Viewing: Crime for Chloe Ashley

Chloe is an impressive junior with ability beyond her call. Her work is defined by her personable approach and intellectual ability.
A polished, persuasive advocate whether prosecuting or defending, acting alone or as a led junior Chloe is sought after by solicitors. Her practice is developing a particular emphasis on serious crime having been instructed in multitude of complex multi-handed cases spanning the full spectrum of criminal matters. Recent cases have included conspiracies to supply drugs and firearms, kidnap, gang-related crime, serious sexual offences, assaults (section 18, 20), fatal road traffic offences and money laundering. In addition, Chloe acted in a junior capacity whilst still a pupil in both a murder and attempt murder trial. This including the notorious case of Brown where the defendant stormed a train at Forest Hill station making death threats against Muslims.
She is often instructed to represent clients in high profile, emotive cases that generate significant media interest.
In 2018 she was instructed as a junior counsel (lead by Phil Bradley QC), in the notorious Worcester ‘acid attack’ case. It was alleged that her client, the lead defendant ‘Z’ aged, 40 conspired to throw sulphuric acid on his three-year-old son. He was jointly charged alongside 6 others. The case involved the youngest victim of such an attack to be prosecuted and attracted significant media coverage.
As of July 2019 Chloe will be acting as a junior in a 2-month long case relating to the falsification of earnings on behalf of visa sponsors to enable them to meet Home Office criteria in relation to marriage visa. The case forms part of Operation Loft.
Her successes are a result of her outstanding case preparation, which is reinforced by her performance in court. She has built a reputation for being a safe pair of hands when faced with difficult points of law. As a consequence she regularly receives praise from those who appear with and against her. Judges have commented on her “superb attention to detail” when presenting legal argument. One Judge in Birmingham commenting that “she had the ability not only to properly consider the legal implications of presenting such a sensitive case, but also a strong capability for effectively managing the tactics involved. She has skill and judgement well beyond her years”.
She represents clients across the social spectrum and has a reputation for being gifted in winning the trust of even the most justifiably self-protective defendants in order to successfully represent them. Chloe often represents younger, immature or inarticulate members of the public, women, and those with mental health difficulties. Her skill with her clients is borne out of her experiences as former HR manager and her work on an impressive range of human rights projects, including work as a mitigation specialist on Texas’ Death Row.
Chloe’s ability to build an empathetic relationship lends itself well to juries and achieves results in the most difficult of cases. She is a sought-after counsel by firms with private clients too who wish to retain counsel for advice in the early stages of an investigation through to trial. Her cases often involve sensitive and complex issues with regards to fitness to plead or where the Defendant’s mental health or significant learning disability, has required the evidence of multiple medical expert witnesses.
She favours face-to-face contact early with clients so that issues can be identified swiftly and, if necessary, acted upon. Her advice is always current, nuanced and insightful. She has worked on various cases involving large volumes of disclosure. Consequently, she has significant experience of issues such as covert policing to intercept communications and of applications for public interest immunity.
Separately, Chloe is committed to work relating to the representation of women within the Criminal Justice System. She has a degree in philosophy and worked in women’s shelters offering intensive support to vulnerable women alongside her academic studies. Those projects concerned involved supporting women involved in street prostitution, those who had been the victims of FGM and women subjected to ‘honour’-based violence. This has ensured that Chloe has the necessary cultural awareness and knowledge of theological issues that are often at the core of such criminal cases. She has often acted pro bono on such cases. She has particular expertise in representing women who have struggled with issues of addiction or suffered from domestic violence.
Chloe is often sought out to assist clients facing misconduct allegations. To date, Chloe has represented several CEOs, police officers, teachers and doctors. Solicitors instructing in these cases commend Chloe for her strategic, sensible and practical advice and her ability to strategise to prevent potentially high-profile cases coming into the public eye. She has an aptitude for assimilating the vast amounts of information and terminology such cases involve and has a happy knack for adapting well to these tribunals procedures.
