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Claire Pickthall

Ms Claire Pickthall


School of Law and Politics

+44 29208 76702
Law Building, Room 3.10, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX


I joined the Cardff Professional Legal Studies Department in 2022. My teaching is predominantly on the Bar Training Course, with some undergraduate teaching on skill based modules.

Prior to my appointment, I spent 23 years practicing at the independent Bar, based in Cardiff.

I was called to the Bar in 1999 by the Honourable Society of Grays Inn, upon completion of the (then) Bar Vocational Course at the Inns of Court School of Law in London. 

The main focus of my practice at the Bar has been in criminal law, prosecuting and defending many high profile and complex cases (see Biography).

I have also been involved in immigration law, appearing for appellants in the Upper Tribunal, with a focus on deportation appeals.

I have been consistently ranked as a Leading Junior by the Legal 500.

I remain a non-practising tenant at 30 Park Place, Cardiff.



I teach a range of knowledge and skills subjects on the Bar Training Course, with a particular emphasis on advocacy, conferencing, criminal litigation and sentencing.

I am module leader for the Criminal Advocacy elective module.

I am joint module leader with Nicola Harris for Conferencing core skills module. 

I am a member of the teaching team for the undergraduate LLB Hons module: Crime Law and Society.

I also supervise students on both the LPC and BTC who are undertaking the LLM.



2022 - present:   Lecturer, Cardiff University.

2012 - 2022:       Tenant 30 Park Place, Cardiff.

1999 - 2012:       Pupil and Tenant Temple Chambers, 32 Park Place, Cardiff.

Notable Cases:

R v JC, AW & CM [2022]  - junior counsel for the prosecution in the Logan Mwangi murder case. Logan Mwangi was murdered by his mother, step father and step brother (then aged 13) and his body was placed in a river close to his home.   All defendants denied being responsible for his death, all were convicted after trial.

R v JW [2021] - prosecution counsel in case involving a high profile welsh television presenter who was found to be the victim of controlling and coercive behaviour by her husband.

R v CJ [2019] - defence counsel in case where defendant was acquitted of historic sexual allegations dating back almost 50 years. This case involved complex issues of doli incapax

R v PG & AG [2018] - junior counsel for the first defendant in case dubbed the "Fred and Rose West of Barry". The case involved multiple victims who had been abused over many years by this husband and wife team.

R v RH [2016] - prosecution counsel in case known as the "Freshers Week Rapist". Defendant convicted after trial. 

R V SD & RG [2013] - defence counsel for second defendant. Case involved allegation of robbery committed in the victim's home.  As a result of the injuries inflicted, victim left with permanent brain injury and unable to work again as a General Practioner.

Operation Kinsfolk [2010-2015] - junior counsel for the prosecution in Serious Organised Crime Agency prosecution involving multi-million pound international drugs conspiracy.

Operation Balneation [2008 - 2011] - junior counsel for the prosecution in Serious Organised Crime Agency prosecution. Following convictions of all twelve defendants I had sole conduct of the Proceeds of Crime Act Applications involving millions of pounds worth of realisable and hidden assests. 

Speaking engagements

November 2023

Presenting to 320 Police Officers from all forces in England and Wales at the DEWVA conference - "The Legal Requirements of an Expert Witness".


September 2023

Presenting to Practioners of the Wales and Chester Circuit, RASSO Unit compulsory training and CPS accredited course - "SHPO - An Update".


September 2023

Presenting to 50 Police Officers from all forces across Wales at the Regional DEWVA conference - "The Legal Requirements of an Epert Witness".


  • Advocacy
  • Criminal law
  • Criminal procedure
  • Courts and sentencing