Diana is a tenacious practitioner who primarily practices in the area of serious and complex crime. She is particularly noted for her attention to detail when preparing large multi-handed cases and for her calm and focused approach under pressure. She is often instructed in cases involving complex human rights arguments.
She is a grade 4 CPS prosecutor (general crime, counter terrorism and Serious Crime Group) as well as being on the RASSO CPS Advocate Panels.
As well as her criminal work, she has extensive advisory experience including in relation to internal investigations and public enquiries. She has particular expertise in relation to telephone evidence (having spent one and a half years working nearly exclusively on the communication evidence on the Hariri case). Diana is a recognised expert in the field of sexual violence and is often invited to speak on the subject. Diana also appears at Court Martial and accepts international work.
Background and expertise
Diana is an accomplished advocate who is able to vary her styles as the case needs; from being described by one of her opponents as having a calm, measured and fair approach when prosecuting, to being described by one of her instructing solicitors when defending as ‘a bulldog’, to being sensitive and nuanced when advising the most vulnerable of clients. Her experience includes leading on complex, grave and lengthy 8 defendant prosecution trials; however, she is equally able to give her full attention and passion to the shortest and simplest of cases, including those requiring a sensitive and tailored approach.
Diana also has extensive advisory experience in relation to lengthy and complex investigations including in relation to government corruption and fraud. Through her international work she gained an exceptional ability to analyse and order large volumes of evidence and unused material. In one institution in which Diana worked there were over 600,000 pages of material for the team to consider at the pre-charge stage.
Her years of high-profile and varied experience enable her to remain unfazed when conducting grave trials with multiple high-profile defendants and defence counsel including robust internationally recognised opponents, sometimes attracting significant press and political interest
Diana regularly appears to defend at Court Martial both in the UK and abroad and has the unusual advantage, as a former serving military legal officer, of having served in the SPA and having prosecuted many cases at Court Martial. Whilst in the military she also served at Air Command including being part of the legal team working on the RAF reaction to/subsequent action following the Haddon Cave public inquiry, serving as the legal advisor to Boards of Inquiry (which are charged with investigating air incidents), and providing other legal advice relating to the work of Air Command.
For a chronological CV please go to - www.linkedin.com/in/dianawilsonlawyer.
Organised Crime and Terrorism
Prosecution counsel instructed in a conspiracy to supply 47.5kg of heroin case which at the time had a street value in excess of £10 million. This conspiracy occurred in 2013, when the co-defendants were tried, however this defendant’s trial was delayed as he absconded and had to be extradited back to the UK. The defendant was convicted following trial.
Prosecution counsel in a case where the defendant N was convicted of fund raising contrary to s15(3) of the Terrorism Act 2000. W had previously pleaded guilty and N was convicted following a two-week trial at Liverpool Crown Court. The case relates to N sending money to an organisation calling itself ‘the merciful hands’ knowing or suspecting it would or may be used for the purposes of terrorism. The case involved Diana reviewing significant volumes of electronic material. The defence raised a number of legal arguments which required the court to review and consider the complex law related to these offences.
Full article here.
Prosecution counsel in a case where the defendant pleaded guilty on a basis to offences contrary to s1 of the Terrorism Act 2006. Successful conducted the 4-day Newton hearing in relation to intent/recklessness where the full evidence that would have been presented at trial was heard. The defendant was a national of Cameroon who engaged in encouraging an act of terrorism online. The case included the consideration of expert evidence in relation to the complex political situation in Cameroon.
Prosecution counsel in case where the defendant pleaded guilty to a 15 count indictment, including soliciting to murder and bomb hoax counts. Full story here. At the sentence two psychiatrists were called and cross-examined in order to assist the court determine the correct diagnosis and type of sentence (s45A or s37/41).
Prosecution counsel, in a case prosecuted under the terrorism protocol, but resulting in a plea to a lesser offence on the day of trial and a sentence under s37 of the MHA with a s41 restriction.
Read more Organised Crime and Terrorism
International organised crime work
Diana spent several years working internationally prosecuting and investigating large multi-jurisdictional organised crime cases including overseeing lengthy investigations against high profile government figures and overseeing covert measures.
She has also been the supervising prosecutor for a number of JITs including relating to organised people smuggling.
Advised and oversaw investigation in to a multi-million-pound land fraud, subjects included high profile political figures.
Advised in relation to a multi-million-pound government corruption investigation.
Prosecution advocate in successful prosecution against two defendants for smuggling people from Kosovo to Italy via Albania.
Diana has experience of advising on RIPA and sensitive material. She also has experience of conducting PII applications.
Leading junior counsel for the prosecution in a series of multi-defendant cases involving arguments re Articles 9, 10 and 11 ECHR.
Instructed in a case stated, which includes arguments re legislative interpretation in light of the Human Rights Act and Article 10 ECHR.
Instructed in relation to a historic sexual case.
Instructed to prosecute a five defendant conspiracy to s18.
Currently instructed in a rape and false imprisonment trial.
Prosecution of the front seat passenger in a causing death by dangerous driving case.
