Michael Polak is Instructed to seek Magnitsky-style Sanctions Against the Bahraini Government Under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime

Michael Polak is instructed by the European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights to seek Magnitsky-style sanctions against the Bahraini Government under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime. Michael leads Annahita Moradi of One Pump Court as Junior Counsel.

This follows the Bahraini Government’s repeated commission of human rights abuses. According to the available evidence, these include enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detentions, inhuman treatment and torture, due process interferences, and extrajudicial executions in a campaign to systematically crack down on freedoms of peaceful assembly and association, opinion and expression.

The aim of the proposed sanctions is to hold the Bahraini Government and its officials accountable for their egregious human rights violations. For further details on this case please visit ECDHR’s website following this link: https://www.ecdhr.org/?p=1108

George Hepburne Scott Secures Victory in Extradition Hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court

George Hepburne Scott secures victory in Extradition Hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court.

On Friday 26 February 2021, Mr Hepburne Scott’s client was triumphantly discharged on the European Arrest Warrant that he faced for a historical conviction in Poland.

Following a fully contested hearing and complex legal argument, District Judge Rimmer ruled in favour of Mr Hepburne Scott’s client and rejected Poland’s claim for extradition on Article 8 grounds. The client was naturally overjoyed.

Mr. Hepburne Scott was instructed by Magdalena Motyl of Bark & Co Solicitors

Success for Michael Polak in Large Scale Drug Importation Trial at Canterbury Crown Court

Church Court Chambers’ barrister Michael Polak secured his client a unanimous acquittal in a trial which finished today at Canterbury Crown Court.  Michael Polak’s client, an Italian national, was stopped when entering the United Kingdom at Dover Port and the van he was driving was found to be carrying 134 kg of high-purity cocaine. At one of the first COVID trials at Canterbury Crown Court in July of this year the jury were unable to reach a verdict and the case was set for a retrial this week which resulted in Michael’s client being found not guilty by the jury.

Michael Polak is available for instruction in any serious criminal matters and has expertise in cases which have an international dimension.  He can be instructed by contact Church Court Chambers’ clerking team on +44 020 7936 3637

Michael was instructed by Davide Cupertino of Consulenti Italiani and Dean Garrett of Liberty Law Solicitors.

Yasin Patel gets client acquittal of Murder Charge after Trial

Yasin Patel, of Chambers Crime and Regulatory team managed to successfully obtain the acquittal of his client of a Murder charge following a 6-week trial.  In a history making case the trial became one of the first in the country where the approach to principal and accessorial liability became all the more important due to the fact that the question of whether causing harm or serious death was an overwhelming supervening act was left to the jury.

Yasin Patel was instructed by JSP Law.

Alex Balancy and Estelle Thornber successfully defend their client in a multi million pound, record drugs seizure case.

Alex Balancy leading Estelle Thornber secured the acquittal of their client on 14 Counts of Conspiracy to Supply and Offer to Supply a variety of class A, B and C Drugs. These included Cocaine, Heroin and the largest seizure of GHB/GBL in London to date. Their client, a young Brazilian National, was also acquitted on 2 Counts of Money Laundering of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The Prosecution alleged that the Defendant was part of a serious Organised Crime Group distributing drugs to order using a fleet of couriers in an ‘Uber for Drugs’ style operation.

Following his arrest with a large quantity of drugs, a large amount of cash and high-tech equipment, the Prosecution maintained that the Defendant had a managerial role in this sophisticated criminal network of Brazilians who ran the drug enterprise along modern business lines, using the latest up to the minute technology. 

Six of the Defendant’s co-accused were convicted. Alex and Estelle’s client was acquitted on all 16 counts following a two months trial.

Alex and Estelle were instructed by Foxes Solicitors.

Success for Glenn Harris and Liam Loughlin following 2 month drugs trial involving London’s largest seizure if Chemsex drugs

Glenn Harris leading Liam Loughlin successfully defended a woman charged with conspiracy in London’s largest seizure of Chemsex drugs. They secured her acquittal after a 2 month trial. The prosecution alleged she was part of a serious organized crime group distributing drugs to order including cocaine and heroin. She was found not guilty on all 14 counts she faced.

Glenn and Liam were instructed by Foxes Solicitors, Beckenham.

Colin Witcher defends in high-profile 39 counts of manslaughter trial

Colin Witcher of Chambers’ Crime and Regulatory Team led by Alisdair Williamson QC of 3 Raymond Buildings, defend in a case which made international headlines when 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead inside a trailer in Essex in October last year.

The trial, expected to last 6 weeks, began today at the Central Criminal Court.

Counsel are instructed by Claire Anderson of ABV Solicitors, London

Chambers Members ranked by Legal 500 2021

Six members of Church Court Chambers have been ranked by the 2021 edition of the Legal 500, including our Head of Chambers, Kerim Fuad QC.

The relevant members’ individual entries of the latest edition of the Legal 500 read as follows:

Kerim Fuad QC  ‘Commanding advocate and a great tactician. A very strong strategic thinker. A commanding presence, excellent with clients and exceptionally bright. He has the jury eating out of the palm of his hand.

Ranked: Tier 3

Lewis Power QC ‘Lewis is a force of nature. His amiable charm fills the robing room and the court room alike. He works every character in a case, from the co-defendants’ advocates, to the prosecutor to the judge and, ultimately, the jury, who hang on his every word. His charm underlays a deadly cross examination technique.

Ranked: Tier 2

Amjad Malik QC ‘He has great client empathy.

Ranked: Tier 3

Michael Mather-Lees QC ‘An eloquent silk with particular expertise in cases involving complex medical evidence. Provides pragmatic advice and adopts excellent strategy in the most complex of cases. He possesses a quiet calmness and confidence indicative of a Counsel that is aware of his expertise and skill, with no need to shout about it, incredibly effective in his style of advocacy and yet calm and reassuring manner with clients and their families.

Ranked: Tier 3

Colin Witcher ‘Colin Witcher is incredibly calm and well organised, safe and reassuring with clients, with a superb legal brain which gives great attention to the detail in the most complex of cases.

Ranked: Tier 2

Yasin Patel  ‘Yasin is an extremely hard worker and thorough with his work. Has the ability to develop great rapport with all types of clients regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, cultural backgrounds. A key strength is his ability to handle all types of complex cases.

Ranked: Tier 3

Kerim Fuad QC Speaks on International Weekend Panel about The Future of the Legal Profession in Different Jurisdictions in Light of COVID-19

On Saturday, the Head of Church Court Chambers, Kerim Fuad QC spoke on a panel for International Weekend, an event organised by the European Young Bar Association, the Law Society’s Young Lawyer Division, London Young Lawyers Group, and Middle Temple Young Barristers’ Association which was held online for the first time and attended by hundreds of young lawyers across Europe, the United Kingdom, and North America.

The panel discussion at which Kerim spoke alongside lawyers from Italy and Canada, addressed their respective legal systems response to the COVID crisis as well as how they foresee the future and finished with tips for young lawyers about how to manage/advance themselves in the current difficult legal climate.

Kerim spoke honestly and scathingly; of the shameful lack of financial support from the government for publicly funded barristers and solicitors “who have been left to rot,” the grossly inadequate and hugely delayed response to get jury trials up and running, the fact that the huge backlog for Crown Court trials was in existence long before Covid-19 (eg in December 2019 out of 729 courtrooms, 350 were not sitting only due to the government slashing of court sitting days), refusal of the government to properly engage with leaders of the Bar as to how to remedy the crisis, the disgraceful crumbling state of the whole of the court estate fallen into ruin/not fit for purpose, and the disingenuous use politically of their buzz word of “diversity” which the government scorn in real terms with lack of financial support/reasonable fees which is driving talented people out of the Bar and decimating many sets of chambers, the generally appalling fees paid to both prosecution and defence Barristers who are trying hard to uphold the rule of law and protect victims and the public.

He ended by giving a series of practical tips for those young lawyers seeking to succeed but confessed that unless the government invest in the independent Bar of England and Wales, it looks beyond bleak.

The panel was hosted by Church Court Chambers Michael Polak in his role as President of the Middle Temple Young Barristers’ Association.

Michael Mather-Lees QC and Colin Witcher begin unusual murder trial

Mr Mather-Lees QC and Colin Witcher have begun an unusual and sensitive murder trial, which concerns the death of a victim four years after the initial injuries were sustained. The trial will focus upon intention and causation, and whether or not the manner of medical treatment was the cause of death, with evidence covering neuro-patholology, pathology, clinical care and gastroenterology.

The case is being tried before Mr Justice Johnson and is expected to last two weeks. Given the abolishment of the Year-and-a-Day Rule, the case is prosecuted with the consent of the Attorney General.

Counsel are instructed by Imran Ali of Tuckers Solicitors.

Success for Mike Fullerton in dog breeding licence case in General Regulatory Chamber.

S v Eastleigh Borough Council

Mike Fullerton succeeds in overturning revocation of dog-breeding licence before First Tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber). After negotiations, a week before the hearing, the Local Authority agreed to a Variation of Licence including paying the costs of the Application.

Double success in Extradition Court for George Hepburne-Scott

On 25 August 2020, in the case of Greece v AS, George’s client was discharged on the EAW he faced on Article 3 grounds due to the Greek judicial authority failing to provide adequate assurances regarding the prison/s that the requested person would be sent back to. The Greek judicial authority had sought an adjournment to obtain the information but this was opposed by George on the basis that it had had plenty of time already. District Judge Ezzat, a specialist Extradition Judge at Westminster Magistrate’s Court, agreed and AS, an Albanian national, was discharged and released from all bail conditions.

A directly analogous situation arose in a different case at the same Court on 4 September 2020: In Greece v RK, the advocate for the Greek judicial authority also requested more time which was opposed by George on the client’s behalf. This time the Deputy Chief Magistrate of England and Wales presided and agreed with George that Greece had had long enough, again the client, this time an Irish national, was discharged and released. 

In both cases, expert evidence from Greek lawyers had been obtained and critical reliance had also been placed on the key High Court authority of Marku v Greece [2016] EWHC 1801 (Admin) as well as the recent C.P.T. Report on Greek prisons.

George was instructed by Magdalena Motyl of Bark & Co Solicitors in the case of Greece v RK and by Russell Nicholson of Tuckers Solicitors in the case of Greece v AS.

Acquittal for Michael Mather-Lees QC in case involving multiple attempted murders.

Michael Mather-Lees QC successfully defends a man charged with multiple attempted murders, severely injuring 3 innocent members of the public, by repeatedly stabbing them with a large knife. This was a rare and unusual case of a Defendant successfully pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. The Defendant was seriously mentally ill and found not guilty by the jury.

Michael was instructed by Emily Evans of Allen Hoole Solicitors, Bristol

Colin Witcher succeeds in Gold Bullion confiscation case.

Colin Witcher of Chambers Crime and Regulatory Team represented the first defendant NH at a fully contested hearing, over the course of three days before the Bristol Crown Court. The Crown had sought significant hidden assets against the defendant, said to be large cash withdrawals and the purchase of Gold Bullion. 

