Chloe Ashley is a specialist criminal advocate with an impressive reputation and loyal following of professional clients.
Chloe’s work sees her act as both junior counsel or a led junior, often in complex and sensitive multi-handed cases on behalf of both the defence and prosecution.
Recent instructions on behalf of the defence include Operation Kenita which concerned the death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes in which Chloe defended his father, and R v CM in which Chloe is instructed to defend a man in the grips of a psychotic breakdown who attempted to murder his wife.
Chloe’s busy defence practice is complemented by a strong prosecution practice where she is regularly instructed by the CPS’ Complex Case Work Unit.
Forthcoming cases include Operation Lanvigator in which Chloe is instructed together with Jonas Hankin KC to prosecute a mother charged with the historic murder of her newborn son, when she was aged 15.
Chloe has a particular interest in cases involving child abuse and non-accidental injuries, which rely upon expert pathological and clinical medical evidence.
Before joining the Bar, Chloe worked for specialist women’s rights charities and international NGO’s focused on human rights issues including counter-terrorism measures.
Chloe also spent time acting on behalf of Texas Defender Service for individuals facing the death penalty in the USA, including assisting in the drafting of amicus curiae briefs to the US Supreme Court and has since spoken at conferences on issues such as the, often, inadequate legal support provided to prisoners on death row.
As a result of those experiences Chloe retains a special interest in the representation of women within the criminal justice system, those with both mental health issues and intellectual disabilities, and racial bias in the justice system.
Outside of court, Chloe is passionate about issues concerning equality, diversity, and social mobility at the Bar. She regularly participates in events encouraging students from state schools to pursue a career in the law and mentors students members of the Inner Temple.
Comments from instructing solicitors:
“She is a top operator in court. People underestimate her 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 persevere 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.”
“Her preparation is meticulous… I receive nothing but excellent feedback from clients, they all warm to her especially youths.”
“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.”
“Ms Ashley has always offered us an unparalleled level of service. She is totally devoted to their clients’ cases and achieving the best possible outcome. Her preparation is pain-staking and thorough. She is first class.”
R v CM (2023), Birmingham Crown Court
Instructed to defend, alone, in an attempted murder where at the time of the offence the defendant was in the grips of a psychotic episode.
Operation Kipfler (2023), Warwick Crown Court
Instructed to defend one of 29 defendants charged with violent disorder arising out of an large scale public disorder in Coventry connected to a national amateur junior boxing championship.
R v. H and H (2023), Worcester Crown Court
Led by Mark Heywood KC to prosecute a “baby shaking” in which the parents are accused of causing significant injuries to their young daughter.
Operation Lanvigator (2023), Worcester Crown Court
Led by Jonas Hankin KC to prosecute a mother, who was then aged 15, now charged with the historic murder of her new-born son. The case is ongoing:
Operation Orbiter (2022), Worcester Crown Court
Instructed as a junior alone to prosecute a fatal RTC, a ‘nearest and dearest case’ in which the defendant and deceased had been lifelong friends.
Operation Abim (2022), Warwick Crown Court
Led by Michelle Heeley KC to prosecute this case, which resolved with a plea to manslaughter (by reason of diminished responsibility), due to the defendant’s psychotic breakdown caused by the digestion of prescribed medication.
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 KC to defend the father of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes in 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 (2020/2021/2022), Worcester Crown Court
Led by Siobhan Collins, instructed to 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 fatal shooting of Murtaza Nazir in Stechford, Birmingham. Chloe was led by Jo Sidhu KC. 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 KC, 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”, which 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’ against him:
Operation Lock (2019), Worcester Crown Court
Led by Phil Bradley KC, 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:
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.
R v G (2018), Stoke Crown Court
Led by Earl Pinnock, represented a former England youth international footballer accused of stalking his ex-girlfriend.
2022 - Executive Committee - Criminal Bar Association
2021 - Committee Member - The Young CBA Committee
2020 - Senior Crown Prosecuter Secondee - West Midlands, CPS
2020 - Grade 3 CPS Advocates Panel - West Midlands CPS
2019 - 2022 - Secretary - Women in Criminal Law Midlands
2019 - Committee Member - Midland Circuit Women’s Forum
2018/19 - Independent Legal Advisor - CPS West Midlands Hate Crime Panel
2018 to 2022 - Criminal Law Committee Member - Birmingham Law Society
2022 - Nominated for ‘Barrister of the Year’ Birmingham Law Society Awards
2021- Inner Temple Pegasus Scholarship
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
Criminal Bar Association
2015 - University of the West of England, BPTC
2015 - Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator Certified by ADR Group London
2013 - College of Law, PGDL
2011 - The University of Sheffield, Philosophy BA (Hons)
Chloe speaks conversational French and German. She also speaks some basic Arabic and Pashto.