Called to the Bar:1990

Silk:2011

  • A leader in the field of serious crime and particularly those involving young and vulnerable witnesses, Eleanor Laws QC is singled out for her unparalleled knowledge in this area and ‘breathtaking’ cross-examination skills; she commands the courtroom.

    Crime

    A Silk with a forensic mind, Eleanor is an expert tactician dedicated to pulling apart the issues of a case to gain the absolutely best result for the client. Specialising in serious crime with a particular expertise in murder and the gravest sexual offences, she is recognised for her unfailing legal knowledge, commanding court presence and exemplary cross-examination skills. She has the admiration of the industry and is a pleasure to work with.

    Author of the Sexual Offences Referencer, considered to be the most widely used practitioner guide to Indictments & Sentencing in sex cases dating back to 1950, Eleanor is without doubt, the go-to Silk for sexual offences. She is much admired for her work in cases involving vulnerable witnesses.

    Reviews

    Chambers UK 2019: Crime - Star Practitioner

    Legal 500 2018: Crime - Tier 1

    'One of the leading lights at the Criminal Bar, she is very client-friendly and astute, and clearly knows her subject matter.' Chambers UK Crime (2019)

    'An expert tactician with unparalleled knowledge.' Legal 500 Crime (2018)

    'She has made an art form out of cross-examination.' 'Has a forensic mind when it comes to pulling apart the issues in a case.' 'She is an expert tactician, her legal knowledge is near unparalleled and she has a commanding court presence.' Chambers UK Crime (2018)

    'No doubt one of the best prosecutors and defenders in sexual cases.' Legal 500 Crime (2017)

    'Outstanding. Astonishing performance, breathtaking cross-examination and closing speech. I would have thought the go-to silk for all sexual allegations. Brilliant.' Chambers UK Crime (2017)

    'She is a barrister of the very highest quality scoring high marks in all categories.' Chambers UK Crime (2016)

    'She is very well prepared and a very good strategist. She has a calm manner that radiates power.' Chambers UK Crime (2015)

    'Her enormous experience of high-profile cases is always invaluable. Her advice is on point, practical and of the highest quality. She is excellent to work with.' Chambers UK Crime (2014)

    Appointments

    • Recorder 2016
    • Appointed by Council of the Inns of Court to chair Bar Disciplinary Tribunal Hearings
    • Elected committee member, Criminal Bar Association
    • External advocacy assessor for CPS Grades 2-4

    Professional Memberships

    • Criminal Bar Association
    • South Eastern Circuit

    Education

    • Diploma in Law
    • BA: History

     

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    Recent Cases

    • Eleanor Laws QC appears in high profile sexual assault case at Inner London Crown Court.Mr Naker, a financial consultant, was found guilty at Inner London Crown Court of three counts of oral rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assaul...

      ...
    • Eleanor Laws QC represented G who faced allegations of rape and serious sexual assault upon two young boys. He was also found with illicit material on his computer.

      ...
    • Eleanor Laws QC and Polly Dyer represented Professor Ariel Lant who was accused of 11 counts of sexual assault upon 10 ex patients.

      ...
    • Eleanor Laws QC led Philip McGhee in the defence of former football coach, Barry Bennell, charged with multiple child sex offences.

      ...
    • Eleanor Laws QC successfully defended property owner for rape offence.

      ...
    • Represented professional footballer Adam Johnson in his application to the Court of Appeal. 

      ...
    • Successfully defended nightclub owner for sexual assault.

      ...
    • Gordon Anglesea was an ex North Wales Chief Superintendent who successfully sued Private Eye and other media organisations for naming him as a paedophile.

      ...
    • Eleanor Laws QC and Nick Corsellis acted for the prosecution in the trial of Marvyn Iheanacho who beat his five-year-old stepson to death for losing his trainer.

      ...
    • Eleanor Laws QC defended a man charged with historic sex offences.

      ...
    • Defended youth against rape allegations; he was acquitted.

      ...
    • Dr F, consultant physician, charged with the serious sexual assault upon a patient was acquitted today at Isleworth CC.

      ...
    • Eleanor Laws QC successfully defended a man charged with making 170 indecent images on his computer.

      ...
    • Successfully defended Veterinary Surgeon for sexually assaulting nurses in his practice.

