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Barristers 

Introduction

Abbas Lakha QC is one of the UK’s leading silks. He is a Defence specialist, with a wide-ranging practice in all areas of serious and complex litigation.

Chambers UK 2015 Commentary: Abbas Lakha QC 'Has an excellent reputation for acting as defence counsel in murder and terrorism trials attracting significant media attention. He has considerable expertise in cases involving gangland killings. Expertise: "He is a top silk and is very good at investigating the early stages of a case." "He is an impressive advocate." Recent work: Represented Michael Adebowale, one of two Islamic fundamentalists convicted of murdering Private Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

Legal 500, 2014 Commentary: ‘An intelligent, smooth and calm advocate with highly developed tactical nous.’

Chambers UK, 2014: 'Hugely respected, he has an outstanding reputation for serious crime matters. His practice is mainly focused on fraud, but he also defends in homicides and serious violence cases, especially those that are gang-related. Expertise: “He is very able, astute and helpful, and always goes the extra mile.” Recent work: Acting as defence counsel for Michael Adebowale, who is charged with the high-profile Woolwich murder of Lee Rigby.

Chambers UK 2013: 'Defence specialist Abbas Lakha QC is held in "very, very high regard" by peers as he is "an extraordinarily tough opponent, who is dedicated and hard-working." A particular specialism of his lies in defending those accused of financial crime, and recently he has been defending an African minister contesting extradition to the UK over such allegations.'

He is particularly noted for his extensive experience in advising and representing Individuals and Corporations in Regulatory and Criminal Proceedings both in the Courts and before Tribunals. His principal expertise relates to the defence of individuals who are prosecuted in relation to allegations of Financial Crime. Abbas has appeared in many of the country’s most high profile fraud trials which frequently have international dimensions. He is regularly instructed to advise at the pre-investigative stages of cases. He is highly respected for his courtroom advocacy skills, his attention to detail on case preparation and his negotiating skills. He has experience of representing high profile individuals for whom reputation management is a significant concern.

Abbas has experience in, and advises on, all forms of asset forfeiture work including restraint and confiscation proceedings. He regularly advises City and financial institutions on all aspects of money laundering, corruption and fraud, which includes developing and testing compliance programmes and policies that ensure compliance with the Bribery Act 2010 and foreign bribery and corruption legislation.

He has been instructed to appear before the Upper and Lower Tier Tribunals on behalf of individuals and Corporations in Tax and VAT related matters, and has represented individuals appearing before their Professional bodies and Tribunals on disciplinary matters.

Abbas Lakha QC was appointed an Inspector by the Department of Trade and Industry to conduct a lengthy investigation into Insider Dealing in the shares of a FTSE 100 Company in the lead up to its takeover.

Abbas Lakha QC is one of the UK’s Leading QC’s who is best known for his domestic national work. However, over the last 20 years he has regularly been instructed in cases that have involved significant international issues and dimensions. In recent years he has increasingly become involved in high profile international cases in different parts of the world, and now joins chambers’ International team, which is committed to providing high quality advisory and advocacy services to clients internationally.

Memberships

The Bar Council of England and Wales.
The Criminal Bar Association.
The European Criminal Bar Association.
International Bar Association
The International Criminal Defence Attorneys Association.
The Society of Asian Lawyers.
The Society of Black Lawyers.

Appointments

Queens Counsel (2003).
Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple (2009).
Inspector for the Department of Trade and Industry (2000).
The Criminal Bar Association of England & Wales Co-opted Committee Member.
The Bar Council of England & Wales VHCC Fees Committee.
Member of the Crime Editorial Board of LexisNexis.

Languages

Gujerati.
Swahili.

 

Notable Cases

Criminal Fraud - See also 'International Financial Crime', below

R v Goddard (2012) - acted for man accused of involvement in £170m MTIC fraud. The largest and most complex contra fraud to date. Jury failed to agree on client, although 15 other defendants were convicted.

R v Gathani (2010-2011) - Operation Inertia – acted for a Trader in a Prosecution brought by HM Revenue and Customs in a contra trading MTIC fraud in the mobile phone industry with a revenue loss of £120 million.

R v Hague (2010-2011) - Operation District – acted for a Defendant in a Prosecution brought by HM Revenue and Customs involving a multi million pound VAT fraud in the automobile industry.

R v Mahmood Yaqoob (2010) – acted for a Prison Governor in a Prosecution brought by Yorkshire Police alleging mortgage fraud (multiple mortgages) resulting in an acquittal.

R v Williamson (2009) – Acted for an Accountant in a Prosecution brought by HM Revenue and Customs alleging a conspiracy to cheat the Revenue. Case collapsed as a result of disclosure issues raised by the Defence.

