Read more Notable cases
Specialising in criminal and regulatory law, Max is a persuasive and experienced advocate who is dauntless in pursuit of a successful outcome for clients.
He is ready to advise at any time, in person or in writing, on cases great or small, whether privately funded or legally aided.
Background and expertise
Max has been a tenant at 9 Bedford Row since 2007. He maintains a mixed practice, defending and prosecuting a range of criminal offences. Having appeared in hundreds of trials, he has learnt from long experience the hard work and preparation that is required to win in court.
He is appointed at Grade 3 to the CPS list of external advocates; to the list of specialist fraud advocates; and was appointed in 2012 to the CPS rape list.
In 2014 he spent six months on secondment to the Financial Conduct Authority working on Operation Dovercourt, the multinational investigation into foreign exchange manipulation. Max has acquired an in-depth knowledge of this area of financial services.
In 2010 he was seconded to the fraud prosecution division of the CPS as a senior crown prosecutor. He assumed a serious and heavy caseload – providing pre-charge advice to investigators, making charging decisions, and drafting letters of request for international assistance.
Max also has plenty of experience of defending young people or vulnerable clients – including people battling addictions – and is sensitive to their needs. He has defended immigration and identify offences; and has an interest in art crime, having worked at Sotheby’s before coming to the Bar.
Prosecution of 5 boys aged 14 and 15 years for the murder by stabbing of another 15 year old boy. The case was a true joint enterprise as the Crown could not prove who the stabber/stabbers were and the case involved piecing together large quantities of circumstantial and CCTV evidence. There were bad character applications re gang membership. Led by Jane Bickerstaff QC. St Albans Crown Court.
News story here
Prosecuted a BMW driver who drove deliberately into the path of a moped rider. Convicted of s.18 GBH. St Albans Crown Court
News story here
Prosecuted arson and perverting the course of justice arising from the torching of a car used to commit a murder in Battersea. To date no convictions have been obtained for the murderers partly due to the destruction of the getaway vehicle. Central Criminal Court.
News story here
Client prosecuted for murder, attempted s.18 GBH and possession of an offensive weapon. Led by Edward Henry QC (QEB Hollis Whiteman). Client was acquitted of murder and attempted s.18 GBH. Croydon Crown Court.
News story here
Prosecuted woman who inveigled her way into the life of Sir Samuel Brittan and defrauded him of approximately £100,000. Southwark Crown Court.
News story here
Operation Baum: six-handed case of violent disorder which had resulted in the death of a man. Led by John Cammegh at Croydon Crown Court. .
Max defended in one of the last ever careless driving simpliciter prosecutions causing death. Case stopped at half-time.
Read more General Crime
Max defended a man found with a false passport. See news story.
Burglary and dangerous driving case: Max defended a man accused of a smash and grab of Woolworths culminating in a high-speed chase. Drug addiction was the motive. See Hertfordshire Mercury.
Max prosecuted a man who, in an unusual manner, sexually assaulted a sleeping woman on a train. See news story.
Max prosecuted a man at St Albans Crown Court who incurred huge police expenditure – including deployment of a police helicopter – when he rang 999 threatening to shoot himself in the head. See St Albans Review.
Max was led by Jane Bickerstaff in the prosecution of a man subsequently convicted of sexual offences of the utmost gravity perpetrated on his own family.
Max defended a man who pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to burgling high-value properties and stealing fireplaces worth thousands of pounds.
At Kingston Crown Court, Max successfully prosecuted two men for staging a robbery and emptying a branch of Carphone Warehouse of all its stock, in a so-called “inside job".
Max defended a young man who was tried at Cambridge Crown Court for allegedly robbing a vulnerable and almost blind man in his own home. A ‘Goodyear’ indication was sought at the start of the trial but the client went on to be unanimously acquitted.
Max defended a youth who pleaded guilty at Inner London Crown Court to dealing Class A drugs to test purchase officers.
Section 20 GBH: Max prosecuted a GBH trial at Guildford Crown Court, where the victim’s eye socket was shattered and a metal plate was inserted. Witness gathering was impeded by many potential witnesses being in fear.
Max defended a man serious mental health problems who had been on the run for two years, having been convicted of using a false passport to open a bank account. Max has a good working knowledge of the Mental Health Act and has argued fitness to plead and fitness to be tried.
Conspiracy to defraud; Operation Danks Corner. Max was led by Paul Watson QC in the prosecution of a counter-terrorism officer who was convicted following trial of defrauding the Metropolitan Police of over £90,000. See Daily Mail article.
Conspiracy to defraud and to contravene trademarks (Operation Donets). Max was the disclosure junior for the Crown in an eight-handed case at Southwark Crown Court which culminated in a number of convictions in July 2009. See BBC story.
Read more Financial Crime
NHS fraud: Max prosecuted a woman who grossly abused her position as an NHS manager by falsifying invoices and spending £200,000 on her stud farm. See Daily Mail article
Boiler room fraud: Max was led in the prosecution of two young men who worked in a boiler room operating out of Madrid defrauding victims of hundreds of thousands of pounds. See Sky News story.
Max represented Abu Hamza in a sequence of remand hearings in the run-up to his contested extradition proceedings at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court – and assisted in drafting advice concerning the instruction of an expert to comment on the possible use in the US of evidence obtained by torture or oppressive treatment. See BBC news story.
Read more Apellate Work
Other activities and interests
- Legal consultant to Channel 4's 'The Trial - A murder in the family'
- Legal consultant to Nina Raine's 2017 National Theatre play, Consent
- Regular contributor on BBC radio and Talk Radio
- Legal blogger at http://counselofperfection.blogspot.co.uk/
- Frequent contributor to Counsel magazine
Professional Commentary and Attribution
"He has an exemplary court manner, is wise beyond his years and is particularly good at dealing with young defendants." (Legal 500, 2017)
PROFILE: Maximilian Hardy
‘A bright and personable practitioner able to distil complex concepts into jury-friendly language."He has an exemplary court manner, is wise beyond his years and is particularly good at dealing with young defendants."
Legal 500, 2019
Confiscation / POCA
Fraud, Bribery & Corruption
Inquests / public inquiries
Financial and Corporate law
020 7489 2727
MA (Oxon), University of Oxford (Lady Margaret Hall)
CPE/GDL, City University
BVC, Inns of Court School of Law
CBA (executive committee since 2010), Amicus Fraud Lawyers' Association, Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers
Florida Bar Criminal Advocacy Program, 2008
Member of England & Wales team at International Moot Court, 2009
Chairman of young barristers' committee of Bar Council, 2014
Gray's Inn accredited advocacy trainer