Helen Dawson

Year of call: 2014

Helen is developing a busy criminal practice in the Crown Court, across the country. She has been instructed on a wide range of matters, appearing on behalf of individuals facing allegations of violence, fraud and drug supply.
Helen takes pride in being an articulate and dedicated advocate, noted for her thorough preparation of cases, fighting hard to achieve the best outcome for her clients. She is adept in representing vulnerable individuals, notably youths and those with mental health difficulties, addressing their client care needs in a sensitive yet robust manner.


Since being instructed in several complex cases, such as those involving third parties or cross-jurisdictional issues, Helen takes a particular interest in confiscation proceedings and has experience in contested hearings.

Qualifications & Awards

Law with Legislative Studies LLB (Hons) – University of Hull

Ferens Scholarship – University of Hull

Bar Professional Training Course – Kaplan Law School

Sweet and Maxwell Pupillage Award – Inner Temple

Notable cases

R v N (2016) Acquittal of Defendant charged with facilitating illegal entry for a non-EU national, following bad character evidence and co-defendants pleading guilty.

R v F (2016) (Co-defending) Acquittal of a youth charged with sexually assaulting another youth, whilst travelling on a public bus at night.

R v N (2017) Defendant was sentenced to a suspended sentence order of 8 months’ imprisonment, with no requirements attached, for the offence of threatening another with a bladed article.

R v R (2017) Acquittal of a youth charged with an offence of wounding with intent (s.18) on the basis of a defence of mistaken identity. The offence concerned the youth attacking another with a glass bottle, when a house party got out of hand.

R v W (2017) Successfully argued for the imposition of a suspended sentence for nine offences of supplying the drug ‘spice’. The Defendant was arrested as part of an operation by undercover officers and was the only one to receive a suspended sentence; all others received immediate custodial imprisonment.

R v C (2016) Acquittal of a youth charged with burning a fellow student with a cigarette lighter. The Complainant had autism which required a lengthy and careful cross-examination.

R v K (2016) Acquittal of Defendant charged with assaulting his teenage daughter, despite bad character evidence concerning an alleged forced marriage and a force marriage protection order from the Family Court.

R v M (2016) Represented a Defendant in the preliminary stages of an extradition hearing. The Defendant was sought for two convictions of murder in Albania but resisted his extradition. BBC news report and Sky News report


R v L (2018) Instructed on behalf of a Defendant charged with offences pertaining to laundering money, as part of a multi-handed prosecution by the Trading Standards. There are further jurisdictional matters to consider.

R v O’S (2017) Successfully contested the inclusion of the matrimonial home and fees for legal representation as part of the ‘available assets’ in a case where the criminal benefit was valued at circa £2, 000, 000, arising from a conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

R v B (2017) Successfully argued to reduce the value of the criminal benefit and also the amount of ‘available assets’ to a nominal amount, on behalf of a defendant convicted of being a party to a conspiracy to supply Class B drugs.

R v M (2017) Instructed as part of the Defence team on behalf of a defendant found guilty of conspiring to supply Class A drugs. The confiscation proceedings were complicated by substantial assets and third party interests

Professional Associations

Criminal Bar Association

Association of Women Barristers

Young Fraud Lawyers Association

Female Fraud Forum

Qualifying Sessions Sub-Committee – Inner Temple


CPS Grade 2 Prosecutor

SFO Disclosure Panel Junior

Junior Junior (GLD Junior Junior Panel)


“Disclose me the money: the ever expanding powers of disclosure orders” – Young Fraud Lawyers Association Spring Newsletter 2017

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Before coming to the Bar, Helen worked in the House of Commons, as a researcher for a Member of Parliament, gaining experience of working on campaigns at a local and national level.

She has also worked for the Government Legal Department; formerly the Treasury Solicitor’s Department and is now regularly instructed as a Junior Junior, formerly the Treasury Solicitor’s Baby Barrister Panel, undertaking work for the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Helen recently assisted with work for the Kenya Emergency Group Litigation, a case involving over 40, 000 claimants alleging abuse arising out of the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya during the 1950s.

Alongside her work, Helen volunteers for the Citizenship Foundation, mentoring students participating in the Bar Mock Trial competitions. She has also volunteered as a mentor for the SPITE project, organised by the Queen Mary University of London Legal Advice Centre, which educates secondary school students about revenge porn and the sharing of personal images.