Clare Dowse


Clare is a highly sought after criminal advocate, who is in huge demand at a national level for her meticulous case preparation and her persuasive and engaging court presence. She has experience of criminal advocacy at all levels up to and including the Court of Appeal, mainly (but not exclusively) defending.

Clare is regularly instructed to defend in cases at the highest level of complexity involving serious sexual, drugs or violent offences. In particular, her skills are increasingly in demand for exceptionally complex sexual allegations, including historic abuse cases. Clare is experienced at dealing with sexual allegations involving additional complexities such as the involvement of intermediaries, parallel Family Court proceedings, third party materials held by various third party authorities and those necessitating the cross-examination of children.

Clare enjoys strong relationships with her numerous professional clients. She is known for fighting extremely hard for her clients, for providing robust and pragmatic advice when required, and for her ability to deal effectively and efficiently with complex matters of law and evidence, particularly those relating to issues of bad character, hearsay and disclosure.

For her lay clients, Clare is a confident and reassuring presence no matter at what stage of the proceedings she appears.

She also has substantial experience in advising upon and conducting cases with a mental health element, particularly relating to hospital order cases and M'Naghten defences or trials of issue.

Clare also has experience with preparing and presenting contested confiscation proceedings, and is a persuasive negotiator when dealing with benefit and assets issues.

Clare has exceptional strength in written work and is able to advise both private companies and public authorities on criminal and regulatory issues.

Clare is able to accept instructions under the Public Access scheme, for those cases which are suitable to be dealt with on a public  access basis. She is happy to accept private and publicly funded instructions in criminal and quasi-criminal matters.

In addition, Clare has regularly appeared as a Led Junior in serious multi-handed cases for a wide variety of allegations.

Clare also has previous experience of judicial review proceedings arising from criminal matters, mental health review tribunals, prison law adjudications, oral parole hearings and other related tribunals.

Outside court, Clare trains undergraduate law students in the skills of advocacy and mooting in a highly successful programme at University of London (Birkbeck College). 

Clare is regularly invited to appear on radio to comment on topical issues related to the criminal justice system, including appearances on Radio 4, Radio 5Live and BBC Radio London.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Clare travelled extensively in Europe and the US in her work as a journalist in the music business.

Notable Cases:

R v B - Wood Green Crown Court (2017) - defending in Operation Garland, allegations of multiple rapes of two child complainants.

R v G - Cambridge Crown Court (2017) - defending in allegations of child sex involving school caretaker, attracting national media attention.

R v L - Harrow Crown Court (2017) - defending in historic indecent assault case involving complex arguments on admissibility and cross-admissibility.

R v W - Croydon Crown Court (2016) - defending in multiple rape allegations in family setting, including elements of coercive control.

R v R - Croydon Crown Court (2016) - defending in multiple rape allegations involving alleged involvement in BDSM scene.

R v B - Wood Green Crown Court (2016) - Operation Fable, defending lorry driver in large scale allegations of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration to another member state. 

R v A - Isleworth Crown court (2016) - defended uncle accused of serious sexual offending against nephew, involving complex issues on admissibility.

R v M - St Albans Crown Court (2016) - represented client accused of bizarre blackmail plot involving a prominent local businessman, Operation Boast.

R v R - Leeds Crown Court (2016) - defended step-grandfather in allegations of sexual activity with step-granddaughter, in case involving pre-recorded cross-examination of complainant. 

R v M - Gloucester Crown Court (2016) - defending at trial of man accused of multiple rapes on his former wife in the context of an allegedly abusive 'coercive control' relationship.

R v R - Guildford Crown Court (2016) - defending at trial of male accused of multiple rapes on previous partners.

R v D & Ors - Swindon Crown Court (2016) - representing young client who was charged with violent disorder following the largest illegal rave ever dealt with by Wiltshire police. Non-custodial sentence achieved.

R v C & Ors - Plymouth Crown Court (2015) - defended mother in historical allegations of child cruelty against offspring, involving allegations of providing children to others for sexual purposes. Case featured widely in national newspapers.

R v B - Bristol Crown Court (2015) - defended in trial involving multiple historical counts of sexual activity with child step-daughter.

R v L - Woolwich Crown Court (2015) - defended in allegations of multiple historical counts of rape against step-daughter.

R v J & Or - Central Criminal Court (2015) - led junior for Defence in Operation Kalgary, allegation of ‘torture' murder.

R v H & Ors - Oxford Crown Court (2015) - Operation Reportage, multi-handed multi-complainant indictment involving child sex allegations.

R v M & Or - Snaresbrook Crown Court (2015) - originally instructed in case of alleged complex historic abuse in a familial setting.

R v K - St Albans Crown Court (2014) - allegation of sexual activity with a child, involving ‘vulnerable witness' provisions. Acquitted.

R v J - Inner London Crown Court (2014) - defending in case alleging stranger rape.

R v T & Ors - Bristol Crown Court (2014-15) - Operation Albatross, alleged conspiracy to produce class A drugs on an industrial scale.

R v S & Ors - Isleworth Crown Court (2014) - originally instructed in Operation Chrome, alleged conspiracy to gang rape. 

R v R - Wood Green Crown Court (2014) - defending allegations of multiple rape in family setting.

R v W - Chelmsford Crown Court (2014) - defending in alleged arson with intent to endanger life.

