BA in History, 1st class honours
MA in Laws
Year of Call:
I take pride in careful preparation before court, and persuasive presentation in court. Just as importantly, however, I work hard to provide an excellent service to my clients. I will take the time to understand your issues and problems, and once I do, I will give you clear, direct advice. We can then draw up an action plan to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
I began my career at a City law firm (Clifford Chance), and have had a varied and interesting legal career, but for many years now I have focused on jury trials in the Crown Court. My experience encompasses conspiracies of all kinds from drugs and firearms to frauds and robberies, as well as rape and other sexual offences, prison disorder and other serious allegations of violence. In 2011 I was highly commended by the judges of the Law Society’s Excellence Awards for my trial advocacy, but perhaps more importantly, I have many highly satisfied clients. For example this one, who reviewed me for the Good Lawyer Guide.
I am also a Senior Lecturer at the University of Law (formerly the College of Law).
R v F – I am defending a man accused of raping a young woman he met in a pub. She can hardly remember the night in question, apparently as a result of having had too much to drink. The Crown are seeking to adduce evidence of his internet searches for pornography, which they say shows that he is attracted to women who are incapacitated, albeit not through drink. I will argue that the evidence will be highly prejudicial without being in any way helpful for determining the real issues in the case.
R v B – This was a typical modern scenario: my client was said to have engaged in sexual acts over the internet with a child, using webcams and a chat room. The complainant was undoubtedly underage but the question was whether my client could reasonably have believed that he was older. A bit of investigative work on how he presented himself online, and sensitive but persistent cross-examination led to a swift and unanimous verdict of not guilty.
Drugs offences / conspiracies
R v P –I am very proud of an acquittal I secured in a two month conspiracy to supply heroin trial. The case against my client appeared rock solid, as he was seen by police apparently hiding a box containing 10 kilos of heroin, which later turned out to have his fingerprints on it. Even so, he was adamant in his not guilty plea. I had to persuade the jury that he could have been framed by a co-defendant. However, with careful analysis of the timings on the CCTV and the phone evidence, and very careful cross-examination of the Detective Sergeant who gave evidence of the “hiding”, I was able to produce a striking graphic of a timeline, which undermined the prosection case. It was enough to sow a reasonable doubt.
R v M – This was an allegation of conspiracy to supply firearms. The mis-handling of the prosecution led me to raise a legal argument, and I succeeded in having the case dismissed. His Honour Judge Platt was kind enough to tell me afterwards that it was one of the best legal arguments he had ever heard.
R v S – I am currently instructed to defend one of many accused of defrauding wonga.com
R v J – My client was prosecuted by the SFO for fraudulent trading, having run a business which advised on life assurance policies.
R v F – My client was living with a man who was convicted of running a huge drug conspiracy. She had undoubtedly received considerable sums from him over the years, and indeed she was willing to plead guilty at an early stage to money laundering offences. However the real battle arose because she had invested the proceeds of sale of her small flat in a jointly owned property, and the flat had been bought and paid for over many years as a hard-working single mother. Complex negotiations led to an agreement, and she was able to preserve some financial security for herself and her son.
R v T – I defended a man who was embroiled in a large street fight that led to near fatal wounds. My client had undoubtedly used a meat cleaver to cause the injuries. His defence was that he had taken it from the “victim”, and used it to defend himself from further attack with another weapon. He was acquitted.
R v E – I acted for the lead defendant accused of starting a riot in Harmondsworth Detention Centre. Hours of CCTV footage was analysed, and in the end it was possible to show a young man with a short temper, but a strong sense of fun, a world apart from the image the Crown had sought to present of a committed leader of an organised riot.
R v T – I am acting for a young man accused of blackmail, in the type of case that is likely to become more common: the Crown’s case is based on connections made on social media websites, and the suggestion that they were set-up to put the complainant into a difficult position.
R v T – this client was acquitted of armed bank robberies. He had undoubtedly known the ringleader, but it was only the evidence of an undercover officer that made the connection appear suspicious. His acquittal followed the successful cross-examination of that officer.
R v C – An FSA Approved Person who had accepted a caution for theft had misgivings. I advised him that the caution had been administered in breach of Home Office guidelines, so the decision was susceptible to judicial review, but the power to quash was exercised sparingly. However I advised that the breaches were flagrant, and he did have grounds to bring a claim. I was then instructed to prepare the Statement of Grounds. Permission was refused, so we sought an advice from a silk on whether to renew. Paul Hynes QC advised in favour, saying that “the essence of the challenge appears in paragraphs 3 and 4 of the Statement of Grounds, and it is difficult to see how the relevant facts could be better encapsulated or more persuasively presented”. Permission was granted in strong terms, causing the police to remove the caution.
Williamson v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court  2 Cr. App. R. 24  EWHC 1444 (Admin) – Mr Williamson was very poorly served by the duty solicitor appointed to represent him on an assault charge in the Magistrates’ Court. He was wrongly advised to plead guilty. Unfortunately so far I have not been able to win justice for him, but I am fighting on. His claim for judicial review was rejected on grounds which I consider to be technical and unfair, so I have taken his case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
I have a special interest in fraud law, and I worked at the Law Commission in 2002, and was one of the team who wrote the Fraud Report (Law Com No. 276). I was instrumental in drafting the Bill appended to the Report, which later became the Fraud Act 2006.
I write regularly for Westlaw. These are my current articles available on Westlaw’s Insight:
* I qualified as a solicitor in 1998, was granted rights of audience in the Crown Courts in 2002, practised as a solicitor-advocate for many years, and decided to become a barrister instead in 2013.