Brenda Campbell KC

Year of Call: 2002 | Year of Silk: 2018

"Brenda is one of the best barristers at the Bar. She gets to grips with very difficult and voluminous cases with apparent ease and is masterfully elegant. She is a real fighter and a fantastic orator and foremost, a great lawyer with a huge amount of commitment."

Legal 500, 2024 (Crime)

"Her command of the evidence, her cross-examination and her closing speech were all out of the top drawer."

Chambers UK, 2024 (Crime)

"Brenda is an all-rounder. She is a master strategist and a very powerful and clever advocate."

Chambers UK, 2024 (Inquests & Inquiries)

"She is a particularly good cross-examiner: she is an expert at trapping witnesses and taking apart those who give less than perfect evidence. She also really connects with jurors."

Chambers UK, 2023

"Her cross-examination in cut-throat defences are a masterclass."

Chambers UK, 2022 (Crime)

"Brenda’s strengths would be cross-examination and attention to fine detail and her preparedness for trial knowing all aspects of her case extremely well, preparing for the unforeseeable."

Legal 500, 2022 (Crime)

Contact

To get in touch:​ Or you can contact the relevant​ Practice Team Clerks directly and they will be happy to assist with your enquiry.

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Brenda is a leading KC in criminal law and Inquests. She has a high-profile, cross-jurisdictional practice, appearing in courtrooms in England & Wales and in Ireland, north and south.

Brenda is regularly instructed to defend in the most serious of criminal allegations including murder, terrorism and international fraud. She is, in addition, a highly respected Inquest & Public Inquiries silk, representing families in Article 2 inquests, including historic or legacy Inquests & police shootings, and in ongoing Public Inquiries.

Criminal Defence

Overview

Brenda is regularly instructed in high profile and complex criminal cases or to act on behalf of vulnerable defendants. She ensures a consistently high standard of representation, working closely with Instructing solicitors, junior counsel and clients, always leading the team to achieve the best outcome.

Notable Cases

Past notable cases can be viewed below. Click here to see a list of recent notable cases.

Murder

R v DSP, Loughborough CC (2023)
Multi-handed trial. Representing a teenage defendant with significant learning disabilities and complex mental health issues. Allegation of murder arising out of a conspiracy to rob a cannabis farm. Acquitted of murder, sentenced to six years imprisonment for manslaughter.

R v B, Central Criminal Court (2023)
Appointed by the Court to represent a mother with serious and long-standing mental ill-health who was accused of the murder of her four-year-old son. Defendant was unfit to plead.

R v L, Belfast Crown Court (2023)
Ongoing ‘Diplock’ trial on allegations of double murder following successful extradition of the defendant.

R v BAZ, Bristol Crown Court
Representing a teenage girl accused of murdering her mother’s boyfriend. Highly complex background of trauma, abuse and vulnerability complicated by a significant learning disability. Prosecution accepted a plea to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility after the commencement of the trial. Successfully resisted an AG Ref on sentence (R v BAZ [2022] EWCA Crim 940

R v TZ, Birmingham Crown Court
Representing defendant in high profile allegation of a sophisticated and professionally organized murder by shooting. The case was reported here.

R v LK, Central Criminal Court, (2020)
An allegation of murder by shooting. The defendant shot at the deceased 6 times, hitting him with at least 5 shots. It was the prosecution case that the killing was an act of revenge, the defendant having discovered that the deceased, who was his friend, was having an affair with the defendant’s former partner. The defendant was acquitted of murder. The case was reported here.

R v RWR, Central Criminal Court (2019)
The defendant, an 18 year old man with autism, was accused of a joint enterprise stabbing. He was tried alongside 2 other teenage defendants. It was the prosecution case that the defendant had lured the deceased to a park and thereafter participated in a joint attack with knives, including a Rambo knife and machete.  The defendant was acquitted of murder. The case was reported here.