The defendant was alleged to be the principle defendant and beneficiary of an audacious fraud. The defendant, who was convicted after trial, together with three others (who all pleaded guilty) directed and arranged the sale of a substantial country property, without the true owner’s knowledge. Thereafter, part of the sale proceeds were withdrawn from a bank account and used to purchase Gold Bullion in London. The defendant, after convicton, instructed new solicitors who retained Mr Witcher to represent the defendant in respect to PoCA proceedings.

During the course of those proceedings the defendant and two of the three other defendants gave evidence. All other defendants placed the leading role on NH and denied that they had benefited from their involvement in the crime save for a little over a £1,000 each. In respect to one of those defendants, he was challenged on NH’s behalf, and a cut throat emerged.  

Mr Witcher further had to deal with issues flowing from the defendant previously having given evidence before the Jury which was rejected, and admitted false PoCA statements served prior to Mr Witcher’s instruction.

After hearing all the evidence and final submissons the Judge, who had also conducted the trial, found favour with Mr Witcher’s submissions in respect to hidden assets. The Judge further found that the second defendant had benefited as alleged by NH. 

The defendant was at risk of a significant default term, which was properly avoided due to careful preparation and case presentation.

Mr Witcher was instructed by Kamal Channa of Brooklyn Solictors, St Martins Le Grand, London.

Michael Polak Acting for Somali Journalist Syndicate Submits UN Communications Concerning Attacks on Journalism in Somalia

Church Court Chambers’ Michael Polak has submitted communications to the Independent Expert on Human Rights in Somalia, the Human Rights Council, and the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression on behalf of the Somali Journalist Syndicate, an independent journalists’ trade union set up to highlight and support Somali journalists against ‘a barrage of attacks against the press, predominantly perpetrated by state actors.’  

These Communications allege that the Somali authorities are in breach of both their positive and negative international obligations and in breach of the Constitution through their continuous attack on journalism which has included assaults, disappearances, arbitrary detention, closing down press and broadcast outlets, the seizure of equipment, and generally creating an atmosphere which has resulted in Somalia being one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. 

The submission of the communication was marked by an event held online on 20 August 2020 which was attended by Somali and international journalists, NGO’s focused on the protection of journalists, as well as representatives of the United Nations. 

Michael Polak stated:

 “The freedom of journalists to do their job without having to fear attacks and repression by the authorities is essential for the development of any country. The clear evidence shows that the Somalian Government and Somaliland authorities are failing to comply with their international and domestic legal obligations by continuing to attack, arbitrarily detain, and censure brave hardworking Somalian journalists.  

We hope that these communications to the United Nation’s bodies, which have been set up specifically to protect people in situations where State authorities are refusing to do so, will shine a light on what is taking place against journalists in Somalia and inform the authorities that their actions are being noted both by the Somali people and the international community. 

We call on the international community, including NGO’s and Somalia’s development partners, not to forget the importance of journalism in Somalia and the vulnerability of journalists there. It is our obligation to give them a voice at every opportunity and to demand that the authorities cease to breach their international obligations and the Constitution of Somalia.’ 

Mr Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, Secretary General of the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) stated the following:

“Attacks against the press has dramatically increased leading many journalists to self-censor or face arbitrary arrests. Press freedom and freedom of expression are basic constitutional right entitled to every Somali citizen. These rights must be preserved and protected in order for the journalists and media stations to be able to freely inform the public.

SJS has documented the violations against the press across Somalia round the clock and what we have been witnessing, if not stopped, would put the whole journalism profession in danger.  We call on the Somali federal government, federal member states and Somaliland authorities to stop the gross violations committed by their security forces, police and organs of their administrations.”

The full Press Statement can be found here.  

The submissions and launch event has been covered by the Horn ObserverArlaadi News, and Somali Update.

Michael Polak is available to be instructed for international law and human rights matters by contacting the clerks room on +44 20 7936 3637 or by clerks@churchcourtchambers.co.uk 

Michael Polak Lodges Written Submissions on behalf of World Uyghur Congress to International Olympic Committee’s Ethical Commission Concerning Beijing 2022

The World Uyghur Congress has instructed Church Court Chambers’ international human rights barrister Michael Polak who also leads Lawyers for Uyghur Rights to draft a formal written complaint which has been submitted to the International Olympic Committee’s Ethics Commission through the Ethics and Compliance Office.

This Complaint, to which the IOC’s Ethics Commission must respond, stated that IOC, its Executive Board, and IOC President Thomas Bach have acted in breach of the Olympic Charter by failing to reconsider holding the 2022 Olympics in Beijing following verifiable evidence of genocide and crimes against humanity taking place against the Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims by the People’s Republic of China.  

Evidence submitted along with the Complaint from numerous sources proves that a number of crimes against humanity are taking place such as mass sterilization, arbitrary detention in internment camps, torture, repressive security and surveillance, and forced labour and slavery.

Annexed to the complaint was also a recent report which concluded that the Chinese authorities actions in the Uyghur Region is likely to amount to genocide.

The submissions provide that not only will holding the Olympic in Beijing be seen as support for the extreme repression suffered by the Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims but that given the opaque nature of the supply chains in China, especially in regards to textiles and technology, it is likely that the IOC will be directly involved in the international crimes committed against the Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim people. This is because the widely documented forced transport and use of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims as slave labour means that it will be impossible for the IOC to ensure that the technology used in Olympic competitions and the hosting of the Games and the textiles used for Olympic merchandise are not tainted by the immense pain of those transported thousands of miles across China to be forced to work in factories because of their religion and race.

Michael Polak stated:

‘I am pleased to have been instructed by Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uyghur Congress to draft this important Complaint.

The IOC, its Executive Board, and its President Thomas Bach are all required to abide by the ethical principles of the Olympic Movement, the Olympic Charter, and the Olympic ideal inspired by Pierre de Coubertin.

It is clear that holding the 2022 Olympics in Beijing whilst China carries out genocide and crimes against humanity against the Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim people flies in the face of those principles and is contrary to those parties’ obligation under Article 2 of the Code of Conduct not to ‘act in a manner likely to tarnish the reputation of the Olympic Movement.

We hope that the Ethics Commission will engage with the issues we have put before them and call for the 2022 Olympic to be moved if international crimes continue to be carried out against the Uyghurs. We look forward to the opportunity of calling evidence from first-hand witnesses who have fled the horrors of the camps and systematic repression so the Ethics Commission and Olympic Movement cannot say that they were unaware of what was taking place in the Uyghur Region and across China with the forced movement of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims for use as slave labour.’ 

World Uyghur Congress President Dolkun Isa stated:

‘The IOC can no longer claim ignorance of China’s genocide against the Uyghur people. If the IOC allows China to host the 2022 Winter Games, it is wilfully and intentionally abandoning the values and principles that underpin the Olympic Movement.

These detailed submissions explain the evidence of the international crimes being committed against my people, the Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Tajiks, and other Turkic Muslim people and how this clearly conflicts with the ethical principles with which the Olympic family is supposed to comply. Further, it is likely that the technology and merchandising used for the Olympic will be tainted by the well reported forced transportation and slave labour against us.

If the International Olympic Committee allows the Chinese government to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, it will go down as a historically shameful decision.’

Multiple press sources including the New York Times have reported on Michael’s work https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/08/14/sports/olympics/14reuters-olympics-china-uighurs.html?searchResultPosition=5

Michael Polak is available to be instructed for international law and human rights matters by contacting the clerks room on +44 20 7936 3637 or by clerks@churchcourtchambers.co.uk 

Exceptional Sentence Achieved by Maria Karaiskos Following Plea on £10m Money Laundering Case.

Maria Karaiskos appeared at Southwark Crown Court in a multi-million pound money laundering case. Maria’s client was a ‘cash courier’ who had taken over £10m to Dubai during numerous trips in 2018.

The case was brought by the National Crime Agency who stopped the defendant at Stansted Airport as he attempted to board a flight. In mitigation and in order to assist the judge, Maria provided a detailed, written sentencing note which drew on her excellent knowledge of the ‘Fraud, Bribery and Money Laundering’ Sentencing Guidelines. She argued, successfully, that the principle of totality, and the delay in charging the defendant, meant that it would not be in the interests of justice for his sentence to fall within the Guidelines at all.

The Judge agreed and exceptionally imposed a sentence of two years imprisonment. 

Maria was instructed by Mustafa Ilguy from Haslaw Solicitors in this case.

Maria Karaiskos detailed submissions avoid custodial sentence for her client in multi handed football violence case.

Maria Karaiskos was instructed in a large scale Violent Disorder case at Luton Crown Court. The defendant she represented was one of seven defendants who pleaded guilty to using and threatening unlawful violence in Luton Town Centre in August 2018, shortly before a football match started at Luton Town FC. Violence broke out between 30-40 Luton Town FC supporters against the Southend supporters who had travelled to Luton on the train. Punches, kicks and bottles were thrown. The incident was captured on CCTV and body worn cameras worn by the police who attended to contain the scene. 

The prosecution described the incident as ‘blatant football hooliganism in broad daylight’.   

Six defendants were sentenced in November 2019. The majority of them received sentences of immediate imprisonment.


Maria’s defendant was sentenced in June 2020. Maria provided a written Sentencing Note for the Judge. This detailed the new Definitive Sentencing Guideline on Public Order Offences which came into effect in January 2020. Maria made further written submissions on the new Court of Appeal authority – R v Manning – dealing with mitigation arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. Maria made lengthy oral submissions in Court about which sentencing category the offence fell into; which aggravating and mitigating factors were present in the evidence; and what degree of mitigation Covid-19 provided her lay client. Maria also made reference to the Sentencing Guideline on Custodial/Community Sentences and the Sentencing Guideline on Guilty Pleas.

The Judge retired for over 30 minutes before returning to Court and passing a suspended sentence and a five year Football Banning Order. 

Maria was instructed by Lawtons Solicitors in this case. The hearing was conducted remotely via the new Cloud Video Platform – CVP.

Success for Chris Johnston in Court of Appeal, Highlighting Lack of Guidelines for Blackmail.

Chris Johnston successful in the Court of Appeal in appeal against sentence, which highlighted the lack of sentencing guidelines for blackmail. 

The appellant had been sentenced to a total of seven years’ imprisonment for two offences of blackmail and one of possession of a bladed article.  

He’d been in a six years’ relationship with a woman and had become controlling and obsessive in his behaviour towards her. After she ended it, he stalked her online and bombarded her with calls and messages. He then demanded £10,000 from her for monies he’d spent on them and posted a long rambling document on social media about her, her friends and family, ending with a link to an intimate sexual video of her. A month later, with no money paid he tricked her into stopping in a layby on the pretext of handing over some belongings and she let him sit in her car. He suddenly produced a knife and what looked like a sawn-off shotgun in a bag. He locked the doors, snatched her phone and said he’d written their mutual suicide notes and that she would be dead by the morning unless she sent several thousand pounds to his bank account. He detained her for six hours  before he was emotionally overcome and she saw the chance to persuade him to calm down and let her go. Once arrested, police found the makeshift gun-shaped contraption in the boot of his car. His phone revealed the blackmail messages and multiple other harassing messages, some just as before arrest.

