"A very effective, no-nonsense-style barrister" whose "judgement is exceptional."

Chambers and Partners 2021
Claire Claire

Barrister: Claire Harden-Frost


Grade 4 CPS Panel Advocate; Grade 4 Specialist Fraud List Advocate; Grade 4 Serious & Organised Crime List Advocate; Grade A Health & Safety List Advocate; Rape List Accredited

PG Law Dip (1999); MA Hons (1998)


Claire is an experienced barrister who prosecutes and defends serious and complex cases. Claire is a grade 4 CPS prosecutor who has been appointed to the specialist rape panel for many years, she is a grade 4 specialist serious and organised crime prosecutor and grade 4 specialist fraud prosecutor.  She has also been appointed to List of Specialist Regulatory Advocates instructed by the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales, the Office of Rail and Road, the Care Quality Commission and the Office for Nuclear Regulation at Grade A.

Claire appeared either as sole advocate or leading junior in the examples of cases given below.

Sex Offences

Claire prosecutes and defends some of the most serious cases in this category.

Examples of recent cases include:

  • R v S – The trial of a father accused of mistreating and sexually abusing their young children. S was convicted and sentenced to over 20 years imprisonment.
  • R v KT – The trial of a man accused of repeatedly raping a young man in the 1980s.  KT was convicted and given a life sentence.
  • R v EF – Claire prosecuted this catholic priest for raping children over several decades.  EF was convicted after trial and sentenced to over 20 years imprisonment. 


Claire has prosecuted and defended in fraud cases for over two decades. In that time her instructions have ranged from individuals accused of benefit frauds up to multi million pound tax benefit and confidence frauds.  Examples of recent cases are:

R v ST – Successful prosecution of man accused of controlling cannabis factories and seizure of assets which were the proceeds of crime.  The Court sentenced ST to over 9 years imprisonment and in a legal first the police seized the defendant’s bitcoin allowing the Judge to make a confiscation order in the sum of £1.4million.

R v DR and JA – Claire prosecuted these defendants who committed frauds on IT providers.  They obtained millions of pounds worth of computer equipment by posing as members of reputable companies.  Once delivered the hardware disappeared.  Both defendants were convicted and sentenced to substantial custodial sentences.

R v RM and others – Claire prosecuted this multi handed case where the defendants were accused of conspiracy to defraud.  A fraudulent webpage was set up claiming to offer accommodation for students and those travelling overseas.  Those engaged in the fraud took the victims money and then laundered it.  All of the defendants were convicted after a trial.

Serious and Organised Crime. 

Claire prosecutes and defends in firearms cases, drugs offences and trafficking cases. 

Examples of recent cases include:

  • R v ID and ID – Claire successfully prosecuted these defendants who were part of an international conspiracy to traffick persons for sexual exploitation and hold them in servitude.
  • R v CK, JD and HD – These defendants were engaged in a conspiracy to facilitate the unlawful entry into the UK of young men and children from Vietnam.  The conspirators brought the victims to the UK in a small inflatable boat.  The vessel was in a dangerous condition and the victims were not provided with warm clothing or life jackets.  All three defendants were convicted at trial and sentenced to substantial periods of imprisonment.

Road Traffic Offences

Claire has prosecuted and defended road traffic offences from speeding to serious road traffic incidents where death and serious injury have occurred, instructed by the CPS and Solicitors acting through legal aid or through Insurers.

Health and Safety

Claire has appeared in numerous health and safety cases.  She prosecutes and defends individuals and companies accused of offences contrary to the HSWA. 

Examples of recent cases include:

  • HSE v London Borough of Waltham Forest – The defendant was convicted of breaching s.2 and s.3 HSWA and contravening the Control of Asbestos Regulations arising from exposure of persons to asbestos in the Town Hall over a 10 year period
  • HSE v Balfour Beatty - the defendant was convicted of breaching s. 2 and s.3 HSWA after the death of worker repairing damage on A2 after being hit by crane boom arm.  Defendant fined £1million.
  • HSE v Apollo – Claire prosecuted the defendant company at the Central Criminal Court who were accused of breaching s.3 of HSWA after tenants suffered carbon monoxide poisoning during construction work on flats. The Defendant was convicted after trial and fined.

Outside of crime Claire works for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Metropolitan Police advising on and obtaining preventative orders in the criminal and civil courts, UKBA obtaining forfeiture orders and undertakes cases for the National Crime Agency (NCA).

What the Directories say

  • "A very effective, no-nonsense-style barrister" whose "judgement is exceptional." "A strong and fair prosecutor, she presents matters exquisitely." Chambers and Partners 2021
  • "She has excellent judgement, strong independence of mind, and a willingness to speak out and challenge others – be that judges, opponents, or others connected to a case. She demonstrates sound legal judgement as well as pragmatism which is an effective combination." Legal 500 2021
  • “Tough and empathetic which makes her counsel of choice for the most sensitive cases” Legal 500 2020
  • “Her calm demeanour and natural authority make her a formidable opponent” Legal 500 2020

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