Chloe became a Rape Crisis Trustee in 2011- at the time the youngest ever on the board. Having relinquished her trustee obligations she now regularly contributes to the organisation’s publications on the law. As part of that commitment, Chloe has campaigned for equality of treatment, understanding of the issues concerning sexual abuse and recognition of the impact that domestic violence has had upon many women who become victims within the criminal justice system.
From 2011 to 2014 Chloe worked in the NGO sector with organisations, including Reprieve and later the Department for International Development. There she provided legal and investigative support to those facing execution. Part of her work also involved the representation of those victimized by states’ abusive counter-terror policies, including, rendition, torture, extrajudicial imprisonment and killing. Whilst at Reprieve she assisted on the successful Stop the Lethal Injection Project, engaging with shareholders in pharmaceutical companies whose drugs were being used in US executions.
Following completion of her Bar course, she worked in Houston with Texas Defender Service assisting lawyers defending several clients charged with capital murder who were potentially facing the death penalty if convicted at trial. Much of Chloe’s work focused on clemency petitions and mitigation investigations. In addition, she contributed to various proceedings in the Supreme Court of Criminal Appeals including the leading case of Buck v Davis. Following her return to the UK she co-authored an academic research paper with the prestigious Arthur Liman Public Interest Program and The American Civil Liberties Union exploring the deleterious of solitary confinement in US prisons. Since, she has completed additional qualifications in Death Penalty Studies with Yale University.
Chloe, therefore, retains a strong interest in matters involving human rights and enjoys looking at the intricacies of complex legal situations, especially when considered alongside the effect of political policies on individual lives.
Voluntary work
As a member of Amicus, a small death penalty charity, Chloe sits on their interviewing panel considering candidates for internships abroad. She also regularly contributes to their casework program focused on raising awareness of potential abuses of defendants’ rights. Her particular focus is on the pending appeal of Stites v Reed.
Chloe also sits as a member of the Birmingham Law Society’s Criminal Committee representing the interests of barristers working in the Midlands legal aid sector. In addition, Chloe currently sits on the CPS West Midlands Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel as the independent barrister representative.
Separately, Chloe is dedicated to improving social mobility at the Bar and speaks regularly at state schools and Inn events, up and down the country, supporting those from non-traditional backgrounds in their ambition to become barristers.
In 2018 Chloe became a committee member of the Midlands Branch of the Women in Criminal Law group and the Midland Circuit Women’s Forum.
“Chloe can hold her own in cases where you would normally instruct a far more senior barrister. She has great attention to detail; she is committed and works incredibly hard. But more than that she is wonderful with clients, from all backgrounds. She is innovative in tackling legal challenges and she perseveres to get the right result. As a solicitor you can’t ask for more.”
Comments from instructing solicitors.
“She is always top of our list when it comes to instructing in complex, serious case. Chloe is extremely hard-working, diligent, and leaves no piece of plausible evidence unexplored. Simply, she is a workaholic. She has an unrivalled commitment to her clients. She genuinely cares for them and their welfare: to that end she will fight hard for the right result for them.”
Comments from instructing solicitors.
“Chloe endears herself to clients almost immediately, she exudes warmth, even with the most challenging of clients she will win them over. Her presentation in court is faultless- she quickly masters the evidence in a way that lends itself well to a jury. Judges she appears before value her commitment to her cases and her opponents respect her for it.”
Comments from instructing solicitors.
“She has a real command of the law and evidence in any case I instruct her in- which can only come from a brilliant mind.”
Comments from instructing solicitors.
“Her preparation is meticulous...I receive nothing but excellent feedback from clients, they all warm to her- especially youths.”
Comments from instructing solicitors.
“She is a fearless advocate and will always go above and beyond what is expected. The Judge commented favourably on her ability to master the law in order to achieve the best outcome for her client.”
