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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


Professional Associations

  • Member of the Northern Circuit


  • Queen Mother Scholarship – The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
  • BPP Excellence Scholarship
  • BPP Highest Performing Professional Award


Zoe specialises in Crime and Regulatory, having previously enjoyed a Common Law practice (Crime, Civil / Commercial, Family) on the Western Circuit.


Zoe deals with a range of cases from those involving dishonesty (theft, robbery, fraud), to driving, drugs, offences against the person, public order and minor sexual offences. She has experience conducting both trials and appeals involving complex legal issues.

She is a CPS Level 2 Panel Advocate and undertakes work for both defence and prosecution. She is currently instructed by the Crown to prosecute a 4 handed case concerning the supply of Class A drugs.

Zoe has been commended for her ability to present robust legal arguments in complex cases, and has successfully raised novel points of law to secure client’s acquittals. She is also noted for her commitment to client care.

Regulatory / Licensing / Other:

Zoe acts for the General Medical Council in cases concerning doctors’ fitness to practice.

Zoe is often instructed by government bodies (including HMRC and the Home Office) in proceeds of crime and customs and excise matters (e.g. Forfeiture, Restraint, Condemnation, and Freezing Orders). She is currently instructed in an appeal to the High Court by way of Case Stated concerning the condemnation of goods under the CEMA 1979.

Zoe also receives instructions to prosecute and defend in cases involving Health and Safety, Environmental Licensing, Trading Standards, Taxi Licensing, Firearms Licensing, and School Non-attendance. She is regularly instructed to act on behalf of local authorities in such matters.

Zoe has extensive experience both prosecuting and defending RSPCA matters concerning offences of animal cruelty and breaches of disqualification orders. Zoe recently successfully represented a Defendant in an 8 week 8 handed RSPCA prosecution involving allegations of animal cruelty concerning 100 animals kept by a Reptile Charity in Bolton.

Notable Cases

  • Crime

    R v B

    Zoe defends in case involving multiple indecent exposures to women and girls near to a school in Eccles.

    The client was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court for 5 charges of indecent exposure, occurring over the period of 1 year, near to a school in Eccles, and avoided an immediate custodial sentence. He recieved a 2 year community order.

  • 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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