Julia Smart KC

Julia Smart KC

Call: 1993 | Silk: 2019


Awarded ‘Barrister of the Year’ at The Lawyer Awards 2018 (click here for more), Julia is very experienced in all aspects of criminal defence in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal across the spectrum of serious crime including murder, rape, fraud, firearms and drugs. She finds it easy to build up a rapport with even the most demanding clients and will work with unfailing tenacity on their behalf in court. She also has a Court of Appeal post conviction referral practice.

Julia recently represented Liam Allen in his highly publicised trial which collapsed to due to serious disclosure failings, having discovered text messages among 40,000 on a disc disclosed during trial. Click here to watch her interview on Channel 4 News.

Member of the South Eastern Circuit and Criminal Bar Association

"Julia is robust and tenacious. An excellent memory deployed to great effect in advocacy." -Legal 500, 2023
"Julia is very user friendly and dedicated in her approach. You feel in safe hands when she is on your case."-Chambers UK, 2024

R v Alan Jaf and others: Liverpool Crown Court. 3-month trial, 10 handed murder and kidnap: Leading for first defendant (52 year old businessman of good character) in a “vigilante” revenge kidnap, torture and murder. Indicted as secondary party. Cutthroat defences. News story here

R v Mongo Bolili, Central Criminal Court. 8-week Murder: allegation that defendant murdered a fellow resident at his YMCA hostel. Comprehensive cross examination re CCTV footage, DNA, pathology, bad character.  Mental health issues re defendant. Cut throat defence by co-defendants. News story here

R v Brandon Heath, Baby shaking murder.  Chester Crown Court. Representing the child’s mother’s boyfriend.  Toddler aged 22 months shaken to death very shortly after mother left home to drive a friend to work.  Issue as to window of death as defendant blaming mother for murder.  Mother not charged but called as a prosecution witness.  Extensive cross-examination of pathologist, neuro- pathologist, radiologist, histo-radiologist, consultant paediatrician. Acquitted of murder, convicted of manslaughter. News story here

R v SS: Chester Crown Court  Defending in a ‘baby shaking’ murder case. Led Richard Orme in a three-week trial at Chester Crown Court. They represented a mother who was found not guilty of both Murder and Causing/Allowing the Death of  a Child. The case involved a multiplicity of medical experts from various disciplines. The case was covered on the BBC and in the Manchester Evening News.

R v KL: Central Criminal Court Five-handed murder leading for first  Defendant “cut- throated” by the other four Defendants.

R v UO: Central Criminal Court Two-handed “execution style” murder. Leading for first Defendant “cut throated” by second Defendant.

R v MG: Sheffield Crown Court Defending 76-year-old woman of good character charged with murder of her 78-year-old husband. Crown’s expert changes his view after Defence expert diagnoses a rare form of dementia. Crown accepts plea to manslaughter. Defendant sentenced to hospital order without restriction.

R v MF: Liverpool Crown Court Leading for second Defendant of five. Murder in allegation of gang-related revenge shooting.

R V RP: Central Criminal Court Defending student accused of murdering flatmate.

R v JT: Central Criminal Court Leading for first Defendant of three accused of “manslaughter by flight”.

Serious Sexual Offences

R v Stephen Hardy, Liverpool Crown Court. Representing Greater Manchester Police Detective charged with a campaign of rape, assault by penetration and coercive and controlling behaviour towards stepdaughter when she was aged 12- 19. Four-week trial at Liverpool Crown Court before HHJ Trevor-Jones with substantial disclosure issues and legal argument.  Defendant convicted and sentenced to an extended sentence of 32 years (custodial element 26 years). News story here

R v Adam Provan, Wood Green Crown Court. Having been instructed on a “cold case” appeal against conviction Julia secured the quashing of the original rape conviction in Court of Appeal. A re-trial was ordered. Further historic offences were joined to the indictment prior to the 6 week re-trial before the Recorder of Haringey HHJ Lucas K.C. at Wood Green Crown Court. Representing a Metropolitan Police Officer charged with the rape of a 16 year old and a campaign of rape against former partner. The Metropolitan Police launched a full review into whether the Defendant should have been caught sooner.  The 16-year-old (now aged 29) waived anonymity to speak to national press/ T.V – news story here

R v LA: Croydon Crown Court Defending university student accused of rape. Case collapsed after Julia found exonerating text messages on a disc containing over 50,000 messages only disclosed to defence mid-trial. Case had world wide media coverage resulting in a countrywide review of disclosure in criminal cases.

