Suzanne Hargreaves

Year of Call: 2015
Practice areas:
  • Crime
  • Family
The Guardian and I are grateful to Suzanne for all the work she undertook in advising us, and representing the child in the FOF hearing last year. Her Advocacy is excellent and she is Counsel I will seek to instruct in future difficult/complex cases”

Mark Graham – Director - Gaynham King & Mellor


Just wanted to say Thank You for all your hard work on this case. A great result, but whatever the result, I was conscious that you had put 100% into the case and [client] couldn’t have been in better hands”

Tim Short, FSM Partner – Plexus Law

Suzanne has been meticulous in her work and her attention to detail has been second to none. She has had a very good rapport with the client, demonstrating excellent communication skills. She has worked extremely hard in this case and at all times has been exceptionally helpful to ourselves. She is a credit to your chambers and I thank her personally for her ongoing assistance.

Christopher Beckett, Inghams Solicitors



Overview

Suzanne recently made the decision to focus on Family Law having maintained a successful mixed practice for a number of years. Whilst focusing on Family Law matters, Suzanne maintains a small number of Criminal cases where there is an overlap between the disciplines.

Expertise

Family Law

Prior to joining Cobden House Chambers, Suzanne forged a successful career as a consultant in multi-agency child protection, specialising in online behaviour and the use of technology. She has a comprehensive knowledge of multi-agency working (including in areas such as child sexual exploitation and domestic abuse).

Having built on her previous role within the Children and Family Department of a large local authority, Suzanne is regularly instructed on a wide range of Children Law matters appearing before the Family Court and the High Court. She has a wide experience of cases including those involving physical and sexual abuse, emotional abuse, chronic neglect, parental alienation, mental health, abduction, trafficking, and capacity issues in both public and private law matters.

Suzanne is experienced and known for her sensitive approach in representing vulnerable clients including those who require the services of an intermediary.

Suzanne has successfully woven skills from her previous careers, including scientific and computing skills, into her practice and has a particular interest in cases which overlap the Criminal and Family disciplines.

Criminal Law

Suzanne is instructed to prosecute and defend. She has extensive experience in the Crown Court and has been instructed on a wide variety of matters involving murder, cases involving explosives and firearms, death by careless driving, serious violence including stabbings, threats to kill and serious sexual offences. Suzanne has also been successful at the Court of Appeal. Suzanne has extensive prior experience of multi-agency working which has proved extremely useful in criminal matters where there has been social care involvement.

Suzanne is a category 3 prosecutor. 

Notable Cases

Family Law

C, Re [2022] EWFC 138 - Instructed on behalf of the child. Private law matter involving a fact find in respect of allegations of sexual abuse of a child. The proceedings uncovered the importance of proper consideration by professionals as to the nature of what was alleged, the need for accuracy in recording and referring and the need for procedures to be followed when taking accounts. Proceedings involved examination of material obtained through police investigation, expert-examination and professionals’ records.

https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2022/138.html

A LA v R [2022] - Instructed on behalf of the children. Proceedings involved ongoing connected criminal proceedings on an indictment with multiple counts of historic sexual offences. Involved consideration of material sought for disclosure in preparation for a fact-find. Welfare issues included ability to protect.

A LA v N [2021] - Instructed on behalf of the father on proceedings, successful in securing placement at home without a care order. Proceedings involved complex consideration of prior criminality, interconnected care proceedings, substance misuse, mental health and legal argument in respect of paternity matters.

A LA v S [2021] - Instructed on behalf of a constabulary to defend an application for disclosure in the High-Court in connection with family proceedings. Successfully argued that there was no necessity for an order for disclosure and negotiated a satisfactory approach to disclosure where care proceedings run alongside an extensive criminal investigation and proceedings.

A LA v W [2021] -Instructed on behalf of the children in care proceedings. Successfully argued against the LA interim care plan for foster care for the 3 oldest children following LA assessment ruling out family carers. Children placed under SGO at the conclusion of proceedings remaining long-term within the family.

A LA v M & K [2020] - Represented the child in a 5-day fact-find with allegations of serious domestic assaults and rape. Included cross-examination of an extremely vulnerable witness with significant learning disabilities via a link and the services of an intermediary.

BBC v G [2019] - Instructed on behalf of the LA for a contested Final Hearing, successful in securing care and placement orders. Included expert witnesses and two sets of previous proceedings.

