Graham Rishton

Call To The Bar: 2022

Graham Rishton joined Chambers in 2022 as a transferring legal professional and after completing a reduced pupillage under the supervision of Mr Brendan O’Leary. He began his career at a Chambers and Partners Band 1 national criminal defence firm in 2013, qualifying as a solicitor and higher court advocate in 2016. He became a director of the firm in 2019.

As a solicitor, Graham acted for clients across a broad spectrum of criminal offences including murder, sexual offences and complex drug conspiracies. He developed a particular niche in acting in large-scale fraud offences. He most notably acted in the Royal Household Bribery Case for the only Defendant to be acquitted, and in the SFO v Unaoil trial, reported to be the largest bribery case in history. He was also regularly instructed to act on a private basis for clients accused of sexual offences. Graham developed a reputation as a solicitor for his ability to absorb significant amounts of material, attention to detail and approachable manner with clients.

Since joining Chambers Graham has developed a busy Crown Court practice defending and prosecuting. He is a Grade 2 prosecutor. Instructions have included defending at trial in a multi-handed drug conspiracy, and defending those accused of rape and serious sexual offences.

Notable cases include:

R v K – Preston Crown Court – Operation Marina – Defending in a five-handed conspiracy to supply Class A drugs conspiracy. The prosecution relied upon surveillance and cell site evidence. Graham represented the only Defendant to be acquitted

R v V – Stafford Crown Court – Led counsel acting for Defendant accused of participating in an OCG involved in a muti-million pound conspiracy to supply Class A drugs throughout the midlands.

R v W – Burnley Crown Court – Obtained a suspended sentence order for a Defendant who pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A and B drugs

R v H – Preston Crown Court – Representing a Defendant accused of money laundering following a complicated phishing fraud. Defence advanced that he had been used as an unknowing mule. Defendant acquitted after 4 day trial.

R v G – Manchester Minshull St Crown Court – Representing Defendant alleged to have committed a series of thefts. Prosecution based on identification evidence of a police officer. Defendant acquitted.

R v G – Bolton Crown Court – Representation of a Defendant who accepted the opportunistic theft of a vehicle from a driveway but denied burglary of the car keys. Acquitted after a 3 day trial.

R v W – Burnley Crown Court – Represented a Defendant accused of S.18 GBH involving a slash wound to the face. The charge was negotiated to a S.20 and the Defendant obtained a suspended sentence order.

R v L – Manchester Crown Court – Instructed as prosecution counsel in serious injury by dangerous driving case. The Defendant pleaded guilty at PTPH.

R v H – Chester Crown Court – Instructed as defence counsel in a multi-complainant case in which the Defendant faced allegations of sexual assault by penetration. Prosecution sought to rely on evidence from “Fitbit” device but a successful s.78 application excluded it. Case also raised difficulties concerning cross-admissibility of counts. Client acquitted after a 4 day trial.

R v M – Manchester Crown Court – Acted for Defendant who pleaded guilty to inciting a child to engage in the commission of a sexual offence after being caught by a “paedophile hunter” group.

Graham has also developed a busy motoring practice and regularly attends at the Magistrates’ Court to act for drivers accused of drink or drug driving offences or to advance special reasons or exceptional hardship arguments. He notably retained the licence, after an exceptional hardship argument, of a driver who had accrued no fewer than 36 points.

Graham also accepts instructions in regulatory matters. He has successfully defended cash forfeiture applications and prosecutes such applications on behalf of the National Crime Agency. Other instructions have included acting on behalf of the DVLA, for local councils in licencing matters and on behalf of a HGV licence operator in a public inquest before a Traffic Commissioner.

A long-suffering Leeds United fan, Graham is a keen sportsman and plays football for his local side. He enjoys relaxing with his young family and running in the hills with his golden retriever Edith.