Philip Kazantzis

Year of Call: 2004

Philip Kazantzis Qualified as a Solicitor in 1998; obtained his Higher Rights of Audience in 2001 and thereafter was called to the Bar in 2004.

When Philip first practised as a Criminal Defence Solicitor he worked his way up to partnership level at Saunders Solicitors, a specialist Criminal Defence Solicitor’s firm. Whilst at Saunders, Philip headed the Complex Fraud department which involved not only dealing with complex legal matters but also the management of a team of lawyers. Philip cross-qualified as a barrister in 2004 so that he could focus on advocacy rather than managing a legal practice.

Philip now focuses his practise in the areas of Crime and the Regulatory sector, where he has gained experience conducting both complex and heavyweight proceedings.

He is regularly instructed in criminal cases alleging complex fraud, false imprisonment, possession of firearms, murder, robbery, rape, drugs supply, importation and serious assaults such as section 18 Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) and attempted murder. He has also acted as both leading and led junior advocate in a number of complex frauds, large-scale drug conspiracies and murder cases. He has acted on behalf of a number of high-profile individuals whose cases have been the subject of extensive international media coverage.

Philip’s experience and his ability to conduct both complex and heavyweight proceedings is well regarded by his peers where he is known for his creative approach combined with an excellent understanding and application of the law. The extensive experience Philip has gained working both as a Criminal Defence Solicitor and a Criminal Defence Barrister means his clients gain an exceptional approach to the work on their case. He is a strong team leader who is capable of providing the requisite analysis of a case, which often gives rise to successful submissions being put before the court both in writing and orally.

Philip is particularly well known for his ability to use his strong computer skills in the preparation and presentation of complex cases. Having worked on a large number of Very High Costs Cases (VHCC), which in some cases have involved the necessity to consider material in excess of 100,000 pages of used evidence, he has proved his ability to digest enormous amounts of material and present cases in a format easily understood by the jury.

Whilst a large focus of Philip’s career has been on heavyweight Criminal Defence Cases, he has also undertaken various cases in the fields of Employment and Regulatory work.

Philip has undertaken a number of Police Disciplinary Hearings, where he has appeared on behalf of police officers at different levels from the disciplinary panel to Chief Constables and thereafter before the Police Appeals Tribunal. He is familiar with the workings of the Police National Computer (PNC) and has dealt with cases relating to data protection issues arising from the alleged misuse of the PNC.

Notable Cases

  • R. v. MW [2012] EWCA Crim 2664

    Reduction in sentence for what was described by the Court as a “massive scale importation” of class A drugs. The case also considered the impact of the aggregate sentence to be served by the defendant due to a similar conviction in Holland prior to his extradition back to England.

  • C v SL (In Administration) UKEAT/0487/11/DM – 7 March 2012

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the appeal insofar as compensation for sex discrimination ought to have been joint and several between the responsible respondents. However, this did not apply to the 25% uplift. Finally, the Employment Tribunal ought to have awarded compensation for loss of earnings, on a joint and several basis, for sex discrimination, although the same loss was awarded as unlawful deductions against the employer only. Link:

  • R. v. NA [2006] EWCA Crim 3281

    Reduction in sentence due to circumstances and in particular the disability and the difficulties which that created for the applicant in coping with the prison environment, the sentence of nine months imprisonment was excessive and the appropriate sentence ought to have been four months.

  • R. v. DA [2006] EWCA Crim 2680

    Sentences should have reflected the delay with its consequent anxiety and concern for the defendants. An adjustment should be made as a matter of principle but is bound to be modest.

  • R. (on the application of M) v. ICC [2005] EWHC 363 (Admin DC.)

    Judicial review lies in respect of a refusal of bail in the Crown Court; and that decisions as to bail do not fall within the exclusion of judicial review in respect of “matters relating to trial on indictment” under section 29(3) of the Supreme Court [Senior Courts] Act 1981.

