Jane Bickerstaff QC
Jane is a first-class advocate who prosecutes and defends in all areas of serious crime. She has been instructed in complex fraud and financial crime, and has particular expertise in sexual offences.
Background and Expertise
As a criminal barrister, Jane owes her reputation to her abilities in cross-examination, particularly of children and vulnerable witnesses; to the way she builds trust with clients, the judiciary and juries; her methodical preparation; and her feel for the tactics of a case.
Prosecuting, she is regularly instructed by the Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Major Crime Unit, to prosecute murders and complex crime on the borders of the Metropolitan area.
Defending, she is regularly instructed privately by both professional and high-profile defendants. Her expertise in sexual offences has seen her appear for the defence in a number of high-profile and complex historical allegations.
She regularly appears at the Central Criminal Court in cases of homicide.
Beyond her criminal practice, Jane has for many years appeared before police disciplinary boards, acting for regulated individuals – and continues this work as a QC. She sits for the FA and Sport resolutions as well as RFU and England Boxing.
Defence of a man now in his seventies for rape and serious sexual offences against two foster daughters during the eighties and nineties. The case involved analysis of large quantities of social care records which demonstrated significant failings in the recollections and assertions of the witnesses. The complexity of the case was increased as the defendant admitted in police interview to some sexual conduct with one of the complainants but only by consent and when she had reached the age of sixteen. He was jointly charged with his wife who faced child cruelty allegations. The case involved cross examining with some sensitivity extremely damaged adults who had suffered physical and mental health issues as an alleged result of the abuse they complained of. Aylesbury Crown Court
Defence of a man for dangerous act manslaughter and aggravated burglary. In the course of an intrusion at knifepoint into the home of a drug dealer, in order to steal from him drugs/money, the victim escaped by jumping head first from a fourth floor window. He landed on concrete and died. The case involved extensive legal submissions on the law in this area. Central Criminal Court
Defence of a church pastor for the repeated rape and sexual assault of his 11 year old daughter. The witness made timely complaint and was only 12 years when she gave evidence. The case involved full use of vulnerable witness protocol including submission of questions for cross examination in writing. Snaresbrook Crown Court
Prosecution of 5 teenage defendants for the joint enterprise murder by stabbing of another teenager. The incident was a retributive attack following a confrontation in the street between one of the defendants and the victim. The defendants all played different roles and although three were directly involved in the stabbing it was not possible to prove who delivered the fatal blow. The defendants advanced self defence. All involved in the stabbing were convicted of murder. Central Criminal Court
Prosecution of female defendant for the murder of her sister. This was an astonishingly violent attack in the home address and in the presence of the victim’s four young children. The motive was jealousy as the defendant was having an affair with her sister’s husband. The defendant reported the offence to police and spun a false story of an intruder to the home having attacked her sister. The case involved meticulous investigation forensically, of mobile telephone messages and local CCTV to uncover the truth. The defendant then sought to run mental health defences but eventually pleaded guilty to murder at trial. Central Criminal Court
Read more Notable cases
Other Activities and Interests
- Jane is Head of Pupillage at 9 Bedford Row, and runs the in-house advocacy training programme
- Outside of work she enjoys good food and is a passionate supporter of Everton Football Club
Professional commentary and attribution
"A force to be reckoned with and an incisive cross-examiner" (Legal 500, 2020)
"A hard-working and dedicated silk who is regularly instructed in high-profile criminal cases. She is highly regarded by market sources for her expertise in sexual offences. Interviewees praise her for her handling of sensitive cases and vulnerable clients". (Chambers UK, 2019)
"A fantastic jury advocate with a nice touch breaking down complex arguments." (Legal 500, 2018)
"She is an intensive cross-examiner, who leaves no stone unturned." (Legal 500, 2017)
"A hard-working and dedicated silk who is regularly instructed in high-profile criminal cases. She is highly regarded by market sources for her expertise in sexual offences and is noted for being very approachable."
"A tenacious barrister who is great at cross-examination."
"An extremely hard-working advocate who is great with juries."
"Successfully defended a university student accused of gang rape of a female student following a college May Ball at the Royal Agricultural University."
Chambers UK, 2018
PROFILE: Jane Bickerstaff QC
"Jane is a fantastic advocate, who is bright, approachable, realistic and down to earth. She is patient, caring and robust.” “A rising star among barristers specialising in cases of serious sexual misconduct.”
Chambers UK, 2020
Confiscation / POCA
Fraud, Bribery & Corruption
Regulatory / Disciplinary
020 7489 2727
Criminal Bar Association
Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
FA Judicial Panel, appointed 2018
Legal Chair of specialist panels for Sport Resolutions – Appointed 2019