Ranked in Tier 1 for Crime – The Legal 500 (2019)
Catherine Silverton prosecutes or defends, primarily in serious and high-profile crime cases in the Crown Court, including serious sexual offences, homicide and cases involving children. She has a detailed working knowledge of the complex legislation and sentencing guidelines, current and past, relating to these types of offences.
Catherine is an accomplished advocate with 17 years’ experience of prosecuting or defending in jury trials. She understands the delicate balance required to robustly cross-examine while dealing with intimate or traumatic evidence, and is skilled at clearly and sensitively presenting complex or distressing material to a jury. She has made many successful applications to dismiss and submissions of no case to answer, resulting in juries being directed to acquit. She has significant experience of presenting complex legal arguments on behalf of the Crown and the defence.
Catherine is trained in cross examining vulnerable witnesses and has significant experience in s28 cases. She is a qualified advocacy trainer.
“She puts defendants at ease in the most sensitive of cases.” – The Legal 500 (2019)
“A tower of strength with a fantastic legal mind.” – The Legal 500 (2017)
“Her attention to detail and relentless preparation affords her and her client both a tactical and strategic advantage.” “She has a compelling and persuasive style with both judges and juries, and demonstrates a significant flexibility of approach.” – Chambers and Partners (2016)
“An exceptional, intuitive and highly articulate advocate.” – The Legal 500 (2015)
“She is extremely thorough and has great attention to detail.” — Chambers and Partners (2015)
Sexual & violent offences
Catherine specialises in serious sexual and violent offences, including rape and historical offences and cases involving child victims or defendants. She is highly experienced in dealing with allegations of violence (including against babies and children), the use of firearms, arson with intent, homicide and sexual violence.
“She has recent experience defending in historic sexual abuse cases.” – The Legal 500 (2016)
“She has an excellent manner with vulnerable or difficult clients” (2014). – Legal 500
Expert witnesses & specialist evidence
Catherine is adept at interpreting medical evidence and has experience of cross-examining a very wide range of medical experts. She has considerable experience of cross-examining forensic experts including scientists and cell-site analysts.
Catherine is regularly instructed to prosecute or defend in complex conspiracies. She has recently defended in conspiracies to commit murder, s.18, fraud, money-laundering, drugs offences and robbery.
Catherine is trained in forensic accountancy and is experienced in dealing with complex financial cases, large-scale money-laundering and frauds and cases involving POCA.
Catherine is meticulous in preparation, maximising the early resolution of cases. She regularly advises in writing throughout proceedings, and prepares skeleton arguments in support of legal submissions. She makes herself available for conferences in every case, including in prisons, YOIs and secure local-authority accommodation. She is happy to advise at a pre-charge stage and, when prosecuting, to meet child witnesses in advance of the trial. She is comfortable with and experienced at working through interpreters and intermediaries.
“Very able practitioner and advocate.” – Chambers and Partners (2017)
Catherine undertakes Legal Aid work and an increasing number of privately paid cases.
- R v N – defending a rape allegation in which the Defendant had a mental age of 10 and a series of psychological diagnosis’. Acquitted after trial.
- R v L – defending in allegations of kidnap, rape x3 and related offences. HMET prosecution.
- R v I – prosecuting child sex offences against 3 children as young as 4. Convicted after trial.
- Huddersfield grooming trial 2 – defending 5th on the indictment
- R v KR and others – defending in allegation of gangland execution between rival drug dealers
- R v CG – defending a 15 year old girl with a mental age of 9 accused of perverting the course of justice in a manslaughter trial. Acquitted.
- R v SL – defending a woman with severe mental health difficulties for attempt murder after she stabbed her friend 27 times.
Contact Catherine’s clerks