Susan Wright

Year of Call: 2013

“Susan is a fearless fighter, defending the underdog and insisting their rights are protected. A sharp and clever advocate.”

Liz Sargeant, Needham Poulier

“Susan deals with the most difficult of clients with respect and care. I really couldn’t recommend her enough.”

Lydia Dagostino, Kellys Solicitors

"Not only did Susan understand our SEND journey better than anyone else, she was deeply and firmly committed to doing what was right for our son. She was efficient, compassionate, thorough and professional, working tirelessly towards achieving the best outcomes from the SEN Tribunal.”

Parents of AB

"I am so grateful for Susan’s support and guidance throughout our SEND appeal. I was stressed and anxious but her reassurance and insight made me feel better straight away."

Mother of DC


If you would like to get in touch with Susan please contact the clerking team:

You can also contact Susan directly: |
+44 (0)20 7993 7871

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Susan is experienced at working with clients who require additional support including children, those with mental health difficulties, and those lacking mental capacity.

She has a particular interest in mental health and mental capacity issues which overlap with Court of Protection, crime, community care, education and housing cases. She is particularly skilled in the cross-examination of expert witnesses.

Susan is registered with the Bar Council to accept Direct Access work.

Community Care Law

Susan is a member of the Community Care team where her practice focuses on children. She is instructed in age assessments, challenges to Section 25 secure accommodation, and the provision of Section 17 support and Section 20 accommodation.

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Court of Protection

Susan is a member of the Court of Protection team. She represents individuals, Local Authorities and the Official Solicitor in a range of proceedings including personal welfare applications, deprivation of liberty cases and section 21A applications.  

She appeared as junior counsel in the first case to come before the Court of Appeal on the meaning of s 44 Mental Capacity Act 2005 (ill-treatment or neglect of a person lacking mental capacity) Kurtz v R [2018] EWCA Crim 274.

Susan is happy to provide solicitors with a pro bono phone consultation which can be arranged through the Court of Protection clerks at or +44 (0)20 7993 7600.

Member, Court of Protection Bar Association
Member, Court of Protection Practitioners Association

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Education Law

Susan welcomes instructions in education cases, particularly challenging decisions to permanently exclude students and opposing transfers to Pupil Referral Units. She is particularly skilled with SEND appeals and discrimination issues that arise under the Equality Act.

Susan is happy to provide solicitors with a pro bono phone consultation which can be arranged through the clerks at or +44 (0)20 7993 7600.

She is a member of the School Inclusion Project and as a direct access barrister, she can be instructed directly, without the need for a solicitor.

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Housing Law

Susan’s housing practice focuses on ASB injunctions. She is particularly skilled at cross-examination and draws upon her experience with mental health and discrimination law. 

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International Human Rights


Susan began her career at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and went on to teach International Criminal Law as Fulbright Visiting Professor at University of Sarajevo Law School.

Susan is a dual qualified American lawyer whose career has included representing one of the first accused at the war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone as well as the first accused in the United States facing the death penalty after a cold hit DNA match. 

Notable Cases

The Prosecutor v AK, Special Court for Sierra Leone (2007): Represented client accused of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and grave breaches of the Geneva Convention. Had primary responsibility for preparation of research memoranda and pleadings, including trial brief.

As Head of Rule of Law for the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia, advised the Bosnian government on the applicability of human rights standards on domestic criminal legal framework and helped developed the policy and legal framework which enable national courts to try war crimes case in conformity with national and international standards.

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Skilled in all aspects of mental health and criminal law, Susan is experienced at working with clients who require additional support. She has established working relationships with a range of medical experts and contributed to the Sentencing Council’s “Sentencing offenders with mental disorders, developmental disorders, or neurological impairments” as well as the CPS guidance “Suspects and Defendants with Mental Health Conditions or Disorders”

Susan is particularly skilled at taking judges through complementary and sometimes contradictory sentencing guidelines and authorities, highlighting alternative sentences wherever possible.

Notable Cases

R v EE, Basildon Crown Court (2021): Defendant acquitted of ABH and 14 counts of Assault upon emergency worker following submissions highlighting evidence of psychosis.

