Philip Farr

Call 2001

Philip Farr has significant experience across the full spectrum of serious crime, with a particular focus on homicide and sexual offences. Philip both prosecutes and defends and is a member of the CPS Rape and Serious Sexual Offences panel.

Philip is regularly instructed in cases involving young or vulnerable witnesses/defendants and is particularly sought after in sensitive cases of serious sexual misconduct, for example where the accused occupies a position of authority, has a high-profile, or where the allegations are historical within the context of a familial relationship.

Philip is regularly instructed privately in such matters, both as trial counsel and in order to provide advice post-conviction.


Philip has extensive experience in homicide cases. He has prosecuted and defended in cases involving multiple deaths, as well as historical “cold” cases. Many of the cases in which he is instructed involve young children and/or vulnerable witnesses, complex psychiatric issues, issues relating to diminished responsibility, or a combination of the above.

Notable Murder & Manslaughter cases

R v P (2022)

Defence of a 20 year old accused of the joint enterprise murder of his mother’s new partner.

R v S (2022)

Prosecution (led by Karim Khalil QC) – murder by defendant of two members of his own family and a close family friend. Defendant had a complex psychiatric history and the case involved evidence from a number of psychiatrists in relation to insanity/diminished responsibility.

R v P (2022)

Defence (led by Stephen Spence) – murder (stabbing) of a 22 year old by a 20 year old with a history of ADHD and mental health problems. Issues relating to diminished responsibility.

R v P (2021)

Defence of a 19 year old, of good character, charged with assisting in the murder of a vulnerable man over a drugs debt.

R v L (2019)

Defence (led by John Farmer) – historical murder case, resurrected after nearly a decade, involving issues relating to police informant witnesses.

R v H

prosecution (led by Wayne Cleaver) – prosecution of a defendant charged with the unprovoked murder of a complete stranger.

Philip prosecutes and defends all serious sexual offences. He regularly appears in cases involving multiple complainants, vulnerable witnesses/defendants, and cases involving familial sexual allegations. He is experienced in conducting cases where pre-recorded (s.28) cross-examination is ordered.

Notable Sexual Offences cases

R v S (2022)

Prosecution of a defendant charged with child sexual offences; involving complex issues surrounding fitness to plead.

R v B (2021)

Prosecution of a nightclub doorman for rape of a young customer.

R v S (2021)

Prosecution of multiple counts of rape and sexual assault of a 13 year old by a defendant already subject an indeterminate sentence.

R v A and M

Prosecution of two young men accused of the rape of a stranger in Oxford city centre.

R v GH

Successful defence of a step-father charged with multiple counts of rape and sexual assault against his 16 year old step-daughter.

Philip is frequently instructed to prosecute or defend cases involving historical allegations, often alleged to have been committed in a familial context, and cases where securing and managing complex disclosure material is critical. He has argued for and against staying historical cases as an abuse of process, for reasons including delay and the infirmity of the defendant. As a defence advocate, Philip is often instructed privately to represent clients occupying high-profile roles, who find themselves charged with historical offences.

Notable Historic Sexual Offences cases

R v D (2022)

Defence of an 84 year old charged with multiple counts of historical sexual abuse (rape and indecent assault) against his 3 complainants – his step-daughters.

R v H (2021)

Prosecution of a grandfather for the repeated abuse of his granddaughter.

R v H (2020)

Defence: biological father, with previous convictions for rape and child sex offending, charged with numerous allegations of assault by penetration of his 14 year old daughter.

R v E

Defence: successful defence of a client in his 20’s, with learning difficulties, accused of serially raping and abusing his 3 step-siblings, all under the age of 13

R v S

Successful defence of a man charged with conspiracy to rape and associated offences as part of an alleged familial paedophile ring.

Philip is a highly experienced advocate in cases involving organised crime groups and gangs. Cases in which he has appeared include gang-related murder and serious violence, high-level drugs conspiracies, human trafficking and modern slavery. Philip’s cases in this area often involve complicated issues as to admissibility and attribution of phone evidence.

Notable Gangs & Organised Crime Groups cases

R v A (2020)

Defence (led by Karim Khalil QC) gang-related murder committed by a 17 year old defendant.

R v M & others

(led by Wayne Cleaver), successful prosecution of a large group of defendants for the illegal trafficking of immigrants from SE Asia across the Channel into the UK.

R v S, L and E

Prosecution of 3 Lithuanians accused of acting as unlicensed gangmasters as part of an organised crime group, in order to exploit trafficked individuals.

R v A

Defence of a client charged with conspiracy to import over £100 million of cocaine in multiple kilos over a 3 year period.

R v H

Prosecution – 6 handed conspiracy to supply substantial quantities of drugs from Liverpool to Norwich, involving complicated disclosure and PII issues.

R v C

Defence – 14 handed conspiracy to supply drugs across Norfolk over a significant period of time.

Associations and Memberships

  • LLB (HONS)


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