Alexia Zimbler (Member of Chambers)

Alexia Zimbler (Member of Chambers)

Date of call: 1993

Qualifications:

  • BSc Hons Biology (Imperial College, London)              
  • Dip Law (City University, London)   
  • MLaw (City University, London)

Areas of Practice:  

  • Crime - both defence & prosecution of all serious crime, specialising in serious offences and crimes involving vulnerable witnesses and children
  • Family - children matters only, specialising in care proceedings in cases where children have been physically, sexually or emotionally abused

 

Profile: 

Alexia qualified as a Barrister in 1993 and has been practising full time since 1995. She has worked in Hampshire, London/South-East and the North-East, moving to kent in 2011.

Since joining Maidstone Chambers Alexia has forged strong contacts with local solicitors and has built up a busy defence practice.  She is instructed to defend charges of murder, serious violence, GBH, armed robbery, conspiracy to steal, serious drugs matters and serious sexual offences, including rape and child abuse. She has a reputation for attention to detail and making sure that the Crown discloses all relevant documents/information, willing to raise legal arguments before the Judge to ensure fairness to every defendant she represents.

She also undertakes prosecution work particularly dealing with immigration offences and fraud relating to the benefits system and the 'smuggling' of tobacco and alcohol into the UK, thus evading the payment of duty. She also prosecutes drugs cases and allegations of violence, particularly domestic violence.

When she has time Alexia also undertakes family cases, though only relating to matters involving children. She represents all parties, including parents, grandparents, local authorities and guardians in serious child abuse/neglect cases, often requiring several experts. She also represents parents/grandparents in herings for residence and contact. She intends to obtain her Direct Access qualification for her family practice in the near future.

Due to her ongoing specialism of dealing with cases involving children, she has recently become involved in Child and Vulnerable witness training being rolled out to all Barristers throughout the Country.

Alexia became interested in education early in her career when she began teaching advocacy to students and trainee barristers. This led her to becoming an external examiner covering the Bar Professional Training Course, where her role involves her monitoring the quality and content of teaching of the BPTC at numerous providers around the country. In 2016 she was appointed as Co-ordinating External Examiner by the Bar Standards Board, covering all BPTC providers.

Alexia is a pupil supervisor and is regularly involved with the training of Advocacy on circuit, within the Inns and on the BTPC courses. She also lectures at schools to increase awareness of sexual offences & the law. She is part of a select team who undertake quality assurance checks on advocates employed by the CPS.

 

Cases of particular note:

Defence

R v PC: murder - led by Alan Kent QC. Interesting case involving a large number of experts. Jury could not rech a verdict and a retril is due to take place in 2017.

R v PW: murder - represetned the defendant herself - serious allegation that he and a co-defendant had stabbed a fellow inmate 196 times with handmade shanks whilst serving a sentence in a high security prison. Legal argument relating to the failure of the prison staff to follow protocols enabled her to have prosecution evidence excluded.

R v Porter & another: she was led by Alan Kent QC in defence of one of two teenages charged with murder and s18 GBH following an incident in the early hours of New Years' day; he was acquitted on all counts.

R v SK: an allegation of rape of a child which the defendant said had been contrived following his refusal to continue a relationship with the child's mother; acquitted.

R v B: an allegation of GBH which the defendant maintained was a mistaken identification; acquitted.

R v SD: father alleged to have abused his partner's daughter maintained he was being set-up to ensure he could have no contact with his son; acquitted.

R v EM: an allegation of a frenzied attack with a piece of wood causing life-threatening injuries; the defendant denied involvement but subsequently made full admissions in a police interview notwithstanding that the IP had named his attacker to be someone else. Following a full voir dire she successfully argued that the interview had been conducted improperly, without a solicitor and the confession had been 'obtained under pressure; prosecution then offered no evidence and the defendant was acquitted.

R v DC: violent street robbery. The defendant denied any involvement and failed to attend his trial. Ordered to continue in his absense, successfully discredited the evidence and the defendant was aquitted.

R v LM: Mother charged with assault by shaking her baby. Defence was that the allegtions had been made up by a close family member who wished to cause her to have her children taken into care. In depth investigtion of all of the unused and social services records showed the family member was lying and has forced others to support his flse account. She was fully exonerated.

R v SS: s18 GBH. Girlfriend alleged to have stabbed partner in the abdomen whilst he was asleep in bed. Successfully argues to obtain unused material including medical evidence and other documents to show the alleged victim was manipulative and dishonest. During the trial the alleged victim changed his account, exaggerting the attack, enabling her to use the unused material, show him to be lying and the case was thrown out by the Judge.

R v RB: led by David Josse QC. 6 defendants jointly charged with conspiracy and the sexual exploitation of a young girl from Eastern Europe. After 4 weeks of trial they were able to argue that the evidence against RB was woefully inadequate and the Judge dismissed the case against their client.

R v JE: child cruelty and perverting the course of justice. Historic case where the crown alleged a wife had covered up her husband's child abuse in the 1960s and 1970s. Required particular sensitivity due to the age of the defendant.

R v TB: armed robbery involving a gang of 5 robbing 9 local corner shops using knives and guns - 2 of the gang turned 'queen's evidence' and attempted to place all the blame on the other defendants. Complex case involving moving cell-site, ANPR and DNA evidence.

Prosecution

R v GF: fraud & perverting the course of justice. A businessman forged documents to attempt to obtain money for work he claimed to have undertaken, but had not. He then pressurised members of his staff to state the work had been undertaken and that they had seen the documents he subsequently forged. The defendant denied the offences, maintaining he was being 'framed' so that the customers could avoid paying his invoices and the staff were lying because they had lost their jobs after the company went bankrupt.

R v AS: prosecution of an Army officer who had been abusing the 2 young daughters of his new partner, even taking them to the barracks to continue the abuse; convicted.

R v GR: local milkman befriended family and abused 4 of 5 children over many years; convicted after trial.

R v ND: close family friend assaulted teenage daughter; convicted after trial.

 

Reported cases:

R v Page & Others [2005] 2 Cr.App.R.(S) 37 – before formal sentencing guidelines, this authority was the lead case relating to sentences in cases of shop-lifting and robbery. 

R v C [2007] EWCA Crim 3463 – a leading case on the use of hearsay evidence in domestic violence cases which deals particularly with complainants who wish to remain in a relationship with the accused, and how the Crown should proceed in those circumstances. Alexia successfully opposed the Crown’s appeal against a terminating ruling made by the judge at trial, and the other comments made by Moses LJ have been used to mould the CPS policy for prosecuting in DV cases. 

 

Alexia is a pupil supervisor and is regularly involved with the training of Advocacy on circuit, within the Inns and on BPTC courses. She also lectures at schools to increase awareness of sexual offences & the law.

Memberships: South Eastern Circuit, Kent Bar Mess, CBA, FLBA, Denning Society, Lincoln’s Inn

Door Tenant of Chambers of Timothy Mousley QC, 2 King’s Bench Walk, Temple and Chambers of Benjamin Nolan QC, Broad Chare Chambers, Newcastle

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