Alia Akram

Year of Call: 2011

"Alia is truly a rising star of the bar. Smart, hardworking, and committed, what more could one want?"

Ben Rose. Hickman and Rose

"A formidable young advocate with great attention to detail and a fearless fighter"

Mohsin Ariff, Lloyds PR Solicitors


To get in touch:​ Or you can contact the relevant​ Practice Team Clerks directly and they will be happy to assist with your enquiry.

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Alia is an experienced barrister specialising in criminal law, public inquiries and inquests.

She has a strong Crown Court practice as a led junior and junior alone, representing defendants in a wide range of serious criminal matters, including fraud, sexual offences, offences involving serious violence, drugs, and driving.

Alia represents bereaved families in Article 2 and domestic inquests and has acted in a number of high-profile public inquiries such as IICSA, Grenfell Tower Inquiry and currently as junior counsel to the inquiry in the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

Criminal Defence


Alia is regularly instructed in a wide range of criminal matters, including offences involving violence, dishonesty, public disorder, drugs, and driving. As a result of her previous experience, she is particularly adept in representing defendants that are vulnerable as a result of old age, mental health or learning difficulties.

Clients have regularly expressed their appreciation for her outstanding client care, willingness to go beyond the call of duty and exceptional attention to detail.

Notable Cases

Past notable cases can be viewed below. Click here to see a list of recent notable cases.

R v O [2020]
Sexual offences. The defendant suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and had severe learning difficulties.

R v B [2018]
Represented a young defendant suffering from ASD at trial. Defendant was charged with offences of robbery and possession of an offensive weapon. Acquitted of possession of an offensive weapon.

R v Z [2018]
Represented defendant at sentence in relation to offences of dangerous driving, failing to stop, driving without insurance and a breach of an SSO. Defendant was sentenced to a Community Order with no separate penalty for failing to stop and driving without insurance. The SSO was not activated and the breach was marked with a modest fine.

R v B [2017]
Represented defendant on a charge of possession of articles for use in fraud where the court were particularly concerned with prevalence. Sentenced to a 6 month SSO with unpaid work.

R v S [2017]
Secured an acquittal for an 81-year-old partially deaf and partially blind defendant on a charge of domestic violence-related non-violent harassment.

R v M [2017]
Defendant acquitted on a charge of racially aggravated public order notwithstanding the court's decision to admit the defendant's bad character.

R v W [2017]
Represented a young defendant on charges of theft whilst riding a moped, possession of cannabis, driving without insurance and driving without a licence. Persuaded the court to deal with the defendant by way of an alternative to a community order. He was ordered to attend an attendance centre with no separate penalties for possession of cannabis and driving without a licence.

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Financial Crime and Proceeds of Crime


Alia has a particular interest in fraud, money laundering and related confiscation proceedings. She was recently instructed as junior counsel, led by Brenda Campbell QC, in a four-month fraud trial alleging large-scale money laundering, VAT, and excise duty fraud (alcohol and tobacco).

Prior to joining the Bar, Alia gained extensive experience in the financial crime department at Hickman and Rose. Some of the cases she worked on include the SFO's investigation into bribery and corruption at Rolls-Royce, allegations of bribery in a multi-national funding institution and the FCA's investigation into mis-selling of insurance by a corporate insurance intermediary.

Notable Cases

R v MB and another (Isleworth CC) (2021)
Represented the first defendant in an alleged money laundering conspiracy to the value of over £100k.

R v MJ (Snaresbrook Crown Court) (2019)
Represented the lead defendant in an alleged money laundering conspiracy to the value of £35m. Led by Greg Johnson, Carmelite Chambers. 

R v SS & others (Kingston Crown Court) (2018)
Allegations of conspiracy to evade duty on cigarettes and alcohol & money laundering. Case collapsed when pursuit of disclosure revealed improper conduct of HMRC investigators. Led by Brenda Campbell QC.

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Alia represents bereaved families in Article 2 and domestic inquests. Her experience as a criminal practitioner provides her with the necessary skills to expertly draw out the relevant factual and legal issues in cases of this nature.

Notable Cases

Inquests touching the deaths of Raneem Oudeh and Khaola Saleem
Alia appeared at Birmingham Coroner’s Court, led by Brenda Campbell KC, representing the family of Raneem Oudeh and her mother, Khaola Saleem. Raneem and Khaola were murdered by Raneem’s ex-partner after a campaign of domestic abuse, of which West Midlands Police were aware. The jury, in their detailed narrative, recorded that a catalogue of failures by West Midlands Police materially contributed to both deaths.

