Joe Hingston

Call 2007

Applies sound judgment in the most complex jury trials.

Experienced junior with a reputation among his peers for his hard work and approachable manner.


The core of Joe’s practice is criminal defence, which in recent years has encompassed instructions in defending cases of murder and serious organised crime, both as led junior and junior alone.

Joe has been instructed in a number of high-profile murder cases, often representing the first Defendant in multi-handed trials. Those cases have included a variety of complex issues, including cause of death, crime scene reconstruction, evidence from anonymous witnesses, and joint enterprise. He has been prosecuted by Treasury Counsel in almost all murder cases.

In respect of serious organised crime, Joe has been instructed to defend in wide ranging allegations. He is currently instructed as lead junior in a case said to relate to a major international crime organisation involving the alleged importation of many hundreds of kilos of class A drugs and large quantities of unlawful firearms.

He is also instructed in a number of cases falling under the umbrella of Operation Vinetic, arising out of the taking down of the Encrochat telephone system by French and Dutch police.

Outside of these areas, Joe defends in cases spanning the almanac of criminal offences, including allegations of serious violence often involving multiple defendants, complex forensic evidence and “dangerousness”; firearms, where the issue of duress is raised; road traffic offences which have resulted in deaths and perverting the course of justice (in the context of a murder investigation).

Private Prosecution
Joe has recently expanded his practice to include acting on behalf of a number of national animal welfare charities and advising them on the prospects of instigating private prosecutions against various individuals and bodies.

Notable Crime cases

Joe is currently instructed in three murder trials scheduled to take place in 2021 and 2022:

R v AM (Central Criminal Court): Multi-handed murder with shotgun.
R v MR (Central Criminal Court): Multi-handed murder of a man in broad daylight in East London.
R v SA (Reading CC): 7-handed murder of a man and wounding of his friend in a residential street in Watford. Representing principal offender.

R v JW [2020] Central Criminal Court)

Junior alone instructed to represent youth charged with attempted murder of individual on a commuter train in gangland retribution.

R v SR [2019] Southampton Crown Court

Leading junior in defence of alleged member of a London gang who travelled to Bournemouth to commit armed robbery of a jewellery store in broad daylight.

R v DB [2019] Truro Crown Court

Represented first defendant and member of a London organised crime group trafficking drugs and vulnerable individuals to the south west. Acquitted after trial.

R v JM [2019] Canterbury Crown Court

Acquitted of human trafficking and labour exploitation. JM said to be member of crime family who trafficked and exploited scores of workers over five years.

R v FF [2019] Harrow Crown Court

Junior alone. Defendant accused of committing twelve armed robberies of banks and building societies across north London over a 4-week period.

R v HK [2018] Chelmsford Crown Court

Defence of money trafficker said to be sending money to Turkey to benefit terrorist organisations in Syria.

R v SP [2018] Isleworth Crown Court

Defence of a UK Border Agency officer charged as the principal defendant in the importation of drugs and firearms into the UK. Case garnered significant press attention.

R v MB [2018] Maidstone Crown Court

Defendant acquitted of tobacco smuggling on a significant scale. Prosecution utilised on-board data never previously deployed in criminal trials.

R v HM [2017] Birmingham Crown Court

Represented first defendant in cocaine, ketamine and cannabis national supply ring. Case was complex such that it required three separate trials. Acquitted. Led junior. Operation Aramac.

R v EA [2016] Leicester Crown Court

Junior alone to represent accused in a large-scale cocaine supply ring and cannabis production in the east Midlands and London. Operation Coast.

R v SM [2015] Preston Crown Court

Defendant charged with multiple counts of blackmail and section 18 wounding. Eight-week trial with Crown alleging Defendant was a “one-man mafia”. Acquitted of all but one count of blackmail. Operation Belmont.

R v PW [2015] Teeside Crown Court

Major drug supply operation between north west and north east organised crime groups amounting to “millions of pounds worth of class A drugs”. Acquitted after trial. Led junior. Operation Rodrigo.
R v DH (Leicester CC) 2014: Junior alone. Drug supply and money laundering conspiracy involving eighteen defendants linked to a notorious criminal fraternity in Derbyshire. Suspended sentence secured for client. Operation Chromium.

R v RS [2013 and 2014] Central Criminal Court and Woolwich Crown Court

Charged with international trafficking and serious sexual offences. Two linked trials took place amidst heightened media interest.

Instructed in cases of complex financial crime involving individuals and corporations in the public and private sector.

Adept at dealing with consequent applications for ancillary orders and confiscation proceedings.

Represented company directors, accountants, trustees and solicitors.

Notable Business Crime & Fraud cases

R v CR [2019] Wood Green Crown Court

Representation of the first Defendant, a director of a company in relation to allegations of VAT and duty fraud offences brought by HMRC relating to the supply of diesel. One of the longest diesel fraud trials ever prosecuted by HMRC (Operation Electron)

R v DP [2018] Harrow Crown Court) 2018

Defence of international money laundering scheme operating out of a money exchange bureau.

R v LB [2018] Leeds Crown Court

Representation of probate solicitor who defrauded her clients of over £4million.

R v MH [2017] Guildford Crown Court

Junior alone in one of the Crown Prosecution Service’s first prosecutions under the Bribery Act 2010. Involved a £multi-million contract with a public body.

R v AO [2017] Norwich Crown Court

Conspiracy to defraud large amounts of money over the internet from individuals in the United States

R v TS (Operation Ninjask) [2016] Central Criminal Court

Representing solicitor charged in well-publicised large scale conspiracy to facilitate sham marriages.

  • Lord Denning Scholarship

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