Marianne Alton

Call To The Bar: 2014


Marianne practices in criminal law, prison law, regulatory law, civil law and immigration law.

Marianne joined Chambers as a tenant after successfully completing her pupillage under the supervision of Tim Storrie. She has experience in case preparation, drafting, and in providing advice in a series of significant pieces of criminal and regulatory litigation. She has also worked alongside senior counsel in the preparation of applications and arguments in the course of a number of high-profile trials.


Marianne undertakes a wide range of criminal defence and prosecution work including violence, dishonesty, drugs, public disorder, sexual offences, animal welfare, driving, regulatory offences and confiscation proceedings. She receives instructions in the Crown Court, Youth Court and Magistrates Court.

Marianne regularly prepares and presents legal applications and arguments, such as dismissal, disclosure, abuse of process, applications to exclude evidence and submissions of no case to answer.

Marianne is a level 1 prosecutor and accepts all instructions on behalf of the Crown. Marianne also acts in private prosecutions including prosecutions relating to the unauthorised use of trade marks.

Recent Cases:

R v JW – Led junior in a two-week attempted murder trial at Preston Crown Court.

R v MM – Secured an acquittal in relation to an allegation of violent disorder after a three-day trial at Southwark Crown Court. Prior to the trial, Marianne successfully applied under section 78 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 to exclude the statement of a Police Officer purporting to identify the defendant.

R v YH – Secured an acquittal in relation to an allegation of section 47 assault after a three-day trial at Preston Crown Court.

 R v PW – Secured an acquittal in relation to an allegation of section 47 assault after a four-day trial at Preston Crown Court. The defence contended that the injuries sustained by the complainant were self-inflicted.

R v KM – Secured an acquittal for a youth charged with a knife-point robbery and criminal damage. The trial centered on evidence of recognition given by two complainants and a police officer and included cross examining the police officer in relation to breaches of the PACE codes of practice.

 R v JK – Led Junior for the defence in a Trading Standards prosecution concerning the unauthorised use of trademarks at Preston Crown Court.

 RSPCA v JK – Following submissions on abuse of process, Marianne secured a stay of proceedings relating to an offence of fraud on the grounds that the prosecution amounted to an abuse of the process of the court.

 R v RW and HP – Represented the defendants in relation to allegations of assaulting a police officer. Drafted legal submissions on behalf of both defendants contending that the officers concerned were acting outside the lawful execution of their duty. The Crown discontinued the charges.

 Royal Mail v MH and ER – Successfully prosecuted two defendants charged with handling stolen goods over the course of a two-day trial.

R v AN – Successful submission of no case to answer in relation to an allegation of harassment on the basis that the behaviour described by the complainant did not amount to harassment

 R v SR – Represented a youth at his ground rules hearing and trial in relation to an allegation of sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 16.

 R v PC – Instructed for confiscation proceedings on behalf of the defendant. The case resolved on the basis that the recoverable amount was nil and the benefit figure was a third of the figure originally advanced by the Crown.

R v JR – Successfully advanced an “exceptional hardship” argument, resulting in the Magistrates deciding not to disqualify the defendant from driving.

Prison Law

Marianne represents prisoners at Parole Board hearings including cases relating to post tariff lifer and IPP reviews. Many of her cases have included questioning expert psychologists.


Marianne acts regularly in all areas of personal injury work; both through the provision of advices on quantum and at court hearings. Marianne undertakes work for both claimants and defendants at small claim and fast track hearings, infant settlement hearings and MOJ Stage 3 hearings. She has acted in fast track cases relating to road traffic accidents, public liability, occupier’s liability and employer liability claims.


Marianne accepts instructions before the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) and the Upper Tribunal. Marianne has particular experience in cases involving human rights arguments.

Recent cases:

NA v ECO – Appeared before the Upper Tribunal on behalf of a mother applying to join her minor children in the United Kingdom. The Upper Tribunal allowed the appeal under Article 8 of the Convention.

Experience Prior to the Bar

After graduating from the University of Oxford with a degree in Philosophy and Theology, Marianne completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Bar Professional Training Course through the University of Law and was awarded a first class LLB.

During her studies, Marianne received a number of scholarships and awards including an Exhibition from Pembroke College, Oxford and the Hardwicke Entrance Award, Lord Denning major scholarship and the Sunley scholarship from Lincoln’s Inn.

Gaining experience prior to the Bar, Marianne has been involved in a number of projects that have helped develop her skills with a wide variety of people from different backgrounds, including vulnerable people. This included spending a full-time, fully funded gap year working in a homeless centre in Salford. These experiences have made Marianne extremely good at dealing with a large range of clients.

In 2014, Marianne was awarded a Kalisher Trust scholarship which enabled her to spend 6 months working on a capital mitigation project in Uganda. The project assisted those convicted of capital crimes at the sentencing stage as well as on appeal. All of the cases with which she dealt were extremely serious in nature, being either murder or aggravated robbery cases.

Marianne continues to be involved with the project on a pro bono basis and is a trustee of a charity which has assisted hundreds of prisoners on death row in Uganda. Marianne’s recent pro bono work has included helping to draft submissions to the Supreme Court of Uganda in a landmark application which led to the applicant’s death sentence being quashed.