Legal 500 2024 Leading Silks
‘Jo is superb; very thoughtful, determined and charming as an advocate – one of those in whom juries place their trust. She is always beautifully prepared and brings a lightness of touch to her advocacy which is compelling.’
Legal 500 2023 Leading Silk
‘Joanna works extremely hard and is always completely on top of instructions. She is very friendly and dynamic; she leads any team well. She inspires confidence in others and has an approach which juries always find extremely attractive – there is a real clarity of thought in the way she presents her case.’
Legal 500 2022
Legal 500 2021 Leading Silks
‘Thorough, hardworking and tactical’
Legal 500 2018 Leading Silks
‘Her incisive eye cuts to the core of the case with ease’
Legal 500 2016
‘She charms juries with her down-to-earth manner’
Jo qualified as a solicitor in 1996. She worked for the Serious Fraud Office and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), latterly as a crown court advocate. She was called to the Bar in 2005 and has practised at Devon Chambers since then.
She was appointed King’s Counsel in 2018. She was the first barrister practising solely from chambers in Plymouth to be made silk and is the first female silk in Plymouth.
Since taking silk, Jo has built upon the substantial practice in heavyweight crime that she enjoyed as a junior and has cemented her reputation as one of the most sought-after barristers on the Western Circuit. She is regularly instructed by both the prosecution and the defence in crimes of the utmost gravity. She has a particular specialism in child cruelty and child fatality cases, and cases involving complex medical issues. She is well known for the care with which she handles cases involving young and vulnerable witnesses and defendants.
In addition, as a junior barrister, Jo was recognised as an expert in fraud, confiscation, and cases under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Her work in this field ranged from advising the prosecution pre-charge to representing appellants before the Supreme Court. She maintains a strong interest in this area of the law.
Meticulous in her preparation and knowledge of the law, Jo understands above all the importance of instilling confidence in her clients. She is well regarded for the ability that she has to convey complicated issues in a ‘jury-friendly’ manner.
Jo is the lead advocacy trainer on the Western Circuit New Practitioners Programme. She has trained police officers, CPS advocates and local authority lawyers on confiscation and money laundering issues. She was a founder member of the Western Circuit Women’s Forum and acts as a mentor to junior female barristers. She undertakes pro bono work on behalf of Advocate.
Jo is authorised to undertake work in accordance with the Public Access Scheme, which means that members of the public can instruct Jo directly.
Jo is regulated by the Bar Standards Board.