Gwen Henshaw

Year of Call:
Practice areas
  • Crime

"Gwen is a highly experienced criminal barrister who has not lost the ability to relate to clients who are often vulnerable, and certainly in a vulnerable position. Gwen is someone who gets results by her compelling advocacy."

Legal 500 (2024)


Gwen was called to the Bar in 2000 as a member of Middle Temple and is the Head of the Cobden House Criminal Team.
She specialises in all aspects of criminal law, with particular expertise in serious sexual cases. Gwen has extensive experience in long and complex trials including grooming, rape and other serious assaults, as well as firearms, theft, robbery, blackmail, fraud and drug matters.

Gwen accepts instructions in both defence and prosecution cases. She is a Category 4 prosecutor and a member of the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Panel. Gwen has appeared in the Court of Appeal on numerous conviction and sentence appeals.

Part-time lecturer at MMU in Advocacy and Ethics during 2018 and 2019

Pupil supervisor 

Testimonial Quotes

Ranked in The Legal 500 2018/2019/2020 "Recent work includes drugs conspiracies and serious sexual offences."

Ranked in The Legal 500 2017/18: "Very experienced in serious sexual offences cases."

Notable Cases

R v GS – lead counsel for the defence with an indictment alleging numerous sexual offences over a number of years.

R v BL – prosecuted a defendant charged with committing drug offences involving child witnesses.

R v RJ – represented a defendant with significant special needs who faced historic sexual allegations.

R v OO & others – prosecuted a multi-handed fraud case, working closely with specialist police officers in advance of and during the trial.

R v RM – made a successful application to dismiss the charges in a case of violent disorder with multiple defendants, the rest of whom faced trial.

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