Maria Karaiskos

Called in 2000

About Maria Karaiskos


Maria is a highly regarded barrister who is well known for her meticulous preparation, fearless approach to each case and persuasive style in Court. She has strong legal skills, intelligent case planning and full commitment to each case she undertakes. She is an excellent communicator who holds the confidence of each client and the Court.

Maria prosecutes and defends all cases of serious crime. She is an accredited grade 3 serious crime and sexual offences prosecutor for the CPS. Maria’s practice includes cases of homicide, manslaughter in the workplace, substantial violence, rape and other serious sexual offences (including historic sexual abuse), multi-handed drug conspiracies, international human trafficking rings, money laundering and multimillion-pound frauds. Maria also has experience prosecuting and defending regulatory crime, health and safety breaches by corporations, noise abatement notices by the local authority, breaches of High Court injunctions and a wide range of environmental offences.

Maria is fluent in Modern Greek

Professional Memberships and Appointments

  • Recorder, Crown Court (2018, North-East Circuit)
  • Deputy District Judge, Magistrates Court (2017, London and South-East Circuit)
  • External Advocacy Assessor to the CPS (since 2014)
  • Accredited advocacy trainer for pupils and in-house advocates (since 2008)
  • South-East Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Herts and Beds Bar Mess

Experience and Instructions


Recent Cases

R v CS [2018] Lewes Crown Court: (led junior) successful prosecution of a murder trial, where the defendant shot his wife and mother in law multiple times with a stolen rifle, before Mrs Justice McGowan; widely reported in the press.

R v PB [2018] Stafford Crown Court: (led junior) successful prosecution of a murder trial, where the defendant stabbed his partner multiple times following a drug overdose. Successful advice to Treasury Counsel as unduly lenient sentence: [2018] 11 WLUK 19.

R v SS [2018] Snaresbrook Crown Court: (leading a junior) defending a 17 handed large-scale drugs conspiracy.

R v MM [2018] Inner London Crown Court: successful defence of historic rapes and sexual offences against a child; specialist cross examination of a vulnerable witness.

R v PW [2016] EWCA Crim 745 (Court of Appeal): Sexual images on social media where the distributor was the maker and appeared in the indecent image; mens rea and strict liability.

R v JM [2015] EWCA Crim 1928 (Court of Appeal): Abuse of process in sexual allegations from the 1950s; use of preparatory hearing; severance.

R v JM [2015-2016] Barnstaple Crown Court: (led junior) ground-breaking prosecution of the (then) oldest man in the country for prolific sexual offences; unique use of special measures to accommodate the physical needs of the defendant.

R v EP [2015] Newcastle County Court: defending a high-profile personal injury claim brought by a rape victim against a defendant outside the statutory limitation period and triggered by the defendant winning substantial sums in the National Lottery.

R v RP [2015] Birmingham Crown Court: (led junior) prosecuting gross negligence manslaughter and substantial breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act before Mr Justice Popplewell.

R v Waste4Fuel et al [2014] EWHC 2484 (QBD) successful defence of contempt of court trial, breaches of environmental regulations and injunctions before Mr Justice Eady, widely reported in the press.