Pushpanjali Gohil

Year of call: 2000

"Very experienced in multi-defendant cases involving allegations of sexual abuse and gang violence."
Legal 500 2019

Pushpanjali  Pushpanjali

Anjali is known for her fearlessness in court, down to earth style, pleasing to juries and clients alike, and her ability for careful and sensitive yet robust cross-examination. She is also renowned for her no-nonsense approach to criminal litigation and her ability not only to properly consider the legal implications of presenting a case, but also her capacity to effectively manage the tactics involved.

Crime

Regularly instructed in document-heavy, multi handed conspiracies, drugs, fraud and money laundering cases involving typically complex issues of law and fact, Anjali has developed a real ability to address voluminous case papers without any sacrifice to the high standards of advocacy demanded by such cases. This is particularly evident in the the delicate area of sexual crime, a field in which Anjali is used to defending in complex cases involving historic inter familial allegations, stranger rape, rape of minors, child defendants, gang rape, sexual harassment in the work environment and rape in the context of relationships/marriage. As a result, she is well-placed to conduct the necessarily sensitive yet strong cross-examination required to put her client’s case forward without alienating a jury. Anjali has also, developed a great deal of experience defending those with mental health issues.

Whilst primarily enjoying a 'heavyweight' criminal defence practice, Anjali has been appointed as a Grade 3 prosecutor on the CPS list of prosecuting counsel and has also been appointed to the CPS Rape Panel.

Murder / Serious Violence

  • R v P: Murder/Attempted murder. Led-junior. Multiple defendants, multiple complainants. D acquitted after five weeks following submission based upon the undermining of expert identification evidence. Propriety of disclosure and police briefing of expert played a key role.
  • R v G: Manslaughter. Led-junior representing a father charged together with the mother where death caused by methadone ingestion. Required research into hair strand testing and the reliability of methods employed/ safety of conclusions reached from such analysis together with research into industry best practice in addition to methodology and best practice in infant autopsies following suspected drug overdose.
  • R v S: Section 18. Represented a youth charged with a revenge stabbing arising out of Somalian tribal friction on the streets of Bristol.
  • R v S: Attempted Murder. Lone junior representing a defendant alleged to have repeatedly stabbed a man believed to have raped his friend. Following identification of flaws in disclosure a plea to Section 20 was accepted and the defendant was acquitted of attempted murder.
  • R v P: Section 18. Allegation of drunken violence fuelled by notions of ‘respect’ within the Italian community.
  • R v N: Section 18. Representing a mother of good character charged together with her 18 year-old son. Assault involved stabbing and use of baseball bats. Trial issue is self-defence/defence of another, based upon a background of gang intimidation/violence.
  • R v S: Conspiracy to blackmail. 5 week, multi-handed trial of Polish defendants alleged to use violence in order to extort protection money from fellow Polish nationals working within a rural factory community. Featured extensive legal arguments on witness anonymity, hearsay and bad character.                                               

Sexual Crime

  • R v T: Rape. 15 year-old charged with the rape of another minor involving fitness to plead issues. On-going.
  • R v C: Rape. Local music celebrity charged with the rape of a stripper.
  • R v P: Rape. Somali national who spoke little English charged with the historic stranger rape of a 14 year white girl in which the defence was consent, based upon a chance meeting in the street. Complainant spoke no Somali dialect. Acquitted. R v W: Rape. Representing a man charged with the rape of his friend.
  • R v S:  Rape, Incest, Buggery. Led-junior in a multiple defendant, multiple complainant, inter-familial child abuse allegation. Represented the lead defendant and father of the complainants. Trial preparation included managing and eliciting extensive third party material which laid the foundation for the defendants’ eventual acquittal.
  • R v B: Sexual Assault. Represented the Director of a company charged with the sexual assault of a young trainee in which the defence was one of ‘fit up’ at the hands of other company directors. Acquitted.
  • R v P: Assault by penetration. Represented a soldier charged with sexually assaulting the 14 year old daughter of a fellow soldier. Defendant acquitted.
  • R v P: Rape. The alleged vaginal and anal gang rape of a mother by two youths. Defendant acquitted. Drugs
  • R v J: Conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. 6 week trial arising out of an undercover surveillance operation of ten defendants. On-going.
  • R v B: Importation of cocaine. Defendant charged with the importation of five kilos of cocaine recovered from her suitcase.
  • R v WH: Conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, possession with intent to supply and dangerous driving. Arising out of an undercover operation in which police posed as buyers for multiple kilos of Class A drugs.
  • R v TH: Conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. 12-handed, 6-week trial arising out of an undercover sting operation.
  • R v C: Conspiracy to supply heroin. Prosecuting an intelligence led operation uncovering an industrial size quantity of benzocaine, a press and traces of cocaine. Medicinal use of benzocaine and personal use of heroin claimed prior to guilty plea.
  • R v B: Conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Largest single find of cocaine by Avon and Somerset Police (at the time) following a two year surveillance operation. Numerous defendants were charged and convicted separately in the lead up the arrest of the two men said to be at the head of the conspiracy. Following legal argument on the admissibility of the co defendants’ pleas and telephone evidence this defendant acquitted.