Comments from instructing solicitors.
“Her ability to meet and exceed our client’s expectations is second to none. Her relatively junior status is ignored by clients who see her as personable, intelligent and savvy…she is mature beyond her years.”
Comments from instructing solicitors.
“Ms Ashley is a credit to your chambers. Despite being the most junior barrister in this case it was she who identified an important point of law upon which to base legal arguments during the course of the trial; this led to the case being dismissed against our client…but it is the quality of her written work I have to comment on- it is superb. The Judge remarked that it was rare she read skeleton arguments as considered as that.”
Comments from instructing solicitors.
Notable Cases
Operation Wraithbane
Chloe represented one of thirty-six men (a lead defendant) charged with public nuisance. The defendants allegedly formed part of an organised crime ring who converged on Birmingham as an unauthorized gathering involving hundreds of motorcyclists. Chloe’s client was acquitted.
Operation Blue
Acting as defence counsel in a ‘county lines’ drugs conspiracy, where defendants were terrorised by controlling gang leaders.
R v AS
Represented an Afghan teenager charged with serious offences who entered pleas under duress. Application to vacate pleas successful following a Positive National Referral Mechanism decision. Chloe acted pro bono with Barnardos, a charity specialising in the representation of children subject to exploitation, acting as an intervener.
R v ZN and Others
Chloe as a led junior represented the lead defendant aged, 39 – who cannot be named for legal reasons- charged with conspiring to cause grievous bodily harm in a suspected ‘acid attack’ alongside 5 others on his three-year-old son. The incident took place in the Tallow Hill area of Worcester. She is instructed by Clayton Solicitors.
R v MG
Chloe as a led junior represented a former professional footballer alleged to have stalked his ex-lover to the brink of suicide. There were significant disclosure failings as a result of inattentive police investigations. Use of that evidence demonstrated relevant credibility issues which led to an acquittal. Case attracted nationwide publicity.
R v MB
Represented former Army officer in a case involving large volumes of cocaine and heroin. Charged with possession with intent to supply the client maintained the drugs were acquired for personal use despite the volume. Defence enquiries revealed there was no phone evidence, financial transactions or other paraphernalia to emphasise a commercial role. Nonetheless, the client would face difficulty at trial due to conflicting expert’s reports regarding the value of the drugs and the use of cutting agents (benzocaine and lidocaine). Successfully negotiated a plea on a favourable basis. Suspended sentence achieved.
R v RF
Represented the co-accused of the former ‘Miss Russia’, model Marinika Smirnova accused of conspiring to burgle her ex-husband Sergey Kapchuk, Russian oligarch and former politician.
R v VT
Defendant faced charges of sexual assault. Defendant was blind and deaf, alleged to have inappropriately and touched three women on public transport on two separate dates, in very similar circumstances. Defence was that the touching was not sexual. Argument for separate summary trials contested by the Crown but acceded to by the District Judge following submission of a detailed skeleton argument and lengthy oral submissions. Defendant acquitted of both charges after two separate trials.
CPS Advocates Panel – Grade 2
CPS West Midlands Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel, Independent Advisor
2017 Inner Temple Rachel Lawrence Prize
2017 Marshall Hall Trust Grant
2015 Inner Temple Internship Award and Sir Joseph Priestley Scholarship
2015 Worcestershire County Council Post-Graduate Funding Scholarship
2013 Inner Temple Major Exhibition Award
2013 Duke of Edinburgh Scholarship
2011 University of Sheffield Graduate Award, (awarded by the Vice-Chancellor at graduation)
Association of Women Barristers
Criminal Bar Association
Human Rights Lawyers Association
Midlands Circuit
Midlands Circuit Women’s Forum
Young Legal Aid Lawyers
Women in Criminal Law
2016 Postgraduate Diploma in Capital Punishment: Race, Poverty and Disadvantage, Yale Law School
2015 Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator
2015 Bar Professional Training Course, University of the West of England
2013 Graduate Diploma in Law, College of Law
2011 Philosophy BA Hons, The University of Sheffield

Latest News & Publications

Chloe represented Mr Hussain, a 46 year old man of good character, in a four-week trial before Sheffield Crown Court....

Date: Fri, 02 Aug 2019
Chloe represented AS, an Afghani teenager with significant mental health disorders, charged with assisting an offender. ...

Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2019