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Peter Wilcock QC

  • Call: 1988
  • Silk: 2012
Peter Wilcock QC
Legal 500 UK Awards 2015: Winner
"His extremely understated, histrionics-free analysis is devastatingly effective."

Legal 500, 2019

"All-round excellent” and “the type of counsel you could never go wrong with."

Legal 500

"A clever, hardworking advocate, who is very capable and able to charm both judges and juries."

Legal 500, 2017

Peter Wilcock’s practice encompasses criminal defence and appeals as well as inquests, regulatory and crime-related civil proceedings. He has a particular interest in psychiatric issues and has sat as a Tribunal Judge in the Mental Health Review Tribunal (HMRT) for 15 years.

Peter’s criminal work has encompassed the full range of serious offences from fraud, to terrorism, organised crime and murder.

Since taking silk in 2012 Peter has appeared in the Hillsborough Inquests (representing seven families), 15 murder trials, several large (and ongoing) fraud trials, the Birmingham riots trial (during which it was alleged the defendants attempted to shoot down a police helicopter), two cases of rape and child cruelty and an allegation of preparing for acts of terrorism.

Peter is currently instructed in a number of ongoing large-scale fraud and murder trials listed for 2018.

Notable cases 

R v X (February – November 2018)
Represented defendant in large-scale immigration and national insurance fraud.

R v A (January 2018, Croydon Crown Court)
Represented Ddfendant in well-publicised prosecution for tax cheat.

R v Abeka-Soares (November- December 2017, Central Criminal Court)
Represented defendant accused of knife murder. This case was reported by the BBC and the Daily Mail.

R v Blackwell (September-October 2017, Blackfriars Crown Court)
Represented defendant acquitted of alleged conspiracy to murder in which victim was murdered on his driveway in an apparent gangland “hit”. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v Mould (July- August 2017, Newcastle Crown Court)
Represented defendant accused of murder. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v Morrison (July 2017, Oxford Crown Court)
Represented defendant acquitted of murder, the jury having been told of his conviction for attempting to murder the deceased who had consequently been in a coma for 10 years. Press report at Oxford Mail.

R v Laurent (June 2017, Central Criminal Court)
Represented defendant acquitted of murder.

R v H (2)(March to May 2017, Snaresbrook Crown Court)
Represented defendant acquitted of large-scale immigration fraud.

R v Carpenter (March 2017, Central Criminal Court)
Represented defendant acquitted of murder. See press reports on Court News.

R v Halliday-Fox (October 2016, Nottingham Crown Court)
Represented defendant accused of murder outside nightclub. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v H (1)(January – February 2017 Snaresbrook Crown Court)
Represented defendant acquitted of large-scale immigration fraud.

R v Pike (September 2016, Cardiff Crown Court)
Represented defendant accused of murder. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v Gomez (July 2016, Central Criminal Court)
Represented defendant acquitted of murder.

R v Rahman (July 2016, Central Criminal Court)
Represented defendant accused of murdering a business rival in 1997 having been extradited to the UK from USA. This case was reported in the Daily Mirror

R v Odunyemi (June 2016, Central Criminal Court)
Represented defendant acquitted of murder outside nightclub in Central London. This case was reported in the Daily Mirror.

R v H (May 2016, Snaresbrook Crown Court)
Represented defendant in large-scale immigration fraud proceedings.

R v Olisa (February 2016, Central Criminal Court)
Represented defendant acquitted of murdering alleged drug dealer. This case was reported in the Evening Standard

R v Willis (November 2015, Hove Crown Court)
Represented defendant in conspiracy to murder involving a shooting. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v Scott-Wasey (September 2015, Central Criminal Court)
Murder raising defence of diminished responsibility. This case was reported in the Evening Standard.

R v Bruzas (March 2015, Central Criminal Court)
Double murder of husband and wife in their own bedroom after house was broken into. This case was reported in the national press, including by the BBCThe Telegraph and the Mirror.

R v X (July 2013, Woolwich Crown Court)
Represented foster carer acquitted of abusing children in her care.

