Genevieve Woods practises primarily in criminal and public law, with a particular focus on inquests, inquiries and safeguarding cases.

Genevieve is security cleared to SC level.

Legal Expertise

Public Inquiries overview

Genevieve has been named as a “Rising Star” in the field of inquests and inquiries by The Legal 500 and is ranked as Tier 1.

She has broad experience working as counsel in public inquiries, both as part of Inquiry teams and on behalf of Core Participants. She is able to advise individuals and legal persons about seeking core participant status, disclosure requests, obligations arising for witnesses and other matters.

Genevieve also has experience working on non-statutory inquiries and independent reviews, including for individuals, schools and sports governing bodies.

Notable Public Inquiries cases

The Cranston Inquiry (2023 - present)

Genevieve is currently part of the counsel team for The Cranston Inquiry into the deaths of at least 27 people crossing the Channel in a small boat.

The Covid Inquiry (2023 - present)

Genevieve was instructed to act on behalf of the National Police Chiefs Council in the Covid Inquiry, led by Sarah Le Fevre and Rory Phillips KC.

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (2018 - 2023)

Genevieve acted as sole counsel on behalf of six different clients across various modules in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, including the Methodist Church of Great Britain. She was led in the same Inquiry by Richard Horwell KC on behalf of the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry (2019 - 2023)

Undercover Policing Inquiry (2017 - 2019)

Inquests overview

Genevieve has been named as a “Rising Star” in the field of inquests and inquiries by The Legal 500 and is ranked as Tier 1.

She regularly appears in Inquests on behalf of Interested Persons. She provides advice to families, individuals and corporate entities in advance of Inquests, as well as representation at pre-inquest reviews and substantive hearings.

She has appeared in multiple high-profile and complex jury inquests, including acting for the police, prisons, housing associations, care organisations and sports governing bodies.

Notable Inquests cases

Inquest into the death of Luke Clark [2023]

Sole counsel for the MPS in a case involving the death of the first person taken to prison with Covid-19. The inquest explored the arrangements made by the prison at the outset of the pandemic.

Inquest into the death of Ashlie Timms [2022]

Led by Sarah Le Fevre, acting for the London Fire Brigade in an inquest into the death of a vulnerable adult following a fire in a care home.

Fishmongers Hall Inquests [2021]

Genevieve was led by Matthew Butt KC on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service and CTPHQ in the Inquests into the terror attacks at Fishmonger’s Hall.

Safeguarding overview

Genevieve is a leading expert in safeguarding law. She has advised schools, charitable, sporting and commercial organisations on safeguarding matters and DBS requirements. She has drafted and reviewed safeguarding policies for a range of organisations and is a contributing author of the COCA Guidance.

She acted on behalf of seven different clients in various modules of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, including the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham and the Methodist Church of Great Britain.

Genevieve has worked as an independent reviewer into safeguarding disclosures at schools and sports organisations, drafting reports and making recommendations for improvement in the field of child protection.

She acts in contentious safeguarding regulatory proceedings, is DBS-cleared, and has both received and delivered extensive safeguarding training, including to Premier League Football teams.

Notable Safeguarding cases

Independent Review into historical allegations at Winchester School [2021 – 2022]

Acted as independent reviewer with Jan Pickles, producing a written report into abuse perpetrated by John Smyth in the 1970s and 1980s.

Regulatory and Licensing overview

Genevieve has experience in a broad range of regulatory and health and safety matters, including fire safety cases and hearings before professional regulatory bodies. She has appeared before bodies including the GOC, GDC, ARB, HCPC and others, and she has experience presenting and defending in police misconduct hearings.

She also regularly appears in licensing matters before authorities across the country.

Notable Regulatory and Licensing cases

London Fire Commissioner v BUPA Care Homes (ANS) Ltd [2022] EWCA Crim 1508

Prosecution junior, led by Saba Naqshbandi KC. The matter was appealed to the Court of Appeal and resulted in the largest fine imposed in a fire safety case.

Misconduct Proceedings before Dorset Police [2024]

Sole counsel for a PC accused of forcibly removing recruits’ earrings with bolt cutters. The officer was found not to have used bolt cutters and not to have used force. He retained his job in the police.

Sports Law overview

Genevieve has broad experience in Sports Law, including contested proceedings and advisory matters.

She has worked on numerous disciplinary and safeguarding hearings for the LTA, BHA and other sports governing bodies. She has also defended sports coaches and athletes facing allegations of misconduct.

She has undertaken independent reviews in sport, including Rule 17 procedures.

