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William Sneddon

Call 2016

Practice Profile

William practices across all areas of criminal law and has a busy Crown Court practice, with a particular focus on cases involving violence, drug supply, firearms, and sexual misconduct. He has a calm and approachable manner with his clients and presents robust and persuasive advocacy in the courtroom.

William is regularly instructed to deal with serious and complex matters as both sole and junior counsel. He has recently been instructed as junior trial counsel in cases involving murder; conspiracy to defraud over £10 million; and supply of tens of kilograms of class A drugs. He also has significant experience representing youth clients and clients with mental illness.

William is known for his comprehensive trial preparation and attention to detail. He can confidently deal with documentary and expert evidence in respect of telephone and cell site data, DNA, and other forms of forensic evidence.

In addition to his trial work, William has obtained leave for appeals to both the Court of Appeal and the High Court. Most recently, he successfully applied to overturn his client’s conviction after it was discovered that one of the jurors had been conducting their own independent research.

Before coming to the Bar, William gained a range of specialist experience. He spent a year working for a boutique law firm in Malaysia, drafting appellate submissions for the Malaysian Federal Court that were instrumental in achieving the exoneration of death row inmates charged with either murder or drug trafficking. Prior to this, he spent nine months in the USA investigating and preparing capital defence cases with Mississippi’s Office of Capital Defense Counsel and also spent a year practising civil law during his time as a County Court Advocate.

William's Privacy Policy can be downloaded here.


  • Criminal Bar Association
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Young Legal Aid Lawyers
  • Human Rights Lawyers Association
  • The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple


  • CPS Grade 2 Prosecutor
  • Social Mobility Advocate of the Bar Council of England and Wales 2021
  • Treasurer of the Inner Temple Junior Bar Association (2020 – 2022)
  • President of the Inner Temple Junior Bar Association (2022 – 2024)
  • Judicial reverse mentor

Scholarships & Prizes

  • 2021                  Pegasus Scholarship (Washington, USA), Pegasus Trust
  • 2019                  Award for Excellence in Advocacy, Criminal Bar Association
  • 2018                  Ede and Ravenscroft Prize, Inner Temple
  • 2016                  Internship Award, Inner Temple
  • 2016                  Travel Award, Northumbria University
  • 2015                  Travel Award, Northumbria University
  • 2015                  Winner, Bar Mooting Competition, Northumbria University
  • 2015                  Exhibition Award, Inner Temple


Malaysia’s Test for Incompetence of Counsel, Outdated from its inception? [2019] 5 MLJ xviii

Recent Cases

  • R v GH [Chelmsford Crown Court] 2024

    Application to Dismiss

    William successfully made an application to dismiss on behalf of his client, who was charged with allowing serious injury to her child. After analysing the Crown’s medical evidence and the previous family proceedings, William successfully argued that there was insufficient evidence for a properly directed jury to convict. Instructed by Paul Martin & Co.

  • R v KS [Senior Courts Cost Office] 2023

    Costs Appeal

    William appealed against the decision of the Determining Officer at the Legal Aid Agency (“LAA”) in respect of his claim for considering unused material under the Advocate’s Graduated Fees Scheme (‘AGFS’). Costs Judge Whelan agreed with William’s submissions that “consideration of unused material” should be given a “relatively broad interpretation” as opposed to the LAA’s restrictive interpretation, which sought to exclude time spent cross-referencing documents.  

  • R v ML [Kingston Crown Court] 2023

    Conspiracy to Defraud

    William appeared as junior counsel for the defence in a 12-week trial in which his client was alleged to have fraudulently obtained over £10 million through an overseas investment scheme. The case involved a detailed understanding and comparison of a substantial volume of financial information, including bank records. Instructed by Brooklyn Law.

  • R v KS [Central Criminal Court] 2022

    Murder of a Child

    William appeared as junior counsel for a youth defendant, who was charged with murdering a child by stabbing. Citing the case of Horne [14th November 1991 (CA)], via both oral and written submissions, William successfully applied to exclude evidence of a Snapchat post that the Prosecution argued was tantamount to an admission. Instructed by Joseph Hill.

  • R v MD [Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)] 2022

    Appeal Against Sentence

    William represented the Crown in an appeal against sentence concerning a Sexual Harm Prevention Order. The appeal was only allowed in part and the Court of Appeal agreed with William’s submissions that the prohibitions from entering public toilets and from sending photographs of genitalia were necessary and did not mimic the existing law. William’s submissions were described as “ingenious” by the Court of Appeal. Instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service.

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