About Alison Pryor
Called in 2008
Alison is valued for her tenacious demeanour and has been praised for her thorough and forensic advocacy.
Her practice encompasses the full range of environmental law, criminal matters, and she also has considerable experience in care proceedings and private law Children Act disputes.
Alison is the head of chambers’ environmental law team, and has in-depth knowledge of the regulatory landscape in this area and an understanding of the technical issues that commonly arise. It is her background in general criminal law, however, that has proven to be a valuable resource in cases where what is required is realistic and sensible advice on how to defend a prosecution in the criminal courts.
She is regularly instructed in prosecutions brought by the Environment Agency in respect of sewage pollution incidents and has significant experience in advising on and presenting evidence to challenge the prosecution case on culpability and harm. In addition, she frequently appears in cases where the correct application of the sentencing guidelines to “very large organisations” (ie where annual turnover is in excess of £250m) is in issue and was instructed as junior counsel in what is currently the largest prosecution ever brought by the EA against a water company, at Aylesbury Crown Court in February – March 2017. She also appeared in the Court of Appeal as junior counsel for the defendant water company in the first appeal brought under the new sentencing guidelines for environmental offences (R v Thames Water Utilities Ltd  EWCA Crim 960,  2 Cr App Rep (S) 439,  1 WLR 4411,  Crim LR 739, 165 NLJ 7657, (2015) Times 21 August).
Alison both prosecutes and defends in the Crown Court. Recent instructions include allegations of historic sexual offences, conspiracy to defraud, and various offences against the person. She has appeared in the Central Criminal Court in her own right, in a fraud/tax evasion trial, and as a led junior in a multi-handed murder/violent disorder matter lasting 12 weeks. In addition, Alison has experience as independent disclosure counsel instructed by HMRC and the SFO.
Alison is regularly instructed by the defence in prosecutions brought by the Environment Agency, and appeared as junior counsel before the Court of Appeal in the first appeal brought under the new sentencing guidelines for environmental offences (R v Thames Water Utilities Ltd  EWCA Crim 960,  2 Cr App Rep (S) 439,  1 WLR 4411,  Crim LR 739, 165 NLJ 7657, (2015) Times 21 August).
Alison’s practice covers both private and public law children matters as well as applications for financial remedies and disputes concerning TLATA.
She has significant experience in representing parents and the Guardian at all stages of care proceedings, from applications for EPOs/ICOs through to final hearings and appeals. Her approachability and skill in handling matters concerning vulnerable clients make her particularly suitable for this practice area. Alison is also regularly instructed to represent clients in private law matters, from ex parte injunction applications to contested final hearings on issues of residence and contact.
Alison’s civil practice is wide-ranging and includes anti-social behaviour injunctions, personal injury and credit hire. Currently, she is instructed in a multi-faceted claim concerning the sale of business premises which raised issues as to the applicability of consumer protection legislation.
Before joining Church Court in 2014, Alison was a member of Westgate Chambers in Sussex where she established successful criminal, family and civil practices. Previously Alison worked for LexisNexis as a law reporter covering the Supreme Court, both Courts of Appeal and the Divisional and Administrative courts. In addition, she regularly produced headnotes for the All England, Family Court and Local Government Reports.
EXPERIENCE AND INSTRUCTIONS
R v P and others Instructed by the defence in fraudulent evasion of duty trial at Central Criminal Court
R v KS and others Junior counsel for defendant in multi-handed murder/violent disorder trial at Central Criminal Court
R v W Successfully represented defendant accused of seven counts of historical sexual abuse against sister
R v G Successful represented defendant accused of sexually assaulting female gas fitter when she attended his property to mend boiler
R v D Represented female defendant accused of historic sexual abuse against 9-12 year old female family friend
R v S 19-year-old of good character acquitted of ABH against PCSO
R v C Represented defendant acquitted of racially aggravated public order offence. Successful legal argument led to exclusion of child witness’ ABE interview
R v L 14-year-old acquitted of burglary after trial involving cross-examination of several child witnesses
R v Thames Water Utilities Ltd  EWCA Crim 960,  2 Cr App Rep (S) 439,  1 WLR 4411,  Crim LR 739, 165 NLJ 7657, (2015) Times 21 August
R v T Represented defendant utility company in environmental prosecution. Issues included the extent to which a statutory undertaker is expected to carry out proactive maintenance on inherited infrastructure
R v T Represented utility company at sentencing hearing where correct application of R v Thames Water Utilities Ltd  EWCA Crim 960 was in issue, in respect of the relevance of previous convictions and the size of the organization
A Local Authority v H: represented father at domestic violence fact-finding hearing within care proceedings. No findings were made against the father and the child was eventually placed in his care
A Local Authority v SC: successfully represented Children’s Guardian in two sets of care proceedings concerning 4 children
A Local Authority v C: represented the father in a lengthy and complicated fact-finding hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, no findings were made against the father
A Local Authority v K: representing the mother, successfully obtained adjournment of final hearing for further assessment
A Local Authority v SS: represented father at EPO hearing in respect of new-born. After a 2-day contested hearing, the judge held that the criteria for making the order were not satisfied and the baby remained in her parents’ care
A Local Authority v S: successful appeal against magistrates’ refusal to order further assessment of client, a father with schizophrenia.
A Local Authority v X: represented mother at EPO hearing in alleged shaken baby case
Carter v Asda Stores Ltd: represented successful claimant at fast-track trial in ‘slipping’ case
Rodwell v Ascot Underwriting Ltd: successfully represented claimant in credit hire claim
Richmond-upon-Thames Churches Housing Trust v W and others: obtained final injunction in anti-social behaviour proceedings
AmicusHorizon Ltd v S: acted for social landlord at committal hearing in respect of breaches of an ASBI.