Timothy Sapwell


Called 1997



Tim Sapwell has always practised from these Chambers, completing his pupillage after eight years’ service in the Light Dragoons. He brings an extensive knowledge and command of technical detail to firearms cases. He trained as an archaeologist and maintains an interest in the subject. He is currently expanding his practice into other areas in which his proven Crown Court advocacy skills reap results.


  • General Crime
  • Courts Martial
  • Prison Law
  • Proceeds of Crime
  • ASBO and Sex Prevention Orders

(CPS Grade 4 and Rape Panel). Tim is a strong believer in the advantages to be gained from having a balanced practice composed of both prosecution and defence work, including being able to identify and understand the strengths and weaknesses of his opponent’s case. His practice covers all areas of criminal law, including murder, drugs conspiracies, sexual offences and fraud. He particularly enjoys the challenges presented by cases concerning issues of forensic science and has a specialist interest in Firearms Law. He also appears in Courts Martial.

Tim’s eye for detail has been known to bring him work from unusual sources; he recently acted for the defence in the first ever prosecution brought under the Treasure Act. On reading press reports of the mitigation advanced after a guilty plea, he realised that they encompassed a defence to the charge. He immediately contacted the defence solicitor, who duly instructed him to advise and draft a skeleton argument. The “first ever” conviction was thus set aside and the Prosecution, accepting Tim’s argument, subsequently dropped the case.


  • Regulatory Offences
  • Firearms Licensing

Tim is regularly Counsel of choice in appeals against the revocation of firearm and shotgun certificates. He acts for the Police in applications for the retention and forfeiture of cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act. He is instructed in Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority appeals, appearing recently for a claimant who had been shot in the face with an air rifle. He has experience of Prison Adjudication and Parole Board hearings.