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.

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

Notable Cases

  • R v SB

    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.

  • R v L&P

    Leading for the prosecution in a case of kidnapping and firearms, in the context of Eastern European gangs involved in the drugs trade. There were particular challenges in the disclosure process, as the complainant was also a witness in an ongoing murder investigation, and numerous telephones had been served containing thousands of messages in Lithuanian.

  • R v AP

    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.

  • R v PF

    Prosecuting a case of child sex abuse, where the young complainant had autistic spectrum condition, and both advocates had to deploy the relevant tool kits.

  • R v DO

    Prosecuting a fraud case involving the theft of high value cars, obtained under lease contracts taken in false identities, and the misuse of commercial payment facilities. The key to the case lay in close analysis of the defendant’s various bank accounts and cross-examination on the financial activity shown.

  • R v TB

    Prosecuting a case of repeated marital rape over about 15 years in the context of a manipulative and abusive relationship.

  • R v P&F

    Prosecuting a case of causing or allowing serious physical harm to a child, where the defendants’ toddler had ingested cocaine apparently hidden in his cot. It was necessary to obtain and consider large amounts of material from family court care proceedings.

Practice Areas

Appointments & Memberships

  • Appointed advocate on the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) list of advocates: Level 4.
  • Appointed to the CPS Rape and Child Sexual Abuse List.
  • Criminal Bar Association.
  • Lincoln's Inn.

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