Julia Needham

Julia Needham

Call: 2000

“A tenacious cross-examiner…despite her genuine courtesy and slightly self-deprecating manner, she is a formidable advocate”.

HHJ Zeidman, Snaresbrook Crown Court

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Julia is a criminal practitioner with experience of prosecuting and defending across a wide range of cases including possession of firearms with intent, armed robbery and other violent crime, production and supply of Class A drugs/test purchase operations, witness intimidation, sexual assault including historic sex abuse, hate crime and domestic violence cases.   Known for her meticulous preparation, Julia is regularly re-instructed by those familiar with her proactive approach.

Julia has both prosecuted and defended cases investigated by Operation Trident and the Flying Squad, and has experience of many cases involving complex disclosure issues including extensive sensitive material, PII and anonymity. Julia has a particular interest in cases of this nature: when prosecuting, in ensuring that the disclosure process is meticulously fair to the accused, and when defending, ensuring that the prosecution are held unyieldingly to account in this regard. Julia has appeared regularly in the High Court and Court of Appeal, resulting in a number of reported cases.

Given her lifelong interest in Human Rights Law / Civil Liberties, Julia welcomes instructions from the defence or prosecution in cases where these principles are engaged. Julia is especially interested in the jurisdiction of the Coroner’s Court and welcomes instructions in this area. She regularly accepts pro bono instructions and is Advocate’s Pro Bono Champion (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit) at Goldsmith Chambers.

Following a career break during which she moved to Worcestershire, Julia returned to practice in 2019 and now practices predominantly in the West Midlands.


Interested in instructing Mrs Needham?

Please call 020 7353 6802 or complete the form below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Crime Barrister

Notable cases:

Anon v Commissioner of the Police for the Metropolis, High Court – Instructions for the Applicant – Julia appeared pro bono for the applicant in this high profile application for leave in judicial review proceedings, concerning an allegation of inadequate investigation by the police into sexual misconduct by high profile members of the political establishment.

R v Jones & Jones, Hereford Crown Court – Instructions for the Defence – A serious s18 assault allegation with complex issues surrounding sensitive material/disclosure in respect of the accused. Julia co-defended in this trial and, together with co-defending counsel, was able to expose the woeful inadequacy of this police investigation. Unanimous not guilty verdicts in respect of both the accused.

R v Rankin, Isleworth Crown Court – Instructions for the Defence – An unusual dangerous dogs case in which the victim had died as a result of his injuries without making a formal statement. The prosecution case was thus based entirely on hearsay evidence. Relentless determination to extract adequate and appropriate disclosure ultimately led to a successful s78 application to exclude the majority of the prosecution evidence, relying upon heavily on European and domestic jurisprudence. The prosecution was thus deprived of all key evidence, and the case was dismissed.

R v Ullah & S – Snaresbrook Crown Court – Instructions for the Prosecution – Allegation of GBH with intent involving a planned ‘revenge’ attack where the complainant was unwittingly lured to the scene by a third party. Upon Julia’s advice, the ‘third party’ was also arrested, charged and added to the indictment. Both defendants unanimously convicted by the jury, following a contested trial.

R v Popo – Snaresbrook Crown Court – Instructions for the Prosecution – Historic sexual abuse case spanning a period of 7 years during the complainant’s childhood.     Indictment redrafted alongside pre-trial advice to better reflect the period and type of offending, while providing clarity for the jury. Defendant unanimously convicted on all counts.


Areas of practice


Honorable Society of the Middle Temple

Criminal Bar Association

CPS Panel Grade 3

Advocate (Bar Pro Bono Unit)


Amnesty International


Jules Thorn Scholar of the Middle Temple

Goldsmith Chambers and its barristers are
regulated by the Bar Standards Board

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