Laura Hollingbery

Laura Hollingbery

Call: 2016

Overview

Laura Hollingbery enjoys a busy criminal practice at 2 King’s Bench Walk.

She both prosecutes and defends in a broad range of cases involving serious violence and dishonesty, sexual offences, firearms and other weapon offences, drug supply, fraud, stalking and harassment. She also has experience in dealing with matters under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Laura is regularly instructed as a junior alone and also as a led junior. She is currently acting in a range of ongoing complex cases, including a Class A drug conspiracy (Operation Herta), a multi-handed human trafficking case (Operation Roofer) and a Conspiracy to Commit Fraud prosecuted by Kent County Council Trading Standards Department.

Prior to joining Chamber as a tenant in 2020, following the successful completion of her pupillage, Laura accumulated several years’ experience working as a paralegal in various areas of law, including civil and commercial litigation at two boutique London law firms and most recently, within the Criminal Disclosure Unit at the Financial Conduct Authority.

Laura also gained experience at a reputable criminal defence firm in Temple where she was responsible for managing her own client base and caseload. She also assisted senior solicitors in cases involving all manner of serious and complex crime, including a client charged with child sex offences in Oxford (Operation Nautical).

Defence

Laura is a sought-after defence advocate.

She is tenacious and determined when advancing the defences of her clients. Her down-to-earth approach allows her to quickly build rapport, securing her clients’ confidence in her ability and their trust that she will strive for the best possible outcome.

Laura is meticulous in her preparation and tactful in her strategy. She is quick to master complex factual and legal issues that arise and advise her clients sensibly and realistically.

Laura often acts for vulnerable clients with wide-ranging mental health and learning difficulties and her ability to adapt to her clients’ specific needs ensures the court process is made far less daunting for those whom she represents.

The force of her submissions and the persuasiveness of her delivery in mitigation has resulted in many of her clients avoiding prison sentences in cases where custody has seemed inevitable.

  • R v AM [2023] (Winchester Crown Court) Led by Thomas Acworth of 3PB. Instructed in the defence of AM, a vulnerable 18-year old, accused of hiding a murder weapon shortly after the killing in question took place. AM was unanimously acquitted of Assisting an Offender following a lengthy trial.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-64417516

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11465667/The-2ft-Rambo-knife-police-father-stabbed-death-three-teens-doorstep.html

  • R v NF [2022] (Snaresbrook Crown Court)
    Defended NF at sentence in respect of 2 offences of Possessing an Air Weapon when Prohibited for Life and Attempted Burglary, the latter conviction after trial. The Judge imposed a sentence of 24 months’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months and unpaid work.
  • R v JO [2022] (Southampton Crown Court)
    Represented JO at sentence after he admitted 3 charges of Making Indecent Images of Children. Despite the fact that the offending occurred over a 7-year period, the Judge imposed an 18-month Community Order with a single requirement to attend 40 rehabilitation activity sessions.
    https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/20019034.ex-marine-hamble-downloaded-1-000-indecent-images-children/
  • R v MS [2022] (Central Criminal Court sitting at Aldersgate House)
    Represented a client charged with Racially Aggravated Intentional Harassment, Alarm or Distress, in a case in which the complainant was a police officer and the incident was captured on his Body Worn Camera. The jury unanimously acquitted MS after less than an hour of deliberations.
  • R v RS [2021] (Central Criminal Court sitting at Aldersgate House)
    Instructed privately to represent RS at trial for an offence of ABH. He was alleged to have thrown a plate at a fellow diner’s head causing an injury that required several stitches.
    Following representations, the Crown agreed to accept a plea to Battery. RS was sentenced to a 2-year Conditional Discharge.
  • R v AG [2021] (Portsmouth Crown Court)
    Represented AG, charged with an Assault on an Emergency Worker and successfully secured an acquittal, despite the fact that the majority of the incident was captured on the officer’s Body Worn Camera; the Crown adduced evidence of her 8 previous convictions for the same offence in the preceding 2 years and that she continually absented herself during the course of the trial.
  • R v SH [2021] (St Albans Crown Court)
    Represented SH, a 27-year old man of previous good character charged with Inflicting Grievous Bodily Harm (s20). After a 4-day trial, the jury accepted that he was acting in self-defence and acquitted.

“Laura was amazing, so clear and professional with her strategy, and was very calming in that stressful situation. I am a very happy man and glad I can move forward now.”

