Criminal Law & Appeals

Criminal Law

At the heart of Drystone Chambers’ practice is a dedicated team of specialist advocates who defend and prosecute in trials of serious, complex and high profile criminal cases.

From the provision of initial Advice during investigations, through to advocacy at Court, we ensure our clients are given the best representation at every stage. Members of the team practice in all Courts; from the Magistrates' Court to the Supreme Court and provide truly national coverage. As well as our base in London we have a strong links with court centres in the North West, South West, East Anglia, Lincolnshire and across the South East of England.We have acted in many landmark cases of recent years, including:

  • The 21/7 terrorist trial
  • The "Soham murders"
  • SFO and FCA prosecutions
  • Damilola Taylor murder
  • The Ahmed ‘honour killing’ murder
  • The first ever non-jury Crown Court trial
  • The Oxford sexual grooming trial
  • Largest ever mortgage fraud
  • Millennium Dome robbery
  • Largest ever cocaine importation
  • First large-scale servitude case

Drystone Chambers have a deserved reputation for their legal knowledge, advocacy and client care and have over 20 of our barristers listed in Chambers UK, this is reflected in what the directories say about us. We have taken arguments at trial and on appeal that have changed the course of the criminal law on issues including:

  • Recklessness and arson
  • serious sexual offences
  • bad character
  • joint enterprise and murder/manslaughter
  • gross negligence manslaughter
  • confiscation
  • public interest immunity
  • reverse burdens of proof
  • inferences from silence
  • autrefois convict
  • abuse of process
  • kidnapping
  • the admissibility of expert evidence, including lip-reading and facial mapping

We regularly lecture on current topics in the criminal law. Recent lectures have included joint enterprise, recklessness and handling vulnerable witnesses. Many teach Advocacy and are accredited Advocacy trainers.


Members of Drystone Chambers have a proud record of pursuing appeals to overturn miscarriages of justice and challenge adverse judicial rulings. We appear before all jurisdictions of the criminal and civil courts as well as the European Court of Human Rights.

We are regularly asked to advise in cases where our barristers did not act at first instance, providing a second opinion or finding grounds of appeal where none had been considered before. We pride ourselves on the quality of our written advice on the merits of an appeal and can provide suitable counsel to advise at very short notice. Members of chambers also have particular experience in drafting applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Daniel Jones is the co-author of the Criminal Appeals Handbook, to which Rebecca Penfold was also a contributor. The Criminal Appeals Handbook published by Bloomsbury Press in 2015 provides practical assistance to those seeking to challenge convictions or sentences in the Court of Appeal and beyond.

In order to be of maximum practical assistance, the book takes each topic in the order in which it arises in the appeal process. It begins with how to obtain advice including funding for advice and assistance legal aid, potential grounds of appeal, lodging, etc. and will follow the process through to the conclusion of the case in the Court of Appeal. There is then a short section on Appeal to the Supreme Court followed by reference to the Criminal Case Review Commission, then finally international remedies (ECtHR and UNHRC).

This new publication aims, above all, to be a practical and user-friendly companion for navigating the increasingly complex field of criminal appeals. Priced at £50, it will also suit the budget of most with an interest in this area.

It can be purchased from the publisher by clicking here