Ryan Rothwell

Ryan Rothwell

Year of Call: 2014 Inner Temple


BA (Hons), English Literature, University of York


Ryan successfully completed pupillage under the wing of Matthew Dunford, and was offered tenancy in September 2016. He specialises predominantly in criminal and regulatory work, as well as conducting police, prison, and parole board work.

Since the beginning of his practice, Ryan has been regarded as a dynamic, intelligent, and charming advocate, providing persuasive advocacy in the courtroom and having an ability to build a genuine rapport with his clients. He is one of the most sought-after young defence barristers in north Wales.

Before joining Chambers, Ryan read English Literature at university, worked odd jobs, travelled Australia (and survived), and then converted to law. Immediately before being offered pupillage, Ryan worked for a year as a paralegal at RadcliffesLeBrasseur, specialising in defence healthcare regulatory work at the General Medical Council and the General Dental Council.

Ryan has also won awards for his advocacy, specifically two national mooting competitions: the DAC Beachcroft Mooting Competition and the NSLS e-Mooting Competition. He now regularly judges national mooting competitions held at local universities.

Criminal work

Ryan’s early efforts to specialise in criminal law have seen him both defend and prosecute a vast range of criminal matters in the Crown Court and below. He is a level 2 Crown Court prosecutor, but he is also regularly sought to defend offences of a violent or sexual nature. He has conducted cases involving defendants and witnesses with mental health difficulties, and is particularly adept at cases requiring the cross-examination of multiple eye witnesses.

R v Wright (2019) – successful prosecution of a woman charged with perverting the course of justice and various offences of dealing heroin and cocaine (Chester) 

R v McCormick (2019) – instructed to defend a school teacher accused of assaulting one of her students; she was roundly acquitted, with the judge’s criticism of the prosecution receiving significant attention in the national media (Chester) – https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/jean-mccormick-judge-lambasts-trial-of-teacher-who-grabbed-unruly-pupil-p3768gqlw

R v Edwards (2019) – successful defence of a 16 year old youth charged with affray and threatening a family with a kitchen knife (Llandudno)  

R v Jones (2018) – successful prosecution of a drug dealer found to have been dealing several thousand pounds worth of cocaine and heroin (Caernarfon) 

Operation Rossi (2018) – second junior counsel in successful prosecution of the largest family-run bus company in north Wales, where four members of the family were convicted of offences of fraud and money laundering amounting to around half a million pounds; the defendants received a total of thirty years’ imprisonment between them (Caernarfon) – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-45724231

R v Travis (2018) – successful prosecution of a man who had defrauded several thousands of pounds from an elderly care home resident suffering with both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (Chester)

R v Henson (2018) – instructed to defend a young man who had pleaded guilty to dealing cocaine, MDMA, and cannabis at Creamfields music festival; although the defendant expect a sentence between three and four years’ immediate custody, his sentence was successfully mitigated down to a two year suspended sentence (Warrington)

R v Tomkinson (2018) – prosecution of a case of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, where the defendant had fallen asleep behind the wheel and caused life-changing injuries to a cyclist (Caernarfon) – https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5817117/shocking-moment-cyclist-is-sent-flying-through-the-air-after-sleeping-driver-slammed-into-him-head-first/

R v Hughes (2017) – instructed to defend a young man charged with affray, having allegedly been seen by three eye witnesses slashing at individuals at a party with multiple knives; the defendant had a longstanding history of violent convictions; the defendant was acquitted after trial (Mold)

R v Roberts (2017) – instructed to defend a young man charged with threatening another male with a knife; part of the alleged offence was caught on CCTV; the defendant was acquitted after trial (Caernarfon)

R v Powell (2017) – instructed to defend a door supervisor charged with assaulting his clientele; the alleged offence was caught on CCTV and there were numerous eye witnesses; the defendant was acquitted after trial (Wrexham) 

R v Williams (2016) – instructed to defend a homeless man of sexual assault; in cross-examination, the complainant admitted the defendant did not sexually assault her (Caernarfon) 

R v Lynch (2016) – instructed to defend a 15 year old youth charged with violently assaulting a police officer; the defendant was acquitted despite the evidence of three police officers testifying against him (Chester) 

R v Buckland (2016) – instructed to prosecute a man found with over three thousand images of “stomach-churning” child pornography (Caernarfon) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/cymrufyw/36288179

Police and prison work

Ryan’s diligent and pragmatic approach to cases ensures he is regularly chosen to conduct police prosecutions on behalf of both North Wales Police, Cheshire Constabulary, and Cumbria Constabulary. His work encompasses prosecutions and appeals involving firearms, dangerous dog offences, forfeiture proceedings, and applications for Sexual Harm Prevention Orders, Criminal Behaviour Orders, and Domestic Violence Prevention Orders.

Ryan has also been instructed to conduct parole board hearings, most recently representing a prisoner serving a life sentence for multiple sexual offences against children.

R v Riglar (2018) – instructed by Cumbria Constabulary, where a young man with a history of violence had allowed his dog to savage a vulnerable homeless man, causing significant wounds (Preston) 

R v Huxley (2017) – instructed to defend a prisoner charged with arson, having set fire to his cell in a suicide bid; the prisoner had been serving an indeterminate sentence and had spent two-thirds of his life in custody (Liverpool) – https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/prisoner-set-fire-cell-suicide-13075361

R v Johnson (2017) – instructed by North Wales Police; successful forfeiture of cash obtained from the trafficking of drugs into the north Wales area from the Merseyside area (Holyhead)

R v Turfrey (2017) – instructed by Cheshire Constabulary to seek a destruction order in relation to a pit bull terrier; this case ultimately went to the Court of Appeal, where the court found in favour of Cheshire Constabulary (initial hearings in Warrington)

Regulatory work

Ryan’s background of assisting defendants at the General Medical and Dental Councils establishes him as a popular defence advocate for tribunal work. He has also been involved in various regulatory prosecutions – including those brought by the RSPCA, Trading Standards, and environmental agencies – and is often relied upon to provide specialist advice to local authorities.

CW&CC v Langford (2019) – successful prosecution of a case involving the death of a 4 year old dog that had been left in the care of an unlicensed dog boarder (Chester)

Operation Waddle (2019) – instructed by Trading Standards to prosecute a married couple accused of manufacturing around £40,000 worth of counterfeit Premier League merchandise; a successful forfeiture application post-conviction resulted in the couple having to pay the money back (Mold)  

NWP v McAllister (2019) – instructed on behalf of the respondent to contest an application to revoke the premises licence of a pub in Rhyl (Llandudno) 

Operation Manhattan (2018) – instructed in “landmark” RSPCA special operation to defend one of six males charged with numerous offences of animal cruelty and badger baiting (Llandudno) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-42946647

SIA v Pursglove, Williams, & Williams (2017) – instructed to defend a woman charged with offences contravening SIA legislation (Llandudno) 

R v Thomas (2017) – instructed to defend a nurse charged with assaulting and mistreating a patient on life support; a complex case with reams of medical evidence and expert reports (Crewe)

Civil work

In addition to the above, Ryan also receives instructions on a selection of civil litigation matters, specifically breach proceedings and personal injury hearings arising from road traffic collisions.

Personal interests

Ryan is an avid actor, having performed in numerous theatre productions and amateur independent films. He has won awards for his performances, including one award from the BBC. He is also a qualified diver and has done night-time diving with sharks (despite having a nosebleed whilst in the water). Finally, he has a love for classical languages, and particularly enjoys Latin and Classical Greek literature.