Claire Davies KC

  • Year of Call 1999 | Recorder 2016
  • |
  • Silk 2022

Claire is a fearless and formidable KC, who wins cases against the odds. Jury and client friendly she leaves no stone unturned in the defence of her clients. Ranked in both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500.

Career Overview

Having been a member of Chambers since 2001, Claire is the most senior female member of Chambers. Appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court in 2016, Serious Sexual Offences Ticket in 2017 and authorised to sit at the Central Criminal Court in 2022.

Claire regularly undertakes the most serious and complex of cases many of which are high profile. Claire specialises in Murder, Human Trafficking, including have undertaken Europe’s largest ever Modern Slavery case, Serious Organised Crime, Financial Crime, Cyber-Crime, Drugs, Health and Safety and Sexual Offences. Claire also has undertaken Terrorism cases. She is often commended for her attention to detail, tactical approach to cases persuasive and powerful closing speeches, exceptional client care winnng cases against the odds. Claire is fearless in court. 

In recent years Claire’s practice has seen her undertake substantial cases involving experts including ‘baby shaking’ cases and defending in Health and Safety manslaughter prosecutions. 

Claire is an advocacy trainer and vulnerable witness facilitator. 

Claire's practice has also included appearing in the Supreme Court of Gibralter.

Claire is also experienced in dealing with VHCC cases having conducted cases but also formerly being an Independent Cost Assessor for VHCC cases. 

 

Recognition

Chambers and Partners 2024 edn "She does a fabulous, fabulous job and is always able to adapt her style to suit the needs of the case" "She knows her law and procedure and her client care is excellent"

Legal 500 2024 edn. "Claire is an incredibly hard working counsel who never gives up on a client or case. She works extremely hard to develop a formindable understanding of the papers which she deploys with skill to persuade both Judges and juries"

Chambers and Partners 2023 edn "She is a reassuring presence, and a barrister with  great ability and judgement"

Legal 500 2023 edn "Claire is an incredibly hard-working counsel who never gives up on a client or a case. She works extremely hard to develop a formidable understanding of the papers which she deploys with skill to persuade both Judges and juries".

Chambers and Partners 2022 edn “Devastating in her deployment of the detail and a formidable opponent and powerful closing speeches winning cases against the odds. In addition, puts her clients at ease with her approachable style”.

Legal500 2022 edn “Claire’s easy-going style endears her to clients, solicitors and judges alike, yet in court she has a powerful, formidable presence, and is bold, strong and robust when necessary.” 

Legal500 2021 edn "Claire is the most sought after of leading juniors. She is known for her devastating cross examination, extremely persuasive ability in legal arguments and her eloquent and powerful closing speeches. Juries are in awe of her. Her peers admire her. She is our go to female leader in cases of complexity and those involving vulnerable witnesses. A true leader in her field. Approachable, unflappable, meticulous and all round star performer."

Chambers and Partners 2021 edn "Claire is a sensible, serious and committed advocate who is good at dealing with difficult clients." "A very able advocate with excellent client care skills. She is also an excellent mitigator who is able to draw on her experience as a Recorder to determine the best way to persuade a sentencing judge"

Chambers and Partners and Legal500 2020 edn as "a dynamic advocate with gravitas and presence in court."

Areas of Expertise

  • Homicide

  • Fraud / Financial crime

  • Serious Organised Crime

  • Modern Slavery / Human trafficking

Notable Cases

Homicide

R v B - Central Criminal Court - Conspiracy to Murder, Murder, Conspiracy to Posess a Firearm with Intent to Endanger Life

Claire was instructed to defend in an alleged gang related murder where the victim was killed in a shooting. CCTV and phone data was used to identify the Defendants. The case involved extensive consideration and challenge of cell site, GPS tag readings, phone expert and bad character namely gang related evidence, drill music videos and hearsay. The trial was heard over 3 months at the Old Bailey. Claire's client was first on the Indictment. After two weeks of deliberations, the jury convicted four of the remaining five Defendants and could not reach a verdict on Claire's client. There is to be a re-trial.

R v P - Central Criminal Court - Murder, Manslaughter, Attempted murder and GBH

5 week multi-handed trial. Represented defendant, a rapper, who was 19 at the time of the offences. Joint enterprise murder and attempted murder, following the stabbing of another young man in the back multiple times during a knife fight, with a second man sustaining life threatening injuries. The client subsequently fled the jurisdiction returning to be arrested. Only defendant to be acquitted of all charges. For press coverage, click here and here.

R v D - Birmingham Crown Court - Murder

7 week multihanded trial. Represented a young defendant, who required an intermediary in a cut throat joint enterprise murder. The deceased was being robbed of a motorcycle when chased by main defendant with Claire's defendant following brandishing knives. The main defendant went on to stab the victim multiple times. Acquitted of Murder convicted of manslaughter.

