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William Donnelly

Year of Call: 1981

Bill is an experienced Criminal practitioner with over 40 years both defending and prosecuting in the Crown Courts and in the Court of Appeal.

Criminal Law

Bill worked as a prosecutor of serious crime for 25 years, including 5 years as a Crown Advocate. Prior to becoming a Crown Advocate, Bill was Divisional Crown Prosecutor for Bolton/Wigan branch of CPS Greater Manchester, with overall responsibility for all casework as well as a substantial personal caseload of the most serious cases.

Bill has experience both of prosecuting and defending fraud and POCA in cases involving

  • "Crash for Cash"
  • Phantom Road Traffic Accidents
  • NHS Fraud
  • Conventional Dishonesty Offences

His experience in prosecuting and defending rape involving male and female victims as well as other sexual offences; in particular as a member of the DPP's working party on internet sexual grooming and exploitation, Bill has a long-standing experience of the use of the internet in the abuse of children.

Many years' active involvement in the prosecution of large-scale cases of drugs supply/conspiracy have led to a familiarity with the evidential processes involved. Operation Waddington and Operation Redbud were challenging cases involving multi-defendant indictments for drugs, firearms, and proceeds of crime. That experience can now be brought to bear for defendants.

Public Access

William accepts Criminal Law instructions on a Direct Access basis for appropriate cases. Please refer to the below pricing range for their services; this is subject to case type, complexity and seniority or experience of the barrister. Accurate quotes will be provided prior to commencement of the work involved.

Advice & Preparation (Hourly Rate): £75 to £200 + VAT
Court Attendance (Day Rate): £300 to £1000 + VAT
Conferences (Hourly Rate): £100 to £125 + VAT

Crown Court
Advice & Preparation (Hourly Rate): £100 to £250 + VAT
Trial Attendance (Day 1): £1000 to £4000 (Additional days) £500 to £1500 + VAT
Conferences (Hourly Rate): £125 to £250 + VAT
Pre-Trial & Post-Trial hearings: £300 to £1000 + VAT

Court of Appeal & High Court
Advice & Preparation (Hourly Rate): £150 to £300 + VAT
Court Attendances (Day Rate): £1000 to £4000 + VAT
Conferences (Hourly Rate): £125 to £250 + VAT

*These price ranges are based on local courts; other courts will incur a travel charge. Please contact our Senior Criminal Clerk, Paul ( for further information*

Contact Us

Bill joined Chambers in 2011 with 25 years prosecution experience for the CPS, he now both prosecutes and defends in the crown courts throughout the UK, as well as the Court of Appeal in sentencing and conviction cases. Bill has particular expertise in prosecuting and defending in;

  • Child Internet Abuse Cases
  • Driving Offences
  • Drug Offences
  • Fraud and Proceeds of Crime
  • Sexual Offences
  • Serious Violence

As a former national lecturer to the Crown Prosecution Service lawyers in this area, defendants have benefited from his experience. In one recent case, a conviction for a section 172 offence was overturned on appeal when a basic procedural flaw in the prosecution's case was revealed. Attention to detail is vital in this area.

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