Tracy Ayling QC

Year of Call: 1983  Silk: 2006  


Tracy Ayling is a specialist Criminal Practitioner. She is highly experienced and acts in the most high profile cases for both the defence and prosecution, thereby bringing invaluable insight into the work she undertakes.

Her practice includes defending in some of the most serious sex cases and murder trials. She is a specialist in matters of PII and disclosure (having appeared in the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal on such matters). She is the co-author of a chapter on disclosure in Vulnerable Witness cases for OUP. She has broad experience in cases concerning International Security and Government agencies requiring expert knowledge of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, including the legality of telephone intercept material. Further, she has acted in some of the highest profile confiscation cases within the UK.

Tracy has considerable skill in prosecuting multi-handed cases. Recently (2017) this has included Operations Director (conspiracy to murder) and Manila (Aggravated burglary where the victims had boiling water poured on them). The sentences were increased considerably as a result of an appeal.
Recently Tracy has turned her expertise to the ever-developing areas of child sex offending, grooming, and human trafficking. She appeared as Leading Defence Counsel in Operation Bullfinch (a very high profile, widely reported 2013 case concerning a gang of Asian men grooming and abusing very young girls over a period of many years in Oxford) – being only the second case of its type. She has recently undertaken a similar role in Operation Sabaton, a linked Oxford case.

Since 2015 she has fulfilled the extra-curricular role of Head of Advocacy Training at the Inner Temple wherein she lectures on and teaches a unique course on the cross examination of very young and vulnerable witnesses. This skill and knowledge was utilised when she was brought in to lead for the defence in a 2014 case involving 3-year old complainants and significant expert witness evidence.



  • R v Goldstein & Rimmington: Sending salt through the post pretending it to be anthrax.
  • R v Davis-Jones: Solicitor murder of wife.



  • R v Jarvis: Largest confiscation on paper.

Murder & Manslaughter


  • R v Oyetoro: Gang gun murder.
  • R v Doyle: Gang knife murder.
  • R v Uddin: Stabbing.
  • R v Hutchinson: Drug related shooting.
  • R v Mason: Gang related stabbing by juvenile.
  • R v Turner: Stabbing.

Serious Sexual Offences


  • R v Karrar & Others: Asian gang grooming young girls in Oxford.
  • R v Maule & Others: Human Trafficking and controlling prostitution.
  • R v Moliere: Alleged Sexual abuse of three year old girls.
  • R v Malcolm: Historic Sexual abuse 38 years previously.
  • R v Wright: Defended soldier of the Blues and Royals for rape in Green Park.

Directory Quotes

  • “A pre-eminent silk, who undertakes the most serious criminal work”. Legal 500 2017
  • “Her advocacy is punchy, focused and succinct.” Legal 500 2016
  • “An amazing advocate in court.” Legal 500 2015


Chapter on Disclosure by Tracy Ayling QC in Vulnerable People and the Criminal Justice System by Penny Cooper, Heather Norton – Oxford University Press.


  • Special Advocate for the Attorney General
  • Special Immigration Appeals Commission
  • Standing Counsel to HMRC (1998 – 2005)


  • Advocacy Trainer (Inner Temple)