East Anglia:
01245 280 880
020 7520 6000
Mary Cowe

Mary Cowe

Call: 2006 Associate Tenant

T: 020 7520 6000    E: chambers@18rlc.co.uk

Mary has an established practice in fraud and financial crime. She regularly prosecutes complex, multi-handed cases which require advocacy that engages a jury whilst dealing with the forensic detail. Her broader background in general crime, including a specialism in defending those with learning disability or psychiatric problems, mean that she is well-placed to deal with challenging clients and expert witnesses.


  • Operation Range (2018) – Leading junior prosecuting a six-handed car-ringing conspiracy
  • Operation Everest (2018 – Led junior prosecuting a fraud relating to claims made by a biotechnology company in an Information Memorandum. The claims were false both in terms of the technical achievements of the company and the nature of the shares being sold. Mary was heavily involved in the legal arguments in this case and dealt with many witnesses including the evidence of an intellectual property expert.
  • R v RF (2018) – Defending alone a man charged with having explosive devices without a lawful object relating to a stockpile of home made bombs in his bedroom; this case involved psychiatric evidence
  • Operation Blisland (2017/2018) –  Led junior prosecuting six men charged with a series of rapes against a vulnerable girl
  • R v SMN (2017)  – Defending alone a woman with an extremely low IQ charged with historic sexual offences; this case involved input from a psychiatrist, a psychologist and an intermediary
  • R v C and Others (2017) – Prosecuting alone a man charged with wilfully pretending to be a barrister and a variety of frauds including appropriating funds intended to be used by his ‘client’ to purchase land
  • R v AS (2016)  – Prosecuting alone 25 counts of fraud relating to an international freight forwarding business


Chambers and Partners UK [2021]: Crime [Band 2]

An experienced junior who prosecutes and defends serious criminal cases, including sexual offences, child cruelty, drugs, serious violence and high-value frauds. As a Grade 4 prosecutor she is regularly instructed by the CPS in complex criminal matters.
“She is unflappable in court and always very calm and firm.”
“She is brilliant in cross-examinations and is always fully prepared.”
“She is a really strong advocate and her tenacity and no-nonsense approach is fantastic.”

Recent work: Acted for the prosecution in R v Lopresti, a case involving allegations of modern slavery.

Chambers and Partners UK [2020]:

“She is extremely hard-working and very well respected by the Bristol Court.”
“A superb hands-on approach, great client care, sharp and a natural advocate.”

Recent work: Led the prosecution in a case involving a gang who were accused of stealing and stripping Land Rovers for their valuable parts.

Chambers and Partners UK [2019]: Crime

Prosecuted nine defendants who were charged with operating a class A drugs conspiracy from a flat in Weston-super-Mare.

Chambers and Partners UK [2018]: Crime [Band 3]

An experienced junior who prosecutes and defends serious criminal cases, including sexual offences, child cruelty, drugs, serious violence and high-value frauds.
“She is meticulous in preparation, sensitive and thorough in cross-examination and particularly strong in dealing with vulnerable witnesses.”
“She is contactable and will always provide advice – nothing is too much hassle.”

Recent work: Prosecuted multiple allegations of fraud and one allegation of furnishing false information to the revenue over the course of six weeks. The defendant used different aliases, bank accounts and company names.

Legal 500 [2021]: Crime, Leading Junior [Tier 1]

“A class act – precise, considered, clever and persuasive.”

Legal 500 [2019]: Crime

Prosecutes and defends in cases of fraud, sexual offences and multi-handed drugs conspiracies.

Legal 500 [2017]: Crime, Leading Junior

“She shows judgement beyond her years of call.”

Legal 500 [2016]: Crime, Leading Junior

“She has a powerful intellect, and is a formidable and hardworking advocate.”

Legal 500 [2015]: Crime, Leading Junior

“Her ability to identify the important issues of any case ensures thorough preparation.”


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MA (Hons) Jurisprudence, Keble College, Oxford

MPhil Criminology, St Catharine’s College, Cambridge


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Inner Temple
Criminal Bar Association
Western Circuit
Lawyers for Liberty
Howard League for Penal Reform
Bar Pro Bono Unit

Professional Appointments

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CPS Specialist Fraud Panel Grade 4

Serious Fraud Office Panel B

CPS General Crime Panel Grade 4

Pupil supervisor