David Povall is a specialist criminal practitioner, having spent his entire career to date appearing both for the Crown and the defence across the full scope of criminal work in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal.

In recent years, he has tended to prosecute more than defend, and has increasingly specialised in sensitive cases involving evidence from vulnerable witnesses. He has significant experience in seeking disclosure from the family courts for the purposes of criminal proceedings.

In addition to his court practice, he is a Lincoln’s Inn advocacy trainer and a facilitator for compulsory vulnerable witness training.


David is an experienced prosecutor, acting as junior alone and leading junior, whose practice in recent years has consisted largely of serious sexual offences, involving historic allegations, and children and other vulnerable witnesses. He is also experienced in complex, multi-handed cases involving organized crime, including drugs trafficking and firearms.

Having worked in financial services before coming to the Bar, he is also comfortable in fraud cases and other contexts, including confiscation proceedings, where there is substantial documentary and financial evidence.

Prosecuting a case of historic sex abuse, covering over 30 years of offending, with 6 complainants, male and female, child and adult. Drafting the indictment required specialist and detailed knowledge of the relevant law, as repeatedly amended over the indictment period. A number of the complainants were severely emotionally damaged and required particular care.

Leading for the prosecution in a case of wholesale trafficking of Class A drugs. A complex jigsaw of telephone, observation and physical evidence had to be built into a clear and coherent case against each defendant individually and an overall narrative.

Prosecuting a case of familial child sex abuse with three young complainants, one of whom had selective mutism and was thus unable to give oral evidence. Her evidence was eventually given with the assistance of an intermediary and through a laptop computer linked to the court screens.

Leading for the prosecution in a multi-handed fraud case in which misdirected funds were transferred through a web of business and personal bank accounts. The key to the case was in uncovering the financial links between apparently quite separate businesses and individuals.

Prosecuting a case of child cruelty involving a serious fracture to the arm of a very young baby. The case was built on expert medical evidence, and a careful review of substantial Family Court material was necessary

Prosecuting a case of kidnapping and blackmail, built on complex telephone attribution and cell-site, DNA analysis, ANPR and an unwilling identification witness.

Additional Information

  • Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) list of advocates: Level 4
  • CPS Rape and Child Sexual Abuse List

  • Lincoln’s Inn

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