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Rachel Pennington

Practice Summary

Instructed to prosecute and defence in a wide variety of criminal matters, and on behalf of applicants and appellants in immigration and asylum matters.

Career background

Completed pupillage at Chambers under the supervision of Gurdeep Garcha. Joined Citadel as a tenant in October 2015.

Called in July 2013 following completion of the BPTC at the University of Law (very competent), Birmingham: winner of the University BPTC mooting competition 2012-2013. Thereafter, completed the Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme (October 2013).

Prior to commencing pupillage, worked as a litigation caseworker for UK Visas and Immigration, managing unlawful removal and unlawful detention judicial review cases, and worked as a casework assistant for the Manuel Bravo Project in Leeds, a charity that provides legal assistance to asylum seekers unable to secure legal aid.

Practice Details

Rachel is instructed in a variety of criminal proceedings including defence and prosecution work in the Crown Court, Magistrates Court and Youth Courts. She is a CPS Level 2 prosecutor and has also appeared on behalf of the CPS (Specialist Fraud Division) Home Office, H.M.R.C, DWP, Staffordshire & West Midlands Police Joint Legal Services and the Probation Service.

Rachel regularly represents defendants who are vulnerable by reason of youth, mental illness or learning difficulties. She has a particular interest in being instructed in cases involving fitness to plead issues and sentencing disposals under the Mental Health Act 1983. She has completed the Vulnerable Witness Advocacy Programme.

Instructed to advise and represent applicants and appellants before the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). Accepts instructions in all areas of immigration and asylum law.

Has gained considerable experience working with vulnerable clients, including those who lack capacity to give evidence or conduct proceedings, and those subject to immigration detention.

Recent examples of immigration experience include:

  • Article 8 claims both within and outside of the immigration rules.
  • Appeals against deportation following criminal convictions.
  • Representing detained appellants in bail hearings and appeals.
  • Asylum appeals.
  • Nationality.
  • EEA applications.

Recent and notable instructions have included:

  • Representing defendants charged with drugs offences including conspiracy to supply controlled drugs, production and conveying articles into prison.
  • Instructed to prosecute and defend serious violence, including s.18 assaults and offences involving the production and possession of weapons.
  • Represented a defendant found unfit to stand trial for a series of commercial burglaries. Successfully argued against the imposition of a hospital order with restriction under section 41 of the Mental Health Act following the cross-examination of a treating psychologist.
  • Represented HMRC as a disclosure junior and led junior in Operation Taxidermy, a VAT fraud concerning fraudulent repayment of VAT from false invoices.
  • Successfully represented John Gimbert in the Court of Appeal following the Attorney General’s Reference of an unduly lenient sentence. Following a full hearing, his sentence was not increased.
  • Instructed as a led defence junior to represent a teenager charged with multiple counts of rape and sexual activity concerning several children in a trial lasting 3 months;
  • Instructed on behalf of HMRC to conduct a review of digital material for items attracting legal professional privilege or litigation privilege.
  • Extensive experience of dealing with privately funded road traffic cases including arguments on special reasons and exceptional hardship.

Further Information

“Human Rights practice and the city: a case study of York (UK)”, co-written with Emily Graham, Paul Gready and Eric Hoddy and published in Global Urban Justice: The Rise of Human Rights Cities (Cambridge University Press)

  •  Midland Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Amicus

Direct Access

Accredited by the Bar Council and in suitable cases is happy to accept instructions direct from members of the public. Please see the Direct Access section of this website for further information.

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