Vast experience in large-scale historical abuse trials and inquiries.


Brigid Baillie is a defence advocate experienced in the most serious types of criminal cases and appeals including murder, serious sexual offences (such as paedophile rings and historical sex allegations), drug importation and terrorism. She is recommended as a leading junior in crime in the Legal 500 2016 for her "vast experience in large-scale historical abuse trials and inquiries".

Brigid has a particular interest in vulnerable defendants and those with mental health conditions and is skilled at dealing sensitively with demanding clients in those circumstances. Brigid also undertakes judicial review and case stated challenges arising from her criminal defence and mental health practice, along with challenges to anti-social behaviour injunctions, Gangbos and sexual harm prevention orders.

Previously a tenant at Cobden House Chambers in Manchester, Brigid was admitted as a solicitor in 1998 and worked for a number of years as a solicitor and partner in a criminal firm in Manchester and gained higher rights in 2005. Brigid was the solicitor in R v Omar Altimimi, the first case involving charges under section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to be tried outside London in 2007.

Criminal defence & appeals

Brigid has comprehensive criminal defence experience and undertakes a full range of work in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal. She has been instructed in a number of serious crime cases and appeals including murder, sex offences and drug importation. Brigid is regularly instructed in cases involving violence and offences against the person, firearms offences, fraud, arson, public order, immigration identity fraud and challenging anti social behaviour orders and sexual harm prevention orders. Brigid also has experience of defending gang injunctions (“Gangbos”).

Brigid is regularly instructed to provide written advices and representation in appeals against sentence and conviction, particularly in relation to sexual offences.


Prison law

Brigid has a longstanding interest in cases with a human rights or cases with a civil liberties dimension which includes all areas of prison law. She has a particular interest in cases involving mental health aspects.

Inquests & public inquiries

Brigid is an experienced criminal law practitioner skilled at dealing sensitively with vulnerable clients particularly in difficult circumstances, and has built up a strong practice of cases involving people with mental health difficulties. She is  keen to develop her practice in the direction of inquests and is actively interested in developments in the inquest and prison system and in rights of detainees.

Public law

Brigid also undertakes judicial review and case stated challenges arising from her criminal defence and mental health practice, along with challenges to anti-social behaviour injunctions, Gangbos and sexual harm prevention orders.

Notable Cases

  • R v W: (2019) Alleged historic abuse of children and stepchildren;
  • R v F: (2018) Alleged historic abuse within a religious community;
  • R v W: (2017) Alleged historic abuse of stepdaughter;
  • R v M: (2017) Alleged historic abuse of sister;
  • R v R: (2017) Alleged S.18 wounding against off duty police officer. Raised self defence.
  • R v B and others (Norwich Crown Court) (2015): Represented female first defendant in high profile paedophile ring case, led by Sarah Elliot QC;
  • Operation Pallial (North Wales Enquiry): Historic allegations case (2015);
  • R v L and L (2015): Represented father accused of sexually abusing his daughters after bitter family dispute;
  • R v W (2014): Led by Maura McGowan QC. Murder; mental health issue;
  • R v T (2014): Rapes and sexual assaults. 17 year old boy who pleaded guilty to rape and other sexual offences involving a 12 year old girl. Defendant was assessed as having a mental age of 11/12. Sentence reduced by Court of Appeal;
  • R v D, D and S: Murder, led by Mark George QC in first trial (2013) and by Maura McGowan QC in retrial (2014);
  • R v B, B and K (2014): Allegations involving historic sexual abuse;
  • R v L (2014): Allegations involving both historic and recent sexual abuse relating to three stepdaughters;
  • P v Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust (2014): Criminal case where client had received a section 37 Hospital Order following a diagnosis of erotomania after breaching a restraining order. Successfully contested and client discharged after over 2 years in hospital;
  • R v R (2013): College student acquitted of rape and sexual assault charges, following allegations by fellow student of group sex attack involving two other defendants;
  • R v E (2102): Article 31 defence following breach of deportation order and entry into UK on false documents. Led by Ian Macdonald QC in the Court of Appeal;
  • Christopher Perry v The Chief Constable of Humberside Police (18/10/2012): Pensioner blogger’s ASBO overturned by High Court; Article 10; and
  • R v H (Manchester Crown Court – December 2012): Defended man accused of causing brain injury to young child in alleged shaking case, led by Mark George QC.

Publications and media appearances

  • 5/2/13 Gangbos two years on (Justice Gap); and
  • 3/10/12 Fitness to plead in extradition cases.


  • Criminal Bar Association.

Privacy Notice

Brigid’s Privacy Notice may be viewed by clicking here.


She is excellent at cross-examining vulnerable witnesses.The UK Legal 500 2019
Leading junior in crime: Northern (2017) 'She has very good client-care skills'.The UK Legal 500 2017
Leading junior in crime: Northern (2016) ‘Vast experience in large-scale historical abuse trials and inquiries’.The UK Legal 500 2016
I have instructed Brigid Baillie a substantial number of times in some of the most serious of matters over the last 6 years, including murders, serious assaults and serious sexual assaults. I am consistently impressed by Brigid's approachability and warmth, which she balances with her ability to robustly safeguard her clients' best interests. In my experience these skills and qualities are extremely rare and ensure she is a second-to-none choice when it comes to instructing Counsel. Anna O'Mara, Solicitor at Symes Bains Broomer
I regularly instruct Brigid on a range of criminal cases, but she is particularly skilled at dealing with sexual offences cases. Her willingness to review the case from receipt of the brief and draft an advice for the solicitor on steps to take for trial preparation means that she always has a full understanding of the case and that is what makes her stand out from other barristers. Brigid is great with the clients as she listens to and understands them and returning clients often ask us to instruct her again. She obtains excellent results because she has a great in court style which puts witnesses at ease so that she can elicit the evidence that she wants and pulls this together very eloquently in her closing speech.Hollie Alcock, QualitySolicitors Jordans


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