Appeals Barristers in London

If you have recently been convicted or sentenced for a crime, but wish to appeal against your conviction, seeking expert legal advice and representation from a highly skilled appeals barrister should be your first move. With decades experience, our set of criminal appeals barristers recognise the impact that a wrongful conviction can have on a person's life. Whether it’s a conviction for a minor offence or a life-changing prison sentence, it is essential to take action as soon as possible.

Why should I choose 25 Bedford Row for an appeals barrister?

Appeals Barristers at 25 Bedford Row have unrivalled expertise and experience in appellate work. Our barristers appear daily in Appeal Courts. We provide advice and representation in the following areas:

  • Regulatory and licensing appeals.
  • Appeals from the Magistrates’ Court to the Crown Court.
  • Appeals to the High Court by way of Case Stated and Judicial Review.
  • Appeals against Conviction & Sentence from the Crown Court to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division.
  • Appeals to the Supreme Court.
  • Applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) where an appeal has already failed.

Appeal Barristers at 25 Bedford Row have been involved in some of the most significant criminal appeal cases of recent times. We are currently involved in advising on many of the joint enterprise conviction appeals that have arisen since the Supreme Court decision in the case of R v Jogee and R v Ruddock ([2016] UKSC 8 & 7). Chambers’ excellent team of counsel specialising in homicide cases are well placed to advise in these cases, bringing their extensive appellate experience and defence driven commitment to hundreds of appellants that may have suffered an error in law or procedural unfairness.

Criminal Appeals FAQ

Appeal Barristers can help to challenge court decisions. We can advise and assist in the preparation of an appeal, as well as representing clients in appellate courts at all levels.

How will the Appeals Barristers at 25 Bedford Row help me through the process?

All our appellate barristers will provide expertise suited to the demands of your criminal appeal, including:

  • Expert advice as to the merits of the appeal;
  • Drafting applications for permission to appeal including notices of appeal, grounds of appeal, applications for permission to appeal and legal submissions in support of an appeal;
  • Advice and assistance in drafting comprehensive witness statements for both appellants and witnesses in appeal proceedings;
  • Expert advice as to required and recommended documentary evidence in support of an appeal;
  • Checking of document to ensure compliance with strict procedural requirements;
  • Representation by specialist appellate barristers at court hearings.

How can I get legal advice about making an appeal?

Often you can instruct a barrister directly to advise on appeal, or you can instruct a solicitor who will usually work with a barrister. Our clerks are expert in advising on next steps.

Our Appeals Barristers have the experience to give expert advice on whether or not you have arguable grounds for appeal against a conviction and/or sentence.

Upon instruction and receipt of documentation our appellate barristers will prepare a written advice on the merits of an appeal. If an appeal is arguable, draft grounds of appeal will be produced and lodged with the appropriate Court.

If leave to appeal is not granted appeal barristers, in appropriate circumstances, can renew your application for leave to appeal.

What type of cases can Appeal Barristers at 25 Bedford Row provide advice and representation for?

Appeal Barristers at 25 Bedford Row can provide advice and representation in the following areas:

  • Applications to re-open convictions in the Magistrates Court;
  • Appeals from the Magistrates Court to Crown court;
  • Appeals to the High court by way of case stated or judicial review;
  • Appeals against conviction and/or sentence from the Crown Court to the Court of

Appeal Criminal Division;

  • Appeals to the Supreme Court;
  • Applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) where an appeal has already failed.

Why do I need a specialist appeals lawyer?

Appellate Barristers at 25 Bedford Row are adept to deliver the highest level of representation both in first instance and appeal courts. We pride ourselves on being able to provide clients with the barristers who are both accomplished jury advocates and highly attuned to the different style of advocacy required to persuade the senior judges in the higher courts. We are able to respond quickly to the changing needs of cases.

What are the grounds for appeal against a sentence or conviction?

Court of Appeal Criminal Division:

Appeal against conviction

There is no automatic right of appeal against conviction. An appeal may only be brought by leave (permission) of the Court of Appeal. Even if leave is granted, the appeal will fail unless it can be shown that a conviction is unsafe.

A conviction may be unsafe for many different reasons, including the following:

  • The Judge made an error of law during the trial;
  • The Judge misdirected the jury in law or fact in his summing up;
  • There was otherwise a procedural irregularity during the trial;
  • The verdicts were inconsistent;
  • There is now material and credible fresh evidence which was unavailable during the trial which casts doubt on the jury’s verdict or the safety of the conviction.

Appeal against sentence

There is no automatic right of appeal against sentence. An appeal against sentence may also only be brought where a single judge of the Court of Appeal has granted leave to appeal.

Even if leave to appeal is granted, an appeal will fail unless it can be shown that a sentence is:

  • Wrong in law;
  • Wrong in principle;
  • Manifestly excessive.

How long do you have to appeal a conviction?

Time limits vary. Any application for leave to appeal against conviction or sentence to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division should be lodged within 28 days of the relevant decision. After those deadlines, an extension of time will be required. The circumstances in which extension will be granted vary. Appeal Barristers at 25 Bedford Row can advise regards extensions of time.

How much does it cost to appeal?

Many people are surprised to learn that the cost of an appeal (particularly if you use appeal barristers at 25 Bedford Row via the direct access scheme) is usually very much less than the legal costs incurred up to that point. There are two reasons for this: First, the role of the appeal Court is not to hold a retrial but rather to review the decision made by the trial Judge in the light of legal argument from the barristers on each side. Cases are much shorter. Most appeals do not involve evidence from witnesses, or consideration of all the documentation from the trial. Secondly, the appeal (except in rare cases where new evidence is allowed) allows the appeal barrister to use only the materials which have already been utilised at the trial. The costs incurred before the trial in e.g. disclosure of documents, instructing expert witnesses, and obtaining witness statements, are not repeated during the appeal.

Barrister’s fees are charged by pre-agreeing hourly rates or fixed fees. Fees are based on the seniority of the barrister, preparation time, and time required to attend Court. 

Who will hear my criminal appeal? 

The judges and tribunals hearing different types of appeal vary widely.

If your appeal is to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division, your criminal appeal Barrister will make an application for permission to appeal in writing to a single Judge. If permission is granted by the single judge, a full appeal hearing will take place, usually in front of three court of appeal judges. Sometimes appellants are refused leave to appeal by the single judge, but they can renew the application in front of the full court. We are able to advise on how to do this.

How long will my appeal take?

There are a number of different factors which affect the time an appeal will take, such as sentence length, complexity, co-appellants and other features of the case. We can guide you through the process step-by-step.

In appeals to the Court of Appeal Criminal division, the Criminal Appeal Office currently aims to process a conviction case, from receipt of the application to the final hearing, within 10 months. On average, a simple appeal against sentence case will take about 5 months.

What happens if I lose my criminal appeal?

If you lose your appeal, your original conviction will stay the same. You won’t be able to appeal again unless the Criminal Cases Review Commission refers your case back to the Court of Appeal. Your criminal appeal barrister can advise on this course.

25 Bedford Row has amassed a heavyweight selection of criminal silks and juniors who regularly feature at the forefront of legal developments and are particularly well regarded in the appellate arena

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