Talitha Purcell-Gilpin

Practice & Background

Talitha was called to the Bar in 2006. Prior to joining Birds in 2010, she worked as a criminal paralegal for Hickman & Rose and AP Law Solicitors. Talitha cross qualified and was admitted as a solicitor in 2013. Prior to qualification she was also a Police Station Representative for several years and completed training with AMICUS where she was offered a placement to work on appeal cases for those facing the death penalty in the United States of America. Since joining Birds Talitha has worked predominantly in the criminal department, however, has also assisted in the prison law department and is therefore able to advise and support her clients throughout the judicial process. She has a busy and thriving criminal practice which ranges from minor matters in the magistrates court, to multiple count indictments in the crown court involving serious charges. She also advises on appeals against conviction and sentence in relation to applications to both the Court of Appeal and the Criminal Cases Review Commission. Offences cover a wide spectrum of criminal work and regularly include charges such as conspiracy to rob; burglary; drugs offences; offences against the person; armed robbery; firearm offences; fraud, (including benefit fraud) and confiscation proceedings. Talitha has an interest in Inquest work and assists Evans Amoah-Nyamekye in his work in this area. Significant  & Reported Cases

  • Talitha has worked on a number of cases involving “smash and grab” style robberies widely reported as targeting jewellery, electrical and designer goods stores within London and the South East.
  • R v O’Bryan (Danny) & Anr [2012] EWCA Crim 2661 successfully appealed to the Court of Appeal a sentence of 9 years for conspiracy to rob a jewellers. Sentence reduced to 7½ years.
  • R v D and others, represented the 13year old girlfriend of a “Fagin” styled criminal who was charged in a large multi-hander with armed robbery and possession of an imitation firearm (among other charges including robbery and assault). She was first on an indictment of nineteen defendants, majority of whom were adults also facing numerous charges. D was successfully acquitted of the most serious charge, with mixed pleas having been entered in relation to numerous counts on several indictments. Nick Goss of Birds instructed as advocate.
  • R v A defended a youth charged with conspiracy to steal and robbery involving more than 35 separate offences. Nick Goss of Birds instructed as advocate.
  • R v Y worked as part of a team responsible for compiling a detailed casemap analysis of the evidence and trial transcripts in a case which had been a VHCC, 7-month trial for Class A drugs supply. The Case related to one of London’s biggest heroin traffickers and received a lot of media attention.
  • R v H Assisted in case work analysis to establish the role of H following implication in multiple cash in transit robberies. Reported widely in the press as the Chandlers Ford Armed Robber’s gang.
  • R v V defended a semi-professional boxer charged with GBH and ABH. Successfully negotiated a basis of plea on which V received a suspended sentence, thereby allowing him to continue his professional career. Paul Morgan and Nick Goss of Birds instructed as advocates.
  • R v W represented defendant charged with firearms offences. Re-trial ordered following successful legal argument by instructed advocate Evans Amoah-Nyamekye of Birds. Case dismissed prior to re-trial following service of expert telephone evidence as requested by defence. Tim Greene of Birds instructed as advocate on re-trial.
  • C.K-B (2013) in the Westminster Coroners Court represented the family in the much publicised inquest of a 13 year old girl C K-B whose death was described by the Coroner as a “ghastly accident”, saying she did not intend to kill herself when she plunged 60ft from her bedroom window. She was subjected to what the coroner described as ‘sophisticated type of bullying where she was provoked into reacting and, thereby, got herself into trouble’. The Coroner described her death as an unusual case which “slipped through the net” and exposed a hole in the otherwise good practices at the school and social services, rather than there being deep-seated and systemic failures. This case features in a training DVD for professionals launched in March 2015 by Scotland Yard in association with Barnardos and the NWG as part of Operation Makesafe. Evans Amoah-Nyamekye of Birds instructed as advocate.

Professional Memberships

  • The Honourable Society of Middle Temple
  • The General Council of the Bar of England and Wales
  • The Law Society
  • London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association (LCCSA)

Education Talitha was educated in Zimbabwe but completed her legal training in the UK. Kaplan Altior: 2011(Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test); Cardiff (Police Station Qualification); Inns of Court School of Law: 2006 (Bar Vocation Course with optional module in Advanced Criminal Litigation); Kent University: 2005 (LLB Hons)(electives in Punishment and the Penal System; Policing; Evidence and Human Rights. She also completed the Clinical Option which allowed her to carry out pro-bono casework where she successfully represented a client before the Ashford Employment tribunal).  

Full Biography (PDF)