Claire Davies

  • Year of Call 1999 Recorder 2016

Claire is a fearless and formidable leading junior who leaves no stone unturned in the defence of her clients. Ranked in Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.

Career Overview

Claire is a leading junior who is ranked in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 2020 as "a dynamic advocate with gravitas and presence in Court"

Legal 500 2019 described her as "Determined, Hardworking and Diligent in her preparation" and is sought after for her excellence in advocacy. She is regarded as a fearless advocate who is devasting in her cross-examination and makes powerful submissions whether to a jury or judge.

Having been a member of Chambers since 2001 Claire is now one of the most senior members and was in 2016 appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court, a first in Chambers.

Claire is instructed as a leading junior and reularly undertakes the most serious and complex of cases many of which attract ntional and international media copverage, including the largest ever prosecution in Europe for Modern Slavery offences and Terrorism cases.

Claire has considerable experience in representing those accused of murder, human trafficking/modern slavery, financial crime, firearms, sexual offences and serious organised crime many with international aspects to them. Claire is regularly instructed as a leading junior against QC’s. She is often commended for her attention to detail and client care by those who instruct her and by her witness handling skills, particularly the vulnerable.

In recent years Claire’s practice has seen her undertake substantial cases involving experts including ‘baby shaking’ cases and Health and Safety prosecutions against QC’s. Claire is also instructed by insurance companies.

Due to the nature of her practice Claire regularly appears in multi-handed drugs and fraud cases and has significant expertise in dealing with cases involving substantial amounts of paperwork, telephone evidence and cell site.

Sexual offences both current and historic are a substantial part of Claire’s practice and she is experienced in cases involving the use of intermediaries and cross-examining vulnerable complainants including children as young as 5.

Claire is a qualified facilitator for the Vulnerable Witness Training Programme and a qualified Advocacy Trainer.

In 2016 Claire was appointed as an Independent Funding Adjudicator.

Areas of Expertise

  • Fraud and Financial crime
  • Modern Slavery/Human Trafficking
  • Homicide
  • Sexual offences
  • Serious and Organised Crime

Notable Cases

Fraud and financial crime

R v S - Kingston Crown Court (4 months 2019) - Duty Evasion and Money Laundering

Leading junior in 4 month trial of duty evasion and money laundering in excess of £12m against HMRC. Representing a defendant who is the director of a company who was the international arm of the conspiracy.

R v S - Wood Green Crown Court - Conspiracy to defraud

Leading counsel in multi-handed international conspiracy to defraud and money launder in excess of £3m. There was a  significant volume of paperwork and telephone evidence. Secured the only acquittals in the trial.

R v S - Central Criminal Court - Fraud

Fraud represented a bank employee who was accused of passing on information and changing details on accounts. Case stayed as an abuse of process upon application due to failings in disclosure.

R v R - Snaresbrook Crown Court - Diamond fraud

Multi-handed Fraud where the client was accused of selling diamonds that either did not exist or were of a poor quality. Application for dismissal successful.

R v P - Central Criminal Court - Money laudering in excess of £40m

This case involved an NCA investigation encompassing multiple jurisdictions. Substantial disclosure failings by the Crown and following legal argument the Crown offered no evidence.

R v I - Woolwich Crown Court - Conspiracy to defraud

Multi-handed trial centering around the use and manipulation of Apple Pay. Vast amounts of telephone and banking evidence.

R v Z - Harrow Crown Court - Conspiracy to defraud

Sole junior prosecuted by two counsel in a 28 handed Crash for cash’ False insurance claims made following staged car accidents.

R v F - 2 day contested confiscation hearing involving evidence from foreign jurisdictions

The Crown argued that there were £2m hidden assets. Following defence evidence and submissions the Judge held there were no hidden assets.

Modern Slavery/Human Trafficking

R v JC - Birmingham Crown Court (5 months) - Modern Slavery

Leading Junior in Europe’s largest Modern Slavery prosecution. In excess of 70 complainant’s the defendant was pivotal to the conspiracy working in the recruitment agency placing the workers. Evidence given via other jurisdictions, over 1m pages of evidence. Submissions at close of the prosecution case on trafficking conceded by the prosecution. Read More (Sky News) Read More (The Telegraph)

R v U - Isleworth Crown Court - Trafficking/sexual exploitation

Leading defence counsel in multi-handed rare prosecution for trafficking out of the UK. Client abducted the girls from foster care there having been released from prison and then arranged for their departure. Substantial hearsay arguments to play evidence when witness unavailable. Court of appeal proceedings complex with significant further disclosure following trial.

