Abbas Lakha QC

Introduction

Abbas Lakha QC is regarded as one of the most accomplished advocates of his age, having taken Silk at 40, and is experienced at the highest level of the Criminal Bar. He has a wide-ranging practice covering serious crime, regulatory work, asset forfeiture and money laundering. He increasingly appears in the High Court and Tax Tribunals, and is often engaged by clients at an early stage to seek an alternative resolution to their cases. A significant proportion of his practice is on a direct access basis.

Background and expertise

Rated in Chambers UK and Legal 500 directories as a leader in the fields of international crime, murder, terrorism, financial crime and asset forfeiture, Abbas Lakha QC is noted for his detailed preparation, incisive examination and strong jury advocacy. He is particularly skilled in handling international money laundering cases, VAT frauds, missing trader frauds and insider dealing cases.

Abbas is qualified to receive instructions directly from the public and conduct litigation, and takes on a wide range of work on a private basis, including advisory work in respect of money laundering regulations and the necessary systems within hedge funds and other associated financial organisations.

He also specialises in cases involving allegations of sexual impropriety in the work environment (including rape and other sexual offending) and general domestic violence allegations, including appearances in the Matrimonial Courts.

Abbas is regularly instructed to advise at the pre-investigative stages of cases and has extensive experience of representing high profile individuals for whom reputation management is a significant concern. He also undertakes advisory work and appears before a range of disciplinary tribunals of professional bodies.

Criminal Fraud

R v Pask, 2014

Abbas Lakha QC represented Raymond Pask, the Regional Director for the Specialised Relationship Management at RBS until he resigned on 13th December 2010, who was charged with obtaining services by deception in respect of a number of loans. He negotiated a basis of plea which enabled the Judge to pass a suspended sentence and to avoid a confiscation order.

R v Goddard, 2012

Acted for man accused of involvement in £170 million MTIC fraud. The largest and most complex contra fraud to date. Jury failed to agree on client, although 15 other defendants were convicted.

Read more Criminal Fraud

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

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

Acting for a Company appealing against a decision to disallow a VAT reclaim on the grounds of constructive knowledge of fraud.

Read more Civil 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

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 Qaeeda'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, 2001-2003

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.

Read more Terrorism

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.

See Daily Mail article.

See The Guardian article.

See The Daily Express article.

R v Adrian Thomas, 2007

Successfully defended man accused of murdering Duane Tomlin in 2007.

Read more Murder

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.

Read more Sexual Offences

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.

International Litigation/Crime

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.

Read more International Litigation/Crime

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 Qaeeda'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 Qaeeda operative accused of Conspiracy to murder in the UK.

Read more International Domestic Terrorism

R v Safi & others, 2001-2003

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 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.

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.

Professional Commentary and Attribution

Ranked in the Chambers UK guide every year from 2013–17.

"An approachable and hard-working specialist defence advocate highly experienced in handling complex homicides and drugs offences, as well as fraud cases. He is also particularly familiar with the intricacies of appellate work. Market sources describe him as "a real credit to chambers and the Criminal Bar."
"Abbas is extremely impressive on his feet, and his ability to work through papers and identify the issues faced by the defendant is fantastic." "Clients like him because of his evident desire to achieve the best possible result in every case."
"Defended in R v Kinse Aidid and Others, a case involving the brutal murder of a Somali woman by two love rivals at a drugs den in North London."

Chambers UK, 2018

View Chambers UK profile

“He has the ability to put a client at ease with his effective approach to case handling … His attention to detail is second to none and his advocacy skills are exceptional.”

Legal 500, 2016

View Legal 500 profile

Languages

  • Gujerati
  • Swahili

PROFILE: Abbas Lakha QC

A supreme operator, driven to obtain the best result in the circumstances of the case.

Legal 500, 2017

Year called

1984

Silk

2003

Contact

020 7489 2727

Education

BA (Hons), Leeds Beckett University, 1980–83

Barrister at Law, Bar School, Council of Legal Education, 1983–84

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

Recognition

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