R v T - Basildon CC - Murder

Represented defendant who was originally indicted with murder. Defendant had gone into a public house with a cross bow and shot in the chest the first person he saw. When stopped by police in was also in possession of knives. Advice given as to psychiatric reports and as a result following representations plea to manslaughter on the grounds of Diminished Responsibility accepted. For press coverage, click here.

R v S - Coventry CC - Murder

Represented the main defendant in multi-handed cut throat murder. Following a chance meeting the defendant being stabbed by the victim then with others chased after in revenge and stabbed the victim causing death later on that day. Bad chatacter applications were advanced. 

R v T - Warwick CC - Revenge murder

Multihanded revenge murder. Defendant was  part of a group who in revenge for a previous assault that evening and on going tit for tat over a drug debt, set out with weapons in a car deliberately to run down the victim and his group. The defendant was subject to a cut throat defence from the co-defendant who was the driver of the vehicle. Significant bad character arguments throughout the trial from both prosecution and co-defendants.  Acquitted of murder and attempted murder. Manslaughter secured and s20/s47. For press coverage, click here

R v S - Lincoln Crown Court - Murder

The defendant and another were accused of being involved in the assault of a friend whilst in drink having beaten him up they then put him in the canal and left him to drown. Acquitted of murder convicted of manslaughter. 

R v M - Luton CC - Murder

Defendant accused of murdering his ‘drinking’ buddy by driving at him in revenge for not allowing him into the property earlier in the day. Experts were called in relation to Diminished Responsibility as a result of the entrenched alcoholism the defendant suffered from. Complex legal arguments concerning manslaughter. 

R v S - Luton Crown Court - Murder 

The defendant a drug dealer had been robbed at knife point by the deceased and was then said to have chased him down in his car and deliberately driven at him wanting his revenge and to kill him. Acquitted of murder.

R v T - Birmingham Crown Court - Attempted Murder 

Multi- handed gang attempted murder before Mr Justice Hilliard. Represented the main defendant, in the trial where the defendants had gone on a ride out to protect their territory. Upon seeing others who were perceived to be rivals chased them on foot where the defendant shot a 13 year old in the back with a slam gun leaving him paralysed for life.  Involved challenges to significant cell site, firearms and complex DNA evidence. The arguments including challenging the robustness of the validation process when dealing with incredibly low level DNA.
 
For more details click here.

R v R&R - Central Criminal Court - HSE manslaughter

The defendant was the site manager for the works being undertaken on a project in the docklands. During the demolition phase a large tonne window fell on a worker crushing them to death.  After detailed cross examination during the prosecution case. Representations were made and the prosecution accepted a plea to breach of HSA and did not proceed with the manslaughter. 

R v B - Central Criminal Court - Conspiracy to murder (contract killings)

2 month trial. Represented defendant in multi-handed triple conspiracy to murder, namely contract killings said to arise as part of OCG and targets rival gang crime bosses. Defendant said to recruit others and main organiser securing the sourcing of firearms and conducting surveillance and the hitmen. Tactically complex involving, cell site, lip reading, voice recognition and linguist experts.

R v P - Isleworth Crown Court - Attempted murder

Attempted murder trial. The Defendant was accused of shooting his gang rival in revenge for having been stabbed. The Defendant was unanimously acquitted after trial.

R v C - Central Criminal Court - Gang related murder and attempted murder

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 cutthroat defences. Read more

R v B - Central Criminal Court - Murder and causing/allowing the death of 16-week-old child

5-week trial before the Recorder of London. Allegations of Murder and causing/allowing the death of her 16-week-old daughter. Cutthroat defence with father of the child. The crown relied upon the leading experts in the following fields: pathology, pediatric pathology, radiology, osteoarticular pathology, neuro pathology, ophthalmic pathology and pediatrics. 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 O; R v O Ltd - Chelmsford Crown Court - Corporate manslaughter

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 cutthroat against the subcontracting organisation. Read More

R v N - Central Criminal Court - Murder (beheading)

Murder. The case 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.

Fraud and Financial crime

R v S - Isleworth Crown Court - Royal Mail Fraud

Claire represented a director and the company accused of £6m Royal Mail fraud over 5 years. The case involved abuse of process arguments as the company assets were restrained. 

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

Duty evasion cigarettes 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 - Fraud

Multi handed international conspiracy to defraud value approx. £3m. Significant volumes of paperwork and telephone evidence in the case. Secured only acquittals in the trial.

