Profile

Sasha Wass has over 33 years’ experience at the Criminal Bar. She has both defended and prosecuted in numerous cases of complex fraud, international money laundering, murder and serious sexual misconduct. She has a particular interest in cases where scientific and medical evidence is disputed, such as allegations of “Shaken Baby Syndrome” and unexplained deaths in infants. She has successfully defended cases involving medical malpractice. Recent notable cases include the prosecution of children’s entertainer, Rolf Harris; rogue trader Kweku Adoboli, responsible for largest British banking fraud $2.3bn; the ex-Nigerian State Governor, James Ibori and associates; serial killer, Rosemary West and financier, Roger Levitt.

Clever and ice cool

The Times

With her experience as judge, prosecutor and defender, Ms Wass has the expertise and ability to use her understanding of all dimensions of the criminal process to enable her to present cases effectively to a jury. Ms Wass is known for her attention to detail and relentless cross-examination on behalf of her clients. Her photographic memory allows her to work swiftly and efficiently through large amounts of material. She is admired for her ability to master her brief and to isolate and identify the essence of her client’s case. She is recognised as being a fearless opponent. Sasha Wass has been recommended as a leader in the field of Crime in both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500.

Recognition

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Expertise

St Helena Abuse Inquiry

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The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr Philip Hammond, has announced that Sasha Wass QC will lead the St Helena Child Abuse Inquiry. These allegations involve claims in the British Overseas Territory of St Helena relating to child abuse, police corruption and incompetence and a conspiracy by the St Helena Government, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department of International Developments to cover these up.

The official press release can be accessed here. Further news coverage can be found here.

Appointments

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  • Serious Fraud Office Panel (2013)
  • Recorder at the Central Criminal Court (2008)
  • Elected Bencher of Gray’s Inn (2003)
  • Queen’s Counsel (2000)
  • Recorder of the Crown Court  (1997)

Other

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  • Authorised to try Serious Sex Cases since 2004
  • Called to the Bar in both Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands

Education

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University of Liverpool, LLB (Hons), Law.

Notable cases

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R v Roger Thompson

Sasha Wass QC was instructed for the defence of Roger Thompson (71 years old), a former teacher at Repton School, Derby, who was charged with four counts of indecent assault on a former pupil in the...

R v Kweku Adoboli

Prosecution of the UBS “Rogue Trader” for a $2.3 billion City fraud.

R v Frances Inglis

The trial of a mother who murdered her son by a lethal heroin injection.

R v Simon Hathaway

A father accused of shaking his 38 day-old baby.

R v Michelle Smith

A mother accused of poisoning a baby with dihydrocodeine.

R v Chicane Scott

Murder in the Cayman Islands.

R v Ben Butler

A father accused of causing non-accidental injury to his five week-old daughter as a result of baby shaking. Now part of the leading Court of Appeal authority on “Shaken Baby Syndrome”.

R v Frances Inglis

A mother accused of killing her brain-damaged son

R v Chelsea Bennett

The stabbing of a teenage girl in an all-female gang fight in Croydon

R v Sedgwick

A case concerning child abuse in Gibraltar

R v Mindy Sanghera

The killing of a pregnant Muslim girl by her husband’s mistress

R v Daniel Dudney

Manslaughter by a group of 10 to12 year-olds by stone throwing

R v Alan Richardson

A large-scale cocaine importation involving the evidence of a “super-grass”

R v Muji Rahman

Concerning the “honour killing” of a boyfriend considered unsuitable by a girl’s brother in a Muslim family

R v Samantha Prime

A manslaughter by gross negligence committed by a prison officer

R v Tunde Thomas

An Operation Trident shooting at the Notting Hill Carnival

R v Alan Pennell

The murder of a schoolboy in a Nottinghamshire school by a fellow pupil

R v Leanne Labonte

Manslaughter by neglect and cruelty to baby Ainlee Walker by her mother.

R v Kweku Adoboli

The rogue trader who defrauded UBS bank of $2.3 billion: recognised to be the largest banking fraud ever prosecuted in the UK

R v Douglas Binet

The murder of man whose severed arms were retrieved from a fishing lake and whose headless torso and legs were found in the defendant’s premises

R v Bhadresh Gohil

A Mayfair solicitor involved in a sophisticated fraud, forgery and money laundering on behalf of “politically exposed persons” in Africa

R v James Ibori and others

A large-scale international money laundering by the ex-Governor of Delta State in Nigeria.

R v Taylor and others

A manslaughter by gross negligence/corporate manslaughter by a haulage company whose lorry driver employee killed two motorists on the A303

R v Young and Hayward

The sadistic rape and murder by drowning of a young mother by two delinquent teenagers in Colchester.

R v Day and Ramirez

A three-handed murder by drug dealers in Reigate

R v Elvin and Others

A three-handed murder in Epsom

R v Robinson and Others

Concerning the misconduct in public office of three serving Customs and Excise Officers accused of dealing drugs in Leeds

R v Emmanuel Ogonobu

The gang-related murder of a 15-year-old boy in Hackney.

Related news

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10 April

Tesco Deferred Prosecution Agreement

A deferred prosecution agreement has been approved between Tesco Stores Limited and the Serious Fraud Office. Under the arrangement, Tesco has agreed to pay a financial penalty of £129 million. The...

13 October

Application to terminate SFO investigation

The High Court (Gross LJ and Andrews J) yesterday handed down judgment in R (ota Soma Oil & Gas) v Director of the Serious Fraud Office. The case concerned an application for a mandatory order...

8 May

Is it legal to end suffering?

Is it legal to end suffering? Sasha Wass QC and Kate Wilkinson defend in tragic case where mother Mrs.Inglis ended her son's suffering by lethal heroin injection. Appeal against conviction and...