Lisa enjoys a thriving defence practice, both as a led junior and junior alone. Renowned for her fearlessness in court and friendliness outside the court room, she is highly valued by lay and professional clients alike. Lisa receives instructions in cases covering all aspects of the criminal law, including murder, manslaughter, armed robbery, GBH, child cruelty, serious sexual assaults, multi-handed drug conspiracies and frauds. She also receives private instructions. She relishes those cases which call upon both spirited cross examination of difficult witnesses, with the need to grapple complex legal challenges. Highlights have included cross examining the Met Police Commander in a case in which she ran an ‘Entrapment’ argument all the way up to the Court of Appeal, having a conviction quashed in a novel ‘manslaughter by flight’ case, and getting a robbery sentence reduced to reflect a sex worker’s home is a place of business (see below under ‘Appellate Cases’).
With a background in medical ethics and having received training from the National Autistic Society, Lisa is regularly instructed to defend those who are suffering from mental health difficulties, including those who are ‘Pritchard unfit’. She is highly recognised for her skillful handling of cases involving young and vulnerable defendants and has experience of cross examining Consultant psychiatrists, working with intermediaries, and has secured the acquittal of defendants in cases involving automatism.
Lisa is committed to the defence of those she represents, which has resulted in numerous successful appearances in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division). She has been commended for both her written and oral advocacy before the full Court, including for her “customary tenacity”. She also has a Court of Appeal post-conviction referral practice (including advising on appeal against convictions for perverting the course of justice, rape, kidnap, blackmail and GBH with intent).
Lisa appears in contested confiscation hearings and civil proceedings for the detention and forfeiture of seized cash. She is also a highly regarded member of the Nursing & Midwifery/ Regulatory Team. She appears before disciplinary tribunals, on behalf of midwives, social workers and other professionals and has trained a number of solicitors on regulatory law and procedure.
She is also the Co-Chair of the Association of Women Barristers and has published a number of legal articles (see below). Also see the sections below for further detail of some of her key cases.
- Appellate cases
- R v Marlon Dixon  EWCA Crim 755: Successful appeal against sentence after the appellant was sentenced to 10 years for a robbery and attempted robbery on transsexual and transgender sex workers. Lady Justice Hallett DBE agreed that the sentence should have reflected that although the offences took place inside the victim’s homes, the ‘services’ offered by them meant their homes were also places of business.
- R v Kirk Cooke & Others  EWCA Crim 1681: Appeal against convictions arising from Operation Gemini, a highly sophisticated police surveillance operation in which undercover officers posed as pawn brokers in a ‘trading shop’ for over a year. The appeal centered on the alleged “entrapment” by undercover officers and the failure by the Crown to disclose the surveillance authorisations under RIPA. The appellants relied upon a retired officer from the met who provided “fresh evidence” about the community infiltration tactics used by the police. Led by Sally O’Neill QC.
- R v Kevin Marlon Dillon  EWCA Crim 122: Conviction for affray overturned due to defective good character direction by trial Judge. Jackson LJ praised Lisa for her “customary tenacity” and for “sticking to her guns”.
- R v Jack Harradine  EWCA Crim 748: Sentence for dwelling burglaries reduced due to insufficient credit being awarded for his guilty plea.
- R v Andrews & Sampson  EWCA Crim 3226: Appeal against sentence (s.20 GBH) arising from a decision by the sentencing Judge to reverse an earlier indication about which level the offences fell within the Sentencing Guidelines.
- R v Thomas  EWCA Crim 1139: Successful appeal against ‘mandatory minimum’ sentence in “3rd strike” dwelling burglary 3-years reduced to 18 months.
- R v Michael Phillips  EWCA Crim 2149: Appeal against conviction concerning the appropriate direction on ‘recklessness’ with regards to trespassing.
- Complex frauds/confiscation cases
- R v Daniel (Inner London CC): Led junior for the defence in a complex confiscation and forfeiture of assets (including hidden assets) resulting from a significant conspiracy to defraud and use of false ID docs in a sophisticated international crime enterprise. The offence was described as a “sustained and sophisticated attack on the UK benefits systems”. The evidence included covert surveillance and substantial quantities of financial and mortgage papers. Led by Keith Hadrill.
- R v C (Isleworth CC): Defended (led junior) in a large-scale conspiracy to defraud HMRC. The case collapsed after the prosecution offered no evidence in response to a successful defence application to exclude highly incriminating evidence. Led by Laban Leake.
