Bryan Cox QC is much sought after, and much of his work consists of defending in high profile cases. The focus of his work in recent years has been defending homicide cases, Care Cases in the Family Court and regulatory law (Health and Safety and Environmental law). In the Family Court he has been instructed on behalf of parents in major cases involving complex medical issues, or serious sexual allegations. The majority of his recent criminal work has been defending defendants charged with homicide – in particular gang killings, and child deaths, especially ‘baby shaking’ cases, sudden infant death, suffocation, drowning and asphyxiation. He has a particular interest in cases involving medical issues, and he has extensive experience conducting ‘baby shaking, cases. He is very familiar with the medical issues in such cases, and has wide experience of cross-examining the leading experts in the relevant fields – including neuropathology, neurosurgery, histopathology, paediatric pathology, paediatric ophthalmology and paediatric radiology.
In the family court, he has considerable experience representing respondents in major fact finding hearings involving allegations of head injury and serious sexual abuse.
He sits as a Recorder, and is authorised to try Crime, including serious sexual offences, and Civil Cases (in the Civil Jurisdiction, he often hears clinical negligence cases).
When a junior, he was appointed to the Attorney Generals ‘A’- List, and appeared in numerous high profile Health and Safety Prosecutions arising from fatalities occurring in train accidents, mining accidents, fires and electrocutions. He also has substantial experience of appearing at Inquests, and has represented parties at a number of inquests arising from deaths on school trips, and in the course of outdoor activities. When a junior, his practice included regular appearances in the Administrative Court conducting applications for judicial review in a wide range of disciplines, including Housing, Education Law and Welfare Law. His broad grounding in regulatory, Environmental and Administrative law has equipped him well to conduct criminal and family cases when medical and technical issues are prominent.
In recent years he has conducted a number of cases involving important human rights issues. Of particular note, he was recently one of 2 leading counsel instructed in Group Litigation to represent 20,000 Kenyan nationals in an action against the Foreign and Colonial Office, arising from human rights abuses by the security forces under the control of the British Government in the 1950’s.
He has recent experience of representing individuals at inquests and disciplinary proceedings
Expert Silk on Medical Issues
He has wide experience of conducting cases in which medical issues are foremost, and has defended and prosecuted a number of cases where ‘shaken baby syndrome’ has been central, and cases where the cause of death has been in issue. He is very familiar with the medical debate and literature relating to ‘shaken baby syndrome’, including the neuropathology, paediatric neuropathology and the ophthalmic pathology and has cross-examined many of the leading experts in the field. He is well placed to advise in relation to the instruction of suitable experts.
Bryan is the Diversity Mentor on the North Eastern Circuit and a member of Amnesty. For many years before taking silk he was the bar representative on the management committee of the Harehills and Chapeltown Law Centre in Leeds.
In recent years he has lectured widely on a variety of topics including Disclosure, Public Interest Immunity, Freedom of Information, Hearsay, Abuse of Process., and Loss of Control (defence to murder).
He is the author of “The Law relating to Special Educational Needs” published by Croom Helm (1989)
Areas of Practice
The core of Bryan’s practice is defending cases of homicide, often involving allegations of baby shaking or gang crime. In addition he has experience of defending and prosecuting cases of corporate manslaughter, and his background prosecuting health and safety cases whilst appointed to the Attorney General’s ‘A’ list equips him well for such cases. In recent years he has represented a number of juveniles and vulnerable individuals charged with homicide. He has wide experience of conducting cases in which medical issues are foremost, and has defended and prosecuted a number of cases where ‘shaken baby syndrome’ has been an issue, and cases where the cause of death has been the central issue. He is very familiar with the medical debate and literature relating to ‘shaken baby syndrome’, including the neuropathology, paediatric neuropathology and the ophthalmic pathology, and has cross-examined many of the leading experts in the field.
A Sample of Recent Homicide Cases
R -v- M
Defended youths involved in “gang attacks” in which there were difficult issues of joint enterprise. Scientific issues concerning blood distribution.
R -v- Newton
Defended man charges with murder of prostitute. Complex scientific issues concerning rate of body decomposition.
R -v- AM
Defended Somalian who had limited language charges with contract killing. Difficult client requiring sensitive handling.