R v CF, Central Criminal Court (2019)
The allegation of joint enterprise murder arose out of an arson attack on a residential home in the middle of the night. The defendant was the driver of a motorbike that had transported the arsonist to the scene, waited for him and then sped him away.  He was the second of six defendants in this long running trial. He was acquitted of both murder and manslaughter. The case was reported here.

R v SF, Central Criminal Court (2019)
The defendant killed her twin infants before attempting to commit suicide. She initially faced allegations of murder but, following receipt of expert evidence, the prosecution accepted pleas to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility. The case was reported here

R v WL, Central Criminal Court (2017)
Allegation of conspiracy to murder from a prison cell. Others with whom the defendant was in very regular telephone contact had already been convicted of conspiracy to murder (shooting). The case relied heavily on the interpretation of telephone and cell site evidence, as well as the character of the alleged protagonists. The defendant was acquitted. The case was reported here.

Previous Cases

R v Bell, Central Criminal Court (2016)
Allegation of murder by driving at the deceased. It was suggested that the defendant acted in revenge immediately following an attack by the deceased on another individual. Following the collision the defendant fled the scene & the associated damage to the vehicle was repaired. Defendant was acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter. The case was reported here

R v Seamus Daly, Omagh Magistrates Court (2016).
Seamus Daly was accused of 29 murders and offences relating to the 1998 Omagh Bomb. He had already been found liable, on the same evidence, in the civil courts. The case was listed for an old style committal. Following her cross-examination of a key witness, the prosecution sought an immediate adjournment to review, and ultimately withdraw, all charges. The case was widely reported in the global media including here, here and here.

R v Nathaniel & others, Central Criminal Court
Murder, conspiracy to commit GBH. Represented the first defendant in this 10-handed trial. Mr Nathaniel was a high-profile sports and celebrity agent, alleged to have planned a revenge attack upon young people who had robbed his business partner. The complex and lengthy trial, which was advanced on a joint enterprise basis against all defendants, ended in the acquittal of all but the stabber. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v SS & others, Central Criminal Court =
Double murder and attempted murder. The case was built upon the identification of one of the accused (the identical twin of another accused) by the surviving victim of this triple shooting, together with cell site evidence and a revenge motive. Following a successful legal argument, the identification evidence was excluded by Fulford J. The ruling amounted to a terminating ruling against all four defendants. It was appealed by the Crown to the Court of Appeal who in turn upheld the High Court Judge's ruling. All charges were the subject of formal not guilty verdicts.

R v Harrison & others, Central Criminal Court 
Murder. Three defendants, all teenagers, accused of joint enterprise stabbing in a stairwell in Battersea in the course of an apparent cannabis transaction. Omar Harrison, the second defendant, was inside the stairwell while the stabbing occurred and had blood from the victim on his clothing. Following a trial involving cut-throat defences, the first and third defendants were convicted of murder while Mr Harrison was acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v AC & others, Central Criminal Court 
Murder. The defendant faced a second trial on an allegation of murder, the jury having been discharged in his initial trial following a successful severance argument. It was alleged that the defendant was involved in the execution of the deceased, Larry Malone, and moments later had passed the murder weapon (a Mac 10 machine gun) on to another defendant for safe-keeping. The Crown's case relied on telephone evidence, knowledge of the victim and association with the movement of the murder weapon. The defendant was acquitted of murder and convicted of possession of a prohibited weapon and ammunition. This case was reported by the Daily Mail.

R v McPherson & another, Central Criminal Court
Murder / attempted murder. Defendant accused of shooting his co-defendant (Nankani) immediately after Nankani had fatally driven at the defendant's friend outside the Ministry of Sound nightclub.

R v Lee & another, Central Criminal Court
Murder. Defendant was the passenger in a car that reversed over and killed a pedestrian following an argument. Defendant acquitted. Co-defendant, the driver, was convicted on re-trial.

R v C & others, Central Criminal Court
Represented one of seven defendants accused of murder and attempted murder following a shooting at Streatham Ice Rink. Acquitted at half time.

