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Criminal Appeals

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Chambers UK Bar Guide

“The clerks are easy to get on with, reliable, extremely well organised and quick to respond to calls and e-mails. They work to a very high and professional standard.” 

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Chambers UK Bar 2021: Top Ranked
Legal 500 2022: Top Tier Set
Winner Legal 500 Crime Set of the Year 2015
Shortlisted Legal 500 Crime Set of the Year 2018

Garden Court Chambers has helped shape the foundations of modern criminal appellate law by pursuing criminal appeals to the highest courts.

Our criminal appeals barristers were involved in the formulation of the now well-known Pendleton test by the House of Lords, the leading case on fresh evidence.

Over the last 40 years, we have played a key role in reversing many of the seminal miscarriages of justice, including: Derek Bentley, the Guildford Four, the Birmingham Six, Judith Ward, Carl Bridgewater, the M25 Three and Sam Hallam.

The Garden Court Chambers Crime Team has been shortlisted as 'Crime Set of the Year' at the Chambers UK Bar Awards 2021.

Areas of Expertise

  • Miscarriage of justice cases including statutory compensation claims
  • Points of law of public importance
  • Advancing protections for victims of trafficking convicted of criminal offences
  • Fresh evidence appeals
  • Complex sentencing cases
  • Representing juvenile defendants
  • Shaken baby syndrome
  • Non-disclosure and participating informants (PIs)
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission applications and referrals to the Court of Appeal
  • Death penalty cases in the Privy Council

We continue to work at the cutting-edge of appellate law. Two of our criminal appeals barristers were instructed in the momentous Supreme Court decision on joint enterprise (R v Jogee; Ruddock v The Queen), a judgment with far-reaching ramifications for past convictions for the most serious crimes.

We have two barristers instructed in the successful appeal to quash the conviction of Sally Challen for murdering her husband. The appeal attracted international interest across academia and the media because it was the first appeal of its kind to test the viability of coercive control as a fact relevant to provocation. 

We are recognised as leading barristers in the UK for criminal law. In 2015 we won the Legal 500 Crime Set of the Year Award and our crime team has been shortlisted for the same award three times.

Recent notable cases and news

Garden Court secures number one rankings in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2022

21 October 2021

Garden Court Chambers Crime Team shortlisted for Crime Set of the Year by Chambers Bar Awards 2021

We are delighted to announce that the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team has been shortlisted by the Chambers Bar Awards 2021 for Crime Set of the Year.

27 August 2021

Supreme Court upholds right to disruptive protest on highway

The Appellants were represented by Henry Blaxland QC and Owen Greenhall, both members of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Team, and Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh of Matrix Chambers. They were instructed by Raj Chada of Hodge, Jones and Allen solicitors.

25 June 2021

Appeals allowed for Extinction Rebellion Protests

Owen Greenhall and Audrey Cherryl Mogan, members of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Team, represented the appellants. They were instructed by Raj Chada (HJA) and Lydia Dagostino (Kellys).

4 May 2021

David Emanuel QC obtains leave to appeal 18 years out of time in successful appeal against conviction and sentence

David Emanuel QC of the Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence Team represented the Defendant. David was instructed by Correna Platt of Stephensons Solicitors.

1 April 2021

ECHR judgment finds failure to adequately protect potential victims of child trafficking

Henry Blaxland QC, Emma Fitzsimons and Stephen Clark of Garden Court Chambers represented the claimant, VCL. Michelle Brewer, a former tenant of Garden Court also represented VCL.

16 February 2021

Extended sentence quashed in the Court of Appeal

Our Stella Harris of the Garden Court Criminal Defence Team acted for the appellant, instructed by Javed Chughtai, Partner at EBR Attridge.

26 January 2021

Court of Appeal upholds suspended sentence for animal rights activist

Michael Goold of the Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence Team represented the defendant.

