Vanessa was called to the Bar in 2008. Vanessa has a Master’s degree in Criminal law from UCL, where she examined and drafted a thesis on the ongoing issue of ‘stop and search.’ She also drafted a lengthy thesis on Honour Crimes and Killings within the UK. Vanessa has attended campaigns and worked with several charities relating to both of these topics including Southall Black Sisters and the Centre for Women’s Justice.
Prior to coming into Chambers, Vanessa also qualified as a Solicitor in 2012, and has litigated on a wide variety of cases over the course of her practice. As a result of this, she is able to work well with Solicitors and provides guidance from both a litigious and adversarial perspective, when instructed upon cases.
Vanessa’s practice includes acting as Junior Counsel in Murder cases; other crimes of violence, sexual offences, and fraud cases ranging from fraud by false representation all the way up to VHCC cases. These have involved working with the Serious Fraud Office, the Financial Conduct Authority and the National Crime Agency.
R v J –  EWCA 834 (Crim) – Central Criminal Court – and Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) – Vanessa acted as Junior Counsel in this case where the Defendant faced trial for his third murder offence.
Other Notable Cases
R v A and ors – – Southwark Crown Court – The defendant had worked for the Ministry of Justice and along with three other court staff had been charged with several counts of perverting the course of justice. Vanessa took the case on two weeks before trial and was able to identify disclosure issues, which resulted in legal arguments being made on the first day of trial, and the crown offering no evidence.
R v W-M – Kingston-Upon-Thames Crown Court – Vanessa acted as Junior Counsel in this 3-week murder trial. This case was unusual in that the Crown and Defence both had experts agreeing the defendant had paranoid schizophrenia and fell within the realm of Diminished responsibility; however, the defendant maintained he was acting in self-defence. The jury found him guilty of Manslaughter by reason of Diminished Responsibility.
LL.B (Hons), Queen Mary, University of London
LL.M (Criminal Law), University College London
Bar Vocational Course: College of Law
Criminal Bar Association
Criminal Litigation Accredited, The Law Society
Member of the Legal Reference Panel, Centre for Women’s Justice.