Date: Thursday 15th October 2020
Time: 17:00
Venue: Via Zoom Link
Speakers: Christopher May, John Oliver, Sarah Fairbairn
Cost: Free - Register online to attend
Modern Slavery: An update for Defence Practitioners
15 October at 5:00pm - Via Zoom

Join Chris May, John Oliver and Sarah Fairbairn via zoom at our latest Criminal Webinar, exclusively for Defence Practitioners:

Criminal practitioners will be increasingly aware of the Defence contained in Section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 that a defendant had themself been exploited. The legislation is not straightforward and gives rise to various complexities. The aim of this seminar is to address some of the issues which arise in practice and to provide an update of important developments. Areas which will be covered include:

  • Referrals to the National Referral Mechanism (‘the NRM’):
  • Who can make an NRM referral
  • Time frames for referrals
  • Things to look out for when making a referral
  • What do you need to run a S.45 defence?
  • Reasonable Grounds & Concluded Grounds decisions
  • Legal differences in the defence for those aged over 18 and under 18
  •  ‘Old’ cases pre-dating s.45 MSA
  • Why s.45 is there, what it is designed to do and some things it does not do
  • The effect of the decision in R v S and abuse of process applications
  • Live Q & A.

Chris May is a heavyweight criminal barrister instructed in some of the most serious, and often high profile criminal cases either as the leading junior or sole advocate. Chris is ranked in Chambers and Partners for his criminal work. Chris is the head of the Criminal Prosecutions Team at 5SAH and he is the Senior of the Kent Bar Mess.

John Oliver specialises in crime and extradition. John has particular experience in cases involving drugs, sexual offences (including historic allegations), serious violence and dishonesty. He has an interest in cases involving vulnerable defendants and witnesses and has been instructed in cases involving the use of intermediaries to assist defendants with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and those with mental health conditions.


Sarah Fairbairn is a barrister practising in all areas of criminal law, with a particular focus on criminal defence. She has a busy practice in the Magistrates’ Court and Youth Court and is developing a strong Crown Court practice too.