Leanne Cross has been a public prosecutor for nineteen years, after a short period in private practice. She has spent most of that time in Scotland, working for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), preparing and prosecuting crime at all levels, investigating sudden and unexplained deaths and conducting Fatal Accident Inquiries. During her time in Scotland, she spent a period of three years in Crown Office itself, providing legal advice and briefing to the Scottish Law Officers and liaising with the Scottish Government on policy initiatives in relation to a number of new legislative proposals.
In 2008 she qualified as a Solicitor Advocate and was subsequently appointed by the Lord Advocate in Scotland as an Advocate Depute to prosecute the most complex, serious and sensitive criminal casework in Scotland. For five years, she was one of a small team of Advocate Deputes who travelled around Scotland prosecuting in the High Court. Her casework included homicides, organised crime and serious sexual offending. This was followed by a two-year spell as a senior manager within COPFS, when as well as managing a large team of prosecution lawyers she worked with local Criminal Justice Boards to increase efficiency and effectiveness within the criminal justice system and to improve the experience of victims and witnesses.
For the last three years, Leanne has worked for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in England & Wales – in the International Justice and Organised Crime Division, with headquarters in London. She is currently based in Athens, where she is the CPS representative on the UK taskforce to support cross-border efforts to tackle organised immigration crime, modern slavery and human trafficking. Leanne provides operational support for ongoing casework in these fields – and also deals with extradition and mutual legal assistance matters more generally. At the beginning of 2018 this role expanded into Bulgaria and Leanne is now exploring the possibility of similar work within Serbia.
In 2016/17 Leanne was one of 5 experts who formed part of a European Commission technical assistance team carrying out an analysis of the structural and functional model of the Prosecution Service in Bulgaria. The team published its finding in December 2016.