He had pleaded guilty at trial receiving limited credit for doing so. He had a caution for harassing his former wife in which he used repeated and abusive communications. The second blackmail was treated as a robbery because of the weapons, threats to kill, the demands for money with menaces and long false imprisonment. Counsel invited the CCA to distinguish the case with the authorities the sentencing judge relied on (R v Casbolt [2016] EWCA Crim 1377 and A.G. Ref No. 36 of 2016 Mincher [2016]EWCA Crim. 152).The court was reminded of the case of R v Manning [2020]EWCA Crim. 592, the need to reflect the current prison circumstances during the pandemic and the psychological effects on vulnerable inmates. The CCA ruled that while the judge was correct to reflect the grave nature of these offences and pass consecutive sentences it accepted appeal submissions and reduced the first blackmail term by half to one of 18 months making the total term reduced from 7 years to 51/2 years.

Chambers return to trials at Reading Crown Court

Michael Fullerton, Kevin Molloy and Michael Polak have all dusted the wig and gown off and returned to Crown Court for the first new trials on the circuit and a 3 day conviction appeal for a youth.

To see their accounts of how the courts have adapted to conduct these cases please follow the links below.

Many thanks for attending our webinar

Church Court Chambers would like to thank all those who attended and took part in our first webinar, “Do you really want to hurt me?”.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to welcoming you to our next webinar. 

Special thanks to Kerim Fuad QC, Lewis Power QC, Michelle Clarke, Shaun Esprit, Liam Loughlin, Colin Witcher, Tomas McGarvey and Amy Hazlewood. 

The webinar will be available to watch again on our website shortly.

Kevin Molloy secures exceptional result in Firearms case…via Skype!

Kevin Molloy was instructed in a Firearms case at Woodgreen Crown Court. The defendant had ordered a blank firing gun and pepper-spray ammunition from Eastern Europe online. Five months later the Police called at his home and having conducted a search they found the gun and ammunition. The defendant pleaded guilty. The 1968 Firearms Act, having its own peculiarities established that the ammunition and not the gun in this case attracted an automatic minimum term of 5 years immediate imprisonment under s.51A(1)(a)(i) of the Act. Unlike other offences there is no discount for pleading guilty. Fortunately for this defendant s.51A(2) states that the court will impose that sentence “unless the court is of the opinion there are exceptional circumstances relating to the offence or the offender which justifies not doing so”. And so began a lengthy journey in building a case for a finding of “exceptional circumstances”.
Lengthy and detailed written submissions were drafted by counsel with all the relevant authorities cited. Reports from Psychiatrists and others were obtained. With the arrival of Covid19 pandemic counsel was not allowed to attend court in person, however given that custody was likely the defendant had to surrender to court in person and counsel made submissions to the court via Skype!
After lengthy submissions the court eventually agreed to find exceptional circumstances in this case and the defendant was given a suspended sentence. After passing sentence the Learned Judge commented to counsel “it is obvious you have put a lot of work into this case and it is appreciated”. Kevin would like to thank Lawtons Solicitors for instructing him in this case and in particular Stephen Halloran for his hard work. If ever there was a case of counsel and instructing solicitor working as an effective team, this was it.

Gregory Wedge enjoys Court of Appeal success in £1.5 million Class A Drugs conspiracy case.

Gregory Wedge of Chambers’ Crime and Regulatory Team, secured a successful appeal against sentence in respect to a £1.5 million drug conspiracy case. The case concerned the transport of 15kg of cocaine with an 80% purity. The Appellant pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy, to supply class A drugs in his role as a courier.  The sentencing judge departed significantly from the sentencing guidelines in taking a starting point of 14 years for the Appellant.

Mr Wedge submitted that this was not the correct approach considering the role of the Appellant in the conspiracy and therefore the starting point of 14 years and overall sentence of 10 years was manifestly excessive.  Mr  Wedge invited the court in considering the sentencing guidelines to take a starting point of 12 years and to find that there was insufficient basis to depart from the range.  To that end, Mr Wedge argued that although the case concerned a greater amount of cocaine than the 5kg set out as the category 1 starting point, this did not provide in of itself foundation for wholly departing from the range prescribed.

The Court of Appeal agreed with Mr Wedge’s submissions that in all the circumstances of the case the sentence could properly be termed excessive. As such, the Court duly allowed the appeal reducing the starting point by 2 years and thereafter afforded the Appellant 25% credit.

Mr Wedge was instructed by Foxes Solicitors.

Statement from Kerim Fuad QC, Head of Chambers

“Whilst I welcome the statement from the Lord Chancellor on proactive steps to be taken to resume Jury Trials, I wish to make my views as Head of Chambers publically known. 

No Member of Church Court Chambers, from Queen’s Counsel to Pupil, will be required by Chambers to attend Court until it is safe to do so. This will require the Court Estate to be fully compliant with social distancing measures, for there to be drastically improved cleaning regimes and PPE to be readily available for all. Individual Members are of course free to make their own decisions and our hard working clerking team continue to work remotely and safely in order to liaise with instructing solicitors and the Courts. 

I support fully the work of the CBA and the Bar Council. I know that all branches of the profession are working hard together to support the Justice System. I am grateful to you all. 

However, there should be no misunderstanding: as Head of Chambers I will not put lives at risk to help oil the wheels of a broken system. I will fully support any Member of Chambers who does not feel safe travelling to or remaining at Court and any instructing solicitor affected by that position. 

Michael Polak Instructed to Act for British Uyghurs in Challenge to Government Huawei 5G Decision

Church Court Chambers’ international law and human rights barrister Michael Polak has been instructed by two British Uyghurs to challenge the Government’s decision to allow Huawei to contract to provide a 5G network on the basis that it is alleged that there is evidence of the use of slavery within the Huawei supply chain and evidence that Huawei is ‘deeply implicated in the ongoing surveillance, repression and persecution of Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minority communities in Xinjiang’ according to the Australian Security Policy Institute’s Report Mapping China’s Technology Giants

This matter has been reported in the international press here:

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2020/04/29/uighur-rights-group-gearing-up-for-legal-battle-with-uk-over-huawei-and-5g-canada-could-be-next.html; https://bitterwinter.org/huawei-5g-and-human-rights-abuses/


Further information about this case can be found here: https://lawyersforuyghurrights.com/en/press-releases/request-that-government-reconsider-5g-contracting-with-huawei 

This case is being Crowd Funded here https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/challenge-to-huawei-5g/ 

Michael is instructed by Oliver Carter of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors. 

To arrange an interview with Michael Polak or his clients please email m.polak@churchcourtchambers.co.uk or contact us by phone +44 020 7936 3637 

Michael is available for instructions in human rights, international law, and international criminal law matters

Bitcoin International Fraudster to be released on bail

The British businessman Renwick Haddow represented by Yasin Patel has been informed that his bail application has been successful. With worldwide freezing orders against him and accused and wanted for fraud internationally including duping investors in a $37 million bitcoin scam, his release is a significant case for al those in non-violent offences and highlights that prisons and detention centres have a duty to protect those in their care and in custody. Currently incarcerated at a New York City Detention Centre, a federal Judge said he will be released on bail citing the danger the British citizen faces from coronavirus.

Michael Mather-Lees QC and Colin Witcher Instructed to Defend in Unusual and Sensitive Murder Trial

Michael Mather-Lees QC and Colin Witcher, both of Chambers’ Crime and Regulatory Group, are instructed to defend in a highly unusual murder trial where the victim died more than four years after being assaulted. 

The case raises complex issues of law and medical evidence. The case shall be heard before a High Court Judge in September 2020. Counsel are instructed by Imran Ali of Tuckers Solicitors

Pamela Brain Secures an Acquittal of Consultant accused of NHS Fraud

Pamela Brain secured the acquittal of a consultant accused of defrauding the NHS of approximately £133,000 over a 2-year period following a 23 day trial. She was alleged to have been working in private practice during times she should have been working in the NHS and not paying the time back to the NHS. It was a lengthy and complex trial involving the cross examination of numerous expert witnesses in a number of different field. There was in particular extensive and very detailed cross examination in respect of accounting evidence.

Pamela Brain was instructed by Glen Henry of Cartwright King Solicitors, London.

First Outing For the Church Court Chargers

The Church Court Chargers had their first outing last night on a wonderful 10k charity run along the Thames with over a thousand other people for Teach First.

Dave Selsdon and his son come in joint first (from our team) crossing the line together on a spectacular time of 49.35 minutes.

Tom Horgan came in 2nd  with a brilliant 50.42 minutes.

Chris Johnston finished strong coming in 3rd with 52.05 minutes.

Our Pupils Amy and Caroline ran the 5k in very respectable 37 minutes.

Daniel Bartlett brought up the rear in 1 hour 1 minute.

Daniel Bartlett says “It was a really amazing thing to do, great atmosphere, brilliant route followed by, for those of us who could hang around, a couple of pints and a pizza.”

We are going to look for other similar events and would be good to get more people out for it hopefully for a charity of chambers choice.

Liam Loughlin Succeeds at the Court Of Appeal In Quashing Conviction Based Upon Fresh Evidence

Liam Loughlin was instructed by Stewart Begum Solicitors to appeal the case of FA, a young person who was convicted of involvement in a violent disorder involving serious weapons of violence.

Liam appealed the conviction based upon the issue that was taken with the interpretation of the mobile phone data usage by the Crown’s expert.  At the trial the defence sought to argue that the phone data usage showed that it was most likely that, at the time of the alleged, incident the defendant was at home at the time of the incident in accordance with the alibi raised by the defence; he could not therefore been at the scene of the alleged crime. The expert witness for the Crown did not agree with this interpretation.

After the defendant was convicted the defence were able to obtain further telephone data evidence that demonstrated beyond doubt that not only was it most likely that the appellant was at home at the time of the incident but that the phone was using mobile data to send and receive snap chat messages at the time it was alleged that he was committing the offence.

The conviction was quashed and the appellant released from custody.

Lewis Power QC and Michael Polak see Stunning Success in 4-Month Complex Fraud Matter

In a case where the 7 other defendants were found guilty, the Church Court Chambers team of Lewis Power QC leading Michael Polak who represented the 1st defendant on the indictment managed to escape conviction for their client. This matter involved a complex HMRC investigation with detailed accounting and tax related evidence. Leading the way from the front during the 4-month long trial, with their client being first on the indictment and said to be the mastermind of the fraudulent activity, Mr Power QC and Mr Polak developed a sound strategy and exercised tactical decisions which caused their client to be the only defendant not to be convicted despite the suggested leading role.

Lewis and Michael were instructed by Lloyds PR Solicitors.