R v TO, Inner London Crown Court (2021): Defendant acquitted of PWITS x4 following submissions highlighting history of complex mental health needs.

R v NS, Stafford Crown Court (2019): Defendant acquitted of ABH x3 following submissions highlighting evidence of psychosis.

R v EK, Oxford Crown Court: Led by Clare Wade QC, represented the first defendant charged with violating 44(1)(b) of Mental Capacity Act, following the death of her mother. There were complex issues of capacity which were the subject of repeated submissions during trial. The Court of Appeal ultimately reversed the conviction, accepting those submissions. The case received national news coverage including the BBCMetro and Gazette. R v Emma Jane Kurtz [20019] 1 Cr.App.R 19

R v MM, Oxford Crown Court (2017) Led by Di Middleton QC, represented defendant acquitted of Child abuse on the basis that she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and 'Battered Person Syndrome'. The case received national news coverage, including the BBCITV and Metro.

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Protest Rights


Susan is experienced in all aspects of  public order law and has acted for protesters at weapons fairs, fox hunts and climate change direct actions. She represented one of the Stansted 15, who was ultimately acquitted and an Extinction Rebellion protester whose actions shut down the Underground and was likewise acquitted.  

She is instructed in several high profile ongoing matters, including animal rights matters investigated by the Met Terrorism Unit and several Palestine Action matters where joint enterprise is alleged.

Notable Cases

R v SM, Reading Crown Court (2022):  Representing animal rights activist charged with conspiracy.

R v EB, Chester Crown Court (2022): Representing defendant charged with Criminal damage under joint enterprise where it is alleged that direct action caused damage of £4 million. 

R v EA, Snaresbrook Crown Court (2022): Representing defendant charged with Blackmail, Conspiracy to commit burglary, and Conspiracy to commit criminal damage, following participation in direct action.

R v DP, Margate Magistrates’ Court (2021): Hunt saboteur acquitted of Aggravated trespass after submission of no case to answer.

R v AG, Inner London Crown Court (2021) – XR protester acquitted of Obstructing an Engine or Carriage Using a Railway, after shutdown of Stratford Underground.

R v NS, Chelmsford Crown Court (2018): Represented one of the Stansted 15, charged with violating the Aviation and Maritime Security Act. Conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal, in a ruling that found there was no case to answer.

R v MG, Reading Magistrates’ Court (2017): Successfully challenged the lawfulness of a Section 60AA Order, defendant acquitted of Refusing to remove face covering.

R v BW, Cardiff Crown Court (2017): Appeal allowed where protester at Weapons Fair was intervening to protect another protester from a PC using excessive force. 

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Notable Cases & News

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

XR protestor acquitted following Tube shut down

Susan Wright of the Garden Court Protest Team represented the protestor, instructed by Lydia Dagostino of Kellys Solicitors.

12 May 2021

Youth acquitted of firearm conspiracy

Susan Wright was led by Lucie Wibberley, both of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team, instructed by Sandra Riordan of Powell Spencer & Partners.

2 July 2019

Solicitor’s conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal

Susan Wright was led by Clare Wade QC, both of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team.

10 December 2018

Court of Appeal reduces 7 year default sentence to 4 years

The appellant was represented by Susan Wright, instructed by James O'Hara of Imran Khan & Partners.

4 December 2017

Woman suffering from ‘Battered Person Syndrome’ and post-traumatic stress disorder acquitted of child cruelty

Di Middleton QC and Susan Bryant of Garden Court Chambers represented the defendant.

30 May 2017

Drones and the law: Susan Bryant on BBC Radio 4’s Law in Action

Susan Bryant is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team.

16 March 2016

Teacher will not face ban after ‘Trojan Horse’ charges

The teacher was represented by Susan Bryant of Garden Court Chambers.

29 February 2016

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Training and Seminars


  • Fulbright Professor, University of Sarajevo Law School
  • Marquand Endowed Prize
  • Harvard University Merit Scholar
  • Howard University Merit Scholar


  • Harvard University (Master's)
  • Howard University (Juris Doctor)
  • Muhlenberg College (First degree)


  • French
  • Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian

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