R v JH: Court of Appeal/ Inner London Crown Court Instructed as a “cold case” appeal for a music producer serving nine years imprisonment for historic rape/sexual assaults on five complainants. Defendant had previously been advised by his QC that he had no grounds to appeal. Julia was initially refused permission to appeal and renewed pro bono to the Full Court. Julia was given permission and overturned all convictions on appeal. At re-trial Julia argued severance into two trials as between complainants. The Defendant was subsequently acquitted of all counts.

R v MB: Central Criminal Court Defending retired teacher in allegations of serious historic sexual abuse of former male pupils in 1980s.

R v NK: Sheffield Crown Court 8-week trial defending in a five-handed Rotherham “grooming gang” case relating to historic allegations of 1990s.

R v  KG: Warwick Crown Court Defending foster father accused of raping 12-year-old foster daughter. Acquitted following successful submission of no case to answer following Julia’s cross examination of child witness.

R v NS: Snaresbrook Crown Court Defending foster father accused of raping 17-year-old foster daughter. Convictions successfully overturned on appeal on account of inconsistent verdicts. No re-trial ordered.

R v IB: Blackfriars Crown Court Defending father accused of raping wife and stepdaughter having trafficked them from Romania.

R v  NG: Wood Green Crown Court Defending teenage defendant alleged to have raped three boys aged 10-13 at their special needs school, videoing many hours of alleged rapes. Defendant with IQ of 64 and ADHD and intermediary.  All three complainants had intermediaries.

R v RH: Southampton Crown Court Defending man accused of seriously sexually assaulting  4-year-old daughter of girlfriend. Successful submission of no case to answer after Julia’s cross examination of 5-year-old complainant.

R v CH: Harrow Crown Court Defending elderly retired teacher in allegations of serious historic sexual abuse of five boys (aged 8- 12) at a prep boarding school in 1970s.

R v DS: Birmingham Crown Court Defending in historic rapes allegations from 1970s on a girl aged 8- 14. Indictment stayed on the basis of a successful abuse of process argument re delay.

R v DF: Wood Green Crown Court Defending retired teacher accused of serious historic sexual assaults on 7-year-old male pupil  in 1960s. Acquitted.

R v DA: Huntingdon Crown Court Defending male nurse accused of assault by penetration on elderly patient. Acquitted.

R v ED: Winchester Crown Court Four-week trial defending university student accused of raping three fellow students as they slept. Acquitted of all counts.

Fraud/Financial Crime

R v CS: Guildford Crown Court Business man charged with bribery to obtain contracts. Crown offered no evidence after Julia obtained specific disclosure of the entirety of the Defendant business computer and found exonerating emails which had not been considered by the Crown. Case featured in Radio 4’s Law in Action to which Julia contributed.

R v AS: Inner London Crown Court Conspiracy to run brothels and money laundering over £12 million. Leading for third Defendant, two-month case.

R v SD: Bristol Crown Court Complex mortgage fraud re foreign and domestic properties over £10 million. All Defendants acquitted after successful submission of no case to answer after two-month trial.

R v RS: Croydon Crown Court Conspiracy to arrange sham marriages and money laundering over £1m. Julia represented the only Defendant of six to be acquitted.

R v RA: Guildford Crown Conspiracy to defraud/money laundering- international property portfolio money laundering. Only Defendant of five to be acquitted after a five-week case.

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