Joanna is ranked in the 2019, 2020 and 2021 editions of the Legal 500 as a leading junior in general crime. In 2019 she was listed in the Law and Order category of the Evening Standard’s Progress 1000, a list of the most influential people in London.
Joanna is an experienced and popular jury advocate. She is cited in the 2021 edition of the Legal 500 as “an absolute star whose high profile is well deserved. A skilled advocate who works exceptionally hard, winning the trust of judges and juries alike”. The 2020 edition described Joanna as having “a sure touch with clients and the court alike”. The 2019 edition praised “the work she puts into each cross-examination”.
Joanna defends at the highest level. Recent instructions as sole counsel include attempted murder [firearms], attempted murder [stabbing], rape, kidnap, death by dangerous driving, arson, historic sexual allegations, intra-familial sexual allegations, widespread drugs conspiracies and high profile fraud.
Joanna is also an efficient, diligent junior. She is currently being led in allegations of murder and serious sexual offences.
Joanna is approachable and skilled in representing young and vulnerable defendants. She is experienced in the use of intermediaries and undertook one of the first pre-recorded cross-examination trials.
Additionally, Joanna is often asked to represent professionals in the criminal courts including police officers, teachers, prison officers, soldiers, businesspeople and high profile individuals.
An accomplished appellate lawyer, Joanna is regularly instructed to advise and act in first-instance cases involving difficult points of law. She has appeared before the Court of Appeal on behalf of both appellants and respondents. She appeared before the Lord Chief Justice in the leading authority establishing the correct approach to inconsistent verdicts [F and others  EWCA Crim 550]. In a recent appeal against sentence she successfully argued an extended sentence of 8 years was manifestly excessive – it being reduced to a determinate sentence of 40 months [T  EWCA Crim 1378]. She is experienced in Attorney General’s Reference proceedings and has been led for the defence in relation to an unduly lenient minimum term of a life sentence imposed for the offence of conspiracy to murder [W  EWCA (Crim) 1353].
Joanna is able to provide prompt written advice as to evidence and sentence – followed by conferences in advance of trial. She is experienced in the instruction of experts. Joanna updates her instructing solicitors in writing on the same day as each hearing.
Joanna is approved to prosecute cases for the Crown Prosecution Service at Level Three.
Joanna is an Advocacy Trainer with Middle Temple and a Pupil Supervisor within chambers.
Joanna came to the Bar from a strong academic background. She read Law at King’s College London where she graduated with First Class Honours. She was awarded a postgraduate scholarship to read for her LLM Master of Laws, graduating with Distinction. She was the recipient of the Harmsworth Scholarship from Middle Temple.
- R v D (2020) Defended allegations of serious sexual offending from the 1970’s. In the interim, and unusually, the defendant had been convicted of a separate offence of murder and served over three decades in custody before the proceedings began.
- R v D (2019) Led junior for the defence in relation to historic sexual allegations made against a teacher at a boarding school.
- R v H (2018) Defended a complex allegation of attempted rape. The sole issue was capacity in the context of a complainant diagnosed with dementia.
- R v C (2018) Defended an allegation of aiding and abetting rape in circumstances where the principal defendant had pleaded guilty.
- R v F (2018) Acquittal of serving police officer accused of sexual assault in a nightclub.
- R v H (2018) Represented an employee of a primary school accused of indecent exposure.
- R v Z (2016) Represented a taxi driver who was acquitted of sexually assaulting a young female passenger.
- R v O (2015-2016) Appeared for the first defendant accused of multiple counts of rape against a young woman over the course of one evening. Following mixed verdicts [one conviction and three acquittals] Joanna appeared in a conjoined appeal which established the correct approach to inconsistent verdicts [F and others  EWCA Crim 550].
- R v T (2015) Represented a young defendant on the Asperger’s spectrum accused of sexually assaulting his neighbour. Successfully raised reasonable belief in consent.
- R v T (2014) Counsel for a female defendant accused of an historic 25 year old allegation of sexual offending against a male child.
- R v M (2013) Led junior for the defence relating to 25 counts of historic rape and sexual offences involving 10 complainants.
- R v C (2019) Defended an allegation of attempted murder involving a stab wound to the neck in a London Public House.
- R v S (2019) Prosecuted a section 18 GBH allegation in which the defendant had bitten off part of the complainant’s tongue.
- R v R (2018) Appeared for a teenage defendant in a gang-related conspiracy to wound case allegedly driven by ‘drill’ music online.
- R v C (2017) Led by Max Hill QC in relation to a ‘cold case’ conspiracy to murder trial.
- R v W (2017) Led junior in a multi-handed conspiracy to murder trial and related aggravated burglary proceedings. The minimum term of the life sentence imposed at first instance was subject to an Attorney General’s Reference.
- R v D (2017) Represented a female defendant accused of orchestrating the stabbing of two complainants.
- R v S (2016) Appeared for a defendant accused of possessing a loaded double-barrelled shotgun with intent to cause fear of violence. This involved the rare defence of necessity of circumstances. The defendant was acquitted of the most serious charge and convicted of simple possession.
- R v S (2015) Led junior for the first defendant accused of murdering his neighbour by stabbing. The matter involved a contested confession, DNA, cell site and ANPR evidence.
- R v F (2019) Appeared for a high profile individual accused of being party to a high level six figure conspiracy to fraudulently sell Rare Earth Metals.
- R v L and nine others (2018) Prosecuted alone a ten-handed conspiracy to defraud [three to trial] and related POCA proceedings. The defendants were accused of selling ‘phantom’ tickets to high profile sporting events.
- R v G (2016) Represented a defendant accused of manipulating the Power of Attorney provisions to commit a six-figure fraud against his father who had been diagnosed with dementia.
- R v M (2016) Prosecution counsel for a six-figure fraud committed through complex identity theft.
- R v D (2015) Appeared alone for a female defendant accused of laundering over £150,000 cash said to have been from a widespread class A drugs conspiracy. The crown were represented by leading and junior counsel.
What the Directories say:
- "An absolute star whose high profile is well deserved. A skilled advocate who works exceptionally hard, winning the trust of judges and juries alike. She is an incredible mentor to many solicitors and barristers; both formally and informally. She is someone I look up to as a person and a lawyer."
Legal 500 (2021)
- "She has a sure touch with clients and the court alike."
Legal 500 (2020)
Law LLB [First Class Honours], King’s College London 2008
LLM Master of Laws [Distinction], King’s College London 2009
Criminal Bar Association
Crown Prosecution Service, Level Three Advocate
King’s College London Postgraduate Alumni Bursary, 2008-9
Harmsworth Scholarship, Middle Temple 2009