Details of practice

Rachel is an experienced criminal, extradition, licensing and regulatory practitioner. She is recognised in the directories as an “extremely bright” junior, who “shows meticulous attention to detail” and is “very good at fighting the client’s corner”.


Rachel’s criminal practice is primarily defence-based. She has a particular expertise in fraud and financial crime, having appeared as a led junior in a number of serious and complex fraud and corruption cases in recent years.


Rachel has substantial experience in extradition law, having acted for both requesting states/judicial authorities and for defendants, in proceedings under Part 1 and Part 2 of the Extradition Act 2003. She is also regularly instructed to draft extradition requests.

In 2008-2009, Rachel spent six months on secondment to the Special Crime Division of the Crown Prosecution Service, as a specialist extradition prosecutor, during the course of which she conducted numerous extradition hearings at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court (now Westminster Magistrates’ Court).  She now appears regularly in appeals before the Administrative Court and has also appeared in the Supreme Court.

Rachel was instructed for one of five defendants in extradition proceedings initiated by the Rwandan Government in connection with allegations of participation in the 1994 Genocide. The Rwanda case is one of the most complex and long-running cases to have come before the extradition courts.

Licensing, regulatory and public law:

Rachel regularly advises and acts for operators of licensed premises, local authorities and interested parties in proceedings under the Licensing Act 2003 and the Gambling Act 2005.  She also has experience in related fields, such as child performance/stage licensing, street trading, taxi licensing, and Public Inquiries before the Traffic Commissioner.

Rachel’s criminal practice encompasses a wide range of regulatory enforcement. She has acted for clients in proceedings arising out of a variety of regulatory regimes, including health and safety, food safety and fire safety prosecutions.  Rachel also acts for the Security Industry Authority in prosecutions under the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Rachel has appeared before the Administrative Court in a number of judicial review claims, both as a led junior and alone.

Inquests, professional discipline and police regulation:

Inquests have formed a significant part of Rachel’s practice, particularly those involving investigations into the actions of the police. She is experienced in representing individual police officers in criminal proceedings and at misconduct hearings. She also regularly advises and acts for police forces in licensing matters.

Rachel was instructed by the Metropolitan Police to advise and appear in several matters connected with the death of Peter Connelly (‘Baby P’) in August 2007.

Rachel also has experience advising and appearing in proceedings before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Sports law:

Rachel has a growing sports law practice, having completed a postgraduate qualification in this field.  She welcomes instructions on behalf of athletes and governing bodies in sporting disciplinary and anti-doping cases.

Rachel is a member of the British Swimming Judicial Appeals Panel.

Directory recommendations

An “excellent” junior experienced at prosecuting and defending a broad range of extradition cases. Interviewees highlight her ability to “judge a tribunal” and to “take arguments that are measured and realistic.”  “Extremely clever and quick” “very strategic”’. Chambers UK 2018: Extradition

“She’s sharp as a tack and really gets to the point very quickly.” Chambers UK 2018: Licensing

‘Instructed by the CPS and defendants in challenging extraditions.’ The Legal 500 2017: International Crime and Extradition

‘Fantastic on her feet.’ The Legal 500 2017: Licensing

‘Attracts prestigious clients from the security, retail and restaurant sectors. Clients hold her in high regard and note that she has in-depth knowledge of the full scope of licensing law matters.’ ‘She is superbly bright, tenacious and willing to go the extra mile for her clients.’ Chambers UK 2017: Licensing

“She is clever and comes up with some interesting and novel approaches to cases.”  “She is a most experienced practitioner.”  Chambers UK 2016:  Extradition

“She is very good at fighting the client’s corner.”   “She is outstanding and will go far.”  Chambers UK 2016:  Licensing

‘Extremely knowledgeable, helpful and able.’  The Legal 500 2015:  Licensing

‘She is extremely bright and charming but when you are at court you tend to have a tough time if you are against her because she is extremely sharp-witted.’ Chambers UK 2015: Extradition

‘She shows meticulous attention to detail.’ ‘She leaves no stone unturned and is a reliable pair of hands for difficult cases.’ ‘A determined advocate in court.’ Chambers UK 2015: Licensing

“both defends and prosecutes in extradition proceedings and impresses with her performances in court.”  Chambers UK 2014:  Extradition

“very good at what she does” … “tenacious and confident in court”Chambers UK 2014:  Licensing

Rachel Kapila ‘clearly knows her stuff’, and ‘takes no prisoners’. 
The Legal 500 2013:  Licensing

Education/professional qualifications

BA Hons (Oxon) – Jurisprudence (Law)
Postgraduate Certificate in Sports Law and Practice (BASL/DMU) (Distinction 1st in the year)
Bar Vocational Course (Outstanding, 1st in the year)
Senior Scarman Scholarship
British Academy of Forensic Sciences Prize
Baron Dr Ver Heyden de Lancey Prize (Middle Temple)


British Swimming Judicial Appeal Panel (2012)

Other information

Criminal Bar Association
Fraud Lawyers’ Association
Defence Extradition Lawyers’ Forum (DELF)
Extradition Lawyers’ Association

Direct access

Rachel Kapila is qualified to accept instructions direct from clients under the Bar Council’s Public Access Scheme. This means that members of the public who seek specialist advice can come direct to her. In addition, she welcomes instructions from solicitors, in-house law departments, qualified foreign lawyers, and clients licensed by the Bar Council to give instructions direct to barristers under the Bar Council’s Licensed Access Scheme.

For further information please contact our Clerks.