R v Marius (February 2013- June 2013, Central Criminal Court)
Represented defendant acquitted of murder. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v Kearns (May 2013- June 2013, Plymouth Crown Court)
Represented defendant convicted of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v Mahmood (April 2013, Central Criminal Court)
Represented defendant who pleaded guilty to preparing for an act of terrorism. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v D (December 2012, Reading Crown Court)
Represented mother acquitted of causing life-changing injuries to her six-month-old child.

R v X (October 2012, Woolwich Crown Court)
Represented defendant acquitted of allegation of historic child rape.

R v Laing (2012 Birmingham Crown Court)
Represented defendant accused of planning and participating in attempt to lure and attack police officers during the 2011 Birmingham riots during which shots were fired at a police helicopter. This case was reported by the BBC.

Further significant cases include

R v Gaskell (2011)
Represented acquitted defendant accused of conspiracy to rig tender for supply of over £1 million of copper cable to Thameslink project.

R v Malik (2011)
Represented defendant accused of soliciting to murder by encouraging undercover police officer to fight coalition forces in Afghanistan. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v Lee (2011)
Represented defendant, as leading junior, accused of being part of gangland “hit squad” attempting to murder member of rival gang.

R v Arafat Waheed Khan (2010)
Represented defendant convicted of involvement in plot to blow up transatlantic airliners. This case was reported by the BBC.

Peter has extensive experience in proceedings before the Criminal Court of Appeal over the last 30 years. He specialises in appeals against conviction/sentence and applications to both the Criminal Cases Review Commission. He has conducted a number of high-profile criminal appeals including the cases of Sam Hallam, Victor Nealon and Wang Yam. As a junior, Peter appeared in many well-publicised successful appeals including Lorraine Harris, Suzanne Holdsworth and Ian Gay. In 2018, Peter is also representing a number of high-profile applicants whose cases are before the CCRC or the Court of Appeal.

Notable cases 

R v Wang Yam (July 2017)
Represented appellant in high-profile appeal against conviction for murder in controversial “secret” trial. This case was reported in Newsnight and the Guardian and is the subject of a book “Blood on the Page: A Murder, a Secret Trial, a Search for the Truth.”

R v A (October 2016)
Represented appellant in successful appeal against conviction for sexual offences.

R v Nealon (2014 EWCA Crim 574)
Represented appellant in successful appeal – based on fresh DNA evidence – against his conviction for attempted rape. This case was covered by the BBCthe Guardian, and the Independent.

R v Laing (2014) 2 Cr App R 27
Appeal against convictions arising out of the Birmingham riots based on the prosecution use of videos to establish gang membership.

R v Thompson (2013 EWCA Crim 1746)
Represented appellant in against conviction for murder, based on trial judge’s failure to leave the partial defence of provocation.

R v Malik (2013) EWCA Crim 1649)
Represented appellant in appeal against conviction for soliciting to murder, based on interplay between conduct of co-accused’s case and propriety of resulting summing-up.

R v Hallam (2012)
Represented appellant in his successful appeal against conviction for murder, following a CCRC referral. This case was covered by the BBC.

R v Traynor (2012)
Represented appellant in his appeal against conviction for murdering his wife, following a CCRC referral.

Further significant cases include

R v Cort (2011) EWCA Crim 1597
Represented solicitor in his appeal against his conviction for murdering his professional partner.

R v Lane (2011) 2011 EWCA Crim 2745)
Represented appellants, following referral by CCRC, in their appeal against conviction for blackmail.

R v Bailey (2011) EWCA Crim 1124
Represented appellant in appeal against minimum term imposed in relation to his conviction for murder.

R v Mackinnon (2011)
Represented appellant in appeal against sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP).

R v Arafat Khan (2011) EWCA Crim 1260
Represented appellant in appeal against conviction for murder arising out of “airlines” case.

R v Francis No 2 (2011) EWCA Crim 375
Represented appellant in appeal (following CCRC referral) against convictions for drug offences.

R v M (2010)
Represented appellant in successful appeal against conviction for rape. Appeal based on fresh evidence resulting from application to the CCRC.