  • R. v. VS – The Crown Court at Wood Green – 2018

    Philip was leading junior counsel, where he led, Graham Lloyd, a very experienced solicitor advocate in this case which lasted 25 days. The case concerned three complex frauds where the loss amounted to almost £2.5 million whilst the risk of loss before discovery was a little over £4 million. The case also involved money laundering, and possession of banking paraphernalia used in the course of the fraud, and possession of genuine and false identity documents. Philp and Graham acted for the first defendant and so had to take the lead on much of the work throughout the trial. Instructed by Jas Virdee of Virdee Solicitors.

  • R. v. IU – The Crown Court at Inner London – 2017

    A trial lasting thirty-three days, where Philip was led by Alisdair Williamson QC of Raymond Buildings, in what was a tragic murder case. The certificate extending the Representation to allow for Queen’s Counsel and Junior advocate was only granted some twelve days before trial. This was a difficult trial where their client faced charges of Murder, Conspiracy to Cause GBH, Conspiracy to Cause ABH and Possession of an Offensive Weapon. The murder alleged to have been committed on a joint enterprise basis, for which the prosecution relied on a vast number of texts and other social media messages, months of mobile phone data, in addition to many hours of CCTV evidence. Their client was acquitted of the murder charge and the alternative of manslaughter, so avoided a life sentence being imposed. Instructed by Emma Rahman and Stuart Harris of HP Gower Solicitors.

  • R. v. XX – The Crown Court at Reading – 2017

    A nine-day trial, where Philip represented a 17-year old youth jointly charged with another 17-year old on a count of attempted murder with an alternative count of wounding with intent. The case arose from the youth’s plan to steal 1 ounce of cannabis from a supplier. On running off with the drugs, the dealer gave chase and was ultimately stabbed with a very large kitchen knife whilst in an altercation with the co-defendant. The dealer asserted that Philip’s client had shouted “kill him” before he had been stabbed. Issues in the case related to who had initial possession of the knife, and whether Philip’s client had shouted the words “kill him” or offered some other assistance or encouragement to the co-defendant such as by being armed with the hammer. A classic joint enterprise case. The defendants were stopped very shortly after the incident with the co-defendant found in possession of the blooded knife and the cannabis, whilst Philip’s client was found in possession of a claw hammer. Philip’s client was acquitted of both counts, whilst the co-defendant was convicted by majority of the wounding with intent count. Instructed by Reena Hunjan of Wells Burcombe LLP.

  • R. v. MR – The Crown Court at Kingston – 2017

    hilip was instructed very late in this case, as previous counsel could not attend the trial. This was a case charged as Conspiracy to Supply Class A drugs, namely Cocaine. Philip’s client, was a lorry driver whose vehicle had been logged on Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) on two occasions at a place that was 30 miles off his expected route. There was also CCTV of the latter visit showing a co-defendant’s vehicle stopping by his lorry for a short period of time before both vehicles leaving the area within minutes of each other. That co-defendant ran a defence based on his belief that he was dealing in Cannabis and stated someone had placed the drugs into his vehicle. A defence witness had to be organised to give evidence over the video link from Poland. The two co-defendants were found within a flat the following day with two others who had earlier pleaded guilty. Police found some 61 kg of Cocaine within the flat. Both co-defendants’ were convicted by majority, whilst Philip’s client was acquitted. Instructed by Alexander Goscimski of Goscimski & Associates.

  • R. v. FG – The Central Criminal Court – 2017

    A short five-day trial following guilty pleas by two defendants and a third being severed to a trial at a later date. An allegation of conspiracy to supply class A drugs, namely Cocaine, where the defendant was one of three males that had been in a vehicle within which the drugs were found. The postcode of the “meeting place” had been sent from the defendant’s cheap Nokia phone to an unknown number. Unanimously acquitted by the jury, despite difficulties with phone evidence. Philip acted as junior counsel alone. Instructed by Lesley-Anne Perry of Wells Burcombe LLP

  • R. v. SL – The Crown Court at Maidstone – 2016

    This client transferred representation to Philip as litigator following guilty pleas and sentence. The Confiscation proceedings were extremely complex. The Crown asserted a benefit figure of more than £22 million with identifiable realisable assets of just short of £1 million and asserted hidden assets so that the full amount of £22 million should be deemed payable. Philip spent many hours assessing various aspects of the case and instructed numerous experts on various issues including drugs valuations, phone analysis and handwriting comparison. Philip also submitted detailed skeleton arguments raising complex legal issues resulting from the defendant having been extradited from Spain to face the initial criminal proceedings. The final orders made were a benefit figure of just under £2 million with a realisable amount of £450,000.