Reported in BBC News, The Guardian, Sky News and Channel 4.

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Public Inquiries

UK Covid-19 Inquiry 
Alia has been appointed to join the UK Covid-19 Inquiry legal team. She, along with 11 QCs, and 48 other junior Counsel will support Hugo Keith QC, Lead Counsel to the Inquiry, and Martin Smith, Solicitor to the Inquiry, with the preparation and delivery of the Inquiry’s investigative work.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry (2019 - 2022)
Alia was instructed as junior counsel as part of a wider team representing a core participant in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (2018)
Instructed by the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

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Pro Bono Work

Alia volunteered in the death penalty team at Reprieve and worked as a pro bono legal advisor at the South West London Law Centre.

She was also recently appointed, on behalf of the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, to conduct a trial observation in Egypt in the case of prominent human rights lawyer, Khaled Ali. The Trial Observation Report is available online.

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Notable Cases & News

Garden Court Chambers revises policy on Stratford Magistrates' Court

23 May 2024

Garden Court Chambers statement on security searches at Stratford Magistrates' Court

8 May 2024

UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 4 preliminary hearings open

Today marks the start of public preliminary hearings for the UK Covid-19 Inquiry Module 4: Vaccines and therapeutics.

13 September 2023

UK Covid-19 Inquiry first substantive hearing underway - Garden Court counsel instructed

Numerous Garden Court Chambers counsel, of the Garden Court Inquests & Inquiries Team, are instructed in the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

13 June 2023

Garden Court Chambers and Garden Court North remember Ian Macdonald QC

Garden Court Chambers and Garden Court North were honoured to host a memorial event for Ian Macdonald QC 1939-2019 at Middle Temple Hall on Tuesday 7 February 2023.

17 February 2023

Inquest finds multiple failings by police "materially contributed" to the deaths of Raneem Oudeh and her mother Khaola Saleem

The family were represented by Brenda Campbell KC and Alia Akram of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Sarah Kellas of Birnberg Peirce.

18 November 2022

Garden Court secures top tier rankings in the Legal 500 2023

Garden Court Chambers is proud to be recognised as a Top Tier set again in the Legal 500.

30 September 2022

Members of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team support escalating proposed CBA action to include days of action

17 June 2022

Stephanie Harrison QC, Chair and Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, comments on the Nationality and Borders Bill receiving Royal Assent

29 April 2022

Garden Court Crime Team statement on no returns action

30 March 2022

Garden Court secures number one rankings in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2022

21 October 2021

Garden Court Chambers Crime Team shortlisted for Crime Set of the Year by Chambers Bar Awards 2021

We are delighted to announce that the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team has been shortlisted by the Chambers Bar Awards 2021 for Crime Set of the Year.

27 August 2021

Acquittal of four men at Kingston Crown Court for money laundering and evasion of duty offences

Stephen Kamlish QC, Brenda Campbell QC, Jacob Bindman, Emma Fenn and Alia Akram represented three of the defendants.

28 June 2018

All related news


Prior to commencing pupillage, Alia worked as a criminal defence paralegal at Hickman & Rose Solicitors under the supervision of Andrew Katzen and Aileen Colhoun. She worked closely with several partners conducting corporate crime, fraud, regulatory and general crime work over two years. 

Some of the cases she worked on include R v Doyle and others (the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company burglary), the SFO’s investigation into bribery and corruption at Rolls Royce, allegations of bribery in a multi-national funding institution, an FCA investigation in to mis-selling of insurance by a corporate insurance intermediary and R v Lederman [2015] EWCA Crim 1308, a high-profile case of causing death by dangerous driving involving an elderly defendant. 

She has since spent time at Hickman and Rose on secondment in their financial crime and regulatory department working on cases of bribery and corruption and misconduct proceedings before the Financial Reporting Council.

She worked as a senior immigration paralegal at Bates Wells Braithwaite LLP between 2012-2014 where she advised a diverse range of clients, from the commercial sector to personal immigration matters.


  • Major Scholarship, Inner Temple (2010)
  • Anthony Bullivant Prize (2005)


A Formula 1/motorsport enthusiast and self-proclaimed petrol head. In 2016, Alia completed a bronze-level drifting course. She also enjoys skydiving, skiing and Taekwondo.


  • Bar Professional Training Course, Kaplan Law School (2011)
  • MA (Oxon) Jurisprudence, St Anne's College, University of Oxford (2010)

Professional Membership

  • Bar Human Rights Committee
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Inner Temple
  • Young Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Female Fraud Forum
  • Young Legal Aid Lawyers


  • Urdu
  • Punjabi

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