Claire Davies QC

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

Claire is a fearless and formidable QC, 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. 

Recognition:

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

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.

Homicide

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.

R v AB - Central Criminal Court - Gang related murder

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

7 handed murder. 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

Sexual offences

R v B - Historic rape and physical abuse

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 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

  • Chambers Director

  • 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

     

Latest News

Congratulations to our very own Claire Davies QC on being sworn in as silk at Westminster Hall

March 21 2022

We are very proud of our very own Claire Davies QC on being sworn in as silk at Westminster...

Farringdon Chambers is delighted to announce that Claire Davies has been appointed QC

December 22 2021

Farringdon Chambers is delighted to announce that Claire Davies has been successful in her application for Queen's Counsel and...

Farringdon Chambers and six of our members are ranked in Chambers and Partners edn 2022

October 21 2021

Farringdon Chambers are proud to have maintained their ranking in Chambers and Partners edn 2022 in the Crime category. A number...

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