Lincoln House Chambers Wed, 20 Sep 2017 08:30:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Kate Blackwell QC – Crown Court decision upheld in the Court of Appeal Wed, 20 Sep 2017 08:30:05 +0000 Read more]]> On 15th September, the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier decision of the Crown Court at Chester to stay proceedings against a health care professional facing allegations of sexual assault. Kate Blackwell QC, instructed by Matthew Claughton of Olliers Solicitors, represented the defendant.

The allegations brought were dated back to 2015. Despite repeated requests for material that would assist the defence (and the matter being listed for two disclosure hearings) the Crown disregarded their own undertakings and ignored Court orders.

In the face of expert evidence obtained by the Crown very late in proceedings, one of the two charges against the defendant was dropped. With this in mind, the defence made a number of requests of the Crown to consider whether there remained a realistic prospect of conviction.

Unused material that the prosecution had possessed for a number of months was eventually made available to the defence on the day of trial. A last minute statement was obtained from the complainant. The trial was adjourned with further orders for disclosure to be made.

The Crown ultimately failed to comply with the orders. In May 2017, the defence listed the matter for an abuse of process application. The proceedings against the defendant were stayed following a hearing before the Crown Court.

The Crown appealed the decision of the Crown Court Judge and on 15th September, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal with issue of costs to be determined.

To instruct Kate Blackwell QC, or for further information, please contact Director of Clerking, David Wright.

LIAR? Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:12:22 +0000 Read more]]> Liar, ITV’s new 6-part drama, is gripping the nation, with people already reaching conclusions as to whether Laura, played by Downton Abbey actress Joanne Froggatt, is telling the truth when she accuses surgeon Andrew of raping her.

For most of us, this is highly watchable drama as we change our view on whom we believe; our perceptions changed over time by the sophisticated script and device plots.

It is no surprise that some people have formed an opinion already, and recent research demonstrated that some jurors might reach a guilty verdict before even deliberating with other jurors.

However, we know that people are capable of changing their minds, just as you might when the plot of Liar unfolds.

It is vital therefore that a strong case is advanced from the start, laying a solid foundation for a successful defence.

Our Role

For our clients and their families, facing an accusation of rape or other sexual crime is a frightening and bewildering experience. So, what is our role and how do we defend such cases?

Reactive and Proactive

For cases of this type, our barristers will almost always work with a solicitor, advising at all stages what work needs to be done, and are always on hand to offer advice.

We start with a reactive approach. The complainant states they were drunk, our client states they were sober. They entered the bedroom uninvited says the complainant, I was invited in says our client, and so on.

We gather a sound knowledge of the facts of the case with this important work, but we do not have the benefit of the incident in question playing before us on a TV screen, with the truth revealed at the end.

We have only the competing versions, and it might feel as if it is simply one word against another, and often it is unless you seek further evidence.

It is a proactive approach to case preparation which makes a difference. We always ensure that:

  • All relevant witnesses traced
  • Any CTTV evidence secured.
  • Forensic evidence analysed.
  • Background checks completed.
  • Details of false allegations pursued.

and even, as alluded to already in Liar, any psychiatric issues are explored.

With the groundwork laid, our barristers can then meticulously plan the advocacy strategy and guide you through what can be a long and arduous experience at court.

We fully understand the personal toll legal proceedings will take on you and your family, and offer a compassionate and reassuring voice at a time when the future may at times appear very dark.

Our Services

The members of Lincoln House Chambers have many decades of experience in defending cases of this type. We have been involved in some of the most high profile sexual offence cases over recent years and have barristers who are nationally recognised for their expertise in this area.

Many of our barristers also prosecute cases, or have a history of prosecution work, which gives them a unique insight as they know the case from both sides, allowing them to anticipate and plan for all eventualities.

It is your right to choose a barrister. If you don’t currently have a solicitor, then get in touch so that we can recommend people who regularly instruct us, people who we trust to prepare your case properly and work with us to achieve the best possible outcome. If you already have a solicitor, then do make sure you are happy with the barrister instructed. If not, then discuss this further with them – without delay.

