Grace Cowell

Call: 2018

Specialist in


Criminal practice

Grace is a skilled criminal practitioner who brings a thorough and innovative approach to each of her cases. Her practice is predominately comprised of serious violence, crimes relating to prison and multi-handed drug cases.

In the past year Grace has been instructed on trials including firearms trafficking, multi-kilogram cocaine and cannabis conspiracies, rape and section 18 GBH. She has been described by her clients as “the only person I would turn to” and “the best in the business”. Most recently Grace represented a client who was unanimously acquitted in May 2023 in a multi-handed seven-week firearms and drug trafficking case and she is currently working as junior counsel in a murder.

Grace has particular expertise in relation to criminal proceedings concerning terrorism in prisons in England and Wales, having acted in November 2022 in a case of where prisoners were alleged to be involved in a terrorist incident inside a category A prison. This appears to be the first prosecution of this kind following the report of Jonathan Hill KC into terrorism in prisons. Grace acted for the first defendant on the indictment and meticulously cross-examined eleven prison officers over two weeks, following which the prosecution offered no evidence in the first and subsequent trials, relating to ten Defendants. Grace is instructed as junior counsel in civil claims on behalf of prisoners claiming negligence, malicious prosecution, misfeasance in public office, and other causes of action against prison governors, in the context of extremist oppression enforced by prisoners against other prisoners.

Grace recognises and seeks to work against the structural inequality in the criminal justice system, reflected in her work as an elected member of the executive committees of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers and the Criminal Bar Association. She brings empathy and compassion to her cases and dedicates herself to ensuring her clients gain confidence in their legal team, feel supported, and understand the legal process.

Grace is experienced in appeals and parole hearings and has been successful in the Court of Appeal in relation to an appeal against sentence. She has drafted advices and grounds of appeal against convictions and sentences, as well as CCRC referrals, in complex cases involving murder, manslaughter, and serious sexual offences.

Family practice

Grace accepts instructions in a wide range of family law matters, including public and private law children cases. She worked in the family courts as a clerk and paralegal first, and is experienced in working with cases involving allegations of physical abuse, including death of a child, as well as emotional abuse and neglect. She represents parents and guardians throughout proceedings and is regularly sought to retain cases according to client preference. She is approachable to clients, who have described her as “fighting my corner brilliantly”. Grace has been instructed in care proceedings involving Deprivation of Liberty Orders and serious mental health concerns. Grace further regularly represents clients in disputes over Child Arrangements Orders and Family Law Act matters.

Further to her practice, Grace has written about international humanitarian law, criminal justice, and prison law reform for the International Review of Contemporary Law, the Socialist Lawyer magazine and the Justice Gap. Her interest in criminal law reform stems from her work during her Masters dissertation, focussed on rape law reform in the UK.


Bar Professional Training Course, City Law School (Outstanding)

LLM in Bar Professional Training, City Law School (Distinction)

LLB Law, University of Bristol, (First Class Honours)

Professional Memberships

Executive Committee of the Criminal Bar Association

Executive Committee of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

Young Legal Aid Lawyers

Inner Temple