Genevieve regularly delivers safeguarding training to sports organisations, including Premier League Football teams. She is also able to review and amend sports policies for governing bodies and commercial organisations in accordance with best practice.

Notable Sports Law cases

BHA v Brisland and Degnan [2023]

Presenting before the BHA Disciplinary Panel, resulting in findings of bullying and intimidation in the Yard.

Financial Crime and Sanctions overview

Genevieve appears in serious criminal cases for both the defence and the prosecution. She is able to provide advice and representation pre-charge, during trial and in relation to ancillary orders, such as confiscation or forfeiture proceedings.

She has worked on complex financial matters, including cases prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office and HMRC. She represents individuals charged with a broad range of offences, including fraud, money laundering, bribery and blackmail.

Genevieve frequently acts on behalf of individuals seeking to discharge Account Freezing Orders and resist applications for cash and account forfeiture. She has also appeared on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service in high value and complex applications for forfeiture.

Genevieve advises in cases involving breaches of sanctions and export controls and on internal sanctions compliance policies. She has worked with international corporations, including financial institutions, insurance companies and maritime corporations.

  • Bar Transfer Test, BPP
  • Masters of International Human Rights Law (Distinction), Oxon
  • Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (Distinction), College of Law
  • Combined Bachelor of Arts & Laws (Hons 1), Sydney University
  • Winner of the One Essex Court/Times Law Award (2017)
  • Winner of the Oxford Law Society Essay Competition (2014)
  • Finalist, Lawyers’ Weekly Law Student of the Year Award (2014)
  • Honours Scholarship, Sydney University (2011)
  • Sydney Lyceum Prize (2010)
  • Dean’s Scholarship, Sydney University (2008)
  • The Guide to Sanctions’ (GIR) – full publication available here (2020)

Genevieve was admitted as a solicitor on the rolls of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia. Prior to joining the bar, she worked for the United Nations Association, Salvos Legal, the Faculty of Law at Sydney University and the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia.

Genevieve is a member of Defence Extradition Lawyers Forum and the Young Fraud Lawyers’ Association.

I, Genevieve Woods, am a data controller and can be contacted at 3 Raymond Buildings, Gray’s Inn, London WC1R 5BH or by telephone on 020 7400 6400 or by email at My Data Protection Policy can be found below.

All personal data that I process is for the purposes of providing legal services, conducting conflict-checks, marketing, defending potential complaints, legal proceedings or fee disputes, keeping anti-money laundering records, training other barristers and pupils and when providing work-shadowing opportunities, and/or exercising a right to a lien. The types of data I process vary upon the nature of the legal matter in relation to which I am engaged to advise, but can include names, contact details, biographic details and ‘special category personal data’ (such as details of racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, health, sex life and criminal convictions and proceedings).

Depending upon the circumstances of the case, the legal bases upon which I process personal data are (i) the performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract, (ii) the processing is necessary to comply with legal obligations to which I am subject, or (iii) the processing is necessary for the legitimate interests set out above, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subjects which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child. When I rely on (iii) legitimate interests, my ‘Legitimate Interests Assessment’ can be found here. When I process data which has not be obtained directly from the data subject (e.g. personal data contained in evidential materials), it will have been supplied to me as part of my instructions in circumstances covered by legal professional privilege.

Depending upon the circumstances of the case, I may share the personal data with:

  1. my Chambers, which supplies professional and administrative support to my practice;
  2. Courts and other tribunals to whom documents are presented;
  3. my lay and professional clients;
  4. potential witnesses, in particular experts, and friends or family of the data subject;
  5. solicitors, barristers, pupils, mini pupils and other legal representatives;
  6. ombudsmen and regulatory authorities;
  7. current, past or prospective employers;
  8. education and examining bodies;
  9. business associates, professional advisers and trade bodies.

I retain personal data for no longer than 7 years after the case has come to an end or as otherwise required by law.

I do not intend to transfer data to any country which is not either within the European Union, ‘white listed’ by the EU or otherwise permitted by EU law (e.g. to the USA under the provisions of the ‘Privacy Shield’).

Under the GDPR, data subjects whose personal data I process have the right to request from me access to, and rectification or erasure of, their personal data, the right to the restriction of processing concerning them, the right to object to processing as well as the right to data portability. Data subjects also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (

In cases where there is a contract between me and the data subject, the provision of personal data is a contractual requirement and the data subject is obliged to provide the personal data in order that I can supply legal services. A failure to provide such data may mean that I will not be able to provide the legal services.

Rev 1.1 – 20.03.2019

Data Protection Policy

Legitimate Interests Assessment

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