CALA Officers

To contact CALA, email: calasecretary@outlook.com

The Officers

Chair​

Deputy Chairs

Secretary

Treasurer

Committee Members

Henry Blaxland QC

Abigail Bright

Dr Laura Janes

Claire Mawer

Greg Stewart

Rachel Pain

Claire Bostock

Rachel Pain

Emma Torr

Criminal defence solicitor recommended in legal directories running a highly rated company, Birds Solicitors. Co-author of Police Station Advisers Index. Committee member of CALA and LCCSA. The company undertakes criminal work at all levels including high profile and complex criminal cases and serious fraud.

 
Farrhat Arshad

Deputy Chair

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Farrhat Arshad is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. She specialises in criminal appeal work. She is experienced in both appeals against conviction and sentence and in particular has appeared in numerous appeals against life imprisonment and Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP). She also undertakes appeals by way of case stated to the High Court.

Farrhat can take public access instructions in appeal cases.

 
David Emanuel QC
Deputy Chair
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David is a very experienced criminal appellate lawyer, a regular in the Court of Appeal and is highly ranked by the Legal 500 in this category.

He regularly advises on the merits of conviction and sentence appeals where trial counsel has advised there is no appeal and has an enviable record of success in persuading the Court of Appeal to quash convictions in such cases where he has identified arguable grounds of appeal - including in cases as serious as murder and historic rape.

 

He has appeared in the Supreme Court and has been involved in two of the most important and high profile appeal cases on the subject of consent in sexual offences.

Recent cases have included David successfully appealed two separate convictions for murder, a conviction for section 18 GBH (after obtaining leave to appeal 18 years out of time), a conviction under the Serious Crime Act, a sentence for manslaughter on the basis it was manifestly excessive and the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and successfully resisting prosecution appeal against a terminating ruling after he successfully argued there was no case to answer on a murder in December 2021.

David regularly drafts CCRC applications and has succeeded in having four murder convictions referred to the Court of Appeal.

David is registered with the Bar Council to undertake public access work, meaning he can be instructed directly by members of the public to advise on the merits of appeals/CCRC applications.

 
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Eidvile is an aspiring barrister, currently a barrister's clerk.

Whilst undertaking the Bar Professional Training Course, she volunteered at APPEAL, a legal charity challenging unsafe convictions, and assisted in preparing cases for referrals to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).

Eidvile is also a volunteer interpreter at Detention Action, an organisation supporting people in immigration detention and campaigning for fundamental reform

 

 
Tom Wainwright

Treasurer

Tom has a formidable reputation in the appellate courts, with a strong track record of quashing convictions and reducing sentences both by way of appeal and by the case stated procedure. He has appeared in cases which have defined the law on topics ranging from voyeurism and prostitution to explosive substances, terrorism and consent in sexual cases.

 

He has also challenged convictions on issues including non-disclosure and poor legal advice and cases where fresh evidence has meant that the conviction is unsafe. Tom has succeeded in cases when previous counsel have advised there is no merit and cases where the single judge has refused leave to appeal.

 
 
 
 
Henry Blaxland QC

Committee Member

Widely recognised as a leading criminal silk, Henry Blaxland QC’s practice encompasses fraud, terrorism and homicide cases. He is often instructed in appellate matters.

Henry has practised in criminal defence work for his entire career at the Bar. His principal areas of work now comprise fraud, with a specialism in confiscation, and terrorist cases with an international dimension. He is widely known for his appellate practice, acting in cases referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). He also appears for appellants in extradition cases.

 
Abigail Bright

Committee Member

 
Dr Laura Janes

Committee Member

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Laura Janes was admitted as a solicitor in 2006. Laura is a consultant solicitor at Associates and GT Stewart Solicitors, where she conducts her criminal appeal work, and also at Scott-Moncrieff and Associates.  She specialises in sentence appeals, especially those involving people who are seeking to have their prison sentence substituted for a mental health disposal in line with R v Vowles.

She has a professional doctorate in Youth Justice and a visiting fellow at the London South Bank University. Laura has developed an expertise in advising and representing children and young people in penal detention in relation to prison law, public law and criminal appeal matters. Laura is a committee member of the Association of Prison Lawyers and the Mental Health Lawyers’ Association.  She is also a Board member of the Legal Aid Practitioners' Group and Chair of Legal Action Group. 

