Angela Rafferty QC

Phone:0207 520 6000
Honorary Door Tenant

Angela has appeared in many of the most high profile, sensitive and complex cases nationwide.

She has been described as ‘one of the most formidable advocates seen in recent times’ and ‘outstanding’ by those she works with.

Angela undertakes cases of the utmost sensitivity and gravity and subsequently was appointed as a Recorder at 39. She is currently Chair of the Criminal Bar Association.

She has many years’ experience in cases involving young witnesses, the mentally and physically disabled, Autism and Asperger’s syndrome, addictions and cases involving those who are seriously traumatised.  She has particular skills in working with vulnerable women from all backgrounds who appear as defendants and witnesses in serious cases.  She has a deep commitment to, and long standing expertise in such cases.

Angela regularly gives lectures and seminars in all areas of criminal practice and procedure.


Represented Maxine Carr in the Soham murder case early in her career. Has continued to appear in cases of the utmost gravity since. Has regularly defended and prosecuted in cases involving multiple homicide and the killing of children.


Appeared for Maxine Carr in the Soham Murders in 2003 and thereafter instructed in numerous major cases involving multiple homicides.

  • R v Connelly (2017) Prosecuting a woman for murder by fire of an elderly man.
  • R v Lupidi (2016) Defending a mother who killed her two infant children. Press Links: BBC | The Guardian
  • R v Saunders and others (2016) Defending in multi handed murder case involving an alleged punishment beating of a vulnerable man. Crown did not proceed with murder.  Press Links: The Independent 
  • R v T (2015) A Saudi Arabian man acquitted of attempted murder for a multi handed knife attack in the street in Cambridge involving issues of family ‘honour’ and cultural complexity.
  • R v Medvedevas (2014)  Murder of an 8 week old baby involving serious psychiatric and paediatric issues. The defendant was very young.  Press Links: BBC
  • R v Doblys (2013) Allegations of rape and murder of woman involving serious sexual injury and background of mental health issues. The case was described as the ‘Lonely Hearts’ murder. Client was convicted of manslaughter.  Press Links: BBC 
  • R v Taylor (2010) Led junior in cold case from 1980 alleging sadism and a string of sexual offences culminating in a notorious murder in Peterborough in 1979. Involved issues of law and fact arising from the 1970s to the present day.  Press Links: The Guardian
  • R v Krasnovas (2012) Murder by stamping to death in a public place. Significant witness and forensic difficulties. Case involved foreign nationals, some hostile to the prosecution. Press Links: BBC 
  • R v McNulty (2013) Two women jointly accused with another of the violent murder of a homeless man. Client extremely vulnerable. Press Links: BBC 
  • R v C Defending in murder of a wife where the couple where happily married for many years and the defendant of impeccable character.
  • R v Moody (2009) Defending in a double murder (the “Halloween murders”) which featured significant legal argument under the bad character provisions of CJA 2003.   Press Links:  The Telegrapah | BBC
  • R v A and I (2008) Defending a parent accused of familial homicide of an 8 week old baby. This case involved a complex issue in relation to ‘battered woman syndrome”. Press Links: Daily Mail | BBC
  •  R v Jakikas  Murder of a foreign national by a sustained and brutal attack on a sleeping man.
  • R v Luzin  Attempted murder by stabbing of two people in a public road.
  • R v Huntley and Carr (2003) The “Soham Murders” acting for Maxine Carr.  Press Links: Wikipedia 

Sexual Offences

  • R v Waterfield (2017) Successfully prosecuted a prolific paedophile who abused numerous children in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Press Links: Eastern Daily Press 
  • R v Williams and Nokes (2017) Prosecuting a former police officer for misconduct in public office, sexual offences and controlling prostitution.    Press Links: Daily Mail
  • R v G and R v H and others (2016-2017) Currently prosecuting two multi handed sexual abuse, child cruelty and exploitation cases based on major police operations. These involve historical and recent allegations from multiple children and vulnerable adults. There are complex legal issues in each case.
  • R v S (2016) Only defence Silk in multi handed child exploitation case. Very extreme allegations of rape and other sexual degradations. Minority groups involved; Defendant very low IQ and extremely vulnerable. Appointed by the judge as lead counsel to conduct all sensitive cross examination on behalf of 9 defendants. Case at the cutting edge of recent developments on vulnerability. Massive disclosure issues and significant legal complexity. Following cross examination and legal submissions the case was stopped against Mr S.
  • R v Marie Black and others (2015) “Operation Moccasin” Prosecuting 9 defendants for sexual abuse of very young children described by the judge as the ‘most harrowing’ he had seen. Three defendants received life terms and extended sentences. Press Links:  The Guardian 
  • R v Mirga and others (2014) Lead prosecutor in the Peterborough Gang Child exploitation ring case heard at the Central Criminal Court. 9 defendants aged 32 to 13 on multiple charges of rape, prostitution and sexual assault. One complainant had extreme learning disabilities: extensive use of intermediaries for both Prosecution and Defence.  Press Link: The Guardian | ITV | BBC