We do not offer a ‘Direct Public Access’ service for such cases. We find that the extensive preparation required can only be fulfilled when an experienced solicitor is instructed. If you are ineligible for legal aid, or you want a higher level of representation than that offered on legal aid, for example a barrister who is Queen’s Counsel (Q.C.) or a senior junior barrister who specialises in this area, then this is also something that we can arrange.

Many of our specialist barristers are instructed at the very earliest stage. Quite often before charges are brought or before the prosecution have made decisions as to how to progress the case. We have found this service to be of significant value, both in avoiding prosecution altogether and also in preparing the case and deciding on tactics to be employed from the very earliest opportunity.

Contact David Wright on 0161 832 5701 to discuss the services that we can offer, or

Gang Jailed For 168 years for Abdul Hafidah Murder Fri, 15 Sep 2017 13:37:10 +0000 Read more]]> Ten men and a 14-year old boy have been jailed for a combined total of 168 years following convictions arising out of the gangland killing of the boyhood friend of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi.

On 14th September, at Manchester Crown Court, Mr Justice Openshaw sentenced the defendants who were all associates of a Moss Side gang for offences including murder and manslaughter. Delroy Wright was represented by Andrew Jefferies QC and Tim Storrie for Craig Liversidge at Forbes Solicitors; Devonte Cantrill was represented by Simon Csoka QC and Andrew Nuttall for Damian Wall at Burton Copeland; Peter Wright QC represented the unnamed defendant for Matthew Corn at Olliers Solicitors; John Harrison QC and Richard Simons represented Durrell Goodall for Robert Mann at Draycott Browne Solicitors. To read more, follow the links to:

Simon Gurney and Clyde & Co secure termination of GMC investigation into Consultant gynaecologist at Rule 7 Stage Fri, 15 Sep 2017 08:58:18 +0000 Read more]]> “The positive outcome was only made possible by Mr Gurney’s wide experience in dealing with similar professional regulatory cases. His ability to grasp details, his tactful approach and his compelling arguments are outstanding. He is very approachable and I was able to contact him at any time, including the weekends. I strongly recommend him for anyone in a similar unfortunate situation.”

Those are the words of Dr S, a senior Consultant specialising in gynaecology who found herself under investigation by the GMC. She was represented by Simon Gurney, instructed by Clyde & Co.

The GMC investigated Dr S’s fitness to practise after concerns were raised about her management of a clinical case at a private hospital. An expert instructed by the GMC made serious criticisms of Dr S, as a result of which a number of allegations were raised against her, including the allegation that she had attempted a surgical procedure beyond her skills and competence and without obtaining informed consent.

Dr S was summoned before an Interim Orders Tribunal. At that stage she sought advice and assistance from Simon, a barrister experienced in healthcare regulation and with a strong track record in avoiding the imposition of interim orders.

Simon successfully persuaded the Tribunal not to make any order, meaning that Dr S was free to continue to practise whilst the GMC completed its investigation.

Dr S then sought Simon’s assistance in responding to the GMC’s investigation, having received the Rule 7 bundle, which includes a formal request for a Doctor’s response to the allegations against them.

Simon assisted Dr S to prepare a comprehensive statement in response. Dr S accepted some of the criticisms made by the GMC’s expert, but denied the most serious criticisms concerning her competence. The response sought to persuade the GMC’s Case Examiners that there was no realistic prospect of establishing that her fitness to practise was impaired.

The GMC recently wrote to Dr S confirming that the Case Examiners had decided, in the light of the representations, to close the investigation with only a few words of advice.

Simon Gurney specialises in healthcare regulation, representing professionals at all stages of the fitness to practise process, whether at the earliest stages of an investigation, during the interim orders and fitness to practise hearings themselves or in appeal proceedings. Should you required advice or representation please contact David Wright, the Senior Clerk in Chambers on 0161 832 5701 or at

Matthew Howarth Successfully Secures Appeal to the First Tier Tribunal Wed, 13 Sep 2017 15:47:02 +0000 Read more]]> On 8th August 2017, Mr Howarth successfully appealed a refusal by the Home Office to grant refugee and humanitarian protection for an Asylum Seeker from Ethiopia.

