Year of Call: 1992
Inn of Court: Inner Temple
Tana Adkin QC
‘Her work includes challenging sex offence cases’ – Crime – Leading Juniors (Legal 500 – 2017)
Tana Adkin is a Queen’s Counsel specialising in conducting the most grave violent and sexual offences including murder, historic childhood sexual abuse, child sexual exploitation, baby-shaking, child cruelty and neglect. She has been at the Bar for over 25 years and favours a forensic analysis of the evidence in order to target her cross-examination.
She has many years’ experience in cases involving vulnerable defendants and witnesses including the very young and elderly with particular skills working with the mentally and physically disabled, those on the Autistic spectrum and with Asperger’s syndrome.
She conducts cases involving alleged professional malpractice particularly those involving medical professionals and has acted as “Special Counsel” for Regulators. She welcomes instructions to advise and represent all parties requiring representation at Coroner’s inquests particularly where there is a need for cross-examination of a Pathologist.
She is currently a member of the Bar Council Retention Panel and a Parental Leave Mentor.
- R v. Bruckland (Joseph Peter Vincent)  EWCA Crim 1183 – Represented Mr. Bruckland during his trial and became aware of irregularities in how the jury were treated. She brought the matter to the attention of the Court of Appeal and the case is now a reported case with respect to Counsel being informed of jury difficulties.
- R v. B  EWCA Crim 1183 – A juror left the retirement room during deliberations in a state of distress and complained to the usher of bullying by the foreman. She refused to return to the retirement room. The Court held that the judge had been wrong to send the jury home and not to inform counsel of the full nature of the events that had occurred. The correct approach would have been to conduct enquiries of the usher and court clerk in open court, with all parties present so that counsel could then make informed submissions as to the appropriate course of action.
- R v. Edward McGrath (2017) – Isleworth Crown Court – As leading counsel successfully defended Mr. McGrath charged with murder. McGrath was accused of going to nearby flats to see a girlfriend and beating the victim who later died. The evidence centred on voice recognition evidence from a neighbour who had witnessed McGrath’s violent behaviour previously and CCTV evidence showed Mr. McGrath involved in gratuitious violence at a pub earlier that evening. Forensic evidence on a bottle was linked to an associate of Mr. McGrath’s. Ms. Adkin through detailed cross-examination demonstrated how the neighbour had added to his account and in a calculated move, called the associate’s brother as a witness. With his divided loyalties this pointed towards the associate as the assailant rather than Mr. McGrath. Mr. McGrath was acquitted.
- R v. John De’Viana (2017) – Snaresbrook Crown Court – As leading counsel successfully defended Mr. De’Viana who was accused of child cruelty by physically and verbally abusing his two young daughters as he coached them in tennis. Mr. De’Viana flatly denied the abuse rather than trying to suggest he was simply a ‘pushy parent’. Late disclosure of training notes in which he abusively criticised his daughters were examined during the trial. Ms. Adkin exposed the background animosity between Mr. De’Viana and his wife during cross-examination which provided a motive for exaggeration and she called influential witnesses, some expert in sports coaching, who painted an alternative picture. Mr. De’Viana was acquitted.
- R v. Corcoran & Others (2016) – Central Criminal Court – Defended Terence Murphy alone as Junior. This case was said to involve the largest industrial cannabis production operations in the UK producing an estimated £52.7 million worth of cannabis. Ms. Adkin conducted detailed examination of Mr. Murphy’s links with co-defendants (via mobile phones) and the setting up of cannabis factories in warehouses around the country. Mr. Murphy had a particularly challenging defence including a conviction for an identical matter. Ms. Adkin obtained a psychological report during the trial which minimised Mr. Murphy’s culpability resulting in the lowest sentence for all involved.
- B.A. (Hons), Leicester
- Dip.Law, City University, London
- Diploma in Forensic Medical Sciences
- Otto Rix Scholar (Inner Temple)
- Geoffrey Veale Scholar (Inner Temple)
- Criminal Bar Association
- Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
- British Academy of Forensic Scientists
Areas of Specialism
From a family of scientists, Tana has expertise in cases involving the following
- Medical and biological evidence (forensic pathology, neuropathology, adult and paediatric genital injury, forensic psychiatry – mental incapacity, memory, parasomnia (“sexomnia”), “shaken baby syndrome”, body mummification)
- DNA (LCN, mixed profiles, challenging statistical evaluation)
- Fingerprints, shoeprints, facial-mapping, handwriting analysis, fibre analysis.
- “Blood spatter” analysis
- Chemical analysis (firearms, bomb-making, counterfeiting, drugs)
- IT/computer science and smartphone technology (identity fraud, indecent images, cell-site analysis, communication offences)
Tana is highly experienced in consulting with and cross-examining forensic experts including the leading experts in their field.
Tana has conducted largescale cases of fraud as well as drugs importations, and is experienced in managing multi-defendant and multi-complainant historic child sexual abuse cases. Tana recently defended in what was described as the largest child trafficking and sexual exploitation case prosecuted in the U.K.
She has prosecuted and defended in high profile cases prompting national and international publicity and has provided information to those instructing her for onward provision to the media.
In many cases Tana advises with respect to Third Party disclosure and Public Interest Immunity applications and is experienced at dealing with protocols regarding disclosure by other agencies such as Social Services, Schools, Doctors’ surgeries and Hospitals.
Tana has considerable expertise in dealing with vulnerable witnesses and defendants including children with special needs and adults operating under a disability. She frequently deals with “special measures” for witnesses, attends “ground rules” hearings and works with intermediaries.
Tana is also a specialist Rape Prosecutor and has wide-ranging experience of advising and managing cases on behalf of the C.P.S.
She regularly advises and works with various specialist police teams with respect to rape, child abuse and internet grooming prosecutions.
Tana frequently conducts cases involving insanity and fitness to plead issues and where Hospital and guardianship orders are made including those with restrictions. She has been confirmed and appointed by courts as a suitably qualified and experienced advocate to act on behalf of mentally disordered clients as required by statute and is called upon by courts to cross-examine for unrepresented defendants.
Tana conducts cases involving alleged professional malpractice particularly those involving medical professionals. She frequently defends nurses on behalf of the Royal College of Nursing and has acted as “Special Counsel” for the Health & Care Professionals Council.
Tana welcomes instructions to advise and represent all parties requiring representation at inquests in the Coroner’s Court particularly where there is a need for cross-examination of a Pathologist.
Tana has been interviewed as an expert on sexual offences on the BBC news with respect to government proposals relating to prostitution and also appeared on Radio 4 Women’s Hour arguing opposite Harriet Harman on the issue of anonymity for defendants in rape cases.
Recent notable cases in the press include:
- R v. Edward McGrath – ‘Accused stairwell killer to stand trial in July‘ (Court News)
- R v. John De’Viana – ‘Tennis coach father John De’Viana cleared of cruelty‘ (BBC)
- R v. John De’Viana – ‘The tennis coach who was put on trial for cruelty to his daughters reveals how a bitter break-up and a ‘gross web of lies’ led to false allegations of physical and emotional abuse‘ (Daily Mail)
- R v. Corcoran & Others – ‘Gang to be sentenced after cannabis farms discovered across Kent‘ (Kent Online)
She has delivered lectures on the following topics: Rape and intoxication, Refresher Course and Practical Guide to defending sexual offences, Internet grooming.