      ...
    • Eleanor Laws successfully defended a licenced taxi driver for allegations of sexual assault against a passenger.

      ...
    • Eleanor Laws QC defended student at Royal Agricultural University accused of rape. Prosecution offered no evidence following defence submissions.

      ...

    News

    • Eleanor Laws QC represented a young defendant acquitted of rape and serious sexual offences upon two young boys.

      Eleanor Law QC represented G who faced allegations of rape.

      ...
    • Eleanor Laws QC successfully defends ex-parliamentary advisor

      Elizabeth Laws QC successfully defended Richard Holden, the former special advisor to ex-Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon who was accused of sexual assault. The jury deliberated for less than an hour before returning unanimous verdicts. Her Honour Jud...

      ...
    • London Legal Walk 2018

      QEB Hollis Whiteman are walking with the Lord Chief Justice and thousands of lawyers to raise funds for the London Legal Support Trust, the Free Representation Unit and the Bar Pro Bono Unit.

      ...
    • Eleanor Laws QC & Polly Dyer successfully defended Professor Lant

      Professor Ariel Lant, represented by Eleanor Laws QC and Polly Dyer, at Southwark Crown Court, was today acquitted of 11 counts of sexual assault upon 10 ex patients. 

      ...
    • Eleanor Laws QC to speak at Criminal Bar Association training event for RASSO qualification

      Eleanor Laws QC, one of the Bar Council's Lead Facilitators for Vulnerable Witness Training, will be speaking on the topic of 'Consent' at the CBA's accredited training event for the purposes of joining the approved CPS Rape and Child Sexual Abuse Advocat...

      ...
    • Eleanor Laws QC and Philip McGhee defend Barry Bennell in historic sex charges case

      QEBHW members Eleanor Laws QC and Philip McGhee are defending former youth soccer coach, Barry Bennell, who is on trial at Liverpool Crown Court. Having admitted seven charges of sexual abuse Bennell has pleaded not guilty to 48 others relating to conduct...

      ...
    • Eleanor Laws QC, one of the Bar Council's Lead Facilitators for Vulnerable Witness Training, is providing training in a number of upcoming events

      Advocacy and the Vulnerable training to the Bar at The Inner Temple Training to the RASSO and other CPS Units London on s28 Representing the CBA at the Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference 2017 as a Panel Member for the session ‘A diverse futu...

      ...
    • Eleanor Laws QC is ranked as Leader in her Field in Crime in Chambers UK Bar Directory 2018

      Details of the rankings and commentaries will be published in November 2017 in the Chambers UK Bar Directory 2018.

      ...
    • Prosecution offer no evidence against Royal Agricultural University students accused of rape

      QEB Barristers Eleanor Laws QC (instructed by BCL) and Edward Henry (instructed by Shaw Graham Kersh) represented the first and second defendants in the trial of four men accused of rape following the Royal Agricultural University’s May ball in 2014...

      ...
    • Eleanor Laws QC represents prosecution in Ched Evans appeal

      The Court of Appeal today reserved judgement in the appeal of Ched Evans against his conviction for rape and advised that it would be delivered in April. QEB Hollis Whiteman member, Eleanor Laws QC appeared for the prosecution and advised that, in the eve...

      ...

    Articles

    • Lecture on Consent (CBA RASSO Training Seminar)

      Eleanor Laws QC delivered a lecture at the CBA RASSO Training Seminar on the 27th of January 2018.

    • Eleanor Laws QC authors the Legal Research paper

      Eleanor Laws QC has authored the Legal Research paper which forms part of the compulsory Vulnerable Witness training for all Advocates.

    • Sexual Offences Referencer

      (Oxford University Press, second edition), the definitive guide to indictments and sentencing dating back to 1950, dealing with special measures, CPS charging practice and ancillary orders upon conviction. The book is recommended to practitioners at Crimi...

    • SE Circuit lecture on Vulnerable Witnesses

    • "Incompetent Competency Hearings" - Counsel Magazine (2014)

      Eleanor Laws QC considers the case of R v F in the context of the changes in the way that courts are dealing with vulnerable witnesses. 

    • CBA Lecture on Recovered Memory - (2013)

      Eleanor Laws QC delivered a lecture to the CBA in June 2013 on the admissibility of expert evidence on recovered memory in criminal trials.