R v K - Isleworth Crown Court - Human Trafficking/Immigration Breaches

Sole Junior in multi-handed case. Defendant brought into the UK non-EU nationals on several occasions. Significant volume of telephone evidence served.

Murder, attempted murder and serious violence

R v O; R v O Ltd - Chelmsford Crown Court

Junior Alone (co-def and pros represented by QC). Corporate Manslaughter and Health and Safety Offences. The case involved a subcontractor falling through a roof to his death. There was expert evidence given by Senior Environmental Health Officer, Senior Health and Safety Inspectors, a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and a Structural Engineer. The defence involved allegations of collusion by some prosecution witnesses and was a cut throat against the subcontracting organisation. Read More

R v C - Central Criminal Court

Led by QC in 9 week trial. Represented the first defendant, who was said to have 2 firearms in a gang related murder and attempted murder when on a ride out into rivals territory. The case involved significant CCTV and cut throat defences. Read more

R v B - Central Criminal Court

Led by QC in 5 week trial before the Recorder of London. Allegations of Murder and causing/allowing the death of her 16 week old daughter. Cut throat defence with father of the child. The crown relied upon the leading experts in the following fields: pathology, paediatric pathology, radiology, osteoarticular pathology, neuro pathology, ophthalmic pathology and paediatrics. There were substantial issues relating to domestic violence, bad character and disclosure. The case involved significant phone evidence, cell site and CCTV. The client was acquitted of murder. The case attracted national press coverage. Read more (Sky news) Read more (BBC news)

R v N - Central Criminal Court

Led by QC in a case which involved the defendant murdering his wife by beheading and then the attempt to dispose of her body. Expert pathological evidence surrounding the issue of peri-mortem/post-mortem. Legal issue argued regarding loss of control and its application to the case.  National press coverage. Read more.

R v AB - Central Criminal Court

Led by QC in gang related murder. The allegation was that one of the co-defendants had organised the murder from a prison cell. Client acquitted of murder. National press coverage. Read more

R v P - Nottingham Crown Court

Led by QC. A multi-handed handed murder tried by High Court Judge. The murder was said to be a revenge attack for the murder of their friend in the previous 24 hours. The offence was carried out by pouring petrol through the front door of the house and then setting it alight. The wrong house was targeted resulting in the death of a mother and her 3 children. High media interest. Read more

R v P - Central Criminal Court

Led by QC in multi-handed murder. The stabbing which resulted in the death of 15 year old was said to be in revenge for an incident earlier in the day. The main issue was joint enterprise and the case complicated by bad character. The defendant was acquitted of all counts.

R v J - Woolwich Crown Court

Junior alone. A dispute between two self admitted alcoholics which resulted in a repeated assault with a hammer and knife by the defendant. Acquitted of attempted murder.

R v A - Croydon Crown Court

Junior alone. The defendant had been the subject of domestic abuse for over two decades and most had gone unreported. She stabbed in the back her partner and father of her children. Very sensitive issues and defendant themselves observed by the court to be vulnerable

R v P - Central Criminal Court

Sole junior on multi-handed attempted murder. The defendant was said to have chased and then repeatedly stabbed in the back a gang rival. Bad character issues arose and cut throat defences. Prosecuted by two juniors.

R v J - Maidstone Crown Court

Junior alone in attempted murder case where the defendant suffered from complex psychiatric difficulties which had gone undiagnosed.

Fatal driving offences

R v G - Death by Careless driving

Claire represented the driver of a refuse vehicle who was driving during the course of their rounds in the early hours of a morning one of the loaders was tragically killed.  A tragic case for all parties the jury acquitting the defendant. Instructed by DAC Beachcroft John Dance. Read more

R v B - Death by Dangerous driving

Client was only 18 years old at the time of the offence.  Consideration of expert’s collision reports and statements of multiple witnesses to the collision.  Attracted media coverage.

R v W - Death by Dangerous driving

Defendant was a lorry driver for a living. Experts reports were paramount to the defendant’s case and persuaded the prosecution to accept that it was in fact careless driving.

