Rachel Baker

Rachel joined Chambers in 2016, bringing with her a wealth of experience and a reputation for sound advice, diligence and skilled advocacy. She accepts instructions in general civil and criminal matters and undertakes publicly funded as well as private work.
Her civil practice encompasses contractual and commercial disputes as well as personal injury claims, housing matters and property disputes. Rachel is also a skilled criminal advocate and has wide experience in the criminal courts and is particularly good with youth and vulnerable clients.
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Rachel returned to the Bar in 2016 after a career break with her young family. During her time away from legal practice she also ran a small business, taught law to undergraduate students and also assisted Sussex Police with their advocacy training programme. This broad range of experience both inside and outside of the law is valued by instructing solicitors and clients alike who also appreciate her approachable demeanour and ability to “think outside the box”.

Rachel graduated with First Class Honours and was placed in the top 10% of her year on the Bar Vocational Course.  She has a reputation for sound and practical advice, diligence and skilled advocacy, and since joining Becket Chambers has quickly re-established a busy practice in civil and criminal law.

Rachel’s legal career started at a leading civil and commercial set in London after which time she moved to a common law chambers where she was able to expand her areas of expertise and appear more regularly in court.  After nine years at the independent Bar, she worked as in-house counsel for a time before taking a career break.

Rachel is known for her tenacity in court, her eye for the detail in a case and her determination to receive the best possible outcome for her clients. She appears in a wide range of hearings from applications at first instance to arguing points on appeal. Her experience in the criminal courts makes her a skilled and incisive cross-examiner.

She is adept at providing advice and in preparing pleadings, draft Orders and applications. Her firm belief in the need to give clear and accessible guidance to clients is reflected in her ability to distil complex information into practical written advice. Rachel’s attention to detail is evident in her paper work practice and her emphasis on client care is reflected in her efficient return of written work.

Rachel has a deserved reputation not only for her professional and thorough approach but also for her ability to make even the most nervous or vulnerable clients feel at ease. Her warm personality and experience of life away from the law makes it particularly easy for her to establish an excellent rapport with people of all backgrounds and this, coupled with her legal knowledge and skills, makes her a popular choice with both instructing solicitor and clients.

In addition to her busy practice Rachel remains an Associate Lecturer of law and is also a School Governor. She enjoys lives music, sports and spending time with her family. She is a keen runner and recently completed the Brighton Marathon raising over £2,600 for SANDS and Arthritis Care.

Contract and Commercial

Rachel’s practice sees her undertaking work on fast and multi-track cases in a wide range of areas and at all stages of proceedings. She is able to provide written advice pre-issue, to draft pleadings and to assist the client through to trial.

At all stages Rachel’s pragmatic advice aims to encourage clients to get the best possible outcome and to avoid, if possible, the costs and stress involved in long-running litigation.

Rachel’s experience spans breach of contract and non-performance claims and counterclaims, debt recovery, employment contract disputes and property-related issues including TOLATA claims. She is also available to assist with the drafting of commercial agreements and to advise generally on commercial issues.

As part of Becket Chambers’ civil team, Rachel has provided seminars to solicitors on various aspects of civil litigation, and will be delivering further training in 2018.

Rachel Baker's Contract and Commercial Cases

Holiday sickness claim settlement without a court hearing

Rachel was instructed to represent the Claimant in a travel sickness claim against one of the UK’s largest tour operators. The matter had been listed for a full day’s fast track hearing, and the parties had been ordered to prepare skeleton arguments in readiness. Rachel’s thorough and persuasive skeleton argument was provided to the Defendant Continue reading

Articles by Rachel Baker

A variation to the law of variations: The Supreme Court gives judgment in Rock Advertising Ltd v MWB Business Exchange Centres Ltd

Summary: In a case of potential relevance to anyone entering into a written contract, the Supreme Court has recently held that oral variations to such a contract may well be invalid. The case has wide reaching implications and changes the approach previously adopted by the courts. In its Judgment in Rock Advertising Ltd v MWB Continue reading

Rachel Baker's Testimonials for Contract and Commercial

“The client rang later to say he was very pleased with how you dealt with the case, and they’d learned a lot from you”

Ms M from Solicitors instructing Rachel Baker – March 17

Personal Injury

Rachel’s personal injury practice covers a wide range of areas including fatal accident claims and inquests. She is regularly instructed on multi and fast-track matters and acts for insurance companies and local authorities as well as for Claimants.

Her practice includes the provision of written advice and pleadings as well as advocacy. Her pragmatic and thorough approach is highly valued, as is her sensitive handling of often vulnerable and traumatised clients.

Rachel has also been instructed to act for applicants to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme for compensation for injuries suffered as a result of violent crime.

Rachel accepts instructions on a Conditional Fee basis.