Lewis Power QC and Michael Polak can be instructed in complex criminal, regulatory, and international law matters.

Kerim Fuad QC Appointed as Specialist Legal Advisor by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou

Chambers’ International Practice Group is delighted to announce that Kerim Fuad QC has been appointed by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou (of Easyjet) as a specialist adviser for his Philanthropic Foundation, focusing on matters relating to the island of Cyprus.

Kerim, the former Leader of the South East Circuit, continues as Head of Church Court Chambers and as a resident fixture at the Old Bailey defending in Murder Trials. He has extensive international and regulatory experience.

Colin Witcher Secures “Certificate of Inadequacy” in Unusual Historic Confiscation Case

The Applicant had been made the subject of a Confiscation Order in 2013 following conviction for dishonesty offences. In 2014, the Order was quashed by the Court of Appeal as the Order had been made in error under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The Order was thus substituted for a Confiscation Order under the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

The Applicant had maintained that contained within the available amount calculation (and thus deemed to be realisable assets) were items which had been placed, by the conduct of third parties, beyond his reach. The assets included speed boats, several vehicles and the like.

The Applicant had faced several enforcement hearings and the risk of a custodial default term being activated. The Magistrates’ Court were persuaded to adjourn the case by Messrs Powell Spencers and Partners notwithstanding the age of the matter and non-payment, such that advice could be secured from specialist POCA Counsel.

Mr Witcher considered the matter, and thereafter was successful in obtaining a Certificate of Inadequacy from the High Court; a relatively rare occurrence. Thereafter, following a hearing before the Crown Court (to decide the value of the inadequacy) the Judge was persuaded to reduce the available amount by over 50%.

Colin Witcher is a member of Chambers’ Crime and Regulatory Team, specialising in financial crime.coli

Chambers are Delighted to Welcome Nazmeen Imambaccus as a Tenant.

Church Court Chambers are delighted to welcome Nazmeen Imambaccus as a full tenant following the successful completion of her pupillage.

Nazmeen brings a wealth of knowledge and a hard work ethic to Church Court.

Nazmeen is a dual qualified barrister in both England (Call 2009) and Mauritius (Call 2011). She has gained a number of years’ experience practising in an oversea common law jurisdiction. Her practice was predominately in criminal law and she has appeared for both the prosecution and defence in both litigation and advisory work.

Yasin Patel Wins Appeal For Football Club at FA Appeal

At an FA Appeal Tribunal held at Wembley Stadium, Yasin Patel, representing a leading football club successfully overturned an FA decision to push a football club which would have resulted in their relegation from their current division.

The matter heard by the Panel involved the alleged breach of FA Rules on Ground Regulations and contractual duties of clubs.

The 3-man panel heard evidence from the Club and the FA as well as League representatives and following the full hearing, quashed the League ruling and overruled the decision thereby allowing the football club’s arguments.  The successful verdict means the club will not lose its leading players or suffer almost inevitable financial losses and losses of sponsorship if the original decision had been allowed to stand.

Yasin Patel Secures Acquittal for Preachers Son over Serious Criminal Charges

A young man, represented by Yasin Patel was acquitted of serious charges of a Conspiracy to inflict Grievous Bodily Harm following a lengthy trial.

Dating back to an incident in 2015, the son of a leading preacher saw the jury returning a unanimous verdict of Not Guilty. Jurors are still considering the verdicts for other co-defendants.

The background to the matter included allegations of drug-dealing, gang violence, rival gangs and stabbings in the East End of London.

If you wish to instruct Yasin Patel please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Yasin Patel Represents Football Club In FA Appeal

Yasin Patel has been instructed by a Football Club to represent them in their Appeal at the FA. The high profile club has been in a dispute with the League and as a result, the matter has now been lodged with the FA for a Hearing due at Wembley Stadium soon. If unsuccessful, the consequences upon the Club could be very far-reaching.

If you wish to instruct Yasin Patel please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Chris Johnston Secures Acquittal of Brighton Man Accused of Arson with Intent to Endanger Life

Chris Johnston secures acquittal of Brighton man accused of arson with intent to endanger life, arson reckless as to whether life was endangered and arson.

Following a suspicious fire in a tool hire shop beneath residential premises, the Fire Service quickly established that the lighting of a box of equipment together with a suspected accelerant was deliberate and that the accused was the only person in the premises at the time who could have done it. Residents above the premises alerted the accused to the smoke and alarm going off and found him acting suspiciously within the locked shop.

In the face of seemingly incontrovertible scientific and phone evidence that showed his sole participation in setting the fire, the defence was forced to submit that accidental cause could not be ruled out. Following a second trial, when a jury was discharged, the accused was cleared within one hour of jury deliberations. Had he been convicted he would have faced a substantial term of imprisonment.

If you wish to instruct Chris Johnston please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Michael Polak Presents at Washington Conference on Confronting Atrocities in China: The Global Response to the Uyghur Crisis

Church Court Chambers’ Michael Polak was chosen to speak at this high-level conference about the treatment of the Uyghur minority within China which was jointly organised by the World Uyghur Congress, the Uyghur Human Rights Project, the Uyghur American Association, and George Washington University’s Central Asia Program and ran over 6 and 7 June 2019 at the US Capitol Building and George Washington University.

Michael was chosen to speak on a panel on International Legal & Political Perspectives because of his knowledge of international law and his keen interest in helping oppressed people around the world. The conference brought together experts from the political, media, academic, and legal spheres along with Uyghur people who gave evidence about the international crimes committed against them by the Chinese authorities.

If you wish to instruct Michael Polak please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


The Prosecution of Mr Boris Johnson MP by Private Prosecutor Marcus Ball

In the light of media and public enquiries to Chambers, we provide below a copy of the press release from Bankside Commercial Solicitors issued yesterday. There will be no further comments from Counsel or Chambers at this time.

Press Release / Update

In the matter of the Prosecution of Mr Boris Johnson MP by Private Prosecutor Marcus Ball

We issue this press release on behalf of our client, Marcus Ball, in response to media enquiries.

Today, in the above matter, in respect of which Bankside Commercial Solicitors and barristers Lewis Power QC, Colin Witcher and Anthony Eskander of Church Court Chambers are instructed by Marcus Ball, District Judge Coleman delivered judgment in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

District Judge Coleman decided that, having considered all the relevant factors, she was satisfied that this is a proper case in which to issue a summons against Mr Johnson for three counts of misconduct in public office.

The summons should, subject to the Court’s availability, be issued within the next few days, after which it will be served on Mr Johnson.

The charges against Mr Johnson are indictable only, which means that any trial will be in a Crown Court. The summons will specify a date when Mr Johnson must appear before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court. At that first appearance, the case will be sent to the Crown Court.

As stated by District Judge Coleman in her ruling today, the allegations which Mr Johnson faces are unproven accusations. She has not made any findings of fact.

It is important to make clear that at the public hearing on 23 May, Mr Johnson, through his counsel, denied any wrongdoing.

It would, in our view, be improper, leaving aside the need to ensure a fair trial, to comment on the substance of the allegations made against Mr Johnson, or on the evidence in support of them.

Should there be any further questions about this prosecution, please direct them to Bankside Commercial by email to: g.bright@banksidecommercial or f.fenegan@banksidecommercial.com or l.dunsmore@banksidecommercial.com.

If you wish to instruct Lewis Power QC, Colin Witcher or Anthony Eskander please contact the Clerks Room. Their full profiles may be viewed through the following links: Lewis Power QCColin Witcher, Anthony Eskander


Lesley Manley Finds Success in Shrewsbury

Lesley Manley successfully concluded another high profile human trafficking case which concerned 3 defendants. Lesley’s client was acquitted of human trafficking and sexual assault at the conclusion of the trial.

The case was the subject of intense media interest.


Shropshire Star

Lesley was Instructed by Mohammed Afzal Mahfooz of U.K. Law Solicitors

If you wish to instruct Lesley Manley please contact the Clerks Room, her full profile may be viewed here.


Lewis Power QC and Kevin Molloy from Church Court Chambers Secure Acquittal in Murder Trial

In a 26 day long murder trial at Northampton Crown Court, which involved detailed cross-examination of eye witnesses and expert witnesses for the Crown as well as co-defendants “trying to save themselves”.  Lewis Power QC and Kevin Molloy dismantled the Crowns murder allegation, which many had assumed had become stronger after the co-defendants gave their evidence.

Uniquely, it was an all-female jury who considered the evidence and unanimously acquitted their client of murder.

Lewis Power QC and Kevin Molloy were instructed by Rajesh Bhamm of Gordon Shine & Co in London.

If you wish to instruct Lewis Power QC or Kevin Molloy please contact the Clerks Room, their full profiles may be viewed through the following links: Lewis Power QC, Kevin Molloy



Yasin Patel Instructed to Represent International Fraudster in High Profile Case in USA

Yasin Patel has been instructed to represent “alleged Bitcoin Ponzi” Fraudster, Renwick Haddow in proceedings that have been brought by Prosecutors in the United States.

Having been extradited from Morocco to New York, where he has been on remand for several months, Mr. Haddow faces allegations totalling millions of pounds and for which proceedings have been brought in the criminal and civil courts.

Here are a list of articles on the matter:

Finance Feeds

The National

Coin Telegraph

If you wish to instruct Yasin Patel please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Maria Karaiskos Concludes a Four Week Trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court involving the YouTube Drill Artist Young Dizz.

Five members of a Newham gang who kidnapped and tortured a 16-year-old boy were sentenced to over 23 years’ imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Maria represented a 14 year old defendant who was unanimously acquitted of being in possession of three firearms after trial. He was convicted of conspiracy to blackmail together with four other defendants. He had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to kidnap and conspiracy to falsely imprison. He was sentenced to a total sentence of 27 months detention in a Young Offenders Institution.

The trial and sentence drew on Maria’s expert knowledge of dealing with children and young offenders in the criminal justice system. For example, the rules and procedures on reporting restrictions, special measures, ‘gang’ bad character, definition of ‘persistent young offender,’ eligibility for a detention and training order and youth rehabilitation order, effect of time served on a s.91 PCC(s)A 2000 grave crimes sentence, the difference between remand to the care of the local authority and remand to youth detention accommodation.

Maria was instructed by Harriet Benson of Henscott Solicitors in Walthamstow

If you wish to instruct  Maria Karaiskos please contact the Clerks Room, her full profile may be viewed here.

Michael Polak Represents Bar of England and Wales at European Young Bar Conference in Chisinau Moldova

Church Court Chambers Michael Polak travelled to Chisinau in Moldova to represent the Bar of England and Wales for the European Young Bar Association (EYBA) conference.

The conference involved a number of sessions with experts on emerging areas of law as well as discussions about the initiatives of the EYBA and further co-operation between the young Bar associations of Europe.

If you wish to instruct Michael Polak please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Andrew Taylor Appeared on BBC Radio London this Morning being Interviewed by Vanessa Feltz

Andrew Taylor of chambers appeared on BBC Radio London at 7:30am today being interviewed by Vanessa Feltz.

