Following seven years serving in the British Army, Dan has developed a comprehensive and busy practice. He has wide experience in all aspects of criminal law, quasi-criminal regulatory law, corporate investigations and international war crimes. He specialises in business crime, criminal law, terrorism and private prosecutions, both in court and in an advisory role.


Legal 500 2017


Criminal Litigation

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Dan has experience of the full range of criminal offences and has recently acted in cases of murder, terrorism, rape, large-scale importation of drugs and fraud.

Dan is a Grade 4 prosecutor. He has been instructed in the most high profile terrorism cases, both led and as a junior alone. He was led by Annabel Darlow QC in the successful prosecution of three men who sent another to Syria to fight for IS. Dan also secured the first conviction of a defendant attempting to join the PKK in order to fight IS. He is currently instructed to respond to an appeal against a murder conviction dating from 1989 and to coordinate the disclosure exercise in relation to a large, multi-handed excise evasion case. As such, Dan has a great deal of experience in dealing with highly sensitive material as well as responding to complex disclosure and abuse of process arguments.

Dan frequently represents individuals who have been charged with criminal offences in high profile cases. He regularly advises on how best to engage with prosecuting authorities at the pre trial stage of proceedings and has succeeded in having charges dropped against clients on a number of occasions. Dan is also adept at handling media interest during a trial. His recent cases include defending a woman charged with the attempted murder of a number of others by blowing up her home and defending an Iranian refugee who walked to the United Kingdom through the Channel Tunnel.

Dan has a particular interest in private prosecutions and has advised both companies and individuals about the relevant procedure and evidential processes. He is also an experienced advisor on matters of legal professional privilege, both for prosecuting authorities and the subjects of investigation.


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Dan is regularly instructed on behalf of regulatory bodies, such as the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner, Thames Water and local authorities. He has dealt with offences of unauthorised provision of immigration services, trading standards, unlawful eviction, health and safety, environmental pollution and food hygiene. He defended in a recent test case brought by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Dan also represented a local councillor in another test case involving offences contrary to section 106 of the Local Government (Finance) Act 1992.

Public and Administrative Law

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Dan receives instructions from the Government Legal Department to assist in high-profile, complicated and wide-ranging disclosure and witness preparation exercises. This has provided him with experience of the conduct of large-scale government litigation and the attendant issues of legal professional privilege, national security and the parameters of civil disclosure. He is currently instructed in four of the lead cases determining the application of negligence and human rights to military combat operations and, therefore, the scope of the Ministry of Defence’s duty of care to soldiers on operations.

Corporate Crime and Investigations

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Dan is familiar with the conduct and pressures of large-scale corporate investigations. He has advised a large multi-national media organisation in relation to Operations Weeting (phone hacking), Elveden (payments to public officials) and Tuleta (breaches of privacy and unlawful conduct) and he is very familiar with the sections and schedules of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 dealing with special procedure and excluded material, legal professional privilege, journalistic material and the seizure, retention and distribution of such material. He has also advised a large corporate client in relation to their response to ‘section 2’ notices served by the SFO in relation to alleged acts of bribery in multiple jurisdictions.


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University of Oxford, MA (Hons), Modern History.


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  • Double Queen Mother Scholarship, Middle Temple (2006)
  • Kalisher Essay Competition, Winner (2008)


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  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Association of Military Court Advocates


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Dan became a tenant following the completion of pupillage with Duncan Atkinson and Timothy Cray. Before coming to the Bar Dan was an infantry officer in the British Army and served in Iraq and the Balkans.

Notable cases

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Al Rawi and Others v The Security Service and Others

Advising the government on disclosure issues arising from multiple civil claims by former detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

MCA v Jason Manning

Representing the owner of a sailing school charged under section 100 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995. This test case brought by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has been described as being of...

R v Candy

A sentence of 8 months’ imprisonment reduced to 14 weeks’ imprisonment (immediate release) on appeal. The legal argument related to the correct application of the relevant sentencing...

R v Sharp

Defence counsel in a robbery trial which was stayed following a successful argument concerning Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

R v Fade

Defence counsel in a rape trial which was dismissed following a successful submission of no case to answer.

R v Dryburgh and others

Led Junior counsel in a multi-handed attempted murder trial.

R v Sturt

Led Junior counsel in a murder trial.

Related news

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23 November

Conviction of an aspiring PKK militant

Dan Pawson-Pounds was instructed in the prosecution of Silhan Ozcelik for a terrorism offence. Ms Ozcelik was convicted of engaging in conduct in preparation for committing an act of terrorism and...