Reported Cases

  • R v Devonald (2008) EWCA Crim. 2007 Conclusive presumptions about consent under s76 Sexual Offences Act 2003. Argued successfully for the respondents. The case has been subject to significant academic analysis due to the difficult and sensitive issues raised: see Smith and Hogan, Criminal Law 14th ed 2015.
  • R v Hanton (2005) EWCA Crim. 2009 Leading case on the Guidelines for Achieving Best Evidence from Children. Argued successfully for the defendant in the Court of Appeal.

Publications, Lectures & Training


  • Archbold: Criminal Pleadings Evidence and Practice (Sweet & Maxwell): contributing editor from 2018.
  • Vulnerable People and the Criminal Justice System (A Guide to Law and Practice) OUP (2017): Contributor.
  • Case Management and Ground Rules Hearing Toolkits: Advocate’s Gateway, contributor (2017).
  • Rationing Defence Intermediaries under the April 2016 Criminal Practice Direction [2017] Crim LR 93-105with Laura Hoyano.
  • Loss of Female Excellence at the Bar: The Times 9 February 2017.
  • The Hour Calls for Optimism: Counsel magazine, October 2017
  • Troubled young defendants are still being let down: The Brief Premium: The Times:  20 May 2017.
  • Sex lives of rape victims are off limits in Court:  The Times: with Eleanor Laws QC. 23 February 2017.
  • ‘Vulnerability’ chapter in Rook and Ward: Sexual Offences (5th Ed., 2016): co-author with HH Peter Rook QC and Alexandra Ward.
  • Improving the courtroom experience for vulnerable witnesses: Lexis PSL 2 December 2016. 
  • Partial Defences to Murder: submissions of the South Eastern Circuit to the Law Commission Consultation Paper No 173, with Karim Khalil QC: 2004

Lectures and Training

  • Advocacy and the Vulnerable: – Course Director, Inns of Court College of Advocacy (2017)
  • Sexting and the law: The Youth Justice Summit 2018: Allen and Overy LLP.
  • Encouraging those from all backgrounds to consider a career at the Bar: Panel Discussion: Bar Council’s Placement scheme. 3 July 2017.
  • Effective measures to enable 'unreasonable' adjustments for very young and vulnerable witnesses: Panel of legal experts: Central Criminal Court: 22 June 2017.
  • The Prosecution of Sexual Offences – Overcoming the Challenges:  Hosted by the Serious Crime Unit of the Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland: with HH Peter Rook QC.  26 May 2017.
  • Taking Evidence on Commission: Judicial Institute of Scotland: with HH Rook QC: Parliament House, Edinburgh: 6 November 2017.
  • Ground Rules hearings and section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999: Criminal Bar Association Serious Sexual Offences Spring conference. 7 May 2016.

What the Directories Say

  • 'Very good indeed, and extremely personable. She's doing great things with the CBA, and has a high media profile.' Chambers UK 2018
  • 'She would be my first choice for the most serious stuff.' 'Her written work is of an extremely high standard, and she's the sort of person everybody listens to.'   Chambers UK 2017
  • 'Defends and prosecutes significant cases and is regularly instructed by solicitors' firms due to her personable and diligent approach. She is noted for her skilled handling of vulnerable witnesses'. Chambers UK 2016
  • 'She is a true inspiration to young female advocates. Despite her huge and well-deserved success she remains the same approachable and hard-working barrister everyone knows and loves." Chambers UK 2016
  • 'Highly reputable for sensitive sexual offences cases.' Legal 500 2016
  • 'She has an excellent knowledge of the law and is tactically brilliant' Chambers UK 2015
  • 'She is a standout advocate with a strong reputation for both prosecuting and defending.'   Chambers UK 2014


MA (Hons) – Trinity College, Cambridge

Post graduate Whittaker scholar in Law, Trinity College, Cambridge

Hardwicke Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn

Information office in Shipping department Clifford Chance 1991 to 1993


Criminal Bar Association

Lincolns Inn

South Eastern Circuit

Trinity College Law Association (committee member)


Professional Appointments

Recorder 2009- authorised to sit in serious sex offence cases

Recorder of the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) 2014

Chair of the Criminal Bar Association 2017

Trainer for City University Intermediary course

Management committee of the Advocates Gateway

Course Director for COIC’S and the Rook Group’s Advocacy and the Vulnerable