder
    • 2013 ‘Baby-shaking’ Murder
    • 2013 Multi-Cell VAT fraud
    • 2014 Defending in Mortgage Fraud
    • 2014 Prosecuting DBIS Director Disqualification Case
    • 2014 Prosecuting in VAT Repayment/Multi-cell VAT Fraud
    • 2014 Defending in Fraudulent Immigration ‘Sham Marriage’ case
    • 2015 Defending in Cocaine Smuggling case
    • 2015 Defending serving member of Special Branch in Rape case
    • 2015 Defending in Murder of a Solicitor
    • 2015 Prosecuting BUPA employee for patient abuse
    • 2015 Prosecuting Pension Fraud case
    • 2015 Prosecuting Red Diesel Fraud case
    • 2015 Defending in £10 million Amphetamine Sulphate production case.
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  • Inquests

    Richard additionally undertakes Inquest work and recently received instructions from the Police Superintendent’s Association successfully representing the interests of the Silver Cadre Commander in connection with the fatal shooting of a member of the public.

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  • Regulatory

    Police Misconduct

    Richard accepts instructions in relation to Police Misconduct Hearings and is regularly instructed by Police Professional Standards to act as Legal Advisor to the Assistant Chief Constable of South Yorkshire in connection with such hearings.

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