R v I - Woolwich Crown Court - Conspiracy to defraud

Multi handed conspiracy to defraud. Apple Pay fraud involving compromised details and a vast amount of telephone evidence and downloads as part of the Crowns case.

R v A - Southwark Crown Court - Proceeds of crime

Highly organised car ringing conspiracy. High value vehicles were stolen and dismantled for onward sale. Only defendant acquitted in a series of trials.

R v R - Snaresbrook Crown Court - Diamond fraud

Client accused of selling diamonds that either did not exist or were of a poor quality. He was an employee of the co-defendants. Application for dismissal successful.

 

Serious/Organised Crime

R v A - Birmingham Crown Court

Defendant one of 22 part of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. The defendant was the main supplier of heroin to the OCG flying to and from Pakistan to arrange the supplies. Significant telephone evidence involved and cross examination of experts.

R v M - Central Criminal Court - Terrorism

The defendant was accussed of funing terrorism and in possession of prohibited terrorism material, some of the most graphic to date.

R v C - Chelmsford Crown Court - Drugs importation

Importation of £9m worth of cocaine.

R v G - Nottingham Crown Court - Drugs conspiracy

The defendant was one of 13 who faced conspiracy to supply class A drugs. the defendant was accused of being a middleman in the conspiracy which was moving kilos of cocaine from Nottinghamshire to Warwickshire/Lincolnshire. There was significant volumes of telephone evidence linking the defendant to others in the trial. The police had undertaken surveillance on several defendants, text messages were adduced and Encro phones were found during the police operation. The defendant was the only defendant to be acquitted of all charges after a 7 week trial.

R v U - Chelmsford Crown Court - Drugs conspiracy

The Defendant was a trusted lieutenant in Essex’s most prolific and largest ever drugs conspiracy and money laundering between 2017-2021 ongoing whilst defendant in prison.

R v M - Central Criminal Court - Possession of firearm with intent to kill

The Defendant and another were accused of driving in the night and shooting into the residential home of another. Claire deployed the contents of the Defendant's mobile phone to establish he was an innocent dupe. The Defendant was acquitted after trial.

R v W - Isleworth Crown Court - Conspiracy to transfer firearm

The Defendant and 3 others were acccused to organise the transfer of a disguised firearm. The defendant was said to be the central figure storing the firearm. Significant use of telephone evidence throughout the trial.

Modern Slavery/Human Trafficking

R v A  -  Cardiff Crown Court - Trafficking/expoitation and drugs

Represented the main defendant in multi-handed modern slavery adn drugs concpiracy. The case concerned the supply of drugs accross county lines. In excess of 150k pages of evidence significant telephone evidence requiring detailed consideration. Not Guilty verdict on modern slavery

R v C - Birmingham Crown Court (5 months) - Modern Slavery/Trafficking

Europes largest Modern Slavery prosecution. In excess of 70 complainants, 200 nominals. 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 prosecution case of trafficking conceded by the prosecution.

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

Represented main defendant in multi-handed rare prosecution for trafficking out of the UK for sexual services. Client abducted girls from foster care, they havign been released from prison and then arranged their departure. Subtsantial hearsay arguments. Court of Appeal proceedings complex with significant disclsoure following trial.

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

Multi-handed case. Defendant brought into the UK non-EU nationals on several occassions. Significant volume of telephone evidence. 

 

Other Jurisdictions

R v L - Gibraltar Supreme Court 

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

 

  • Advocacy Trainer

  • Qualified Vulnerable Witness Trainer

     

Professional Memberships
  • South Eastern Circuit

  • Criminal Bar Association

  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association

  • Fraud Lawyers Association

  • Women in Criminal Law

  • Middle Temple

     

Testimonials

'Claire is a focused and determined advocate who is perfect for cases of complexity and detail.'

'Claire is ruthlessly efficient. She doesn't shy away from taking the difficult points in any case, but does it with grace and charm.'

Legal 500 2024 edition

"She does a fabulous, fabulous job and is always able to adapt her style to suit the needs of the case."

"She knows her law and procedure and her client care is excellent."

Chambers and Partners 2024 edition

Latest News

Martin McCarthy KC secures only acquittals across the board in Murder & Firearms trial.

July 19 2024

Martin McCarthy KC leading Chudi Grant secured the only acquittals accross the board in a multi-handed Murder and Firearms trial...

Claire Davies KC leading Ioana Nedelcu Secure Acquittal

June 28 2024

Following a jury trial Claire Davies KC and Ioana Nedelcu secure swift acquittal for client charged with causing or allowing...

Claire Davies KC acts for former GP cleared of all counts of Rape of a former patient

March 19 2024

The client faced allegations dating back to 1998 when a young patient alleged she attended for help with an unwanted...

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