Louise Blackwell QC
‘A silk with a wealth of experience in criminal matters acting both for the defence and for the prosecution. Has a particular focus on cases involving vulnerable witnesses and those traumatised by personal crimes. Practises in cases concerning severe sexual offences, gangland kidnap, murder and torture.’
Chambers and Partners (2020)
Miss Blackwell has been at the bar for over 25 years, taking silk in 2006. She has specialised in criminal law throughout her career and has dealt with matters of the utmost severity and complexity acting for both the prosecution and defence.
Miss Blackwell has particular experience in cases involving vulnerable witnesses. She has vast experience in dealing with women, children and men who have been traumatised by very personal crimes. These include the obvious sexual offences of the highest magnitude, but also offences of gangland kidnap, torture and murder of all types.
Miss Blackwell has recently successfully represented a number of TV celebrities and high profile defendants in relation to sex offence allegations.
This experience has given Miss Blackwell the skills to deal with witnesses who find the court room a difficult and hostile place. Consequently, both the law relating to the admissibility of evidence of vulnerable witnesses and the practical issues of leading evidence from such witnesses are part of her skills base. She has a very strong ability to connect with such witnesses enabling them to give evidence well. Further, her wide experience of defending in such cases has given her an ability to cross-examine defendants with ease. Her experience allows her to read and deal with multi-agency records, with a thorough knowledge of what to ask for and how to understand such records.
Miss Blackwell has particular experience of the law relating to consent both to sexual matters and to physical violence occurring with consent during sexual relationships.
Miss Blackwell has also dealt with a number of cases involving expert evidence relating to mobile telephone records. Her knowledge and understanding of this area of expertise is very large. All aspects of cell site analysis etc are within her expertise. In particular she has dealt with cases, at the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal which deal with the complexities of such evidence, including the Leading case of R-v-Singh which settled the question of implied assertions and hearsay as relating to mobile telephone material.
Having a science and mathematics background, Miss Blackwell enjoys dealing with cases that require an indepth knowledge and understanding of complex expert issues. And her years as a jury advocate have enabled her to translate these sometimes difficult matters, into a form easily assimilated by the jury.
Miss Blackwell is well known for being approachable and has an excellent bedside manner. She is highly regarded by her fellow practitioners.
Whether prosecuting or defending she gives a very high level of commitment and service to both her professional and lay clients.
Miss Blackwell is happy to travel to all courts both on and off the Northern Circuit, and will happily make herself available for Consultations throughout the country, and at Solicitors’ Offices should that prove necessary.
Her specialities include:-
Serious Sex Offences, including Rape and Serial Rapists, multi-complainant and multi-defendant sexual offences, with particular reference to children and other vulnerable witnesses
Importaion and Supply of Class A Drugs
Gangland crime including kidnap, torture and murder.
Horse Riding, Stage Management, Blues Music.
Ranked in The Legal 500 2017: "Very experienced in serious sexual offences matters and gangland crime cases."
Ranked in Chambers and Partners 2019: "A silk with a wealth of experience in criminal matters acting both for the defence and for the prosecution. Has a particular focus on cases involving vulnerable witnesses and those traumatised by personal crimes. Practises in cases concerning severe sexual offences, gangland kidnap, murder and torture."
R -v- Fitzgerald & Oths (Successful prosecution of Murder)
R -v- Chadwick - (Former Emmerdale soap star acquitted of Indecent Assault after trial)
R -v- Roache -(Successful defence of TV Celebrity charged with rape and indecent assault. Found not guilty of all charges)
R -v- Mason (Successful prosecution of Lancaster Murder)
R -v- Cottage & Jackson - Manchester Crown Court (Terror Campaign involving explosives)
R -v- Singleton Hove Crown Court (Historic Rape and Sexual Abuse)
R -v- Rhycter Leeds Crown Court & Court of Appeal (Murder)
R -v- Greenwood Preston Crown Court (Rape)
R-v-West and Charisma Manchester Crown Court (Rape of a young woman by more than one perpetrator)
R-v-Czyzewski Manchester Crown Court (Rape and Assaults during a sexual relationship)
R-v-Campbell Manchester Crown Court (Murder with issues as to brain damage and memory loss)