John Hilton QC


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QEB News: R v F
18.5.2011 More >

John Hilton QC

Call 1964
Silk 1990
LLB (Hons) (Manchester University)

Practice: Crime and Fraud


White and blue collar frauds and general crime.

John Hilton QC prosecutes and defends in serious, high-profile cases including corporate fraud, banking, insider-dealing, corruption, sanctions busting, mortgage and V.A.T. frauds and bribery as well as murders and serious sex and drug offences. 

"He is highly regarded as a 'persuasive jury advocate' and 'very effective cross examiner'".

"He has particular expertise in cases involving DNA evidence.  He delivers seminars on the subject, including 'DNA made easy'".

Career Details

Since taking silk, John Hilton QC has prosecuted and defended in a variety of important cases. He defended in one of the first insider-dealing investigations (Tondeau and others). Following a half-time submission, the defendant was acquitted.

In 1992, he defended the County Natwest Compliance Officer in the Blue Arrow case. It was a high-profile fraud, one of the most complex of its kind; a landmark case in which all 12 defendants were senior officers in various banks. The defendant was acquitted.

During the course of the following years, he has been involved in a number of notable cases. For example, Lakhani (1992), one of the largest VAT losses at the time, involving complicated aspects of international law, and McTaggart & others (1996), one of the first VAT carousel frauds. Both these defendants were acquitted.

In 1999, he defended Furtado in the Lord Brocket Ferrari fraud.

In 2005, he prosecuted the case of Garside and Bates, a complicated contract killing case, involving significant DNA issues. Following conviction, the case went to the Court of Appeal, who rejected the appeal [2006] EWCA Crim 1395.

In 2007, he prosecuted the case of R v Slater, Selby & Roman (2007), involving a gang who committed a series of ‘happy slapping’ attacks, including beating a homeless man to death.

In 2010, John Hilton QC represented a client placed by the prosecution at the head of an extensive European wide unlawful importation to the UK of veterinary medicines, and in 2013 he defended in the three-month long Torex fraud case.

In 2014, he defended Yassine Sidi-Ammi, who was acquitted of attempting to pervert the course of justice. Sidi-Ammi was originally charged with murder which was discontinued following representations.

Since 2015, he successfully defended a woman who was sleepwalking at the time of the alleged attempted murder. Most recently, in 2016, he successfully defended a young Sri-Lankan man charged with murder and four attempted murders, who was acquitted after a two month trial.

In addition to recent murder cases, John Hilton QC has been involved in a number of cases of corporate fraud, very often in an advisory capacity.


2010 SFO Approved Counsel List
1986 - 2004 Recorder

Additional Information

Registered with the Bar Council – Public Access Directory
Member of the Public Access Bar Association - PABA

Notable cases:

R v B and seven others (Mitcham axe murder) (2016)
Successfully defended a young Sri-Lankan man charged with murder and four attempted murders.

Pimlico Murder Trial (2014)
Successful acquittal of man charged with perverting the course of justice.

R v W (Torex Retail False Accounting Case) (2013)
Conspiracy to defraud and false accounting

Re: H (2012)
Major bribery case

R v Pouladian (2012)
Sanctions busting

R v F (2011)
Successful representation of former detective charged with perverting the course of justice

R v Lansley & Others (2011)
Largest D.E.F.R.A. prosecution

R v Treeby & Others (2010)
Traveller family murder

R v Priestley & Henry (2009)
Mother & child murdered

R v Osei - Bonsu (2008)
Shadow Murderer

R v Slater, Selby & Roman (2007)
'Happy Slapping' murders