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Andrew Johnson

Andrew specialises in regulatory crime and fraud prosecutions, acting for public and private prosecutors and defendants, and in appellate work.

In addition to his strong practice in consumer law, his regulatory criminal work includes health and safety and planning enforcement cases. 

He has significant experience in appellate work, receiving frequent instructions from the CPS Appeals and Review Unit to appear in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) and in the Administrative Court as fresh appellate counsel, particularly in cases involving alleged procedural errors, and in out of time appeals by alleged victims of trafficking.   

He is ranked as a leading junior in both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners. He is a member of the Attorney-General's Regulatory List and the Crown Prosecution Service Advocates’ Panel.

He has sat as a Deputy District Judge (Magistrates' Courts) since 2017, and since 2020 as a Recorder of the Crown Court, becoming authorised in 2022 to try serious sexual offences.

Consumer Law and Intellectual Property

Andrew acts for regulators in a broad range of consumer law cases, including rogue trading, counterfeit goods infringement and product safety cases. He is often instructed prior to the commencement of proceedings to provide advice on the scope of investigations, and thereafter prosecutes cases from first hearing through to trial and confiscation proceedings.

His current instructions include acting in the prosecution of a multi-million pound alleged wine fraud; a number of motor vehicle retailers in relation to undisclosed safety recalls; a number of rogue trader cases; trade mark infringement matters; and alleged misleading advertisements by a national company. 

His work for regulators has included successfully prosecuting:

  • A trader who charged consumers purchasing Energy Performance Certificates unlawful cancellation and late payment fees, in two separate cases;
  • A rogue letting agent who fraudulently obtained and retained deposits for rental properties that he either had no authority to market, or which had already been let to other tenants;
  • A rogue trader who laundered £50,000 obtained from a vulnerable, elderly consumer;
  • A large retailer who sold unsafe high-visibility jackets, which resulted in a concession in confiscation proceedings that the company had a criminal lifestyle;
  • The director of a restaurant which passed off horse meat as zebra steaks;
  • Two individuals operating a service facilitating illicit access to television channels and movies, and in a separate case two other individuals selling equipment that enabled access to a similar illegal service; 
  • A defendant involved in manufacturing, distributing and trading in counterfeit DVDs and CDs, following a four-year investigation; and
  • A defendant engaged in the sale of counterfeit motor vehicle parts over a similar period of time.

His experience in copyright proceedings extends beyond the criminal court, and having prosecuted criminal cases involving the dishonest reception of live television for many years, he now acts for Sky in bringing civil claims before the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court.

His defence practice includes securing a suspended sentence for a defendant who admitted trading in counterfeit Sennheiser headphones through Amazon’s online marketplace; and the successful defence of a company charged with selling counterfeit BaByliss products.

He has lectured at the annual Chartered Trading Standards Institute Conference for approaching a decade, written articles for the quarterly Trading Standards Review, and co-presented a series of seminars across the country about the impact of the Regulation of Investigation of Powers Act on investigations into the underage sale of tobacco, funded by the Department of Health. He provides bespoke training sessions for regulators.

He has been ranked consumer law by both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 for a number of years.

Health and Safety

Andrew acts in health and safety cases, with a particular emphasis on fire safety, both in the criminal courts and in inquests. 

He acted, led by Miles Bennett, in the successful prosecution following a fire that tragically killed two residents of a care home, and acted alone for the fire authority in the ongoing inquest. Acting alone, he successfully prosecuted a landlord following a fatal fire at a house in multiple occupation; and three separate publicans for non-fatal fires occurring in public houses.

Outside of fire safety cases, he successfully prosecuted a health and safety consultant for who conducted inadequate risk assessments, putting workers at risk of harm for industrial noise and vibrations; a nursery in relation to an incident where a toddler became suspended in blind cords; and appeared for the Office of Rail and Road at an inquest into the death of a man who fell from a tightly curved London Underground platform.

He is currently acting for enforcing authorities in active proceedings in respect of two fatalities: one involving a child who choked whilst being eating at a nursery; and another involving a fatal fall from a warehouse roof.


Andrew has considerable experience appearing in both the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) and the Administrative Court.

He is frequently instructed as fresh appellate counsel by the CPS Appeals and Review Unit, in particular in cases involving out-of-time appeals by alleged victims of trafficking. He appeared, led by Benjamin-Douglas Jones KC, in GB [2020] EWCA Crim 2[2020] EWCA Crim 1408, in which the Court accepted that the pre-Modern Slavery Act abuse of regime could not be relied on for offences committed after the Act came into force, even where in respect of offences which a defendant is not able to rely on the statutory defence; in CS and Le [2021] EWCA Crim 134, in which the Court agreed that the statutory defence could not be relied on where an offence was alleged to have been committed prior to the Act coming into force; and in AAD and Others [2022] EWCA Crim 106, where a specially constituted Court presided over by the Vice-President gave further guidance on the approach to trafficking cases both at first instance and on appeal, departing from A. Led by John McGuinness KC, he appeared for the DPP in R (L) v. DPP [2020] EWHC 1815 (Admin), in which the Divisional Court considered a judicial review of a decision under the CPS VRR scheme. 

