Zoë Chapman

Call: 2014

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    This is an excellent set that has worked hard to secure a well-deserved position amongst the leading sets at the Criminal Bar.

    Chambers UK Bar, 2022
    Zoe Chapman

    Personal profile

    Zoë enjoys a busy practice both defending and prosecuting. She has experience across a wide range of cases, including those involving dishonesty offences, Drugs Offences, Road Traffic Offences, Serious Violence and Sexual Offences, as well as confiscation and forfeiture proceedings.

    Prior to coming to chambers, Zoë worked for the law reform and human rights charity, JUSTICE (having initially joined as an intern funded by a Kalisher Trust scholarship), and in particular was rapporteur of its Mental Health and Fair Trial working party report, chaired by Sir David Latham.

    She brings her insight into the law and procedures relating to mental health (including the use of intermediaries, other special measures, and the relevant defences and disposals) to bear when working with vulnerable clients. The JUSTICE Mental Health Working Party was reconvened in April 2019 to consider the draft CPS Guidance on mental health, which the CPS is developing in response to the recommendations made in JUSTICE’s report.

    Zoë was previously Assistant News Editor at Just Security, an online forum for the analysis of US national security law and policy run out of the Reiss Center on Law and Security at New York University. Prior to that, she gained experience in fraud and financial crime whilst assisting a campaign group of SMEs with the private prosecution of bank employees who had fraudulently mis-sold its members Interest Rate Hedging Products ahead of the 2008 financial crash.

    Zoë was awarded the Sibel Dedezade Pro Bono Award for her work establishing and running City Law School’s free legal advice clinic, which was recognised nationally in the Times Higher Education. She has also volunteered for the Free Representation Unit, the UCU, and various other organisations. Before pursuing a legal career, Zoë worked in the financial services industry. Zoë has completed the ICCA Vulnerable Witness training.

    Business Crime & Fraud

    Zoë received an instruction for fraud and procured a suspended sentence for a vulnerable client.

    Featured Cases

    • Zoë is currently a member of the Dobbs Review Team considering whether the issues relating to HBOS Reading were investigated and appropriately reported to authorities at the time by LBG, following its acquisition of HBOS.
    • R v R (2019) – suspended sentence for vulnerable client for fraud and theft offences totalling c.£40k committed against her employer over several years.

    Sexual Offences

    Zoë receives instructions in relation to sexual assault allegations and allegations in relation to Indecent Images of Children.

    Featured Cases

    • R v R (2021) – Crown offered no evidence on basis of additional expert report sought on a discrete issue.

    Drugs Offences

    Zoë has successfully acquitted clients from drug-related offences.

    Featured Cases

    • R v M (2019) – client acquitted for possession of Class B following successful half time submission of no case to answer.
    • R v B (2018) – client acquitted of two counts of PWITS.

    Civil Liberties & Human Rights

    Zoë has good experience handling civil liberties and human rights cases.

    Featured Cases

    • R v A (2019) – client acquitted of domestic assault by beating.
    • R v S (2018) – client acquitted of racially aggravated criminal damage and prosecution application for a Restraining Order successfully resisted.
    • R v C (2018) – successful appeal against conviction for a racially aggravated public order offence (involving a police officer) following a half-time submission of no case to answer.

    Serious Violence

    Zoë has had clients acquitted of criminal damage, ABH and robbery.

    Featured Cases

    • R v A (2022) – client acquitted of violent disorder.
    • R v S (2018) – client acquitted of racially aggravated criminal damage and prosecution application for a Restraining Order successfully resisted.
    • R v E (2018) – client acquitted of ABH and prosecution application for a Restraining Order successfully resisted.
    • R v D (2018) (youth matter) – client acquitted of robbery following successful submission of no case to answer (ID evidence weak where co-Ds were identical twins).


    • BPTC, City Law School
    • GDL, University of East Anglia
    • MA Modern and Contemporary Literature, Birkbeck, University of London
    • BA (Hons) English Literature, QMUL


    • Sibel Dedezade Pro Bono Award 2014
    • Kalisher scholarship for a 4-month internship at JUSTICE, 2015

    Professional appointments

    • Prosecutes on behalf of the CPS (Level 2)
    • Prosecutes for the National Probation Service


    • CBA
    • Young Legal Aid Lawyers
    • Liberty


    • ‘A failure to engage’, opinion piece on the Met’s response to the Sarah Everard vigil, Law Gazette, March 2021
    • ‘Moral philosophy’s lessons for law’, review of The Possibility of Norms by Christoph Möllers, September 2020
    • ‘Diversity in lockdown: threats and opportunities’, with Francesca Kirby, Counsel Magazine, August 2020
    • ‘The fallacy of ’24-hour’ justice’, Counsel Magazine, July 2020
    • ‘Time to ‘kickstart’ criminal justice’, letter to The Law Society Gazette, July 2020
    • ‘Is the criminal justice system doing enough to tackle racism?’, with Francesca Kirby, Lawyer Monthly, June 2020
    • Assisted David Malone with ‘At the Cliff Edge … Should Defendants Remain Anonymous Pre-Charge?’, Lawyer Monthly, August 2018
    • ‘Contortions in the UK’s Arms Export Regime – and Costs of the Yemen War’, Just Security, April 2017

    Other expertise