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Paul Mason is a leading junior. He is instructed to defend in serious and complex cases, including murder, sexual offences and financial crime.

Paul defends those accused of the most serious and complex criminal offences.  He is considered to be an exceptionally prepared and skilled advocate by those who instruct him and is valued for his ability to build a rapport with clients.  His previous academic career and post at the Law Commission provide him with an intellectual rigour to his approach to cases.

Serious Sexual Offences

Paul has significant expertise in defending those accused of serious sexual offences.  His recent instructions include:

  • R v K, Reading Crown Court (ongoing). Two counts of rape of separate complainants.

  • R v W, Oxford Crown Court (ongoing). Sexual assault of two children under 13, (ongoing).

  • R v J, Oxford Crown Court (ongoing). Rape of a child under 13.

  • R v T, Southampton Crown Court (ongoing). Rape.

  • R v L, Luton Crown Court (ongoing). Sexual assault of daughter-in-law.

  • R v G, Oxford Crown Court (ongoing). Sexual communication with a child

  • R v L (2022), Salisbury Crown Court. Rape of two stepdaughters.

Financial Crime

Paul is instructed regularly in complex financial crime. His current instructions include:

  • R v D and another, Manchester Crown Court (ongoing). £1.1m Chinese currency exchange money laundering.

  • R v M and others, Canterbury Crown Court (ongoing). 8 handed fraud conspiracy and money laundering.

  • R v L, Canterbury Crown Court (ongoing). Chinese currency money laundering.

  • R v S and ors, Reading Crown Court (ongoing). £800,00 multi-handed, vehicle-breaking and money laundering.


Paul appears regularly in murder trials, where he has been led by a number of chambers silks. Most recently:

  • R v N, Warwick Crown Court (ongoing). 18 year old accused of murdering his neighbour. Led by Isabella Forshall QC.

  • R v T and another (2022), Central Criminal Court (ongoing). Father and son running over deceased in car park. Led by David Hislop QC.

  • R v M (2021), Warwick Crown Court. Child murder, 3 x attempt murder and arson. Led by Katy Thorne QC.

  • R v B and others (2020), Oxford Crown Court. 3 handed murder. Led by David Hislop QC.

Serious Offences

Paul has vast experience in defending clients accused of the most serious criminal offences. He is instructed currently in the following cases:

  • R v M and others, Snaresbrook Crown Court (ongoing). Leading counsel on multiple firearms and drugs offences arising from Encrochat evidence.

  • R v R and others, Birmingham Crown Court (ongoing). 7 handed NCA Class A drug importation.

  • R v M and others, Reading Crown Court (ongoing). 14 handed cannabis production.

  • R v G and others, Hull Crown Court (ongoing). Possession of firearms with intent.

  • R v B and another (ongoing), Snaresbrook Crown Court. Encrochat case concerning conspiracy to supply 50 kilos of cocaine and heroin.

  • R v K, Snaresbrook Crown Court (ongoing). 3 x possession of a firearm during robberies.

Media Law

Before being called to the Bar, Paul specialised in Media Law in the Cardiff School of Journalism. He has published widely on the use of electronic broadcasting in courtrooms and was consulted by the, then Lord Chancellor’s Department on proposals for cameras in UK courts.

Paul advises on pre-publication matters, in particular those which intersect with criminal law and proceedings.  This has included work for The Sun, Blink Media and Dignity in Dying.  He  works with the international media defence team on freedom of expression issues. He was part of the legal team on the appeal to the UN’s special procedures of the Human Rights Council to raise concerns about detained journalist, Ramon Ebale

International Law

Paul is working with Legal Policy Research Unit, Kazakhstan on increasing the use of jury trials in the country’s criminal justice system. In October 2018, he was invited to speak to the Kazakhstan Supreme Court on public participation in the criminal justice system.

Paul works with the Death Penalty Project, offering assistance to local lawyers representing those facing the death penalty. He has advised lawyers in Malaysia on issues of disclosure in drug trafficking cases. Paul is also a member of the Bar Human Rights Committee. In 2017, he observed the trial of Aya Hegazy, one of eight charity workers charged with sexual offences, who were detained from May 2014 until their acquittal in April 2017.



Bunting, D., Douglas-Jones B., Mason, P & Newton.B (eds) Human Rights in Criminal Law (forthcoming 2022), London: Bloomsbury Press.

The Drugs Offences Handbook (2018), London: Bloomsbury Press (co-authored).

Captured by the Media: Prison Discourse in Media Culture (2006), Cullompton: Willan Publishing.

Criminal Visions: Media Representation of Crime and Justice (2003) Cullompton: Willan Publishing.

Policing and the Media: Facts, Fiction and Faction (2003), Cullompton: Willan Publishing. (Co-authored).

Selected Book Chapters and Journal Articles

The Vigilante, The Chat Room and Entrapment (2018)

‘Prisoners, Human Rights and the Media’ in Tumber, H and Waisbord, S. (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Media and Human Rights (2017), London: Routledge.

‘Broadcasting Court Proceedings’, presentation at Screening the Criminal Trial Symposium January 21st 2016, Bristol.

That’s Entertainment? The Anonymity of Arrestees and the Law, December 2015.

Lewis, J., Mason, P. and Moore, K. (2011) ‘Images of Islam in the UK: The representation of British Muslims in the national press 2000-2008’ in Petley, J. and Richardson, R. (eds,) Pointing the Finger: Islam and Muslims in the British Media. Oxford: Oneworld, pp. 40-65.

Lewis, J., Mason, P. and Moore, K. (2009) ‘Islamic terrorism and the repression of the political’ in Marsden, L. and Savigny, H. (eds.) Media, Religion and Conflict: Religion and International Security, Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 17-38.

Mason, P. (2009) ‘Crime, Media and the State’ in J. Sim, D. Tombs and D. Whyte (eds.) State, Power, Crime: Critical Readings in Criminology, London: Sage, pp. 343-70.

Mason, P. (2009) ‘Press and Release: News Coverage of the Criminal Cases Review Commission in M. Naughton (ed.) The Criminal Cases Review Commission: Hope For The Innocent? Hants: Palgrave.

Mason, P (2009) ‘Counterblast: Harmful Sentences’, Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, vol. 48 (3), pp. 297–299.

Mason, P. and Monckton-Smith, J. (2008) ‘Conflation, Collocation and Confusion: British Press Coverage of the Sexual Murder of Women’, Journalism, pp. 691-710.

Mason P (2007) ‘Misinformation, Myth and Distortion: How the Press Support Mass Incarceration’, Journalism Studies, vol. 8 (3), pp. 481-96.