Lisa Wilson-Taylor

Ranked as a leading junior in Crime in Chambers and Partners 2018, 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. She has been commended for both her written and oral advocacy by Appellate Judges, including for her “customary tenacity”. She receives instructions in cases covering all aspects of criminal law, including multi-handed murders, drug conspiracies, armed robberies, kidnaps and serious sexual offences. She regularly deals with expert witnesses, including forensics, telephone and firearms. Lisa is regularly instructed in high-profile cases, both led and alone, and recent instructions include the ‘Keira Knightly stalker’ case. She also receives private instructions. See below under key cases for more examples of her skills and practise.

Lisa relishes those cases which call upon both spirited cross examination of difficult witnesses, with the need to grapple complex legal challenges. She is committed to the defence of those she represents, which has resulted in numerous successful appearances in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).

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 (Operation Gemini), having a conviction quashed in a novel ‘manslaughter by flight’ case (Operation Jabrun), and getting a robbery sentence reduced to reflect a sex worker’s home is a place of business. She appeared in R v Anwar & Others – the pivotal terminatory ruling appeal concerned with the application of the Jogee principles to submissions of no case to answer. She also has a busy Court of Appeal post-conviction referral practice (including advising on appeal against convictions/sentences for perverting the course of justice, rape, kidnap, blackmail and GBH with intent). 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 skilful handling of cases involving young and vulnerable defendants and is experienced in examining Consultant psychiatrists and working with intermediaries.

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 solicitors on regulatory law and procedure.

She is Vice President of the Association of Women Barristers and has published a number of legal articles, including in the Times (see below).

Key Appellate Cases
  • R v Anwar & others [2016] 2 Cr App R 23/ Archbold [19-30]: Attempted Murder. Victim shot twice at point blank range by a shotgun during the course of a robbery. Trial Judge agreed there was no case to answer following the decision of the Supreme Court in R v Jogee [2016] UKSC 8. Crown successfully appealed the terminatory ruling: Sir Brian Leveson held that the Jogee decision was unlikely to make any difference to the outcome of a submission of no case to answer. What would be different would be the directions to the jury, and, therefore, possibly the verdict. The defendants went on to be acquitted of Attempted Murder after trial.


  • R v Marlon Dixon [2016] 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 [2014] 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 [2013] 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 [2013] EWCA Crim 748: Sentence for dwelling burglaries reduced due to insufficient credit being awarded for his guilty plea.


  • R v Andrews & Sampson [2011] 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 [2011] EWCA Crim 1139: Successful appeal against ‘mandatory minimum’ sentence in “3rd strike” dwelling burglary case. 3-years reduced to 18 months.


  • R v Michael Phillips [2011] EWCA Crim 2149: Appeal against conviction concerning the appropriate direction on ‘recklessness’ with regards to trespassing.
Serious Violent Crime
  • R v Daniel Benitez (Central Criminal Court): Junior alone defending in attempted murder. Brutal knife-point attack upon partner’s parent’s, following a custody dispute. Injuries so severe the first victim was left in a medically-induced coma. Complex case involving consideration of family proceedings, complicated medical evidence and dangerousness provisions. After detailed assessment of the limitations of the medical evidence, Crown persuaded to accept pleas to grievous and actual bodily harm and not to proceed with the attempted murder charge.


  • R v Howard Patterson (Reading Crown Court): Historic murder by machine gun shooting, of leaders of a drug dealer gang. Defendant fled to America using a stolen identity. He was extradited 20 years later. Complex issues surrounding the historic nature of the offences, including telecommunications, the different disclosure regimes, policing and forensic tactics and voice recognition. Ballistics and trajectory expert evidence called at trial. Led by Michael Holland QC.


  • R v DV & Others (Southwark CC): Defendant charged with torturing and falsely imprisoning her autistic boyfriend in the presence of their children over several days, including sexually assaulting him with a broom after he revealed he was homosexual.


  • R v Omar Afrah & Others (Central Criminal Court): A “small army” of men fatally stabbed a 17-year old in the heart at a 16th birthday party, and repeatedly stabbed another after rival groups found out about the party after it was advertised on social media. Defendant was unanimously acquitted of Murder, Manslaughter, Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent and Conspiracy to cause Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent, after a 2-month trial in the Old Bailey.


  • R v Tarasov & Others (Operation Jabrun – Central Criminal Court and Court of Appeal): Novel ‘manslaughter by flight’ trial, in which the deceased jumped to his death from an upstairs window following a violent assault downstairs. Case involved complex blood spatter analysis and pathology experts. Led by Giles Cockings QC.


Junior alone in the Court of Appeal – Successfully appealed initial conviction for misdirection by the trial judge on whether these actions were ‘reasonably foreseeable’.


  • 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” retrial. Led by Sally O’Neill QC.


  • R v Mark Weston (Reading CC): Double jeopardy murder retrial. 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.
Complex frauds/confiscation cases


  • R v Ilyiea Ali (Bradford CC): Finance Director stole more than £600,000 over an 11 month period from Information Security Forum Ltd, described as the “world’s leading authority on cyber, information security and risk management.” She stole ‘for love’ after being conned by a romance fraudster.


  • R v Gardynick (Southampton CC): ‘Sham Marriage’ conspiracy involving Indian Husbands for Polish Brides. Case thrown out at half-time after two day argument concerning the legal intricacies of umbrella conspiracies and wheel conspiracies. Prosecution application to amend the indictment also unsuccessful following submissions on the proper interpretation of s.5 Indictments Act 1915.


  • R v Bates (Blackfriars CC): Operation Spike – Defendants were charged with Network Rail theft conspiracy and money laundering. Trial collapsed after 3 days of legal argument regarding deficiencies in evidence and anonymous hearsay provisions.


  • 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 told Lisa in open court that, “if I had a hat I would take it off to you for your tenacity”.
Drugs Offences


  • 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 involving several consultant psychologists and psychiatrists, and eventually had the charges thrown out at half time in the actus reus trial.


  • 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)




– ‘Lady Hale makes her own luck’, The Times, The Brief, 24 July 2017

‘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).



▪    Vice President, Association of Women Barristers

▪    South Eastern Circuit

▪    Criminal Bar Association


▪    King’s College, London: Master of Arts, Medical Ethics and Law

▪    BPP Law School, London: Bar Vocational Course (Very Competent))

▪    Cardiff University: LLB (2:1 Hons))

  • Chambers & Partners 2019 Leading Barrister
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