He appears alone to respond to out-of-time trafficking appeals, frequently against King's Counsel. He acted, amongst other cases, in BTT [2021] EWCA Crim 4, and BLS [2022] EWCA Crim 1079, in both of which the respective Applicants were cross-examined before the Full Court and as a result of that evidence, their applications dismissed; in [2020] EWCA Crim 1355, where the Court agreed that leave out of time should not be granted as a result of a fresh assessment that the Applicant was a victim of trafficking where he had been properly advised at trial and made an informed decision not to advance the statutory defence; in AFU [2023] EWCA Crim 23, where the now-Lady Chief Justice further considered the approach in AAD; and in Henkoma [2023] EWCA Crim 808, where the Court accepted that the seriousness of the offences meant that the Appellant was properly prosecuted, notwithstanding the exploitation to which he had been subject. 

Outside of cases involving victims of trafficking, he has appeared in a number of cases involving alleged procedural errors in the Crown Court, particularly involving the (mis)use of the section 66 of the Courts Act 2003.

He acted alone in Fanta and Iutes [2021] EWCA Crim 564, in which an appeal based on alleged incompetence of trial counsel and inadequate directions regarding bad character evidence was dismissed; and in Mallick [2020] EWCA Crim 348, a successful prosecution appeal against a terminatory ruling involving consideration of the inferences that could be drawn from the ostensible authority a solicitor had to make statements on a defendant's behalf.

He was junior counsel in H v. DPP [2021] EWHC 147 (Admin), an important decision on the scope of section 142 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980; in Elmi [2022] EWCA Crim 1428, where the Court rejected the contention that the statutory defence for refugees extends to those eligible for humanitarian protection; and in R (AB) v. Uxbridge Youth Court [2023] EWHC 2951 (Admin), where the Court reaffirmed the principles applicable to judicial reviews in criminal cases.

He appeared alone for the respondent prosecutor in Beg v. Luton Borough Council [2017] EWHC 3435, where the Planning Court rejected an argument that an enforcement notice was a nullity; for the successful interested party in R (Chopstix Trading Limited) v. Luton Magistrates' Court [2022] EWHC 3141 (Admin), dealing with the correct approach to demonstrate that time limits are met when instituting summary proceedings; and for the Director of Public Prosecutions in Col ​​​​v. DPP​​ ​[2022] EWHC 2635 (Admin), where he successfully defended an appeal by way of case stated against the refusal of a magistrates' court to make an order for costs thrown away against the prosecutor.   

He appeared in a number of cases from 2021 to 2023, both led and alone, in which the Court of Appeal considered the correct approach to the facilitation of unlawful immigration by small boats crossings, including Bani and Others [2021] EWCA Crim 1958. He was subsequently leading junior for the Respondent in Ginar [2023] EWCA Crim 1121, in which the Court gave guidance on the approach to sentencing for the newly enacted offence of unlawfully arrived in the United Kingdom.

He also appeared for the Crown in two appeals by members of the 'Stockwell Six', whose convictions were referred after nearly half a decade by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Andrew also acts for appellants. Having appeared in the first appeal against a post-acquittal restraining order (Major [2010] EWCA Crim 3016), he appeared in 2023 in McCarren [2023] EWCA Crim 1233, where having been assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals after leave was granted in respects of grounds settled by the appellant in person, a post-acquittal restraining order was quashed notwithstanding it was made with the ostensible consent of the appellant.

Confiscation and Cash Forfeiture

Andrew’s confiscation experience includes both prosecuting and defending in contested hearings, acting for defendants in enforcement proceedings, and representing both prosecuting authorities and defendants in applications to vary existing orders.

He also acts for both applicants and respondents in cash forfeiture hearing, including on one notable occasion succeeding in securing the return of £30,000 wrapped in chocolate bar wrappers and attempted to be carried in the hold of an aircraft, both at first instance before magistrates and then again on appeal by the applicant to the Crown Court.

General Crime

Andrew’s general criminal defence practice has included obtaining acquittals for a client in an eight-handed case accused of aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office; a young lady charged with inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, a private hire driver accused of sexually assaulting a passenger; and, as led junior, a solicitor accused of conspiring to defraud mortgage companies.

His prosecution practice has included securing convictions for wounding with intent, robbery and the importation of Class A drugs. He acted as disclosure counsel in a series of cases prosecuted by the Specialist Fraud Division.

He has particular expertise in prosecuting cases with a technological element, and is adept at presenting to juries cases largely dependent on cell-site evidence.



  • Recorder of the Crown Court – 2020
    • Authorised to try Serious Sexual Offences – 2022
  • Deputy District Judge (Magistrates' Courts) – 2017


  • MA (Cantab) – Law Tripos, First Class – Downing College, Cambridge
  • Bar Vocational Course – Very Competent – College of Law


  • 'Investigating Crime Online', Trading Standards Review, April 2017
  • 'Bespoke Goods - Cancellation Exception', Trading Standards Review, February 2016 (with Carolina Bracken)
  • 'Conspiring to Re-Define Conspiracy to Defraud', The Lawyer, November 2014 (with Patrick Harrington QC and Benjamin Douglas-Jones)
  • 'Conspiring to Define Conspiracy to Defraud', The Lawyer, June 2014, (with Benjamin Douglas-Jones)
  • 'Human Rights in Africa', Criminal Bar Quarterly, June 2009 (with Amanda Pinto QC)

Scholarships and Prizes

  • Eastman Scholarship (Lincoln's Inn)
  • Lord Denning Scholarship (Lincoln's Inn)
  • Hardwick Entrance Scholarship (Lincoln's Inn)
  • Senior Harris Scholarship (Downing College, Cambridge)