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Barristers and Solicitor Advocates

CALA member barristers. Click here to join us.

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Abigail Bright

Doughty Street Chambers

Abigail is a founding member of the Criminal Law Reform Now Network, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.  The Network coordinates academics at Oxford and Cambridge to collaborate with legal practitioners in crime to present papers and hold seminars at the universities and also to respond to various government consultations.

Abigail relishes complex questions to do with jurisdiction, civil and criminal. 

In February 2022, The Times’ Register reported as of major public significance Cleeland v. Criminal Cases Review Commission [2022] 4 WLR 8. Abigail was led by Edward Fitzgerald KC for the claimant. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, recognised new rights of appeal in judicial review claims of CCRC decisions. In so doing, the Court corrected misstatements of the jurisdiction in a series of cases that judicial review of the CCRC was a ‘criminal cause or matter’.

David Emanuel KC

Garden Court Chambers

David is a specialist appellate lawyer who has spent his career representing convicted defendants protesting their innocence. His meticulous dissection of the trial process and ability to recognise what went wrong has led to numerous successful out of time appeals.


David also challenges convictions through the CCRC. In the last 18 months alone, he has won three separate appeals against conviction following successful CCRC referrals. Two of those cases were murders where the Court of Appeal ordered retrials, of which David secured acquittals in both. Those two defendants had spent 18 years and 5 years respectively in prison for crimes that it was ultimately shown they had not committed.


A number of the cases where he has identified flawed legal directions or errors in the application of the law are now the leading cases in their field. These include deception in consent cases; partial good character; distress directions; and the sentencing of young adults.

David has also successfully conducted high-profile appeals involving fresh evidence which include historic baby shaking; gross negligence manslaughter by a consultant surgeon; and undiagnosed autism in a young defendant on trial for murder.

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Farrhat Arshad

Doughty Street Chambers

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.

Tom Wainwright

Garden Court Chambers

Tom Wainwright has a solid track record of getting convictions quashed and sentences reduced where previous Counsel had advised there was no merit and where the Single Judge has refused leave. He is more than happy to take instructions pro bono in relation to the merits of making renewed applications. Tom is Treasurer of the Criminal Appeal Lawyers Association Committee. Tom’s notable cases include: R v McNally [2013] 2 Cr. App. R. 28: Leading case on ‘deception’ as to gender and consent; R v Dale [2011] EWCA Crim 1675: Failure to admit expert evidence;  R v Bassett (2009) 1 Cr App R 7: Leading case on voyeurism;  R v Barrowes [2010] EWCA Crim 1293: Defective summing up on identification; R v Court [2012] 1 Cr. App. R. 36: Definition of ‘Keeping a Disorderly House’.

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Henry Blaxland KC

Garden Court Chambers

Henry Blaxland KC is widely recognised as a leading criminal silk whose 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.

Felicity Gerry KC

Libertas Chambers

Felicity Gerry KC is admitted to the lists of counsel at the ICC and KSC in The Hague, in England and Wales and Australia (Victoria and the High Court Roll). She currently has a particular focus on Appellate work. 


Felicity has a particular interest in the law on complicity (“joint enterprise”): She led an Amicus Curiae Brief in the ICTY  on JCEIII liability. She was leading counsel in R v Jogee [2016] UKSC 8 which corrected an error of law known as Parasitic Accessorial Liability. She led similar appeals Hong Kong and Australia. She also led appeals in R v Lewis [2017] EWCA Crim 1734 which clarified the law on joint principalship and in R v Rebelo[2019] EWCA Crim 633 which clarified the law on manslaughter. Most recently she has drafted petitions for mercy on behalf of those affected by miscarriages of justice and who remain in prison.


She is keen to help all those affected by the injustice that is created by the ‘substantial injustice’ test. Her other major area of interest is human trafficking / modern slavery. She has a long history of dealing with such cases, including in jurisdictions with the death penalty. She is currently instructed in an appeal against conviction to the Court of Appeal of England and Wales  on behalf of a trafficked person.

