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Jennifer Dempster QC

Jennifer Dempster QC

Call: 1993     Silk: 2018

T: 0207 520 6000    E: chambers@18rlc.co.uk

Jenni is a very experienced and extremely able advocate whose practice primarily involves defending in cases involving murder, serious sexual offending and drug trafficking. She is described in Chambers UK Bar (2021) as having “a mastery of the issues in the case” and an “ability to develop persuasive submissions before a tribunal which is second to none”. The Legal 500 (2021) describes her as “A powerful and accomplished advocate”.

She is regularly instructed 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 2021. She 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. Jenni is highly ranked in both directories.

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


MurderGeneral CrimeFraud, Corruption & Money LaunderingSexual OffencesDeath/Serious Injury by Driving

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

  • R v C (2021) – instructed to defend 19-year old male charged with murder of his grandmother and attempted murder of his father.
  • R v X (2021) – instructed to defend 15-year old boy charged with murder (stabbing) of a 14-year old boy in East London
  • R v X (2021) – instructed to defend 18-year old male charged with murder (stabbing) of 16-year old in East London.
  • R v A (2021) – instructed to defend male charged with 7 others with alleged revenge murder in London.
  • R v X (2020) – instructed to defend 17-year old charged with alleged gang-related attempted murder (stabbing) in South London.
  • R v L (2020) – instructed to defend male charged with three others in relation to fatal stabbing in North London.
  • R v R (2020) – instructed to defend male charged with murder of homeless female in Essex.
  • R v X (2020) – Instructed to defend 38-year old male charged with murder of a 6-year old boy 25 years ago, when the defendant was aged 13.
  • R v X (2020) – instructed for 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 25-year old defendant charged in connection with a fatal stabbing in East London.
  • R v T (2019) – instructed in 6-week murder trial. Defendant, along with two others, alleged to have murdered her husband.
  • R v X (2019) instructed in 4-week murder trial for 16–year old defendant charged, along with 3 others, in connection with a fatal stabbing in North London.
  • R v U (2019) – instructed in 8-week murder trial involving 9 defendants concerning the fatal shooting of 20 year old male.
  • R v P (2019) – instructed in 4-week murder trial concerning fatal attack upon a male in the defendant’s home address.
  • R v R (2018) – instructed in 10-week murder trial involving four defendants arising out of the activities of a “County Lines” drug syndicate.
  • R v S (2018) – instructed in 5-week murder trial involving seven defendants concerning the fatal stabbing of a 17-year old boy.
  • R v H (2018) – instructed in 6-week murder involving six defendants, said to be gang-related, arising from the fatal stabbing of a 19-year old boy.
  • R v W (2017) Leading defence counsel in a 5-week conspiracy to murder, said to be a revenge drive-by shooting following a long-standing dispute between two families in Essex.
  • R v A (2017) Defence counsel in a 5-week, attempted murder following group stabbing of victim on petrol station forecourt.
  • R v F (2017) Defended lead defendant in an attempted murder trial following a shooting outside a North London nightclub.
  • R v B (2016) Leading defence counsel in an 8-week conspiracy to murder (a “contract hit” where the victim was shot in the chest on his doorstep with a sawn-off shotgun).
  • R v T (2015) Defended female charged with murder of elderly male in his own property.
  • R v D (2015) Defended in manslaughter where homeowner died during the course of an aggravated burglary

  • R v D (2020) – instructed for defendant, a former juror in an Old Bailey murder trial, for offence of juror misconduct.
  • R v X (2018) – Instructed to defend solicitor charged with assault on wife.
  • R v U (2018) – Instructed to defend heroin dealer charged with conspiracy to supply wholesale quantities of heroin and money laundering.
  • R v P (2018) – Instructed to act for company director charged with fire safety legislation offences.
  • R v B (2018) – Instructed for defendant charged with attempted robberies and applying a corrosive fluid with intent.
  • R v C (2018) – Instructed for 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) Defending Metropolitan Police Officer charged with sexual assault whilst on duty.
  • R v J (2017) Successfully represented lead defendant in alleged gang-related possession of firearm (sawn-off shotgun) with intent to endanger life. Trial lasted 3 months. Said to be a plan for a revenge shooting following the murder of another male the previous day.
  • R v W (2017 & A-G’s Ref 2017) Leading counsel for defendant charged with aggravated burglary at a farmhouse where the homeowners were tied up and very seriously assaulted.
  • R v C (2017) Defending an acid attack on three individuals during the course of an aggravated burglary.
  • R v J (2017) Defending lead defendant in conspiracy to possess firearm with intent to endanger life, said to be a planned revenge attack following murder.
  • R v A (2016) Defending lead defendant of a highly organised drugs gang responsible for one of the biggest seizures of cannabis in the UK (4 tonnes) and money laundering.
  • R v K (2016) Defending conspiracy to facilitate illegal immigration into UK.
  • R v Y (2016 & A-G’s Ref 2016) Defending female prison officer charged with misconduct in public office.
  • R v R (2015) – Instructed to defend US attorney charged with assaulting former partner.