  • R. v. PL – The Central Criminal Court – 2016

    Philip represented the first of six defendants as junior counsel alone in a re-trial lasting some seven weeks. His client faced three allegations of false imprisonment in addition to counts of Kidnap, Robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence. His client was found not guilty of the firearm offence whilst the jury were unable to decide on the remaining verdicts. The Crown decided it was not in the public interest to proceed to a third trial and so offered no evidence on all the remaining charges. Instructed by Jas Virdee of Virdee Solicitors.

  • R. v. DP – The Crown Court at Croydon – 2015

    Philip was led by Jonathan Higgs QC of 5 King’s Bench Walk, whilst co-defending with Lewis Power QC of Church Court Chambers, in what was a very difficult gang related double attempted murder case. Complex issues relating to Gun Shot Residue, DNA and phone analysis had to be carefully scrutinised and tested at trial. After four days of deliberations, the jury acquitted their client of all charges faced by him. Instructed by Jas Virdee of Virdee Solicitors.

  • R. v. RS – The Crown Court at Southwark – 2015

    This was the Crown Currency Exchange trial which lasted 46 days. Before the Company’s collapse in October 2010 it was one of the country’s largest personal currency exchange businesses. Philip was led by Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC of 2 Hare Court. This was a highly complex case which had over 163,000 pages of used prosecution evidence in addition to many thousands of pages of unused material. Having worked on the case since September 2013, many hours had to be set aside to meticulously work through the vast amount of material in order to fully prepare for trial. All the evidence was served electronically and this was one of the first cases to be presented before the jury electronically with the use of iPads. Instructed by Alan Burcombe of Wells Burcombe LLP.

  • R. v. VL – The Crown Court at Isleworth – 2014

    The defendant was indicted on counts of Conspiracy to Cause Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent and Violent Disorder. The case related to a serious incident of public disorder in Southall Park in August 2013, during which a 23 year old man was stabbed to death and a number of others were seriously injured. Philip was leading junior advocate where he led an independent solicitor advocate, Judith Benson. The case required careful and considered analysis of a substantial amount of CCTV material and complex telephone data. A successful submission of no case to answer was made in respect of the Conspiracy Count and then after some six weeks of trial their client was acquitted of the remaining count of violent disorder. Instructed by Jas Virdee of Virdee Solicitors.

  • R. v. MM – Central Criminal Court – 2013

    Philip was the leading junior advocate where he led Steve Garratt, an independent solicitor advocate in this trial, which lasted just short of seven weeks. Throughout the proceedings, the indictment had contained counts of Murder, Manslaughter, Kidnapping, False Imprisonment, Preventing a Lawful and Decent Burial of a Body, Blackmail and Handling Stolen Goods. Philip’s client was unanimously acquitted of all the charges he faced. Instructed by Alexander Goscimski, consultant at Imran Khan & Partners.

  • R. v. MC – The Crown Court at Salisbury – 2013

    A case of Murder where Philip was led by Ian Glen QC. Their client walked into the offices of a solicitor who was acting for an opposing party and shot him with a sawn-off shotgun. The case raised issues of Diminished Responsibility and Loss of Control. Instructed by Suezanne King of Wells Burcombe LLP.

  • R. v. IC – The Crown Court at Isleworth – 2013

    The defendant was acquitted of an allegation of rape despite the complainant asserting that she was asleep at the time and the defendant being unable to recollect having had sexual intercourse with her. The forensic evidence confirmed that sexual activity had taken place. The case involved a successful application in accordance with section 41 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 to cross-examine the complainant about previous sexual activity and required great care in the tactical approach to the case. Instructed by Suezanne King of Wells Burcombe LLP.