He was discussing the plans that the Home Secretary, Sajid Javed, has to reform the way convictions and cautions that people have to disclose under the Disclosure and Barring Service. (DBS) The debate follows a ruling by Lord Sumption in the Supreme Court, which said that a balance has to be achiever between protecting the public and the rehabilitation of offenders.

If you missed the show and wish to listen to the discussion, please click here, the time markings are; 38:18 – 45:53

If you wish to instruct Andrew Taylor please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Colin Witcher Secures Old Bailey Acquittal in Unusual Perverting the Course of Justice Trial.

Colin Witcher secures Old Bailey acquittal in unusual perverting the course of justice trial.

Colin Witcher of Chambers’ Crime and Regulatory Group represented the defendant before the Central Criminal Court where he faced trial, with five others, for the roles they allegedly played in the attempted murder of a young male and the steps taken thereafter to hide evidence from the police. It was alleged that the first three defendants stabbed the victim repeatedly including to the heart, the fourth was said to have orchestrated the intended murder, whilst the fifth and sixth defendant allegedly helped hide incriminating evidence.

Colin represented the sixth defendant who faced a charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. It was alleged that Colin’s defendant played a role in a “brazen and audacious” conspiracy which involved an unknown person removing items from a car seized by the police, whilst it was being transported to a police compound. To that end, it was alleged that the defendant drove his vehicle in broad daylight behind a marked police vehicle which was following the seized car, secured on a tow truck. Once the police car turned, it was alleged that the defendant drove immediately behind the tow truck to allow his passenger to access the seized car’s boot and remove incriminating evidence.

The defendant denied being party to any conspiracy in order to assist the fifth defendant who owned the seized vehicle and who had been originally arrested for attempted murder.

Colin Witcher was assisted throughout the trial, which lasted 4 weeks, by Chambers’ Pupil Caroline Skeet.

Colin Witcher was instructed by Imran Ali of Kaim Todner Solicitors.

If you wish to instruct Colin Witcher please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Chambers are Delighted to Welcome Mazharul Mustafa

Church Court Chambers’ field of expertise grows with the arrival of Mazharul Mustafa.

Mazharul specialises in the fields of immigration, nationality and asylum law. His practice encompasses the full spectrum of appeal and judicial review work. He has a particular interest in right of abode, citizenship, family and private life cases.

Prior to joining chambers in, Mazharul was as a solicitor-advocate specialising in immigration, nationality and asylum law with an extensive advocacy and drafting practice. Mazharul has quickly gained experience in the above practice areas through his regular appearances before the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal.

If you wish to instruct Mazharul Mustafa please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Andrew Taylor Appeared on the Breakfast Show this Morning being Interviewed by Petrie Hosken

Andrew Taylor of chambers appeared on the Breakfast Show today at 6am being interviewed by Petrie Hosken on BBC Radio London.

He was discussing the first time sentencing guidelines that will be introduced to deal with Defendants that suffer from mental illness. The time of mental illnesses that the guidelines will consider will range from those with learning difficulties, to those with profound mental illness.

If you missed the show and wish to listen to the discussion, please click here, the time markings are; 2:17:00 – 2:28:18

If you wish to instruct Andrew Taylor please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Lesley Manley at the Advocacy Training Symposium

An approved advocacy trainer at Middle Temple for over 10 years, Lesley is also a facilitator of vulnerable witness training and provide training sessions to the Bar.

The Advocacy Training Symposium hosted by the Inns of Court Advocacy College was held at Lincoln’s Inn on Saturday 6 April 2019. The symposium focused on development and challenges in the provision of advocacy training both nationally and internationally. #ATS19

If you wish to instruct Lesley Manley please contact the Clerks Room, her full profile may be viewed here.


Amjad Malik QC and Glenn Harris Secure an Acquittal of a Young Man Charged with Murder

Amjad Malik QC and Glenn Harris have recently secured the acquittal of a young man charged with murder in Nottingham Crown Court.

They successfully argued that the young man, who accepted stabbing a man, lacked the intent to kill.

If you wish to instruct Amjad Malik QC or Glenn Harris please contact the Clerks Room, their full profiles may be viewed through the following links: Amjad Malik QCGlenn Harris


Andrew Taylor is Appearing on the Jeremy Vine Show Today at 12 on BBC Radio 2

Andrew Taylor of chambers is appearing on the Jeremy Vine Show today at 12 on BBC Radio 2.

He is discussing the comments made by My Justice Hayden in the Court of Protection this week when he said that it was a fundamental right for a man to have sex with his wife, as well as the fundamental right of the State to monitor it, in the context of a woman who has been married for 20 years to her husband, and where her deteriorating health has meant that it is thought that she no longer has capacity to consent.

The judge has attracted criticism for his choice of words, with some accusing him of legitimising rape.

If you missed the show and wish to listen to the debate, please click here, the time markings are; 7:35 – 19:20

If you wish to instruct Andrew Taylor please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Kerim Fuad QC asked by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, to Address Distinguished Gathering in South Kensington, London on 25th March 2019.

Kerim Fuad QC, Head of Church Court Chambers, delivered a short talk on the continuing success of the Cypriot Lawyers’ Society, which he Co-Chairs and the growing positive development of bi communal legal relations.This follows his recent hugely well received trip to Cyprus teaching lawyers from both communities, supported by the British High Commission.

He spoke of the importance of the Rule of Law, the importance of integrity of lawyers and the need to ensure that the man/woman on the street has confidence in the justice system.
Sir Stelios founder of easyJet, easyGroup & the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation and Peter Droussiotis, Chairman of the Board of the UK-Cyprus Enterprise Council, invited Kerim back to speak at a canapés & drinks reception at the Foundation’s new headquarters in London, to celebrate 11 years of the Stelios Cyprus Bi-Communal Awards.

Many business people from both the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriot expatriate communities in the UK attended this exciting event.

If you wish to instruct Kerim Fuad QC please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Chambers are Delighted to Welcome Patrick Upward QC

Chambers are delighted to announce that our Silk’s Group has been joined by Patrick Upward QC, formally of 9 Bedford Row. Mr Upward QC is a highly experienced practitioner who after years prosecuting high-profile cases involving terrorism and serious fraud, now specialises in defending homicide matters, where he combines a meticulous approach with an ability to put defendants at their ease.

Kerim Fuad QC, Head of Chambers observes: “Patrick is a highly regarded specialist at the Criminal Bar. I am delighted that he has chosen to join Church Court Chambers; he brings with him a wealth of experience and enthusiasm”.

If you wish to instruct Patrick Upward QC please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Michael Polak on Al Jazeera’s Head to Head to Demand Release of Disappeared Barrister

Michael Polak asked a question of the Bangladeshi Foreign Affairs Advisor Mr Gowher Rizvi on Al Jazeera’s Head to Head programme when he was being interview by Mehdi Hassan on whether Bangladesh is a one-party state. Michael’s question was about the barrister Ahmad Bin Quasem who was disappeared by the Bangladesh authorities in August 2016 and has been held incommunicado since then.

Mr Bin Quasem’s disappearance follows a pattern of similar disappearances in Bangladesh which have been reported by both Bangladeshi and international human rights organisations and United Nations’ Human Rights bodies with estimates of hundreds missing under the current regime.

The full programme is available here

Lewis Power QC and Colin Witcher Kick Off Chambers’ Financial Crime Lecture Series

On the 28th February 2019, Lewis Power QC and Colin Witcher of Chambers’ Business Crime and Regulatory Group, presented the first of Chambers’ Financial Crime lectures, which was well received by the audience. The lecture was hosted by Tuckers’ Solicitors at their Central London offices where a number of solicitors firms also joined.

The lecture covered a variety of topics from compounding to confiscation, and the correct approach to dishonesty in respect to cases concerning LIBOR and/or insider-trading. Lewis Power QC and Colin Witcher have vast experience in financial crime; they have advised recently in a multi-million pound claim arising from alleged misconduct by a bank and are currently instructed to defend in a bribery and corruption case arising out of an undercover operation by a national newspaper.

Both Counsel have experience in advising clients based in the Middle East.

If you would like Chambers to present a lecture or training seminar, please do not hesitate to contact Chambers’ Practice Director Rod McGurk



Kerim Fuad QC International Law Visit and Training in Nicosia, Cyprus March 2019

Kerim Fuad QC, Head of Church Court Chambers, has again been invited to Nicosia, Cyprus by the British High Commission to train Cypriot lawyers.

Kerim is presenting seminars on cross examination tips and techniques.

He is meeting and exchanging ideas with both Chief Justices, Narin Sefik and Myron Nicolatos and their judiciaries, and will attend an evening reception on 7th March at the Residence.

This trip follows the recent hugely successful pilot scheme to fund two Cypriot lawyers, Ms Munevver Kasif and Mr Christos Malikkides’s trip to London where they experienced a week seeing the working life at Church Court Chambers, Crown Courts, the Court of Appeal and spent a day with Mr Justice Picken in the Commercial Court.

If you wish to instruct Kerim Fuad QC please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Benjamin Aina QC and Maria Karaiskos Appear In The Court Of Appeal In A Case Involving the Appropriate Discount When Sentencing A Youth Who Turned 18 At The Time Of Trial

The appellant was convicted of manslaughter and acquitted of murder, he appealed against the sentence of 9 years detention in a YOI.

Some time after an argument about whose turn it was to play pool the appellant picked up a chair and either threw or pushed it at the deceased twice in quick succession. He then stamped on his genital area and his throat before running off. The chair leg had penetrated the deceased’s eyeball by three inches, and he died the following day. The appellant handed himself in to the police when he heard about his death and admitted hitting him in the eye with a chair. In interview he claimed self-defence, which was subsequently rejected by the jury.

He was 17 years and 7 months at the time of the offence. The sentencing judge said that but for his age the sentence would have been 12 years, reduced to 9 years to account for it.

The defence argued that the judge had not given adequate weight to the overreaching principles as set out in the guideline for children and young people. The appellant was 18 when he was sentenced but it was submitted that age, maturity and progress of the young offender should be considered even when technically an adult, with which the Court of Appeal agreed. The guideline refers to a reduction of one half to two thirds of the adult sentence, in giving a reduction of 25% it was argued the judge failed to take account of the immaturity and the impact of this on decision making and lack of insight into offending.

Held: the reduction is a rough guide and must not be applied mechanistically, the suggestion that the appellant was “entitled” to a discount of one half to two thirds is misconceived. The sentence was not wrong in principle simply because the judge did not explain why he gave a lesser discount. It is a matter for the sentencing judge as to what, if any, discount is given to a young offender in a particular case. The judge concluded that the nature of the offending and the high culpability of the appellant despite his youth only justified a reduction of 25% from the adult sentence he would have passed. That approach cannot be criticised.

The appeal was dismissed.

