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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 in Criminal law by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, in Public and Administrative law by Legal 500 and in Criminal fraud by Who’s Who Legal.

Criminal and extradition law

Joanna has undertaken a wide range of criminal work in the Magistrates’ and Crown court.

She has extensive experience in witness handling and managing document heavy, complex cases. Notable cases include:

  • Defence counsel (led by Danny Friedman QC), in a trial for conspiracy to blackmail.
  • Sole counsel on a successful appeal to the Divisional Court, by way of case stated, against the convictions of five protesters opposed to the use of nuclear weapons.
  • 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 extensive expertise in criminal appellate work, having recently been instructed on four criminal appeals from the Commonwealth states to the Privy Council, including representing the current Prime Minister of Mauritius (led by Clare Montgomery QC) in R v Jugnauth [2019] UKPC 8. She regularly represents prisoners in death penalty cases. She has also successfully appealed to the Divisional Court by way of case stated.

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 wide-ranging experience in extradition law, advising high-profile persons subject to extradition warrants including Antonio Troitiño (led by Mark Summers QC).

Civil and public law

Joanna undertakes a variety of public law and civil law work, including judicial review, civil damages and actions against the police. She has particular expertise in cases involving criminal justice matters and civil liberties.

Joanna is a member of the Attorney General’s C panel of counsel and has been appointed to the panel of counsel for the Independent Office of Police Complaints.

Joanna is currently instructed in high-profile litigation concerning the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute undercover police officers who formed relationships with members of the public. She has also been involved in the first three challenges to the use and enforcement of the counter-terrorism measure, Temporary Exclusion Orders (TEOs), in the UK (led by Dan Squires QC).

Other relevant experience includes:

  • Judicially reviewing the Metropolitan Police Service following the execution of search warrants (led by Mark Summers QC).
  • Acting as sole counsel judicially reviewing the Parole Board concerning refusals to grant oral hearings, direct release or recommend transfer to open conditions.
  • Acting as sole counsel on a substantial claim for civil damages following the collapse of criminal proceedings.
  • 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.
  • Judicially reviewing the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (led by Aidan O’Neill QC and Adam Straw) in relation to its obligations to assist British citizens on death row outside the UK.


Joanna has acted for witnesses and family members in inquest proceedings, primarily following deaths in custody, and subsequent civil proceedings for damages. She recently represented a family during a two-week inquest following a death in custody.


Joanna has extensive experience of arbitration, in the sporting, commercial and international context. She was instructed in a long-running LCIA commercial arbitration that was heard in March 2019.

Joanna has also acted 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.

From 2016, she was part of the team working with Professor Sean Murphy, a member of the International Law Commission and Special Rapporteur on Crimes against Humanity, with responsibility for proposing draft articles for a Convention on Crimes against Humanity. The International Law Commission approved the draft articles and accompanying commentaries in July 2019.

Other relevant experience includes:

  • Recently advising a NGO (with Richard Hermer QC and Eleanor Mitchell) on the legal issues raised by the Ministry of Defence’s proposals to introduce legal protections for armed forces personnel.
  • 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. In 2017, Joanna was invited by the Belgium representation to the EU to speak at a seminar on lessons learned from the EU’s role in Afghanistan.

Education and qualifications

Bar Professional Training Course, City University.

Graduate Diploma in Law, City University (Distinction).

Master of Arts, International Relations, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University (Honours).

Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE), Oxford University.

Scholarships and awards

Open Exhibition, Brasenose College, Oxford University, 2003.

Denise Pannick Award, Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, 2010.

Churchill Scholarship. Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, 2011.

Phoenicia Scholarship, Bar European Group, 2012.

Pegasus Scholarship, Pegasus Scholarship Trust, 2016.

International Continuous Professional Development and Legal Practice Development Grant, General Council of the Bar, 2016.


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.


“Highly intelligent and capable, and a very, very hard worker.” (Chambers & Partners 2020)

“An exceptional junior with skills across commercial, civil and public law.” (Legal 500 2019)

“An exceptional junior with skills across criminal and public law.” (Legal 500 2019)

“A perfectionist – she is incredibly hardworking and thorough.” (Legal 500 2018)

“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)