R v S, Central Criminal Court
Allegation of attempted murder following a shooting in which the victim was shot in excess of 14 times and named the defendant as a perpetrator. Unanimously acquitted.

R v B & others, ongoing.
Case alleging 32 counts including directing terrorism, membership of a proscribed organisation and preparation for acts of terrorism.

R v SS & others, Kingston Crown Court (2018)
Allegations of conspiracy to evade duty & money laundering. Case collapsed when pursuit of disclosure revealed improper conduct of HMRC investigators.

Contact Brenda

Inquests and Inquiries

Overview

Brenda is regularly instructed to represent families in Article 2 inquests. She has particular expertise in representing families in complex, historic inquests in England and Wales, and legacy inquests in Northern Ireland.

Notable Cases

Past notable cases can be viewed below. Click here to see a list of recent notable cases.

The Stardust Inquests, Dublin Coroner’s Court
Representing bereaved families in the fresh Inquests into the 1981 Stardust nightclub fire. See here and here
 
The UK COVID Inquiry
Lead Counsel on behalf of the Northern Ireland Covid Bereaved Families for Justice. You can watch Brenda’s cross examination of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson here.
 
Inquest into the death of Noah Donohoe, Belfast Coroner’s Court
Representing the mother of Noah Donohoe, the 14-year-old child who went missing in Belfast in June 2020 and whose deceased body was found, days later, in an underground storm drain.
 
Inquests into the deaths of Raneem Oudeh and Khaola Saleem, Birmingham Coroner’s Court
Representing the bereaved families of mother and daughter, Khaola Saleem and Raneem Oudeh who were violently killed by Raneem’s ex-partner. Their murders occurred against a background of multiple police failings and missed opportunities. Read about the case here.

The Hillsborough Inquests
Between 2013 and 2016, Brenda was part of a team of counsel who represented the families of 77 of those who died in the Hillsborough Stadium disaster. Brenda directly represented the families of 14 of those who were unlawfully killed. 

Inquest into the death of Joseph Rainey
Joseph was found suspended from a ligature on the first night of his remand at HMPYOI Hydebank Wood. The catalogue of failures that contributed to his death were recorded by the jury in a lengthy and damning verdict. Watch a documentary on Joseph’s case here.

Inquest into the death of Steven Colwell, ongoing
Steven Colwell was shot by a PSNI officer in 2006. The Inquest is continuing before Belfast Coroners Court.

The Ballymurphy Inquests
Representing bereaved families in the Inquests into the deaths of eleven innocent people who were unlawfully killed by British Army soldiers between 9 – 11 August 1971.

Inquests into the deaths of Martin McCaughey & Dessie Grew
Brenda appeared in the Belfast Coroner's Court, led by Karen Quinlivan QC, representing the families of Martin McCaughey and Dessie Grew, who were shot and killed by the SAS in October 1990.

Inquest into the death of Gareth Myatt
Together with Dexter Dias QC, Brenda represented the mother of Gareth Myatt, a child who died following restraint in the privately-run Rainsbrook detention centre. This is reported to be the longest inquest into a death in prison custody.

Contact Brenda

Criminal Appeals

Brenda has an active appellate practice in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division). 

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International Human Rights

Brenda has worked extensively in the field of human rights, both nationally and internationally, with a focus on women's rights, children's rights and the rule of law. 

With a focus on international women's rights, Brenda has represented the International Women's Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) Asia Pacific on the Steering Committee of the NGO coalition for the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.

Having been an active participant in the drafting process at the United Nations Palais des Nations in Geneva, she then became involved in the global campaign for the ratification of the Optional Protocol.

Brenda has advised on lodging communications before UN Human Rights Bodies and lectured on UN Human Rights mechanisms.

Contact Brenda

Youth Justice & Child Rights

Brenda is highly experienced in representing children and young people and ensuring their effective participation in the criminal justice system. She has represented children across the full spectrum of criminal allegations and is an experienced advocate in cases involving young and vulnerable witnesses. Her approach is always young person focused and she has particular expertise in representing children with special educational needs, learning disabilities and autism. 

