Deans Court Chambers

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Zoe Dawson

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Zoe Dawson - Deans Court Chambers



  • Law LLB (Hons) University of Manchester - First Class
  • Bar Professional Training Course – Outstanding
  • Queen Mother Scholarship – The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple


Professional Associations



Zoe specialises in crime, having previously enjoyed a common law practice on the Western Circuit.

Her practice ranges from driving offences to those of serious violence and dishonesty. She is experienced in dealing with matters at all stages for defence and prosecution in both the Crown Court and Magistrates Court, and is regularly instructed to act in appeals to the Crown Court.

Zoe prides herself on her legal research and ability to present robust legal arguments. She has been noted to recognise the importance in developing a strong working relationship with clients, ensuring they are at ease, and that they fully understand court processes.

Having both prosecuted and defended youths and other vulnerable individuals, Zoe is familiar with the procedure and sensitivities that can arise in such cases.

Zoe also regularly acts in Local Authority prosecutions, predominantly concerning licensing and environmental offences.

Notable Cases

  • Crime

    R v K

    Zoe acted for a client charged with assault. The case had a complex backdrop, involving a successful application to the Family Court for disclosure of relevant material, in which the Defendant was not a party, into the Criminal Proceedings.

    Despite repeated s.8 CPIA applications and repeated directions from the Court to disclose additional material over the course of a year, the Prosecution failed to adhere to it's disclosure duties until the morning of the third trial listing.

    The Prosecution sought a short adjournment to allow review of and disclosure of this material. The Defence successfully opposed this application, in light of the history of non-compliance, and thereon referred the court to R v Petrie [2015] EWHC 48 - where the Crown fails in its disclosure obligations it should offer no evidence.

    In line with this, the Prosecution offered no evidence.

  • Health & Safety

    Zoe, instructed by McHale & Co, represented a company who entered a guilty plea to 1 charge of failing to protect the health and safety of employees contrary to s.2 Health and Safety at Work Act. The case concerned failures by the defendant company to adequately protect an employee against the risk of contracting Silicosis - a respiratory disease affecting the lungs as a result of exposure to dust. Zoe referred to medical evidence in mitigation, showing that whilst Silicosis had been diagnosed, the complainant was currently a-symptomatic and the risk of progression of the disease was low. The Court accepted that whilst a move upwards in the range was necessary to reflect actual harm caused, the percentage risk of progression was relevant to the degree of uplift required.

    Once mitigation was accounted for, the Defendant company received a sentence below the range provided for in the guidelines.

  • R v W defended s.47 ABH trial – victim had retracted due to purported intoxication at the time of preparing their statement – Judge withdrew case from Jury after voire dire and legal argument.

  • R v C – defended s.47 ABH trial involving stabbing – jury acquitted, despite hearing no evidence from D.

  • R v M and othrs – successfully defended (Led by Andrew Scott) in a 10 handed conspiracy – criminal damage with intent to endanger life

  • R v G&K – multi-handed affray – successful submission of no case to answer.

  • R v A – prosecuted sentence for s.18 GBH – submissions on dangerousness – D received 12 years imprisonment

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