Tom Horder

Tom Horder

Call 2004

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Tom Horder is recognised for his expertise by the Chambers & Partners UK Bar Directory 2017.

Crime - Western (Bar) - Band 3

Has a robust practice in regulatory offences that sees him instructed by a range of parties including public sector bodies, companies and private individuals. Also handles cases concerning violent crime and sexual abuse.
Strengths: "Very able, a rising star."
Recent work: Defended the then leader of Dorset County Council in the first ever prosecution brought under the Localism Act 2011, aimed at dealing with alleged political corruption.

Chambers & Partners UK Bar Directory 2016.

Crime - Western (Bar) - Band 3

Praised by instructing solicitors for his expertise in cases concerning fraud, drugs and other serious criminal offences.

Strengths: "He has a particular skill in dealing with extremely demanding clients. He is very committed to his work and is very accessible when it comes to seeking advice or updates."
Recent work: He was instructed by the Specialist Fraud Division to prosecute a criminal group who organised an online attack on HMRC's systems.

Chambers & Partners UK Bar Directory 2015.

Crime - Western Bar - Band 1 Set

Tom Horder covers the full range of criminal offences, and is best recognised for his expertise in regulatory criminal cases. He receives regular instructions from local authorities, government bodies and insurers in relation to cases concerning health and safety, trading standards, environmental, aviation and maritime issues.
Expertise: "His advocacy is very good and he impresses with his knowledge of legislation and case law in niche areas."
Recent work: He defended a hospital doctor accused of sexual assault.

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

Tom Horder is recommended by the Legal 500 Bar Directory 2016 for his expertise in the Regional Bar - Western Circuit
Crime – Leading juniors
Tom Horder - An excellent advocate with a strong courtroom presence.

Tom Horder is recommended by the Legal 500 Bar Directory 2015 for his expertise in the Regional Bar - Western Circuit
Crime – Leading juniors
Tom Horder - He is led, and often leads, in some of the most complex cases, including those involving serious violence

Tom Horder is recommended by the Legal 500 UK Directory 2014 for his expertise in the Western Circuit
3PB’s Tom Horder - “Particularly highly regarded for his ability to handle the most serious and complex cases.”

Tom Horder is recommended by the Legal 500 UK Directory 2013/14 for his expertise in the Western Circuit for his Crime expertise at the Bar. "3PB has a large regional presence. Tom Horder attracts praise, and is ‘very good at explaining procedure and tactics to clients’."

“Particularly highly regarded for his ability to handle the most serious and complex cases”


Tom’s Criminal practice includes complex fraud, serious violence, drugs and firearms offences and historic allegations of sexual abuse.  He is also particularly noted for his experience in prosecuting and defending regulatory offences.

Examples cases include:


R v Lawal and others. Prosecution junior instructed by the Specialist Fraud division in high value online VAT and ITSA fraud. Currently instructed in ongoing linked case.

R v Powis. Successful defence of conveyancing executive alleged to have been at centre of £3.5m mortgage fraud.

R v DD. Successful defence of owner of care home alleged to have stolen large sums of money from vulnerable residents.

R v Gibson. Instructed by Specialist Fraud division. Widely publicised prosecution of watch dealer who had claimed to have  exported £1.9m of Rolex watches.

Other serious Crime

R v N and others. Successful defence of gang member alleged to have kidnapped, imprisoned, robbed and tortured a university student. Case received widespread media coverage.

R v Eunice Spry. Defence junior in infamous case of extreme cruelty against multiple complainants over many years.

R v M. Successful defence on grounds of automatism of man who stabbed another in broad daylight whilst under the influence of a prescribed anti-smoking drug.

R v Berzins. Successful defence of a defendant facing a mandatory 5 year sentence for firearms offences. Case turned on the interpretation and meaning of a ‘muzzle loaded weapon’.

R v AL. Non-accidental brain injuries sustained by a 6 month old child. Led by Nigel Lickley QC.

Regulatory Offences (see also specific trading standards and health and safety pages)

Cherwell DC v Premier Foods. Prosecution of UK’s largest food producer (turnover £3bn) in respect of food hygiene offences.

HSE v G. Prosecution arising from explosion during refurbishing of petrol station. Serious injury and high value and extensive property damage caused. Case attracted nationwide publicity.

A1 Distribution Limited. Successful prosecution of company supplying electronic under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. The case involved consideration of the measures an importer of goods from China should take in order to establish a defence of ‘due diligence’.

Southampton CC v Miah. Successful prosecution (and subsequent appeal resisted) of landlord and owner of historically important listed building converted into an unsafe HMO. Record fine awarded.

CAA v X. Prosecution under the Air Navigation Order for offences including infringement of controlled airspace, lack of aircraft type approval and license irregularities.

WDDC v S. Novel but successful prosecution of owner of residential caravan park under s.9 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development At 1960.

SBC v M and M. Prosecution for animal welfare offences / dog fighting.

Health care professionals

R v E. Defence of cardiologist accused of sexual assault.

R v Arif. Sucessful appeal against immediate custodial sentence in case of pharmacist convicted of defrauding NHS

Sexual offences

R v F. Multiple allegations of historic abuse, as well as the production and distribution of indecent images.

R v Y. Defence of taxi driver accused of multiple sexual assaults against passengers.

R v AB. Prosecution of youth with learning difficulties alleged to have sexually abused a 5 year old.

Football violence

R v Bagnall. Successful appeal to Court of Appeal against consecutive sentences for offences of violent disorder and Aafray.

Defence of individuals charged following disorder arising out of the following matches: Southampton FC v Portsmouth FC, Bristol City v Bristol Rovers, Chelsea FC v Cardiff FC, AFC Bournemouth v Leeds United. 


September 17 2015:

3PB’s expertise recognised by bumper rankings in Legal 500 Bar Directory 2015 more

August 8 2014:

Tom Horder successful in Court of Appeal football violence case more

February 11 2013:

Tom Horder successful in Trading Standard’s Prosecution more

... more news

Academic Qualifications

BA (Hons) History, University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

PGDL and BVC, BPP Law School