  • R. v. HP – The Crown Court at Harrow – 2012

    A ten handed complex Conspiracy to Burgle case which also incorporated an additional charge alleging the defendants conspiring to concern themselves in the retention and disposal of the proceeds of crime. Philip acted as leading junior advocate where he led Simon Gledhill of Thomas More Chambers. The case incorporated covert surveillance including what the Crown asserted was their client driving in an “anti-surveillance manner” and conducting “hostile reconnaissance” of prospective venues to burgle. Furthermore, their client’s phone was cell cited at the time and in the vicinity of at least two premises which were burgled as part of this conspiracy. Despite the strength of the Crown’s case their client was just one of only two defendants unanimously acquitted of all charges after a trial lasting just over four weeks. Instructed by Massimo Trebar of Wells Burcombe LLP.

  • R. v. RA – The Crown Court at Reading – 2012

    This was a case alleging 6 counts of sexual activity with a child contrary to section 9(1) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Great care had to be taken in the cross-examination of the young complainant in addition to other family members including her younger brother. In addition a cousin who had made previous complaints of a similar nature and to whom the first complaint was made required careful probing questions to elicit what lead to the complainant opening up to her and to identify inconstancies in the evidence given. The defendant was acquitted of all charges. Instructed by Suezanne King of Wells Burcombe LLP.

  • R. v. KP – The Crown Court at Southwark – 2012

    Philip acted as leading junior advocate where he led Simon Gledhill of Thomas More Chambers in a highly complex fraud case lasting 11 weeks. A successful submission at half time was made in respect of the main conspiracy count following which their client was unanimously acquitted of all other charges faced. Instructed by Sundeep Pankhania of HP Gower Solicitors.

  • R. v. MW – The Crown Court at Liverpool – 2012

    This was a case involving a large-scale conspiracy to bring drugs and firearms from continental Europe into England and Scotland, for onward supply. The indictment spanned a period of just over 2 years and the conspirators used two known methods to achieve their goals; one was by use of vehicles with hidden compartments and the other was by the use of human couriers or “mules”. There were in excess of 34,000 pages of used material to consider in this case. Philip was led by Icah Peart QC. Instructed by Jas Virdee of Virdee Solicitors.

  • R. v. G.B – The Crown Court at Harrow – 2011

    Philip was the sole defence advocate representing a man alleged to have committed indecent and sexual assault on his step-daughter throughout the years 2000 to 2005 whilst she was under that age of 13. This was a difficult trial requiring careful cross-examination of the complainant and her family members in addition to a friend who had apparently been told about the allegations a number of years earlier. The case involved allegations contrary to the Sexual Offences Acts of 1956 and 2003. Philip’s client was unanimously acquitted of all charges. Instructed by Suezanne King of Wells Burcombe LLP.

  • R. v. M.K – The Crown Court at Snaresbrook – 2011

    Philip acted as junior alone in this six week trial before the Snaresbrook Crown Court. The case involved allegations of Threats to Kill, Possession of Firearms and Attempted Murder where the complainant was shot seven times. Despite being positively identified by the complainant, Philip’s client was unanimously acquitted of all charges.

  • R. v. C.T – The Crown Court at Woolwich – 2010

    The defendant was acquitted of aggravated burglary by majority verdict after a five day trial despite having been recognised by one witness at the scene and picked out on an identification procedure by a second witness. This was a classic identification case.

  • R. v. P.C – The Crown Court at Snaresbrook – 2010

    Acted for the Crown in a complex matter which lasted nine weeks and the press reported as a case where the defendants “made ‘James Bond-style’ lethal weapons in a ‘homemade gun factory’” .

  • R. v. D.P – The Crown Court at Reading – 2009

    The defendant was acquitted of all allegations faced which included, Kidnapping, Threats to Kill and ABH.

  • R. v. L.C – The Crown Court at Inner London – 2009

    A verdict of not guilty in respect of a s.18 GBH allegation made by the defendant’s common law wife who had received very serious knife wounds.