  • R v BK [2021] (Woolwich Crown Court)
    Instructed to represent BK who was charged with Wounding with Intent (s18), Attempted Robbery and Possession of a Bladed Article. The Crown’s case was that BK had stabbed the complainant and attempted to steal his vehicle. After opposing the application to adduce his previous convictions for similar offences, making lengthy submissions that the Crown were seeking to bolster a weak case, the Crown then offered no evidence in respect of all offences and he was released from custody.
  • R v SY [2021] (Portsmouth Crown Court)
    Represented SY at sentence after he pleaded guilty to 3 counts of Being Concerned in the Supply of Class A drugs. The Judge imposed a sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months and unpaid work.
    https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/crime/portsmouth-lsd-dealer-selling-ecstasy-and-cocaine-to-friends-was-funding-half-an-ounce-a-day-cannabis-habit-3160485
  • R v JW [2021] (Portsmouth Crown Court)
    Defended JW at sentence, following his conviction for Possession with Intent to Supply Class B (Cannabis). Despite the Judge concluding that JW was acting in a Significant Role, he imposed a suspended sentence.
    https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/crime/ex-university-of-portsmouth-student-turned-covid-test-centre-guard-jailed-for-cocaine-dealing-3145250
  • R v JM [2021] (Bexley Magistrates’ Court)
    Defended JM in respect of a single charge of Assault on an Emergency Worker. The bench found the case should not proceed following a successful Submission of No Case to Answer.
  • R v ZH [2020] (Ipswich Crown Court)
    Acted for ZH after he admitted a single charge of Possession with Intent to Supply Class A drugs. His van was stopped by police in Surrey who recovered 125g of cocaine with a potential street value of £5000. The Judge imposed a suspended sentence of 2 years suspended for 24 months and unpaid work.
    https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/kieran-o-sullivan-ipswich-extravagant-lifestyle-6537098

Motoring law

Laura has a solid grasp of the intricacies of Road Traffic offences. Her experience covers a broad spectrum of driving matters, including dangerous and careless driving, drug and drink driving, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.

She has also developed a more specialised private practice, assisting clients with advancing Special Reasons and Exceptional Hardship arguments.

  • R v JR [2023] (Willesden Magistrates’ Court) JR pleaded guilty to Careless Driving. Following mitigation, she received a fine and avoided disqualification.
  • R v LA [2023] LA was convicted of Drug Driving following a guilty plea. Represented LA at sentence; he received a fine and a 16-month disqualification, despite having a poor record for similar offending.
  • R v MD [2022] (Staines Magistrates’ Court)
    MD was convicted of 2 Speeding offences and an additional 7 points on his licence meant that he faced a mandatory totting-up disqualification. Represented MD at sentence; the bench found Exceptional Hardship in his case and he avoided disqualification.
  • R v JC [2021] (North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court)
    Defended JC who was faced a single charge of Drug Driving. Following detailed submissions in mitigation, the bench imposed the least possible period of disqualification and a £120 Fine.
  • R v PE [2021] (Barkingside Magistrates’ Court)
    PE was convicted of 3 Speeding offences that had been committed within the space of a week and was facing a 6-month totting-up disqualification. Following a successful Exceptional Hardship application, the bench imposed a fine.

Courts martial

Laura has also gained experience in representing clients in the Courts Martial.

  • R v SLt AH [2021] Courts Martial Centre, Bulford) Represented SLt AH who was charged with 2 offences of Fraud by False Representation. The Board acquitted him unanimously.

Appeals

Laura is quick to identify potential grounds of appeal and has represented clients in both the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal.

  • R v SV [2022] (Court of Appeal)
    First represented SV at Woolwich Crown Court when he was sentenced for Possession of Class B (Cannabis) with Intent to Supply and Possession of Class A and then appealed his sentence on the basis that it was “manifestly excessive”. Following submissions relating to the Sentencing Judge’s application of the Sentencing Guidelines, the Court of Appeal reduced the sentences in respect of both offences, substituting a total term of imprisonment of 12 months for 8 months.
  • R v PL [2020] (Reading Crown Court)
    Represented a vulnerable defendant who had been sentenced for 2 offences of Failing to Comply with Notification Requirements. The bench agreed that the magistrates had failed to properly award credit; that they erred in imposing consecutive sentences and had not sufficiently accounted for his mitigation. His total sentence of imprisonment was reduced from 10.5 months to 2 months.

Prosecution

Laura is a Grade 2 Prosecutor.

She has a broad prosecution practice, spanning London, the South East, Thames & Chiltern, the West Midlands, Wessex and the East of England.