Fraud / Money Laundering

  • R v C: Alleged Pyramid Fraud charged under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trade Regulations and the Gambling Act. £40 million alleged pyramid fraud prosecution brought by the OFT involving complex and novel issues of law surrounding definitions under the CPUTr’s, Article 6, informant material, disclosure, legal professional privilege and potential plea bargaining on behalf of prosecution witnesses. Papers in excess of 30 000 pages. Acting as junior alone. Ongoing. Trial due to last 3 months.
  • R v P: Money Laundering. Led-junior in a £5 million money laundering case involving expert evidence on ‘Hawala’ banking. Leave to appeal conviction granted and awaiting date for final hearing in Court of Appeal.
  • R v F: Conspiracy to handle stolen goods. 3 week trial alleging a conspiracy to handle stolen electronic goods and telephones following an undercover surveillance and sting operation in which police posed as thieves seeking to steal goods to order and to trade in apparently stolen goods.
  • R v P: £1 million conspiracy to evade VAT on cigarettes allegedly smuggled into the UK from France.
  • R v B: Benefit fraud and perverting the course of justice. 9-week trial representing a woman who ran the defence of duress against her former partner and co-defendant. Involved complex issues of law including abuse of process, severance, disclosure, bad character applications in respect of her former partner’s conviction for rape and other reprehensible conduct towards other former partners and concurrent proceedings in respect of the unlawful retention and seizure by police of material subject to legal professional privilege.
  • R v C: Benefit fraud. Advised and prosecuted on behalf of Bristol City Council in a case raising the issue of whether and to what extent historic hits on a website generating a modest, infrequent and unpredictable income for a glamour model constitutes undeclared income. Road Traffic

Road Traffic Offences

  • R v B: Death by careless driving. Hinged on expert evidence centred around 'look but don't see' syndrome.
  • R v F: Death by dangerous driving. Involved the instructing of an expert in relation to issues of a complex and scientific nature.
  • R v PR: Dangerous driving. Allegations of deliberate ramming of a police vehicle. Expert evidence subsequently proved that the Police were at fault for the collision.

Other experience

Majli’s, Mumbai, India - Working with this NGO to develop and deliver training for police, prosecutors and judges in the area of sex crime.

Texas Defender Service - Assisted those representing death row inmates and defendants facing capital trials with legal research, juror interviewing, mitigation research, instructing experts and case studies.

Anti Corruption Bureau, Malawi, Central Africa - Assisted the Deputy Director, Alex Nampota with legal research, investigation and case preparation.

Leicester Rape Crisis Centre - Volunteered and trained as a rape crisis counsellor.

Commission for Racial Equality / Leicester Racial Equality Council - Chaired a student conference attended by over 200 students addressing racial discrimination and disaffection amongst of BME youth. Co-founded an organisation created to identify and meet the needs of BME youth.

Children's Society, Leicester - Ran a programme for disaffected Bengali young women/children in order to encourage participation in education and to tackle the issue of forced marriage.

Diwa Asian Women's Network - DAWN, London - Provided pro bono legal advice to Asian victims of domestic violence and forced marriage.

Recommendations


CHAMBERS UK 2016

Crime

Junior - Band 3

Recommended for her work in multi-handed conspiracies, money laundering cases and other complex issues of criminal law. She has particular expertise in cases involving serious sexual offences.

Strengths: "She works hard and communicates effectively."


Legal 500 2014

Crime

Impresses market commentators with her work in serious criminal cases, including homicides, frauds and serious violence cases as well as sexual offences and financial crime. She is a CPS Grade 3 prosecutor and is a member of the CPS' rape panel.

Expertise: "She is technically and procedurally astute." "She is a passionate, bright, articulate and robust advocate with fantastic client care skills."

CLERK CONTACT INFORMATION

For further information and enquiries please contact:

Crime: Lucy Northeast & Grant Bidwell

Practice areas