Our Members

Sarah Forshaw QC

Call: 1987

Silk: 2008

email: sarah.forshaw@5kbw.co.uk

Sarah Forshaw

"...Forshaw oozes class, her elegant delivery gave her the edge.....I could think of no one I would rather have representing me..."...Financial Times

Sarah Forshaw QC was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2008 following a successful practice as a junior, and quickly established a formidable practice in Silk, predominantly at the Central Criminal Court. She was appointed co-Head of Chambers in 2009.

She was nominated by Chambers & Partners as “Crime Silk of the Year” 2013.

Sarah Forshaw QC was elected by the Bar as Leader of the South Eastern Circuit in 2012, a post lasting two years. The South Eastern Circuit is the largest geographical body of the Bar, accounting for more than 40% of all practising barristers in England and Wales. Miss Forshaw’s other appointments include Director of Education and Training for Barristers on the South Eastern Circuit, and she has taught, lectured on and judged advocacy since taking Silk.

Miss Forshaw has been increasingly involved in a number of high profile cases in recent years, often murders and sexual offences. They include the successful defence of one of twenty defendants in Operation Farnhams, the notorious Victoria Underground Station murder, and of the first defendant in the Eddy Shah historic sex abuse trial.

Miss Forshaw is now frequently instructed for the defence in cases where high profile individuals find themselves charged under the Sexual Offences Act. She has defended in cases ranging from alleged sexual assault to gang rape. Her skill and experience in cases involving historic sexual allegations is almost unparalleled.

She also specialises in offences involving serious and organised crime, including homicide, and cases involving the importation, manufacture and supply of drugs. Additionally, Miss Forshaw is instructed in cases of financial crime including TAX, VAT, diversion, Inland Revenue, mortgage, advance fee and other commercial fraud, together with fraudulent trading and DTI prosecutions.

Regulatory experience includes providing advice and representation at the General Medical Council.

Many of her cases are now privately funded but Miss Forshaw remains committed to Legal Aid work and her senior clerk, Lee Hughes-Gage, is always happy to discuss instructing her on this basis.

Sarah Forshaw QC is able to accept instructions direct from the public in appropriate cases. For further information in this regard please contact the Senior Clerk.

Recent Cases Include:

R v. Mazher Mahmood & Alan Smith - 'Fake Sheikh' trial 2016

Successful prosecution of the 'Fake Sheikh' and his driver for perverting the course of justice surrounding the 2013 failed prosecution of popstar Tulisa Contostavlos. Report here.

R v. Max Clifford 2016

Successful Defence of celebrity publicist charged with Historic Sexual Assault. Report Here

R v. Strubel & ors - Operation Canon 2015-16

Successful prosecution of £80m Ponzi fraud after 4 month Southwark trial. Report here.

R v A 2015

Successful defence of professional footballer charged with rape and sexual assault.

R v. D 2015

Successful defence of German national, the son of a prominent businessman, charged with rape.

R v. D & ors 2015

Successful defence of 17 year old accused of involvement in a Leytonstone double murder, a result of a drugs gang attack. BBC report here

R v. Riaz & anr 2015

Successful defence of female Law Student accused of arranging the murder of a boyfriend by a former boyfriend.  Daily Mail report here

R v. Khan 2015

Defence of Pakistani national accused of murdering his Eastern European wife after failed residency attempt.  Guardian report here.

R v. Brennan 2013 / 2014 / 2015

Defence of gay escort accused of killing 53 year old antiques dealer in a ritualistic satanic attack. The murder conviction was overturned on appeal in 2015 and the sentence reduced. BBC report here. The judgment of the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, is now reported http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim/2014/2387.html. It has become an important decision in cases of diminished responsibility and expert psychiatric evidence.

R v. Phillips & ors 2014

Successful defence of young women charged with joint enterprise murder of 20 year old man by stabbing at a party in north London. BBC report here

R v. P, Shah & Davies 2013

Successful defence of 1st defendant, a businessman charged with historic sex offences in the Eddy Shah Old Bailey trial. BBC news report here

R v. W 2013

Successful defence of firefighter accused of raping female colleague at "watch" New Year’s Eve party.

R v KA & ors 2013

Successful defence of 18 year old charged with murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to possess firearm (MAC-10) with intent to endanger life.

R v. Thompson 2012 / 2013

Successful defence of defendant with Aspergers syndrome of 42 counts of historic sexual abuse. Defendant had previous convictions which were subsequently overturned on Appeal. Internet report here. R-v-Thompson-2014-EWCA-Crim-836-Court-Appeal-Criminal-Division-May-2-2014

R v. Dr M 2011

Successful defence of a Consultant Doctor accused of the rape and sexual assault of two nurses. Subsequently represented successfully at GMC Regulatory Hearing.

R v. GT & ors 2011

Successful defence of 15 year old boy charged with a gang rape of fellow pupil.

R v DB & ors 2011

Defence of 16 year old charged with murder in joint responsibility murder. The only one of 10 defendants acquitted of murder.


Queens Counsel [2008]
Chair - Central London Bar Mess [2008 - 2011]
SFO Approved Panel of QC's [2009]
Director of Education & Training for South Eastern Circuit [2011 - 2012]
Leader of South Eastern Circuit [2012 - 2014]
Bencher - Middle Temple [2013]


Criminal Bar Association
South Eastern Circuit

Further Case examples:

R v Kharrahassan & ors [2014]

Successful defence of grocer charged with importing £5m of cocaine

Appeal of Goldie Coats [2013]

"Battered Women Syndrome" appeal case.

R v. Hassan & ors [C.C.C. - 2013]

Old Bailey trial concerning the murder of 18 year old man who had been accused of rape.

R v. G & 4 ors [C.C.C. - 2013]

Old Bailey trial concerning the brutal stabbing of a man in East London.

R v. Leader [C.C.C. - 2012]

Old Bailey trial concerning the murder of a man outside an Islington Pub with a golf club.

Operation Farnhams [C.C.C. - 2011 - 2012]

Old Bailey trials concerning the brutal murder of Sofyen Belamouadden at Victoria station.

R v. Lowe & ors [C.C.C. - 2011]

Old Bailey trial concerning the brutal torture and killing of love rival.

R v. Sellman [Maidstone - 2010]

Murder. Baby shaking case involving the tragic death of a 25 day old girl.

R v. Jermey [CCC - 2009]

Murder of 34 year old Mercedes executive by her partner.