Claire Davies KC

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

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

Career Overview

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

Claire’s practice has also involved appearing in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar.

Claire regularly undertakes the most serious and complex of cases many of which attract media attention including Europe’s largest ever Modern Slavery case and a triple conspiracy to murder.  She is often commended for her attention to detail, tactical approach to cases persuasive and powerful closing speeches and exceptional client care. Claire is fearless in court. Claire regularly appears in multi-handed Murders, drug, fraud and modern slavery cases and has significant expertise in dealing with cases involving substantial amounts of paperwork, telephone evidence and cell site. 

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

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 trusted by those instructing to represent the most difficult of clients and in the most complex of cases.

Claire is an advocacy trainer and vulnerable witness facilitator. 


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

  • Fraud/Financial crime

  • Homicide

  • Modern Slavery/Human trafficking

  • Serious organised crime

  • Sexual offences

Notable Cases


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 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 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.

Sexual offences

R v E - Historic rape and indecent assaults

The defendant was accused of rape and indecent assaults on 3 complainants over 20years ago over a 3 year period. All were employees of his aged 15-18 at the time. Alleged grooming and controlling of the most vulnerable due to personal circumstances. Acquitted of all counts after trial.

R v B - Rape, sexual exploitation

Defendant faced allegations of Rape and Physical assaults over a 15 year period. He was said to control by terror within the household. The Defendant was acquitted of all the allegations at trial.

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.

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 A - Merthyr Crown Court - Trafficking/exploitation of youth

Leading counsel representing the main defendant in multi handed modern slavery and drugs conspiracy. The case concerned the supply of drugs across county lines. In excess of 150k pages of evidence significant telephone evidence requiring detailed consideration. Not Guilty verdict on modern slavery. 

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.

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 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.

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

The 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.

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

  • Independent Funding Adjudicator/Cost assessor

Professional Memberships
  • South Eastern Circuit

  • Criminal Bar Association

  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association

  • Fraud Lawyers Association

  • Women in Criminal Law

  • Middle Temple



'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

Claire Davies KC secures acquittal in historic sexual abuse case

November 30 2023

Claire’s client was accused of indecent assault upon a young child, over 20 years ago.    Following detailed cross examination during trial...

Congratulations to all members ranked and recognised in the Chambers and Partners Directory 2024 edition

November 22 2023

Barristers at Farringdon Chambers have experience of serious crime cases, including those relating to homicide, firearms and drugs offences, among...

Farringdon Chambers and thirteen of our members are ranked in Legal 500 edn 2024

October 05 2023

We are proud to announce that Farringdon Chambers and thirteen of our barristers have been ranked across the Crime and Fraud...

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