Annabel Darlow KC


Year of Call



“Annabel is extremely clever and exceptionally hard working. Her tactical ability is impressive and her jury speeches are great. Overall a very impressive barrister.” (Legal 500)

“Annabel’s advocacy is outstanding. She is a calm and meticulously-prepared cross-examiner.” (Legal 500)

“She has excellent judgement and really goes the extra mile for her clients. She is a very strong advocate who does not tolerate any nonsense.” (Chambers & Partners)

“A phenomenal cross-examiner.” (Chambers & Partners)

“An excellent and very reliable advocate.” (Chambers & Partners)

“She is so good on her feet that she often proves spellbinding.” (Chambers & Partners)

Since her appointment as Queen’s Counsel in 2015, Annabel has consistently been recognised as a Leading Silk in Crime by both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. Annabel has been shortlisted for the 2023 Legal 500 Crime & Extradition silk of the year. An outstanding advocate and consummate tactician, she has acted in numerous high-profile cases, many of extreme complexity. Her practice has a particular emphasis on fraud, multi-handed homicide and terrorism. Annabel was authorised to sit as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Queen’s Bench Division in 2022.

Annabel is recognised as a distinguished lawyer whose advocacy has been singled out for particular praise. She has been described as, ‘a very strong advocate’ (Chambers & Partners) and the Legal 500 observed that ‘Her understated advocacy style is very effective with judges and jurors alike.’ Annabel has gained an enviable reputation as a ‘superb case strategist’ and a ‘forensic pugilist with brains’ and is known for her skill and dedication in working tirelessly with large, multi-disciplinary teams to build a successful case for her clients.

Notable cases include: R v Barclays PLC and others (landmark SFO prosecution of Barclays Bank and senior executives);  R v Janbaz Tarin (the Solihull double murder); R v Jeremy Bamber (appellate proceedings of the White House Farm multiple murderer); R v Kallakis and Williams (SFO prosecution of Britain’s largest ever mortgage fraud);  R v Ziamani and Hockton (the attempted terrorist murder of HMP Whitemoor prison officer);  R v Theodore Beckford (gangland shooting  by notorious gang leader) and R v Ziamani (terrorist plot to behead a serving British soldier).

Annabel has a thriving appellate practice and is instructed in judicial review cases and complex confiscation proceedings. Annabel is also sought after for her advisory work and has advised corporations and senior individuals in respect of highly sensitive investigations, including News International, GSK and Hewlett Packard/Autonomy.

Annabel’s clients include the Serious Fraud Office, the Competition and Markets Authority, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, (for whom she acted as Standing Counsel prior to her appointment to Silk), the Government Legal Department and major city law firms, who instruct her on behalf of both private individuals and international corporations.

Annabel was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court in 2009


Annabel has successfully acted in murder, manslaughter, and attempted murder trials. Recent work includes:

  • R v Broughton and others; appellate proceedings following death from drugs overdose at music festival; [2020] EWCA Crim 1093; [2021] 1 WLR 543, [2021] 1 Cr.App.R.3.
  • R v TN and others; prosecution of nine defendants, each charged with murder, following a revenge attack on a rival county lines drugs gang.
  • R v AD and others; prosecution of five defendants, each charged with murder, arising from the shooting of a Birmingham businessman.
  • R v TB and others; prosecution for murder of the leader of an OCG following gangland double shooting.
  • R v CM and other; prosecution for murder of members of an OCG for drive-by shooting.

Her cases have encompassed diverse issues, including loss of control; self-defence; diminished responsibility; gang-related bad character and child defendants. She has particular expertise in contested medical and psychiatric evidence. Annabel has extensive experience of cases of gross negligence manslaughter. She advised in a major investigation into deaths attributed to medical negligence by a gynaecologist and has advised in multiple cases involving alleged health and safety breaches.  Annabel is experienced in the conduct of ‘death in custody’ cases and acted in the high-profile prosecution of three police officers for misconduct in public office. She acted to uphold both the conviction and the whole-life tariff of Jeremy Bamber, one of the most notorious multiple murderers of recent times, recently the subject of a major ITV series.