R v O - Wood Green Crown Court (2014) - defending in historic rape and sexual abuse allegations with multiple complainants.

R v H - Wood Green Crown Court (2014) - defending in alleged multiple rape.

R v B - Gloucester Crown Court (2014) - defending in near-fatal stabbing in domestic context, originally charged as attempted murder.

R v L - Wood Green Crown Court (2014) - defending in high profile case of outraging public decency.

R v F - Bristol Crown Court (2013) - defending in allegations of attempted s18 and dangerous driving related to road rage incident.

C v Lancashire Constabulary - Preston Crown Court (2013) - acting for Applicant in appeal against revocation of firearms licence (civil).

R v G - Wood Green Crown Court (2013) - defending in sexual assault allegation involving cross-examination via intermediary.

R v B - Guildford Crown Court (2013) - prosecuting allegation of attempted child abduction by stranger.

R v W - Blackfriars Crown Court (2013) - defending in allegtions of s18 stabbing and arson being reckless as to whether life endangered. Successful submission of no case to answer on both counts.

R v H - Northampton Crown Court (2013) - defending in allegation of familial historic sexual offences.

R v R - Kingston Crown Court (2013) - defending in rape allegation.

R v B - Snaresbrook Crown Court (2013) - prosecution of doctor regarding allegations of multiple thefts of drugs from hospital.

R v C - Cardiff Crown Court (2013) - defending multiple counts of alleged historic familial sexual abuse and rape, with complex issues of false memory syndrome.

R v L - Gloucester Crown Court (2013) - defending in substantial multi-complainant multiple rape case, with complex issues of disclosure.

R v T - Gloucester Crown Court (2013) - defending in historic familial child sex abuse case.

R v N - Harrow Crown Court (2013) - prosecuting in perverting justice related to road traffic offences.

R v R & Or - Southwark Crown Court (2013) - Operation Khios, defending in alleged blackmail of the daughter of Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.

R v M & Ors - Bristol Crown Court (2013) - Operation Monitor, defending first Defendant in substantial eight-handed conspiracy to supply class A drugs in the West Country.

R v K - Wood Green Crown Court (2012) - defending in case involving sexual activity with a child in family setting.

R v W - Chelmsford Crown Court (2012) - defending in highly emotive s18 domestic stabbing.

R v C - Lancaster Crown Court (2012) - defending in joint enterprise ABH allegation for high status professional client.

R v S - Harrow Crown Court (2012) - defending in child cruelty allegations, where Crown ultimately dropped case following complex third party disclosure issues pursued by Defence.

R v P & Ors - Gloucester Crown Court (2012) - defending in large-scale class A drugs conspiracy.

R v H - Court of Appeal (2012) - successful appeal on terms of sexual offences prevention order.

R v D & Ors - Central Criminal Court (2012) - defending first Defendant in trial for multi-handed boiler room fraud.

R v M - Maidstone Crown Court (2011) - prosecuting on a s18 involving infliction of serious injuries with a bar stool.

R v S - Cambridge Crown Court (2011) - defending in death by dangerous driving case involving highly complex technical evidence.

R v A - Guildford Crown Court (2011) - defending at trial for possession of class A drugs with intent to supply.

R v P - Luton Crown Court (2011) - prosecuting an alleged 'ambush robbery' with complex disclosure issues.

R v T - Canterbury Crown Court (2011) - defending at trial for possession of 5kg of skunk cannabis with intent to supply. Acquitted.

R v N & Ors - Central Criminal Court (2010) - instructed for first Defendant in multi-handed aggravated burglary trial where complainant was stabbed multiple times.

R v C - Isleworth Crown Court (2010) - rape, with complex issues of capacity and consent.

R v N - Wood Green Crown Court (2010) - defence of betting shop employee accused of s18 GBH with intent on customer.

R v A - Harrow Crown Court (2010) - defending in sexual assault case with complex third party disclosure issues.

R v K - Harrow Crown Court (2010) - defending in allegation of sexual assault made against store manager by job interviewee.

R v H - Harrow Crown Court (2010) - defending in allegation of attempted rape on stranger by mentally disordered Defendant. Contested M'Naghten trial, with Defendant found not guilty by reason of insanity.

R v L - Guildford Crown Court (2009) - successful application to stay robbery indictment on grounds of delay.

R v R & Ors - Woolwich Crown Court (2008-9) - Led Junior in large-scale conspiracy to transfer weapons and ammunition and supply of class A drugs, investigated by the Counter Terrorism Division.

R v M & Ors - Snaresbrook Crown Court (2007) - Led Junior in conspiracy to steal involving 'inside men' being recruited for placement in security firms.

R v L & Ors - Snaresbrook Crown Court (2006) - Led Junior in (then) largest counterfeit currency conspiracy ever prosecuted by the Bank of England.

R v A & Ors - Snaresbrook Crown Court (2005) - Led Junior in large-scale conspiracy to rob, steal and defraud involving sophisticated car-ringing, representing 17-year-old Defendant.

Reported Cases:

R v Whitton [2007] 2 Cr.App.R.(S.) 67(15), CA, CLW issue 24, 25.6.07 - sexual offences prevention orders.






BA (Hons) 2:1 Drama and English (University of London, Goldsmith's College)
LLB (Hons) 2:1 (University of London, Birkbeck College)

Memberships & Associations

Inner Temple
Criminal Bar Association (Chambers Representative)

Areas of work

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Clare Dowse

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