Charlotte Powell CIArb

Charlotte is currently working abroad as a Criminal Justice Adviser so is unavailable for Chambers’ work at present.

Her main practice areas are: International Human Rights Law, International Criminal Law, Law of Armed Conflict, International Commercial & Investment Arbitration, Inquests & Public Inquiries, Terrorism, Extradition, Fraud, Bribery & Corruption involving cross border legal issues and Serious Crime. She is a dual qualified Barrister, New York Attorney-At-Law and Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Described in court: “Innovative“, “cogent” and “elegant“, arguing client cases with “considerable ability” adopting “a very realistic approach”

  • Appointed Criminal Justice Adviser, in employed practice.
  • Appointed Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Extradition Act 2003 and its 2014-15 Inquiry. Report available here; #hlextradition #extradition.
  • Appointment to the Serious Fraud Office, Prosecution Counsel, C Panel
  • Appointment to the Specialist Extradition Prosecutor CPS Panel
  • Ad hoc appointment to the Attorney General’s C Panel (Civil)

International crime, extradition, and MLA

Charlotte has a specialist reach in international crime, extradition, MLA. She is regularly instructed on behalf of foreign requesting states, the defence, and the UK government. Her practice includes some of the leading extradition cases involving corporate ‘white collar’ crime, international terrorism and the European Arrest Warrant scheme. For government and private clients, Charlotte advises on international mutual legal assistance law. Human rights law is an integral part of her work. She is the founding member and first Chair of the international Extradition Lawyers’ Association.

Recent work:

  • Acting for the Government of the Republic of South Africa in their extradition request for offences involving a large-scale fraud
  • Advising private clients subject to a joint Nigerian/UK investigation into money laundering and ministerial corruption allegations
  • Advising private clients on extradition laws between the UK and Mexico
  • Advising on foreign Government assurances as to treatment and detention
  • Expert witness before the House of Lords Joint Committee on Human Rights on the human rights implications of UK extradition legislation and policy
  • Workshop in Morocco, Rabat, on comparative extradition laws. Invited to the Embassy for a reception to meet with local policy makers, lawyers, ministers and FCO staff
  • New York presentation on “Meeting the Challenges of Cross-Border Investigations: Managing Criminal and Regulatory Investigations in the US & UK” (New York City Bar Center for Continuing Legal Education, New York). Topics included SFO, FCA, OFT and US DOJ investigations and Freedom of Information Act requests, including how companies suspected of criminal cartel activity should/should not react to the OFTs visit and removal of documents
  • Particular interest in International Maritime law, criminal liabilities of sea security firms and counter-piracy measures
Criminal law

Regularly instructed by the SFO both pre-charge and pre-trial in large scale, cross border corporate crime investigations and prosecutions. She also has comprehensive experience defending in the Crown Court and on appeal, against charges of fraud, sexual assault, burglary, grievous bodily harm, possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply and armed robbery. She is a Grade 2 CPS prosecutor.

She also represents defendants extradited to the United Kingdom from abroad to stand trial. She offers pre-extradition and pre-trial advice. Her analysis of the extradition process and potential abuses has secured the dismissal of cases in the Crown Court as an abuse of process.

She has experience applying the statutory restrictions on disclosing material tending to suggest an interception of communications under RIPA 2000 and PII procedures.


Instructed by the Government in relation to the provision of material to the Detainee Inquiry, chaired by Sir Peter Gibson, looking at whether Britain was implicated in the improper treatment, or rendition, of detainees held by other countries in the aftermath of 9/11.

Civil law

Instructed by the Government as part of the defence team in an action claiming damages for alleged complicity in the rendition to and detention in Guantanamo Bay of terrorism suspects.

Instructed by the MOD in respect of allegations of detainee abuse by UK Military personnel in Iraq.

In the county court she represents Claimants at trial, lately resulting in an award of damages for loss caused by an estate agent’s contractual negligent misrepresentation.

Public law & judicial review

Charlotte has experience advising on judicial review in extradition, MLA and immigration litigation. She was recently instructed as disclosure Counsel in the judicial review I.S. -v- Legal Aid Authority and The Lord Chancellor. She has a particular interest in Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests and appeals against decisions by the Information Commissioner.