If you wish to instruct Benjamin Aina QC or Maria Karaiskos please contact the Clerks Room, their full profiles may be viewed through the following links: Benjamin Aina QCMaria Karaiskos


Mizan Abdulrouf Appointed as Secretary General of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities

Chambers are delighted to announce Mizan Abdulrouf was appointed as Secretary General of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities at the their 10th annual conference held at the United Nations in Vienna.

The International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA) has been instrumental in the fight against corruption. It is an independent, non-political, anti-corruption organisation, composed of institutions over 140 Countries responsible for investigation, prosecution and prevention of corruption around the world.

Boris Johnson MP : Private Prosecution Press Statement

In the light of media enquiries, please find below a copy of the Press Statement issued by Marcus J Ball, in respect to the proposed private prosecution of Mr Johnson MP for the offence of misconduct in Public Office.

There will be no comment from Chambers or Prosecution Counsel.

Press Statement:

Today, at Westminster Magistrates Court, I Marcus J Ball, on behalf of the Prosecution, represented by Bankside Commercial Solicitors, and barristers Lewis Power QC, Colin Witcher and Anthony Eskander, have filed an application for a summons against the proposed defendant, Mr Boris Johnson MP. 

The prosecution allege that Mr Johnson has committed 3 counts of misconduct in public office. 

It is alleged that Mr Johnson acting as a Member of Parliament and as the Mayor of London made statements concerning the cost of European Union Membership, which were false, misleading and which abused public trust. 

A District Judge will now consider the application for a summons. If the summons is issued, it will then be served upon Mr Johnson who will be required to appear before the court and indicate a plea of guilty or not guilty to the 3 charges. 

I want to stress that it is for the Court to decide whether to issue a summons.  Mr Johnson MP remains innocent unless proven guilty and I should remind those reporting this case to report it in a way that does not interfere with the proper administration of justice

I should also stress, it is not the intention of this prosecution to stop or delay Brexit on 29th March 2019.  

The prosecution believes that the evidence demonstrates Mr Johnson MP has lied to the British public in his positions as both M.P and Mayor of London and in so doing has abused the public’s trust in these offices. 

If there are any questions for the prosecution, then please direct them to Brexit Justice Ltd or Bankside Commercial who will be happy to try to assist. 

Stephen Bailey Success In Serious County Lines Case

Success for Stephen Bailey in serious county lines case. The defendant stabbed two drug addicts in the stomach. The stabbing and injury of one of the two was described by the crown as a “gutting”.

The crown presented the case as a revenge attack, as a result of the two complainants robbing the defendant’s drugs runner of the defendant’s Class A drugs.

The case originally indicted as an attempt murder, was disposed of after a Hung – Jury [an excellent result in itself] when the crown, accepted pleas of guilty to two counts of section 20 unlawful wounding.

Stephen’s instructing solicitor (a senior partner in the firm) witnessed Stephen’s cross examination of the two complainants’ and a defendant who had turned Queen’s Evidence. He described Stephen’s cross examination as “forensically brilliant” and the outcome and sentence as “simply fantastic.”

But for this outcome, the defendant would have been sentenced under the dangerous provisions of the 2003 Act and received a sentence in excess of 15 years imprisonment with an extended license.

If you wish to instruct Stephen Bailey please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Kevin Molloy Secures “Stunning” Acquittal in Attempted Murder trial at the Old Bailey

Kevin Molloy from Church Court Chambers secured a stunning acquittal at the Old Bailey this week. The defendant was on trial for Attempted Murder, s.18 GBH and Arson. The case arose out of an allegation that the defendant had poured petrol over the complainant in a dispute over an alleged debt and then set him alight. The fire that followed gutted the flat and resulted in two people going to hospital to receive life-saving treatment for burns that covered 40% of their bodies. The complainant gave evidence from his hospital bed and named the defendant as the culprit. The defendant accepted presence at the scene but denied being responsible. The trial lasted nearly 2 weeks and the jury returned not guilty verdicts on all counts.

Kevin was instructed by Tim Edwards from Edwards Vaziraney Solicitors.

If you wish to instruct Kevin Molloy please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Chris Johnston Secures Acquittals on All Counts After Two Trials for Taxi Driver in Sexual Assaults

Chris Johnston secures acquittals on all counts after two trials for taxi driver in sexual assaults on disabled female passengers. Following allegations by two women that the client had sexually assaulted them in their wheelchairs whilst in their respective homes, police launched an investigation into his movements.

The two separate patients of a local MS hospital had each said that the accused had effectively groomed them into allowing him access into their homes where the sexual assaults were allegedly perpetrated.As a result of counsel’s extensive disclosure requests, a section 41 application, a non-defendant bad character application, and further submissions, the Crown was forced to concede that one of the complainants had mimicked the complaint of the other woman and had unresolved psychological issues, rendering her evidence unreliable.None of these features would have been disclosed at the outset and was only brought upon by defence counsel’s persistent pushing. After an aborted first trial the client was unanimously acquitted of the second woman’s allegations and consequently all counts.

If you wish to instruct Chris Johnston please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Kerim Fuad QC Concludes Another High Profile, Evidentially Overwhelming and Sensitive Old Bailey Trial

Mr Fuad QC and Ms Bignall both of Church Court Chambers represented Mr T.P who accused of the Murder of his wife and Arson with intent to endanger his family and an alternate count of reckless Arson.

After a 13 day trial before the Common Serjeant of London, the jury found him guilty of murder, not guilty of Arson with intent, but guilty of reckless arson.
The jury had been 2 days in deliberation.

He was sentenced to a life sentence with a minimum term of 25 years’ imprisonment. He received a 7 year concurrent sentence for the reckless arson.

Their client was alleged to have strangled his wife and forced a flannel deep down the back of her throat whilst she was alive. The prosecution (and pathology evidence) strongly suggested he then dragged her across the floor, removing clumps of her hair (which were found in the hall way and bedroom), locked her in a bedroom and set her body (her head and private parts) and two rooms in the house on fire. Fire experts gave evidence as to it “having to be a deliberate setting of different fires in rooms.”
His three children were prosecution witnesses against him saying he had dragged their mother across the floor from one room to another in which her body was found.

T.P maintained that he was in fact dragging a suitcase not his wife, and the killing and lighting of the three separate fires was an accident. He could not explain why he lit fire so close to her private parts, but said “it was spiritual like a séance.”

When a neighbour, the deceased’s 80 year old parents and the refuse men came to the burning house to assist, he claimed many times over (and was captured on body worn footage) that his wife was not in the house but had “gone for a walk.” He verbally and physically pushed people out of the house refusing to let them into the bedrooms.
He told the police that he had lit candles to “lighten the mood” and that the bite injuries which matched her teeth on his hand (a piece of his skin was later found), putting the flannel deep in her mouth, were caused by their pet dog. Other injuries to his face were caused; “when shaving.”
Three weeks before the killing he had set up life insurance for the maximum payable to him upon his wife’s death of £310,000 and was also to benefit from her pension. The jury also heard of two earlier separate but unproven reports of him assaulting her, once by attempting to strangle her.
He said in evidence that it was “a shame” she was dead.
In evidence he said he was in shock and was attacked by his wife first who had kicked him to his knee, having initially given a “no comment” interview.

Mr Fuad QC and Ms Bignall were instructed by Chanelle Wray of Dexter Henry Solicitors

If you wish to instruct Kerim Fuad QC or Paula Bignall please contact the Clerks Room, their full profile may be viewed through the following links: Kerim Fuad QCPaula Bignall

Related Articles


Birmingham Mail


Liam Loughlin Secures Quashing of Murder Conviction in Uganda

Liam Loughlin of Church Court Chambers successfully quashes murder conviction of NA on appeal in Uganda and NA has now been released.

This represents the culmination of years of hard work on a case that Liam first became involved in when he established the Kigula Mitigation project in Uganda in 2012 (for which he was nominated for the Bar Pro Bono Awards in 2013).

Liam took on this case whilst working on death row, bringing the case to the Court of Appeal and beyond.

Liam was greatly assisted in the matter by the work of EvolveFILA.

If you wish to instruct Liam Loughlin please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Chiara Maddocks Enjoys Success in the Court of Appeal.

Chiara Maddocks represented a client who had pleaded guilty to a historic series of rape and serious sexual assaults against a 13 year old victim. The client had been assessed as a dangerous offender by the lower courts and sentenced to a twelve year extended sentence with an additional three year licence period.

Chiara successfully argued that the sentencing judge had incorrectly assessed the client to be dangerous, and the Court of Appeal agreed to quash the finding. This resulted in a determinative sentence of 12 years concurrent across all seven counts.

Chiara was instructed by Nelson Guest Solicitors.

If you wish to instruct Chiara Maddocks please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Guy Williamson & Michael Polak share Great Success in Kidnapping Trial at Northampton Crown Court

Church Court’s Guy Williamson and Michael Polak successfully defended a wife and husband who were accused of kidnapping a youth. After a 5-day trial at Northampton Crown Court the jury returned unanimous not guilty verdicts. The defendants were ecstatic with the result.

Guy Williamson and Michael Polak were instructed by Sam Wood of Bennett & Co Solicitors.

If you wish to instruct Guy Williamson or Michael Polak please contact the Clerks Room, their full profiles may be viewed here; Guy WilliamsonMichael Polak


Kevin Molloy Secures an Acquittal for “People Smuggling Conspiracy”

Kevin Molloy represented a defendant, a female Polish national who had driven a small van onto a ferry in France, which was bound for Portsmouth.

The van was stopped and searched in Portsmouth harbour and on board in the back of the van were 6 migrants, most of whom originated from Iraq.  The co-defendants were in a car behind the van and when challenged they initially denied knowing anything about the driver or the migrants, before accepting they knew the partner of the driver. At trial the same co-defendants tried to blame the driver and denied all knowledge of the migrants or the conspiracy.

Through relentless cross-examination of the co-defendants their denials proved unsustainable and with careful analysis of phone data Kevin managed to demonstrate how the co-defendants alone were responsible for the criminal conspiracy. The driver was unanimously acquitted on all counts. The co-defendants were all convicted and are now serving custodial sentences.

If you wish to instruct Kevin Molloy please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Colin Witcher secures acquittal in 2kg cocaine distribution conspiracy case

After a trial before Judge and Jury at the Peterborough Crown Court, the alleged organiser of a conspiracy to supply 2kg of cocaine, represented by Colin Witcher, was acquitted by the Jury. The cocaine was consistent with not having been cut and therefore having been recently imported, with a six figure street value. The Jury were told that the courier who had been caught with the drugs had earlier pleaded guilty admitting the existence of the conspiracy. Further, the Jury learned that the defendant had a previous conviction for being concerned in the supply of Class A Drugs, namely 1kg of importation grade cocaine. The defendant stood trial together with a co-defendant. The defendant was the only person to have contact with both the co-defendant and the courier, and said therefore to be the only person capable of organising the deal. To that end, the courier and the co-defendant, who never had phone contact with each other, were both present when the drugs were delivered by another courier, unknown. The Crown presented evidence that the defendant had phone contact with both the courier and the co-defendant (multiple times on the day of the deal) including at the exact time of the deal. Further, the Jury were presented with whatsapp messages that showed that the defendant had previously messaged the courier saying “make sure you test it”.

