Biography

Jo has a busy and successful practice in criminal law, military justice and public law including the law of armed conflict. Jo prosecutes and defends in the Crown Court and Court Martial, and is also a panel C prosecutor for the Health and Safety Executive.

Jo is widely respected for her keen intellect combined with vast practical experience. She has excellent inter-personal skills and quickly builds very good relationships with the solicitors who instruct her and with clients directly. She is also able to build effective working relationships with her opponents so that cases can be well managed throughout which is appreciated by judges and clients. Jo is thorough, hardworking and determined, arguing her client’s position in an engaging and forceful but not aggressive manner.

In addition to her domestic practice, Jo is Vice Chair of the working group of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers.  She is a prosecutor and defender at the International Criminal Court. 

Jo is a pupil supervisor and a Middle Temple advocacy trainer and a facilitator of the Vulnerable Witnesses training. 

Jo is an experienced prosecutor with experience in terrorism, homicide, non-fatal offences of violence, sexual offences, firearms and fraud.

She is a Grade 3 Prosecutor in the CPS general crime group and is on the RASSO, counter terrorism and serious crime panels.  Jo is also on the disclosure panel of the Serious Fraud Office.

Jo is particularly respected for her ability to cross examine expert witnesses upon matters such as impression and marking evidence, DNA, cell site analysis, blood spatter evidence and firearms residue.

Jo is police station accredited, and has many years’ experience of acting in the best interests of her client from the point of investigation onwards.  Her knowledge of police powers and procedures gives her an advantage when conducting Crown Court trials and identifying points of law.  She easily identifies breaches of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. She is also very good at challenging expert evidence, and cross examining expert witnesses.

Jo has experience of defending clients in respect of a wide range of allegations, including non-fatal violence; sexual offences; fraud and other dishonesty offences and firearms offences. Solicitors describe her as proactive, diligent and with exceptional inter-personal skills. She is particularly praised for her ability to work with clients who are often vulnerable, very stressed and finding the legal process hard to manage.   

Jo has an active court martial practice, and has represented service personnel in Germany, Colchester, Catterick, Bulford and Aldershot.  She has an intimate knowledge of the Armed Forces Act, the Law of Armed Conflict and other relevant legislation. 

Jo is a published author upon both topics; A practical guide to military justice and A practical guide to the law of armed conflict.  She accepts instructions both from the SPA and AFLAA.  

Jo represents clients, particularly regulatory bodies, at inquests and is familiar with the rules and procedures of the inquest process. Her background in criminal law means that she is very well suited to cross examining in an inquisitorial process.

Jo is very good at working with clients in stressful situations, explaining the process to them and keeping them updated. She is also respected for her ability to examine experts upon cause of death.

Jo writes for a number of publications on issues relating to her practice areas. 

In January 2021, she wrote for The Times arguing that breaches of the Official Secrets Act do not require further protection

In March 2020, Jo argued in The Times that veterans of the Troubles need protection from unfair prosecution.

Jo set out the case for existing terrorism legislation being sufficient to deal with returning ISIS sympathisers in The Times in March 2019.

To instruct Jo in criminal or court martial matters please contact John Wooloughan.

To instruct Jo for an inquest please contact Greg Piner

Education

  • LL.B. University of Durham

Memberships

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Association of Military Court Advocates

Notable Cases

R v Q: Defended a householder accused of attempted murder upon a burglar.
R v C: Prosecuted multiple allegations of historical abuse
R v R: Defended a driver accused of paralysing a motorcyclist in a case of causing serious injury by careless driving
Inquest S: Representing the ORR in an inquest touching upon the death of a railway worker upon train lines
R v K & Ors: Prosecuted in a multi handed gangland case under s18
R v Y: Defended an allegation of gang grooming vulnerable children in care
R v B: Defended a Wing Commander accused of JPA fraud at MCMC Bulford
R v D&D: Prosecuted a case of human trafficking
R v G: Defended as leading junior defendant first on the indictment in an allegation of county line supply