  • Dual qualified Barrister and New York Attorney-At-Law
  • Pupillage at 3 Raymond Buildings, London
  • Bar Vocational Course, College of Law London, awarded ‘Outstanding’ for criminal trial advocacy
  • New York State Bar Exams
  • Masters in Law, UCL, specialist topics include: international human rights law (Distinction, 70%), foundations and principles of international law (Distinction, 70%) and International Commercial and Investment Arbitration (Merit, 68%)
  • Maîtrise, French Law, Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, specialist topics include: Droit du Marché, Droit International Privé, Droit du Commerce International and Droit International Economique
  • LLB English Law, King’s College London (Hons)
  • Bilingual – French, English. Conversational – Spanish, Arabic
  • Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb)
  • International Bar Association
  • European Criminal Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Association des Juristes de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne et de King’s College London
  • Extradition Lawyers’ Association (founding member, former Chairwoman)
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Young Fraud Lawyers’ Association
  • The Bar Council Remuneration Committee
  • Inner Temple


Extradition Lawyers' Association
  • The Association is a growing international forum, with members in the UK and abroad, providing information and services to extradition lawyers.
Publications, lectures, & acknowledgements
  • Presentation at the Attorney General’s Office of the State of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil ‘Transnational problems: international asset tracing and Mutual Legal Assistance in prevention of international fraud’ (March 2015)
  • Lecture series with the Ordem dos Advogados, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ‘International Crime: a growing trend? Extradition Law & Practice: Whether suspected criminals will be returned by England to Brazil and vice versa’ (March 2015)
  • House of Lords, Select Committee on Extradition Law Report ‘Extradition: UK law and practice’ Specialist Adviser acknowledgement (p. 16) (March 2015)
  • Speech at the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (London) for the European Criminal Law Association’s session on ‘Extradition: Is the UK a soft touch for the EU and the USA?’ (November 2014)
  • Presentation in Morocco on UK extradition laws during a two-day conference organised by the Moroccan Ministry of Justice. Participated in seminars and workshops analysing respective extradition laws with members of the Moroccan judiciary (March 2011)
  • Presentation at Hickman & Rose, London, on ‘Mutual Legal Assistance law: practice and procedure’ (September 2011)
  • Presentation in New York on “Meeting the Challenges of Cross-Border Investigations: Managing Criminal and Regulatory Investigations in the US & UK” at the New York City Bar Center for Continuing Legal Education. Faculty member with Robin Booth, BCL Burton Copeland Solicitors, London and Steven W. Perlstein, Kobre & Kim LLP (March 2010)
  • Co-contributor with Dr. Graham E. Powell to a paper on Personal Injury inThe Cambridge Handbook of Forensic Psychology“, Cambridge University Press by J. Brown and E. Campbell (Eds) (2010)
  • The Economist, ‘Extradition: Succumb and Deliver‘ by Edward Lucas (October 2009): “Charlotte Powell, a London-based barrister and chair of the Extradition Lawyers’ Association, notes that the desire to harmonise procedural rules has outstripped the harmonisation of substantive elements.”
  • Advised BBC radio on corporate corruption issues, including: (i) why it was increasingly difficult to extradite Directors to stand trial for corruption. For example, Directors of the Chinese branch of a mining group, Rio Tinto, faced charges of bribery, stealing State and commercial secrets; the risk of the death penalty meant they could reside abroad avoiding extradition and prosecution (ii) this led to the UN Convention Against Corruption, allowing extradition to China, but only for a limited range of offences (iii) using long-arm jurisdiction to prosecute companies in the State of incorporation, making them liable for corrupt staff action abroad, would circumvent a need for extradition (iv) the introduction of the (then) Bribery Bill and its extra-territoriality provisions (August 2009)
  • One of a team of six barristers from the Criminal Bar Association to draft the CBA Parliamentary briefing on the Crime and Policing Bill, which amends the law in respect of prostitution, extradition and proceeds of crime (2009)
  • Panel speaker on the topic of “Rendition v. Extradition“, following a lecture by Mr Moazzam Begg of Cage Prisoners who gave an account of his experience of being rendered to Guantánamo Bay, of being detained there and in other US detention facilities (April 2009)
  • Acknowledged in the European Criminal Bar Association publication “The European Arrest Warrant in Practice”, Chapter 3, p. 33: “Detention”, by Professor Nash (Professor of Law, Dean at City University School of Law, London) and Adam Lazowski (Senior lecturer in Law, University of Westminster), TMC Asser Press (2009)
  • Speech entitled “Extradition Outside the European Union” delivered at the ‘Justice/Sweet & Maxwell Conference Extradition, Deportation and Removal Conference – Protecting rights across borders’ (2008)