She sits on the Board of Just for Kids Law.

Contact Brenda

Notable Cases & News

Garden Court counsel make closing submissions to UK Covid Inquiry Module 2

Garden Court counsel make closing submissions for Module 2 of the Covid-19 Inquiry.

15 December 2023

Garden Court counsel question Boris Johnson at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Rajiv Menon KC, Leslie Thomas KC, Brenda Campbell KC, Liz Davies KC & Bethan Harris questioned Boris Johnson at UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2.

7 December 2023

Leslie Thomas KC and Brenda Campbell KC question Sadiq Khan at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Our Brenda Campbell KC and Leslie Thomas KC questioned the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, at the UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2.

27 November 2023

Peter Wilcock KC, Leslie Thomas KC, and Kirsten Heaven question Professor Sir Chris Witty at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Peter Wilcock KC, Leslie Thomas KC, and Kirsten Heaven question Professor Sir Chris Witty at UK Covid-19 Inquiry

22 November 2023

UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2 Continues - Opening statement on behalf of Core Participants

Several Garden Court Barristers are representing core participants at the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

4 October 2023

UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2 - Opening statement on behalf of Core Participants

Several Garden Court Barristers are representing core participants at the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

3 October 2023

UK Covid-19 Inquiry first substantive hearing underway - seventeen Garden Court counsel instructed

Numerous Garden Court Chambers counsel, of the Garden Court Inquests & Inquiries Team, are instructed in the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

13 June 2023

UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 2 - Opening statement on behalf of Core Participants

Members of the Garden Court Inquests & Inquiries Team delivered opening statements on behalf of Core Participants.

1 March 2023

Garden Court Chambers and Garden Court North remember Ian Macdonald QC

Garden Court Chambers and Garden Court North were honoured to host a memorial event for Ian Macdonald QC 1939-2019 at Middle Temple Hall on Tuesday 7 February 2023.

17 February 2023

Inquest finds multiple failings by police "materially contributed" to the deaths of Raneem Oudeh and her mother Khaola Saleem

The family were represented by Brenda Campbell KC and Alia Akram of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Sarah Kellas of Birnberg Peirce.

18 November 2022

Garden Court secures top tier rankings in the Legal 500 2023

Garden Court Chambers is proud to be recognised as a Top Tier set again in the Legal 500.

30 September 2022

Members of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team support escalating proposed CBA action to include days of action

17 June 2022

Stephanie Harrison QC, Chair and Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, comments on the Nationality and Borders Bill receiving Royal Assent

29 April 2022

Garden Court Crime Team statement on no returns action

30 March 2022

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

Brenda Campbell QC secures acquittal for child of murder & manslaughter

Brenda Campbell QC of the Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence Team, leading David Rhodes of Doughty Street Chambers, represented the child. They were instructed by Jude Lanchin of Bindmans LLP.

6 July 2021

Brenda Campbell QC calls on police to investigate fresh claim that Noah Donohoe was murdered

Brenda Campbell QC of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests & Inquiries Team is representing the family of Noah Donohoe instructed by Niall Murphy of KRW Law.

30 June 2021

High Court significant victory for victims of trafficking and modern slavery in DPP v M

Brenda Campbell QC and Sam Parham of the Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence Team have secured a significant victory for victims of trafficking and modern slavery in DPP v M in the Divisional Court.

15 December 2020

Murder acquittal at the Old Bailey

One of the defendants was represented by Brenda Campbell QC and Stella Harris of Garden Court.

20 December 2019

Defendant at Old Bailey acquitted of murder and manslaughter following 10-week trial relating to fatal arson attack in Shooters Hill

Brenda Campbell QC was instructed by GT Stewart Solicitors and Advocates to represent the defendant, Kurtis Freeman.

