• After an impressive start to her law career in human rights, Zara Brawley has experienced work in Chambers across the full range of our practice areas.

    Corporate and Financial Crime

    Zara has experience of both defending and prosecuting in cases brought by the CPS, as well as large-scale investigations conducted by the SFO and FCA.

    Crime

    Zara regularly acts for the defence and prosecution, on both a private and publicly-funded basis. She is a dedicated and persuasive advocate, with an interest across the full spectrum of criminal law.

    Regulatory

    Zara has presented and defended cases across various regulators, both when instructed in her own right and when assisting more senior counsel in more complex matters.

    Public Law

    With experience of oral advocacy and the provision of written advice, Zara is keen to develop a practice encompassing Judicial Review, Public Inquiries, and Inquests.

    Private Prosecutions

    Zara is quickly gaining experience of Private Prosecutions and is particularly interested in developing a practice in this field.

    Appointments

    • Public Access qualified
    • CPS External Advocates Panel – Grade 1
    • Approved NMC Counsel
    • Advocacy and the Vulnerable accredited

    Professional Memberships

    • Gray’s Inn
    • Young Fraud Lawyers Association
    • Criminal Bar Association

    Education

    • BPTC – City, University of London
    • GDL – City, University of London
    • BA (Hons) European Social and Political Studies – University College London

    Scholarships and Prizes

    • Gerald Moody BPTC Scholarship (Gray’s Inn)
    • City Law School Postgraduate Scholarship (City, University of London)
    • Cheng Tien-His Prize for Public International Law (UCL)
    • Sessional Prizes for German and European Social and Political Studies (UCL)

    Languages

    • French
    • German

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    Recent Cases

    News

    • Congratulations to our new tenants

      Charlotte Godber and Zara Brawley have joined Chambers, following successful pupillages.

      ...
  • Corporate and Financial Crime

    With a keen interest in Corporate and Financial Crime, Zara has experience of small-scale through to complex and multi-jurisdictional cases.

    Overview

    Zara has experience of both defending and prosecuting in cases brought by the CPS, as well as large-scale investigations conducted by the SFO and FCA.

    Experience

    Zara is currently instructed by the FCA in an ongoing criminal investigation into fraudulent activity by an investment fund.

    She is also part of the defence team of a former senior manager of a multi-national corporation who faces a fraud prosecution overseas.

    She has secured an acquittal at trial for an individual charged with the possession of articles for use in fraud. Zara also has experience of confiscation proceedings in both the Magistrates’ and Crown Court.

    During pupillage, Zara assisted in the defence of a businessman who faced charges of bribery and corruption. She also assisted in the prosecution of a number of fraud cases, including a sham lottery scheme targeted at elderly victims and a long-running scheme involving the fraudulent ordering of BT equipment.

    Before joining Chambers, Zara worked as a paralegal in the Funds team of the US law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

    Notable cases

    • R v A (2018): secured an acquittal for a defendant charged with the possession of articles for use in fraud (13 lost/stolen bank cards).
    • R v G (2018): agreed a confiscation order for £62 on behalf of a client whose benefit figure had been assessed at £105,000.
  • Zara regularly acts for the defence and prosecution, on both a private and publicly-funded basis. She is a dedicated and persuasive advocate, with an interest across the full spectrum of criminal law.

    Experience

    Zara is quickly developing a varied practice in the Crown Court, Youth Court and Magistrates’ Courts.

    She has secured acquittals for clients charged with offences including burglary, possession of a bladed article, assault ABH, harassment and driving matters. She has on multiple occasions secured the dismissal of charges after a successful submission of no case to answer.

    Zara prosecutes for the CPS in trial and appeal matters in the Magistrates’ Courts and Crown Court. She has also acted as noting junior to Senior Treasury Counsel throughout a murder and robbery trial at the Central Criminal Court.

    During pupillage, and later as a tenant, Zara assisted Selva Ramasamy QC in the defence of a police dog handler charged under the Dangerous Dogs Act after his police dog seriously injured a runner in training for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Unbeknownst to the handler, the dog had been deemed unfit for service by its previous police force. The case involved a number of significant and novel legal challenges and led to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division creating new authority in two areas of law (see [2019] EWCA Crim 17). Selva and Zara went on to secure a stay of the prosecution as an abuse of process.

    Before joining Chambers as a pupil, Zara spent a year at the Malawi Human Rights Commission, leading the implementation of High Court re-sentencing hearings for 170 prisoners previously sentenced to the mandatory death penalty. To date, the project has secured the immediate release of nearly 140 people. Zara also spent two years at the charity Reprieve, acting as a caseworker for individuals facing the death penalty in Pakistan, the USA and Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Through her background in human rights, Zara has a particular interest in and knowledge of issues relating to mental health and intellectual disability, and their application in criminal proceedings.

    Zara is CPS Grade 1 and is accredited to act in cases involving vulnerable witnesses.

    Zara is Public Access qualified.

    Notable cases:

    • R v A (2019): after a three-day trial, secured an acquittal for Mr A, who had been charged with assault ABH after knocking a man’s front teeth out with a punch. The jury accepted that he was acting in pre-emptive defence of another.
    • R v M (2019): secured a suspended sentence for a client who had pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, despite the sentencing judge having previously described an immediate custodial sentence as “inevitable”.
    • R v J (2019): client acquitted in the face of evidence from two police officers that he had been in possession of a lock knife.
    • R v G (2018): client received an absolute discharge after pleading guilty to possessing an offensive weapon (a police-style ‘flick’ baton).

    Recent Cases

  • Zara has presented and defended cases across various regulators, both when instructed in her own right and when assisting more senior counsel in more complex matters.

    Experience

    Zara has acted for the Nursing and Midwifery Council in a number of regulatory matters.

    She has assisted in the defence of a doctor, being represented via Public Access, in General Medical Council misconduct proceedings. She has also observed proceedings before the General Chiropractic Council.

    During pupillage, Zara assisted Susannah Stevens with the representation of a Special Constable who faced gross misconduct proceedings brought by the Metropolitan Police. She helped to secure a stay of proceedings on the basis of cause of action estoppel.

    In addition, Zara has experience of advising and representing individuals in relation to appealing against firearms licensing decisions.

  • Private Prosecutions

    Zara is quickly gaining experience in private prosecutions and is particularly interested in developing a practice in this field.

    Experience

    Zara is currently instructed in a prosecution brought by an intellectual property organisation against an individual alleged to have been involved in the use and supply of unauthorised satellite television decoders.

    This builds upon experience she gained during pupillage whereby she assisted with the preparation of a private prosecution for conspiracy to defraud successfully brought by the Football Association Premier League.

  • With experience of oral advocacy and the provision of written advice, Zara is keen to develop a practice encompassing Judicial Review, Public Inquiries, and Inquests.

    Experience

    During pupillage, Zara assisted in the representation of a nurse at the inquest of a young woman who committed suicide whilst an in-patient on a psychiatric ward. (BBC News report: here).

    Zara has assisted with advising on the merits of pursuing judicial review of a decision by the CPS to prosecute and has conducted research into various issues under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. She observed part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

    Prior to joining chambers, Zara was closely involved with bringing an application for judicial review against the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on behalf of a British national unlawfully detained overseas.