Ever since he was instructed as junior counsel to represent Giuseppe Conlon in the 1989 “May Inquiry” into the circumstances surrounding the (wrongful) convictions arising out of the Guildford and Woolwich bomb attacks Peter has appeared in a number of Inquiries and Inquests. He represented seven families at the Hillsborough Inquests. Following the inquest’s successful conclusion, he has been instructed to advise in a number of ongoing inquests and civil actions against the police. He has a developing regulatory practice having recently acted in proceedings before the GMC and Traffic Commissioners.

Notable cases

Richard Davies
Represented parents of man shot by the police after armed stand-off.

Hillsborough (2013 – 2016)
Peter represented seven families during the Hillsborough Inquests, in which the 96 people who died were found to have been unlawfully killed. His questioning at the inquest received widespread publicity. He led the families’ questioning extensively on the topics of stadium safety, police failings in controlling the build-up of supporters and police attempts to cover-up the disaster. This included questioning many of the senior officers involved in the disaster, including some of the match commanders (BBC 2nd October 2014), officers involved in the immediate police PR response to the disaster (Daily Mirror 20 April 2015), Sir Norman Bettison, former Chief Constable of Merseyside police (BBC 5th May 2015), junior police officers (Guardian 18 September 2014ITV 22nd September 2014) and stadium engineers (BBC 4th June 2014).

Wells (2010)
Coroner’s inquest into death of patient detained under Mental Health Acts who was able to hang himself despite nominally being on five-minute observations. The jury returned a narrative verdict critical of the detaining authority.

Mola (2009)
Coroner’s inquest into the death of a 23-year-old prisoner, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in his teens, who died of smoke inhalation after setting fire to cardboard furniture in his cell. The jury verdict was critical of decision by prison staff to allow him access to lighting materials given his previous history of starting fires both during previous prison sentences and outside. The inquest also covered prison service policy in relation to use of cardboard furniture and inaction in relation to implementation of cell rescue equipment.

Fearon (2006)
Coroner’s inquest into shootings at Turnmills nightclub in April 2003 raising issues of police response to information they had received in advance of the shootings. Jury found that that information was not “communicated effectively between the relevant parties”, and that better communication might “have led to a more proactive action plan”. This case was reported in the Guardian.

As a junior and since taking silk in 2012 Peter has appeared in several large-scale fraud trials two of which are due to be heard in early 2019. He has extensive experience of confiscation proceedings.

Notable cases

R v Gaskell (2011)
Represented acquitted defendant accused of conspiracy to rig tender for supply of over £1 million of copper cable to Thameslink project.

R v H (1) (January – February 2017 Snaresbrook Crown Court)
Represented defendant acquitted of large-scale immigration fraud.

R v H (2) (March to May 2017, Snaresbrook Crown Court)
Represented defendant acquitted of large-scale immigration fraud.

Peter has also been called to the Bar in Northern Ireland. He studied Law at the LSE where, following the completion of his degree, he was the general secretary of the Student Union before joining Tooks Chambers where he practised for 24 years before joining Garden Court in 2013. Since 2003, Peter has been a part-time tribunal judge on the Mental Health Review Tribunal. He was appointed as an appraiser for Tribunals Service (Mental Health) in October 2009 and is on the Advisory Group of the Centre for Criminal Appeals.

Peter has provided Legal Advice in relation to courtroom scenes for the BBC series Silent Witness and Rillington Place.

Member of 2010 Law Commission working party on Unfitness to plead – consultation paper No 197.

A timely reminder 158, New Law Journal 466 2008

Fresh Evidence in Criminal Appeals – Pendleton revisited, Archbold News, December 2006

Article on the defence of provocation, Solicitors Journal, May 2006

Criminal Justice Act 2003, New Law Journal, 2004

Fresh Evidence in the Court of Appeal; Pendleton – a Case Note, New Law Journal, 2002

Fitness to Plead Procedure: An adequate Protection?, New Law Journal 439

Crime & Disorder Act, LAG January, 1999

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