Richard Archer

2007 Middle Temple

Richard is an experienced and well-regarded criminal practitioner who acts for both prosecution and defence in some of the most serious matters brought before the Crown Court.

Richard prides himself on keeping a close eye on his caseload and understands the importance of working closely with instructing solicitors from the moment of instruction through to trial to ensure that cases proceed without the need for unnecessary adjournment and with the best evidence available to his clients. He firmly believes in thorough preparation as the key to understanding all aspects of his caseload.

"Richard Archer can be relied upon to be very well prepared for court appearances and conferences with clients. When I instruct Richard Archer I can be confident that the client will receive sound advice from an excellent trial advocate." ‐ Jane Tunn, Solicitor, Poole Townsend, Barrow in Furness

Notable Cases

Operation Horizon (ongoing) - Richard is currently instructed as leading Junior for the Crown Prosecution Service’s Complex Casework Unit to prosecute over 15 defendants charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs as part of a county lines operation. The case involves a significant amount of telephone evidence. Six of those defendants face trial in January 2020.

R v Clarkson (ongoing) – Richard is currently instructed to represent the defendant charged with the murder of his grandmother in a case concerning the mental health of the defendant at the time of his alleged commission of the offence.

R v MW, May 2019 – Richard was instructed to represent the defendant charged with the sexual assault of his 4 year old granddaughter. The complainant, aged 5 at trial, gave evidence and was sensitively cross-examined by Richard, with the assistance of an intermediary. Indeed, Richard was required to conduct his cross-examination in the video-link room with the complainant on account of her very young age. The jury were unable to reach a verdict and the prosecution did not seek a re-trial, resulting in the defendant’s acquittal.

R v Lane, October 2018 – Richard was instructed as junior counsel (silk led) for the defence in this case, in which the defendant, and another man, were charged with the murder of a man following a fight in a public house. The case involved complex issues of joint enterprise, particularly following the decision of the Supreme Court in R v Jogee [2016] UKSC 8 and required careful analysis of many hours of CCTV footage.

R v DJ (& others), May 2018 – Richard acted for the lead defendant in a multiple count indictment alleging historic rapes and sexual offences against a number of family members. The trial lasted for over a month and required Richard to cross-examine a large number of witnesses who had been granted special measures. Post-conviction, Richard was instructed to argue the appropriateness of imposing an extended sentence on an elderly defendant sentenced to a lengthy period of imprisonment, on appeal to the Court of Appeal.

R v Andrewatha, December 2017 – Richard represented the principal defendant in a section 18 trial involving a serious, pre-planned stabbing. The evidence involved significant analysis of telephone records and cell siting to prove the offence.

R v Diggles, January 2017 ‐ Richard acted as sole advocate for the prosecution in a trial where the defendant was charged with causing death by dangerous driving. The case relied on complex electrical engineering evidence and was presided over by a High Court judge. The defendant was represented by Queens Counsel.

R v Graham, February 2016 ‐ Successfully defended a young man charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs arising out of Cumbria Constabulary's Operation Halogen following a two-week trial that relied heavily on telephone and cell site evidence.

R v Mugridge, January 2016 ‐ Following a three-week trial at Preston Crown Court, Richard represented the only defendant in a drugs operation (Operation Duroy) to be acquitted by the jury of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

R v White & Others, 2014-2016 ‐ Junior Counsel for the Crown in two lengthy trials (and Proceeds of Crime hearings) of 12 defendants charged with conspiracy to supply controlled drugs. The case involved the industrial production and multi-million pound sale of 'legal highs' via the Internet.

R v Disley & Others ‐ February ‐ May 2013 ‐ Richard was instructed as junior prosecution counsel (led by Michael Maher, Exchange Chambers) by the CPS Complex Case Unit in Operation ISMINE, an multi-handed conspiracy to defraud trial at Preston Crown Court lasting 8 weeks, the investigation of which spanned over two years. Four of the defendants were convicted and sentenced to a total of 8 years and 9 months in prison.

Additional Information
Practice Areas
General Crime

Richard practises almost exclusively in criminal matters. He has built up a healthy Crown Court practice appearing on a daily basis for both prosecution and defence alike. In addition Richard has appeared before the Court of Appeal Criminal Division on a number of occasions.

Richard accepts instructions in relation to all offences of violence from murder and GBH to common assault alike, serious sexual offences, burglary, theft and other offences of dishonesty [including fraud].

Richard has a keen interest in defending those allegedly involved in large scale drugs conspiracies.

Regulatory Work

Richard accepts instructions in regulatory work. He has particular experience in relation to prosecutions brought by Trading Standards in relation to counterfeiting offences, agricultural offences and other related litigation.

Public Interest Immunity

Richard is regularly instructed by local authorities to review third party material identified for disclosure in criminal proceedings in accordance with the '2013 Protocol and Good Practice Model'. Where necessary, Richard also attends court hearings to argue in favour of public interest immunity. With his broad background in general crime he realises the importance of correctly identifying relevant material for disclosure and understands the balance the courts must draw between protecting vulnerable individuals and disclosing documents into criminal proceedings. Richard has received judicial praise in relation to his approach in such matters.


Recorder 2018

Secretary of the Northern Circuit - 2017 to present

Junior of the Northern Circuit 2013-14

Crown Prosecution Service Level 3 Prosecutor