Laura Coton

Introduction

Laura Coton is developing her advocacy practice in criminal and regulatory law after joining chambers in September 2022.

Laura achieved First-Class Honours, Distinction on the GDL, Very Competent in the BPTC and Distinction in her Master of Laws. She was awarded multiple scholarships including a major scholarship from her Inn of Court and another for advocacy. Alongside her studies, Laura volunteered for the Free Representation Unit and her university pro bono clinic supporting vulnerable individuals before social security tribunals.

Laura completed pupillage with the Crown Prosecution Service. After successful completion of pupillage in November 2020, Laura became a Crown Prosecutor prosecuting mainly busy Magistrates’ and Youth Court trial lists. She quickly progressed through the ranks into the role of Senior Crown Prosecutor where she managed a heavy caseload across a full spectrum of offences including robberies, firearms, serious violence, road traffic, conspiracies, perverting the course of justice and cases involving members from organised crime groups involved in drugs supply and car thefts. Laura has been described as very approachable with the ability to communicate issues clearly with a wide audience including victims, witnesses, defendants and court officials. 

SENIOR CROWN PROSECUTOR

As a Senior Crown Prosecutor, Laura has advised on investigation and charge in a considerable number of cases covering a wide variety of criminal offences. Laura has illustrated her ability to charge and manage complex cases involving lengthy disclosure schedules, multi handed files, multi-count indictments, expert evidence and cases involving a large number of witnesses. Through this work, Laura considered and advised the police on reasonable lines of enquiry and competently complied with her disclosure duties in accordance with the CPIA and the Attorney General Guidelines on Disclosure. Laura’s experience as a trial advocate allows her to produce proportionate advice and quality casework which supports successful conclusions. Laura understands rules of admissibility and from the moment she receives a case, thinks with a trial mindset. Her work as an in house prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service provides a particularly distinctive and invaluable angle of experience as a barrister that offers her a strong foundation for carrying out both prosecution and defence instruction.

Laura has proven she is confident in dealing with all manner of issues that can arise as a prosecutor, whilst maintaining fairness, being open and honest and employing appropriate policies and guidelines. Applicaton of the Code remains at the forefront of her considerations and she maintains a sharp emphasis on the elements required to prove a case. This will assist her greatly when turning this knowledge and experience to defence instruction. Laura looks forward to developing her defence practice, in addition to conducting prosecution and regulatory work.

CROWN PROSECUTOR

Laura’s experience varies from prosecuting various types of hearings in the Magistrates’, Youth and the Crown Courts. In the Magistrates’ Courts, Laura was most often tasked to prosecute heavy trial lists across a range of offences including high risk domestic abuse, hate crime and knife crime. At trial, Laura is both a confident and effective advocate. She has illustrated her ability to think on her feet and successfully make and respond to applications such as half time submissions, hearsay, bad character and s78 PACE. Through this work, she has supported a diverse range of witnesses at court. Laura recognises the impact of the language she uses, and keeps up to date with developments in relation to the Advocates’ Toolkit for child and vulnerable witnesses. She has also completed Advocacy and the Vulnerable training.

Laura demonstrated her calm, confident and firm approach whilst prosecuting the infamously high pressured remand courts. She displayed her competence in making efficient and effective decisions, as well as her ability to assimilate large amounts of material before making succinct and appropriate representations to the court which regards to bail, acceptability of plea and allocation. In the remand courts, this has included in relation to a full range of offences including conspiracy to murder, offences involving organised crime groups, forced labour and other modern slavery offences.

Laura has also delivered training to support newer prosecutors preparing for their first hearings and assisted in a virtual work experience programme to attract the next generation of prosecutors. Laura was involved in panel events for local universities and recorded mock hearings for illustrative purposes.

PUPILLAGE

During pupillage, Laura gained experience shadowing all types of hearings in the Crown Court. She completed intense advocacy training with in-house advocates, external barristers and the Midlands Circuit. Laura delivered training to frontline police officers, sergeants and new police recruits on coercive and controlling behaviour. Laura also completed a secondment within chambers.

She also undertook Crown Court advocacy in her second six after demonstrating the strength of her advocacy ability and that she was a “safe pair of hands”. Her work has been described as “vivid, concise and precise”. She was consistently commended for her tenacious dedication, determination and her ability to think outside of the box.

Expertise

Laura’s expertise includes:

  • General crime
  • Drugs
  • Violence
  • Theft act offences
  • Motoring and road traffic
  • Domestic
  • Hate crime
  • Disclosure
  • Regulatory

Education

Bar Professional Training Course, University of Law – Very Competent
Master of Laws (LLM), University of Law – Distinction
Graduate Diploma in Law, University of Law – Distinction
Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy Religion and Ethics, University of Birmingham – First Class Honours

Appointments and Memberships

Scholarships and Awards

  • Terence Fitzgerald Scholarship (Middle Temple Major Award)
  • BPP University BPTC Advocacy Scholarship Award
  • BPP University BPTC Excellence Scholarship Award
  • University of Law bespoke scholarship

Memberships

  • The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
  • Women in Criminal Law 

Languages

English

Laura Coton

Call 2019
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