The courier was sentenced to 5 years and 6 months. The co-defendant, who was convicted after trial, was sentenced to 8 years and 6 months.

Colin was instructed by Angie Deacon of Lawtons Solicitors,

Andrew Taylor will be Discussing the Jack Shepherd Case on BBC Radio London at 7.35am 24th January

At around 7:35am on Thursday 24th January Andrew Taylor will be discussing the case of Jack Shepherd, known as the “Thames Speedboat Killer”, who today handed himself into the police in the Georgian capital.

Andrew will be discussing what is likely to happen to him and how the courts will treat his breach of bail. He has already been sentenced to 6 years in his absence for the offence of Gross Negligence Manslaughter, but is appealing his conviction.


Patrick Canessa ED Secures Conditional Discharges For A Young Teenager Accused Of Assault

Patrick Canessa ED secures conditional discharges at the Magistrates Court yesterday for a young teenager accused of assaulting two carers.

The incident dates back to last year when the child was in care and punched two of his carers. Neither of the carers sustained any injury or bruising as a result but the matter was reported to police and the boy, who was 13 at the time, was later charged with two counts of common assault.

Patrick Canessa successfully argued he should not be criminalised for a minor offence. In mitigation, he quoted from a 2017 report prepared by the UK’s Howard League for Penal Reform.

“The guidance is clear that no child living in a children’s home should be criminalised for behaviour that would not concern the police if it happened in a family home,” Mr Canessa said.
Mr Canessa argued that the boy found himself before the court because he had been in care at the time of incident, adding that no parent would have reported this to the police.

If you wish to instruct Patrick Canessa please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Kevin Molloy Gets Acquittal for Black Cab Driver

Kevin Molloy successfully defended a Black Cab driver who had been charged with Attempted GBH, causing Actual Bodily Harm and Dangerous Driving. The allegation was made by a cyclist who collided with the cab and claimed he had been deliberately targeted by the driver of the Black Cab who allegedly ran him off the road.

The incident was captured on footage recovered from a police car and the Prosecution presented another cyclist as a witness to the incident. Having cross-examined all the Prosecution witnesses counsel for the defence called the defendant himself to give evidence along with another defence witness. The jury unanimously acquitted the defendant of all the charges on the indictment.

If you wish to instruct Kevin Molloy please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Lewis Power QC Secures Unanimous Acquittal In Expenses Fraud Case

Mr G, a senior official from the East Sussex County Council, was unanimously acquitted by the Jury at the Brighton Crown Court on charges of Fraud by False Representation. LPQC was privately instructed by Gerard Maye Legal in this case which stemmed from a huge investigation into expenses claims concerning public money from County Council funds. The allegations concerned a significant breach of trust by a senior employee who had worked for the Council for over 25 years.

If you wish to instruct Lewis Power QC please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Andrew Taylor on BBC Radio Essex today (15th January) at 5:05pm

Today (15th January) at just after 5pm Andrew Taylor shall be talking about how legal aid is available for appeals, and how the Defendant can still mount an appeal in the Charlotte Brown gross negligence manslaughter case. In this case the Defendant did not attend his trial and his lawyers have still obtained leave to appeal conviction from the single judge.


Kerim Fuad QC Wins Again – 10 Acquittals in his Last 11 Homicide Trials.

Kerim Fuad QC maintained his unique and extraordinary run of 10 acquittals in his last 11 homicide trials, at the Old Bailey today.

He led Edward Boateng-Addo, also of Church Court Chambers, successfully representing Mr I who had allegedly played a key role in planning Mr S’s brutal killing with axe handles.  He had followed and passed the deceased’s red car 13 times in a space of a few minutes whilst constantly on the phone for just under half an hour and reporting the movements of the deceased’s car to the driver of another car.

The multi handed trial ran from early November culminating with their client’s acquittal today.

The first 2 defendants were unanimously convicted of murder, another of manslaughter. Another defendant was also acquitted.

Kerim and Edward proved to be a highly effective and persuasive team in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Kerim and Edward were instructed by Ebenezer Madeinlo of Hanson Woods Solicitors.


Kevin Molloy gets Conviction Overturned at the Court of Appeal

Kevin Molloy represented the Applicant before a full court at the Court of Appeal and successfully argued that the Applicant was a victim of Trafficking who should never have been prosecuted. The Court accepted there was a clear nexus between the offending and the Applicant’s trafficked status. Due to the detailed work carried out by both Kevin and his instructing solicitor Philippa Southwell, the Respondent conceded that the Applicant should not have been prosecuted.

The failing by the various agencies and legal representatives to identify the Applicant as a Victim of Trafficking was of concern to the court. It is hoped this case will help increase awareness about future trafficked victims and remind all who may come into contact with such individuals of their obligations to investigate when trafficking indicators are evidenced.

If you wish to instruct Kevin Molloy please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Amjad Malik QC Secures Murder Conviction at Basildon Crown Court

Amjad Malik QC secures murder conviction on a knifeman and manslaughter of his accomplice in a four week trial at Basildon Crown Court. The Defendant stabbed the 19 year oldvictim through his heart when he and the second Defendant attempted to rob him of his car in Southend town centre. He advanced a number of defences including Diminished Responsibility relating to PTSD from a targeted acid attack that he himself was the victim of some 2 years before the murder.



Church Court and the Rule of Law.

The Rule of Law & Anti-Corruption Center organised an interesting discussion on the Rule of Law and Conflict Resolution at the Middle Temple on the 26th November 2018. The event was organised by Mizan Abdulrouf, a member of Church Court Chambers who is currently serving as Legal Counsel in Qatar to the Rule of Law & Anti Corruption Centre. Mizan was assisted in London by Colin Witcher of Chambers

The principle speaker was Senator George Mitchell (Former Northern Ireland and Middle East Peace Envoy) who was introduced by The Hon Mr Justice Robin Knowles CBE. The speakers were joined by;
Dr Ali bin Fetais Al Marri, (UN Special Advocate, President of the Rule of Law & Anti-Corruption Center Qatar, and Attorney General for the State of Qatar).

Drawing on his unrivalled experience in Ireland and the Middle East, Senator George Mitchell examined conflict resolution through the lens of the Rule of Law giving insightful commentary. The audience, including distinguished guests, were invited to consider how the Rule of Law has helped in the past and how those principles can guide resolution in the future of disputes in the world that lead to or risk conflict.

The conversation continued afterwards at a special dinner to honour and mark this historic occassion.

Chambers were honoured to have our Head of Chambers and Leader of the South Eastern Circuit Kerim Fuad QC and Lewis Power QC of Chambers International Crime Group at the event and dinner. They were accompanied by other Members of Chambers at the lecture including Shaun Esprit, Glenn Harris, Yasin Patel and Michael Polak.

Mr Fuad QC and Mr Power QC are pictured below with Senator George Mitchell together with Mizan Abdulrouf and Colin Witcher of Chambers.












Mr Fuad QC and Mr Power QC pictured with Senator George Mitchell and Dr Ali bin Fetais Al Marri, together with Mizan Abdulrouf, Glenn Harris and Michael Polak of Chambers.


Yasin Patel Sits on Snooker Fixing Tribunal

Yasin Patel sat on the panel at recent snooker fixing hearing.  The case involved two professional snooker players accused of match fixing.

A full press release can be viewed here.

See also the article by the BBC

If you wish to instruct Yasin Patel please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.

For more information on our sports law team please click here.











Success for Richard Carey-Hughes QC at the Old Bailey

Richard Carey-Hughes QC sees success as EM was acquitted of a murder charge after a 6 week trial at the Old Bailey before a High Court judge. He had been accused with two others of planning a punishment stabbing at Wormwood Scrubs prison.

If you wish to instruct Richard Carey-Hughes QC please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Chambers are delighted to welcome Maria Karaiskos

Church Court Chambers’ recruitment of top notch counsel continues

Chambers is proud to announce the arrival of Maria Karaiskos.

Maria is a highly experienced barrister and sits as a Recorder. Called 18 years ago, she is a highly regarded barrister who both prosecutes and defends.

She is an accredited grade 3 serious crime and sexual offences prosecutor. Her practice includes cases of homicide, manslaughter, substantial violence, rape and other serious sexual offences (including historic sexual abuse), multi-handed drug conspiracies and drug importations, money laundering, false accounting and the full spectrum of dishonesty offences.

If you wish to instruct Maria Karaiskos please contact the Clerks Room, her full profile may be viewed here.


Chambers are Delighted to Welcome Paul Addison

Paul Addison has joined chambers bringing yet more depth in strength and talent to our membership.

Paul is vastly experienced having conducted some of the most high profile criminal cases in recent times.  He is regularly instructed by the CPS and defence Solicitors on matters involving murder, fraud, confiscation and sexual offences.

Paul also undertakes work involving, Landlord and Tenant, and judicial review, and He has lectured to the Crown Prosecution Service, City of London Police Fraud Section and the Medicines Healthcare Regulatory Agency on a wide range of topics.

If you wish to instruct Paul Addison please contact the Clerks Room, his full profile may be viewed here.


Chambers are delighted to welcome Benjamin Aina QC

Benjamin Aina QC has joined chambers bringing yet more depth in strength and talent to our membership.

Benjamin has vast experience having conducted some of the most high profile criminal cases in recent times.  He is regularly instructed in matters involving murder, commercial fraud and sexual offences.

Benjamin also undertakes work involving personal injury, actions against the police, commercial disputes and judicial review, as well as advising on constitutional issues.

In addition to his obvious talent and legal experience he brings a huge smile, humour and level of  humanity that brightens the room.

To see Benjamins full profile please visit  http://ccc.chcdigital.com/barrister-profiles/benjamin-aina-qc



Success for George Hepburne-Scott in the High Court

George successfully appealed an extradition order in the High Court on 7/11/18: In the case of K v Poland, GJ allowed an appeal against an extradition order made at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. The Appellant is a mother of a young child, she was wanted on a conviction EAW from Poland where a 2 year prison sentence for fraud was outstanding. The appeal was allowed on Article 8 grounds and the mother will not now be separated from her infant son.

George was instructed by Magdalena Motyl of Bark & Co


Success for Amjad Malik QC following 6 weeks drugs conspiracy trial at Oxford Crown Court.

Amjad Malik QC successfully prosecutes EM in a six week Conspiracy to supply Cocaine trial at Oxford Crown Court. EM described as the head of the hierarchy of an organised crime gang controlled the supply of Cocaine in the West Midlands and Oxfordshire. The Judge said the sophisticated operation involved the supply of Millions of pounds of Cocaine and passed a sentence of 25 years imprisonment.

Amjad Malik QC was instructed by CPS West Midlands Complex Casework Unit.