Annabel has been involved over many years in the successful prosecution of a huge range of terrorist-related activity, encompassing all facets of terrorism including the Provisional IRA, Al Qaeda, ISIS and the extreme right. Cases include:

  • R v SW and others (prosecution of right-wing extremists for construction of 3D printed firearm for terrorist purposes).
  • R v MC(a plan to manufacture cyanide and explosives to carry out terrorist atrocities);
  • R v BZ(Islamic extremist who plotted to behead a British soldier);
  • R v BZ and BH (attempted murder of HMP Whitemoor prison officer by extremist inmates);
  • R v S and Others(prosecution of Sikh extremists for slashing the throat of an Indian Army General in revenge for the Amritsar massacre)
  • R v Kahar and others [2016] EWCA Crim 568, [2016] 1 WLR 3156: appeared before a five-judge constitution of the Court of Appeal in a landmark decision establishing guidelines for sentencing in terrorism trials.
  • Numerous prosecutions arising from the actions of British nationals in Syria and the Middle East. including the prosecution of an IRA terror cell for plotting the detonation of a lorry bomb in central London, Annabel conducted the first prosecution to establish that consignments of charitable aid were being used as cover to supply equipment and cash to Isis terrorists.

Annabel has represented clients in numerous major fraud prosecutions and has a huge depth of experience in all varieties of economic crime. Cases include:

  • SFO prosecution before Popplewell LJ of Barclays Bank and senior Barclays executives for fraud arising from major capital raisings in the 2008 financial crisis, variously described by the media as a ‘blockbuster’ and ‘landmark’ trial, which remains, globally, one of the few prosecutions of senior bankers arising out of the credit crunch. Annabel conducted the successful appeal, before a panel of three Lord Justices of a terminatory legal ruling by Jay J.
  • She has advised international corporations on matters relating to investigations for fraud and insider dealing on behalf of major city firms.
  • £750 million banking fraud (R v Kallakis and Williams); £100 million Ponzi fraud (R v Levene); and off-shore tax fraud (R v Dalrymple and Bates).
  • Annabel was instructed to advise a high-profile individual in respect of investigations into alleged corporate and private misconduct as part of Operations Weeting and Elvedon.

Testifying to her in-depth knowledge of the prosecution of fraud and bribery offences, she was asked to edit the legal manuals of both the Serious Fraud Office and the Competition and Marketing Authority and to oversee the anti-bribery and corruption policy of an international news organisation.

Annabel has extensive experience in the conduct of confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and her practice in this area extends to advisory work, hearings at first instance and appeals.

Annabel has acted in numerous serious sexual offences matters for both the prosecution and defence, both at first instance and on appeal. She has worked with intermediaries and many young and vulnerable individuals who have appeared in court both as witnesses and defendants.  During her 28 years’ experience at the criminal bar, she has prosecuted and defended in a huge range of offences; experience complemented by her eleven years as a Recorder of the South-eastern Circuit.

Annabel regularly acts in judicial review proceedings and cases involving human rights. Recent instructions include judicial review proceedings following a refusal of bail and a claim that the imposition of the criminal courts charge breached a defendant’s human rights. She has also been instructed by the Government Legal Department in judicial review proceedings concerning the legality of search warrants.

Annabel has acted in extradition proceedings at first instance, before the Administrative Court and before the House of Lords. For example, in Pilecki v Central Court of Legnica [2008] UKHL 7, Annabel acted together with David Perry KC before House of Lords in an authority on European arrest warrants.

Annabel advises companies in relation to the sanctions regime under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering act 2018, including the implementation of UK Sanctions by the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation. She has advised a number of leading global corporate entities as to the practical and legal consequences of the fast-evolving sanctions regime, including reporting, asset-freeze and responding to investigations of possible sanctions breaches by the Office of Financial Sanctions.

  • Authorised to sit as a Judge of the High Court in the Queen’s Bench Division under section 9(1) (2022)
  • Queen’s Counsel (2015)
  • Accredited Mediator in Civil and Commercial Mediation with the Society of Mediators (2021)
  • SFO KC’S PANEL (2015 onwards)
  • Standing Counsel to the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (2012)
  • Recorder of the Crown Court (South Eastern Circuit) (2009 onwards), authorised to try serious sexual offences.
  • Appointed to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (2022)

Member of the Fraud Lawyers Association and the Criminal Bar Association.

  • Lectures to firms of City solicitors on development in criminal law and procedure.
  • Editor of the Competition and Markets Authority Legal Guidance.
  • Contributor to “EU Law in Criminal Practice” published by Oxford University Press (2013).
  • Legal Editor of the Serious Fraud Office Operation Manual.
  • Chair of the 6KBW College Hill Trust.
  • Nominated for the 2023 Legal 500 Crime & Extradition silk of the year.
  • University of Cambridge, MA (Hons) English Literature
  • City University, London (Diploma in Law)

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Notable cases