Annabel has spent many years at the forefront of criminal litigation, acting in some of the most noteworthy criminal trials of recent years. She has successfully represented clients in numerous high-profile and complex trials, including murder, manslaughter, terrorism, fraud, kidnapping and firearms, serious sexual offences and cases involving European law and human rights. Long regarded as one of the leading criminal practitioners of her generation, she is admired for her experience and skill as an advocate and for her tenacious dedication to securing the optimum result for her clients.

She is quite simply the real deal – a phenomenal cross-examiner and superb case strategist.


She is an excellent and very reliable advocate with outstanding drafting skills.

Chambers and Partners

Annabel’s clients include the Serious Fraud Office, the Competition and Markets Authority, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, (for whom she acted as Standing Counsel prior to her appointment to Silk), the Government Legal Department and major city law firms, who instruct her on behalf of both private individuals and international corporations.

Annabel has a thriving advisory practice and appears in the High Court and Appellate Courts in judicial review proceedings and appeals, including the recent guideline case on sentencing in terrorism trials. She has a detailed knowledge of disclosure and the investigatory process and particularly enjoys working as part of a team over the course of lengthy investigations, many of which encompass multi-agencies and an international dimension. She is very familiar with cases involving vast quantities of electronic evidence, both used and unused and is adept at the electronic presentation of evidence.

Annabel consistently ranks highly in the major legal directories. She is Security Cleared at the highest level.


C&P 2018



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Annabel has successfully acted in murder, manslaughter and attempted murder trials of all varieties, including cases of provocation, self-defence, diminished responsibility, multi-handed ‘gang’ killings, juvenile defendants and cases involving particularly complex expert evidence, including disputed causation and toxicology analysis. She has acted in mercy killing trials and cases of gross negligence manslaughter, including advising in a major investigation into deaths attributed to medical negligence by a gynaecologist. She acted to uphold both the conviction and the whole-life tariff of one of the most notorious multiple murderers of recent times.  Annabel is experienced in the conduct of ‘death in custody’ cases and recently acted in the high-profile prosecution of three police officers for misconduct in public office following the vigilante killing of a male wrongly suspected of paedophilia.


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Annabel has been involved over many years in the successful prosecution of a huge range of terrorist-related activity, including the prosecution of an IRA terror cell for plotting the detonation of a lorry bomb in central London, the prosecution of right-wing extremists, including R v Colborne (a plan to manufacture cyanide and explosives to carry out terrorist atrocities); R v Ziamani (Islamic extremist who plotted to behead a British soldier); R v Sandhu and Others (prosecution of Sikh extremists for slashing the throat of an Indian Army General in revenge for the Amritsar massacre) and numerous prosecutions arising from the actions of British nationals in Syria and the Middle East. She recently appeared before a five-judge constitution of the Court of Appeal in a landmark decision setting guidelines for sentencing in terrorism trials.

Fraud, Corporate Advisory and Investigations

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Annabel has represented clients in numerous major fraud prosecutions and has a huge depth of experience in all varieties of economic crime. She has advised international corporations on matters relating to investigations for fraud and insider dealing on behalf of major city firms. Her many years’ experience of advising and conducting prosecutions on behalf of private clients, the SFO, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and the CPS has included successful prosecutions such as the £¾ billion banking fraud (R v Kallakis and Williams); £100 million Ponzi fraud (R v Levene); and off-shore tax fraud (R v Dalrymple and Bates). Annabel was recently instructed to advise a high-profile individual in respect of investigations into alleged corporate and private misconduct as part of Operations Weeting and Elvedon. Testifying to her in-depth knowledge of the prosecution of fraud and bribery offences, she was asked to edit the legal manuals of both the Serious Fraud Office and the Competition and Marketing Authority and to oversee the anti-bribery and corruption policy of an international news organisation.

Confiscation and Asset Forfeiture

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Annabel has extensive experience in the conduct of confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and her practice in this area extends to advisory work, hearings at first instance and appeals.

Criminal Litigation

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Annabel has acted in numerous serious sexual offences matters for both the prosecution and defence, both at first instance and on appeal. She has worked with intermediaries and many young and vulnerable individuals who have appeared in court both as witnesses and defendants.  During her 24 years’ experience at the criminal bar, she has prosecuted and defended in a huge range of offences; experience complemented by her six years as a Recorder of the South Eastern Circuit.

Public and Administrative Law

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Annabel regularly acts in judicial review proceedings and cases involving human rights. Recent instructions include judicial review proceedings following a refusal of bail and a claim that the imposition of the criminal courts charge breached a defendant’s human rights. She has also been instructed by the Government Legal Department in judicial review proceedings concerning the legality of search warrants.


