Rachel Pennington

Year Of Call: 


Career background


Called in July 2013 following completion of the BPTC at the University of Law, Birmingham : graded 'very competent' , and winner of the University BPTC mooting competition 2012-2013.  Thereafter, completed the Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme (October 2013).

Prior to commencing pupillage, worked as a litigation caseworker for UK Visas and Immigration, managing unlawful removal and unlawful detention judicial review cases, and worked as a casework assistant for the Manuel Bravo Project in Leeds, a charity that provides legal assistance to asylum seekers unable to secure legal aid.

Completed pupillage at Citadel under the supervision of Gurdeep Garcha, and became a tenant in October 2015.



Practice details




Instructed in a variety of criminal proceedings including defence and prosecution work in the Crown Court, Magistrates' Court and Youth Courts.   A CPS Level 2 prosecutor and has also appeared on behalf of the CPS (Specialist Fraud Division), Home Office, HMRC, DWP, Staffordshire & West Midlands Police Joint Legal Services, and the Probation Service.

Regularly represents defendants who are vulnerable by reason of youth, mental illness or learning difficulties, and has completed the Vulnerable Witness Advocacy Programme.    Has a particular interest in cases involving fitness to plead issues and sentencing disposals under the Mental Health Act 1983.    


Recent and notable instructions have included :


  • represented defendants charged with drugs offences, in various separate cases, including conspiracy to supply controlled drugs, production of controlled drugs, conveying drugs and other articles into prison
  • appeared as led defence junior, represented a teenager charged with multiple counts of rape and sexual activity concerning several children in a multi-defendant trial lasting 3 months
  • instructed by HMRC as a disclosure junior and led junior in Operation Taxidermy, offences arising from fraudulent repayment of VAT from false invoices
  • represented a defendant found unfit to stand trial in the usual way, in relation to a series of commercial burglaries.   Successfully argued against the imposition of a hospital order with restriction under section 41 of the Mental Health Act following cross-examination of the treating psychologist
  • successfully represented a defendant whose sentence was challenged in the Court of Appeal on an Attorney-General’s Reference :  after a full hearing, the court concluded that his sentence was not ‘unduly lenient’ and thus it was not increased
  • instructed on behalf of HMRC to conduct a review of digital material for items attracting legal professional privilege or litigation privilege
  • instructed to prosecute or defend offences involving serious violence, including s.18 wounding / causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and offences involving the production and possession of weapons
  • extensive experience of dealing with privately funded road traffic cases including arguments on ‘special reasons’ and ‘exceptional hardship’





Instructed to advise and represent appellants before the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).   Accepts instructions in all areas of immigration and asylum law.

Has gained considerable experience working with vulnerable clients, including those who lack capacity to give evidence or conduct proceedings, and those subject to immigration detention.


Recent examples of immigration experience include :

·       Article 8 claims both within and outside the immigration rules

·       appeals against deportation following criminal convictions

·       representing detained appellants in bail hearings and appeals

·       Asylum appeals; and

·       EEA applications



Direct Access


Accredited by the Bar Council and in suitable cases is happy to accept instructions direct from members of the public. Please see the Direct Access section of this website for further information. 





“Human Rights practice and the city : a case study of York (UK)”, co-written with Emily Graham, Paul Gready and Eric Hoddy,  published in 'Global Urban Justice : The Rise of Human Rights Cities'  (Cambridge University Press).





Midland Circuit

Criminal Bar Association