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. Alongside trial work, she regularly advises at the investigatory stage and has appeared in criminal cases before the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, Privy Council and European Court of Human Rights. She has particular expertise in fraud, corruption, money laundering and financial crime. She has advised on and appeared in private prosecutions, both for the prosecution and defence. Her current instructions include: advising private clients and major banks on issues arising from several SFO investigations, including FX and LIBOR; junior counsel (led by Clare Montgomery QC) for a defendant in an 8 week fraud and corruption trial; sole counsel for the first defendant in a 6 week fraud trial; junior counsel (led by Tim Owen QC) for three appellants in their appeals against conviction in a case concerning allegations of corruption by SOCA.
Her notable earlier cases include: sole prosecution counsel in R v Lord Taylor, the first trial in connection with the parliamentary expenses counsel; junior counsel (led by Clare Montgomery QC) in R v Lord Hanningfield, and in the interlocutory appeal concerning the ambit of parliamentary privilege; junior counsel for the defence (led by Matthew Ryder QC) in an insider dealing case singled out as one of The Lawyer’s top cases of 2012; and sole prosecution counsel in the first case under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 for the abuse of the UK’s last circus elephant.
Helen’s civil and public law practice is focussed on claims against the state in the context of criminal justice or national security. She has appeared in claims at all levels of the domestic courts, as well as in the European Court of Human Rights and the International Court of Justice.
Helen is regularly instructed in criminal justice related public law matters, including challenges to decisions not to prosecute and claims concerning the application of human rights law in the criminal context. Her current instructions include: acting (led by Clare Montgomery QC) for two individuals subjected to extraordinary rendition to Libya in a challenge to the DPP’s decision not to prosecute a senior member of MI6 for his alleged involvement; acting (led by Dan Squires QC) for individuals challenging the decision to nominate them for inclusion on the UN financial sanctions list; successfully challenging the caution administered to a man detained using a spit hood by the British Transport Police at London Bridge station. Her notable earlier cases include acting (led by Helen Mountfield QC) in the first Strasbourg case to find a violation of the UK’s obligations under Article 4 for a failure to criminalise forced labour, and in an interstate claim under the Genocide Convention in the International Court of Justice (with Philippe Sands QC, James Crawford QC and Kate Cook).
Helen is experienced in claims with a national security context, concerning the intelligence services or undercover policing, and is familiar with closed material procedures under the Justice and Security Act 2013. She is currently instructed (with Danny Friedman QC and Dan Squires QC) for several Libyan claimants in connection with their alleged mistreatment in this country and abroad by the UK intelligence services in conjunction with foreign intelligence agencies. She has experience of proceedings before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal and in SIAC, including having acted (led by Tim Owen QC) for a young Russian woman accused of espionage in the only such case to be heard by SIAC. She was junior counsel (led by Richard Hermer QC) in the first trial against the Ministry of Defence arising out of the alleged detention and mistreatment of Iraqi civilians during the war.
Helen has extensive experience of claims against the police and other investigatory or prosecutorial bodies, including against SOCA and the CPS. She is regularly instructed in cases concerning serious police failings, including those leading to death or serious injury, and has experience of claims under the HRA, the Equality Act, the Data Protection Act and for misfeasance and malicious prosecution. She acts both for the victims of crime and for those accused of involvement in criminal offences. Her recent and current instructions in this area include: junior counsel (led by Karon Monaghan QC) for interveners before the Supreme Court in DSD v Commissioner of the Metropolis, concerning the nature and scope of the Art 3 investigative duty; and acting for individuals and families subjected to or bereaved by domestic violence in their claims for breaches of the investigative and protective duties by their local police forces. Helen regularly represents individuals at mediations and in settlement negotiations, as well as at trial.
Helen is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to my clients, including advice and representation services, Helen needs to collect and hold personal data. This includes her client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the matter upon which she is instructed. To read Helen’s privacy notice in full, please see here.
Helen is regulated by the Bar Standards Board and accepts instructions under Standard Contractual Terms. To find out more information on this and the way we work at Matrix, including our fee transparency statement, please see our see our service standards.
Chambers & Partners 2019 describe Helen as “tenacious and very bright. She is keen to take on challenging cases and push at the boundaries of the law where appropriate” “She is persuasive, determined and gets excellent results.” “Fantastic with clients, a real fighter and someone who is willing to push the boundaries of law. She adopts a sensible litigation strategy and is good at punching down the other side and identifying the pressure points in an opponent’s case.”
Legal 500, 2018 write that she is “A dream junior… Very professional and responsive. A joy to work with.”
Chambers & Partners 2017 describes Helen as “Fine junior with a varied caseload consisting of public, civil and criminal law.” “An extremely thorough advocate and a brilliant tactician.” “She is fantastic on the advice side and with clients, and is also excellent on her feet”.
Legal 500 calls her “A formidable trial advocate.” “Outstanding on her feet.” “A skilled cross-examiner with the ability to construct a very persuasive legal argument.”