Ruth Zentler-Munro

Year of call: 2004

Ruth is a passionate advocate, who brings real personal commitment and a keen sense of justice to her practice. Her practice is balanced between prosecution and defence work. Ruth adopts an individualistic and humanistic approach to her cases and understands that no matter how ‘trivial’ the case may be in legal terms, it is of the utmost concern to those involved in it.


Ruth is particularly adept at dealing with vulnerable clients, whether they be young, mentally disordered or suffering from the ill/after-effects of serious addictions. These ‘soft skills’ are counterbalanced by a strong interest in the intellectual side of law: Ruth is always keen to test doctrinal limitations when advancing legal arguments.
Ruth has a great deal of experience in all areas of crime, in particular: violence, drugs, dishonesty offences, public order and sexual offences.

Ruth is a member of Lawyers for Liberty, Amnesty International, the Criminal Bar Association and is a mentor to disadvantaged teenagers through the Social Mobility Foundation.


LLB (Dunelm) 2:1
LLM International Law (Bristol)

Professional Associations

Criminal Bar Association
South Eastern Circuit
International Legal Network Society
Lawyers for Liberty

Notable Cases

Regina v Harvey[2009] EWCA Crim 469
Ruth was commended for her careful and forceful submissions in relation to an appeal against conviction involving the judge’s direction on self-defence. (In the later Court of Appeal case of R v Keane and McGrath [2010] EWCA Crim 2514, the Court of Appeal specifically approved the direction that Ruth had encouraged the Judge to give: “It seems to us that that kind of homely expression… can quite well encapsulate the question which may arise if an original aggressor claims the ability to rely on self-defence. We would commend it as suitable for a great many cases.”)

R (on the application of Bromley LBC) v Bromley Magistrates Court [2011] EWHC 432 (Admin)
Ruth was commended for her advocacy by both of their Lordships: “Miss Zentler-Munro, appearing on behalf of the claimant, the London Borough of Bromley, today…has put the matter very well indeed, has been able to make her points succinctly and forcefully.”


As led junior counsel

R v D – Multi-handed drug-related murder, in which one of the defendants pleaded guilty and then gave evidence for the Crown and implicated the client who had become first on the indictment.

R v R – Multi-handed drugs conspiracy involving months of surveillance.



R v H – Represented a defendant who organised and was the chief protagonist in a series of gun-point robberies organised through ‘Gumtree’.

R v M – Represented a youth who organised a robbery through ‘Gumtree’ in which the complainant was stabbed.

R v A – Represented a young male with mental health difficulties who was first on the indictment in relation to a group sex attack on a young girl. Almost every legal argument was advanced: section 41, bad character, hearsay and section 78.

R v S – Drugs case involving unauthorised surveillance.

R v W – False imprisonment, burglary and ABH of vulnerable complainant.

R v Z – Section 18 in which the complainant gave evidence for the defence!

R v M – Represented a footballer charged with assaulting a woman in a nightclub.

R v B – International drugs importation involving undercover surveillance.

R v G – Multi-handed affray.

R v M – Racially aggravated road rage incident in which the defendant was acquitted despite admitting that he had lied throughout his police interview because he didn’t feel the need to tell the truth.

R v H – Represented a mentally vulnerable defendant and persuaded the Crown to accept a conditional caution, notwithstanding the fact that she had attacked someone by beating them over the head with a pan.

R v C – Represented a mentally vulnerable defendant and persuaded the Crown to offer no evidence.

R v A – Represented a young man who was first on the indictment in relation to a violent disorder that left one of the complainants with a fractured skull.

R v E – Dwelling house burglary.

R v R – Multi-handed robbery.

R v St L – Drugs offences dropped after extensive disclosure requests pertaining to the police officers’ (im)propriety.

R v J – Section 18 and robbery offences in which it was alleged that the defendant had stabbed the complainant twice following a drug deal gone wrong.

R v H – Sexual assault on a young complainant.

R v S – Section 20 against a police officer of which the young defendant was acquitted, despite giving evidence contrary to five police officers.



R v A-S – Conducted a benefit fraud prosecution on behalf of a local authority in which the defendant had been fraudulently claiming for over 10 years

R v R & Others – Prosecuted multi-handed violent disorder and associated weapons offences.

R v B – Prosecuted two joined cases of theft in breach of trust. It was the first time the defendant was convicted despite having been charged with similar offences six times previously.

R v E – Threats to kill, witness intimidation and dangerous driving.

R v W – Section 20 against a mentally vulnerable complainant

R v M – Professionally organised theft of vast amounts of copper from the railway.

R v W – Affray and section 20.

R v W – Multi-handed violence and public disorder.

R v W – Straightforward ABH and bladed article, made more complicated by the fact that the defendant claimed to be unfit to be tried.

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