Rachel Brand QC

Deputy Head of Chambers
Year Of Call: 
1981
Year Of Silk: 
2000

Practice details

Specialist criminal advocate, instructed by both prosecution and defence in the most serious cases, including homicide, drug and gang-related firearms offences and other organized crime, substantial armed robbery, sexual offences, some large-scale dishonesty and fraud.   Substantial experience of homicide cases involving the death of infants and young children, and the complex medical / causation issues which can arise in such cases.   Frequently instructed to represent vulnerable defendants, including those with a history of mental illness or significant learning disability, in murder trials involving issues of diminished responsibility.   

Vast experience of dealing with cases involving allegations of rape and other serious sexual offences.   Instructions to prosecute have included substantial trials involving historic allegations of sexual offences, arising from large-scale police enquiries into local authority care homes.  

Described in the Legal 500 (2012) as 'able and well-respected'.    Chambers & Partners 2013 :  'She does a lot of heavyweight work, and is held in high regard as a senior silk',  2014 entry  ' ... a great down-to-earth manner and a fierce intelligence', 2018 edition  'She has the ability to give closing speeches that are to the point, informative, and down-to-earth'. 

Examples of factual background in previous instructions :

Prosecution

  • a man who murdered his own grandmother  (stabbing)
  • two separate cases of serving prisoners (life sentences for murder) who murdered fellow inmates, and a third case of 'single-punch' manslaughter by serving prisoner
  • various separate cases involving murder as the culmination of an established pattern of domestic violence
  • a man who strangled and murdered his wife and attempted to murder his two young children
  • murder, a shooting inside a Black Country nightclub
  • various cases of murder by stabbing, whether during domestic or other family disputes, street disorder, gang-related violence
  • a man who stabbed and killed his partner in full view of their two young children, during an acute psychotic episode of his established mental illness
  • death by dangerous driving, two young brothers were killed as they crossed the road with family members
  • 5 defendants, murder (petrol thrown and ignited), conspiracy to murder and perverting the course of justice
  • a defendant who murdered his adult daughter by strangulation
  • a man who used his vehicle as a weapon, causing catastrophic injuries to his ex-partner's father, rendering him paraplegic
  • a serving police officer who murdered his partner
  • a man who murdered a young woman in her own home
  • serving police officer who had committed serious sexual offences (historic)

Defence

  • represented an 18 year old defendant acquitted of murder and manslaughter following the death of a drug dealer during a robbery by four assailants wielding samurai swords and 'zombie' knives  (two were convicted of murder)
  • represented one of two defendants acquitted of the murder of Nicola Payne, a young woman who went missing in Coventry in 1991
  • one of two defendants charged with murder, each blaming the other : acquitted, whilst co-defendant convicted of murder
  • represented one of two defendants charged with murder following the stabbing of a man in Wolverhampton : acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter, whilst co-defendant convicted of murder
  • represented a woman with severe learning difficulties, acquitted of the murder of her partner, a case involving significant argument on medical evidence / cause of death
  • a woman charged (with her partner) with the murder of a young woman in the home all three of them shared
  • one of two defendants charged with murder following the stabbing of a man in Coventry : acquitted
  • a defendant who killed a disabled female neighbour
  • represented a woman acquitted of murder  (who had pleaded guilty to manslaughter) in relation to the death of a man attacked in the street in Stratford-on-Avon, by 4 assailants
  • represented a woman acquitted of the charge of attempted murder of her  6 day old infant daughter by placing her into a rubbish chute : the defendant was affected by 'post-partum psychosis' 
  • numerous (separate) cases of defendants charged with the murder of infants and young children, or with causing or allowing the death of young children
  • a woman convicted (with her partner) of gross negligence manslaughter when their infant child drowned in a bath, having been left unattended
  • one of two defendants acquitted of murder on the Judge's direction following argument on causation where there had been delayed death following assault and brain injury
  • one of eight defendants acquitted of charges of murder, in relation to an incident when 3 men were struck by a car (during the riots in Birmingham in 2011)
  • a defendant charged with the murder of 3 men in the 1990's, unfit to be tried in the normal way therefore trial of whether he 'did the acts'
  • one of three defendants charged with the (financially motivated) murder of an elderly disabled man in his own home
  • several  (separate cases) of alleged ‘contract’ or 'execution' murders (shootings)
  • a man who lured a taxi driver to a country lane, then stabbed and killed him during a bungled attempted robbery
  • a defendant who killed an elderly couple in their own home
  • a 19 year old defendant charged with the murder of a shopkeeper during the course of a robbery
  • a defendant who murdered his elderly aunt and uncle
  • a woman who killed her 6 year old daughter   (manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility),  including successful appeal against sentence of IPP
  • murder of several victims by setting fire to a hotel
  • an 18 year old defendant charged with murdering his mother, a case with complex psychiatric issues
  • a middle-aged woman charged with the murder of her elderly mother-in-law 
  • fraud by NHS dentists

Continuing professional development

Has lectured on a variety of topics, including : sexual offences and issues of disclosure in such cases, trials of mentally ill defendants,  the presentation of expert evidence.