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 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 civil, family and criminal matters and undertakes publicly funded as well as private work.

Rachel’s legal career started at a leading commercial set in London after which she moved to a common law chambers where she was able to expand her areas of expertise and appear more regularly in court. After a very busy 9 years at the independent Bar, Rachel worked as in-house counsel for a time before taking a career break in order to spend more time with her young children. During this period away from legal practice Rachel set up a business and also accepted a post as an Associate Law Lecturer.

Her broad range of experience both inside and outside of the law is valued by instructing solicitors and clients alike who also appreciate her friendly demeanour and ability to “think outside of the box”.

Rachel is also known for her tenacity in court, her eye for the detail in a case and her determination to achieve the best possible outcome for her clients.  She has extensive experience in court, appearing in a wide range of hearings from applications at first instance to arguing points on appeal.

Rachel 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 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 solicitors and clients.

Rachel was thrilled to be invited to join Becket Chambers and is quickly re-establishing herself at the Bar. In addition to her busy practice she continues to lecture to undergraduate law students and is also a School Governor. Rachel enjoys live music, sports and spending time with her young family. In 2016 she ran the Brighton Marathon and raised over £2,600 for SANDS and Arthritis Care.

 

Commercial

Rachel accepts instructions at all stages of proceedings and has substantial experience of providing written advice as well as representing clients in court.   She appears for both claimants and defendants and has acted for companies, sole traders and private individuals.

Her experience spans breach of contract and nonperformance claims and counterclaims, debt recovery, employment contract disputes and property-related issues.  She is also available to assist with the drafting of commercial agreements and to advise generally on commercial issues.

Rachel is valued for her pragmatic advice which aims to help her clients avoid the unnecessary cost and stress which long-running litigation can cause.

Rachel Baker's Commercial Cases

Successful application for a bankruptcy order

Rachel acted for the Claimant company which was owed over £25,000 by the Debtor for unpaid nursing home fees. The company sought a Bankruptcy Order but the Debtor applied for an adjournment on the basis that he was close to finalising the terms of a re-mortgage and would shortly be in a position to use Continue reading

Recovering unpaid bills for a small business

Rachel’s client, the Claimant, was a small business who had carried out work for a local property developer who had then refused to pay. The Defendant had not responded to any of the paperwork from the court or Rachel’s client, so judgment had been entered for the Claimant. The Defendant then made an application for Continue reading

Rachel Baker's Testimonials for 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 has experience of a range of personal injury matters, including fatal accident claims and representing families at inquests.  She has regularly been instructed by insurance companies and local authorities both as a court advocate and to advise on liability and quantum.

Her pragmatic and thorough approach is highly valued, as is her sensitive handling of vulnerable and sometimes traumatised clients.

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

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

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.  She is skilled at taking an objective view whilst acting sensitively in cases where emotions very often run high.

Rachel 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.  She is adept at dealing calmly and effectively with clients and individuals who may be under a great deal of stress and anxiety about their situation.

Rachel has appeared regularly in proceedings regarding allegations of anti-social behaviour in social housing and her robust approach is highly valued by her clients, whether they are the defendant tenant or the claimant landlord.

Rachel Baker's Property & Land Law Cases

Claim for possession of holiday premises

Rachel was asked to advise the client company on the basis upon which a guest occupied its holiday accommodation in Kent. The occupant had refused to leave when requested to do so, insisted that they held an assured shorthold tenancy and had also contacted national media outlets which ran stories about the case. Rachel gave Continue reading

Successfully Defending Possession Proceedings

Rachel represented a Legally Aided client who had been served by his landlord with a section 21 Notice for possession of the property he had lived in for some years. Rachel’s thorough examination of the papers revealed that the section 21 Notice had been incorrectly worded, however this had not been pleaded as a defence 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

Crime

Rachel has extensive experience in the criminal courts and has a reputation for skilled advocacy and thorough case preparation.  Her experience as both a Senior Prosecutor and Defence advocate means that she is adept at seeing both sides of a case and anticipating what issues and arguments the other side may raise.  Her detailed, analytical approach to case preparation means that she is often able to pick out crucial details that may otherwise have been missed.

Rachel is particularly valued for her sensitive handling of vulnerable clients and witnesses.  Her warm personality means that she is able to put clients and witnesses at ease, leaving them able to give their evidence knowing that 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