William Harbage QC is a highly regarded advocate specialising in criminal and regulatory law. He is known for his thorough and conscientious approach.
In crime, he undertakes both prosecution and defence work in roughly equal measure. William’s practice is mainly in cases of homicide; he has built up a particular expertise in cases with a medical or nursing element. His practice extends to all heavyweight and white collar crime including terrorism, cybercrime, fraud, money–laundering, confiscation, misconduct in public office, kidnapping and armed robbery.
In regulatory law, his cases have involved Trading Standards, professional and sports disciplinary hearings, and the marketing of prescription medicines. He sits as Chairman of the Appeal Board of the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority, the self–regulatory arm of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, and as an Appeal Panel Chairman for the Rugby Football Union.
- Serious & Organised Crime (including Homicide & drugs)
- Fraud & Business Crime
- Disciplinary & Regulatory offences
- Serious sexual offences
- Consumer Law & Trading Standards
Appointments & Memberships
- Recorder of the Crown Court (Crime)
- Recorder of the County Court (Civil)
- Middle Temple
- Cybercrime Practitioners Association
- Joint Head of Chambers 2011 to 2019
R v Norris.
Defence of nurse murdering a number of elderly women on his ward by injecting them with insulin so causing hypo-glycaemic coma and death.
R v Anxiang Du.
Prosecution of high profile case in which Du murdered an entire family of Chines origin, parents and two school-age girls, by stabbing them all to death in their own home; issues of diminished responsibility and loss of control.
R v Murugamoorthy.
Defence of husband, jointly with wife, charged with murdering their baby, raising complex medical and toxicological issues including SIDS.
R v Dunkley.
Prosecuting murder of a paraplegic former boxer of international renown (Sean
R v Parker.  EWCA Crim 2.
Defence of husband who stabbed his wife in first case under the new law of 'Loss of Control'.
R v Jones & Ors (St.Albans)
Prosecuted ruthless gangland abduction and execution involving extensive telephone evidence, cell site analysis and CCTV image comparisons.
R v AWM.
Defence of 13 year old girl charged with murder; the youngest female charged with murder since Mary Bell in 1968.
R v Nudds.
Prosecution of murder of traveller who was shot, dismembered and burned so that no remains ever recovered.
R v Musone.  EWCA Crim 1237.
Defence of one of 3 prison inmates accused of murdering a 4th in case involving classic cut-throat defences; now one of leading Court of Appeal case on admissibility of hearsay evidence.
R v Marcinkiewicz-Szubowski.
Prosecution of Polish man for murder of another Polish national in case where no body ever recovered.
R v Allitt.
Represented notorious child murderer in relation to the correct tariff to be imposed under new life sentence regulations.
R v Ackroyd.
Defence of A and three others, operating as
R v Soodin [part of Operation Elveden]
Led for defence of a journalist from The Sun who was charged and later acquitted of being part of the cash-for-information scandal. For the full story, Click Here
R v Lee & others.
Prosecution of rogue traders charged with conspiracy to defraud and money-laundering offences; 17 defendants, over 100 victims, fraud of over
R v Entwistle (Northampton)
Led for defence of County Council officer charged with money-laundering, forgery and misconduct in public office in relation to a £1/2 million contract for the refurbishment of travellers’ sites using grant money from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Issues re abuse of process, mens rea in forgery, cover up in the council and the extent of the offence of misconduct in public office. Entwistle acquitted after prosecution dropped the case in 6th week of trial after cross-examination of one of their key witnesses.
R v Speechley (Sheffield)  EWCA Crim 3607.
Led for defence of elected Leader of County Council charged with misconduct in public office by diverting the route of a new multi-million pound road around his land to increase its value from agricultural to development land. Issues re abuse of process, right of jury to stop a case, scope of the offence of misconduct in public office. For more information, Click Here
R v Dalgarno & others (Leicester)
For defence of city councillor charged with corruption. Allegation of accepting back-handers given in exchange for influencing the planning committee of which he was a member.
R v Ververgaert.
Defence of Dutch national charged with huge scale importation of heroin, cannabis and amphetamines worth
R v Worrell.
Defence of white neo-Nazi supremacist charged with offences under the Terrorism Act 2000 and racially aggravated public order offences after being found in possession of bomb-making material for use in improvised explosive devices.
R v Lamont.
Prosecution in case of multiple rapes and assault by domineering man against vulnerable younger partners.
R v Bowman.
Defence of older man of impeccable character and standing in the community charged with sexual assaults against teenage girls.
R v Carragher & others.
Prosecution of 5 defendants charged with historic, institutional sexual and physical abuse (rape, buggery, etc) of vulnerable children in a Roman Catholic Children
R v Brizzalari.  EWCA Crim 310.
Prosecution of historic, systematic sexual abuse of vulnerable children in Roman Catholic Children
R v Emmanuel-Blake.
Defence in case of parents charged with child cruelty offences; both Baptist Fundamentalists who believed in "spare the rod spoil the child".
R v JHL & others.
Prosecution brought by Trading Standards against a large gang of defendants systematically targeting and defrauding vulnerable and elderly householders across East Anglia by suggesting that they needed work done on their roof; offences included breaches of the Consumer
R v Mandell.
Defence of a builder/developer charged with offences against the Town & Country Planning Act by exceeding permissions given in Listed Building Consent
Watermead SSL v Aylesbury VDC.
Client owned water sports centre, with ski boats and jet-skis, served with noise abatement notice after complaints from neighbouring residents.