Attempted murder case where following an argument in a public house the defendant deliberately drove into the victim. W was convicted following trial of s18 and sentenced to 9 and a half years. Kingston Crown Court
Defence counsel in a ‘paedophile hunter’ case. Following a successful s8 application and representations to the Crown the CPS offered no evidence on all charges.
Prosecution counsel leading Sean Sullivan in an 8-defendant case of attempted murder and wounding with intent in two knife attacks in East London. The defendants were aged 14-16. All defendants were convicted following trial.
For further detail see here
Prosecution counsel leading Max Hardy in an 8 week, 8 defendant conspiracy to kidnap and wounding with intent (s18) trial. Sentences ranged up to 13 years.
Instructed to defend a man charged with Rape. Crown offered no evidence following the further disclosure which flowed from Diana’s successful s8 application.
Prosecuted four men charged with aggravated burglary and blackmail, sentences ranged up to 12 years. One youth defendant was aided by an intermediary throughout the trial.
Defence counsel instructed to defend a man charged with serious child sex offences.
Successful prosecution of three youths for offences including wounding with intent following the stabbing of a 14-year-old in a park causing his lung to collapse. The case involved dealing with young witnesses who had been through significant trauma.
Read more General Crime
Dishonesty/White Collar Crime
Successful prosecution of a man charged under POCA in relation to £300,000 worth of multiple currencies seized from his person and MSB.
Instructed as a led junior to defend a man charged with conspiracy to commit a breach of immigration law and money laundering. The evidence was around 20,000 pages. The indictment spanned a 4 year period, the investigation covered a 10 year period. Isleworth Crown Court.
Defended a lady accused of running multiple brothels and living off immoral earnings. Basildon Crown Court.
Successful prosecution of a man who defrauded a company of several hundred thousand pounds. Kingston Crown Court.
Read more Dishonesty/White Collar Crime
Court Martial/Military Work
Successful submission of no case to answer defending a soldier in an 8-defendant affray case.
Successful defence of a soldier accused of serious domestic violence allegations. Following several listings to ensure disclosure and one non-effective listing for trial the prosecution offered no evidence.
Successful defence of a soldier charged with multiple offences of violence.
Defence of a soldier who, whilst on operations, was accused of multiple of offences of violence, and assaulting a service police officer. Following a partial acquittal and some guilty pleas the soldier, unusually, received a sentence which enabled him to continue serving.
Read more Court Martial/Military Work
Worked as a Prosecutor on the issues arising out of the Council of Europe report written by Dick Marty. The SPO has jurisdiction to prosecute War Crimes, crimes against humanity and certain Kosovo domestic crimes.
Trial counsel on the prosecution team from 2011-2013 in the international terrorism case relating to the assassination of HARIRI on 14 February 2005. Worked almost exclusively on the communications evidence, including working with top internationally recognised computer, telecommunications and other technical experts.
Kosovo prosecution counsel in the prosecution of four defendants including a government minister for war crimes. The case related to charges of violence and sexual violence using command responsibility and direct perpetration as modes of liability.
One of two prosecution advocates in the prosecution of the 2nd ever rape as a war crime trial in the Kosovo national courts.
Prosecution advocate in case against two defendants for smuggling people from Kosovo to Italy via Albania.
Prosecutor in charge of a number of sensitive investigations including in relation to large scale government corruption, organised crime and war crime cases. This included liaising with agencies outside of Kosovo.
Legal Officer working with the Judges unit on war crime, organised crime (including aggravated murder) and ethnically sensitive cases
OTHER ACTIVITIES AND INTERESTS
Provides training in relation to a number of subjects including:
- Human Rights,
- War crimes,
- Sexual offences, and
- Technical evidence.
Working knowledge of French.
Keen scuba diver, free diver and open water swimmer.
"A persuasive advocate with an excellent manner with clients" (Legal 500, 2020)
"She is able to communicate effectively with the jury and is effective in cross-examination." "She takes a no-nonsense approach to other advocates and the judiciary." (Chambers UK, 2020)
PROFILE: Diana Wilson
‘Diana is an impressive and relentless advocate in her client’s cause. She takes few prisoners. She has sharp intellect and her meticulous preparation is hugely impressive. She is an intimidating opponent but at the same time has a faithful nose for what is right and fair. She demonstrates all that is good about the independent bar and an advocate you would always want on your side.’
Legal 500, 2021
Confiscation / POCA
Fraud, Bribery & Corruption
Inquests / public inquiries
Fraud, Bribery & Corruption
020 7489 2727
Read Law at St. John's College Cambridge (1997-2000),
Inns of Court School of Law/City University of London (2000-2001)
Criminal Bar Association
The Association of Military Court Advocates
The South Eastern Circuit
Women in Criminal Law
Defence Extradition Lawyers Forum
International Bar Association
Grade 4 CPS Advocates Panel (General Crime and Counter Terrorism)
CPS RASSO Advocates Panel
CPS Serious Crime Group Panel (Level 4)
2013 - 2017 Kosovo Prosecutor (member of the Kosovo Judiciary)
2014 Deployable Civilian Expert (Justice and Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative)
Justice Rapid Response Expert Roster