Public Access Barristers

Public Access team members

Hugh Cornford

Year Of Call : 1994; Head of Chambers

Hugh has extensive experience acting for Local Authorities, parents, grandparents, Guardians and proposed special guardians in care proceedings, including representing young and vulnerable parents, clients with learning difficulties and clients with chronic health conditions.

hugh.cornford@walnuthouse.co.uk View Profile

Simon Laws KC

Year Of Call : 1991

Simon Laws KC has practised exclusively in criminal law for 27 years. He represents both the prosecution and the defence.

“Centres his highly regarded practice on homicide, fraud and drug crime, with additional strengths in cases involving sexual offences. He is frequently engaged to defend and prosecute murders and serious drug conspiracies”

“An incredibly bright lawyer with a lovely manner”

Band 1 – Chambers and Partners 2020

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Adrian Chaplin

Year Of Call : 1990

Adrian is a highly effective and sought-after advocate with extensive experience of heavy-weight and sensitive cases before a broad range of courts and tribunals.
He advises in criminal, misconduct, regulatory and coroner’s court work. He is experienced in appeal cases and judicial review.

adrian.chaplin@walnuthouse.co.uk View Profile

Lara Spencer

Year Of Call : 2000; Head of Civil

Lara has represented both Claimants and Defendants in a variety of matters for over 20 years and has appeared before most Courts and many different Tribunals. She has also given numerous talks and seminars in civil litigation to CPD providers and assisted in writing civil litigation material for online CPD providers. Lara is authorised to conduct all areas of litigation. She is a member of the Professional Negligence Bar Association and the Personal Injury Bar Association. Many of Lara’s cases are high value. As such, she often appears against KCs. Although based in Exeter, Lara undertakes court work throughout England and Wales. Lara’s wide common law practice affords her with a thorough understanding of the processes and tactics of civil law and litigation, and enables her to provide specialist, pragmatic and practical advice. Similarly, her early experience at the criminal bar, during which time she prosecuted and defended in the Magistrates Court and Crown Courts, and her continued work there in planning and environmental matters, provides her with a continued specialist knowledge and experience of criminal law and practice.

lara.spencer@walnuthouse.co.uk View Profile

Theresa McCormack

Year Of Call : 2002

Theresa is instructed in multi-day final hearings at which the Court determines whether children should be placed in care of the Local Authority, remain in the care of the Local Authority, be returned to their parents, placed with other family members or have placement orders made in respect of them. 

theresa.mccormack@walnuthouse.co.uk View Profile

Helen Bray

Year Of Call : 2004

Helen is a very experienced member of our Family Team in Chambers.
(Full Profile to follow)

helen.bray@walnuthouse.co.uk View Profile

Bathsheba Cassel

Year Of Call : 2005

Bathsheba is a criminal barrister with a wealth of experience across all areas of complex and serious crime.

bathsheba.cassel@walnuthouse.co.uk View Profile

Joss Ticehurst

Year Of Call : 2006

Joss Ticehurst is instructed to defend and prosecute in cases involving the most serious criminal offences in the Crown Court, particularly those relating to allegations of rape, attempted murder, multi-defendant cases involving drugs and murder, and multi-defendant cases of fraud and drug conspiracies.

joss.ticehurst@walnuthouse.co.uk View Profile

Will Parkhill

Year Of Call : 2015

Regularly instructed to defend in matters involving the most serious violence including two recent allegations of Murder.

will.parkhill@walnuthouse.co.uk View Profile

Felicity Payne

Year Of Call : 2010

Felicity is a common law barrister with an established and varied practice in all aspects of criminal and civil law. Felicity is thorough, practical and robust in her approach, whilst remaining personable.

felicity.payne@walnuthouse.co.uk View Profile

Laura Searle

Year Of Call : 2011; Head of Family / Deputy HoC

Laura is a family barrister with a busy and varied practice acting and advising in public and private law proceedings, applications for injunctive relief and financial remedy proceedings. She is a personable and approachable advocate who prides herself on going the extra mile for her clients. She has studied and worked internationally in France, Brussels, Luxembourg and New Zealand and is a Denning and Eastham Scholar of Lincoln’s Inn

laura.searle@walnuthouse.co.uk View Profile

Emmi Wilson

Year Of Call : 2013

Emmi is a specialist family barrister with established practices in all aspects of public and private law and injunctive proceedings. Emmi joined Walnut House in September 2014 having successfully completed a twelve-month pupillage in chambers, and since then has continued to enjoy a busy family practice. Emmi prides herself on being a personable and persuasive advocate who is both thorough and robust in her approach

emmi.wilson@walnuthouse.co.uk View Profile