Sarah Magill

Call To The Bar: 2016

Sarah Magill specialises in serious organised crime, courts martial, service discipline, professional discipline, regulatory and inquests. She both defends and prosecutes serious and complicated criminal matters. Sarah is a robust practitioner with a proven record in dealing with heavyweight cases. She is regularly instructed in multiple defendant cases, including cases of homicide. She has extensive experience in the sensitive handling of vulnerable defendants and witnesses.

Sarah represents serving and former military personnel in the criminal justice system and the service justice system.  She also accepts public access instructions directly from members of the military who are facing disciplinary proceedings.  In 2021 Sarah launched website Forces Legal Resources with barrister Matthew Bolt from Cornwall Street Chambers, a project that stemmed from the publication of jointly written articles in regimental magazines.

Sarah Magill was Called to the Bar in 2016 as an established criminal advocate.  Described as “knowledgeable, warm but assertive when needed” with clients and “articulate and fearless” in court.  She impresses “with her command of detail and with her obviously high level of skill at deciding the really important points to go at. She is also clearly someone who knows what is right and is prepared to stand her ground.”

Sarah is on the serious organised crime and fraud panels and was appointed to the level 3 CPS general criminal panel in 2018.  Sarah is also on the specialist regulatory panel which enables her to prosecute on behalf of various regulators including the Health and Safety Executive, the Coal Board and the Environment Agency.

Sarah is the trustee of a refugee evacuation charity and has particular expertise in safeguarding, trafficking and child abuse.

Cases of Interest


Sarah is presently instructed in various large operations involving alleged organised crime groups.  Sarah has been instructed to prosecute and defend multi-handed cases both alone and with a leader.

Operation Adelite – Manchester Crown Court; led defence junior in 10 handed conspiracy to murder trial involving drill lyrics.

Operation Quebec and Quebec 2 – Preston Crown Court; junior alone in the prosecution of multi-handed Operation Quebec and then led junior in the larger more expansive Operation Quebec 2.  The prosecutions involved conspiracy to supply class A from Liverpool to Blackpool and elsewhere.

Animal Protection Society v A, B, C, D – Preston Crown Court; instructed to defend one of 4 defendants prosecuted by the Animal Protection Society who had instructed Parry and Welch Solicitors (no longer trading).  Advanced legal argument that terminated the prosecution.  The prosecution were robustly criticised and the case received widespread media attention.

Operation Mantaline – Manchester Crown Court, led junior for the Crown.  Prosecuted 5 defendants including one in absence for conspiracy to supply class A, offences discovered during the investigation of the Manchester Arena bombing at the Ariana Grande concert. Later reported within the Inquiry proceedings.

Operation Atrium – Carlisle Crown Court; defended one of 38 in a conspiracy to defraud motor insurers ‘crash for cash’.

Operation Lawson – Preston Crown Court, led junior for the Crown, ten defendants, conspiracy to supply class A in Blackpool.

Operation Jennet – Preston Crown Court; defended RNLI volunteer, one of 10 defendants in a conspiracy to supply class A and money laundering.

Operation Tahiti – Liverpool Crown Court; defended one of ten men prosecuted for football violence.

Operation Halogen – Carlisle Crown Court; defended one of seven charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine.

R v W et al – Preston Crown Court; defended man charged with a series of armed robberies with imitation handguns, hammers and knives.

R v P and W – Preston Crown Court; defended one of two men prosecuted at trial for an armed robbery where a finger was severed

R v T – Redditch Magistrates’ Court; assault PC x 2, obstruction, s.5 POA. Minor celebrity. Secured acquittal for all charges in a privately paid case that attracted a high level of media interest (national press and police professional standards in attendance)

R v S – Burnley Crown Court; defended carer prosecuted for long-running £96k fraud against elderly man who died pre-charge. Ran abuse argument on basis indictment was bad (successful).

R v P – Preston Crown Court; Defended carer prosecuted for long-running fraud against elderly relative who lost capacity pre-trial. Opposed hearsay and made s.78 app to exclude ABE; successful.

R v WD – Carlisle Crown Court; Firearms, private case – landowner with multiple weapons; sentence appeal allowed. Precious gun returned.

R v FB – Preston Crown Court – Firearms – question of antiquity. Defendant was an antiques dealer with a large range of militaria for sale.

R v BR and R v AK – Preston Crown Court – separately defended two former members of proscribed organisations charged with crimes of serious violence involving firearms.

R v R – Preston Crown Court Rape; 18-year-old defendant prosecuted for offences when 15 and 16 against 12-year-old who then turned 13. CPS had waited to prosecute until he reached 18th birthday.

R v W – Preston Crown Court; successfully defended trial, four count indictment; historic sexual offences against a child.

R v H – Carlisle Crown Court; appeared for the defendant who was acquitted after trial of an allegation of digitally penetrating the vagina of a woman in a hot tub during a party.

R v Hamilton EWCA Crim 78; Conveying articles into prison (cocaine) – this case is the authority for how to sentence conveyance of drugs into prison. Successfully reduced sentence by half.

Courts Martial

R v Sgt C – Catterick; defended serviceman charged with s.20 GBH on a subordinate

R v Y – Catterick; defended civilian subject to service discipline abroad charged with multiple assaults

R v C – Catterick, defended serviceman charged with two counts of attempted s.18 GBH with a knife

Forces Legal Resources can be found at


Inquest touching on the death of a prisoner; Stafford, represented the family in a death in custody case where the cause of death was the consumption of novel psychoactive substances (‘spice’).