Simon Ralph



Simon is an established practitioner and former military legal advisor with unique experience in a range of tribunals and jurisdictions. He has prosecuted and defended serious crime in the Crown Court and Court Martial, acted in a number of quasi-criminal cases, and advised at the highest levels on matters of public international and international humanitarian law. He has established a reputation as an astute and tenacious advocate, and a robust and client-focused advisor. He currently accepts instructions in crime, military law, international law, and inquiries & inquests.

Background and experience

As a criminal practitioner, Simon has acted for the defence as junior alone across the spectrum of offences, successfully representing individuals on charges as diverse as drugs importation, multi-handed fraud, and rape. As a led junior he has defended the most serious allegations, including murder. For the first seven years of his practice Simon acted only for the defence, and was regularly sought after in cases requiring skilled and sensitive cross-examination, such as RASSO trials and trials involving vulnerable witnesses. He is particularly adept at cross-examining experts, whether in relation to forensic science, cell-site data, or accountancy. In one case the Court of Appeal praised Simon’s ’obviously effective’ cross-examination of an expert, describing him as ‘a credit to himself and his profession’.

As a prosecutor in the Court Martial he focussed on fraud, serious violence and RASSO work. His cases included major firearms offences attracting mandatory five year sentences, routine prosecution of s.18 GBHs, offences committed on operations, and offences under RIPA. He understands the needs of the three services, as well as the particular requirements of service personnel. He is a CPS Grade 3 prosecutor and has undertaken RASSO and vulnerable witness training.

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Notable Cases

R v P, 2021

Prosecuted the first ever service case of breach of a s.49 notice under RIPA (a notice requiring access to a suspect’s phone). Provided training to Royal Military Police on subsequent cases, and the application of RIPA to military investigators.

Catterick Court Martial Centre

R v M, 2021

Successful prosecution of a difficult rape case in a service context with numerous disclosure issues raised by the defence. Intoxication and post-incident communication between the defendant and complainant were both in issue.
Bulford Court Martial Centre

R v S, 2021

Secured guilty pleas to a charge sheet containing 17 charges related to the possession, acquisition, storage or adaptation of thousands of illegal firearms. Some charges carried mandatory five year terms of imprisonment.

Catterick Court Martial Centre

R v C, 2020

Prosecuted offences of dishonesty alleged to have been committed overseas in a sensitive location. PII and witness anonymity applications required and challenged by the defence throughout.  Further challenges in relation to the police and unit-level investigation, culminating in an (unsuccessful) abuse argument. Three days of legal argument took place before the trial could commence.

Bulford Court Martial Centre

R v W, 2018

Acted on a private basis for an individual and business being prosecuted alongside others for breach of a planning enforcement notice. The criminal proceedings had been preceded by years of civil litigation between the parties. Following two days of legal argument in the Crown Court the case was stopped as an abuse of process.
Reading Crown Court

R v J, 2017

Murder, defending as led junior. The case involved a violent death inflicted on an elderly man with a golf club, following which a fire was set. The evidence involved eyewitnesses (including the defendant’s own father), blood spatter analysis, autopsy reports, and expert opinion on shoeprints.

Central Criminal Court

R v , 2017

Represented lead defendant in two-handed alleged rape of a 15 year old. Exceptionally sensitive cross-examination of a vulnerable witness required. Acquitted.
Lewes Crown Court

R v O, 2016

Represented one of three defendants charged with a spree of distraction burglaries against vulnerable individuals. The vast majority of evidence was cell site. Following cross-examination of the prosecution expert the OIC was required to obtain extensive further evidence to shore up their case, the admission of which was opposed. Appeared pro bono in the Court of Appeal and described as ‘a credit to the profession’. Cited by Prof Ormerod as a key case on disclosure.

St Albans Crown Court

R v R, 2016

Following the collapse of a criminal prosecution, and some remarkable disclosure in respect of the investigation, acted for the Claimant in a claim for malicious prosecution. Settled on favourable terms following exchange of pleadings and witness statements.
Cardiff County Court

R v C, 2015

Acted on a private basis for an individual accused of GBH. The defendant’s partner had leapt from a window, causing serious injury, alleging that she had done so to avoid further torture being inflicted upon her. Acquitted.

St Albans Crown Court

R v M, 2014

20 month sentence for dangerous driving appealed to the Court of Appeal where it was argued that the judge’s approach to sentencing such offences was flawed. Appeal allowed and case cited in Banks on Sentence and Wilkinson’s as a guideline authority.

Isleworth Crown Court


In the ever diminishing gaps between spending time with his children, Simon enjoys playing the piano, looking at paintings, hiking, and eating nice food in interesting places.


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PROFILE: Simon Ralph

Year called




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Sexual offences

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Serious Crime

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Fraud, Bribery & Corruption

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Inquests / public inquiries


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Regulatory / Disciplinary


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Human rights law


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Regulatory / Disciplinary


Royal Military Academy Sandhurst - 2018

BVC - Inns of Court School of Law – 2009

BA Law (Jurisprudence) – St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford - 2008


The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn

Criminal Bar Association

Association of Military Court Advocates


Deputy District Judge (Magistrates’ Court)

CPS Grade 3 Prosecutor

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