A Lancastrian Council v M [2019] EWFC B6 - Represented a father who had appeared in multiple previous care matters. Represented the client in finding of fact and a fully contested final hearing. Dealing with complex issues of culture and mental health.

https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/OJ/2019/B6.html

K v K [2019] - Represented the father in finding of fact within private proceedings where he faced allegations including multiple rapes and assaults– findings not made.

T v T [2019] - Represented the father in private proceedings where intractable hostility was a considered an issue along with a child presenting with a high level of emotional and mental distress.

BBC v M & F [2019] - Represented a mother with learning difficulties in care proceedings. Successfully resisted a plan of adoption and secured contact going forward within a final placement with family members under special guardianship.

S & N v C [2018] - Represented paternal grandparents applying to the court to re-establish contact with their grandson against a history of issues between the parties. Despite the mother initially opposing the court giving consent to the grandparents’ application, arrangements were negotiated that led to a Child Arrangements Order being made by agreement. 


Criminal Law

R v M [2022] )(death by careless driving) – defended a HGV driver who was acquitted of the charge following trial. Included extensive examination of technical and expert evidence.

R v D [2021] (firearms and possession of explosive substances) – prosecuted – convicted. Included consideration of expert explosives and firearm reports.

R v R [2020] (murder), M and M (pervert the course of justice) – prosecuted at trial as led junior – Defendants guilty on all counts. Included detailed SOE collating cell site, phone, ANPR and CCTV evidence.

R v NB [2020] - Defended at trial CC on 2 counts of Assault against an Emergency Worker – Acquitted on both counts, one of which following a successful submission of no case to answer.

R v H [2020] -Prosecuted two linked domestic assault cases, both with complainants refusing to attend. Involved drafting hearsay and joinder applications. Defendant pleaded guilty to assaults on both matters.

R v Francis [2019] EWCA Crim 1201 -Successfully appealed the imposition of the minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment in the case of a woman found to be in possession of a sawn-off shotgun. The Judge at first instance had declined to find that exceptional circumstances applied in this case. The Court of Appeal accepted the submissions of Ms Hargreaves finding that exceptional circumstances did apply and reduced the term of imprisonment from 5 years to 3 years.

R v B [2019] -Defended a man accused of conspiring to commit grievous bodily harm with intent. Included telephone, cell-site and medical evidence. Client was acquitted.

R v B [2019]-Defending a man accused of conspiring to commit grievous bodily harm with intent. Included telephone, cell-site and medical evidence. Client was acquitted.

R v S [2019] - Defended at trial on a 10-count indictment including serious sexual offences– involved assimilating and interpreting digital phone and ISP data including that from multiple platforms. Successfully resisted an application to admit prejudicial material obtained during the course of the 5-day trial.

R v D [2019] - Prosecuted trial on a count of exposure in the Crown Court.

R v A, R v Aw [2019] R v Aw - Appeared for respondent in a 2-day forfeiture hearing. The defendant had been convicted for murdering an elderly man for financial gain. – Successfully secured forfeiture of all monies seized.

In the linked appeal of R v Aw, successfully responded on behalf of the CC of Lancashire in a 2-day appeal. The appeal was dismissed allowing the retention of all monies seized.

R v I [2019] - Defended, at trial, a man facing trial for assault. Successful application made to exclude flawed identification involving social media led to charges against the defendant being dismissed.

R v H [2018] - Defended a man facing trial on indictment for multiple offences including assault occasioning ABH x2, threats to kill and resisting arrest with intent. Pleas accepted on day one of trial to ABH, battery and breach of restraining order (on a limited basis). Client’s immediate release secured.

R v N [2018] - Represented a client with complex mental health issues convicted of a sexual assault leading to the imposition of a hospital order rather than a custodial sentence.

R v C [2018] - Assisted in case involving a professional accused of fraud. Analysis of a large amount of data and records led to the charge of fraud being dropped in favour of a regulatory offence with a resulting sentence of a conditional discharge.

R v B [2017] - Defended a man accused of theft from a vulnerable adult. Included cross-examination of vulnerable adult - secured acquittal.

Achievements

Qualifications

  • GDL (Distinction) BPP, 

  • BPTC (VC) MMU 

  • BPTC Scholarship MMU. 

  • Dean’s Award (Advanced Criminal Practice)


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