      View Article

       

  • The most accomplished of practitioners, Eleanor Laws QC has industry recognition for being one of the absolute best; she is forensically and tactically astute, commanding in court and a delight to work with.

    Overview

    A Silk with a forensic mind, Eleanor is an expert tactician dedicated to pulling apart the issues of a case to gain the absolutely best result for the client. Specialising in serious crime with a particular expertise in murder and the gravest sexual offences, she is recognised for her unfailing legal knowledge, commanding court presence and exemplary cross-examination skills. She has the admiration of the industry and is a pleasure to work with.

    Author of the Sexual Offences Referencer, considered to be the most widely used practitioner guide to Indictments & Sentencing in sex cases dating back to 1950, Eleanor is without doubt, the go-to Silk for sexual offences. She is much admired for her work in cases involving vulnerable witnesses.

    Experience

    An undisputed leader in the field of serious crime, Eleanor has experience of cases involving drugs, violence, cruelty, murder and the full gamut of sexual offences including: trafficking; assault; abuse and rape and historical allegations of the same. She is recognised for her skill in cases involving young and vulnerable witnesses and the treatment thereof. Her work is invariably complex and high profile.

    Eleanor’s experience at the highest level has made her the Counsel of choice for professionals and those with a public profile. She has represented senior members in education and various healthcare professions as well as people in the media spotlight.

    Notable cases include: highly publicised sex trafficking cases such as the Oxford sex trafficking case; acting as Specialist Advisory Counsel in the Jersey Child Abuse cases; and cases arising out of the recent North Wales Children’s Homes Inquiry.

    Eleanor is regularly instructed pre-charge to advise high-profile clients facing police investigation where engaging her at the earliest stage of the criminal process has frequently resulted in an investigation being dropped, promptly concluding any distress that the client has naturally experienced and ultimately maintaining the privacy of the individual, important to all clients and particularly crucial to those in the public eye.

    Eleanor is also frequently instructed to conduct hearings at the latter stage of the process. She has acted in sentences and appeals where she has not conducted the criminal trial. Her knowledge and presence, particularly in the field of serious sexual offences, make her the obvious choice for those who hope to achieve the best where they have been disappointed before. 

    Eleanor is uniquely liked and respected by associates, partners, junior barristers, her peers and the Judiciary; she has a manner that makes you immediately feel at ease and part of a very effective team.

    Eleanor is a Recorder with a Serious Sexual Offences Ticket. She impresses the market with her vast knowledge and its application in the criminal courts.

    Drawing on her considerable experience of high-profile cases, Eleanor is at the forefront of educating the Bar and outside agencies (including police, medical practitioners, the National Crime Agency and the Child Exploitation Online Protection Agency) on the treatment of vulnerable witnesses. She is an External Advocacy Trainer for CPS Grades 2-4, and recently assisted in compiling a training programme for the treatment of vulnerable witnesses as part of the launch of the Advocate's Gateway. She is part of HHJ Rook QC's Working Group whose task is to develop advocacy training for cases involving sex offences and vulnerable witnesses and defendants. She has lectured to the Criminal Bar Association and members of the South East Circuit on false memory, advocacy in cases involving vulnerable witnesses, and disclosure in criminal cases. She was appointed by the Council of the Inns of Court to Chair the Bar Disciplinary Tribunal Hearings and she is an elected Committee Member of the Criminal Bar Association. She is currently involved in various education and compliance projects to assist those in exposed positions.

    Eleanor was invited to attend an all-party parliamentary inquiry into the treatment of vulnerable witnesses and defendants, and also took part in Sarah Champion MP’s inquiry into sexual exploitation legislation. She also assisted with Keir Starmer QC’s Victims’ Taskforce to examine victims’ rights.

    The work that Eleanor does for her specialist field is remarkable and her practice reflects this.

    Notable Cases

    R v ES (2015) 
    Successfully defended man charged with date rape.

    R v Janner (2015)
    Eleanor Laws QC was instructed by the prosecution.

    R v LP (2015)
    Instructed to review and advise on grounds of appeal. 

    R v Butler (2015) 
    Successful response to CCRC referral. Highlighting the limited use to which third party records may be used in an historic case. 

