Jennifer Dempster QC

Call: 1993 | Silk: 2018

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A powerful and accomplished advocate.

Legal 500 (2021)

Personal profile

Jenni Dempster QC is a very experienced and extremely able advocate whose practice primarily involves defending in cases involving Murder & Manslaughter, serious Sexual Offences, Road Traffic Offences, Drug Offences and Fraud.

She is instructed regularly in high-profile and sensitive cases and has, over nearly 30 years, built up a loyal following of solicitors.
She is known as a remarkably tenacious, diligent and extremely hard working advocate. She deals regularly with difficult, unusual and complex cases and is currently holding instructions in a number of serious cases due for trial in 2022.

Jenni has a special interest in cases involving young defendants and witnesses.

She is very well respected within the profession and often represents members of the legal profession in various proceedings.

She is committed to providing representation under public funding and frequently appears pro bono in the Court of Appeal.

Recommendations

A powerful and accomplished advocate.

― Legal 500 (2021)

Has total mastery of the issues in the case and can make headway in even the most evidentially difficult scenarios. Her ability to develop persuasive submissions before a tribunal is second to none.

― Chambers UK (2021)

She is an excellent jury advocate who inspires the confidence of the client and the court.

― Chambers UK (2021)

A class act in the most challenging, sensitive and high-profile cases.

― Legal 500 (2020)

She is an excellent tactician who always makes the right judgement call in the most delicate of situations.

― Chambers UK (2020)

A total star. Incredible with clients. She has great tactical nous.”

― Legal 500 (2019)

She makes rapid assessments and her understanding of details is amazing.

― Chambers UK (2018)

A hard-working and incredibly talented advocate who has impressive client care skills.

― Chambers UK (2018)

Incredibly knowledgeable and professional.

― Chambers UK (2018)

She is able to communicate well with clients, and her advocacy is authoritative, engaging and effective.

― Legal 500 (2017)

A ‘superb advocate’ with ‘amazing client care’, and ‘particularly good at handling young defendants and witnesses’.

― Chambers UK (2017)

Excellent jury advocate who inspires the confidence of the client and the court and is a top-notch junior.

― Chambers UK (2017)

She’s superb both with the clients and in front of juries.

― Chambers UK (2017)

She explains tactical and strategic decisions in a way that makes clients able to contribute.

― Legal 500 (2016)

Very hardworking with a good tactical sense.

― Legal 500 (2016)

She immediately builds up a rapport with clients.

― Legal 500 (2016)

Murder & Manslaughter

A large part of Jenni’s practice concerns defendants charged with murder, usually shootings.

Featured cases

  • R v O (2022) – Instructed for the defendant charged with murder of his grandfather (stabbing).
  • R v V (2022) – Instructed for the defendant charged with murder of his sister-in-law (stabbing).
  • R v G (2022) – Instructed for the defendant charged with murder (following the death of the victim five months after an attack amounting to GBH).
  • R v X (2022) – Instructed for a 17-year-old defendant, charged with murder along with five others, said to be a gang-related attack.
  • R v X (2022) – Instructed for a 16-year-old defendant charged with manslaughter, following a house fire after an incident involving a firework.
  • R-V W murder (2022) – Murder of a six-year-old boy.
  • R v W (2021) – Instructed for a defendant charged with attempted murder & firearms offences. Said to be a revenge attack for the fatal stabbing of the defendant’s friend by another.
  • R v L (2021) – Instructed for a defendant said to have robbed and murdered a female in the street in East London.
  • R v X (2021) – Instructed for the lead defendant charged, along with with seven others, with the murder of an 18-year-old in East London. Said to be a gang-related attack.
  • R v M (2021) – Instructed to defend a mother charged with the murder of her five-year-old daughter.
  • R v C (2021) – Instructed to defend a 19-year-old male charged with the murder of his grandmother and attempted murder of his father.
  • R v X (2021) – Instructed to defend a 15-year-old boy charged with the murder (stabbing) of a 14-year-old boy in East London.
  • R v X (2021) – Instructed to defend an 18-year-old male charged with the murder (stabbing) of a 16-year-old in East London.
  • R v A (2021) – Instructed to defend a male charged, with seven others, with an alleged revenge murder in London.
  • R v X (2020) – Instructed to defend a 17-year-old charged with an alleged gang-related attempted murder (stabbing) in South London.
  • R v L (2020) – Instructed to defend a male charged, with three others, in relation to a fatal stabbing in North London.
  • R v R (2020) – Instructed to defend a male charged with the murder of a homeless female in Essex.
  • R v X (2020) – Instructed to defend a 38-year-old male charged with murder of a six-year-old boy, 25 years ago, when the defendant was aged 13.
  • R v X (2020) – Instructed for the lead defendant (aged 15), who is alleged to have stabbed another 15-year-old boy to death, on a bus in London.
  • R v H (2019) – Instructed for a 25-year-old defendant charged in connection with a fatal stabbing in East London.
  • R v T (2019) – Instructed in a six-week murder trial. The defendant, along with two others, was alleged to have murdered her husband.
  • R v X (2019) – Instructed in a four-week murder trial for a 16–year-old defendant charged, along with three others, in connection with a fatal stabbing in North London.
  • R v U (2019) – Instructed in an eight-week murder trial involving nine defendants and concerning the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old male.
  • R v P (2019) – Instructed in a four-week murder trial concerning a fatal attack upon a male in the defendant’s home address.
  • R v R (2018) – Instructed in ten-week murder trial involving four defendants, arising out of the activities of a “County Lines” drug syndicate.
  • R v S (2018) – Instructed in a five-week murder trial involving seven defendants and concerning the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old boy.
  • R v H (2018) – Instructed in a six-week murder trial involving six defendants, said to be gang-related and arising from the fatal stabbing of a 19-year-old boy.
  • R v W (2017) – Instructed as leading defence counsel in a five-week conspiracy to murder trial, said to be a revenge drive-by shooting following a long-standing dispute between two families in Essex.
  • R v A (2017) – Instructed as defence counsel in a five-week attempted murder trial, following a group stabbing of a victim on a petrol station forecourt.
  • R v F (2017) – Instructed to defend the lead defendant in an attempted murder trial, following a shooting outside a North London nightclub.
  • R v B (2016) – Instructed as leading defence counsel in an eight-week conspiracy to murder trial (a “contract hit” where the victim was shot in the chest on his doorstep with a sawn-off shotgun).
  • R v T (2015) – Instructed to defend a female charged with the murder of an elderly male in his own property.
  • R v D (2015) – Instructed to defend in a manslaughter case, where the homeowner died during the course of an aggravated burglary.

