Lucy Sweetland

Year of Call: 2014  


Lucy Sweetland prosecutes and defends in a wide range of serious criminal matters.

She acts as both a led junior and junior alone, and has also appeared before the Court of Appeal, recently as sole advocate in a successful appeal against sentence.

In addition to her criminal practice, Lucy accepts instructions in professional discipline, inquests, and quasi-criminal matters such as cash forfeiture and enforcement. In a recent case, Lucy was successful in opposing a forfeiture application by the Chief Constable of Essex Police on appeal to the Crown Court.

Lucy was seconded to the National Crime Agency in early 2016 as part of an independent panel reviewing the compliance of search warrants and production, which covered all the NCA’s live cases, featuring highly serious and complex investigations. She continues to be instructed by the Agency in ad hoc reviews in relation to Legal Professional Privilege.

Prior to pupillage, Lucy spent five months at the Gulf Region Advocacy Centre in Texas, representing prisoners on Death Row, where she assisted in drafting appeals to the state and federal courts.



Lucy has represented defendants charged with offences including serious violence, sexual assault, possession of drugs and weapons, arson, burglary, theft and fraud. She is also a Level 2 CPS prosecutor.

As a led junior, Lucy has acted for the defence multi-handed cases of attempted murder and armed robbery. For the prosecution, she was recently instructed as disclosure counsel in a manslaughter trial which featured a lengthy and complex police investigation.

Lucy also represents children and young people facing serious charges such as robbery and grievous bodily harm in the Youth Court.

She also accepts instructions in the magistrates’ court to defend clients charged with road traffic offences. She has secured acquittals relying on the defences of duress and post-driving consumption, or the “hip flask” defence, as well as advancing successful arguments at the sentencing stage to avoid the imposition of points or disqualification. Lucy has also successfully appealed decisions to the Crown Court


  • R v OK (2018): successful defence of a father charged with cruelty and assault occasioning actual bodily harm in respect of his five month old child
  • HU v R (2017): appeal to the Court of Appeal on behalf of a 16 year old who pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary involving a firearm; sentence was reduced from 6 years 8 months to 5 years
  • R v XG (2017): seven-handed affray, captured on CCTV; acquitted.
  • R v KS (2017): representing a defendant who pleaded guilty to arson reckless to endangering life. The defendant had a conviction for a specified violent offence, and pre-sentence and psychiatric reports concluded he was “dangerous.” Lucy persuaded the judge that both assessments were fundamentally flawed, and secured a determinate sentence of 4 years 9 months.
  • R v MM (2017): defending, first on the indictment; acquitted of intent to supply Class A drugs following arrest in a police raid on an address in Kent alleged to have been taken over by London-based drug dealers
  • R v JB (2017): representing the first defendant in an alleged conspiracy to burgle the home of a former business associate; acquitted following a successful submission at the close of the Crown’s case
  • R v CB (2016): representing a youth charged with three violent street robberies, involving issues of identification and joint enterprise; one dismissed at half-time and acquitted of the other two

Professional Discipline

Lucy accepts instructions from regulatory bodies, and on behalf of professionals facing Fitness to Practice proceedings.

She is frequently instructed to present cases for the Nursing and Midwifery Council and, on the defence side, recently represented a dispensing optician in relation to charges brought by the General Optical Council.


Lucy has a developing practice in the Coroners’ Courts, having recently represented an interested party in relation to a young person’s suicide on school grounds, and also acted for the family in an inquest which heard evidence from the treating physicians about a vulnerable woman’s death following surgery.


  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Young Fraud Lawyers Association


  • Megarry Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Lord Brougham Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Bar Professional Training Course, Kaplan Law School, Outstanding
  • Graduate Diploma in Law, Kaplan Law School, Commendation
  • BA History, University of Cambridge