R -v- Cook
Prosecuted teenager charged with murder of young child whilst babysitting. Complex medical issues including medical evidence relating to “Shaking injuries”.
R -v- B
Defended 18 year old charged with murder arising from a group attack on a mentally disabled victim. Difficult medical issues as to causation of neurological injuries. Issues relating to blood distribution.
R -v- H
Defended man charged with sexual abuse and drowning baby in bath. Medical issues relating to causation of bruises and anal injury and complex issues as to length of time that child must have been held under water.
R -v- H
Prosecuted defendant charged with murder of 7 week baby. Complex medical issues. Case based almost entirely on medical evidence relating to the “triad” and skull fracture.
R -v- F
Young person charged with murder of sister’s boyfriend. Loss of control by reason of boyfriends abuse of sister.
R -v- B
Defended novel case in which prosecution sought to argue for unlawful act manslaughter where defendant had committed section 4 public order offence.
R -v- D
Defended in high-profile contract killing. Cut throat defence. Issues of joint enterprise, medical and blood distribution.
R -v- N
Defended 16 year old charged with murder of relative. Diminished responsibility. Contested medical evidence re: diminished responsibility.
R -v- R
Defended 14 year old charged with 3 counts of murder by setting fire to occupied house. Complex psychiatric issues.
R -v- O Malley
High-profile strangulation case. Medical Issues.
R -v- Lu Yao Jai
Defended in high profile “2 bodies in 2 suitcases” case. Cut throat defence.
R -v- N
Prosecuted high profile case in which defendant murdered the 2 month old baby of the woman he met on an internet dating site. Complex medical issues concerning neurological damage to baby.
R -v- G Others
Prosecuted a major high profile multi-handed murder case. Issues included joint enterprise.
R -v- A and Others
Prosecuted a number of defendants charged with planned turf war shooting. Cell site, ballistic and facial mapping evidence.
R -v- G
Defended man alleged to have killed his wife during the 1980’s when she ‘disappeared’.
R -v- M
Manslaughter, medical issue as to whether cause of death was the injury caused in course of robbery, or paracetamol poisoning in hospital. Contested medical evidence on cause of organ failure.
R -v- G
Murder where cell site and DNA evidence critical.
R -v- C
17 year old charged with multiple shooting in context of turf war (cellist/DNA evidence).
R -v- MJ
Defending parent inched shaking case with complex medical issues concerning ‘the triad’, and histopathology concerning bone fractures. Cross examined leading experts.
R v Huntley Mount Engineering
Corporate manslaughter where the allegation was that a trainee was dragged into a machine
R v G
Defended mother charged with causing or permitting the death of her child by suffocation, Complex medical issues concerning cause of death, including neuropathology, sudden infant death experts, and odontology
Defended baby killing where defendant was alleged to have shaken the baby, and caused numerous fractures. Evidence relating t dating of fractures was important, and leading experts in paediatric histopathology gave evidence
R v B
Defended mother charged with the murder of 2 of her children and attempted murder of her other 3 children. Medical issues . Although she ultimately pleaded guilty to murder, complex argument as to whether whole life term appropriate
R v K
Defended man charged with murder of his partner by pushing her down the stairs. Issue was whether she fell or was pushed. The pathological evidence and scientific evidence concerning the blood distribution was crucial.
R v R
Defended one of three men charged with murder in a cut throat defence. The pathology and scientific evidence was was critical, and the subject of close cross-examination
The The Legal 500
Over many years he has been consistently highly recommended as a leading silk.
Recent, commendations refer to his skill as a trial advocate as “outstanding”, and cite his
“ability to master detail, and quickly identify the issues at trial”
Commendations refer to his “enviable track record”, and state that
“he is highly rated for homicide and serious crime”,
“he is resourceful and commits himself wholeheartedly to the case” and
“a great choice for homicide”
A recent commendation states that he is
“An extremely thorough advocate who takes into account all views before extolling his legal wisdom”
In 2018 he was shortlisted by The legal 500 in the category “Circuit Silk of the Year”
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Head of Chambers
Simon Bickler QC
Nigel Sangster QC
Richard Barraclough QC
Simon Myerson QC
Bryan Cox QC
Jane Bewsey QC
Sam Green QC
John Harrison QC
Jonathan Sandiford QC
Cameron Brown QC