Chloe Ashley is a specialist criminal defence barrister with experience as both a led junior and junior alone in serious, complex cases.
Chloe has established an impressive reputation for being an assiduous advocate with skill well beyond her call.
Her work is defined by her professional, pro-active approach, meticulous preparation, and exceptional client care.
She acts in cases of varying size and complexity across all areas of crime.
Instructions this past year encompass the full range of criminal offences: gang-related homicides; drugs conspiracies, including country line operations; organised crime including, human trafficking and modern-day slavery cases; child cruelty and ‘baby shakings’; serious sexual offences, including rape; fatal driving offences and other matters of violence such as GBH.
Chloe’s prosecution practice compliments her defence work. She is known to be a scrupulously fair and highly effective prosecutor, repeatedly sought after in difficult and sensitive cases.
Chloe works closely with her instructing solicitors at every stage of a case and is always available to provide advice and support throughout the preparation of cases in which she is instructed.
Before joining the Bar, Chloe worked in the fields of human rights and legal policy, including for Reprieve and Texas Defender Service, where her work focused on representing individuals facing the death penalty. She also has considerable experience working for organisations promoting women’s rights, including Rape Crisis.
As a result of those experiences, Chloe has developed particular expertise in issues relating to mental health and intellectual disability and is often counsel of choice for solicitors defending those who are acutely vulnerable. She also retains a special interest in the representation of women in the criminal justice system.
Outside of court, Chloe is passionate about issues concerning equality, justice, diversity, and social mobility at the Bar and is member of several committees who work to encourage students to pursue a career in the legal profession. Alongside this she also mentors student members of Inner Temple hoping to obtain pupillage.
Chloe accepts pro bono instructions as a panel member of the Bar Pro Bono Unit and for other charities, including Barnardos.
In 2020, Chloe was awarded a Pegasus Scholarship by Inner Temple to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg; making her a double scholar.
Chloe is learning Pashto (with difficulty). She also speaks conversational French along with some basic Arabic and German.
Comments from instructing solicitors:-
She is a top operator in court. People underestimate her because of her relatively junior call and they do so at their peril”.
“A very intelligent advocate who can master complex expert evidence, distil it and present it effectively to both lay clients and a jury.”
“Her closing speeches are flawless and a joy to watch, jury’s absolutely love her.”
“She is always top of our list when it comes to instructing in complex, serious cases. Chloe is extremely hard working, diligent, and leaves no piece of plausible evidence unexplored. She has an unrivalled commitment to her clients. She genuinely cares for them and their welfare and to that end she will fight hard for the right result for them.”
“Her work is creditworthy of an advocate of 20 years’ call. She is very impressive on her feet.”
“Her cross-examination is extremely good; she gets under a witness’ skin and will preserve until she gets the answer she wants.”
“Chloe is a joy to instruct, she consistently shows our clients a level of care and commitment which surpasses any expectation.”
“Ms Ashley 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.”
“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. Judges commend her for her forensic attention to detail.”
Operation Tafias (2022), Birmingham Crown Court
Instructed as a junior alone to represent one of fourteen men alleged to have operated in a lengthy conspiracy as part of an organised crime group, distributing significant quantities of heroin.
Operation Kenita (2021), Coventry Crown Court
Instructed alongside Bernard Richmond QC to defend the father of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes in what was a very complex child homicide case. Their client was acquitted of murder. The case received both national and international press attention. The case is also now the subject of a single, national review
Operations Mopaine, Bionta and Dynamite (2021), Worcester Crown Court
Led by Siobhan Collins, instructed prosecute 3 interlinked multi-handed high value conspiracies to burgle 100s of vehicles in the Worcestershire area.
Operation Mercantile (2021), Birmingham Crown Court
Instructed to defend one of two defendants charged with the shooting of Murtaza Nazir in Stechford, Birmingham. Chloe was led by Jo Sidhu QC. This case involved one of the largest CCTV and imagery investigations in West Midlands Police history
Operation Guy (2021), Warwick Crown Court
Instructed to defend the lead defendant in what the Prosecution said was a Post Code disagreement between two groups. Chloe’s client was one of five men who faced trial for murder and robbery. She was the junior in the original trial in January 2021, her client went on to be acquitted of all charges
Operation Monarda (2020), Warwick Crown Court
Led by Caroline Carberry QC, Chloe was instructed to represent one of three teenage defendants charged with the murder of another fifteen-year-old boy in Coventry. The case formed the subject of a one-off documentary shown in February 2021, “Forensics: The Real CSI”, focussed on the complex strands of forensic investigation which was the subject of robust legal argument by the legal team Chloe was a part of and successfully excluded by the defence
Operation Robotic (2020), Birmingham Crown Court
Instructed to represent a man of good character facing allegations concerning the alleged exploitation and recruitment of vulnerable individuals from Slovakia, alongside his family members, over a seven-year period.
R v Ferchiu (2020), Warwick Crown Court
Led Junior, instructed to prosecute both the trial and re-trial in a very sensitive case of a senior nurse accused of wilful neglect arising from the death of an acutely vulnerable care home resident
Operation Ambition (2019), Wolverhampton Crown Court
Represented one of eight defendants accused of conspiracy to supply cannabis. Following a trial Defendant was convicted in the alternative of cultivation of a cannabis plant. He received a conditional discharge.
Operation Loft (2019), Sheffield Crown Court
Represented one of seven Defendants in complex, case relating to the falsification of earnings on behalf of visa sponsors to enable them to meet Home Office criteria in relation to marriage visas. Chloe’s client was acquitted following a 6-week trial in which his daughter turned ‘Queens Evidence’
Operation Wraithbane (2018), Birmingham Crown Court
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. Following a 4-week trial Chloe’s client was acquitted.
Operation Lock (2018), Worcester Crown Court
Led by Phil Bradley QC, instructed in the notorious Worcester ‘acid attack’ case. It was alleged that their 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
R v G (2018), Stoke Crown Court
Led by Earl Pinnock, represented a former England youth international footballer accused of stalking his ex-girlfriend.
2020 - Senior Crown Prosecuter Secondee - West Midlands, CPS
2020 - Committee Member- Young Bar Committee, CBA
2020 - Grade 3 CPS Advocates Panel
2019 - Secretary - Women in Criminal Law Midlands
2019 - Committee Member- Midland Circuit Women’s Forum
2018 – Independent Legal Advisor [ad-hoc] – CPS West Midlands Hate Crime Panel
2018 - Criminal Law Committee Member - Birmingham Law Society
2021- Inner Temple Pegasus Award, placement at the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg
2019 - Nominated for the First 100 Years, Inspirational Women in Law Awards (under 35 category)
2017 - Inner Temple Rachel Lawrence Scholarship
2015 - Inner Temple Sir Joseph Priestley Scholarship
2013 - Inner Temple Major Exhibition Award (BPTC Award)
2013 - Inner Temple Duke of Edinburgh Award
2011 - The University of Sheffield Graduate Award
Association of Women Barristers
Criminal Bar Association
Human Rights Lawyers Association
Women in Criminal Law
Young Legal Aid Lawyers
2015 - University of the West of England, BPTC
2015 - Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator Certified by ADR Group London
2013 - College of Law, Law Conversion
2011 - The University of Sheffield, BA (Hons)