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Annabel has acted in extradition proceedings at first instance, before the Administrative Court and before the House of Lords. For example, in Pilecki v Central Court of Legnica [2008] UKHL 7, Annabel acted together with David Perry QC before House of Lords in an authority on European arrest warrants.


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  • Queen’s Counsel (2015)
  • Standing Counsel to the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (2012)
  • Recorder of the Crown Court (South Eastern Circuit) (2009)


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  • Editor of the Competition and Markets Authority Legal Guidance
  • Contributor to “EU Law in Criminal Practice” published by Oxford University Press (2013)
  • Specialist Advocacy Trainer for Middle Temple
  • Legal Editor of the Serious Fraud Office Operation Manual
  • Approved Pupil Supervisor
  • Chambers’ Equality and Diversity Officer


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  • University of Cambridge, MA (Hons) English Literature
  • City University, London (Diploma in Law)

Notable cases

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R v Ziamani

Prosecution of teenaged Islamic extremist, later sentenced to life imprisonment, for plotting to behead a British soldier. News Link

R v Kahar and Others

Guideline case on sentencing in terrorist cases.

R v Forhad Rahman and Others

Prosecution of three men for assisting a teenaged jihadist to travel to Syria in order to fight for ISIS. News Link

Serious Fraud Office v Kallakis and Williams

Britain’s largest ever mortgage fraud, leading to the conviction of a Greek property tycoon described in the press as “Britain’s most successful serial confidence trickster” for a £780...

Serious Fraud Office v Levene

A Ponzi fraud, involving a total loss of in excess of £316 million, by a former stockbroker and deputy chairman of Leyton Orient Football Club. Victims of the fraud included some of the country’s...

Chiragh v Serious Fraud Office

An appeal, many years post-conviction, of the accountant behind the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) banking fraud.

R v Dalrymple and Bates

Trial of a steel magnate and his company accountant for off-shore diversion fraud.

R v Ali and Hussain

Leading Counsel in the trial of two young men found in possession of terrorist material in an alleged plot to attack the British National Party.

R v Aabid Khan and others

The trial of cyber-terrorists planning global jihad.

R v Mohammed Ajmal Khan

The prosecution of an Al-Qaeda cell who conspired to send equipment to Lashkar e Tayyaba, on the north-west frontier of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

R v Kelly and others

Conspiracy to detonate a lorry-load of explosives outside a London target by an IRA cell.

R v G

A trial which sparked a nationwide debate on assisted dying, in which a mother was alleged to have carried out the “mercy killing” of her daughter, who suffered from ME.

R v Folley (David)

An appeal against a murder conviction. The Defence sought to introduce fresh evidence relating to alleged confirmation bias on the part of prosecution blood spatter analysis experts.

R v F and O

A successful appeal on behalf of O against a minimum term following his conviction for murder.

R v Okuwa

An appeal against a murder conviction; an authority on witness anonymity.

Operation Harness

A doctor suspected of multiple offences of gross negligence manslaughter.

R v Jeremy Bamber

Annabel Darlow QC appeared in this appeal against conviction by one of Britain’s most notorious killers for the murders of five members of his adopted family, including his twin six-year old...

R v DZ and JZ

Acted on behalf of the Prosecution in a successful appeal pursuant to section 58 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 against a terminatory ruling directing the acquittal of two defendants charged with...

R v Davarifar

An appeal against conviction for rape, including an issue as to the permissible extent of cross-examination on an earlier false allegation.

R v Khan

Authority on the privilege against self-incrimination arising from potential criminal proceedings in the USA, for a witness in criminal proceedings (terrorist trial).

R v Wang (Cheong)

Authority on the impermissibility of Judge-directed convictions.

R v Joe Smith

A human rights case, later considered in R v H and C [2004] UKHL 3.

R v Tibbs

Authority on the use of defence case statements in cross-examination.

Related news

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11 October

Life Sentence for Fairy Lights Bomb Plotter

Annabel Darlow QC and Brett Weaver were instructed for the prosecution of Zahid Hussain, who was accused of preparing an act of terrorism by plotting to bomb a railway line with a device made from a...

24 April

Kazi Islam Terrorist Trial

Annabel Darlow QC is instructed in the trial of Kazi Islam, 18. Mr Islam is on trial for allegedly engaging in the preparation of terrorist acts. He is accused of using a combination of threats and...

15 January

Annabel Darlow appointed QC

6KBW College Hill congratulates Annabel Darlow on her appointment as Queen’s Counsel and wishes her the very best for the future.​

8 May

New Recorders within Chambers

New Recorders within Chambers Chambers would like to congratulate Christopher Hehir, Jason Dunn-Shaw and Annabel Darlow on their appointment as Recorders of the Crown Court.