Consistently ranked in the Directories and picked by Legal Week as one of the most promising juniors at the Bar, Helen has a broad criminal, civil and public law practice, with a focus on criminal justice and human rights.
Helen prosecutes and defends in criminal matters, both on her own and as a junior. In addition to her trial work, she has been instructed in criminal cases before the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, Privy Council and European Court of Human Rights. She is a Grade 2 prosecutor. Her notable cases include R v Lord Taylor (in which she appeared alone for the Crown) and R v Lord Hanningfield (where she was led by Clare Montgomery QC), in relation to House of Lords’ expenses claims, and FSA v Swallow with Matthew Ryder QC, one of The Lawyer’s Top Cases of 2012, concerning inside dealing. She regularly undertakes criminal justice related public law matters, with a particular expertise in challenges to decisions not to prosecute and the scope of the ECHR positive obligations in criminal investigations.
Helen has a broad public law, human rights and public international law practice with experience in a range of forums. Her notable recent cases include: AKJ & Ors v Metropolitan Police & Ors, in the High Court, concerning the legality of undercover police officers having sexual relationships with surveillance targets; C.N v UK, in the European Court of Human Rights, concerning the first finding of a violation by the UK of Article 4 for a failure to criminalise forced labour, with Helen Mountfield QC; Croatia v Serbia in the International Court of Justice concerning a claim under the Genocide Convention, with Philippe Sands QC, James Crawford QC and Kate Cook; and with Tim Owen QC, she also represented the appellant in Zatuliveter v Secretary of State for the Home Department, the first espionage case to be heard by SIAC.
Helen has a strong interest in prison law, public inquiries and police law. She was junior counsel for the Public Prosecution Service in the Robert Hamill Inquiry in Northern Ireland and her recent cases in the prison law field include R (Shaheen) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and R (Botmeh & Alami) v Parole Board. She is regularly instructed in civil claims against the police, including assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, discrimination, misfeasance and breaches of the Human Rights Act at all stages from advice to trial, with particular expertise in obtaining disclosure of unsubstantiated complaints against police officers.
Helen accepts instructions under the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.
Legal 500 describes Helen as “Outstanding on her feet.” “A skilled cross-examiner with the ability to construct a very persuasive legal argument.”
Chambers & Partners 2016 writes that “She’s one of the top barristers for this work.” “She’s extremely capable and will really go into the facts. She is extremely good with clients, approachable and personable.” “She is bright, pragmatic and good with clients.”