Paul Rooney


Paul began his career at the bar as a pupil, then tenant for 6 years at the national and internationally renowned criminal and regulatory set, QEB Hollis Whiteman Chambers in London, before moving back to his native North East.

Whilst at QEBHW, Paul was involved in a number high profile and complex cases e.g. Levi Bellfield, Mark Dixie, Raoul Moat, Rebecca Leighton

Since returning to the North-East Paul has acted for, or is currently instructed by, both the prosecution and defence in relation to some of the most serious and high-profile criminal cases in the North East of England.

Paul has established himself as one of the most sought-after leading juniors for both the prosecution and defence.

Paul accepts privately funded work both through an instructing solicitor as well as via direct access. Such instructions are across a gambit of disciplines including crime, trading standards, health and safety, regulatory, inquests, road traffic, and public law.


Recent Notable Cases

R v Robinson- 2024- Led Junior – Defence
Christina Robinson is accused of murdering her 3-year-old son in November 2022. The child died of a cardiorespiratory arrest as a result of cranial subdural bleeding.  She is also charged with child cruelty. It is alleged that she submerged her son into a bath of scalding water as well as striking him with a bamboo cane

R v Cardinale- 2023- Led junior – Prosecution
Andrea Cardinale bludgeoned and stabbed to death two of his friends who lived in the same house as him. Cardinale was convicted of Manslaughter due to diminished responsibility ,he was made subject to a S37 order with restrictions imposed under S41.

R v Mahmood 2023 – Defence
One of four healthcare workers at Whorlton Hall hospital represented by barristers in Fountain Chambers, and acquitted of charges relating to the alleged ill-treatment of patients.

R v X 2023 – Court of Appeal – Prosecution
Successfully argued that a sentence of 9 years on a guilty plea to conspiracy to supply class A drugs was not manifestly excessive.

R v X 2022 – Led junior – Defence
One of 10 juvenile defendants charged with murder. X was 14-year-old and required the services of an intermediary throughout the trial. All 10 were convicted of murder. Appeal pending

R v Black 2022 – Court of Appeal – Defence
Sentence for PWITS A. Sentence of 28 months quashed and replaced with a 20-month suspended sentence order. Reported by Crimeline

R v Vassallo 2021 – Leading junior – Defence.
Only defendant to be acquitted in a 10-handed conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Mr Vassallo was No.3 on the indictment and described as having a significant role.

Operation Eastmain 2020-2021 – Leading Junior – Prosecution.
Conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs. Two separate trials containing a total of 13 defendants. Sentences ranging from 11 years to 6 years imposed. 

Private prosecution 2021 – Led junior
Prosecuted Durham County Cricket Club on behalf of Durham County Council in relation to a stand collapse in which some supporters suffered significant injuries. Health and Safety legislation used.

R v X 2021 – Junior alone – Prosecution
Paul prosecuted a causing serious injury by Dangerous Driving against a QC who was privately paid. During Paul’s cross examination the D admitted the offence. Defence QC described the cross examination as “devastating leaving the D nowhere to go but to admit the offence”. D changed his plea to guilty.

R v Mitchell 2021 – Leading junior – Defence. Conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Mitchell was No.1 on the indictment, Acquitted.

R v X 2021 – Junior alone – Defence
Drink Driving. Following legal argument case was stopped. D acquitted. If he had been convicted he would have lost his livelihood and consequently his home.

Inquest 2020 – Junior alone
Paul represented a nurse at an inquest where a patient choked to death. Following cross examination by Paul of the pathologist it was established the nurse had not been negligent.

Inquest 2020 – Junior alone
Paul represented a Nursing Home at an inquest where a service user had slipped from a sitting position in a wheel chair and was strangulated by the safety belt fitted to the wheel chair. Following Paul’s cross examination of the wheel chair manufacturer, the Nursing Home did not face any criticism by the coroner.






Criminal Bar Association

North Eastern Circuit

Health and Safety Lawyers Association

Practice Areas