Victoria Ailes


Year of Call



“Incredibly diligent, and at all stages demonstrates a mastery of complicated and technical evidential material”.  Legal 500

“She has outstanding written and oral advocacy, legal knowledge, judgement and client skills.” Legal 500

Victoria acts in criminal, public law and human rights matters. Her practice has a strong international dimension.


Victoria represents both individuals and public authorities in public law matters in the criminal justice sphere.  Notable cases include R (Simpson) v Secretary of State for Justice [2022] EWHC 3181 (Admin) (on Parole Board referrals); R (DPP) v Bristol Crown Court [2022] EWHC 2415 (Admin) (on custody time limits during a barristers’ strike); R (Siddiqui) v Westminster Maigstrates’ Court [2021] EWHC 1648 (Admin) (on summons applications in private prosecutions), R (Rose) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester [2021] EWHC 875 (Admin) (on police complaints) and R (Belhaj) v DPP [2019] 1 AC 593 (closed material procedures).

Victoria has a deep knowledge of human rights principles and case law. She has been instructed by the Government of the United Kingdom in around 20 cases before the European Court of Human Rights, including Taxquet v Belgium 926/05, Al Khawaja and Tahery v United Kingdom [2011] 54 EHRR 23, McCallum v Italy 20863/21 and Sanchez-Sanchez v United Kingdom (22854/20) in the Grand Chamber.  She contributed to Human Rights in Criminal Law (Jones et al, Bloomsbury, 2023)

Victoria acts in criminal appeals and related proceedings.

Recent Court of Appeal and Supreme Court cases include Attorney General’s Reference (no 1 of 2022) [2023] EWCA Crim 1259 and Attorney General’s Reference (no 1 of 2023) [2024] EWCA Crim 243 on protest rights, R v Field [2022] EWCA Crim 316 on causation in murder, R (Highbury Poultry) v Telford Magistrates [2020] UKSC 39 on strict liability offences and DPP v Jugnauth [2019] UKPC 8 on corruption offences.

She represented the National Crime Agency in the Encrochat litigation before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.

Victoria has worked on public inquiries and reviews, most recently as junior counsel to the Undercover Policing Inquiry, representing bereaved families in the Manchester Arena Inquiry, and as counsel to Sir Richard Henriques’ review of the Service Justice System in 2021.

Victoria regularly appears in inquests, including those in which Article 2 is engaged. Her experience includes acting for bereaved families in the inquest into the deaths in the terror attack at London Bridge on 3 June 2017. She also represents those at risk of criticism.

Victoria provides advocacy and advice in extradition and mutual legal assistance matters, and has experience of cases under both Part 1 and Part 2 of the Extradition Act 2003.

Victoria has worked with government officials across the common law world to revise the “Harare Scheme” for mutual legal assistance within the Commonwealth and been involved in training and developing prosecutors in these areas, particularly in Eastern and Southern Africa. Victoria contributed Part III (Mutual Legal Assistance) to the Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Handbook (Oxford University Press).

Victoria has been instructed in cases of money laundering and advises on all aspects of confiscation and asset forfeiture. She appears in asset recovery proceedings at all stages from restraint to enforcement. Victoria’s publications in this area include:  External Requests for Restraint Orders: King v Director of the Serious Fraud Office, Proceeds of Crime Review 3 (2009) (with David Perry QC) and Proceeds of Crime and the European Convention on Human Rights, Proceeds of Crime Review 4 (2010) (with David Perry QC).

Victoria has acted in an advisory capacity for and against a number of foreign governments and prosecution agencies, most frequently in relation to corruption allegations, and has represented individuals facing criminal charges before courts in other jurisdictions.

Victoria was junior counsel for the Appellant in Director of Public Prosecutions of Mauritius v Jugnauth [2019] UKPC 8, an appeal concerning the prosecution of the Prime Minister of Mauritius on corruption charges.

Victoria has given advice on legal professional privilege during the execution of search warrants, both as independent counsel and representing the owner of the premises.

As a junior tenant Victoria worked at the House of Lords as judicial assistant to Lord Rodger of Earlsferry and Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood. She also completed a short course at the London School of Economics on the Law of War and Human Rights.

  • Attorney General’s panel for civil litigation (A panel)
  • Oxford University (BA Mathematics and Philosophy);
  • CPE/Diploma in Law;
  • Haldane, Denning and Hubert Greenland Scholarships (Lincoln’s Inn)

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Notable cases

Related news

24 March

Human Rights in Criminal Law

Chambers would like to congratulate Victoria Ailes, Denis Barry and Lyndon Harris on their contribution to the release of 'Human Rights in Criminal Law' which was published in February 2023. See more...

2 March

Manchester Arena Inquiry

The Manchester Arena Inquiry has published the third and final volume of its report, which focuses on the radicalisation of the bombers and whether the attack on 22 May 2017, in which 22 people lost...

17 July

Attorney General Civil Panel Appointments

Chambers is delighted to announce that the following Members of Chambers have been appointed to the Attorney General's Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown: Rosemary Davidson has been appointed to...