R v Akhtar Hussain (2008) - Acted for a Hawalla Banker on retrial (original conviction quashed on Appeal) in a Prosecution brought by HM Revenue and Customs in relation to the use of a hawalla banking money transmission bureaux for laundering £127 million of the proceeds of drugs and crime over a 3 year period. Successfully resisted a Prosecution application for £127 million confiscation order in the ensuing confiscation proceedings.

Civil Fraud

HMRC V S ApS and Others (Current) – is advising and representing a Danish Company and its Directors being sued by HMRC for fraud in the mobile phone Industry with associated restraint proceedings in the UK and Denmark.

IA Associates v HMRC (Current) – is acting for a Company appealing against a decision to disallow a VAT reclaim on the grounds of constructive knowledge of fraud.

Hawkeye v HMRC – acted for a Company appealing against a decision to disallow a VAT reclaim on the grounds of constructive knowledge of fraud.

Atlantic Electronics Limited v HMRC (Current) – is acting for a Company appealing against a decision to disallow a VAT reclaim on the grounds of constructive knowledge of fraud.

Terrorism

R. v Khan (2008): Acted for the principal defendant accused of running Al Qaida's UK website and of recruiting for Pakistani terror training camps. Aabid Khan was alleged to possess the largest electronic collection of terrorist materials found by the anti-terrorist squad.

R v Safi & others (2001-3): Acted for one of the Afghan Hijackers, Taimur Shah, in both Old Bailey trials.The case involved the armed hijacking of an airplane, which was diverted from Afghanistan to England via Russia, and the longest ever hostage siege at an airport, namely Stansted.

R v M (2006): Acted for a Defendant alleged to be an Al Qaeeda operative in the UK.


R v F & others (2005): The Ricin Case: represented a Defendant alleged to have been part of an Algerian Terrorist cell linked to Al Qaeeda. 


R v K & others (2007): Represented a Defendant alleged to be an Al Qaeeda operative accused of Conspiracy to murder in the UK.

Murder

R v Michael Adebowale (2013): Representing suspect accused of murdering Drummer Lee Rigby:

Daily Mail Story here

Guardian Story here

Express Story here

R v Adrian Thomas (2007): Successfully defended man accused of murdering Duane Tomlin in 2007. North London Today Story here

R v Ozan Toprak (2013): successfully defended man charged with the murder of the leader of the Hackney Turks

R v Serdar Ozbek (2011): succesfully defended a turkish man accused of the contract killing of his wife

R v Knowles (2011): defended a man accused of murder after fatal stabbing.

Sexual Offences

R v Michael Lyons (2009 and 2010): Acted for the Defendant who was alleged to be the head of a religious Cult accused of raping and sexually assaulting a number of females introduced to him by his followers.

R v Nagra (2008): Acted for a businessman alleged to have sexually abused his step grand daughter. Prosecution successfully stayed on the grounds of abuse of process.

R v Gill (2008): Acted for a Pharmacist accused of historical sexual abuse against stepdaughter. Prosecution successfully stayed on the grounds of abuse of process.

Others

Operation Greyhound (2004): Acted for a Police Sergeant charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment and conspiracy to cause GBH in a CIB3 investigation into corruption in the police force.

'A Juryman's Tale' trial - The Kidnapping and Blackmail of a Greek Shipping magnate.

International Litigation/Crime

Re O (Current) - Defending an African Minister who is contesting extradition proceedings to the United Kingdom in relation to financial crime allegations.

Re S ApS and others (Current) - Advising and representing a Danish Company and its Directors in relation to a worldwide freezing order and action by HMRC.

R v Hunter (2012) – Represented an individual charged with Fraudulent Trading and contraventions of the general prohibition on regulated activity and on financial promotion contrary to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

R v Thanos Papalexis (2009) - Advised on extradition from the United States of America in an International murder investigation.

R v B & others (2008) - Advised and represented an individual in an International FBI investigation into global arms sales.

R v Dara (2007) - Advised on and appealed against a European Arrest Warrant and Extradition request by the German authorities against a Pakistani National for allegedly exporting materials for use in the Pakistani Nuclear Weapons program.

International Domestic Terrorism

R. v Aabid Khan (2008) - Acted for the principal defendant accused of running Al Qaida's UK website and of recruiting for Pakistani terror training camps. Aabid Khan was alleged to possess the largest collection of electronic terrorist materials found by the anti-terrorist squad.

R v K & others (2007) - represented a Defendant alleged to be an Al Qaida operative accused of Conspiracy to murder in the UK.

R v Safi & others (2001-3) - Acted for one of the Afghan Hijackers, Taimur Shah, in both Old Bailey trials. The case involved the armed hijacking of an airplane, which was diverted from Afghanistan to England via Russia, and the longest ever hostage siege. Client acquitted on appeal.

R v M (2006) – Acted for a Defendant alleged to be an Al Qaida operative in the UK.


R v F & others (2005) - The Ricin Case – represented a Defendant alleged to have been part of an Algerian Terrorist cell linked to Al Qaida.

 

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