Valerie Charbit

Year of Call: 1992  


Overview


 

Valerie has experience of a broad range of complex cases and her practice involves prosecuting and defending in equal measure. She has a particular specialism in cross-examining experts across a broad spectrum of areas of law.

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.

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/legal assessor for The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the General Osteopathic Council and the General Pharmaceutical Council.

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 acts for defendants in confiscation proceedings even when she was not the original trial counsel.

Crime


Valerie has over 20 years of experience in defending and prosecuting in serious crime.
In drugs cases, she has been involved in lengthy trials involving the competing interests of multiple defendants.

She has represented youths in the Crown Court in multi-handed cases of armed robbery.

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

Valerie has represented police officers and civilian officers charged with misconduct in public office or perverting the course of justice. She has represented a defendant who was 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. The majority 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 vast amounts of prosecution evidence and unused material.  Her strategy in a recent high-profile fraud case resulted in the prosecution offering no evidence against her client. She has experience of defending a challenge to a terminating ruling in the Court of Appeal.

Health & Safety


Valerie is appointed to 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 extensive experience in Health and Safety cases, having both prosecuted and defended companies and individuals including directors and trustees. She has worked on cases involving gas and chemical explosions, falls from height, electrocution and exposure to asbestos.  Her experience includes cases involving NHS trusts, local authorities and the energy sector. She has been instructed in cases involving fatalities or serious injury on construction sites, care homes, hospitals, factories and railways. 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.

In criminal cases, she has dealt with the most serious cases which rely largely on expert evidence.

Many of the cases she has acted in include vulnerable witnesses and high-profile media coverage. In her role as Recorder of the Circuit she is organising the roll-out of training across the South Eastern Circuit of the Vulnerable Witness Advocacy Training and as a lead facilitator she is training other facilitators.

She has been instructed in cases which involve large scale disclosure exercises, considering thousands of items of unused material and advising on disclosure which needs to be more carefully considered and/or disclosed.

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 13 years 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 in 2007 when she was appointed as a voluntary member to the Professional Complaints Committee of the Bar Standards Board; a year later she started her role as chair for the Taxation Disciplinary Board. Both roles were held for the maximum term of seven years.

She is appointed to act as a legal adviser/legal assessor for The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the General Osteopathic Council and the General Pharmaceutical Council.

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.

Serious Sexual Offences


Valerie has prosecuted and defended in numerous cases of serious sexual offences including rape, abduction, child sexual abuse and possession of indecent images. She has also prosecuted and defended in many historical cases involving children and family members. She has defended teachers, scout masters and priests, often instructed privately.

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

She has 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.

Many of the cases she has acted in include vulnerable witnesses and high-profile media coverage. In her role as Recorder of the Circuit she is organising the roll-out of training across the South Eastern Circuit of the Vulnerable Witness Advocacy Training and as a lead facilitator she is training other facilitators.

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)