Criminal defence & appeals

The Crime Team specialises in criminal defence and appeals work and, whilst working predominately in the Crown Court, also has an outstanding reputation in all courts including the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. The Team consists of criminal advocates with experience at all levels, from juniors to Queen’s Counsel, and is committed to ensuring that a defendant’s fundamental rights are protected.

It is this commitment to each client’s rights that distinguishes Garden Court North Chambers’ barristers from others. The client remains the focus throughout the preparation and presentation of each case. Members of the Team forcefully pursue each case whilst understanding and addressing each client’s concerns at every stage, explaining matters clearly and providing realistic and carefully considered advice in language that is easily understood. This approach ensures that the client remains fully involved in the process throughout and is able to take their own fully informed decisions about their case. The Team is approachable, down to earth and willing to go the extra mile for clients.

Members of the Team are always available to provide ad hoc advice to professional clients and are often consulted before as well as after charge in relation to complex strategic and legal decisions.

The Team has a particular interest in cases with civil liberties implications, cases where complex issues relating to linked criminal and family court proceedings arise, cases arising from the prosecution and detention of young people, and cases concerning defendants with learning or mental health difficulties or who are otherwise vulnerable. We have a strong commitment to pro bono work where public funding is unavailable.

Drawing upon the Team’s established reputation and coupled with its complimentary expertise in public law, human rights and civil claims for damages and compensation, we provide comprehensive and specialist advice and advocacy to anyone challenging unsafe convictions and seeking justice following a successful appeal. Several members of the Team are available for direct access work in criminal appeals.

We have expertise across the whole spectrum of serious crime, including:

  • Appeals to the Divisional Court, the Court of Appeal (including out of time appeals and those referred by the Criminal Cases Review Commission), the Supreme Court, and the European Court of Human Rights;
  • Murder;
  • Offences against children, including causing/allowing death and child cruelty.
  • Serious assaults;
  • Firearms offences;
  • Serious fraud;
  • Drugs manufacture, importation and supply;
  • Proceeds of crime proceedings and confiscation;
  • Sentencing appeals, including IPP, extended sentences and MHA orders;
  • Public order offences (particularly in cases arising from political protests and demonstrations); and
  • Sexual offences.

Members of the Team are also regularly instructed:

  • On behalf of defendants of all ages in injunction cases, including those arising out of alleged anti-social behaviour and gang injunctions (“Gangbos”);
  • In Inquests, particularly involving deaths in custody;
  • In actions against the police;
  • In the Administrative Court, particularly in case stated appeals and judicial reviews concerning custody time limits and natural justice; and
  • In cases concerning the rights of prisoners.

Although Chambers is in Manchester, members of the Crime Team frequently travel to courts across England and Wales. If you would like to know more about the Crime Team please contact the Practice Management Team on 0161 817 6377 or at

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