Robin Shellard

< Back

A respected practitioner with substantial experience both defending and prosecuting. He has particular expertise in serious sexual offences and multiple defendant conspiracies concerning both fraud and drugs.

Robin is a Grade 4 prosecutor on the CPS list of prosecuting counsel and on the rape panel.

Robin has acted as leading Junior on numerous occasions.

Operation Bakersfield. In 2015 he was leading Junior in the prosecution of a 12-defendant conspiracy to supply cocaine; He prosecuted a 17-defendant conspiracy to supply drugs between London, Cardiff, Birmingham and Bristol (Operation Kiel 2015).

R v Grove and others. He successfully defended in a multiple defendant conspiracy to defraud the NHS of £3.5 million.

Operation Caber 2014/15. Robin was instructed to defend in a multi defendant Very High Cost (VHCC) prosecution brought by the OFT in the largest case so far for offences contrary to The Consumer Protection Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPUT). The case concerned a pyramid scam where over £20 million was lost. His was the only defendant to be acquitted after two trials each lasting four months.

Operation Dino. He defended the primary conspirator at trial in a multi-defendant ‘Cash for Crash’ insurance fraud with detailed cross examination of experts. This attracted nationwide press attention.

R v Cummins (2016). He has prosecuted a man for a campaign of rape involving five victims over three-year period and advised on the subsequent successful Attorney General’s Reference.

R v Denham [2017] 1 Cr. App. R. In 2015 he defended at trial one of a number of men charges with conspiracy to rape babies which was prosecuted by the National Crime Agency that attracted national attention (Operation Vanquis. R v Denham and others) and the subsequent appeal against conviction.

Operation Button 2016. He has successfully defended one of a number of men in Bristol charged with sexually exploiting vulnerable teenage girls. He is also defending in an attempted murder and a manslaughter; and prosecuting a five defendant fraud committed against the MOD.

R v Birch. In 2014 he brought a private prosecution that was later adopted by the DPP against a police officer for the use of a ‘Taser’ in a police cell against a naked man.

Robin has a particular interest in firearms law and was granted leave to appeal against conviction by the Court of Appeal in a case involving the importation of blank firing flare launchers that are legal in Europe, but found to be prohibited weapons in the UK. Robin also lectures on firearms legislation and frequently represents gun owners on applications and appeals involving firearms licensing.

In addition, he carries out a full range of regulatory work such as animal movement regulations; poaching; unsafe practices by retailers such as tattoo shops; and the handling and keeping of explosives. He has prosecuted for Trading Standards and Local Authorities and defended in cases involving trademark infringement and goods sold on E-Bay. Robin has represented a food processing company, Hamza Poultry Ltd, who were prosecuted for breaches of the Food Hygiene Regulations 2006 and defended the resulting £2m proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) where the prosecution was seeking to show that the failure to obtain the correct food processing licenses made the Company turnover criminal benefit for the purposes of POCA with a resulting liability for the Director.

He prosecutes on behalf of the Maritime & Coast Guard Agency.

He has considerable experience appearing before Courts Martial and has appeared before the Courts Martial Appeal Tribunal (2016).

Direct Access. Robin is qualified to carry out direct access work. He is happy to undertake preliminary advice.

Private Client. Robin carries out private client work in both regulatory and non-regulatory crime.


Professional Memberships

Criminal Bar Association.


Clifton College Bristol; University of Wales (BA Hons History); the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst; University of Westminster (CPE): Inns of Court School of Law.


Fishing; shooting; watching Bath Rugby; playing cricket. Bristol Committee member for The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust. Active with a number of charities.

“Absolutely the consummate gentleman barrister, he’s the complete package.” – Chambers & Partners 2016

“Robin Shellard provides a thorough and detailed service. He oozes charm and ability.” – Chambers & Partners 2016

‘He specialises in sexual offence trials.’ Legal 500 2016

‘A very strong and charismatic advocate.’ – Legal 500 2015

‘Recommended for his broad prosecution and defence practice.’ – Legal 500 2014

‘Robin Shellard is notable for his ability to charm a jury and a judge.’ – Legal 500 2013

‘Quickly puts clients at ease.’ – Legal 500 2012

‘Excellent all-rounder; a star performer.’ – Legal 500 2011

‘Extremely efficient and pleasant.’ – Legal 500 2010

‘Good with the lay client…. is recommended for cases with a sexual element’ – Legal 500 2009

"Robin is really good, a very strong practitioner who does a lot of defence work." Chambers & Partners 2017 Contact Us

Latest News

View All News