3 July 2019

The Guildford pub bombings 1974: hearing to resume the inquest

Brenda Campbell QC of Garden Court Chambers is representing the family of Ann Hamilton, one of the victims of The Guildford Pub Bombings 1974.

20 December 2018

Ballymurphy killings inquest opens in Belfast

Brenda Campbell QC is representing the families of Father Hugh Mullan and Francis Quinn.

14 November 2018

Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield to go on trial for manslaughter by gross negligence

The trial of Mr Duckenfield is currently listed to start on 10 September.

29 June 2018

Acquittal of four men at Kingston Crown Court for money laundering and evasion of duty offences

Stephen Kamlish QC, Brenda Campbell QC, Jacob Bindman, Emma Fenn and Alia Akram represented three of the defendants.

28 June 2018

Clare Wade, Sonali Naik, Amanda Weston and Brenda Campbell appointed Queen’s Counsel

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to congratulate our four new silks appointed as Queen's Counsel on 26 February 2018.

26 February 2018

Clare Wade, Sonali Naik, Amanda Weston and Brenda Campbell to be appointed Queen's Counsel

Clare Wade, Sonali Naik, Amanda Weston and Brenda Campbell will be appointed Queen's Counsel in February 2018.

21 December 2017

Hillsborough Review backs ‘Hillsborough Law’

Seventeen barristers from Garden Court Chambers were involved in the Hillsborough inquests, representing 80 families of those who died.

1 November 2017

Hillsborough disaster: criminal charges against six people

Seventeen barristers from Garden Court Chambers represented 80 families at the Hillsborough inquest.

29 June 2017

Garden Court’s Brenda Campbell and Paul Clark shortlisted for Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2017

Brenda Campbell has been shortlisted for Legal Aid Barrister of the Year and Paul Clark has been shortlisted for Legal Aid Newcomer of the Year.

18 May 2017

Garden Court and Stephanie Harrison QC shortlisted for Human Rights and Public Law awards

Garden Court has been shortlisted at the Chambers Bar Awards, whilst Stephanie and our Public Law Team are shortlisted at the Legal 500 Awards.

21 October 2016

Garden Court Chambers recognised for “outstanding achievement” following Hillsborough inquests

Garden Court Chambers Hillsborough inquest team wins Outstanding Achievement Award at Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2016.

8 July 2016

Hillsborough inquest concludes 96 fans were unlawfully killed

Garden Court Chambers represented 77 families at the inquests.

26 April 2016

Case against Omagh bombing suspect collapses

Seamus Daly was represented by Brenda Campbell of Garden Court Chambers.

1 March 2016

Chambers UK Bar Guide ranks Garden Court in Band 1

Garden Court Chambers recognised as a leading set for immigration, social housing, civil liberties, police law, Court of Protection, crime and inquests and public inquiries.

30 October 2015

Garden Court wins Legal 500 crime set of the year award

The winners in these awards are chosen by the Legal 500 as a result of thousands of interviews with firms, sets and counsel.

8 October 2015

Garden Court Crime Team "dismayed" at CBA deal with government

Speaking on behalf of the criminal practitioners at Garden Court, Henry Blaxland QC explains the reasons behind the dismay at yesterday's deal negotiated by the CBA.

28 March 2014

Garden Court Chambers ranked Band 1 in Chambers UK 2014

We are once again delighted to have been ranked as a leading set by Chambers and Partners in the Chambers UK 2014 directory.

31 October 2013

Dexter Dias QC presents restraint death research at Harvard

Garden Court's Dexter Dias QC this week presented his award-winning restraint death research to the Moral Cognition Lab at Harvard University.

22 October 2013

All related news

Background

Brenda is Irish and lives with her family near Manchester.

Publications

Contributing author to Blackstone's Guide to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.

Education

  • LLB Common & Civil Law with French, Queen's University, Belfast
  • BVC

Professional Membership

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Inquest Lawyer's Group
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Bar Human Rights Committee

Languages

  • French

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

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