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Melanie Simpson KC is a highly regarded criminal defence barrister who is sought after by professional and lay clients. She is renowned for her exceptional cross-examination and high acquittal rate.

Melanie is typically engaged defending in cases involving multiple defendants, her work encompasses the full range of complicated criminal law matters.

Melanie’s high-profile cases attract extensive media interest and she has been invited to give her legal expertise to media organisations including the BBC Radio 4, Channel 4 and YouTube (with whom she has established a consultant role). Some of Melanie’s’ recent media reported cases include (R v NP) leading counsel in a multi-handed conspiracy to carry out an acid attack on a child. (R v IS) leading counsel in human trafficking case with dozens of complainants, linked to premises owned by a major political party donor. (R v MK) leading counsel in historical sexual grooming and rape of 11-year old girl in care who was plied with heroin and prostituted; one of the most serious “grooming” cases that has come to light in the UK.  (R v JS) Multi-handed cut-throat murder case involving gang rivalry played out in “drill” music videos, this case was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary. (R v MDN) Conspiracy to transfer a cache of firearms and sub-machine guns.

Melanie’s practice is increasingly taking on an international element; she has advised Defendants charged with governmental fraud, corruption and money laundering offences.

What the directories say

"Incredible on the law, brilliant with clients. Judges love how she can take them effortlessly through the facts and to the heart of the matter. She is devastating when she cross-examines." - Chambers and Partners 2023

"Melanie is a first-class advocate. Strong on the law. Unflappable. Excellent cross examiner of professional witnesses. A go-to silk." - Legal 500 2023

"Going from strength to strength in silk. Clients and judges love her and she is incredible on the law." - Chambers and Partners 2022

"Melanie is an exceptional barrister. She had a heavyweight practise prior to taking Silk and has continued with that practise in Silk. She has no weaknesses. Her core strengths are: brilliant on the law, incisive in terms of her examination of witnesses, she makes the complex look simple, clients and juries love her resulting in her achieving acquittals for clients who count themselves lucky she was their barrister." - Legal 500 2022

"Melanie is very down to earth and comes across well because the jury feel she's one of them." - Chambers and Partners 2021

"A tenacious defender who fights her client's corner passionately. Excellent jury and court operator." - Legal 500 2021

"A go-to advocate to deal with a difficult client facing a seemingly overwhelming case." - Legal 500 2020

Serious Organised Crime
  • R v NP - Leading counsel in a multi-handed conspiracy to carry out an acid attack on a child. 

  • R v ISLeading counsel in human trafficking case with dozens of complainants, linked to premises owned by a major political party donor. 

  • R v MDN & OthersConspiracy to transfer firearms, including sub-machine guns for use in gang warfare. “Mother and son jailed for supplying guns to gangs”​. 

  • R v MM & Others - Case involved three shooting incidents. Acquitted of possession of firearms with intent to endanger life. “Trio jailed for four shootings after cops trace “Smoking gun”​.

  • R v DT & Others - Leading counsel in major County Lines drugs conspiracy resulting in a death at one of the “cuckoo nest” properties.

  • R v ZM & Others“Gang receives nearly 47 years for £750,000 Gloucester- based drugs conspiracy.​ 

  • R v MB & Others“Drill rap gang jailed for planning machete revenge attack on rivals”​. 

  • R v JG & Others - Case involved SOCPA agreements entered into by co-defendants and the giving of Queens Evidence in “hitman’s kit” firearms case.

Sexual Offences
  • R v MK & Others - Leading counsel in historical sexual grooming and rape of 11-year old girl in care who was plied with heroin and prostituted; one of the most serious “grooming” cases that has come to light in the UK

  • R v SZ & OtherFootballer and friend raped ‘Tinder’ date pretending to be aged 18. Acquitted of most serious counts.​

Murder
  • R v JS & OthersMulti-handed cut-throat murder case involving gang rivalry played out in “drill” music videos, this case was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary. “Teenage lovers found guilty on valentine’s day”.​
  • R V UA & Others - A successful submission of no case led to an appeal against a Terminating Ruling. R v Anwar and others, judgement given by Sir Brian Leveson P is now the leading case involving no case submission post R v Jogee. Acquitted of attempted murder.

  • R v MH & Others - Multi-handed murder involving witness anonymity, covert surveillance and expert scientific evidence.

  • R v PK - Sadistic murder involving rape and strangulation