Rachel Baker's Personal Injury Cases

Successful Limitation of Claim for Medical Expenses

Rachel acted for the Defendant at the Stage 3 Ministry of Justice hearing of a personal injury matter. Rachel successfully argued that, despite documentary evidence that the Claimant had undergone the number of physiotherapy sessions recommended by a medical expert, the special damages awarded should be limited to the cost of around one third of Continue reading

Successful Defence to Application for Wasted Costs

Rachel was instructed to oppose an application for wasted costs arising from a personal injury claim.  The claimant had issued proceedings arising from a road traffic accident. The claim had been withdrawn but not before it had been listed for various hearings and costs had been incurred by the defence. An order for costs had Continue reading

Articles by Rachel Baker

Fundamental Dishonesty; Clarity from the Courts

Although now a fact of life for personal injury lawyers since its introduction in April 2013, one aspect of QOCS (Qualified One Way Costs Shifting) has given rise to uncertainty: namely the thorny issue of how “fundamental dishonesty” is defined and how the term also applies to the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 (“CJCA”).   Continue reading

Property & Land Law

Rachel is experienced in acting for parties in disputes about the possession of property, including mortgage possession actions and Landlord claims for possession. Rachel has been instructed by private individuals, financial organisations, Local Authorities and also charities.

Rachel also accepts instructions regarding disputes arising from interest in land including TOLATA claims and boundary disputes. She has acted in a number of cases involving injunctions between neighbours arising out of property disputes.

In addition, she has appeared regularly in proceedings regarding allegations of anti-social behaviour in social housing, both for and against the housing provider.

Rachel is adept at dealing calmly and effectively with clients and individuals who may be under a great deal of stress, and her robust yet sensitive approach is of particular value in many cases involving property disputes.

Rachel Baker's Property & Land Law Cases

Successful Resolution of Road Name Dispute

Rachel was instructed on behalf of a local Resident’s Committee for a private estate. The committee wished to challenge the decision of the local council to allow a road within the estate to be renamed, and wished to appeal under the relatively little used provisions of the Public Health Act 1925. Rachel advised her clients Continue reading

Supporting a vulnerable witness to give evidence

Rachel was instructed by a Local Authority in a matter concerning an application for a housing-related Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction. The Local Authority’s key witness was extremely nervous about giving evidence and anxious about the court process. Rachel went to lengths to reassure the witness, put them at ease and explain the court process. Despite still Continue reading

Articles by Rachel Baker

A Licence for Alms

The Court of Appeal has recently given its decision in the case of Watts v Stewart [2016] EWCA Civ 1247, and in so doing has provided a useful reminder of the distinction to be drawn between a lease and a licence.  The case is also a restatement of the Street v Mountford principle that the Continue reading


Rachel has extensive experience in the criminal courts and a reputation for skilled advocacy and thorough case preparation. Her detailed and analytical approach to cases means that she very often picks out crucial details that have previously been overlooked.

Rachel’s years of experience in the criminal courts are reflected in her cross-examination skills and these are put to very good effect at trial where Rachel acts both for Prosecution and Defence.

She is also valued for her sensitive handling of vulnerable clients and witnesses. Her warm personality means that she is able to put them at ease, which in turn allows them to give their evidence knowing they are in good hands.

Rachel also has an interest in regulatory law and has appeared on behalf of local authorities and other agencies to prosecute both companies and individuals for regulatory offences.


Rachel Baker's Crime Cases

Successful Crown Court Appeal against conviction

Rachel’s client had previously been convicted in the Magistrates’ Court of an offence of failing to provide information as to the identity of a driver (section 172 Road Traffic Act 1988). Following his appeal, Rachel represented him at the Crown Court for a full rehearing of his case. The defence was based partly on the Continue reading

Avoidance of disqualification for a client with 15 points

Rachel represented a Defendant with 15 points on their driving licence, in a case involving failing to give information (a ‘section 172’ offence). The client also had a recent conviction for the same offence, something which was of concern to the Magistrates. However, Rachel used her considerable advocacy skills to argue ‘exceptional hardship’ on behalf Continue reading


Rachel is instructed in a range of employment matters and appears in the Tribunal on behalf of both employees and employers.

She is also able to advise on both liability and remedy, and her pragmatic approach means that she can assist her clients in finding ways to resolve a dispute without the need for the expense and stress that litigation very often entails.

Rachel Baker's Employment Cases

Compensation for sex discrimination

Rachel’s client, the Claimant, had been employed as a receptionist in a male-dominated company and had been subjected to sexual harassment and sex discrimination from colleagues, including the company’s Director. During the four-day hearing, the Director had made comments to the Claimant about her physical appearance, which indicated that he did not take her complaints Continue reading

Articles by Rachel Baker