As with the majority of Asylum cases, it usually falls upon the credibility of the Appellant when giving their evidence.  In this case, Mr Howarth was able to navigate a number of useful documents on behalf of an Asylum Seeker during examination. The Appellant in this case was active with a party that opposed the current government of Ethiopia.

The Appellant was able to show, through expert evidence, that he was indeed linked to a political organization he felt strongly about due to the archaic Ethiopian government regime.  Mr Howarth was able to bring the Court’s attention to a number of authorities and guidance notes demonstrating that an individual such as the Appellant was at a grave risk upon return. A skeleton argument in this case assisted the court.

It is useful in these cases to seek expert evidence, as it can be a deciding factor when representing an individual in the First Tier Tribunal. Anything that can support an Asylum Seeker to demonstrate their nationality, or indeed any risk they face, will assist the court in reviewing their case.

Mr Howarth accepts a wide range of immigration cases and it is something he feels passionate about following his international ProBono work with Baker & McKenzie.

Simon Gurney successful in avoiding erasure for Doctor who admitted serious dishonesty Mon, 04 Sep 2017 10:16:12 +0000 Read more]]> Dr C, a junior doctor, was referred by the GMC to a Medical Practitioners Tribunal after an investigation lasting over 2 years. He was referred to the Tribunal because of dishonesty in relation to his employment and the taking of leave. Not only was he dishonest in obtaining his leave, he also lied in seeking to cover up his original deception and, perhaps most seriously, in his Rule 7 Response to the GMC, which he submitted without the benefit of legal advice.

Soon after his referral to the Tribunal, Dr C sought advice from Simon Gurney on a direct access basis. Simon advised Dr C, assisted him in the preparation of his case and represented him at his Tribunal hearing in Manchester.

Soon after receiving advice from Simon, Dr C admitted the full extent of his dishonesty, including the dishonesty in his Rule 7 Response. That change of approach led to Dr C making full admissions to the facts alleged before the Tribunal and to admitting that his fitness to practise was impaired.

Ultimately, Simon was able to persuade the Tribunal that the reflections, insight and remorse shown by Dr C meant that it was not necessary to erase him, in spite of his serious dishonesty.

The Tribunal concluded his case with a 2 month suspension, without any review hearing being required.

Following the conclusion of his case, Dr C said:

“…his knowledge of the regulatory system of the GMC was clearly excellent…” 

“…he displayed great client care by responding promptly to my e-mails seeking advice, which was reassuring at what was a worrying and difficult time…” 

“Mr. Gurney was an extremely well prepared advocate ensuring that all relevant points were drawn to the Panel’s attention”

“I would highly recommend Mr. Gurney to fellow Practitioners who find themselves in the unfortunate position I have”

Dr C was supported throughout the hearing by a friend who was also a Partner in a firm of Solicitors. She said:

“…I found Simon to be an excellent Barrister, clearly extremely knowledgeable, a calming presence, and tenacious advocate. He was always approachable, and his advice direct and easily digestible. I had the utmost confidence in his representation, as did my friend, and, given the opportunity, I would not hesitate in instructing him in any of his practice areas.”

Simon is a barrister who specialises in the law concerning professional discipline and regulation.

He has experience representing police officers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers and other professionals before their regulatory tribunals and the higher courts. He is an experienced ‘direct access’ barrister, meaning he can accept instructions from a client without the need for a solicitor. He is also able, where necessary, to recommend experienced solicitors for clients who require assistance with litigation.

If you find yourself in need of advice or representation concerning such matters, please contact David Wright in Chambers on 0161 832 5701 or who will be able to discuss your needs and instruct Simon accordingly.