9 December 2020

Rapper Ceon Broughton wins appeal against manslaughter conviction following festival death of Louella Fletcher-Michie

Ceon Broughton was represented by Stephen Kamlish QC of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team leading Richard Thomas of Doughty Street Chambers instructed by Alastair Lyon of Birnberg Peirce Solicitors.

18 August 2020

Government acted unlawfully in sharing information that could lead to death penalty, rules UK Supreme Court

Jacob Bindman of the Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence Team, led by Mark Summers QC of matrix chambers, instructed by Rosa Curling of Leigh Day Solicitors represented the intervener, Reprieve

25 March 2020

Court of Appeal quashes convictions of the Oval Four

Judy Khan QC, Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, represented the appellants instructed by Jenny Wiltshire of Hickman & Rose and Steven Bird of Birds Solicitors.

5 December 2019

Garden Court barristers join the JUSTICE Working Party on Racial Disparity in Youth Justice

Maya Sikand, Kate-Aubrey Johnson and Danielle Manson of Garden Court have been appointed to the JUSTICE Working Party, 'Racial Disparity in Youth Justice'

20 November 2019

Keir Monteith QC persuades Court of Appeal to grant full credit for pleading guilty at the plea and trial preparation hearing

Keir Monteith QC was instructed by Mohsin Ariff at Lloyds PR Solicitors.

21 June 2019

Sally Challen walks free after prosecutors accept lesser plea of manslaughter for killing abusive husband in coercive control case

Clare Wade QC and Lucie Wibberley of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team represented Sally Challen, instructed by Harriet Wistrich of Birnberg Peirce & Partners.

10 June 2019

Garden Court Crime Team encourages all members of the Criminal Bar Association to vote in favour of action in the ballot launched today

We call on all our colleagues at the Criminal Bar to join us.

24 May 2019

20 year extended sentence quashed on appeal, two years out of time

Michael Goold represented the Appellant, instructed by Verity Fowler of GT Stewart.

28 January 2019

Keir Monteith's submissions in appeal against sentence for 2 counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs successful

Keir Monteith represented Mr Soroh on appeal against sentence for 2 counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs. He was instructed by Joanne Lange of MK Law.

17 January 2019

Keir Monteith, David Emanuel and Hossein Zahir to be appointed Queen's Counsel

On 11 March 2019, the Lord Chancellor will preside over the appointment ceremony where he will formally bestow the title of QC.

11 January 2019

Court of Appeal rules that sentencing guidelines for children and young persons have relevance when sentencing young adult offenders

David Emanuel of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team represented the appellant.

4 December 2018

Emma-Jayne Magson granted leave to appeal against conviction for killing boyfriend in light of “fresh evidence”

Clare Wade QC is instructed by Louise Bullivant, Aitken Harter Solicitors on behalf of Emma-Jayne Magson.

23 November 2018

Commons Justice Committee releases damning report on CPS disclosure failings in criminal cases

Emma Fenn of the Garden Court Criminal Defence Team was one of two special advisers to the Committee.

20 July 2018

The CCRC have now decided not to contest judicial review after David Emanuel obtained permission to judicially review the CCRC refusal to refer 2004 murder conviction to the Court of Appeal

David Emanuel was instructed by Steven Bird of Birds Solicitors.

17 July 2018

High Court rules defence of another a defence to contempt of court

Owen Greenhall of Garden Court Chambers acted for the defendant, instructed by Ben Manovitch of Lloyds PR Solicitors. 

22 June 2018

High Court allows appeal on time limit for prosecuting summary offences

Owen Greenhall of the Garden Court Crime Team acted for the appellant.

14 June 2018

AGFS - Garden Court Chambers Crime Team statement on results of CBA ballot

In light of the CBA ballot results, the government’s proposals on the AGFS will now be accepted.

12 June 2018

David Emanuel obtains permission to judicially review the Criminal Cases Review Commission's refusal to refer murder conviction

In an exceptional ruling, the Administrative Court agreed with David’s submissions that it was arguable that the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) had failed to apply the law properly in the case of a 2004 murder conviction.

