Serena Gates is a skilled and respected advocate with a sharp mind and broad range of both national and international experience. Her criminal practice, both prosecuting and defending, focuses on serious and organised crime, drugs conspiracies, fraud, serious sexual offences and terrorism. She is also frequently instructed in regulatory cases, particularly those relating to proceedings brought on behalf of the GDC.
Serena also has extensive experience advising, training and mentoring prosecutors in foreign jurisdictions in the prosecution of terrorism offences. She is also well versed in investigating, documenting and analysing evidence relating to war crimes and human rights abuses by both terrorist organisation and Government forces and their affiliates.
Serena is a Grade 4 advocate on the General CPS panel and a Garde 4 on the specialist panels for Fraud, Organised Crime, Counter-terrorism, Rape and Serious Sexual Offences. She has also been instructed in numerous Courts Martials.
Serena has particular experience in a number of specialist areas including:
- Legal arguments on abuse of process; autrefois convict; PII; bad character; human rights, interpretation of human trafficking provisions.
- Dealing with intermediaries for young and vulnerable witnesses.
- Advising on drafting of Letters of Requests from foreign jurisdictions and utilising evidence obtained pursuant to such LORs.
- Forensic and expert evidence including cell site analysis and call data; hand writing analysis; blood distribution and splatter evidence, expert psychiatric evidence, footwear tread pattern; ballistics.
- Significant experience of international and cross border money laundering networks including the use of the hawala and international third party payment systems.
- Extensive practical firearms experience (stemming from previous military tours in a non- legal role)
CPS specialist panels for Fraud, Organised Crime and Counter-terrorism (Grade 4)
CPS grade 4 panel for general crime
Member of International Advisory Committee for Legal Action Worldwide
Senior Civilian Expert for UK HMG Stabilisation Unit (A cross Whitehall unit providing specialist advice to HMG departments including FCO, NCA, HO and others.)
Criminal Bar Association
South Eastern Circuit
Women in Criminal Law
Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
Ranked: Tier 4
–Red Lion Chambers
‘As well as an impressive forensic approach she also has an effective and persuasive style of advocacy. This combined with an entirely sensible and reasonable approach makes her an extremely effective advocate and a formidable prosecutor.’
The ‘superb‘ Red Lion Chambers ‘is a top quality criminal set‘ with ‘excellent barristers at every level‘. The set reports an uptick in drugs and homicide cases, and continues to handle a high number of modern slavery, human trafficking and sexual offences matters. Riel Karmy-Jones QC defended Kelly King, the sole female defendant in a multi-defendant trial for the drugs-related murder of Courtney Valentine-Brown; King was acquitted of murder but received a conviction for manslaughter. Among the juniors, Serena Gates prosecuted members of a county lines drugs conspiracy, which involved the trafficking of children to supply drugs.