  • Designed “The Practical Guide to First Appearances Workshop” (August 2008)
  • Speech entitled “Extradition Act 2003: Principles and Procedures” at the City of Westminster Magistrate Court Lecture Theatre for the benefit of solicitors and members of the Bar seeking a general understanding of the key stages in initial and extradition hearings (July 2007)
  • Acknowledged in “International Criminal Law: Practice and Procedure” (2nd edition) co-authored by Clive Nicholls QC, Clare Montgomery QC and Julian B. Knowles (Sweet and Maxwell Publication, p.vii, 2007)
  • Co-author with James Lewis QC of a Criminal Bar Association response to the draft framework decision on the taking into account of previous convictions from Member States in domestic proceedings (November 2005)
  • Acknowledged in “European Arrest Warrant, A solution ahead of its time?” by Leaf M. and Alegre S. (Justice Publication, p. 5, 2003).
Pro bono
  • Worked in Bangladesh (Dhaka) with the NGO ‘Centre for Women and Childrens‘ Studies’ who collect evidence about the financing and organising of trafficking for prostitution and organ stealing
Notable Appeal Court cases
  • Hamilton v. Government of South Africa [2014] EWHC 4417 (Admin), Lord Justice Laws, Mr. Justice Cranston: Abuse of Process; Assurances; Delay; Extradition Proceedings; Inhuman or Degrading Treatment; Prison conditions in South Africa
  • R v Creed [2011] EWCA Crim 144
    Led by Paul Garlick QC – questioning the admissibility of bad character evidence during the trial of an accused who has been deemed unfit to plead or be tried (pursuant to section 4A of the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964)
  • R (on the app. of Dos Santos) v Portugal [2010] EWHC 1815 (Admin)
    Immigration law – whether an outstanding asylum claim bars extradition
  • Marcin Bukowski v Regional Court in Bydgoszcz [2009] EWHC 1283 (Admin)
    Whether the defence of duress can be argued by the defence as rendering absence from a trial abroad “involuntary” – applicable burden and standard of proof
  • Farnesi v Court of Livorno, Italy [2009] EWHC 1199 (Admin)
    Whether particulars of the European arrest warrant sufficient – whether extradition offence proved to the criminal standard – Article 8 ECHR right to respect for private and family life
  • Taylor v Governor of Wandsworth Prison [2009] EWHC 1020 (Admin)
    Led by Edward Fitzgerald QC – The Appellant was charged with conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud. The USA alleged in 2000, Mr Taylor devised a scheme to sell to the public shares of stock of a small, private company, having inflated the value of the publicly traded stock through fraudulent promotion. Based on the scheme, it alleged the company achieved a stock valuation of $20,000,000 when the company had $26 in its bank account – extradition orders – fresh evidence – reopening appeals – jurisdiction of the High Court – right to be free from torture/inhuman and degrading treatment – right to respect for private and family life
  • Poland v Dytlow [2009] EWHC 1009 (Admin)
    Led by Clare Montgomery QC – immigration law – international refugee law – abuse of process – affect of a grant of asylum on the power of a District Judge to order extradition – right to be free from torture/inhuman and degrading treatment
  • Pietrzak v Poland [2009] 1 W.L.R. 866
    European arrest warrant – sentence length misstated in the request – whether breach of Article 5(1) and 8 of the ECHR
  • Kucera v Czech Republic [2009] 1 W.L.R. 806; [2008] 4 All E.R. 80 Convictions – extradition offences – particulars – applying recent House of Lords Authority of Pilecki – questioning prior High Court authority – right to respect for private and family life – sentence length – totality of sentence
  • Zakowski v Regional Court in Szczecin, Poland [2008] EWHC 1389 Successfully applied for a point of law of general public importance to be certified – whether the requested person was entitled to know details confirming the existence of a domestic warrant for his arrest in the requesting State
  • Gercans v Latvia Extradition [2008] EWHC 884 (Admin)
    Civil procedure – appeal notices – filing – jurisdiction – service – whether statutory time limits complied with
  • Harvey v Portugal [2007] EWHC 3282 (Admin)
    Whether a delay of 17 years issuing the extradition request ought to bar extradition
  • Krzyzowski v Poland [2007] EWHC 2754 (Admin)
    Guidance on the burden and standard of proof under section 14 (passage of time bar to extradition) – the need for positive evidence of lack of procedural safeguards to guarantee a fair trial in the requesting State – the extent to which concurrent fault (on the part of the requested person and the requesting State) which causes delay is relevant to the passage of time – questioning prior High Court authority
  • Watson v Bonheur [2007] EWHC 2975 (Admin)
    Delay issuing an extradition request – whether extradition barred
  • Gronostajski v Poland [2007] EWHC 3314 (Admin);
    Judicial review – delay bringing the requested person to Court due to mistake of the prison service – whether reasonable cause for delay – District Judge’s decision that the delay bringing a defendant to Court was permissible – whether that decision was ‘unreasonable’