Tim Devlin

Tim Devlin

Year of Call: 1985
Email Address: tim.devlin@3pb.co.uk
Telephone: 01962 868884

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Tim Devlin is a highly-respected and successful trial barrister and adviser on all aspects of criminal law, including serious violence, sexual offences, firearms, drugs, fraud and associated activity. The former MP for Stockton South (1987-1997), Tim was PPS to the Attorney-General from 1992-1994.

Tim is regularly instructed by the Crown on his own - or as leading junior counsel - in serious cases with several defendants. These are often drug, gang or fraud conspiracies. Some of the more high-profile cases have been reported in the national and local media.

He frequently appears opposite Queens Counsel or senior juniors in complex cases or cases of gravity. He is graded as a CPS Grade 4 prosecutor on their Special Casework and Homicide lists and is a rape specialist counsel.

Recent cases include prosecution of 18 members of a gang resulting in pleas by all except 5 defendants who were later found guilty after a trial; a drug conspiracy trial at Ipswich and cases involving guns and drugs at the Central Criminal Court.

Tim is frequently instructed in drug importation and tax frauds. He has acted alone in cases of bank fraud, insurance fraud and frauds by deception on his own and with a junior against multiple counsel for the defence, securing convictions. This is achieved by thorough preparation and reducing complicated facts to simple admissions and schedules.

He was also the successful prosecutor, in Birmingham Crown Court, of the first cyber-crime case - securing the conviction of the man who organised the DDOS attack that took down the Home Office website and that of Mrs Theresa May in 2012.

Tim’s experience of serious sexual offences trials is impressive and extensive. His sympathetic and sensitive approach makes him particularly adept at dealing with young or vulnerable witnesses. He is a RASSO specialist counsel. He was involved in the pilot of s28 pre-recorded cross-examination at Kingston Crown Court.

Tim is accredited by the Inns of Court College of Advocacy as a trainer/facilitator for vulnerable witnesses. Tim also often provides charging advice in sexual cases, and cases involving mental illness. Tim is also fully aware of diversity issues, having prosecuted sexual cases involving the Muslim, Hassidic Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Evangelical and other religious communities.

He is currently dealing with cases as varied as a five-handed retail fraud; five-handed wounding with intent; kidnapping case; causing death by dangerous driving; sexual interference with children; and rape. These are defence and prosecution cases in Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

He supervised the Bar Council's response on Criminal Law and Brexit and is a noted contributor to the Home Office consultation on Hate Crime. In 2021 he was elected a Bencher of Lincoln's Inn

Outside of a busy career at the Bar, Tim is a keen sailor and counts his membership of the Bar Yacht Club and Island Sailing Club amongst his nautical interests.


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    Tim Devlin is a formidable and successful advocate and adviser on all aspects of criminal law, including serious violence, sexual offences, firearms, drugs, fraud and associated activity. He has a prolific track record in successful prosecutions and defences in criminal trials. These have included:

    Serious Crime

    R v Richardson and Fletcher: Attempted murder case at Snaresbrook before HHJ Wilkinson. Both pleaded guilty to GBH and given 9 years apiece.

    R v Mustafa and 5 others: Leading Junior for the Crown in this 3-month trial at Woolwich. 5 out of 6 of the defendants were convicted of a pre-planned burglary of a jeweller, handcuffing him and his wife, and stealing over £1m worth of jewellery and watches from his shop.

    Operation Celery: Series of cases in which various layers of a drug-importation operation were prosecuted, culminating in the leader being extradited from Spain and prosecuted using Spanish intercept evidence. Value of the drugs was over £5million. All convicted.

    R v CB and others: 14-handed prosecution of a violent disorder outside the house of an Asian family. Heard at Harrow Crown Court over 3 months. Leading junior.

    R v Smith: Series of rapes and robberies using victim’s oyster cards on buses in east London. Acted alone against Queens Counsel and a junior, resulting in convictions.



    Operation Union: Prosecuted with a junior a voluminous fraud with 9 defendants in Birmingham charged with buying and selling stolen vehicles and transferring cherished number-plates from their rightful owners to others for sale. 7 out of the 9 convicted. Lead conspirator absconded and left the country.

    R v Stoker, Collins ,and Madridis: Fraud on British bakeries using non-existent agency drivers who were signed through the gate procedures and paid for delivering imaginary loads. All 3 convicted.

    R v Treanor and Treanor: Purchase and sale of companies, siphoning off money and assets through a hidden bank account. Cross-examination of the key witness, a forensic accountant instructed by the defence, led to the revelation of how the fraud worked, and conviction of both defendants in Birmingham Crown Court.

    R v Green: art dealer who defrauded his mother under a power of attorney, much reported in the national media.

    R v Singh: Submission of forged doctor’s letters to an insurance company in relation to a fraudulent claim. Preparation of the case after a late return, and a new indictment, led to a plea at Croydon on the first day of trial.


    Sexual Offences

    R v NM: Historic sexual abuse dating back to 1970s of young nieces by familial uncle. 4 week trial defended by Queens Counsel and a junior, leading to convictions on all but two counts. This case involved consulting the Criminal Code of Grenada in relation to offences committed there.

    R v SS: Conviction of the ring-leader of a group of Albanian men who picked up two drunken teenagers in Chingford, took them to a flat and raped them.

    R v DH: Historic sexual abuse at a well-known school by the housemaster, involving witnesses now scattered throughout the world. Case stretched back to the 1970s and had previously been investigated without success. Change of plea to guilty after the third witness. Defendant attempted suicide on the first day of first trial.

    R v AA: Male rape of a gay man by a Somalian man whom he had contacted using Blackberry messaging, and who then lured him to a remote piece of open ground in North London. Convicted.

    R v K: Abduction, rape and false imprisonment of a 44 year old drunken woman with previous history of rapes, taken to a flat and held for two days by threats of violence and death. Trial at Wood Green, praised by the judge for sympathetic handling of the witness.

    R v B: Took over a part-heard trial for prosecution due to the incapacity of Crown Counsel at close of the crowns case. After listening to the tapes of the complainant giving evidence, cross-examined the defendant and his wife, made a closing speech, which was said to be “excellent” by HHJ Lafferty and the defendant was convicted.

    R v Al: Rape of a young Kurdish girl by her brother in a strict Muslim household. This case raised a number of difficult cultural issues, and demanded the utmost sensitivity. Convicted.

    R v MG: Rape of a 4 year old boy by a 14 year old boy with learning difficulties, aided by an intermediary, and two consultant psychologists. Difficult points of law on fitness to plead were considered by the district judge in the youth court. Convicted.


    Other serious crime

    R v An: Death by dangerous driving and attempting to pervert the course of Justice. Commended by HHJ Carr for the way the case was conducted. Defendant guilty on count 1 regulation.

    R v G: Prosecution of a bankrupt man who claimed to have borrowed money twice and lost it gambling in informal situations.

    R v N: Definition of “Student” and “full-time” for the purposes of student loans and benefits. Short trial at Kingston.




Academic qualifications

  • London School of Economics, BA History
  • City, University of London, Dip LS, Law

Professional bodies

  • Elected member, Bar Council
  • Chairman of the EU Law Committee, Bar Council
  • Committee member, Criminal Bar Association
  • Bencher and advocacy trainer, Lincolns Inn
  • Member, South East Circuit