Douglas specialises in extradition, inquiries, and investigations. He has experience advising and representing individuals, companies, and governments. Douglas offers well-thought-out, focused advice and serves as a composed and determined advocate in court.
BACKGROUND AND EXPERTISE
Douglas frequently receives instructions to advise and represent individuals facing extradition under both Part 1 and Part 2 of the Extradition Act. He has represented and advised requested persons in extradition proceedings at both initial stages and on appeal. Douglas is experienced with requests for surrender from Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, and Turkey.
In addition to his extradition practice, Douglas is currently instructed as junior counsel to the Under Cover Policing Inquiry.
Before specialising in extradition, inquiries, and investigations Douglas prosecuted and defended domestic crime. Douglas has experience as a junior alone in single defendant and multi handed trials, handling cases involving offences of violence, blackmail, offensive weapons, and firearms and ammunition.
Prior to joining chambers Douglas gained experience at a leading criminal litigation practice known for representing high net worth and high-profile individuals, specialising in fraud and financial crime and complex crime.
Drawing on his experience, Douglas has provided advice to a company concerning the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, advised HMRC in relation to Legal Professional Privilege in relation to offenses arising from an Employee Benefit Trust Scheme, and assisted a company in relation to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry.
Douglas has assisted in the provision of advice to the Government of South Sudan.
Mr C was sought by Belgium for 186 offences of making false statements, the falsification and forgery of documents, and fraud. The offences took place over a period of one month in 2017. The District Judge found that the particulars on the warrant were insufficint as to Mr C’s role in the offending. The District Judge when discharging Mr C relied on the language of Alexander v France to observe that the warrant could properly be descurbed as a “wholesale failure” to comply with the proisions of s.2(6)(b) of the Act.
Ms C was sought by Romania for violent offences committed in September 2016. During the extradition proceedings efforts were made to address the conviction in Romania by the defence team. Following the final hearing, before judgment, the warrant was withdrawn by the Requesting Judicial Authority. Douglas was instructed by Harry Charalambous of Taylor Rose MW.
In the lower court R was acquitted and F was convicted. On appeal Douglas argued that F could not be convicted under s.1(1)(b) of the Firearms Act 1968 as they were in possession of a valid firearms certificate at the time of the alleged offending. The Crown argued that there was an overlap between s.1(1)(b) and s.1(2) of the Firearms Act 1968. The court concluded that proceedings could only have been brought under s.1(2) and that as proceedings under s.1(2) were time barred by virtue of s.127 of the Magistrates Court Act 1980 the appeal was allowed.
G faced an indictment containing one count of robbery. The lead up to, and the aftermath of, the incident was caught on CCTV and the incident was caught on police BWV. Following the Douglas’ submission of skeleton arguments opposing the admission of hearsay evidence (an uncontactable eyewitness) and opposing the admission of G’s bad character (a conviction and seven-year prison sentence for robbery in G’s country of origin) the Crown withdrew both applications. At the conclusion of a seven-day trial G was acquitted.
The defendant pleaded guilty to two unrelated non-residential burglaries, one to a jewellery shop and the other to a newsagent. Both burglaries were in the top category of the sentencing guideline and involved tens of thousands of pounds of loss and damage to the businesses. In reliance on Douglas’ submissions the court passed a suspended sentence.
- Sir Edward Marshall-Hall Scholarship, The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.
- Major Scholarship, The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.
- Duke of Edinburgh Scholarship, The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.
- Advocacy Scholarship, BPP University Law School.
- Excellence Scholarship, BPP University Law School.
- PASS Scholarship, The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.
PROFILE: Douglas Wotherspoon
Inquests / public inquiries
LLB Honours Law Degree, The University of Manchester, 2019 (First Class).
Bar Professional Training Course, BPP University Law School, 2020.
Defence Extradition Lawyers Forum
Extradition Lawyers Association
International Bar Association
The Criminal Bar Association
The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
CPS General Crime Panel (Grade:2)
Attorney General Panel (Junior Junior)