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Tessa has developed a successful practice both defending and prosecuting – thanks to her meticulous approach, her dedication, and her ability to handle cases where clients require patience and sensitivity.
She is ranked as a leading junior in Chambers and Partners, and a leading individual in Legal 500.
Background and Expertise
Called in 2009, Tessa consistently holds her own in cases alongside opponents and co-defending counsel who are senior to her in both call and experience. She has recently completed vulnerable witness training.
Her caring but focused approach, and her reputation for representing vulnerable defendants, have seen her instructed in complex, specialist cases – and she is focusing her practice on serious, challenging cases where clients require patience and sensitivity.
She is often commended for her role in multi-handed, paper-heavy trials, thanks to her case preparation and her focused handling of the disclosure regime.
Tessa has been instructed in a number of cases investigated by the Trident Gang Command, and is sought out in cases which require attention to detail as well as frank, tactically astute advice.
She is heavily involved in training our current pupils in advocacy and practice development, and is a respected and valued member of the junior bar.
Attempted murder at the Central Criminal Court, involving a defendant with mental health issues alleged to have attacked his mother with a bread knife.
Multi-handed murder trial at Ipswich Crown Court, involving what is alleged to be a retaliation gang attack involving various weapons.
Represented a 15 year old charged with attempted robbery, and possessing an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence. Sentenced on a guilty plea to a referral order.
Historic sexual allegations
Defendant acquitted. Southampton Crown Court. Multi-complainant familial abuse alleged.
Central Criminal Court. Led. Multi-complainant familial abuse alleged.
Historical multi-rape allegation at Basildon Crown Court. Successfully defended family man against allegations by his daughter, in a case which involved anonymous letters pressing the complainant to come forward.
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Snaresbrook Crown Court. Led. Multi-complainant familial abuse alleged.
Led at Amersham Crown Court in first trial which resulted in acquittals and hung jury, and in retrial. More than 10 complainants alleging abuse over a 30 year period.
Gang related crimes
Allegation of gang-related stabbing which resulted in pleas being accepted to lesser offences. Isleworth Crown Court.
Allegation of conspiracy to kidnap. Southampton Crown Court, and retrial at Winchester Crown Court.
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Allegation of conspiracy to supply from Liverpool to Southampton. Southampton Crown Court.
Vulnerable defendants or witnesses
Defended male accused of an unprovoked attack on his ex-partner, which was said to have been witnessed by her 10-year-old daughter. Acquitted despite graphic injury photographs at Basildon Crown Court.
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Defended male with learning difficulties who was accused of sharing indecent images of children. No evidence offered a week before trial.
Defended a youth accused of drugs offences. Case eventually stayed as an abuse of process on the basis of argument that the defendant was a victim of trafficking.
Other Activities and Interests
- Member of the pupillage training committee
- Lecturing on victims of trafficking
- Lecturing on mental health disposals
- Level 3 CPS General Panel
- Level 2 CPS Specialist Serious Crime Panel