 

In 2019, Laura was awarded Solicitor of the Year by the First 100 years’ Inspirational Women in Law Awards.

 
 
 
Claire Mawer

Committee Member

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Claire defends in all areas of crime and has a developing appellate practice. In the last two years she has appeared in both the CACD and Divisional Court. Prior to being called to the bar Claire worked as a paralegal for firms such as Birnberg Peirce, where she gained experience of prison law, immigration and public law.

 

In 2018 Claire successfully represented the Appellant in the leading case of DPP v Oraki [2018] 1 Cr. App. R. 27. Claire’s work in this case involved successfully resisting an application by the Crown for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. This case is now the leading authority concerning a defendant’s entitlement to advance self-defence or defence of another on a charge of Obstruct / Assault PC, where an officer is acting within their duty.

 

Claire’s interest in appellate crime stems from her long-term membership (since 2009) of Justice for Women (JfW): a high-profile pro-bono group who represent women appealing murder convictions in circumstances where a violent male partner has been killed.  Claire’s work has involved assisting leading counsel in the appeals of Stacey Hyde and Farieissia Marti

Greg Stewart

Committee Member

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Since qualifying in the 1990s Greg has specialised in advocacy and appeals involving children and young people and he has been involved with many policy issues including the latest revision to the sentencing code for children and young people. He was called to give evidence to the ‘Carlile Inquiry’ a Parliamentary Cross Party Inquiry into the Youth Justice System and his views were widely quoted in the final report. He is a co-author of the Criminal Appeals Handbook (2nd Ed. Oct.2019).

He has many reported appellate challenges to unfair aspects of youth court practice. In 2019 he received the Youth Champion - Outstanding Achievement Award at the Youth Justice Legal Centre annual Youth Summit.   

 

Greg Stewart was extremely knowledgeable and had an in depth understanding of the law and procedures.’ [Legal 500 2021]

 

‘My solicitor was Greg Stewart. He was professional, approachable and his attention to detail outstanding. He was always available for a conversation and made me feel like I was indeed his only client. I knew that his dedication and commitment to my case at no time wavered. I had the utmost confidence in him and his team.’ [Legal 500 2021]

 

‘Greg Stewart is an experienced solicitor advocate who handles a wide range of criminal defence and appeals work. He represents clients facing serious criminal charges, including murder and drugs conspiracy, and has a strong specialism in issues surrounding youth justice. [Chambers & Partners 2021]
 

"He is a brilliant lawyer." "I was extremely impressed with Greg, he is very knowledgeable on the law and makes sure the client understands the processes and what is needed to be done in order to progress the case." [Chambers & Partners 2021] 

Rachel Pain

Committee Member

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Rachel is an aspiring criminal barrister, currently working as a paralegal in the specialist Criminal Appeals team at GT Stewart. She has experience in both Court of Appeal and CCRC cases and is often successful in appealing decisions of the Legal Aid Agency.

 

She also sits on restorative justice panels with Hammersmith & Fulham Youth Offending Team and is a former director of Vocalise, a student led initiative teaching debating in prisons. 

Claire Bostock

Committee Member

cbostock@birds.eu.com

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Claire is a criminal defence lawyer initially qualifying as a barrister (called to the English Bar in 1999) and then re-qualifying  as a solicitor (admitted to the Roll in 2002).  Claire has practised exclusively in criminal defence  since qualifying as a lawyer and is a criminal appeal specialist.   

 

Claire acts for individuals who seek advice on the merits of an appeal against conviction and/or sentence to the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division. She also advises on the merits of applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).  She undertakes both publicly funded and privately funded work and some pro bono work. 

 

Claire is experienced in dealing with appeal cases where there is a mental health component. She acts for children and in other cases where individuals are particularly vulnerable.

Emma Torr

Committee Member

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Emma is a barrister at APPEAL, a charity law practice that specialises in representing people who have been wrongly convicted or unfairly sentenced. Emma applies an investigative approach to her casework, seeking out new evidence or arguments to take to the Court of Appeal or the Criminal Cases Review Commission. In addition to litigating miscarriages of justice, Emma is a passionate advocate for reform and campaigns tirelessly to achieve access to evidence in post-conviction appeals.

 

Prior to joining APPEAL in 2020, Emma worked for 15 years as a criminal defence barrister. Her practice encompassed serious and complex cases involving drugs importation, firearms, fraud, sexual offences, serious violence and homicide.