Rebecca Upton

Call 1999

"Capable of advising across a broad spectrum of criminal law matters. Notable cases include everything from dangerous driving and sex offences to arson and serious violence. She is particularly adept at handling cases involving vulnerable clients and witnesses"

Chambers and Partners

"She is a very meticulous advocate with a very thorough preparation process"

Legal 500 2021

"She is always thoroughly prepared and has a very good rapport with other advocates and judges"

Legal 500 2019

"She is a conscientious advocate"

Legal 500 2018

"She’s very good at adapting her style to the case she’s handling."

Chambers & Partners 2020

"She has a brilliant style in court and a very attractive way of presenting information."

Chambers & Partners 2019

"She has developed a strong reputation for her adroit handling of cases with vulnerable complainants, defendants and witnesses, especially those who suffer from mental illness.

Chambers & Partners 2018


Rebecca has a very strong criminal practice and undertakes work in all areas of criminal law including murder, manslaughter, death by dangerous / careless driving, serious violence, sexual offences (including rape and possession of indecent images), drugs, fraud and arson.

Rebecca has been instructed as leading junior and has been led on many occasions. She is often involved in multi handed cases and has particular experience in questioning expert witnesses. She also has regular instructions in cases involving vulnerable clients and witnesses, including those who need intermediaries, and those who are very young or mentally unwell.

Notable Crime cases

R v CC (2021) Lewes Crown Court

Junior counsel, CC was accused of murdering his girlfriend whilst they were on a camping trip. There was no ascertainable cause of death.

R v WM [2021] Brighton Crown Court

WM was charged with murdering his partner at her home during lockdown.

R v LH [2019] Lewes Crown Court

Leading counsel for LH who was charged with attempted murder of his partner in her home.

R v TH [2018] Hove Crown Court

Leading counsel on an attempted murder, involving 5 co-defendants, acting for the first defendant.

R v JW [2017] Hove Crown Court

JW was charged with transferring a firearm and ammunition, linked to a conspiracy to murder over a drug debt.

R v AK [2016] Lewes Crown Court

Sole counsel, AK murdered his landlord after an argument between them at home.

R v JM [2016] Lewes Crown Court

JM was charged with supplying class A drugs to his girlfriend, who subsequently died as a result of taking them.

R v JB [2014] Hove Crown Court

Junior counsel on a multi handed murder of an antiques dealer who had been tortured in order to locate a diamond.

R v SJ [2013] Lewes Crown Court

Junior counsel on a two handed murder, a stabbing during an arranged fight.

R v JM [2021] Lewes Crown Court

Defended JM who was charged with sexual offences against 2 strangers on the same night.

R v AH [2021] Hove Crown Court

AH was charged with rape, sexual assault, and threats to kill in a domestic setting. A details section 41 application had to be made.

R v GA [2016] Lewes Crown Court

Leading junior in a multi defendant, multi count, rape indictment likened to the Rotherham grooming case.

R v JB [2021] Hove Crown Court

JB was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent (stabbing) with others, although he was tried alone.

R v MJ [2018] Brighton Crown Court

MJ was charged with throwing ammonia in the face of his ex-partner, and associated offences of violence against her.

R v JE [2016] Lewes Crown Court

JE was charged with 3 others with s18 GBH on an inmate when they were all housed at HMP Lewes.

R v DB [2013] Hove Crown Court

Multi handed section 18 which resulted in a quadruple amputation

R v SH [2017] Lewes Crown Court

SH was charged with 2 others with running an industrial style cannabis factory in a shed in her garden.

R v TM [2012] Lewes Crown Court

Importation of 1.8 tonnes of cannabis from South Africa, defendant with serious mental health issues.

R v SW [2005] EWCA Crim 1337

Alibi, fabrication of evidence, legal advice privilege, police interviews, rebuttal evidence, waiver (reported)

Rebecca has been regularly instructed in high value fraud cases throughout her career as the sole advocate and leading junior.

Notable Business Crime & Fraud cases

R v OB [2019] Brighton Crown Court

OB, a female of good character, was charged with facilitating money laundering of over £100,000.

R v LR [2017] Lewes Crown Court

LR was charged with defrauding the company she worked for out of over £200,000.

R v PH/JW [2010] Brighton Crown Court

multi count benefit fraud where the defendant had been a police informant.

R V PH [2008] Hove Crown Court

Leading counsel for a property developer accused of defrauding the NHS of millions of pounds through the sale of an unused asylum

Rebecca has represented and advised lay defendants and Sussex and Surrey Police in applications for forfeiture of sums seized.

Notable Asset Forfeiture & Civil Recovery cases

R V JC [2021]

JC was a 17 year old who was arrested but not charged. The police applied to forfeit the money seized from him. The application was contested, requiring legal argument and the calling of evidence.

R v DC and SC [2020]

Police application to forfeit cash seized.

R v MP and RP [2020]

Police application to forfeit cash seized during a search of the defendants’ home.

Rebecca has been instructed by relatives, police authorities, educational establishments, medical professionals and local councils to represent their interests at Inquest.

Notable Public Law cases

Represented British Transport Police following a hanging from a railway bridge in London.

Represented Sussex University after a student committed suicide off campus.

Represented Brighton and Hove City Council, who employ staff concerned with the care of a lady who passed away in hospital.

Represented the family of the deceased, who had been unsupervised when he choked to death whilst eating at the care home he resided at in East Sussex.

Represented the family of the deceased, who had died following a cardiac arrest at home shortly after complaining to 2 GPs that she felt unwell.

  • BA (Hons) Law and History

  • CBA member
  • South Eastern Circuit member
  • Sussex Bar Mess member

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