Carol Hawley

Year of Call: 1990

"She has an undeniable ability to identify the key issues of the case and develop and present a compelling narrative."

Chambers UK, 2024

"Ms Hawley comes into her element in cross-examination where her ability to tailor her approach to the requirements of a particular witness is unrivalled."

Chambers UK, 2024

"Her command of the complicated factual nexus of the case, marshalling of evidence, witness handling and indefatigable work ethic were evident for all to see."

Chambers UK, 2024

"Carol is unassumingly awesome, both in conference, where she never fails to put clients at ease, and as trial counsel, where she repeatedly achieves results against the odds in some of the most difficult cases."

Chambers UK, 2023


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

Share This Page

Email This Page

Carol Hawley is a specialist criminal defence advocate with vast experience of all aspects of high-level crime including murder, fraud, complex drug conspiracies, firearms and sexual offending. She has a reputation for tenacious cross-examination and is highly respected for her analytical approach and sound judgement.

Criminal Defence


Carol Hawley is a specialist criminal defence advocate with vast experience of all aspects of high-level crime including murder, fraud, complex drug conspiracies, firearms and sexual offending. She has a reputation for tenacious cross-examination and is highly respected for her analytical approach and sound judgement.

She is approachable and has an excellent manner with all clients including those who are young or vulnerable.

Notable Cases

Murder and violent offences

R v KL (Kingston CC)
Multi-handed attempted murder. Joint enterprise stabbing of an alleged rival gang member. The defendant was the youngest of the group and was 15 years old at the time of the alleged offence. He had spent large amounts of his childhood in care and had a positive NRM finding that he had been groomed into gang culture. The defendant was acquitted of attempted murder, and co-defendants who were found guilty received 27 years imprisonment. 

R v RL (Wood Green Crown Court)
Multi-handed attempted murder in which the victim was stabbed numerous times in what the Crown described as a ‘honey pot trap’. The client was 17 at the time of the attack. Acquitted of attempted murder.
R v CM (Bristol Crown Court)
Life-threatening Random knife attacks on strangers in the Clifton area of Bristol over a period of Halloween week. Charges of attempted murder, s18 wounding and aggravated burglary. See The Guardian coverage here.

R v RC (Central Criminal Court)
Alleged robbery spree which resulted in the fatal stabbing of the victim with a ‘zombie killer knife’. Multi-handed case prosecuted on a joint enterprise basis. The client had severe learning and cognitive difficulties which required the use of an intermediary.
R v BM (Kingston Crown Court)
Leading counsel for the principal defendant in a large-scale conspiracy to rob cash in transit vans. The case was the culmination of months of an undercover operation by the flying squad and firearms officers. The trial lasted some 12 weeks. See press coverage here.

R v P (Isleworth CC)
An individual with complex psychiatric issues was charged with the attempted murder of his brother.

R v D (Sheffield CC)
Acquitted of the murder of an 18-month-old baby by shaking.

R v DW (Inner London CC)
Acquitted of s18 assault with scaffold pole.

R v MM (Central Criminal Court)
Alleged honour killing by a father and his two sons, who were both deaf and non-speaking, of a man alleged to have had a relationship with his daughter.

R v WH (Sheffield CC)
Professional boxer who killed with a single blow acquitted of murder.

R v P (Central Criminal Court)
Female defendant acquitted of murder of abusive partner.

Firearms offences

R v JK (Woolwich CC)
Firearms, cocaine and money laundering operation.

R v AA (Woolwich CC)
Shooting in alleged gang-related revenge attack.

R v MA (Snaresbrook CC)
Female defendant - alleged possession of firearms with intent to endanger life.

R v SA (Inner London CC)
Alleged drug factory with firearms offences.

Sexual Offences

R v QH (Oxford CC, April 2016)
Part of operation Bullfinch (investigation into organised abuse of girls in care). Defendant acquitted of rape and other sexual offences.

R v P (Blackfriars CC)
Defendant acquitted of alleged drug-induced rape.

R v AS (Central Criminal Court / Snaresbrook CC)
Defendant acquitted on two separate trials involving different alleged stranger rapes.

R v FA (Wood Green CC)
Acquitted of alleged gang rape.

R v LG (Snaresbrook CC)
Defendant acquitted of rape and sexual assaults on his sister and niece aged six and eight years old.

R v N (Reading CC, November 2016)
Defendant acquitted of rape of his estranged wife.

R v S (Snaresbrook CC, December 2016)
Defendant acquitted of rape of estranged partner.

R v MD (Uxbridge Youth Court, September 2016)
15-year-old boy acquitted of two counts of rape on two vulnerable children (boy and girl, both autistic).

R v PT (Snaresbrook CC)
Ex-teacher accused of gross sexual abuse of two pupils, including repeated penetrative sex. Acquitted on six out of seven counts. Convicted of kissing one pupil on one occasion.

Public Order

R v AM (Central Criminal Court)
Acquitted of violent disorder arising out of the student protests.

R v H and H (Kingston Crown Court)
Acquitted of violent disorder. Case mentioned by David Cameron in parliament as defendants alleged to have pulled a mounted officer from his horse during student protests. Metropolitan police subsequently paid undisclosed damages to the defendants.

R v S.M , C.E and others (Southwark CC)
Defendants acquitted of violent disorder arising from the 'reclaim the streets' protests in Brixton.

Contact Carol

Drug Offences


Notable Cases

Drug offences

R v V de V (Southwark Crown Court)
Dutch lorry driver charged with conspiracy to import class A drugs valued at £14 million.

R v KT (Snaresbrook Crown Court)
Part of an undercover operation into the supply of drugs in the Walthamstow area. Client was charged with class A and B conspiracies. Large volumes of CCTV evidence and phone analysis. Prosecution dropped the class A conspiracy two weeks into trial.

R v KC (Wood Green Crown Court)
Defendant arrested in a highly fortified drugs den. Acquitted of both conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs.

Contact Carol

Financial Crime and Confiscation

R v LGC (Harrow CC)
Leading counsel for the first defendant in a major fraud amounting to £1.6 billion against the Libyan Government and the Gadaffi regime investment vehicle.

R v JH (Southwark CC)
Head of Fraud at Lloyds Bank alleged to have stolen £2.4 million. Case received widespread publicity in the BBC and The Independent.

R v KV (Southwark CC)
Counsel for the leading defendant in a seven-handed VAT fraud. Case gave rise to complex issues of disclosure and public interest immunity.

R v AI (Central Criminal Court)
Multi-handed vishing fraud in which the prosecution alleged proceeds used to finance terrorist activities - dubbed the 'bank of terror' case.

R v TN and others (Central Criminal Court)
Seven-handed casino fraud.

R v MR (Blackfriars CC)
Transatlantic fraud involving the sale of high-value computer components. The case was brought as a result of collaborative investigation between the FBI and UK forces.

Contact Carol

Notable Cases & News

Carol Hawley secures not guilty verdict for defendant in murder trial

Carol Hawley of Garden Court Crime Team acted for the defendant, led by Emma Goodall KC of Doughty Street Chambers, instructed by Joseph Hill Solicitors.

13 February 2024

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

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

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

All related news


  • 2:1 (LLB honours) Kings College London
  • Bar Vocational Course, Inns of Court School of Law

Professional Membership

  • Criminal Bar Association

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

+ View more awards