Ranked in The Legal 500 (2024) for Crime
Gillian Batts is an experienced criminal practitioner and is regularly instructed to defend in serious and challenging cases. Her practice encompasses the full range of offences, including homicide, serious non-fatal violence and drug-related offences; however, her particular specialisms are sexual offences and fraud. She is recommended for crime in The Legal 500 (2013).
Of note Gill was instructed to represent one of the main defendants in Operations Clover 1 and 2 (Rotherham Child Sexual Exploitation trials 2015-16) and has been briefed to represent defendants in 3 other major CSE investigations in West Yorkshire.
‘Gillian possesses astute tactical awareness and takes only good points. Those represented by her could not be better served.’ – Legal500 (2023)
Instructing solicitors describe Gillian as “very thorough in her case preparation… providing prompt advice from the outset… Accessible and professional; always ready to assist and provide advice… She is conscious of a client’s need for continuity, and has a real desire to see a case through.”
“Specialises in defending those charged with serious sexual offences.” -The Legal 500 (2021)
“Specialises in defending those charged with serious sexual offences” – The Legal 500 (2020)
“A first-class junior with a competitive approach.” – The Legal 500 (2019)
“She specialises in sexual offences cases and fraud work.” – The Legal 500 (2017)
“A user-friendly barrister, who does not shy away from a challenge.” – The Legal 500 (2016)
“Defends in a range of complex crimes, with particular expertise in sexual offences and fraud cases.” – The Legal 500 (2015)
Gill is a strong jury advocate with a consistently high rate of success at trial, recognised by both professional and lay clients for her conscientious approach and commitment. She receives an increasing number of private instructions.
Gill is noted to be effective at dealing with cases which involve young or vulnerable witnesses, and is often first choice for the defence because of her easy manner and sensitive approach. Those who instruct her comment that “her ability to communicate with people from all walks of life is a real strength”.
She is experienced in all aspects of financial offending, including fraud, theft from employer, money-laundering and insolvency offences. She has defended in prosecutions brought by the CPS, HMRC, BIS and Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
- R v M (2019) – secures the only acquittal in a grooming trial. The defendant was found not guilty of rape after a 7 week trial at Bradford Crown Court. All other 9 defendants were convicted.
- R v Kerin (2018) – Leading junior instructed for the defence. Sexual abuse against 7 victims, over a 35 period. Defendant acquitted on all counts.
- R v D (2018) – Junior alone instructed for the defence, 16 year old charged with manslaughter. Defendant acquitted.
- R v Wilson (2017) – Instructed for the defence. Defendant was a Pastor at a Pentecostal Church. He was accused of committing sexual offences against 7 complainants over a 25-year period. The defendant accepted the acts and maintained he was conducting deliverance procedures for religious purposes. Involved complex issues regarding the definition of indecent assault and consent under the old law.
- R v Lake, Operation Polymer (2017) – Instructed for the defence. Investigation into historic sexual and physical abuse at several local authority Children’s Homes in Leeds.
- R v Mortimer (2017) – Instructed for the defence. Defendant charged with the attempted rape, assault by penetration and threats to kill. Stranger sex attack allegedly committed against a vulnerable female in her own home. Case investigated by HMET due to the serious nature of the case
- R v Mulqueen-Bennett, Operation Harehills (2016) – Instructed for the defence. The case concerned the sexual exploitation of a girl from the age of 13 years by 25 defendants. Cross-examined under the section 28 procedure.
- R v Callaghan, Operation Pastearm (2016). Instructed for the defence. The defendant was charged with attempted murder and drugs offences. Gang related shooting carried out to enforce a drugs debt.
- R v Hussain, Operation Clover 1 (December 2015) & R v Hussain, Operation Clover 2 (September 2016) – This trial concerned allegations of child sexual exploitation committed 15 years ago in the Rotherham area. The case attracted national media attention. Instructed for the defence to represent one of the two leading defendants charged with sexual and violent offences against 7 other complainants (the other leading defendant was represented by Queens Counsel).
- R v Mohammed Yousaf (2015) – Concerned the murder of a young male in Sheffield by a rival gang of Somali drug dealers. Instructed to defend the father of the first defendant charged with an offence of doing an act tending and intended to pervert the course of justice by providing a false alibi for his son.
- R v C – Leading junior for the defence in an attempted rape where the defendant had an extensive history of sexual offending.
- R v L – Instructed privately for the defence. The defendant was charged with gang-rape; the case collapsed because of non-disclosure. Successful application for wasted costs on the basis that the defendant should not have been charged. Costs awarded in full.
- R v S – Defence of a businessman charged with fraud against HMRC.
- R v W — Defence counsel for a defendant charged with stealing £1.4million from her employer.
- R v B – Instructed as led junior for the defence. The prosecution case relied heavily on forensic scientific evidence obtained from the scene.
- R v G – Conspiracy to kidnap and blackmail: the defendant was party to a plot to kidnap a Chinese national and extort $2million from his wealthy parents in Shanghai. The police operation involved the Chinese police, the Metropolitan police and the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team of the West Yorkshire Police.
- R v M – Defence counsel for one of 8 defendants charged with attempted murder and other serious offences of violence against a number of complainants. The case concerned a serious incident of public disorder arising from a gang-related dispute.
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