Valerie Charbit

Call: 1992

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  • A deep thinker and committed advocate.

    Legal 500 (2024)
  • Valerie has a very nice style and manner.

    Chambers UK (2023)
  • Provides very good support, is happy to get on with legwork and is very easy to work with.

    Legal 500 (2023)
  • Valerie is an experienced health & safety advocate and has a long and successful track record in this field. She is meticulous in her case preparation and is excellent with clients. Clients watching her in court, never fail to express how impressed they are. It is a combination of her understanding of their case and the ability to tenaciously fight their corner when required that they pick up on.

    Legal 500 (2021)
  • An extremely talented barrister. She is very hard-working, focused and good at getting to the heart of a case.

    A robust advocate who knows her cases inside and out.

    Chambers UK (2021)

Personal profile

Valerie’s diverse practice spans serious criminal cases involving Health & Safety, Inquests, Inquiries, Fraud, Murder & Manslaughter and Sexual Offences. She also has considerable experience in acting before a number of regulators in Professional Discipline proceedings. She is instructed in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

She is appointed by numerous professional and public bodies to do advisory and advocacy work, and has a broad range of clients from across the public and private sectors.

With vast experience in complex and multi-handed cases, she both prosecutes and defends as a leading junior and is public access accredited (meaning she can take on private work directly).

Her defence work includes representing a variety of professionals before their regulatory bodies.

Her broad experience means she is very well placed to advise in cases where criminal and civil law intersect. Her skill in cross-examining experts across a broad spectrum of areas is well recognised.

Valerie is a qualified mediator and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Valerie has a particular interest in mental health and is experienced in vulnerable witness advocacy. She delivers training to barristers on this.

Valerie is appointed as a CPS Panel Advocate (Grade 4, highest tier) and to the specialist rape and serious crime group panels. She was also appointed to the Grade A (top tier) list for Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health & Safety, and to the Panel A list for the Serious Fraud Office.

Since 2004 Valerie sits as a part-time judge for the First Tier Tribunal (Mental Health), and she specialises in child and adolescent cases. She also represents health authorities before the First Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal, in restricted cases.

Since 2022, Valerie is appointed as a part-time assistant coroner for West London Coroner’s Court.

Valerie is Chair of the Regulatory Practice Group at Red Lion Chambers. She is the Wellbeing Director for Chambers.

Valerie has represented the Criminal Bar Association as Wellbeing Director, the South Eastern Circuit on wellbeing and she was a longstanding member of the Bar Council’s working party group on the subject.

Valerie is also an ethics and advocacy trainer for Middle Temple, and she was a lead facilitator for the vulnerable witness advocacy training for the South Eastern Circuit training other barristers.

Recommendations

A deep thinker and committed advocate.

― Legal 500 (2024)

Valerie has a very nice style and manner.

― Chambers UK (2023)

Provides very good support, is happy to get on with legwork and is very easy to work with.

― Legal 500 (2023)

Valerie is an experienced health & safety advocate and has a long and successful track record in this field. She is meticulous in her case preparation and is excellent with clients. Clients watching her in court, never fail to express how impressed they are. It is a combination of her understanding of their case and the ability to tenaciously fight their corner when required that they pick up on.

― Legal 500 (2021)

An extremely talented barrister. She is very hard-working, focused and good at getting to the heart of a case.

A robust advocate who knows her cases inside and out.

― Chambers UK (2021)

Crime

Valerie has over 25 years’ experience defending and prosecuting serious criminal cases, and has appeared in many complex, multi-party proceedings.

She has prosecuted and defended in many cases involving children and family members, and has extensive experience in handling vulnerable witnesses and defendants, where she utilises her detailed knowledge of mental health issues (including the impact of trauma on vulnerable witnesses in such cases).

Valerie has a particular interest and specialism in mental health, and a profound understanding of the mental health problems faced by witnesses and defendants.

She has many years’ experience of questioning mental health professionals on the most serious cases in the Crown Court, and in proceedings before the First Tier Tribunal (Mental Health).

She assisted in drafting the response to the Government’s consultation on unfitness to plead on behalf of the Criminal Bar Association and the Bar Council.

