Maria Karaiskos KC

Year of Call: 2000
Year of Silk: 2023

Maria was appointed King’s Counsel in 2023. She is the first female silk, and the first home-grown silk, in the history of Church Court Chambers.

Maria prosecutes and defends the most serious, sensitive, and complex of criminal offences. Her practice includes murders, large-scale frauds and confiscation proceedings, historic rapes, child abuse and high-profile sexual offences, road traffic fatalities, multi-handed drug conspiracies and international importations.

Prosecuting and defending gives Maria a comprehensive and tactical viewpoint on every case she is involved in.

She is instructed regularly on a private basis to defend complex sexual offences due to her considerable level of expertise in this area.

Maria is public access accredited and accepts direct instructions from members of the public:

Maria’s practice also includes prosecuting and defending regulatory crime: environmental offences, health and safety breaches by corporations, local authority prosecutions and breaches of High Court injunctions.

Maria is well known for her meticulous preparation, fearless approach to each case and persuasive style in Court. She has excellent 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.

When she is not prosecuting or defending cases, Maria sits as a Judge in the Crown Court [a Recorder] and in the Magistrates Court [a Deputy District Judge].

Notable Cases

  • R v RM (2024) – prosecution

    Attempted Murder / Child Cruelty involving drowning of toddlers

  • R v DD et al (2024) – prosecution

    Murder: Multi-handed stabbing at Strawberry Hill train station

  • R v RA (2024) – defence, private case

    Rapes: Historic rapes by (then) youth on 8-year-old

  • R v Youth (2024) – defence, private case

    Sexual Assault – Youth Court

  • R v MT (2024) – defence, private case

    Sexual Assault in University Halls of Residence

  • R v KL et al (2024) - defence

    Murder: 3 defendants, joint enterprise attack on disabled man in Ware, Hertfordshire, complex issues of causation and medical negligence

  • R v Youth et al (2024) - defence

    Murder: 7 youths, stabbings in Luton

  • R v BW (2024) – defence, private case

    Rapes following a date on Hinge dating site

  • R v AS (2023-24) - prosecution

    Rapes on 4-year-old and her mother, infecting both with gonorrhoea

  • R v AL (2023) – prosecution

    Rapes: domestic context

  • R v EW (2023) - prosecution

    Murder: Fatal stabbing in nightclub in the Midlands

  • R v MW et al (2023) - defence

    Fraud: Internal multi-million-pound fraudulent loan scheme at Natwest

  • R v MK (2018-2023) – defence, private case

    Housing fraud, unlawful sub-letting

  • R v JH (2023) – prosecution

    Rapes: domestic context

  • R v AG (2023) - defence

    Historic rapes by 14-year-old boy

  • R v AP (2023) – defence, private case

    Historic rapes in family setting

  • R v FH (2023) - prosecution

    Fatal assault on mother by son, issues of diminished responsibility and drug induced psychosis

  • R v DF (2023) - defence

    One-punch manslaughter

  • R v NA et al (2022-2023) - defence

    Cryptocurrency, large-scale, multi-handed drug importation

  • R v JP (2022) – defence, private case

    Historic rapes over sustained period of time of 4–8-year-old

  • R v DW (2022) - defence

    Historic rape of 8-year-old boy

  • R v ME (2022) - defence

    Sexual abuse in care home by carer

  • R v KH et al (2022) – defence

    Large-scale drugs supply, multi-handed

  • R v SS (2022) - defence

    Fraud: Internal abuse of position of trust at Barclays

  • R v EH (2022) - defence

    Multi-handed money laundering of pensioner

  • R v CA et al (2022) - defence

    Perverting the course of justice, multi-handed conspiracy

  • R v LC (2022) - defence

    Death by dangerous driving

  • R v AC (2022) - defence

    Rapes at University Halls of Residence

  • R v Youth (2021/22) - defence

    Murder: Stabbing by youth outside school in Luton

  • R v KM (2021) -defence, private case

    Sexual abuse by bogus gynaecologist on multiple women

  • R v DP et al (2021) - defence

    Fraud: Multi-million-pound fraud of jade and ivory auctioned at Bonhams

  • R v MH et al (2021) - defence

    Murder: Multi-handed stabbing on bus at Stratford

  • R v MS (2020) – defence

    International multi-million money laundering

  • R v DC (2020) - prosecuting

    Murder: Stabbing by wife on husband

  • R v M Ltd (2019-2023) defence, private case

    Personal injury on construction site

  • R v RW (2019-2023) – defence, private case

    Grenfell Enquiry, advisory

  • R v AH (2019) - defence

    Murder: Fatal piercing of eye at Finsbury Park café

  • R v SM (2019) – defence, private case

    Health and safety breaches on construction site

  • R v MM et al (2019) - prosecuting

    One-punch multi-handed manslaughter at Kingsbury station

  • R v A Ltd (2018) – defence, private case

    Divisional Court: Environmental law breaches/Enforcement Undertaking EU Forms: water discharge, recycling packaging

  • R v CS (2018) - prosecuting

    Murder: Double shooting break-in, killing wife and mother-in-law, attempted shooting of police in Hastings

Memberships and Appointments


King’s Counsel (2023)

Recorder, Crown Court (2018, North-East Circuit, London and South-East Circuit)

Deputy District Judge, Magistrates Court (2017, London and South-East Circuit)

CPS Rasso and Grade 4 prosecutor

External Advocacy Assessor to the CPS

Accredited advocacy trainer for pupils and in-house advocates

Pupil Supervisor

Memberships and Scholarships

ARDL: Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers

South-East Circuit

Criminal Bar Association

Herts and Beds Bar Mess

Middle Temple Scholar: Harold G. Fox and Harmsworth Awards


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