Rebecca Fairbairn


Rebecca has a dual criminal and family law practice which has evolved organically since she was called in 2000. She was formerly a member of One Paper Buildings before joining Drystone Chambers. Her Criminal practice consists predominantly of rape and serious sexual offences on behalf of the prosecution and defence. She is a grade 4 RASSO prosecutor and experienced in prosecuting and defending the most serious allegations, including multi-complainant cases, those involving fitness to plead and expert evidence (medical and technology).

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Areas of practice


  • Called to the Bar 2000
  • LL.B (Hons)



Rebecca appears in proceedings across the entire practice area – from Children Act public law proceedings to Ancillary Relief hearings before the High Court. Her experience also includes private law Children Act matters, international child abduction, TOLATA claims and injunctive relief and enforcement; from the Family Proceedings Court to the High Court. Rebecca has the rare ability to communicate with clients from all walks of life and is equally at ease representing both the affluent and the less well advantaged. She has demonstrated a sound knowledge of case law and procedure and brings with her a well developed and persuasive advocacy style in contested hearings.


Rebecca brings an impressive criminal practice to Drystone Chambers, covering both prosecution and defence work. She has built a reputation as a determined and effective advocate for the defence and her recent instructions in more serious cases illustrates this.

Rebecca has a specialism in terms of rape and serious sexual offences, acting on behalf of the prosecution and defence. She is a  grade 4 prosecutor and on the RASSO list, experienced in prosecuting and defending the most serious allegations including multi-complainant cases, those involving fitness to plead and expert evidence (medical and technology).

Her defence practice has burgeoned of late and she has recently been led in the defence of the largest ever FSA prosecution for insider trading, a multi million pound drug importation, a multi handed drugs conspiracy and a murder case involving a 16 year old boy. Recent examples of cases she has been instructed or acted upon in her own right are the acquittal of a 15 year old boy charged with possession of a loaded handgun (found at the end of his bed) and she is currently instructed in relation to a young woman charged with murder.

She has particular experience in murder trials and was recently Junior counsel in a case where she obtained leave to appeal the conviction.

Notable cases

Public law family

X v X

Instructed by parent where allegations of non-accidental injuries caused.

X v X

Represented parent in contested VHCC lasting several weeks and involving numerous serious allegations and a large number of experts.

X v Y (2013) Represented Great- Grandmother in High Court Wardship proceedings and successfully secured placement of child with Great-Grandmother.

Ancillary Relief

X v X

Succesful contested hearing where argued to ringfence “pre-marital assets”

X v X

Appeared on behalf of intervenor on contested AR and established 50% interest in former matrimonial home

C v O

Contested final hearing in the High Court which included very serious allegations of conduct where represented party had falsely held themselves out as a member of the judiciary.

Children act

PR v CM (2013)- Obtained return of children to jurisdiction under Wardship proceedings to non-parent carer.

Reported cases

Court of Appeal: Regina v Alan Austin & Ali Tavikolinia (2011) before L J Thomas, Wilkie J & Macur J. Rebecca was praised for her “’clear and concise” nature when putting submissions.

Duff v CPS (2009) EWHC 675 (Admin) Instructed by the Crown on case stated before Divisional Court.

Criminal law


R v B (Belmarsh) November 2013 – Represented man accused of historic indecent assault on girl he babysat for. Acquitted.

R v S (Isleworth) June 2014 – Represented man accused of historic “campaign of rape” against two young men in his care. This also involved paedophile gang and indecent images.

R v W (Norwich) – January 2015 – Represented Father accused of sexual assault on 5 year old son. Acquitted.

R v C (Cambridge) July 2015 – Represented man accused of assault by penetration of 12 year old girl. Acquitted after 3 trials.

R v P (Southampton)- Assault by penetration. Directed not guilty.

R v A (Southampton) August 2015- Represented man accused of historic sexual assault and rape in respect of a young girl he had a sexual relationship with. Acquitted.

R v W (Southampton) January 2016- Incitement and grooming 13 year old (paedophile hunter)

R v Q (Bristol) September 2016- Represented stepfather accused of campaign of rape under 13 on his stepdaughter. Acquitted. 


R v H (Amersham) – Rape 7 year old girl by brother

R v B (Aylesbury) – Rape, vaginal and anal of man on his wife’s 17 year old sister

R v S (Southampton) – Rape, false imprisonment

R v S (Winchester) – multiple rapes vaginal and anal, assault

R v D (Aylesbury) – Inciting a child/ indecent images

R v M (Bournemouth) Historic allegations of sexual assault

R v K (Aylesbury) Historic allegations against teacher by number of students

R v F (Bournemouth) – Attempted rape – step-daughter

R v S (Amersham) – Sexual activity with child

R v R (Winchester) Historic rapes and incest (brother on sister)

R v F (Isleworth) Incest

R v Reading – rape historic cousin on 7 year old

R v V (Oxford) Inciting child sex offence, indecent images

R v W (Southampton) Rape

Cases in the press

R v Owen (2016) £1.6billion drug importation. See links below

  1. BBC

R v Littlewood, Littlewood &Sa’aid (2011) – one of the largest insider trading cases. See links:

  1. Business Times
  2. Financial Times
  3. BBC
  4. Reuters
  5. Daily Telegraph

R v Steven Allott (2009) – Cyber Paedophile – see link

  1. Telegraph & Argus

R v Crago (2010) – 16 year old acquitted murder, convicted of manslaughter- see link

  1. Bournemouth Echo

R v Henderson (2011)- Young woman charged with murder of her Mother- see link

  1. Salisbury Journal

R v Lee Wareham (2013)- Body in the suitcase murder

R v Wyllie (2013) – Prosecuted bouncer for s.18 slash to throat- see link

  1. This is London

R v Afzal (2013) – Black taxi cab driver acquitted of false imprisonment- see link

  1. Oxford Mail
  2. Oxford Times

R v Alan King (2014) – Successful prosecution of Police Officer charged with misconduct in public office – see link

  1. The Daily Mirror
  2. The Daily Mail

R v Roger Kerr (2014) – Deputy Head Teacher successfully prosecuted for sex crimes – see link

  1. Oxford Mail

Directory recommendations


Chambers & Partners states: "Her cross-examination is devastating, whilst still remaining sensitive".

Legal 500 recommends Rebecca, stating: "She knows her cases inside out".


Chambers & Partners states: "A powerful and determined advocate". "She is hard-working, highly articulate, organised, prepared and determined".

Legal 500 recommends Rebecca, stating: "A powerful and indomitable advocate".