5 June 2018

Garden Court Chambers announces no returns action in response to legal aid cuts

As of 25 May 2018, members of Garden Court Chambers will be implementing a no returns policy in line with the CBA protocol.

9 May 2018

Catherine Oborne and Ifeanyi Odogwu shortlisted for Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2018

We're delighted to announce that Catherine Oborne and Ifeanyi Odogwu have both been shortlisted in the Newcomer category of the LALYs. 

2 May 2018

Garden Court Chambers supports and welcomes statement from Criminal Bar Association on legal aid cuts and AGFS

Garden Court will not take any criminal work under representation orders dated from 1st April 2018. We will support any days of action proposed by CBA.

29 March 2018

Sally Challen granted leave to appeal conviction for killing husband in "coercive control" case

Garden Court's Clare Wade QC instructed by Harriet Wistrich, Birnberg Peirce.

2 March 2018

David Sellu Appeal Team win Crime Team of the Year at Modern Law Awards 2018

The David Sellu Appeal Team is composed of Mark Ellison QC of QEB Hollis Whiteman who led our David Emanuel, and was instructed by Matt Foot of Birnberg Peirce.

19 January 2018

Counterfeit clothing case ends in acquittal for all defendants

Henry Blaxland QC appeared for a defendant charged with involvement in commercial scale trading in counterfeit clothing.

12 November 2017

All notable cases and news

Past Notable Cases


Sally Challen murder conviction quashed and manslaughter plea accepted in “coercive control” case (2019) 
Landmark case in which Sally Challen walked free after prosecutors accepted a lesser plea of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, for killing her abusive husband after decades of psychological abuse. Coverage in BBCGuardian and ITV News.

High Court allows appeal on time limit for prosecuting summary offences (2019) 
Acting for the appellant in a case described by the High Court as one ‘which raises a short but important point as to the…time limit on the commencement of a prosecution for a summary offence’.

Successful appeal against sentence secures imminent release from custody for 18-year-old (2018) 
It was argued that the two-year sentence for robbery committed with two others when the defendant was 17 was excessive, and the sentencing judge had failed to give proper regard to the young man’s age, mitigation or the comparatively lenient sentences imposed on the young man’s co-defendants.

Successful appeal against conviction almost 10 years out of time (2017)
Representing Mr K, who in 2007 pleaded guilty to possessing a false passport contrary to section 25 of the Identity Cards Act 2006. He was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment. The conviction was quashed. 

R v Jogee, Ruddock v The Queen (2016)
Supreme Court and Privy Council clarification of joint enterprise

R v Ched Evans (2015)
CCRC referral of footballer Ched Evans’ rape conviction to Court of Appeal

R v L & Ors (2013)
Successful test case creating further protections for trafficked victims under Article 26 of the Anti-Trafficking Convention and the relevant EU Directive, and overturning the convictions of four victims of trafficking, three of whom were children

R v McNally (2013)
Leading authority on when consent may be vitiated in relation to sexual offences

R v Victor Nealon (2013)
Overturning rape conviction of Victor Nealon, who was wrongly imprisoned for 17 years, after fresh DNA evidence was considered on appeal

R v Sam Hallam (2012)
Widely publicised miscarriage of justice appeal. The case was reported in The Guardian

Tabeel Lewis v The State (2011)
Reprieve secured in Privy Council death penalty case

R v Altaf Hussain (2008)
Last in series of CCRC referrals exposing malpractice and the use of PIs by Customs and Excise in the 80s and 90s

R v Suzanne Holdsworth (2008)
Conviction for toddler murder found unsafe in light of fresh medical evidence

R v Derek Bentley (1998)
Earliest case on principle of joint enterprise: Derek Bentley was hanged in 1953 and posthumously vindicated in 1998 when his conviction was set aside

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