Sarah Magill

Call To The Bar: 2016

Sarah Magill has expertise in serious organised crime, military law, business crime, professional discipline, regulatory, inquests and inquiries.

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.”

She is regularly instructed in evidentially complex, multiple defendant cases of the utmost gravity involving fatalities, and has extensive experience in the presentation and cross-examination of both specialist professional and vulnerable witnesses. Sarah represents companies and directors as well as individuals. As a senior prosecutor she has been appointed to level 4 for serious and general crime, level 3 counter terrorism and is on the specialist regulatory panel.

Sarah is a specialist Court Martial advocate and represents members of the armed forces facing service disciplinary proceedings. She regularly defends members of the armed forces and veterans facing civilian criminal prosecution. She is the co-author of Forces Legal Resources, a body of articles kept online to assist members of HM Forces navigating the Service Justice System.

Sarah accepts public access instructions in military disciplinary proceedings and service complaints.

Cases of Interest

Operation Firestorm – Preston Crown Court; assisting an offender [murder]. Defendant was prosecuted for assisting two defendants charged with murder. Convicted on basis of manslaughter rather than murder.

Operation Adelite – Manchester Crown Court; Defence junior led by Tim Storrie KC in ten-handed conspiracy to murder trial involving drill lyrics. Adduced voluminous defence evidence including music. Relied upon expert in drill. Client acquitted of murder.

Operation Marley – Preston Crown Court; defendant prosecuted for possession of multiple firearms and relevant ammunition with intent to endanger life. Not guilty verdicts recorded and defendant convicted of lesser offence whereby liberty was retained.

R v A, P and B – Manchester Crown Court; represented defendant accused of firearms possession; question of antiquity. Advanced two limbs of legal argument denying possession and raising antiquity; crown offered no evidence.

Operations 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. All defendants in Operation Quebec were convicted and out of 28 defendants in Operation Quebec 2, 25 were convicted.

Operation Valetta – Burnley Crown Court; prosecuted series of exposure attacks involving a predatory male targeting female care home staff at night over nine months. Convicted on all counts.

R v D – Preston Crown Court; defended medical professional accused of rape and violent attacks against three separate female complainants. After advancing legal argument the Crown abandoned one complainant and continued to trial in respect of the remaining two. Acquitted of every allegation made by the three women.

Manchester Arena bombing; Operation Mantaline – Manchester Crown Court, led junior, prosecuted five terror suspects including one in absence for conspiracy to supply class A, offences discovered during the investigation of the arena bombing during the Ariana Grande concert. Later reported within the Inquiry proceedings.

R v J – Manchester Crown Court at Minshull Street – rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and ABH. Marital allegations against spouse. Acquitted of rape and s.47 ABH, hung jury on coercive and controlling behaviour; no retrial.

R v Hamilton [2016] EWCA Crim 78; Conveying articles into prison (cocaine) – this case is the authority for how to sentence conveyance of drugs into prison. Successfully reduced Ms Hamilton’s sentence by half.

Regulatory and Business Crime

Sarah is presently instructed to prosecute and defend high-profile specialist technical cases.

Animal Protection Society v M. et al – Preston Crown Court; instructed to defend consumer trading offences in respect of one of 4 defendants prosecuted by the Animal Protection Society who instructed Parry and Welch Solicitors (no longer trading). Advanced complex and detailed legal argument in four tranches that had the effect of terminating the prosecution. The prosecution were robustly criticised and the case received widespread media attention.

Courts Martial

R v Cpl A – Catterick; allegation of sexual assault inside residence block

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

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’).

Inquest touching on the death of a motorcyclist. homicide.