Paul Humpherson


Year of Call



Paul’s practice incorporates both courtroom advocacy in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal, and more academic engagement with the law through his work as a university law tutor. Paul is also a founding director of Tap Social, an award-winning social enterprise established to create training and employment opportunities to people serving and recently released from prison sentences.

Paul prosecutes and defends in Crown Court cases involving serious violence, sexual offences, theft and fraud. He has appeared successfully in a number of reported criminal appeals in both the Court of Appeal and the High Court.

Paul has diverse experience of financial crime and regulation, having undertaken secondments with the Financial Conduct Authority, Serious Fraud Office, Stephen Platt Associates LLP (a financial regulation and compliance consultancy based in the Channel Islands), WilmerHale (a City law firm), and the Welfare, Rural and Health Division of the Crown Prosecution Service (where he prosecuted benefit fraud and regulatory offences).


Paul prosecutes and defends in the Crown, Magistrates’ and Youth Courts and has acted for the Defence in numerous trials spanning offences of serious violence, sexual misconduct, harassment, drugs and road traffic.

Paul is regularly instructed to prosecute in the Crown Court on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service, National Probation Service and Transport for London in contested trials and other preliminary hearings.

Paul is a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford where he teaches undergraduates and graduate students criminology and substantive criminal law. Between 2013 and 2017 Paul was seconded to the Law Commission where he was responsible (along with the Criminal Law Commissioner Prof. David Ormerod QC) for the Commission’s ongoing project to codify the law of sentencing.

Paul is regularly invited to lecture and present on the criminal law at academic symposia.

Paul has significant experience of financial crime and fraud. In 2013 he was seconded to the Financial Conduct Authority, where he was involved in the criminal and regulatory prosecution of a large scale eight-handed ‘land-banking’ fraud, with particular responsibility for the handling of material from the asset restraint proceedings.

In 2012 Paul was seconded to the Serious Fraud Office and the Crown Prosecution Service, and has subsequently been instructed to defend and prosecute in a number of contested fraud cases in the Crown Court. Paul recently secured an acquittal in a six-handed will fraud, R v Griffin and Others.

Paul was instructed by the Crown to provide legal research notes in advance of the recent Supreme Court decision on confiscation in R v Waya [2012] UKSC 51 and has defended and prosecuted in confiscation proceedings through to the final hearing.

In addition, Paul assisted with the preparation of a number of complex fraud and money-laundering cases during his pupillage, including a wide-reaching postal credit card fraud (R v Olele and Ewulum) and a high-value money laundering trial (R v O’Shea, Doyle and Others).

Paul has acted on behalf of individuals in condemnation proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court, resisting the forfeiture of vehicles and excise goods to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

Paul has been involved with the research and preparation of a number of judicial reviews, relating in particular to Article 6, Article 3 and Article 8 rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. Paul has also conducted cases concerning the Prison Rules and statutory provisions on early release.

He has also been instructed by the Treasury Solicitor to assist with the preparation of Judicial Review proceedings in the context of Immigration law.

Paul has recent and diverse experience of international financial regulation, from his secondments at Stephen Platt Associates LLP and WilmerHale (instructed on behalf of a major US bank).

Paul was also involved in the preparation and courtroom prosecution of a variety of regulatory offences during his secondment at the newly created Welfare, Rural & Health Division of the Crown Prosecution Service, which undertakes criminal and regulatory prosecutions in a number of specialist fields previously dealt with by external government departments.

Crown Prosecution Service Prosecutor (Grade 2)

  • Before practising at the Bar, Paul was an undergraduate tutor in contract law at Worcester College, University of Oxford.
  • Between 2006 and 2009, Paul sat as a Referral Order Panel Member in Oxfordshire, working with young offenders and victims to administer restorative sentences handed down by the Youth Court.
  • University of Oxford, BA (Hons), Jurisprudence
  • University of Oxford, MSc, Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Ogilvie-Thompson Scholar (Worcester College, Oxford)
  • Prince of Wales Scholar (Gray’s Inn)
  • South Eastern Circuit

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Notable cases