Sexual offences

R v C - Rape, sexual exploitation

Sole Junior in multi-handed case for the main defendant prosecuted by QC and junior at trial. Defendant faced Multiple Rape counts, supply of Class A drugs, arranging the sexual exploitation of and taking and distributing indecent images all of a 14 years old who was deemed vulnerable. The case involved an intermediary for the complainant. Defendant acquitted of Rape counts and supplying drugs. National press coverage. Read BBC article

R v M - Historic Rape and sexual assaults

Historic allegations dating back 1960’s including allegations of rape. The defendant was extradited to face trial. Involved many witnesses now of some age with some vulnerabilities, including the defendant and prosecution witnesses. Hearsay and Bad character applications successfully defended. Defendant acquitted

R v W - Rape

Defendant alleged to have committed rape upon a female met that night who was a lesbian. Significant volumes of telephone evidence disclosed week before trial. Detailed consideration led to a successful s41 application. Defendant acquitted.

R v K - Rape, attempted rape and sexual assault

More than one complainant. The defendant posed as a taxi driver to lure intoxicated women into his vehicle before sexually assaulting them. Rare expert evidence called by the Crown of statistical genetics in relation to DNA. Exclusion of ID evidence successful following voir dire.

R v P - Rape/False imprisonment

The complainant was the client’s partner. Late medical evidence called by the Crown but successfully challenged. Client acquitted of all counts

R v M - Sexual activity with a child

Multiple counts and multi-handed. Crown applied to adduce the complainants evidence under hearsay provisions due to her mental health and extreme vulnerabilities. Young defendant. Skeleton argument submitted on behalf of all defendants and substantial legal arguments throughout the trial.

R v T - Multiple counts of Sexual activity with a child

Trial of the Act following young defendant being found unfit to plead. Cross examination of a14 year old complainant and witness undertaken.

R v P - Historic Sexual offences

Historic allegations dating back to 1973 combined with more recent allegations involving a different complainant. Application for severance successful and client acquitted at both trials.

R v H - Historic Sexual offences

Historic allegations dating back to 1973 combined with more recent allegations involving a different complainant. Application for severance successful and client acquitted at both trials.

R v B - Historic Sexual assaults

Allegations from 1980’s father and stepdaughter. Family divided with some giving evidence on behalf of prosecution and others on behalf of defence. Social service records and previous police investigation subject to legal arguments. Following trial client acquitted.

R V R - Sexual assault on a patient

Care worker accused of sexual assault on a patient under his care. Intermediary for the complainant due to the significant learning and physical disabilities of the complainant. Client acquitted. 

Serious/Organised Crime

R v G - Cambridge Crown Court - Conspiracy to supply

Leading counsel in conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, significant volume of telephone evidence as part of the Crown’s case required consideration in detail as to locations of defendants and was therefore able to establish the limited contact the defendant had with others.

R v A - Nottingham Crown Court - Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice

Represented an Immigration lawyer for perverting the course of justice multi handed case with the main witness against the defendant being a co-defendant who turned QE after pleading guilty and then gave a statement implicating the defendant. Significant disclosure issues arose during the proceedings.

R v B - Maidstone Crown Court - Importation Class A

Multi handed drugs importation of 130kilos of cocaine value approximately £19m. Cut throat defence at trial. Client acquitted.

R v P - Possession with intent to supply Class A

Possession with intent to supply Cocaine 35 kilos worth approx. £3.6m Following legal submissions at Newton hearing client’s basis accepted.

R v R - Snaresbrook Crown Court - Firearms conspiracy

Firearms conspiracy involving Mach 10 sub machine gun

R v M - Firearms

Multi-handed case. Involved pistol, machine gun and ammunition discovered. Cut throat defences. Legal argument regarding admissibility of clients previous two acquittals.

Other Jurisdictions

R v L - Gibraltar Supreme Court - Leading counsel

Allegations of arson including a row of houses being destroyed after being set ablaze and destroyed. Successful submission of no case in relation to the main arson and client acquitted of all other counts by jury. Prosecuted by QC and Junior.

Other Information

  • Chambers Director
  • Licensed to take Direct Access Work
  • Qualfied Vulnerable Witness Trainer and Advoacy Trainer
  • Independent Costs Assessor
  • One of a handful of barristers registered by the Bar Council under the Pilot Harassment Waiver Scheme
Professional Memberships
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association
  • Fraud lawyers Association
  • Women in Law
  • Middle Temple
Latest News

Claire Davies secures acquittal on firearms charges

January 10 2020

The client was described as driving around with an arsenal of firearms in his car. The main prosecution evidence was...

Claire Davies secures acquittal in Tragic Death by Careless Trial

December 18 2019

Claire represented the driver of a refuse vehicle when during the course of their round in the early hours of...

Chambers and Partners UK Bar Rankings 2020

October 14 2019

Farringdon Chambers have been ranked in Chambers UK Bar 2020 Directory alongside individual rankings for Ian Henderson QC, Molly Pinkus,...

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