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Charles Drinnan

Year of Call: 2016


Bar Professional Training Course (The University of Law)

LLB (Hons) (The University of Newcastle upon Tyne)

Areas Of Work:

CPS Advocate Panel Member, level 2

List C on the Specialist Regulatory Advocates Panel in Health and Safety and Environmental Law

Government Legal Department Junior Scheme

Direct Access qualified


Charles has quickly established himself as a sought-after junior barrister with a busy practice specialising in criminal and regulatory law.  

Charles specialises in crime - defending and prosecuting in the Crown, Magistrates’ and Youth Courts. Charles is regularly instructed in serious matters beyond his year of call and appears in a broad range of cases including violence, engaging in a controlling or coercive relationship, fraud, robbery, burglary, offensive weapons and drug-dealing. His current Crown Court instructions include allegations of S18 GBH, robbery, fraud and stalking. He regularly deals with complex evidence including DNA and forensic drug reports and has represented a number of vulnerable clients, as well as appearing in cases with particularly vulnerable witnesses. Charles has experience with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and has represented both the Home Office and Defendants in cash forfeiture hearings.

He regularly receives private instructions to advise on all aspects of criminal law and to appear in the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court. Charles is a specialist in driving matters.

Charles has a keen interest and a growing practice in regulatory matters and has experience acting for regulators, local authorities and solicitors’ firms. He regularly advises and presents cases for the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and receives instructions from the Nursing and Midwifery Council, having completed a 3-month secondment. He welcomes disclosure, review and enquiry work, and has varied experience advising the NCA as independent counsel and conducting LPP reviews. 


Notable cases include: 

Court of Appeal

Appeal of A against sentence – Charles renewed an application to the full Court for leave to appeal sentence after it was refused by the Single Judge. The Court granted leave and agreed with Charles’s submissions that the sentence was manifestly excessive. The sentence was reduced by half to 15 months’ custody.


Crown Court

R v R (Woolwich Crown Court) – Acquittals secured on all counts relating to being concerned in the supply of Class A and B drugs - https://www.9kbw.com/about-us/news/charles-drinnan-secures-acquittals-on-all-counts-in-drugs-supply-trial-at-woolwich-crown-court.htm

R v W (Luton Crown Court) - Secured acquittal in an ABH. The Defendant had allegedly bitten a piece out of the Complainant’s face.

R v K (Woolwich Crown Court) – Secured acquittal in a weapons matter on the basis of reasonable excuse.

R v H (Aylesbury Crown Court) – Represented a Defendant in a 4-day armed robbery.

R v S (Snaresbrook Crown Court) – Successful resistance of Res Gestae leading to the Crown offering no evidence.

R v M (Inner London Crown Court) – Crown offered no evidence at appeal despite Defendant failing to attend after medical evidence was obtained on Charles’ advice.

R v A (Isleworth Crown Court) – Represented a Defendant in a 4-day burglary trial. Sentence reduced by 50% on appeal to the Court of Appeal http://courtnewsuk.co.uk/contractor-nicked-diamond-ring-at-premier-inn/

R v M (Central Criminal Court) – Prosecution of a sentence which received press coverage https://courtnewsuk.co.uk/tragedy-see-crooked-finance-manager-boss-says-judge/ 

R v D (Isleworth Crown Court) – Successful appeal for post-conviction refusal of bail.


Driving Offences


R v B (Croydon Crown Court) – Successful appeal regarding the use of a mobile phone while driving - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-49183231  

R v C (Aylesbury Crown Court) – Successful appeal, persuading the Court to find exceptional hardship in a driving matter.

R v F (Bromley Magistrates’ Court) – Charles persuaded the bench to impose a 56-day ban for an offence of speeding. The client was 54 mph over the speed limit.

R v N (Ealing Magistrates’ Court) – Acquittal in a failing to provide information under S172 Road Traffic Act 1988.

R v D (Bromley Magistrates’ Court) – Successful Newton in a speeding matter. Persuaded the Court the client was going 93mph in a 70-zone as opposed to a 50-zone.



BACP v C – Charles conducted the first case for the BACP under its new procedure.

NMC v M – Charles successfully presented a case for the NMC in Edinburgh concerning medicine mismanagement. 

Isle of Wight Council v K (Blackfriars Crown Court) – Charles successfully resisted an appeal against an enforcement notice served by the Council over numerous dangerous fire safety issues in four properties on the Isle. Charles succeeded on all three issues and secured the Council almost £15,000 in costs. During this case, Charles successfully resisted an application for a preliminary reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

London Borough of Barking & Dagenham v H & P – Charles represented two Defendants charged with numerous offences under the Licencing Act 2003 and the various tobacco and related products regulations. The charges were significantly reduced after negotiations with the Prosecutor.

London Borough of Redbridge v A – Charles represented a Defendant charged with tobacco and related products regulations. After submissions the financial penalties were substantially lower than expected.

Met Police v B (Ealing Magistrates’ Court) - Charles successfully represented a club in an emergency closure order application. The club remained open allowing the employees to retain their jobs.

HMIC – Charles was instructed by the Government Legal Department to assist with a matter relating to Her Majesties Inspectorate of Constabulary.



Charles enjoys rugby, golf, skiing and going to the gym. He enjoys playing the piano and heading back to Yorkshire when time permits. 


Mr Charles Drinnan is regulated by the Bar Standards Board, holds a current practising certificate and his details can be found on the BSB’s Barrister Register https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/regulatory-requirements/the-barristers'-register/

Mr Charles Drinnan holds insurance cover for all legal services supplied through professional indemnity insurance with the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund (BMIF) The coverage is worldwide subject to their terms which are available on their website https://www.barmutual.co.uk/

Mr Charles Drinnan is registered with the Information Commissioners office under the Data Protection Act https://ico.org.uk/

If you are not satisfied with the service that Mr Charles Drinnan provides you can make a complaint to Chambers. Information on Chambers Complaints Procedure is available on Chambers website www.9kbw.com/about-us/complaints-procedure

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from Chambers you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman (This must be done within the time limits set out) The contact details can be found on the Legal Ombudsman’s website http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/


A copy of Mr Charles Drinnan's Privacy Notice with details of his Privacy Policy can be found by Clicking Here


9 KBW is delighted to announce success in applications to the Serious Fraud Office Counsel Panel
It is with great pleasure that we announce that Counsel John Clifford has been successful in his application to join the Serious Fraud Office Counsel Panel at level B and Efstathios Divaris and Charles Drinnan both at level C.

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9 KBW are recruiting three Pupils for October 2021
9 King's Bench Walk is offering two funded 12 month criminal pupillages from October 4th 2021.

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Lessons from the Spanish flu and other pandemics
John Clifford co-authors article in Counsel magazine which takes a look at how the sometimes competing concerns of public safety and open justice were met during previous pandemics [August 2020]

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R –v- Suleyman, Woolwich Crown Court, June 2020
John Clifford secures the conviction of Osman Suleyman in case involving the use of considerable violence in the context of prolonged serious sexual offending. When the victim refused to engage in sexual intercourse..

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9 KBW are delighted to announce further success in an application to upgrade on the Crown Prosecution Service London and South East Advocate Panel.
Chambers are very pleased to announce that Charles Drinnan has been successful in his application to upgrade to level 2 on the CPS London and South East General Crime Panel. Our warmest congratulations.

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