See our Murder & Manslaughter team.

Serious & Organised Crime

Featured cases

  • R v D (2020) – Instructed for the defendant, a former juror in an Old Bailey murder trial, for the offence of juror misconduct.
  • R v X (2018) – Instructed to defend a solicitor charged with assault on their wife.
  • R v U (2018) – Instructed to defend a heroin dealer charged with conspiracy to supply wholesale quantities of heroin and money laundering.
  • R v P (2018) – Instructed to act for a company director charged with fire safety legislation offences.
  • R v B (2018) – Instructed for defendants charged with attempted robberies and applying a corrosive fluid with intent.
  • R v C (2018) – Instructed for a defendant charged with aggravated burglary, where acid was said to have been thrown over householders.
  • R v G (2018) – Instructed as leading defence counsel for the main defendant, a serving prisoner charged with conspiracy to supply drugs into the Prison Estate and participating in the criminal activities of an OCG.
  • R v M (Jan 2018) – Instructed to defend a Metropolitan Police Officer charged with sexual assault whilst on duty.
  • R v J (2017) – Successfully represented the lead defendant in an alleged gang-related possession of a firearm (sawn-off shotgun) with intent to endanger life. There was said to be a plan for a revenge shooting following the murder of another male the previous day. The trial lasted three months.
  • R v W (2017 and A-G’s ref 2017) – Instructed as leading counsel for a defendant charged with aggravated burglary at a farmhouse where the homeowners were tied up and very seriously assaulted.
  • R v C (2017) – Instructed to defend an acid attack on three individuals during the course of an aggravated burglary.
  • R v J (2017) – Instructed to defend the lead defendant in a conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life. This was said to be a planned revenge attack following a murder.
  • R v A (2016) – Instructed to defend the lead defendant of a highly organised drugs gang responsible for one of the biggest seizures of cannabis in the UK (four tonnes) and money laundering.
  • R v K (2016) – Instructed to defend a conspiracy to facilitate illegal immigration into UK.
  • R v Y (2016 and A-G’s ref 2016) – Instructed to defend a female prison officer charged with misconduct in public office.
  • R v R (2015) – Instructed to defend a US attorney charged with assaulting a former partner

See our Serious & Organised Crime team.

Fraud

Featured cases

  • R v C (2017-2018) – Instructed to defend the director of a company charged with large-scale investment fraud.
  • R v A (2017) – Instructed to defend the lead defendant in very substantial confiscation proceedings where the Crown (in the event unsuccessfully) contended hidden assets in respect of over £1m.
  • R v K (2017) – Instructed as leading counsel in a three-week trial, for the main defendant, a former stockbroker, charged with investment fraud in connection with the sale of rare earth metals.
  • R v N (2015) – Instructed to defend a company director charged, with nine others, with fraud, corruption and money laundering. It was the prosecution’s case that, over a number of years, corrupt payments were made to the first defendant, the Deputy Property Manager of the Royal Household, as an inducement or reward for favouring a number of contractors in respect of the award of large contracts at Buckingham and Kensington Palaces.
  • R v B (2015) – Instructed to represent the lead defendant of six, who, before its collapse, ran Crown Currency, one of the UK’s largest personal currency exchange businesses. The defendant was charged with fraudulent trading, money laundering, perverting the course of justice and false accounting. The prosecution alleged around 13,000 UK investors were affected.
  • R v M (2015) – Instructed to defend in a “social engineering” fraud (losses of £1m+) where large PLCs were targeted. The Crown alleged the victim companies were duped into revealing their security-generated banking codes. Telephone lines were also compromised, allowing access to their company bank accounts.