Valerie has responded on behalf of the South Eastern Circuit and Criminal Bar Association to the Crown Prosecution Service and Sentencing Council’s consultations on proposed guidelines for defendants with mental health issues.

She is appointed to the CPS Grade 4 (top tier) list for prosecution advocates, and is an expert in vulnerable witness advocacy, regularly delivering training on topic – including being the lead trainer for the South Eastern Circuit.

She is adept at eliciting relevant evidence from social services records, and regularly makes and responds to bad character and hearsay applications.

Valerie recently prosecuted the re-trial of a rape case involving two minors, and defended in a case involving a defendant and witness that required an intermediary.

Health & Safety

Valerie has extensive experience in health and safety cases, both prosecuting and defending. She is often instructed to prosecute by the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities in respect of fatalities and other breaches of health and safety legislation.

Her clients have included companies, NHS trusts, local authorities, the Health and Safety Executive, and the Office of Road and Rail, as well as individuals including directors and trustees. Valerie is appointed to the A list of Special Regulatory Advocates in Health & Safety and Environmental Law.

Examples of Valerie’s work include cases involving gas and chemical explosions, falls from height, electrocution, exposure to asbestos and basement collapse. She has been instructed in cases involving fatalities or serious injury on construction sites, care homes, hospitals, factories, railways, shops and a bus station.

Recently, Valerie has been involved with several cases involving retailers. She has advised and defended a large high street retailer in relation to food safety and other offences. She has also acted in a case concerning the death of a child in a retail setting.

She is currently instructed in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry for a core participant.

Professional Discipline

Valerie is highly experienced in Professional Discipline work. Her varied practice means she is particularly well-placed to advise where civil and criminal law intersect, such as in professional disciplinary proceedings.

One recent example saw her defending a pharmacist accused of supplying Class C drugs, before the disciplinary committee of the General Pharmaceutical Council.

She has an in-depth understanding of the decision-making process for different regulators, and a wealth of experience with disciplinary committees.

She is appointed to act as a legal adviser/assessor for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

She is available for instruction before the General Dental Council, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, the General Pharmaceutical Council, the Teaching Regulation Agency and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, having defended in a number of cases.

Fraud

Valerie is appointed to the Panel A list for the Serious Fraud Office and is regularly instructed by the Insolvency Service to prosecute company directors and those who have been disqualified as directors. She has prosecuted in benefit fraud and charity fraud cases. She has defended directors, bankers, solicitors and accountants.

She is skilled in dealing with vast amounts of evidence and adept at handling material in large-scale disclosure exercises. Her attention to detail, diligent and thorough preparation, and specialism in cross-examining expert witnesses (across a broad spectrum of disciplines) makes her a compelling advocate for her clients in such cases.

Bribery & Corruption

Valerie has represented solicitors, company directors, police officers and civilian officers charged with misconduct in public office, or perverting the course of justice.

Professional Appointments

  • Part-time First Tier Tribunal Judge (Mental Health) and appointed as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health panel member of the Tribunal
  • Part-time Assistant Coroner for West London Coroner’s Court
  • Appointed to Grade A of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law
  • SFO Panel Advocate (A List)
  • CPS Panel Advocate (General Crime) (Grade 4)
  • CPS Specialist Panel Advocate (Serious Crime) (Grade 4) and Fraud (Grade 4)
  • CPS Panel Advocate (RASSO) (Grade 4)
  • Legal Assessor to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (2017 – present)
  • Legal Adviser to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (2012 – present)
  • Legal Assessor to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (2009 – present
  • Legal Assessor to the General Osteopathic Council (2015–2022)
  • Legal Adviser to the General Pharmaceutical Council (2014–2019)
  • Approved Advocacy Trainer and Ethics Trainer for Middle Temple (2012 – present)
  • Director/Board member of Inclusion London (2015 – present)

Previous appointments

  • Lead Facilitator for Vulnerable Witness Advocacy Training, South Eastern Circuit (2017 – 2021)
  • Wellbeing Director of the Criminal Bar Association (2017-2021)
  • Recorder of the South Eastern Circuit. (2015–2017)
  • Member of the Bar Council wellbeing working group (2015 – 2023)

Memberships

  • CBA
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • HSLA
  • ARDL
  • MHLA