  • R. v. N.A – The Crown Court at Kingston – 2009

    A large scale people smuggling and money laundering case which lasted 8 weeks and resulted in unanimous verdicts of not guilty on both counts.

  • R. v. J.J – Central Criminal Court – 2008

    Philip was led junior counsel, led by Courtenay Griffiths Q.C. in the murder case of Nisha Patel-Nasri a Special Constable.

  • R. v. P.R. – Court-martial at Catterick Barracks – 2007

    Successfully defended in a four day rape allegation upon a fellow soldier.

  • R. v. J.J – The Crown Court at Croydon – 2007

    A case where a loaded prohibited firearm was found beneath the driver’s seat of the car the defendant was driving. The car itself was proved to be stolen and showing cloned number plates. Despite the obvious difficulties in the case, the defendant was found not guilty.

  • R. v. C.M – The Crown Court at Kingston – 2005

    Philip was led junior counsel in this matter in which his client was acquitted following a three month trial alleging conspiracy to evade the prohibition on importation of cocaine.

  • R. v. J.H – The Crown Court at Southwark – 2005

    Said to be the largest mail dumping fraud to date. The Crown offered no evidence against Philip’s client on the second day of trial.

  • R. v. DH – The Crown Court at Bristol – 2019

    A very difficult trial, where Philip represented the defendant as junior counsel alone, as despite the prosecution having two counsel and the case being allocated to a High Court Judge, his application for the Representation Order to be extended to permit the instruction of two counsel was refused by the Court. The defendant had pleaded guilty to several offences committed whilst in breach of licence, having been released from an earlier term of imprisonment for public protection (IPP). The defendant denied two counts of attempted murder of police officers and the alternative count of being in possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. Armed police were approaching a property that the defendant was in, whereby he fired a shotgun out of a first-floor window. He was acquitted of the two attempted murder charges, which had a significant impact on the overall sentence. Instructed by Lesley-Anne Perry of Wells Burcombe LLP Widely spread media coverage:

  • R. v. LK – The Crown Court at Southampton – 2019

    A relatively short but serious trial where Philip’s client faced charges of conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs. The defendant had links to the address where supplies were seen on CCTV to be undertaken in his presence by his co-defendant. Furthermore, the main consignments of drugs were found within various bags contained within a rucksack, his client’s fingerprints were found on a TK Maxx bag, a black plastic bag within that and further grey and black inner bags. In addition to the difficulty regarding fingerprints, at total of £37,873 cash was found in various quantities and locations at his client’s address. The jury returned unanimous verdicts of not guilty in respect of the drugs charges faced at trial. Instructed by Steve Garratt and Raf Demczuk of O’Neill, Wright & Nash Solicitors

  • R. v. AH – The Crown Court at Woolwich – 2018

    Philip was leading junior counsel, where he led Patrick Cassidy of Kenworthy Chambers. This was a trial which lasted 43 days, involving various counts of Conspiracy to Assist in the Unlawful Immigration to the UK, between 1 January 2017 and 13 December 2017, in addition to a number of Counts of Converting Criminal Property, being the proceeds of those Conspiracies between the same dates. There were in excess of 14,000 pages of served documentary evidence, in addition to a further 12,000 pages of used digital evidence, much of which related to Viber messaging and so required detailed analysis and consideration. Much of their client’s defence related to his transactions as an unregistered “Hawala” dealer. This required detailed cross-examination of the Crown’s financial expert and resulted in their client being acquitted of being in possession of £107,000 cash upon his first arrest on 15 June 2017 and a further allegation involving possession of £35,800 jointly with another two co-defendants. That was despite some admissions as to involvement in people-smuggling, made both by way of guilty plea and in covert recordings in the defendant’s vehicle before charge and whilst detained in custody. This was a very difficult trial which resulted in a number of not guilty verdicts as against their client. Instructed by Ian Anderson of A&M Solicitors


Called to the Bar 2004
Qualified as solicitor 1998 (Higher Rights of Audience 2001)
College of Law Guildford – Legal Practice Course – 1996
Brunel University – LLB (Hons) 1995


The London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association
Criminal Bar Association