The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Doughty Street Chambers

Work 020 7404 1313
Fax 020 7404 2283
Bristol, London, Manchester

Isabella Forshall QC

Work 020 7404 1313
Doughty Street Chambers (Doughty Street Chambers)


With long experience of defending in serious criminal cases, particularly of politically motivated offending from terrorism to protest; and of homicide and serious sexual offending, Isabella acts for clients ranging from the most intelligent and demanding to the most vulnerable. Terrorism cases have concerned the Jammu-Kashmir Liberation Front, IRA, DHKPC, the Tamil Tigers and Al Qaeda. Protest clients include those accused in major public disorders from Tottenham via Yarlswood to Burnley, animal rights activists, fitness fanatic and prison hostage-taker, Charles Bronson, and serial urban nudist Vincent Bethell. Homicide clients include parents charged with killing their children and young alleged gang members. Recent cases: terrorism/politically motivated offending: R v Rahman: Stock Exchange bomb plot case, involving conspiracy to cause an assortment of explosions and other jihad-inspired activities by a group of adherents of Anwar Al Awlaki and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Woolwich Crown Court, 2012; R v Vosper and Tapping: Known as Rv Avery and others, acting for two clients in the largest ever prosecution of animal rights activists – for a conspiracy to blackmail by Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty. Winchester Crown Court, Sep/Oct 2010. Homicide: R v Jermael Moore: group of 15 and 16 year olds charged with GAS gang knife murder outside his school of Zac Olumegbon, aged 15. Central Criminal Court, 2011; R v Rafik Hamaizia: Trial of a 19-year-old with very high functioning Asperger Syndrome, assisted by an intermediary, for the revenge murder of Marvin Henry, aged 17. Central Criminal Court, 2011; R v Dwayne Mackintosh Wisdom: trial of a 16-year-old boy involved in the firearm murder by the London Fields Boys of a 16- year-old girl. Central Criminal Court, 2011; R v Laura Vestuto: eventual plea by mother to causing death of toddler son by administering her own sedative drugs to him. Central Criminal Court and Court of Appeal 2010 reported at [2010] Crim App R (S) 108. Serious sexual offending: R v IM: Successful appeal against conviction for client not represented at first instance; acquittal at retrial. Rapes of profoundly deaf family member. Court of Appeal and Blackfriars Crown Court 2011. Reported at [2012] 1 Crim App R 3; R v Kamwa, Mappa et al: Trial of woman for trafficking for exploitation young woman from Cameroon. Arguments re handling of complainant by combination of Social Services and Police investigation led to successful submission of no case. Croydon Crown Court, 2010; R v Zulfiqar: Extremely culturally sensitive trial of historic family sexual abuse in Muslim household. Snaresbrook Crown Court, April 2010. Other: R v Guney: acquitted defendant’s judicial review of order for recovery of defence costs. Leading criminal costs case reported at [2011] A.C.D. 90.


Called 1982; Gray’s Inn; QC 2010.

London Bar

Crime (general crime)

Within: Crime (general crime) – Leading silks

Isabella Forshall QC - Doughty Street ChambersShe has a very engaging and persuasive style with juries.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to