Charles Thomas

Year of call: 1990

Charles Charles

Charles is an experienced specialist criminal barrister. His practice encompasses the entire range of criminal work including murder, manslaughter, rape, serious fraud, drugs cases and slavery cases. He also has extensive experience of professional disciplinary work, which includes sitting as a Legally Qualified Chair at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service and for Sport Resolutions UK. He is a Crown Court Recorder.

Crime

Charles is a specialist criminal practitioner on the Western Circuit. His practice encompasses the entire range of criminal work including murder, manslaughter, rape and serious fraud and drugs cases. He has extensive experience of cases involving internet crime and child pornography. He maintains an even balance in his practice between prosecution and defence work. He is pro-active in giving advice on areas of further evidence to be explored, whether for the prosecution or defence, and what possibilities for forensic and expert evidence are available in any given situation.

He is a grade 4 prosecutor, handling the most serious kinds of cases either alone or as a leading junior. He regularly prosecutes cases with silks defending on the other side. He has a proven track record of success for dealing with cases involving complex financial transactions and large volumes of paperwork. He is widely recognised for the meticulous preparation and attention to detail he brings to such cases which is the cornerstone to his effective presentation of often complicated questions of fact or law in court.

He has considerable experience of prosecuting the most serious types of sex cases and is highly regarded for the quality of his witness care, and the effectiveness of his cross-examination be it of complainants or defendants.

He is also regularly instructed as a leading junior for the defence. He has particular expertise in multi-handed drugs cases, frauds and sex cases. He is highly rated for the tactical acumen and judgment he brings to bear in these longer types of cases. He is particularly interested in cases where there has been a background of police covert surveillance and issues of sensitive material and proper disclosure need to be raised before trial.

An area of particular expertise that he has developed in recent years concerns the Slavery and Trafficking Offences under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 and the Modern Slavery Act 2015. He was instructed prosecute in 3 of the first cases to come before the courts under these Acts. Recent cases have involved the trafficking of women to Bristol from the Czech Republic for prostitution and the use of vulnerable individuals as domestic slaves. He is very familiar in particular with the witness care and evidential issues that arise in these cases.

An area of particular expertise that he has developed in recent years concerns the new slavery offences under s71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. He has been instructed prosecute in 3 of the first cases to come before the courts in the last 2 years and is very familiar in particular with the witness care and evidential issues that arise in these cases.

His client care is of very high quality. He is often specifically instructed to represent particularly demanding clients, especially those with mental health difficulties. He has conducted many hearings relating to issues of fitness to plead. He has built a reputation of being a sensitive but effective cross-examiner of complainants in sex cases, whether adults or children via the video-link.

He also defends in Court Martial cases, both in England and in Germany.

Professional Discipline

Charles has extensive experience of cases involving professionals appearing before disciplinary tribunals, both at the interim order stage and final fitness to practice hearings. He is familiar with the law and the particular tactical issues that can arise for professionals facing disciplinary hearings who need to preserve their professional reputations, their practices and often also their working relationships with others involved in the proceedings.

He has experience of dealing with cases that involve both deficient performance and professional misconduct. In respect of the latter types of allegations he has the advantage of being able to bring to bear not only his knowledge of this area of law but also his many years experience of criminal advocacy. He is an astute and effective cross examiner of witnesses who need to be robustly challenged on questions of fact.

Recent cases he has dealt with include:

  • A doctor convicted of Gross Negligence Manslaughter.
  • Several cases involving doctors accused of sexual impropriety within their clinical work.
  • A consultant who had waged a defamatory campaign against fellow professionals, including a solicitor and his former wife.
  • A lengthy and complex case involving a doctor alleged to have mis-prescribed thyroid hormones and to have undertaken inappropriate genetic tests without obtaining proper consent.

In the field of Sport discipline he has recently conducted several Safeguarding Appeals concerning LTA registered tennis coaches and has also performed a stage 3 written disciplinary review for the RFU.

CLERK CONTACT INFORMATION

For further information and enquiries please contact:

Crime: Lucy Northeast & Grant Bidwell

Regulatory & Discipline:
Lucy Northeast & Grant Bidwell

Appointments

  • Crown Court Recorder
  • Grade 4 prosecutor, Crown Prosecution Service
  • Legallly Qualified Chair, Medical Practitioners Tribunal
  • Legallly Qualified Chair, Sports Resolutions UK, appointed to the National Safeguarding Panel (NSP), the Athlete Selection and Eligibility Panel, the Integrity and Dicipline Panel and the Paralympic and Disability Panel.  

Memberships

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Western Circuit

education

  • Diploma in Law, Westminster University
  • BA Hons, New College, Oxford University