See our Fraud team.

Sexual Offences

Jenni is frequently instructed in cases involving multiple, often historic, complaints.

Featured cases

  • R v M (2022) – Instructed for the defendant charged with rape of his sisters.
  • R v K (2022) – Instructed for a defendant teacher charged with sexual assault of pupil.
  • R v X (2021) – Instructed to defend in a case involving familial rape allegations dating back to 1970s.
  • R v R (2021) – Instructed to defend a husband charged with the rape of his wife.
  • R v M (2021) – Instructed to defend a former teacher accused of historic indecent assault of pupils.
  • R v T (2020) – Instructed to defend a former headmaster of a school in Essex, on historic sexual abuse charges.
  • R v W (2020) – Instructed to defend a paramedic charged with sexual offences against four women.
  • R v B (2020) – Instructed to defend an alleged serial rapist, said to have been responsible for night-time attacks on four women in London during the summer of 2019.
  • R v O (2018) – Instructed for a defendant charged with serious drug and sexual offences, arrested following an undercover police operation.
  • R v S (2018) – Instructed for a defendant charged with the rape of a ‘friend’ at a music festival.
  • R v K (2017-2018) – Instructed for a defendant charged with the rape of a male, following a meeting via the Tinder app.
  • R v P (2017-2018) – Instructed for a defendant charged with the rape of a granddaughter.
  • R v D (2017-2018) – Instructed to defend historic sexual allegations arising out of a large-scale investigation into sexual abuse at a private school.
  • R v B (2017) – Instructed to defend the attempted rape of a former partner.
  • R v P (2017) – Instructed to defend a rape following a work leaving party.
  • R v R (2017) – Instructed to defend the historic rape and sexual abuse of a sister.
  • R v M (2017) – Instructed to defend sexual assaults on four female clients in a business context.
  • R v L (2016) – Instructed to defend ten counts of rape against four sisters, 45-year-old, one of whom had severe learning difficulties.
  • R v P (2016 & Court of Appeal 2017) – Instructed to defend in a five-week trial concerning a consultant gynaecologist charged with sexually assaulting six female patients during consultations.
  • R v D (2016) – Instructed to defend a criminal barrister charged with the sexual assault of a female.
  • R v W (2016) – Instructed as leading counsel to defend a company director charged with the rape of a work colleague.
  • R v A (2015) – Instructed to defend the rape of a former partner. The defendant maintained he was asleep at the time of the alleged offences. A number of psychiatrists and sleep disorder experts were called as to the issue of “sexsomnia”. There was extensive legal argument as to the availability of the defence of insane/non-insane automatism.
  • R v M (2015) – Instructed as leading counsel for a lead defendant charged with rape & inciting child prostitution. The indictment contained 50 counts. The trial lasted three months and involved the very grave abuse of a number of young, vulnerable victims, one of whom had significant learning difficulties. The CPS issued a press statement saying “This was one of the worst cases of child sexual abuse we have seen”.

See our Sexual Offences team.

Road Traffic Offences

Featured cases

  • R v A (2018) – Instructed to represent a defendant charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving. Female knocked over during Police chase and suffered permanent brain damage and total loss of mobility.
  • Re J (2017) – Instructed to represent a defendant at this coroner’s inquest into the death of a motorcyclist. The CPS was considering charges after she collided with a motorcyclist, resulting in fatal injuries. The CPS declined to prosecute after the inquest.
  • R v B (2016) – Instructed to represent an elderly defendant charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving. The defendant (who suffered from seizures) lost control of the car on a busy high street.
  • R v H (2016) – Instructed to represent a driver charged with causing death by dangerous driving. An elderly female was knocked over and killed as she crossed a road at night.
  • R v H (2016) – Instructed to represent a driver charged with causing death by dangerous driving. The defendant collided with the motorcyclist, killing him instantly, as he joined the motorway from the slip road.
  • R v D (2016) – Instructed to represent a driver charged with causing death by dangerous driving. The driver pulled out of the junction turning right. A motorcyclist in his path was killed instantly.
  • R v O (2015) – Instructed to represent a driver (of a school coach) charged with causing injury by dangerous driving. The driver was alleged to have fallen asleep at the wheel, causing the coach (which was full of children) to crash.

See our Road Traffic Offences team.

Education

  • LLB (Hons), London School of Economics
  • Certificate of Attendance, Diploma in Forensic Medicine & Science course

Professional appointments

  • Recorder (2018)

Memberships

  • South East Circuit
  • CBA

Other experience