    Operation Pallial (2014-2016) 
    Eleanor was lead counsel instructed to review and prosecute all cases arising out of Operation Pallial, investigating allegations of child sex abuse in North Wales children’s homes. It is the largest investigation into child abuse in the UK to date. 

    R v Jamil & Others (Oxford sex trafficking cases) (2013) 
    Successfully defended one of nine defendants. 

    R v F (2013)
    Successfully argued in Court of Appeal that a terminating ruling declaring a vulnerable witness as incompetent be reversed. Witness had learning difficulties and required intermediary and interpreter. 

    Inquiry into the Haut de la Garenne children’s home in Jersey (2010) 
    Child abuse investigation. Instructed in three cases, all Royal Courts Jersey (2010): Re Jordan, Re Wateridge, Re Donnelly (2010).

    Reviews

    Chambers UK 2019: Crime - Star Practitioner

    Legal 500 2018: Crime - Tier 1

    'One of the leading lights at the Criminal Bar, she is very client-friendly and astute, and clearly knows her subject matter.' Chambers UK Crime (2019)

    'An expert tactician with unparalleled knowledge.' Legal 500 Crime (2018)

    'She has made an art form out of cross-examination.' 'Has a forensic mind when it comes to pulling apart the issues in a case.' 'She is an expert tactician, her legal knowledge is near unparalleled and she has a commanding court presence.' Chambers UK Crime (2018)

    'No doubt one of the best prosecutors and defenders in sexual cases.' Legal 500 Crime (2017)

    'Outstanding. Astonishing performance, breathtaking cross-examination and closing speech. I would have thought the go-to silk for all sexual allegations. Brilliant.' Chambers UK Crime (2017)

    'She is a barrister of the very highest quality scoring high marks in all categories.' Chambers UK Crime (2016)

    'She is very well prepared and a very good strategist. She has a calm manner that radiates power.' Chambers UK Crime (2015)

    'Her enormous experience of high-profile cases is always invaluable. Her advice is on point, practical and of the highest quality. She is excellent to work with.' Chambers UK Crime (2014)

    Recent Cases

    • Eleanor Laws QC appears in high profile sexual assault case at Inner London Crown Court.Mr Naker, a financial consultant, was found guilty at Inner London Crown Court of three counts of oral rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assaul...

    • Eleanor Laws QC represented G who faced allegations of rape and serious sexual assault upon two young boys. He was also found with illicit material on his computer.

    • Eleanor Laws QC and Polly Dyer represented Professor Ariel Lant who was accused of 11 counts of sexual assault upon 10 ex patients.

    • Eleanor Laws QC led Philip McGhee in the defence of former football coach, Barry Bennell, charged with multiple child sex offences.

    • Eleanor Laws QC successfully defended property owner for rape offence.

    • Represented professional footballer Adam Johnson in his application to the Court of Appeal. 

    • Successfully defended nightclub owner for sexual assault.

    • Gordon Anglesea was an ex North Wales Chief Superintendent who successfully sued Private Eye and other media organisations for naming him as a paedophile.

    • Eleanor Laws QC and Nick Corsellis acted for the prosecution in the trial of Marvyn Iheanacho who beat his five-year-old stepson to death for losing his trainer.

    • Eleanor Laws QC defended a man charged with historic sex offences.

    • Defended youth against rape allegations; he was acquitted.

    • Dr F, consultant physician, charged with the serious sexual assault upon a patient was acquitted today at Isleworth CC.

    • Eleanor Laws QC successfully defended a man charged with making 170 indecent images on his computer.

    • Successfully defended Veterinary Surgeon for sexually assaulting nurses in his practice.

    • Eleanor Laws successfully defended a licenced taxi driver for allegations of sexual assault against a passenger.

    • Eleanor Laws QC defended student at Royal Agricultural University accused of rape. Prosecution offered no evidence following defence submissions.

    News

    Articles

    • "Incompetent Competency Hearings" - Counsel Magazine (2014)

      Eleanor Laws QC considers the case of R v F in the context of the changes in the way that courts are dealing with vulnerable witnesses. 

    • CBA Lecture on Recovered Memory - (2013)

      Eleanor Laws QC delivered a lecture to the CBA in June 2013 on the admissibility of expert evidence on recovered memory in criminal trials.

      View Article