Valerie Charbit

Year of Call: 1992  


Overview


Valerie Charbit is an intelligent, thoughtful, creative yet pragmatic and extremely professional barrister.

Valerie has experience of a broad range of complex cases, her practice involves prosecuting and defending in equal measure. She has a particular specialism in cross-examining experts, particularly those in mental health.

Valerie is appointed to the CPS Grade 4 (top tier) list for prosecution advocates and she is also part of the specialist rape and serious crime group panels. She is appointed to the Grade A (top tier) list for specialist regulatory advocates in Health & Safety.

Valerie is calm under pressure, diligent and thorough when preparing a case, and a compelling and persuasive advocate for her clients, whether prosecuting or defending. She is always totally committed to achieving the best result for her client.

Since 2004 she has sat as a part-time judge for the First Tier Tribunal (Mental Health). She represents health authorities in mental health tribunals where patients are detained in high and medium secure hospitals.

She has been appointed to act as a legal adviser for The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the General Osteopathic Council and the General Pharmaceutical Council. She is the chair of the Taxation Disciplinary Board.

Valerie is accredited to undertake suitable for public access work.

Appeals


Valerie is often privately instructed to act in appeals where she did not appear at the original hearing before the lower court. She has no hesitation in drafting arguable grounds of appeal. She has successfully appealed against convictions and sentences for a number of defendants.

 

Confiscation


Valerie has acted for defendants in confiscation proceedings when she was not the original trial counsel. Her negotiation skills have allowed her to achieve the best result for her clients in cases involving convictions for fraud of millions of pounds.

Crime


Valerie has over 20 years of experience in defending drugs cases. Her cases have involved Class A and Class B drugs.

Many of the cases have involved a number of preliminary arguments relating to the admissibility of evidence, including covertly obtained evidence.

Where she has not acted in the court below she has been asked to advise and negotiate a settlement in large scale confiscation applications.

Valerie has also represented police officers and civilian officers charged with misconduct in public office or perverting the course of justice. She has represented a defendant who has been privately prosecuted, and who was also the subject of judicial review proceedings relating to the continuance of the private prosecution.

Fraud


Valerie frequently prosecutes and defends in very high cost cases of fraud and corruption. Many of the cases involve a large number of defendants and last several months.

She has been instructed as a leading junior, led junior and junior alone in numerous cases of white collar crime.

She has defended and prosecuted cases involving company directors, solicitors, accountants, bankers and management accountants.

She is very experienced in cases involving large amounts of prosecution evidence, and in getting to the heart of any legal arguments. Her strategy in a recent high-profile fraud case resulted in the prosecution offering no evidence against her client.

 

Health & Safety


Valerie in on the A list of special regulatory advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law. She has prosecuted and defended large and small organisations who are alleged to have breached health and safety law.

She has recently advised and defended a large high street retailer for food safety offences and health and safety offences.

She has also prosecuted for the HSE and Office of Rail and Road.

Many of the cases she has prosecuted have involved fatalities or serious injury in the workplace.
Valerie has dealt with cases in the construction, manufacturing and energy sectors.

One of her particular strengths is cross-examining expert witnesses and presenting complex information in a clear and concise way for the jury.

Murder & Manslaughter


Valerie is frequently instructed to defend juveniles or youths and those with mental health issues who are charged with murder and manslaughter.

Her cases include ones where defendants have suffered from mental illness or various mental disorders including Asperger’s Syndrome, Alcohol Dependency Syndrome, Battered Wife Syndrome and psychosis. She has over a decade of experience of questioning mental health professionals on the most serious forensic cases in the Crown Court and in high security hospitals.

She assisted in drafting the response to the Government’s consultation on unfitness to plead on behalf of the Criminal Bar Association and the Bar Council.

Professional Discipline


Valerie’s interest in professional disciplinary work began when she started her role as chair for the Taxation Disciplinary Board in 2008.

She is appointed to act as a legal adviser for The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the General Osteopathic Council and the General Pharmaceutical Council. She is the chair of the Taxation Disciplinary Board.

Her work as a legal adviser and recently as an advocate for dentists and teachers means she has a wealth of experience with disciplinary committees and an in-depth knowledge of the decision-making process in different disciplinary bodies.

Serious Sexual Offences


Valerie has prosecuted and defended in numerous cases of serious sexual offences including rape, abduction and rape, child sexual abuse and possession of indecent images. She has also prosecuted and defended in many historical cases involving young children.

She is adept at eliciting relevant evidence from social services records and presenting her case persuasively to the jury.

Valerie has extensive experience in making and responding to bad character applications in such cases.

Valerie possesses extensive experience in handling vulnerable witnesses. Her knowledge of mental health issues means she understands the impact of trauma on vulnerable witnesses, and she has a profound understanding of mental health problems in witnesses and defendants.

Tribunals


Valerie specialises in mental health cases. Since 2004 she has sat as a part-time First Tier Tribunal Judge (Mental Health); she regularly represents health authorities at First Tier Tribunal hearings in relation to restricted cases involving patients convicted of serious sexual offences, murder or manslaughter. Valerie has acted for the Responsible Authority at various secure hospitals in relation to patients who have challenged their continuing detention. Cases involve the need to cross-examine independent experts instructed by the patient, including challenging the evidence on diagnosis and/or whether the patient should continue to be detained in a high or medium security hospital.

She has also acted in the Upper Tribunal.

She contributed to the consultation paper for proposed changes to the legislation regarding unfitness to plead on behalf of the Bar Council and the Criminal Bar Association.

Valerie is often called upon to cross-examine expert witnesses, and to highlight evidence about patients’ dangerousness.

Memberships


  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Health & Safety Lawyers Association
  • Mental Health Lawyers Association
  • Recorder (South East Circuit)