Sharon Beattie KC

Year of call 1986 / 2021

“She's a good choice for a very complex or lengthy case.”

Chambers & Partners 2022

Sharon Beattie KC acts in complex cases involving scientific, pathological and medical evidence.

As well as cases of Homicide (both Prosecuting and Defending), Sexual Trafficking/Exploitation, Sharon has continued to act in professional disciplinary cases, which have included matters as diverse as an 8 month case involving complex oncology evidence.

Sharon has also dealt with cases involving jurisdictional issues as between the USA and the status of USA criminal convictions and “equivalence” in the UK, as well as the status/relevance of “acquittals” in the criminal jurisdiction in regulatory proceedings.

Sharon is consistently rated as a leading individual by Chambers Directory.


Sharon is also instructed in cases involving serious crime. Sharon is regularly instructed to prosecute offences of homicide and has a particular interest in cases involving medical and scientific evidence dealing with causation, paediatric pathology and deaths during surgery.

Sharon is often first choice in sensitive and high profile sexual cases. Since being initially instructed in the high profile prosecutions of two consultant psychiatrists, Dr Kerr [(2006)2 Cr App R 31] and Dr Haslam, which resulted in a public enquiry and influenced the drafting of professional guidelines regarding the use of chaperones, she has developed and maintained a high quality practice which focusses upon serious, challenging and sensitive issues. She has prosecuted medical professionals for serious sexual misconduct both in the regulatory sphere and in the criminal jurisdiction. Additionally her interest in clinical issues has led her to being asked to advise both in the regulatory and criminal jurisdiction upon issues as diverse as improper prescribing practices to detainees in police stations, spinal surgery, “hymen reconstruction”, eye surgery, consent in surgical procedures, and oncology.

Sharon’s range of experience in the regulatory area and criminal area have led to her being instructed in serious cases in both jurisdictions. Her interest and practice in medical regulation and practice means she is well placed to get to grips with difficult concepts in relation to pathological and clinical issues.

Her longstanding experience of sexual cases has led to her being instructed in high profile criminal cases such as R v Ormond, the trial of a Newcastle football coach who was convicted of historic sexual assaults upon a large number of young players, as well as being instructed in a multi handed grooming case. Additionally Sharon undertook the defence of a former professional client upon serious sexual allegations, the Judge acceeded to a submission of no case at the close of the Prosecution case.

Presently involved in a case involving complex oncology issues and end of life care.

Murder of infant – complex paediatric pathology.

Led by R Smith KC. Prosecution of Four defendants charged with Murder/Causing the death of a vulnerable adult. Issues re interpretation of relevant statutory provision. Appeared in Court of Appeal in relation to L’s appeal against conviction (appeal dismissed).

Led by R Smith KC. Prosecution of two defendants charged with Murder/Causing allowing the death of a child. Complex paediatric evidence.

Led by A MacDonald KC. Historic murder case. Case turned upon covert surveillance, and evidence from undercover police officers. Issues re admissibility of the same; Complex issues re PII and protection of officer’s identities and ensuring fair and proper disclosure and service of evidence.

Manslaughter.[Prosecuted as Junior alone] Death alleged to be caused by a single punch, issues re causation of injury/mechanism. Appeared in the Court of Appeal on behalf of the Prosecution in relation to the defendant’s appeal against sentence (appeal dismissed).

Manufacture and transfer of firearms into criminal fraternity.

Causing Grievous Bodily Harm to foetus. Issue re causation of placental abruption in pregnancy.

Causing Grievous Bodily Harm with intent – victim left in permanent vegetative state. Issue re number of injuries actually inflicted and medical evidence in relation to them.

Large scale conspiracy re vehicle theft/cloning and export involving hundreds of cars, valued in the region of £2million.

Prosecution of former football coach for historic sexual assaults on young players.

Inciting racial hatred, arising out of a series of large scale public marches in the Sunderland area which ostensibly related to sexual attacks upon women.

Sharon specialises in Medical Disciplinary / Regulatory Work and Serious Crime.

Sharon is regularly instructed to present the most complex cases before the General Medical Council and in the criminal jurisdiction. She therefore has vast experience in cross-examination of the most difficult witnesses including professionals, experts and also including extremely vulnerable witnesses.

Her meticulous preparation, attention to detail and skilful advocacy lends her to being instructed in the most serious of cases.

Sexual allegations against a consultant – issue as to abuse of process and degree of prejudice required. Submissions upheld on Appeal.

Conduct re misappropriation of prescription of opioids and drugs of abuse. Substantial case involving a multiplicity of issues.

Regularly asked to consider pre charge issues in criminal jurisdiction in particular those relating to medico legal issues.

Undertakes advisory work as to appropriateness of regulatory proceedings following acquittals in the criminal courts, as well as advising as to evidence on complex cases.

Had been regularly instructed in Appellate work in the Administrative Court in regulatory matters.

The above work is a reflection of her career to date undertaking sensitive and high profile work on a regular basis.

This work over the years has included the Prosecution of high profile professionals, which have been lined to public enquiries.

Additionally has always been instructed in cases:

  • Involving complex toxicology eg Police officer charged with Rape on female he had been asked to help; Serial Rapist buying women [who had rejected his advance] a drink as a sign of “goodwill” and then spiking it.
  • Serial attacked of students in Student housing, case turned on limited scientific and “Bad Character”.
  • Case stayed as Abuse of Process re Suggestible Defendant [Article featured in Archbold].
  • Acted for vulnerable Defendant in historic case, Defendant, formerly an engineer, as result of illness had no short term memory but good long term memory. Evidence before the jury as to the limitations of his memory. Defendant acquitted.
  • Additionally she has been instructed in many serious cases involving different issues [at Grade 4] such as Robbery with facial mapping. Fraud cases with jurisdictional issues.

Additional Information

  • Joint Head of Chambers (2022)

  • LLB (Hons), University of Leeds

“She is an extremely good advocate. She prepares cases well and deals with tricky opponents.”

“An expert in regulatory law. She is very experienced and knowledgeable. Great with solicitors and witnesses.”

“A very good, very considered barrister.”

“In demand for cases with a medical element.”

“Incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. She is very good at picking up complicated legal arguments and responding to them in a quick and effective way.”

“Recommended for medical disciplinary cases.”

“Approachable and thorough in her preparation. Very experienced in some quite challenging fact scenarios. She's a very capable advocate.”

“Very experienced in medical disciplinary matters.”

“She's really impressive, a fantastically organised advocate. She is completely on top of the information and the case as a whole.”

“She is a very much a leading light in dealing with vulnerable patient cases and often the first choice for the really complex matters. She's a real top class performer. She's very experienced, she's seen and done everything and nothing phases her.”

“Specialises in medical regulatory matters.”

“Regularly acts on behalf of the GMC in regulatory cases involving complex and technical medical evidence.”

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