020 7387 2032

Sean Reilly

Partner - Oxford Office

020 3811 5143

Admitted as a solicitor 2010

Serious Crime Defence Specialist.  Recommended in the Legal 500 - 2024

Areas of Specialisation

With 20 years' legal practice experience behind him, together with his own independent commercial interests, Sean brings a myriad of experience and commercial acumen with him. While Sean specialises in serious crime, as a defence solicitor, his practice areas extend to include the following: fraud, sport proceedings (criminal, regulatory and disciplinary), and the waste disposal and scrap metal industry (again, defending clients facing either criminal or regulatory proceedings).  Sean has an excellent success rate: his pragmatic yet rigorous approach to cases enables his high acquittal rates across all areas of practice, and he remains committed to securing the best possible outcome for his clients.

Sean is personable yet professional, and can adapt his communication style to engage with a variety of people. His clients range from high profile and high net worth individuals – Hatton Garden heist ringleader ‘Basil’ and Ringo Star’s grandson included - to those accused in drug conspiracies, large scale fraud and money laundering offences, murders, and war crimes cases. Sean is popular for his honest and diplomatic approach towards his clients, and is trusted and well-valued by his colleagues and peers.


R v C

Sean’s client was charged alongside three co-defendants with conspiring to steal large amounts of cash from members of the public by disrupting the network wiring of ATMs on seven separate occasions. The client took a guilty plea in February, and was later sentenced in March. In August, the prosecution made an application for a deprivation order against the client for his car, in accordance with POCA 2002. Brilliantly, Sean and his team argued that (1) it would be unjust to pursue confiscation proceedings to vary the current sentence, and (2) the prosecution had failed to make this application within the appropriate time limit. As a result, the prosecution conceded, and any further proceedings against the client were stayed. Sean instructed, his brother, James Reilly from Reilly solicitors.

R v H

Sean has recently been instructed to represent one of nine defendants facing trial on indictment, charged with conspiring to supply firearms in the form of assassination kits. Starter pistols are adapted to fire live ammunition. A kit consisted of a fire arm, 10 rounds of ammunition and a pair of disposable rubberised gloves These arrests are the result of a long standing organised crime group operation spanning several years. He instructs James Reilly from Reilly solicitors at Nottingham Crown Court.

R v B

Sean recently represented Romanian international charged with the murder of his close friend, alongside 2 other co-defendants. Mr Reilly instructs Richard Sutton KC of Red Lion Chambers to represent the client in a lengthy trial at Leicester Crown Court. The defence relied on expert pathology reports, telephone downloads, CCTV, and medical records of the deceased in order to lead the jury to find our client not guilty of murder, and guilty of manslaughter- currently subject to an appeal. The client faces a further trial, involving 2 defendants accused of controlling prostitution through the running of brothels. 

R v K

Sean has recently been instructed on a rather high-profile case, listed at Reading Crown Court in nine weeks. He represents one of two defendants charged with conspiring to assist illegal entry into the UK as part of an OCG linked to a mass network of class B grow houses. This involved 49 people, 5 of whom were children under 10 years old, crossing the English Channel in an inflatable RHIB. Sean instructs James Reilly of Reilly Solicitors.

R v G

Recently, Sean has undertaken representation of a client charged (alongside one other) with causing death by dangerous driving, with the trial is due to begin at the end of November at Southwark Crown Court. He instructs Emma Scott of 33 Bedford Row.

R v O

Following recent instructions, Sean represents a client charged (alongside 7 others) with conspiring to supply class A drugs in the midlands and East Anglia. The client is currently on bail, as secured by Sean, and awaits trial next summer. He instructs Conall Bailie of 2 Bedford Row at Ipswich Crown Court.

R v B

Sean represents a client that awaits trial at Nottingham Crown Court at the end of this month. He pleads not guilty to the following charges: (1) Coercive behaviour, (2) Threatening with a blade article, (3) 4 counts of Rape, and (4) Assault occasioning ABH. Sean instructs Ravinder Saimbhi of 33 Bedford Row at Nottingham Crown Court.

R v B

Sean has recently taken on representation of a client charged with the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl, to which he pleads not guilty. The client is currently on bail, and awaits trial at Inner London Crown Court in the summer of 2024. Sean instructs the well-trusted Tom McGarvey of 2 Bedford Row.

R v D

Another of Sean’s clients awaits trial at Oxford Crown Court having been charged (alongside 5 others) with perverting the course of justice in relation to a murder. The arrests came back in 2022 following the attack, and subsequent death, of a 50-year-old man. The client pleads not guilty, and is currently out on bail. Again, Sean instructs Tom McGarvey of 2 Bedford Row.

R v B

Sean represented a client charged with (1) conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs, (2) conspiracy to supply fire arms and ammunition with the intent to endanger life, and (3) the possession of criminal property (£30,000 in cash). Over 10 phones were seized during the client’s arrest, and the prosecution alleged there to be an array of incriminating messages between client and the conspirators in a clandestine network suppling drugs and firearms across the Scottish border to the north west of England. The prosecution’s case relied on these messages, cell site mapping of the client’s location and travel routes, and forensic accountants reports on the seized monies. The defence were successful in their submissions of no case to answer in relation to the criminal property count, and it was subsequently dropped. Sean instructed Emma Scott at Teeside Crown Court.

R v O 

Sean Reilly has been instructed to represent the client in a matter involving a clandestine network specialising in the theft of high value motor vehicles. The client is charged (alongside 3 other co-defendants) with conspiring to steal high value cars across the Hertfordshire and London area, and they await sentencing at St Albans Crown Court due to take place at the end of this month. Sean instructs Conall Bailie of 2 Bedford Row.


Police station appearances


Sean attended Abingdon police station to visit a client due to be interviewed for the offence of rape, which he denied. Following interview, and Sean’s representations, the client was released pending further investigation. The client has now had the accusations dropped following receipt of a no further action letter.


HMRC frauds


In an ongoing case, Sean represents three of four defendants accused of knowingly participating in the ex-partner of one’s HMRC tax fraud. The difficulty Sean now has is tackling the prosecutions (likely) argument that, being an ex-solicitor, the client should have known better than to turn a blind eye to her partner’s obviously dishonest financial activities.


Encrochat phones

R v H:

Sean represents a client charged (alongside one another) with conspiring to supply and import class A drugs. The arrests were made following a police crackdown on the use of Encrodevices – specially modified mobile devices that operate via a secure communications network - by organised crime groups. With this case being ongoing, Sean has two key matters to attend to: (1) a Serious Crime Prevention Order served against our client by the prosecution, and (2) a confiscation order made under POCA 2002.


Last year, Sean represented a client charged with the possession of cocaine, with the intent to supply. The arrest came following a search of the property, after which ‘4 tennis sized balls of class A drugs’, stashes of cannabis, and large amounts of cash, and were found and seized. Further investigations found the client to be associated with an Encro Phone, the contents of which he was later questioned on.



Sean is sports mad (literally): cricket, rugby, skiing, and football. He undertakes a great deal of charity work in connection with these individual sports and has many contacts within the professional and amateur sports world, including national sportsmen and women and their agents, hence his sports regulatory and disciplinary practice.

Top Ranked Lawyers: Legal 500 

Celebrating 40 years of practice in 2022, we are leaders in criminal defence, serious fraud, serious crime and many other areas of legal practice. We have been involved in many leading cases over the last 40+ years and are well known for our genuinely high acquittal rate and overall success rate. Please click the Legal 500 logo below for more information about our rankings.

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