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Lucie Wibberley

Garden Court Chambers

Lucie is a specialist criminal defence practitioner with particular experience of and expertise in appellate work, serious violence, high value fraud/regulatory, confiscation, drugs and sexual offences. She is a formidable, meticulous and intelligent criminal advocate, with great presence in court.


Lucie engages well with a jury but is also persuasive in technical legal argument before a judge. Outside of court she has a calm and reassuring manner with lay clients; she inspires confidence.

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Daniel Bunting

2 Dr Johnson's Building 

Dan is a highly experienced appellate advocate with extensive experience in taking cases to the Court of Appeal in both conviction and sentence cases. This includes many where he did not appear at first instance and a previous advocate has advised against an appeal. 


Although he has a particular interest in immigration offences, he has taken cases in many different areas to the Court of Appeal (often on a CCRCC reference). Examples of some cases can be seen on his profile. 

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Paul Taylor KC

Doughty Street Chambers

Paul specialises in criminal appeals. He is the head of the Doughty Street Chambers Criminal Appeals Unit, and the editor of Taylor on Criminal Appeals - the leading practitioners’ textbook dealing with procedural aspects of criminal appeals and review. 

Paul regularly represents appellants before the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) (being instructed at the appellate stage). He has appeared before the Privy Council, in capital and other appeals from the Caribbean, and has extensive experience in drafting submissions to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Paul was appointed a Recorder in 2019.

He is licenced under the Direct Access Scheme and can accept instructions directly from members of the public in appropriate cases

Katy Thorne KC

Doughty Street Chambers

Katy has a fantastic record in the Court of Appeal. She has a particular interest in:


sexual offences, including historic abuse;

cases involving experts, in particular medical experts; and

homicide where the defendant was under 18.

She has experience in Strasbourg, having represented Arthur Hutchinson in the Grand Chamber in relation to whole life terms.

She has published a book: Mason's Forensic Medicine for Lawyers (Bloomsbury)

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James Wood KC

Doughty Street Chambers

Called in 1975, I have been involved in fighting miscarriages of justice all my career. From West Midland Serious Crime Squad, through the Birmingham 6 and the Bridgwater 4, to the current day. I took silk in 1999. In recent years I have been involved in numerous trials and appeals from terrorism to homicide, drugs and gangland violence. 

Stephen Knight

One Pump Court

Stephen is a committed criminal defence and public law practitioner. He is described by his clients as “warm and friendly, but formidable”, “razor-sharp”, and “a relentless advocate”, and by his solicitors as having a “breath-taking ability to condense facts and legal arguments in a terse yet persuasive style” and a “huge heart and ability to empathise with the wrongfully convicted and their families”. He practises in all areas of criminal law, specialising in protest law and appellate work.

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Dominic Thomas

25 Bedford Row

Dominic Thomas is a barrister specialising in homicide cases. He accepts direct access work.


Dominic was one of the first barrister members of CALA. He is an ex-committee member, and has represented CALA on the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Court Users’ Group.


Dominic regularly acts for defendants who wish to have their convictions reviewed. His notable appeal cases include Christopher Hunnisett, whose conviction murder was overturned and whose acquittal on retrial was reported in the national media.


Nick Beechey

Great James Street

'Nick is an experienced criminal defence advocate, who in recent years has focused his practice on advising on the merits of appeal against conviction and sentence where trial counsel has advised negatively (or not at all), and in relation to applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. He appears regularly in the Court of Appeal. 


Nick is happy to advise on all types of criminal appeal regardless of the seriousness of the offence.'


Violet Smart

Doughty Street Chambers

Violet Smart is a specialist criminal defence barrister at Doughty Street Chambers with a broad practice, including serious youth work. She undertakes appellate work at all levels and is experienced in both appeals against conviction and sentence. Within her appellate work, she has a particular interest in challenging IPP sentences.

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