  • R v LA & Others [2023] (Snaresbrook Crown Court) Instructed as a led junior in a multi-handed Class A drug conspiracy. All 5 defendants entered guilty pleas and await sentence.
  • R v AM and MA [2023] (Southwark Crown Court) Currently instructed in an ongoing complex benefit and Grenfell fraud case.
  • R v AS [2023] (Canterbury Crown Court) Prosecuted AS for Blackmail who threatened to post explicit photographs of the complainant if he did not meet financial demands. He pleaded guilty mid-trial and was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment.
  • R v AB [2023] (Oxford Crown Court) Instructed to prosecute AB for Possessing a Dog Dangerously Out of Control. She pleaded guilty following the Crown’s case.

https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/23837410.oxford-jury-told-dangerous-dog-attacked-biker-didcot/

  • R v AI [2023] (Isleworth Crown Court) Prosecuted AI for Racially Aggravated Public Order offences. He pleaded guilty during the Crown’s case at trial.
  • R v MC [2022] (Peterborough Crown Court)
    Instructed to prosecute MC who pleaded guilty to a single count of Causing Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent. He was sentenced to 4 years’ imprisonment.
    https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/thug-permanently-scarred-man-after-23735300
  • R v PM [2021] (Kingston Crown Court)
    Prosecuted PM for the Assault of an Emergency Worker, a case where he was alleged to have spat at an attending officer during the Covid-19 pandemic. After a 2-day trial, which included successful legal argument to admit his previous convictions, the jury convicted him unanimously after deliberating for less than an hour.
  • R v PC [2021] (Woolwich Crown Court)
    Opposed PC’s appeal against conviction in respect of 2 offences of Assault by Beating and Common Assault, committed against his ex-partner and her mother. The bench found in favour of the Crown and dismissed the appeal.
  • R v JH [2021] (Central Criminal Court sitting at Monument)
    Prosecuted JH for Dangerous Driving. The Crown’s case was that JH had intentionally swerved his motorcycle into a cyclist, causing him injury and damaging his bike. On the morning of trial, he offered a plea to the lesser alternative of Careless Driving, which was not accepted. After a 3-day trial, JH was convicted of the more serious offence of Dangerous Driving.
  • R v SG [2021] (Reading Crown Court)
    Opposed SG’s appeal against conviction in respect of a single offence of Assault by Beating, whereby SG caused his ex-partner multiple injuries. Following the Crown’s case, Counsel for SG made an application to abandon the appeal and the Court ordered him to pay further costs to the Crown.
  • R v RW [2021] (Warwick Crown Court)
    Instructed to prosecute RW who had pleaded guilty to a single offence of Owning a Dog Dangerously Out of Control Causing Injury. RW’s Staffordshire bull terrier had attacked a 5-year old child, causing severe facial injuries. The Judge imposed a sentence of 16 months’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months, ordered him to pay £2000 in compensation and banned him from owning a dog for life.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-57364168
  • R v FW [2021] (Canterbury Crown Court)
    Prosecuted FW who had entered guilty pleas to 4 charges of Voyeurism. The Crown’s case was that he had been filming his ex-partner’s sister in the shower using a “spy-watch” and had uploaded the footage to pornographic websites. He was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment.
    https://www.kentonline.co.uk/maidstone/news/voyeur-used-spy-watch-to-film-victim-244429/

Education

  • BPP University (Holborn) – BPTC – Very Competent
  • BPP University (Waterloo) – GDL – Commendation
  • University of Warwick – BA (Joint Honours) English and Latin Literature – 2:1

Memberships

  • Inner Temple
  • Western Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Association of Women Barristers

News

7 Jun 2024

Defendant convicted of Witness Intimidation in respect of his sister and Perverting the Course of Justice for the false implication of his brother – Laura Hollingbery prosecuted for the Crown

After his sister commenced civil proceedings against him in the High Court, following a dispute over their father’s Will, Raymond Birnie, 74, began sending...

30 Apr 2024

Tianfu Guo convicted and sentenced for his role in the kidnapping of a wealthy businessman from a golf course in Welwyn Garden City – Russell Pyne led Laura Hollingbery for the Crown

Tianfu Guo was jailed for 12 years at St Albans Crown Court on 29th April 2024. Earlier this month, Russell Pyne, leading Laura Hollingbery,...

15 Jan 2024

WICL Pupillage Night @ 2KBW

2KBW Chambers were delighted to host the annual WICL Women in Criminal Law Pupillage Event in Chambers on 10th January 2024. Dozens of prospective pupils attended...

7 Jun 2021

Laura Hollingbery prosecutes owner of dog who attacked a five-year-old boy, leaving him permanently scarred

Robert Wright took a 10-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier with him when he went to Sainsbury's in Nuneaton in November.  The boy's facial injuries were...

5 Oct 2020

Chambers welcome two new tenants

Chambers are delighted to announce that Victoria Lovett and Laura Holllingbery have accepted invitations to join chambers upon the successful completion of their pupilages...


Contact

Crime Team

crime@2kbw.com
+44 20 7353 1746

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