Julia Flanagan

Year of Call: 1993
Inn of Court: Lincoln’s Inn

Julia Flanagan

A highly experienced, innovative and hard working advocate, she specialises in cases relating to sexual offences, homicide, organised crime, drug related crime and fraud.

Ranked on Chambers & Partners Directory as a leading junior, her practice covers the whole spectrum of high-profile criminal work and she has appeared successfully in both the House of Lords and the Court of Appeal. She acts regularly as both leading and junior counsel and is accustomed to dealing with the most difficult and sensitive cases involving vulnerable defendants and witnesses. Recent successes include the sole acquittal of a child accused of being part of a gang who had repeatedly raped another child, despite restrictions imposed on cross-examination by intermediaries representing both complainant and defendants.

She also acts on behalf of Police Officers accused of crime. She is accustomed to dealing with the national press in relation to resisting pre-trial publicity.

Julia Flanagan is ranked in Chambers and Partners 2018.

Significant Cases

Significant Sexual Offences Cases

  • R v. D [2012] – Rape of a 4 year old girl. Guilty plea. Nationally reported case in which the judge was persuaded to impose a community penalty instead of custody. There was significant public debate in the press concerning this case, as to whether the sentence was too lenient.
  • R v. I [2012] – Alleged serial rape of highly intoxicated complainants. Bringing in the issues of intoxication and ability to consent and reasonable belief in consent.
  • R v. A and Others [2012] – Representing principal defendant charged with the gravest of familial sex offences against a number of complainants. The facts included allegations of rape, sexual slavery and the publication of the abuse on the internet. Unusually complex because of the number of experts and agencies involved the special needs of the vulnerable complainants and the use of intermediaries.

Significant Murder Cases

  • R v. D [2012] – Currently acting in a highly publicised case in which a 15 year old schoolgirl is accused of killing another girl by stabbing her in the head with a comb. Issues re loss of control, self-defence, lack of intent.
  • R v. N and Others [2011/2012] – Counsel in one of the most infamous murders in London, involving a group attack upon a schoolboy at the height of rush hour in Victoria station. Lengthy and complex trial.

Significant Fraud Cases

  • R v. W and Others [2012] – Acted as leading counsel for a client accused of being part of a wide ranging money laundering operation to dispose of the profits created by a major drugs syndicate.
  • R v. B and Others [2012] – Acted for principal defendant in a boiler room fraud targeting elderly investors. Described by the prosecution as being the most senior representative of the criminal hierarchy.

Significant Drug Cases

  • R v. S and Others – Junior counsel in a multi-handed drugs trial involving the importation of Class A drugs to the value of £8 million. A submission that the case should be stayed as an abuse of process was successful until the prosecution appealed to the Court of Appeal and the case was re-instated. Ultimately the defendant faced 3 lengthy trials in 2010, 2011 and 2012, until his ultimate acquittal in 2012.


  • BA, London School of Economics
  • Diploma in Law, Inns of Court School of Law
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association

Areas of Specialism

Sexual Offences

She is an expert in the field of sexual offences, instructed in the most serious and complex of cases ranging from gang rape and torture to familial sexual offences against children. Highly experienced in her area of specialism, she has a high rate of acquittal and acts both as leading and junior counsel. She is well versed in dealing with vulnerable clients and witnesses and use of intermediaries.

She achieved a successful legal application in respect of 3rd party material was described by the court as ‘groundbreaking’.

She is innovative in approach having recently successfully ran the defence of sexsomnia in rape case.

Recently she secured acquittal in a complex gang rape case against a young child, involving the youngest defendant ever accused of such a crime.


She has appeared in many high profile murder and manslaughter cases in the south east of England.


She is accustomed to representing clients from professional backgrounds and has successfully represented members of legal and police profession in respect of corruption charges.

She deals with all types of fraud including VAT, high value benefits fraud and boiler room. She is currently dealing with a pharmaceutical fraud case.


She has achieved acquittals for her clients accused of highest value drug importations, including a customs officer. She is specifically skilled at dealing with issues surrounding admissibility of covertly obtained evidence.

Other Details