Allison Summers KC

Call 2000 | Silk 2020

Allison Summers KC

Call 2000 | Silk 2020

Ranked as "Leading Silk" The Legal 500, 2024

Ranked as "Leading Silk" The Legal 500, 2023

Allison Summers KC is Head of Drystone Chambers. A formidable court advocate, known for her meticulous case preparation and exceptional client care, Allison is a go-to criminal law barrister for heavyweight cases.

With a national defence-based practice, she specialises in cases involving homicide, other serious violence, and sexual offences. She is routinely instructed in cases involving young and vulnerable defendants and witnesses. Notably, her youngest client was 13 years old (charged with murder); her oldest was 92 years old (charged with historical sexual abuse). It’s these complex and emotionally charged cases where Allison excels.

She has extensive experience of dealing with vulnerable defendants with mental health problems and other behavioural conditions including Aspergers, Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Where cases require cross-examination of vulnerable witnesses, she is robust and fair. Her familiarity with the use of intermediaries for both prosecution and defence witnesses make her a versatile and sought-after counsel.

This considerable expertise mean that Allison is frequently instructed by solicitors on cases involving difficult or unusual features. Knowledge gathered over many years gives her great insight when it comes to identifying and instructing appropriate experts.

In respect of her expertise in somnambulism where she has previously represented a man charged with attempted murder she has also undertaken rape cases involving sexsomnia. She appeared in the 2022 BBC documentary Sexsomnia: Case Closed? which looked at some of the legal issues relating to prosecuting and defending cases when sexsomnia was raised.

When necessary, Allison can draw on her skill as an Assistant Coroner to undertake cases involving extensive or complex medical issues and has appeared in several cases of homicide where medical causation has been an issue.


Allison’s range of experience in cases involving homicide and serious violence includes gang related killings, somnambulism (sleep walking), infanticide, vehicular homicide and domestic killings.

Notable Murder & Manslaughter cases

R v J, Luton Crown Court, May 2023

Defended young mother charged with murdering her 5-week-old baby by poisoning him with paracetamol. The case involved complex and contested medical evidence. Following disclosure of the fact that all biological samples had been inadvertently destroyed, including the samples on which the prosecution relied as well as samples which had never been tested, the defence ran an abuse argument. The prosecution subsequently accepted a plea to manslaughter.

R v P, Norwich Crown Court, April 2023

Defended 23-year-old jointly charged with his father with the murder of his mother’s new partner. The case involved what was said to have been a planned attack by the defendants to kill. The issues in the case included the nature and timing of any joint enterprise and the extent of any participation by the defendant.

R v M, Norwich Crown Court, September 2022

Defended father charged with murdering his 19-year-old daughter. The case involved use of a car as a weapon. The defence case was that the defendant had driven dangerously but not murderously. The analysis of distressing footage captured on CCTV, ring-door bell devices and mobile phones was pivotal to the defence case. The cross-examination of the pathologist involved an understanding of key medical events and the ability to cross-reference these with other evidence in the case.

R v K & Others, Nottingham Crown Court, 2022

3 month trial involving seven defendants in a planned stabbing of a former member of a Lincoln drugs gang. Significant factual and legal issues as to participation in a joint enterprise murder. K was one of three defendants acquitted.

R v B, Lincoln Crown Court, 2021

Defended father charged with the murder of his baby son and causing grievous bodily harm, with intent, to the twin of the deceased. The babies had been born prematurely. The case involved multiple medical experts. The issue in the case related to whether the father was the perpetrator and as such the timing of the injuries and the apparent presentation became central to the case.

Allison has an established practice in cases involving rape and other serious sexual offences. She has represented a range of defendants including children and professionals charged with both historic and recent sexual offences. She has a particular interest in disclosure and has a proven track record of using this to her client’s advantage in cases of rape.

Notable Sexual Offences cases

R v T, Kingston-Upon-Thames Crown Court, 2022

Defended young man charged with rape against his partner. The case involved issues of sexsomnia, and both the prosecution and defence relied on expert evidence from sleep experts. The cross-examination of the prosecution expert involved an understanding of the key aspects of the sleep cycle and debunking certain myths about functionality during sleep.

Associations and Memberships

  • MA History First Class
  • Diploma in Law
  • Bar Vocational Course

  • Head of Drystone Chambers
  • Assistant Coroner

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Selden Society
  • Coroners’ Society of England & Wales


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