Simon Csoka QC Secures Complete Acquittal in Contract Killing Shooting Thu, 24 Aug 2017 11:09:57 +0000 Read more]]> Faisal Al-Badri was accused of travelling from Manchester to carry out a contract killing of a West Yorkshire drug dealer. He was also charged with two further robberies at gun point. He was acquitted by the jury on all counts at Leeds Crown Court. The successful defence included detailed submissions to exclude SMS messages obtained from Lyca Mobile’s servers as opposed to from hand sets. The application was allowed and the texts were excluded on the basis that they could be interpreted as RIPA intercepts. Mr Csoka QC led Mr Andrew Dallas of Park Square Barristers, Leeds, and was instructed by Mr Arshad Ali of Ali & Co. Leeds.

All enquiries in relation to Simon’s work and availability to accept instructions should be made to the Director of Clerking, David Wright.

View Simon’s full profile here.

Ellen Shaw and Matthew Howarth successfully defend an application for costs by the Crown Mon, 21 Aug 2017 14:05:08 +0000 Read more]]> Following a withdrawal on an appeal against conviction, the Prosecution sought costs from two Defendants’ at Manchester Crown Court on the basis that work had been undertaken by the Crown despite a withdrawal of the appeal ten days before the hearing date.

In this case, the Crown had not complied with the CrimPr 45 and had not made a formal application for costs. Therefore, they had not adequately put the Defence on notice of what amount was being sought. Ms Shaw made the point that due to lack of compliance, the case should be dismissed.

Mr Howarth addressed the court on the merits of the application. In doing so, the submission was made that the court has a discretion to award costs and it should have not been exercised were adequate notice of a withdrawal had been made, meaning less work conducted by the Prosecution. In the alternative, the court could reduce the reward so that it was ‘just and reasonable’ to reflect the means of the Defendants.

The Judge was persuaded by both Counsel and addressed the merits of the application despite lack of compliance; in doing so, he refused the Crown’s application for costs.

Both Ms Shaw and Mr Howarth conduct a wide range of matters relating to costs in the Crown and the Magistrates Court. Should you have any queries or CPD requirements, please contact a member of the clerking team.

Chambers is delighted to announce the tenancy of Matthew Howarth Mon, 14 Aug 2017 09:08:45 +0000 Read more]]> After the successful completion of his pupillage, conducted under the supervision of Alexander Leach, Matthew Howarth officially joins Lincoln House Chambers as a tenant.

Since joining in August 2016, Matthew has developed his area practise working on a number of cases spanning criminal, civil and immigration law.

David Wright, Director of Clerking, commented “Matthew has impressed us since we very first met him. We were delighted when he accepted pupillage and the decision to offer him a tenancy was a very easy one.

His background is such that he came to use with instant ability across a number of practice areas and he has shown us during his pupillage that he goes the extra mile to ensure a work of the highest quality. We are very excited about Matthew’s future with us.”

All enquiries in relation to Matthew’s work and availability to accept instructions should be directed to a member of the clerking team.

View Matthew’s full profile here.

Lara McCaffrey and Morgan Brown Solicitors secure acquittal in Juvenile USI case Fri, 11 Aug 2017 09:07:56 +0000 Read more]]> Lara was instructed to represent a seventeen-year old youth who had pleaded guilty to rape of a child under thirteen. He now faced a further contested charge of sexual activity with a girl aged fourteen. It was alleged that he had engaged in penetrative sex with the complainant knowing she was underage and after an extensive period of ‘grooming’ through mobile telephone contact. The Crown’s position was that they had known each other for some three years and attended the same school.

At trial, Lara successfully excluded evidence of the defendant’s previous conviction for rape. His mobile telephone had been seized by the police on arrest. Lara obtained the full communications download from this phone which was then used to highlight inconsistencies in the Crown’s case.

When cross-examined by Lara over the live link, the complainant conceded that she had never explicitly told the defendant her age. She further accepted that all of their social interaction had taken place outside school when she was not in uniform.

Lara made closing submissions advancing the defence of reasonable belief that the complainant was aged 16 or over. The defendant was found not guilty of the charge.

Lara was instructed by Lyndsey Brown of Morgan Brown & Co Solicitors.

To instruct Lara, please contact a member of the clerking team. View Lara’s full profile here.