Rachel Brand QC

Deputy Head of Chambers
Year Of Call: 
1981
Year Of Silk: 
2000

Practice details

Specialist criminal advocate, instructed by both prosecution and defence in the most serious cases, including homicide, drug and gang-related firearms offences and other organized crime, substantial armed robbery, sexual offences, and some large-scale dishonesty and fraud.   Significant experience of homicide cases involving the death of infants and young children, and the complex medical issues which can arise in such cases.   Frequently instructed to represent vulnerable defendants, including those with a history of mental illness or significant learning disability, in murder trials involving issues of diminished responsibility.

Has particular expertise in allegations of rape and other serious sexual offences, and other cases involving DNA profiling evidence (appeared, as a junior, in R v Doheny and Adams 1997,  leading case on statistical interpretation of DNA evidence).   Instructions to prosecute have included substantial trials involving historic allegations of sexual offences, arising from large-scale police enquiries into local authority care homes.  

Described in the Legal 500 (2012) as 'able and well-respected'.    Chambers & Partners 2013 :  'She does a lot of heavyweight work, and is held in high regard as a senior silk',  2014 entry  ' ... a great down-to-earth manner and a fierce intelligence', 2018 edition  'She has the ability to give closing speeches that are to the point, informative, and down-to-earth'. 

Examples of factual background in previous instructions :

Prosecution

  • two separate cases of serving prisoners (life sentence for murder) who murdered another inmate
  • a man who strangled and murdered his wife and attempted to murder his two young children
  • murder, a shooting inside a Black Country nightclub
  • a man who stabbed and killed his partner in full view of their two young children, during an acute psychotic episode of his established mental illness
  • 5 defendants, murder (petrol thrown and ignited), conspiracy to murder and perverting the course of justice
  • a defendant who murdered his adult daughter by strangulation
  • a man who used his vehicle as a weapon, causing catastrophic injuries to his ex-partner's father, rendering him paraplegic
  • a serving police officer who murdered his partner
  • a defendant who killed his infant son
  • a man who murdered a young woman in her own home
  • serving police officer who had committed serious sexual offences (historic)

Defence

  • represented one of two defendants acquitted of the murder of Nicola Payne, a young woman who went missing in Coventry in 1991
  • one of two defendants charged with murder, each blaming the other : acquitted, whilst co-defendant convicted of murder
  • a woman charged (with her partner) with the murder of a young woman in the home all three of them shared
  • one of two defendants charged with murder following the stabbing of a man in Coventry : acquitted
  • represented a woman acquitted of murder  (who had pleaded guilty to manslaughter) in relation to the death of a man attacked in the street in Stratford-on-Avon, by 4 assailants
  • a woman charged with attempted murder of her  6 day old infant daughter by placing her into a rubbish chute : the defendant was affected by 'post-partum psychosis' 
  • various (separate) cases of defendants charged with the murder of infants and young children, or with causing or allowing the death of young children
  • a woman convicted (with her partner) of gross negligence manslaughter when their infant child drowned in a bath, having been left unattended
  • one of two defendants acquitted of murder on the Judge's direction following argument on causation where there had been delayed death following assault and brain injury
  • one of eight defendants acquitted of charges of murder, in relation to an incident when 3 men were struck by a car (during the riots in Birmingham in 2011)
  • a defendant charged with the murder of 3 men in the 1990's, unfit to be tried in the normal way therefore trial of whether he 'did the acts'
  • one of three defendants charged with the (financially motivated) murder of an elderly disabled man in his own home
  • several  (separate cases) of alleged ‘contract’ or 'execution' murders (shootings)
  • a man who lured a taxi driver to a country lane, then stabbed and killed him during a bungled attempted robbery
  • a defendant who killed an elderly couple in their own home
  • a 19 year old defendant charged with the murder of a shopkeeper during the course of a robbery
  • a defendant who murdered his elderly aunt and uncle
  • a woman who killed her 6 year old daughter   (manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility),  including successful appeal against sentence of IPP
  • murder of several victims by setting fire to a hotel
  • an 18 year old defendant charged with murdering his mother, a case with complex psychiatric issues
  • a middle-aged woman charged with the murder of her elderly mother-in-law 
  • fraud by NHS dentists

Continuing professional development

Has lectured on a variety of topics, including : sexual offences and issues of disclosure in such cases, trials of mentally ill defendants,  the presentation of expert evidence.