Laura O'Brien > Hodge Jones & Allen > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Hodge Jones & Allen

Work Department

Crime, Financial Crime & Regulatory


Laura is a Partner at Hodge Jones & Allen and prominent member of HJA’s Protest Team and Youth Team. Laura has a particular interest in representing young people and those who have mental disorders, neurological disorders and neurological impairments. Laura also has an interest in criminal cases which engage public law issues and challenges to police powers.

Through her time at Hodge Jones & Allen has developed specialist experience in protest law and is a leader in this niche area.

Laura regularly represents Extinction Rebellion, Animal Rebellion, Just Stop Oil and Insulate Britain protestors as advocate and litigator in the Magistrates Court, Crown Court, Court of Appeal and High Court in criminal charges, contempt of Court and appeals. Laura has been involved in a number of appeals that have shaped protest law.

Laura represented two of the four defendants acquitted of criminal damage after the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol during a Black Lives Matter protest. Laura acted in the Court of Appeal following the referral of this case by the Attorney General.

Laura represented one of the two defendants charged with causing a public nuisance after being suspended from the QEII Bridge for two days as part of a Just Stop Oil protest. This included in the Crown Court trial, in parallel contempt of Court proceedings in the High Court and in the Court of Appeal.

Laura acts for individuals facing the most serious allegations from sexual offences, drug supply, terrorism and murder. Laura has acted for a number of young people accused of murder and terrorist offences and young people who have been victims of criminal

Laura is a keen trial advocate in the Magistrates Court and the Crown Court.

Laura gives legal training and writes on the law on a regular basis.

Notable cases:

  • Criminal damage – R v G & S – representing two of the four people charged with criminal damage to the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol
  • Encouraging terrorism – R v P – representing a man charged with encouraging terrorism
  • Murder – R v R – representing a young person charged with the murder of a taxi driver
  • Murder – R v S – representing a man charged with the murder and arson following the death of his estranged wife.
  • Child abduction – R v P – represented woman acquitted of child abduction after taking someone else’s child to another country without permission of her lawful guardian.
  • Murder – R v D – represented a young adult who was first on a multi-handed indictment for murder and possession of a bladed article.
  • Attempted murder – R v I – represented man charged with attempted murder in relation to a stabbing that left the young complainant with a knife lodged in his eye-socket.
  • Conspiracy to rob – R v A – representing a youth facing a charge of conspiracy to rob in a multi-handed case in the Crown Court.
  • Exposure – R v D – acted as Crown Court advocate for a man suffering complex psychological problems including obsessive compulsive disorder. He was found not fit to plead and following a trial of issue was found not to have done the ‘act’ alleged. This required a careful application of the law surrounding what comprised the ‘actus reus’ and what the prosecution had to prove.
  • Sexual assault – R v H – represented a captain facing Court martial in relation to an alleged sexual assault on a fellow officer.
  • Conspiracy to supply – R v H – represented the only defendant to be acquitted following a lengthy trial lasting a number of months.
  • GBH – R v D – acted as Crown Court advocate for a man charged with stabbing a long-time friend.
  • Arson reckless as to whether life would be endangered – R v B – represented a young vulnerable woman accused of setting a fire at a halls of residence.
  • Rape – R v R – man acquitted of raping his girlfriend following targeted disclosure requests that supported the client’s defence and undermined the account given by his girlfriend. Successfully defended the same client in the Magistrates Court accused of breaching a non-molestation order after careful cross-examination of the complainant in relation to her phone records.

Client feedback:

Laura was absolutely amazing and instrumental to our defence and us getting acquitted!

Laura has been absolutely amazing, we cannot thank her enough, she always made time to answer our questions and kept us updated throughout the whole experience. Very professional. Would highly recommend.

I could not have found a better company and solicitor than Ms O’Brien at HJA! From the outset, communications and advice were clear and precise. The support, both moral and during trial was much appreciated over a very difficult period. Despite the shortcomings of the court, Ms O’Brien was extremely professional and a fantastic advocate. I would have no hesitation in recommending this company and solicitor.

Laura O’Brien is amazing. Extremely passionate, knowledgeable and professional. Laura was incredibly supportive and treated me with kindness and care as well as expert legal representation. Laura O’Brien defended me against false allegations of assault on an emergency worker. I was found not guilty on both counts.”


  • SAHCA – Society of Higher Rights Advocates
  • Youth Practioners’ Association (Secretary)

Lawyer Rankings

London > Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general

(Next Generation Partners)

Laura O’BrienHodge Jones & Allen

Hodge Jones & Allen‘s crime team, complimented by clients for its ‘fantastic level of service‘ and ‘brilliant range of lawyers‘, is headed by ‘natural advocateRaj Chada, who is experienced in acting for high-profile clients, including MPs. The practice also advises clients on areas including protests, terrorism, sexual offences, and harassment. Mike Schwarz is recommended for human rights, while Kerry Spence is proficient in acting in multi-defendant cases; Graeme Hydari is adept at assisting defendants with autism. Laura O’Brien and Caroline Liggins were promoted to partner in March 2022 and are key names within the team.