Grace Cowell

Call: 2018

Specialist in


Criminal practice

Grace is a skilled criminal practitioner who brings thoroughness, innovation and empathy to each of her cases. She has been described by her clients as “the only person I would turn to”. Grace’s most recent cases include successful defence of murder as junior counsel as well as acquittals whilst acting alone in cases involving firearms and historic rape.

Further to the above, Grace’s practice involves crimes committed within the prison establishment, firearms trafficking, multi-kilogram cocaine and cannabis conspiracies and section 18 GBH. She has particular expertise in relation to criminal proceedings concerning terrorism in prisons in England and Wales, having acted in November 2022 in a case 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 now 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 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. Prior to joining the bar, she worked in the family courts as a clerk and paralegal, and is experienced in working with cases involving allegations of physical abuse, including death of a child, emotional abuse and neglect. Grace represents parents and guardians throughout proceedings and is sought after by clients de to her approachability; she has been described as “fighting my corner brilliantly”. Grace is 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