Jake Taylor


Year of Call

Jake Taylor

Jake is a specialist criminal practitioner with expertise in inquests, extradition and international criminal law.


In the criminal courts, Jake defends those accused of the most serious offences including: murder, sexual assault and complex fraud. His approach is guided by an understanding and awareness of how each and every case is of the utmost importance to those he represents. His personable approach with clients, coupled with tireless preparation for each case, and fearless advocacy before a jury ensures that he gets favourable results for those he represents.


Jake is also recommended to doctors and other medical professionals for the advice and representation he provides to those facing misconduct hearings before their regulatory bodies, particularly the General Medical Council.


The other side of Jake’s practice encompasses issues relating to international criminal and humanitarian law. He has represented those accused of offences of terrorism and cross-jurisdictional fraud, as well as those who challenge their extradition on human rights’ grounds.


He is currently instructed in Cambodia defending Mr. Ao An in Case 004 at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) for genocide and crimes against humanity. 



Throughout his practice, Jake has maintained a particular focus on protecting the rights of those who are marginalised and disadvantaged in society. He brings with him a wealth of experience gained from working for Non-Governmental Organisations and a number of leading solicitors firms in the civil rights arena, including two years assisting the families of those who died at the Hillsborough Disaster.


His further work includes advising traders from a leading financial institution in relation to the Libor rate fixing scandal, and a period of time spent in Kenya assisting in a successful group compensation claim for torture during colonial rule in the Mau Mau litigation.


In addition to his work at the ECCC in Cambodia, Jake’s international experience spans a number of institutions including the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR). 

General Crime

Jake regularly appears in criminal courts throughout the country. Examples of recent cases he has been involved with include the following:

  • R v Donnelly [2016] Widely-reported murder involving the killing of a woman following a meet up on an internet dating website.
  • R v Mikalauskas [2016] Allegation of s.18 Grievous Bodily Harm (ongoing, following discharge of original jury).
  • R v Teague [2016] Successful application to stay the prosecution as an abuse of process in a protest case.
  • R v Gonsalves [2016] Allegations of domestic violence where the defendant was said to have breached a restraining order having previously falsely imprisoned and assaulted his ex-partner. The defendant was acquitted.
  • R v Kayardi [2016] First ever private prosecution for dangerous driving brought by Martin Port QC - ‘the Cycling Silk’ - against a driving instructor. The defendant was acquitted after 20 minutes of deliberation by the jury.
  • R v Rookwood [2015] The defendant was charged with a five-count indictment alleging: various assaults, breaches of his restraining order and theft. The defendant was acquitted of all charges.
  • R v Goodwin [2015] Widely reported fraud in breach of trust in which the accountant for a Catholic Charity pleaded guilty of defrauding her employer for over £250,000 over a period of four years. The judge was persuaded not to follow the sentencing guidelines and a suspended sentence was secured.
  • R v Lighten [2015] Former teacher charged with inciting children to sexual activity and sexual activity with a child. Following a guilty plea and the use of expert evidence in mitigation, a Community Order was secured.
  • R v Henry [2015] The defendant was charged with a number of racially aggravated offences. The defendant was acquitted.
  • R v Jeffers [2015] Possession with intent to supply Class A drugs into prison. Successful representations made to the judge concerning the admissibility of key evidence, resulted in the jury being discharged and the prosecution offering no evidence.
  • R v Anees [2015] - The defendant was charged with harassing his purported partner and using threats of violence. After a three-day trial and the examination of extensive telephone evidence, the jury were unable to reach a verdict on the threatening violence.
  • R v Dixon [2015] Following representations to the crown, the charge was dropped from aggravated burglary to common assault and possession of an offensive weapon.

Criminal Appeals

Recent instructions include:

  • R v Stephen Lawrence [2016] – Successful argument before the Court of Appeal that a sentence of 11 years following a timely guilty plea for attempted armed robbery was manifestly excessive.
  • R v Kerri Walshley [2016] – Successful appeal against conviction on the basis of a misapplication of the operation of Code D of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

Inquiries and Inquests

Jake’s experience in criminal courts and knowledge of medical and other expert evidence means that he is regularly instructed to advise and assist families who have lost loved ones, representing them in Coroner’s Courts. Jake has a special interest in assisting families who seek answers through the inquest process in cases involving domestic violence. Recent examples of instructions include:

  • Inquest touching upon the death of Georgina Drinkwater [2016] – Jake represented Pauline Tio, the mother of the deceased.  The case involved the death of a young mother-of-two who was five months pregnant. She died falling from the from third floor balcony of her flat in London moments after sending a text message saying that her partner was drunk and being aggressive towards her. The Coroner recorded a conclusion of ‘open verdict’ ensuring that the death was not deemed accidental or a misadventure.
  • Inquest touching upon the death of Cara Lee Fanus [2016] – Jake is currently engaged in representing the father of the deceased, Sean Fanus, at the inquest into the death of his 23-month year old daughter. The tragic case follows a criminal trial against the mother who was acquitted and the mother’s then boyfriend who committed suicide in the run up to the trial.
  • Prior to coming to the Bar, Jake worked for Birnberg Peirce Solicitors where he was part of the legal team representing 76 families of the 96 who died during the Hillsborough stadium disaster. In addition Jake gained experience on the inquest into the death of Mark Duggan

International Crime

Jake is currently instructed representing Mr. Ao An in Case 004 at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Mr. Ao was charged on 17 March 2015 with genocide and crimes against humanity.

Jake regularly drafts complex arguments involving a combination of legal, procedural and evidential issues. He has also been heavily involved in defence investigations, which have included: identifying and interviewing witnesses and conducting in-country investigations with expert witnesses. Jake is comfortable conducting sensitive on-the-ground investigations in hostile conditions and is able to deal effectively with unexpected problems and issues.

Jake previously interned for the Defence team for Jovica Stanišic in The Hague. Under the supervision of Wayne Jordash QC, Jake assisted during the defence phase of the trial. Stanišic was ultimately acquitted of crimes against humanity in 2013.

Whilst at Leigh Day solicitors Jake worked on the “Mau Mau” case (Mutua & Ors v The Foreign And Commonwealth Office [2012] EWHC 2678 (QB)). This was a landmark victory for a group of rural Kenyan freedom fighters who suffered sadistic torture and ill-treatment under the colonial administration of the 1950s. The civil litigation in London saw an unprecedented extension of the limitation period to allow a claim to be brought long after the wrong was committed. The subsequent settlement signified ‘justice’ following 60 years of perceived impunity of the colonial administration.

Jake also previously worked on a unique consultancy project focused on the development of the caseload of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Jake’s work involved pairing Tanzanian lawyers with domestic barristers to assist and advise on the following: the viability of potential AfCHPR claims; strategic management of their cases; and, drafting applications, memorials and other legal documentation for submission to the AfCHPR.

Whilst an intern for a human rights organisation in Cambodia, Jake was involved in the drafting of an amicus curiae brief for submission in Case 002: Ieng Thirith before the ECCC. This challenged the Court’s admission of evidence tainted by torture in contravention of Article 15 of the UN Convention Against Torture. He was also involved in initiatives concerned with domestic and regional human rights issues, including the development of a nation-wide trial monitoring project. 


Jake is regularly instructed to advise and represent individuals whose extradition is sought under the European Arrest Warrant system. Notable cases include:

  • Poland v Hajdukiewicz [2016] – High Court challenge on the approach taken in the lower courts when the extradition of a mother of a three-year-old child to serve a two-year sentence for fraud was ordered, and whether this was disproportionate.
  • Poland v Steffan [2016] – successful discharge from a conviction warrant following a contested hearing based on the requested person’s family situation.
  • Germany v Belgrave [2016] – Complex case involving 12 separate offences where forum and double jeopardy arguments were raised on the requested person’s behalf. The requested person was discharged on 11 of 12 offences.
  • Belgium v El-Jazouli [2016] – Warrant ultimately withdrawn, but argument pursued was that extradition risked breaching the prohibition against inhuman or degrading treatment based on the current state of Belgian prisons. 

Professional Discipline & Regulation

Jake accepts referrals from the Practitioner Health Programme (php.nhs.co.uk) to represent medical professionals facing disciplinary proceedings before their regulatory bodies. Jake is particularly adept at cases which touch upon quasi-criminal matters and advises and represents at substantive hearing as well as interim orders.

Jake brings with him the same level of commitment, support, strategic case advice and understanding of issues involved to his regulatory cases as he does in his criminal matters.

For example, Jake was recently instructed in GMC v V – a case involving the determination of the sanction following a conviction for a sexual offence. 


BPTC, BPP Law School 

LLB Law, University of Sussex 


Scholarships & Awards 

Geoffrey Veale Scholarship, Honourable Society of Inner Temple  

Sir Joseph Priestley Scholarship, Honourable Society of Inner Temple 

Internship Award, Honourable Society of Inner Temple 

Bursary, Human Rights Lawyers’ Association

Bar Scholarship, BPP Law School 


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