  • R v C (2017-2018) Instructed to defend the director of a company charged with large-scale investment fraud.
  • R v A (2017) Defending lead defendant in very substantial confiscation proceedings where Crown (in the event unsuccessfully) contended hidden assets in respect of over £1m.
  • R v K (2017) Leading counsel in 3-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) Defending company director charged with 9 others with fraud, corruption & money laundering. It was the prosecution 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 & Kensington Palaces.
  • R v B (2015) Represented the lead defendant of 6 who, before its collapse, ran Crown Currency, one of the UK’s largest personal currency exchange businesses. Defendant charged with fraudulent trading, money laundering, perverting the course of justice and false accounting. Prosecution alleged c. 13,000 UK investors affected.
  • R v M (2015) Defended in “social engineering” fraud (losses of £1m+) where large PLCs were targeted. 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.

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

  • R v X (2021) – instructed to defend in case involving familial rape allegations dating back to 1970’s.
  • R v R (2021) – instructed to defend husband charged with rape of his wife.
  • R v M (2021) – instructed to defend former teacher accused of historic indecent assault of pupils
  • R v T (2020) – instructed to defend former headmaster of school in Essex on historic sexual abuse charges.
  • R v W (2020) – instructed to defend paramedic charged with sexual offences against 4 women.
  • R v B (2020) – instructed to defend alleged serial rapist said to have been responsible for night-time attacks upon four women in London during the summer of 2019.
  • R v O (2018) – Instructed for defendant charged with serious drug and sexual offences, arrested following an undercover Police operation
  • R v S (2018) – Instructed for defendant charged with rape of friend at a music festival.
  • R v K (2017-2018) Instructed for defendant charged with rape of a male following meeting via Tinder website.
  • R v P (2017-2018) Instructed for defendant charged with rape of a grand-daughter
  • R v D (2017-2018) Instructed to defend historic sexual allegations arising out of large-scale investigation into sexual abuse at a private school
  • R v B (2017) Defending attempted rape of a former partner.
  • R v P (2017) Defending rape following work leaving party.
  • R v R (2017) Defending historic rape and sexual abuse of sister.
  • R v. M (2017) Defending sexual assaults on four of his female clients in the context of his business.
  • R v L (2016) Defending 10 counts of rape against four sisters 45 year old, one of whom had severe learning difficulties.
  • R v P (2016 & Court of Appeal 2017) 5 week trial defending a consultant gynaecologist charged with sexually assaulting six female patients during consultations.
  • R v D (2016) Defending a criminal barrister charged with sexual assault of female.
  • R v W (2016) Leading counsel defending a company director charged with rape of work colleague.
  • R v A (2015) Defending rape of former partner. The defendant maintained he was asleep at the time of the alleged offences. Called a number of psychiatrists and sleep disorder experts as to the issue of “sexsomnia”. Extensive legal argument as to the availability of the defence of insane/non-insane automatism.
  • R v M (2015) Leading counsel for lead defendant charged with rape & inciting child prostitution. The indictment contained 50 counts. The trial lasted 3 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”.

  • R v A (2018) – Represented 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) – Coroner’s Inquest – represented driver at inquest into death of motorcyclist. CPS was considering charges after she collided with a motorcyclist resulting in fatal injuries. CPS declined to prosecute after inquest.
  • R v B (2016) – Represented elderly defendant charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving. Defendant (who suffered from seizures) lost control of car on busy high street.
  • R v H (2016) – Represented driver charged with causing death by dangerous driving. Elderly female was knocked over and killed as she crossed a road at night.
  • R v H (2016) – Represented driver charged with causing death by dangerous driving. Defendant collided with motorcyclist, killing him instantly, as he joined motorway from slip road.
  • R v D (2016) –Represented driver charged with causing death by dangerous driving. Driver pulled out of junction turning right. A motorcyclist in his path was killed instantly.
  • R v O (2015) – Represented driver (of school coach) charged with causing injury by dangerous driving. Driver alleged to have fallen asleep at wheel causing coach, full of children, to crash.


  • “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


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LLB (Hons) – London School of Economics

Certificate of Attendance – Diploma in Forensic Medicine & Science course


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South East Circuit

Criminal Bar Association

Professional Appointments

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Recorder of the Crown Court (appointed 2018)


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Leading Silk in the Legal 500 and Chambers UK Bar directories (see Recommendations)