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Joanna has a practice spanning criminal, public, civil and international law, specialising in the crossovers between those fields. She is ranked as ‘up and coming’ in criminal law by Chambers & Partners.

Criminal and extradition law

Joanna has undertaken a wide range of criminal work in the Magistrates’ and Crown court. Recent cases include a successful appeal to the Divisional Court, by way of case stated, against the convictions of five protestors opposed to the use of nuclear weapons.

She has extensive experience in witness handling and managing document heavy, complex cases. She is currently instructed (led by Danny Friedman QC) in a trial for conspiracy to blackmail, listed for February 2018. Other cases include:

  • Defence counsel (led by Alison Pople QC), in a trial for conspiracy to insider deal following the Financial Conduct Authority’s largest investigation, Operation Tabernula.
  • Representing Andrew Coulson (led by Timothy Langdale QC and Alison Pople QC), former editor of the News of the World, during his trial at the Old Bailey and subsequent criminal proceedings against him in Scotland.

Joanna has advised on issues involving regulatory authorities, including:

  • Advising the Competition and Markets Authority in relation to a criminal investigation into suspected cartel activity in the supply of products to the construction industry.
  • Advising a FTSE 100 company on sentencing for corporate offenders and deferred prosecution agreements.
  • Advising an international company on the Serious Fraud Office’s powers of investigation and related issues

Joanna also has experience in extradition law. Among other cases, she represented Antonio Troitiño (led by Mark Summers QC) following an extradition request from the Spanish authorities.


Joanna has acted for witnesses and family members in inquest proceedings. She recently represented a family during a two-week inquest following a death in custody and is instructed to represent a family in a forthcoming inquest concerning a death in custody.

Civil and public law

Joanna undertakes a variety of public law and civil law work, including judicial review, claims for breach of contract, civil damages and actions against the police. She has particular expertise in cases involving criminal justice matters. Her experience includes:

  • Judicially reviewing the Parole Board concerning refusals to grant oral hearings, direct release or recommend transfer to open conditions.
  • Acting for the parents of a child before the First-Tier Tribunal following the refusal to issue an Education Health and Care Plan.
  • Advising on a claim for civil damages (led by Hugh Tomlinson QC) following arrest and the execution of search warrants in company and residential properties.
  • Representing Lindsay Sandiford (led by Aidan O’Neill QC and Adam Straw) in judicial review proceedings against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office arising out of the application of, inter alia, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
  • Advising the Badger Trust on a request for information under the Environmental Information Regulations.

Joanna has been appointed to the panel of counsel for the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Sports law

Joanna acts as an assistant to Raj Parker, Arbitrator to the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT). In that role, she has experience of contractual and agency disputes arising in different jurisdictions.

International law and experience

Joanna has substantial experience in the area of international law and in cases with an international dimension. She is currently working with Professor Sean Murphy, a member of the International Law Commission with responsibility for drafting a Convention on Crimes against Humanity. She attended the ILC as Professor Murphy’s legal assistant in July 2016 and May 2017.

Recent experience includes:

  • Participating as a Delegate with the International Bar Association’s fact-finding mission to Azerbaijan examining the right to a fair trial in freedom of expression cases.
  • Acting as the Rapporteur for the International Bar Association’s scoping mission to Egypt.
  • Working on the criminal defence of Al-Amin Kimathi, a Kenyan human rights activist detained in Uganda.
  • Conducting legal research in Phnom Penh on behalf of the victims of the Khmer Rouge’s policy of forced marriage, admitted as civil parties to the war crimes tribunal in Cambodia.
  • Conducting research for the International Bar Association on international war crimes tribunals and UK counter-terrorism legislation.

Other experience

Prior to joining the Bar, Joanna worked as an information analyst with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and as a political adviser to the Special Representative of the European Union in Afghanistan. Based in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2009, Joanna provided policy advice and analysis in the areas of good governance and the rule of law, specifically on the reform of the Afghan National Police. She has conducted research for the Brookings Institution and The World Bank. Joanna continues to be involved in policy issues concerning the rule of law in the international arena and is listed as a Deployable Civilian Expert with the UK Government’s Stabilisation Unit.

Qualifications and awards

Joanna has a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) from Oxford University and a Masters, with Honours, in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, USA. Joanna gained Distinction in the Graduate Diploma in Law in 2010. She was awarded The Denise Pannick Award and the Churchill Scholarship by The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, a Phoenicia scholarship by the Bar European Group and a Pegasus Scholarship by the Pegasus Scholarship Trust.


English (native) and French (proficient).

Privacy Notice

Joanna is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to her clients, including advice and representation services, she 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 Joanna’s privacy notice in full, please see here.

Joanna 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.


“Super bright, so clever, efficient and fantastic to work with.” (Chambers & Partners 2017)

“She’s very bright and is going to be a complete star.” (Chambers & Partners 2017)

“…very intelligent, works extremely hard and has got very good judgement.” (Chambers & Partners 2016)

“…an absolute superstar in the making.” (Chambers & Partners 2016)