Peter Wilcock QC

Year of Call: 1988 | Year of Silk: 2012

"His extremely understated, histrionics-free analysis is devastatingly effective."

Legal 500, 2019

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

Legal 500, 2017

"All-round excellent"

Legal 500

"The type of counsel you could never go wrong with."

Legal 500

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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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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 MHRT for 15 years.

Criminal Defence

Overview

Peter's criminal work has encompassed the full range of serious offences from fraud, to terrorism, organised crime and murder. He was recommended in the Chambers UK Bar Guide for Crime in 2019 and for the past ten years.

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 A (January 2018)
Represented Defendant 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 shot on his driveway. 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 BBC, The 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 acts 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.

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Criminal Appeals

Overview

Peter 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 BBC, the 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.

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Inquests and Inquiries

Overview

Peter 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 2 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 5 May 2015), junior police officers (Guardian 18 September 2014, ITV 22 September 2014) and stadium engineers (BBC 4 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.

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Financial Crime and Confiscation

Overview

Since taking silk in 2012 Peter has appeared in several large-scale fraud trials.

He is presently instructed in proceedings which have been ongoing since February 2018. As a junior, he also appeared in a number of high-value fraud trials.

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.

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Background

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 Court room scenes for the BBC series Silent Witness and Rillington Place.

Publications

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

Latest News

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

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

Peter Wilcock QC and David Emanuel secure acquittal in murder case where victim died 9 years after he was stabbed

The defendant was represented by Peter Wilcock QC and David Emanuel of Garden Court Chambers.

7 August 2017

Hillsborough disaster: criminal charges against six people

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

29 June 2017

R v BH & Others: Acquittal of Conspiracy to Breach Immigration Law

Peter Wilcock QC and Minka Braun of Garden Court Chambers represented BH.

22 March 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

Two brothers acquitted of murder and manslaughter

The men were represented by Peter Wilcock QC and Bernard Tetlow QC of Garden Court Chambers.

1 July 2016

Hillsborough inquest concludes 96 fans were unlawfully killed

Garden Court Chambers represented 77 families at the inquests.

26 April 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

Victor Nealon freed after serving 17 years in prison

A man who has served 17 years of a life sentence for attempted rape has had his conviction quashed at the Court of Appeal. Peter Wilcock QC demonstrated that the conviction was unsafe after fresh DNA evidence came to light.

16 December 2013

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

18 Garden Court barristers instructed on Hillsborough Inquest

Garden Court Chambers are pleased to announce that 18 Garden Court barristers have been instructed on the Hillsborough inquest.

18 October 2013

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Education

  • LLB (LSE)

Professional Membership

  • Criminal Bar Association (CBA)
  • Society of Labour Lawyers
  • Criminal Appeal Lawyers Association (CALA)
  • Inquest

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