Year of Call:
Supreme Court of NSW (Australia) 2001
2015 UK – Inner Temple – 2015
2012 – Solicitor Advocate, UK
Brent has a busy defence-only practice, and draws on a diverse professional background prior to his practice at the Bar in England and Wales. This gives him an insight into cases and trial strategies that are borne of that varied experience. Prior to studying law, and during his legal studies, Brent was employed in an accountancy firm and then in industry as a management accountant. He therefore has a particular interest and ability in complex frauds that require detailed analysis of financial transactions and accounts.
In addition, Brent spent several years as an in-house Solicitor-Advocate and Director with a leading criminal firm in the City of London, and practised almost exclusively in the Crown Court in a range serious and complex matters. As a Director, Brent was instrumental in many IT improvements and helped guide the implementation of e-working at that firm including development of mobile e-working apps for fee earners and associated IT training for all staff. He has also sat on user advisory committees to the MOJ and LAA in relation to the issue of e-working and IT deployment in the UK criminal justice system.
Brent has been instructed in a number of serious and complex cases in recent years but as a guide, the following cases reflect the type of work Brent undertakes:
As led junior – all at the Central Criminal Court:
R v Kimel & Ors – Multi-handed murder and conspiracy to rob and falsely imprison – led junior, 6 week trial. Defence of lack of intent/causation based on issues with the Crown’s pathologist report and indeterminate cause of death. Currently subject to appeal against conviction (2016).
R v Sands – Murder of a paedophile by female defendant- led junior, 6 week trial, defence of loss of control was successful and defendant was acquitted of murder and was instead convicted of manslaughter.
R v Fernandes-Nelson – Multi-handed murder, street stabbing – led junior, 8 week trial, the defendant was a minor at the time of the offence – defence was loss of control on the basis that the deceased had attacked the defendant with acid immediately prior to the offence.
R v F – Oxford Crown Court – rape – trial abandoned upon defence application after disclosure failures by the Crown at the last minute regarding phone evidence. Retrial pending.
R v D – Blackfriars Crown Court – causing a child to watch a sexual act / exposure on the London Underground – trial in absence after defendant absconded
R v G – Wood Green Crown Court – rape – defendant found unfit to plead and stand trial – trial of facts followed.
R v C – Woolwich Crown Court – sexual touching of a child under 13 – accused is father of the child.
R v B – Hove Crown Court – sexual activity in the presence of a child – convicted but successfully appealed conviction on novel point of law (see above)
R v A – Stratford Magistrates Court – extreme pornography – some extreme images/videos received by the defendant via Whatsapp. Crown’s IT analysis/phone download report was deeply flawed and could not exclude possible defences that were being raised. Case discontinued on first day of trial.
R v O – Blackfriars Crown Court – s18 wounding (stabbing) – complex cross-examination of a vulnerable complainant with drug and mental health issues – Defendant acquitted.
R v HH – Basildon Crown Court – possession of a firearm – Defendant accused of possession of a firearm which he claimed was a collector’s item/antique, defence expert evidence adduced. Defendant acquitted.
R v Hunter – Central Criminal Court – Wounding – case involving a vulnerable victim with learning difficulties, who required an intermediary and a ground-rules hearing, and cross-examination was limited. Defendant acquitted after trial.
R v W – Snaresbrook Crown Court – Fraud – defendant alleged to have committed fraud via eBay sales. Defence had grave concerns over proper disclosure from the Crown, resulting in forced disclosure of material detrimental to the Crown‘s case that had been withheld by the police. Defendant acquitted by the jury in 15 minutes.
2001 – Admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales (Australia)
2012 – Solicitor Advocate (UK)
Criminal Bar Association
Areas of Specialism
Brent has completed the “Vulnerable Witness Training” as required for many matters involving sexual crimes, and has developed particular expertise in this area. He has appeared in cases involving rape, sexual assault, child pornography, and child sex offences. He also has successful experience of appellate work in the Court of Appeal for difficult and unpopular sexual cases (see below).
He has appeared alone defending all types of other matters including fraud, murder, serious assault and wounding, drugs supply and cases involving young and vulnerable complainants and defendants, who have required intermediaries. Brent has also acted for many defendants in confiscation proceedings, and in the Court of Appeal on various matters.
Brent has also appeared as led junior on several notable murder trials and alone in other serious cases at the Central Criminal Court.
Regulatory and Enquiry Work
Brent is currently seconded (on a part-time basis) as part of the independent Counsel team assisting and advising the Metropolitan Police dealing with redactions and disclosure of sensitive/secret documents to the Undercover Policing Inquiry.
Brent speaks Japanese and regularly travels to Japan, having been an exchange student there in his youth.
Now eager to keep off the middle-age spread, he regularly attends the gym and is also a keen road cyclist – you can often spot him zipping around London on his bike. He regularly undertakes charity rides including Prudential Ride London 100 miles in July each year and travels to Mallorca each April for the Mallorca 312 cycle sportive.
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