Jo Morris

Call 2003

"Johanna has an engaging and commanding style of advocacy backed up by a strong tactical mind. She has a natural style of advocacy and connects very easily with juries and judges. She has the ability to deal with challenging cases logically and calmly."

The Legal 500 2024

Ranked as 'Leading Junior' by The Legal 500, 2023

Jo Morris has a busy and successful practice in criminal law, military justice and public law including the law of armed conflict, both prosecuting and defending.

Jo’s experience is wide-ranging and includes terrorism, homicide, sexual offences, serious violence, firearms and fraud.  Solicitors describe her as proactive, diligent and with exceptional inter-personal skills, and she is praised for her ability to work with clients who are often vulnerable, stressed and finding the legal process hard to manage.

She is respected for her ability to challenge and cross-examine expert witnesses upon matters such as impression and marking evidence, DNA, cell site analysis, blood spatter evidence and firearms residue.

Jo is a Grade 4 Prosecutor in the CPS general crime group and is on the RASSO, counter terrorism and serious crime panels.  She is also on the disclosure panel of the Serious Fraud Office.

Jo is police station accredited and has many years’ experience acting in the best interests of her client from the point of investigation onwards.  Her knowledge of police powers and procedures gives her an advantage when conducting jury trials and identifying points of law.  She easily identifies breaches of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

Jo is also experienced in representing clients in appeals against both conviction and sentence.  She gives pragmatic advice on the prospects of success on appeal.

In addition to her domestic practice, Jo is Vice Chair of the working group of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers.  She is a prosecutor and defender at the International Criminal Court.

Jo is a pupil supervisor, a Middle Temple advocacy trainer and a facilitator of the Vulnerable Witnesses training.


Notable Drugs & Serious Violence cases

R v Arnold

Prosecuted defendant for repeated violence towards his 3 month old baby. Severe head injury to immobile infant. Jury convicted unanimously.

R v Chen

Represented defendant on allegation of conspiracy to commit organised armed robberies. Involved cell site and ANP evidence.

R v Aderibigbe

Defended a man charged with drugs supply. Crown sought to admit previous historical convictions. Application made to discharge the jury which succeeded.

R v Cox

Represented defended charged with conspiracy to perform armed-robbery upon DIY store. £22,000 of tools were stolen and staff were tied up and threatened with violence.

Notable Sexual Offences cases

R v H-L

Prosecuted defendant charged with rape by multiple complainants.

R v L

Defended a young man accused of abducting a woman by forcing her into a park at knifepoint and raping her.

R v Hopkins

Prosecuted defendant accused of online grooming of 14-year-old female.

Notable Driving offences/causing serious injury cases

R v Ruddock

Defended a driver accused of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and assault with intent to cause GBH by deliberately ramming a motorcyclist in revenge for an earlier road rage incident. The jury acquitted.

Jo has an active court martial practice, and has represented service personnel in Germany, Colchester, Catterick, Bulford and Aldershot. She has an intimate knowledge of the Armed Forces Act, the Law of Armed Conflict and other relevant legislation.

Jo is a published author upon both topics; A practical guide to military justice and A practical guide to the law of armed conflict. She accepts instructions both from the SPA and AFLAA.

Notable Military Law cases

LCpl Sowerbutts

Represented lance-corporal charged with group assault upon subordinate service member. Allegation of serious violence and sexual offending. JAG found there was no case to answer and client acquitted of all charges.

Jo represents clients, particularly regulatory bodies, at inquests and is familiar with the rules and procedures of the inquest process.  Her background in criminal law means that she is very well suited to cross-examining in an inquisitorial process.

Jo is effective in working with clients in stressful situations, explaining the process to them and keeping them updated.  She is also respected for her ability to examine experts upon cause of death.

Associations and Memberships

  • LL.B. University of Durham

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Association of Military Court Advocates

Jo writes for a number of publications on issues relating to her practice areas.

In January 2021, she wrote for The Times arguing that breaches of the Official Secrets Act do not require further protection.

In March 2020, Jo argued in The Times that veterans of the Troubles need protection from unfair prosecution.

Jo set out the case for existing terrorism legislation being sufficient to deal with returning ISIS sympathisers in The Times in March 2019.


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