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Hayley Bennett

Year of call 2016  

Areas of Expertise

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Hayley gained tenancy in April 2017 after successful completion of pupillage under the supervision of Jonathan Savage. She has rapidly gained a reputation for her charismatic jury advocacy, as well as the patience and care which she demonstrates while dealing with vulnerable defendants and witnesses.



Hayley accepts instructions in all types of criminal trials, with a particular focus on gang related crime.

She is a Category 3 Prosecutor and has been led by senior counsel on multiple large scale operations, including:

  • Operation Enfield (2019): a case where a gang of males were charged with serious sexual offences after grooming young girls in care homes. Miss Bennett appeared for the Crown and together with Mr Savage secured convictions for all defendants.
  • Operation Croatia (2020): a large scale drugs conspiracy which involved a gang based in Burley. In this case 12 Defendants were indicted with a conspiracy to supply over £2,000,000 worth of Class A drugs, namely crack and heroin, over a 15 month period. Miss Bennett acted for the prosecution together with Geoff Whelan and dealt with the subsequent POCA proceedings alone.
  • Operation Ashfall (2021 – present): a county lines drugs conspiracy involving 13 defendants that was badly disrupted by COVID-19. This created a challenging court environment for Miss Bennett and her leader Geoff Whelan. Miss Bennett demonstrated her dedication to keeping the trial on track by attending as soon as court opened and remaining until the court closed to ensure that the quarantined paperwork was properly prepared. The final 3 defendants are set for trial in Sept 2022.

Hayley's defence practice includes cases of drugs, violence and serious sexual offences. This includes dealing with vulnerable defendants, including those who may be unfit to partake in criminal proceedings through mental health.

One of Hayley’s most recent successes, which speaks to her skill as a jury advocate, is a case in which she secured an acquittal for her client who was charged with possession of cannabis with intent to supply it to another. Miss Bennett’s lay client was found in a car park with another male unknow to him, in possession of £4,000 in cash and £4,000 worth of cannabis. This case was a classic example of how things are not always as they appear.

As well as her skills as an advocate, Hayley is also adept at the more technical areas of criminal law including the more nuanced areas of proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act, bad character and hearsay. She regularly drafts skeleton arguments and has ensured that several cases were discontinued by the Crown after successfully lodging applications to dismiss the indictment.

Hayley is taking on increasingly serious work both prosecuting and defending including firearms cases, serious sexual offences, knife crime and serious violence, and child cruelty including baby shaking. She welcomes close liaison with instructing solicitors and is always happy to discuss cases in person or via Zoom, as well as providing written advice where needed.


Hayley represented the University of York in National Mooting Competitions and won numerous awards for her advocacy. She has volunteered with the Raleigh ICS overseas in Nicaragua and the Citizens Advice Bureau at home in the UK.

Scholarships and Prizes

Exhibition Award from The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple (2015)
Called to the Bar by The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple (2016)


Bachelor of Laws (LLB), The University of York (2014)
Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), BPP Law School (2015)

Prescribed Information

Hayley Bennett is a practising barrister, who is regulated by the Bar Standards Board. Details of information held by the BSB about Miss Bennett can be found here.

Miss Bennett's clerks will happily provide no obligation quotations for all legal services that she provides. Their contact details can be found here. It is most common for Miss Bennett to undertake, Magistrates and Crown Court work for a brief fee plus additional refresher days. Hayley Bennett accepts instructions on legal aid rates where those are available, details of which can be found here. For advisory work, including paperwork and conferences, it is most commonly charged at an hourly rate, although fixed fees are available. Miss Bennett will typically return paperwork within 10 days, however professional commitments, complexity and volume of documentation can affect these approximate timescales.

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