- R v Lambert (Teesside CC): Led Junior in 18-handed case involving multiple mortgage frauds amounting to millions of pounds. Represented facilitating broker with issues involving mobile phone evidence, fraudulent document and money laundering. Also instructed in the resulting confiscation proceedings which involved an initial benefit figure of over half a million pounds. Led by Laban Leake.
- R v Aweys/ Banks & Another (Snaresbrook CC): Represented the lead defendant in what was described by police as one of the countries’ largest ever false identity document factories. Complex case running to thousands of pages of exhibits. Case made more complicated by fitness to plead issues, involving a battle between 4 psychiatrists. At the end of the case, HHJ Lafferty said to Lisa that “if I had a hat I would take it off to you for your tenacity”.
- Serious violent crime & drugs offences
- R v Tarasov & Others (Central Criminal Court): Led junior in novel ‘manslaughter by flight’ trial, in which the deceased jumped to his death from an upstairs window following a violent assault downstairs. Successfully appealed initial conviction for misdirection by the trial judge on whether these actions were ‘reasonably foreseeable’
- R v Ramone Celaire & Others (Central Criminal Court): (R v Anwar & others  2 Cr. App. R. 23) Defendants charged with Attempted Murder after victim was shot twice at point blank range by a shotgun during the course of a robbery. Judge agreed there was no case to answer following Jogee principles. Crown successfully appealed the terminatory ruling (Sir Brian Leveson), but defendants went on to be acquitted of the attempted murder after trial. Led by Giles Cockings QC.
- R v UM (Wolverhampton CC): Unanimously acquitted after trial of grievous bodily harm with intent after being accused of a machete attack whilst shouting ‘Jihad’ because the victim “went to the wrong Mosque”.
- R v BK & Others (Isleworth CC): Successfully defended in a multi handed conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent & violent disorder, a case involving a fatal stabbing between rival religious gangs at a funfair in Southall. Led by David Miller.
- R v EC (Wood Green CC): Led junior in a “black taxi rape” Led by Sally O’Neill QC.
- R v Mark Weston (Reading CC): Double jeopardy murder Lisa appeared on behalf of the defendant in lengthy legal arguments on media restrictions and successful bail application.
- R v Lee Jackson & Others (Blackfriars CC): Represented the ringleader in a conspiracy to commit a number of ‘smash and grab’ robberies of high end jewellery stores in Warwickshire, Yorkshire, Bath, Cornwall, Kent and Wolverhampton. After months of covert surveillance, the police arrested them and found them with stolen mopeds, cloned number plates, metal baseball bats, sledgehammers, axes, power tools and a machete to carry out the robberies.
- R v NT & Others (Winchester CC): Defended in a multi-handed drug conspiracy in which cocaine and heroin had been transported from London to Hampshire in kinder eggs. Unanimously acquitted after trial, in the face of overwhelming evidence.
- R v Amie Lynn & Others (Maidstone CC): Large-scale drugs and money laundering offences. Described in the press as a “prison drug-smuggling scheme”. Sophisticated undercover police operation in which “coded” telephone calls between Lynn and her incarcerated boyfriend were monitored for months by police.
- Vulnerable Defendants
- R v ZV (Warwick CC): Young defendant suffering from autism charged after running around the streets in full combat gear armed with imitation firearms. Found unfit after lengthy fitness to plead hearings and eventually had the charges thrown out at half time in the actus reus trial as Crown failed to prove it was him.
- R v JH (Chichester CC): Defendant charged with assault with intent to rob after repeatedly smashing the cashier’s head against the till in an unprovoked attack. Jury unanimously acquitted defendant on the basis that he could not have formed the mens rea due to his illness at the time of the offence. Psychiatric evidence called at trial.
- R v LE (Harrow CC): Mentally unwell youth defendant charged with armed robbery and GBH. Lengthy negotiation and legal argument, eventually resulting in limited basis of plea to an affray. Defendant avoided prison – sentenced to a hospital order.
- Judicial Assistant at Southwark Crown Court: R v Virendra Rastogi & Others ($750m boiler room fraud)
- Pegasus Scholar (Meredith Connell, Auckland, NZ; Crown Law, Wellington, NZ)
- Publications of note:
– ‘DNA in the Courtroom’ (Stuart Miller)
– ‘Would you rather be a Bitch or a Bimbo?’ (Counsel magazine)
– ‘An Overview of Previous Working Party Reports’; Appendix to the Bar Working Party Final Report (Lord Neuberger).
- Co-Chair of the Association of Women Barristers
- South Eastern Circuit
- Criminal Bar Association