Success for Amjad Malik QC following 5 week murder trial at Central Criminal Court

Amjad Malik QC successfully defends RN, an 18 year old, at the Old Bailey in a five defendant joint enterprise Murder trial which lasted 5 weeks. The role of counselling (instigating) the murder of another 18 year old, by four other young men was alleged against the defendant. The defendant was acquitted of murder and manslaughter but the jury convicted all of the other four defendants.

Amjad Malik QC was instructed by Attiq Malik of Liberty Law Solicitors.

Kerim Fuad QC’s extraordinary run of Murder Acquittals continues

On 31st October 2018, after a 7 week trial at his home court, the Old Bailey, Kerim Fuad QC’s client, D.B was unanimously acquitted of Murder.

D was a 17 year old who was clearly captured on cctv running with a large knife in Logan Place W8 in a chasing pack of 20 young men who were chasing down a man, LB who was then, as the crown put it, “butchered” defenceless on the pavement.

His client was also acquitted of manslaughter and violent disorder.

It was the 9th acquittal Mr Fuad QC has secured in his last 10 trials.

He was leading James Hasslacher and instructed by Deborah Spence of Banks and Partners Solicitors ​

Church Court Chambers Members ranked by Legal 500, 2019.

Chambers are delighted to announce that four Queen’s Counsel and one Junior Member have been ranked by Legal 500, 2019.

Kerim Fuad QC, Head of Chambers, is once again ranked as a Leading QC recognised for his expertise in homicide cases. Lewis Power QC’s vast experience in sexual and violent offending together with slavery cases leads to another year as a ranked Queen’s Counsel. Amjad Malik QC is ranked for his vast experience in prosecuting large scale drugs and violence offending, whilst Michael Mather-Lees QC was commended by the Directory for his great courtroom presence. In addition to these four Leading QC rankings, Colin Witcher was also ranked as a Leading Junior commended for being a “very fine advocate”.


George Hepburne Scott achieves a Suspended Sentence for client in a WMD arms dealing case

Following a 5-week trial at Southwark Crown Court, the trial judge, HHJ Grieve, QC, ruled that Mr A had no defence to the charge.

He therefore entered a plea of Guilty on a negotiated basis which was agreed by the Crown. This Basis of Plea, which was negotiated by George on his client’s behalf, effectively spared the client from an immediate prison sentence. The Basis of Plea, plus the powerful mitigation that George advanced, led to the trial judge imposing a 6-month Suspended Sentence for effectively supplying generic aircraft parts that were thought likely destined for Iran’s nuclear program.

Following the Sentence, George was quoted in the national press:



Kerim Fuad QC and Paula Bignall, both of Church Court Chambers instructed in another high profile and sensitive Old Bailey trial

Mr Fuad QC and Ms Bignall represent a man accused of the Murder of his wife and Arson with intent to endanger his family.

Their client is alleged to have strangled his wife, placing a flannel down the back of her throat, dragging her across the floor, locking her in a room and setting her body and the house on fire. His three children are prosecution witnesses against him.

They have been instructed by Chanelle Wray of Dexter Henry Solicitors

Michael Polak Speaks on the Rule of Law at Voice for Bangladesh Meeting held at the House of Lords

On the evening of 17 October 2018 Michael Polak of Church Court Chambers spoke about the serious problems with the rule of law in Bangladesh at a meeting organised by Voice for Bangladesh. Michael was chosen to speak because of his human rights work in Bangladesh and his interest and expertise in rule of law related issues.

Michael Polak is available to undertake international human rights and public law cases and can be instructed by contacting clerks@ccc.chcdigital.com or +44 (0) 20 7936 3637


George Hepburne-Scott Instructed in High-Profile Albanian Murder Extradition Appeal

The case of Albania v H.M. has attracted international publicity. It involves an extradition request from the Republic of Albania brought under part 2 of the Extradition Act 2003. George originally defeated the same extradition request in 2007. The case involves a conviction for Murder in the defendant’s absence in Albania in 2000.

He was sentenced in his absence to 25 years’ imprisonment. The case raises complex issue of international law and George has been instructed to advise on representations to the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid and thereafter to represent the defendant in the High Court.

George is available to advise at short notice on any extradition matter. Please contact the Clerks for more details.


Daily Mail

The Times


Church Court Chambers’ Barrister Robert Newcombe Concludes Love Triangle Murder Case with Common Assault Incitement

SB was sentenced to 4 months’ imprisonment for an offence of Incitement to Common Assault after mitigation by her barrister Robert Newcombe. She had been charged with incitement to cause Grievous Bodily Harm in that she encouraged or incited DS to assault ML. DS in fact murdered ML.

The evidence showed that SB had sent an image of herself and ML in flagrante delicto to DS who she knew to be jealous and violent. She also sent DS messages to the effect that he should “smack” ML.

After discussions between Robert Newcombe and the Crown prosecutor, it was accepted that she did not incite Grievous Bodily Harm or Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm. SB fell to be sentenced for inciting common assault, which was the agreed basis of plea.

As with any incitement case the sentence is limited by statute to the maximum for the substantive offence – in this case 6 months’ imprisonment for Common Assault.

HHJ Ashurst sentenced SB, having previously sentenced DS to a life sentence with a minimum of 22 ½ years’ imprisonment.

Robert Newcombe was instructed by Paul Watson & Co, Solicitors, Middlesbrough.

The case has been widely reported.



The Guardian

Daily Mail

The Northern Echo

Sky News

The Sun

The TImes


Diana Constantinide Speaks About the Myanmar Situation with Amnesty International

Diana Constantinide, a member of Church Court Chambers International Criminal and Human Rights team, has been invited by the University of Lausanne (European Lawyers Students’ Association Lausanne branch) to speak about the Myanmar situation along with Mr Alain Bovard, the Advocacy Officer of Amnesty International at the Swiss section.

‘Myanmar human right violation: junction between a lawyer and an activist’s perspective’ was the title of the conference. Mr Bovard referred to the history of Myanmar, the pursuit of amnesty’s international goal and the naming senior military officers responsible for the crimes against humanity. The list of perpetrators, as named by Amnesty International, can be found here.

Diana Constantinide spoke about the steps towards accountability for the atrocities in Myanmar and discussed the statement of ICC prosecutor, Mrs Fatou Bensouda, on opening a preliminary examination concerning the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh dated 18th September 2018.

Diana Constantinide is available to be instructed in international law matters.


Church Court Chambers is Delighted to Welcome another Quality Barrister, Michelle Clarke

Michelle Clarke a highly experienced criminal defence barrister, joins us this year.
She was called in 1988 and has built up a fine reputation successfully defending in the most difficult of cases.

Kerim Fuad QC says;
“Having known Michelle for 25 years and seen the passion, hard work and down to earth manner she applies to her cases I am thrilled to welcome her to our thriving chambers.”


Kerim Fuad QC leading Kevin Molloy conclude “Snapchat Queen” case

There was mass press coverage when their client was sentenced for Manslaughter on 21st September 2018.
They had earlier managed to secure a “not guilty” conviction for Murder.
FK received a determinate sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment.

Mr Fuad QC and Mr Molloy were instructed by Attiq Malik of Liberty Law Solicitors.

The Independent

The Telegraph

The Times


Stephen Bailey leading Tomas McGarvey are currently representing the second defendant in an 8-handed ‘cash-for-crash’ conspiracy

Stephen Bailey leading Tomas McGarvey are currently instructed to represent the second defendant in an 8-handed ‘cash-for-crash’ conspiracy (involving over 60 RTA) instructed by City Law Chambers. The case has involved detailed and focused requests for disclosure arising from a late development in the prosecution case.

As a team, their attention to detail has produced significant results. Stephen and Tomas have developed a very successful partnership securing acquittals in Operation Evolution earlier this year (a large scale conspiracy to commit violent disorder). Stephen and Tomas continue to build on their success and are attracting instructions as a team, recently described by one instructing managing partner as “an unstoppable team”.


Success for Michael Polak in Unlawful Eviction Private Prosecution

Michael Polak of Church Court Chambers successfully privately prosecuted a landlord of a London property who had changed the locks to a rental property that was being rented to an Italian family who had travelled abroad for a short period with their children.

When the husband returned to London for work he found that he was unable to enter the property and the landlord refused to allow him to do so, threatening to call the Police if any attempt was made to enter. Further to this, the landlord also removed the family’s belongings from the property. The effect of the landlord’s unlawful actions was to break up the family as they could not afford to rent alternative accommodation for the whole family, with the wife and children having to stay in Italy.

After a full day trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court the Defendant landlord was found guilty of two offences, unlawful evictions and doing acts which disturb the quiet enjoyment of the property with intent to make the lawful occupant vacate that property. The Defendant was sentenced to a large fine, to pay compensation to the tenants, and to pay a proportion of the prosecution costs.

Michael Polak was instructed by Davide Cupertino of Consulenti Italiani, a specialist boutique Italian-UK Law firm which deals with criminal and civil matters in both jurisdictions.


Michael Polak acts for top precious metal company and successfully resists application for forfeiture of €42,000

Michael Polak was acting for one of the United Kingdom’s top precious metal merchants in a case which concerned a European antiques dealer who was stopped before entering the Eurotunnel and found to be in possession of €42,000. This amount was said to be a security payment in regard to a large amount of silver, sold to the company, before its true value could be determine by melt and assay.

After a lengthy hearing the Judge decided in favour of the company that Michael was representing and ordered that the money be returned to them. Costs were also ordered in their favour.

Michael was instructed by Wayne Brooks of BH-Mohammed Solicitors.


Diana Constantinide Co-Authors International Law Association Report

Diana Constantinide, a member of Church Court Chambers, who has experience in international law, is a member of the International Law Association’s (ILA) study group titled as ‘use of domestic law principles for the development of international law’ and co-author of the Johannesburg Report initially presented at the Biennial Conference (South Africa 2015) and this year to be presented at the Biennial Conference (Sydney 2018). Chairman of the study group is Professor M H Maurice Mendelson QC and Rapporteur Dr Alejandro Leyda Carballo.

Diana contributed to the Johannesburg Report which comprises of 56 pages and addresses issues arising from international relations, to keep international law moving and its increasing need to borrow principles from the domestic legal systems. Report’s objective is to understand how domestic principles are currently identified and consider whether it could be possible to provide some general guidelines to serve as a practical reference for those involved in the adjudication or other decision-making process, as well as for those concerned with the development of international law.

The link to for the report can be found here.

Diana Constantinide is available to be instructed in international law areas including international criminal law and human rights. Diana is also available for talks/speeches/panel discussions about international law by contacting the clerks at clerks@ccc.chcdigital.com or by calling them at +(0)20 7936 3637


Church Court Chambers is delighted to announce that we are able to recruit two pupils for the 15th October 2018 and 3rd December 2018.

Church Court Chambers is delighted to announce that we are able to recruit two pupils. The first pupillage shall start on the 15th October 2018 and the second on 3rd December 2018.

Applications must be received by Chambers by 11.59pm on Wednesday 29th August 2018. Please use the following link to access the applications.


Statement on the 2nd anniversary of the enforced disappearance of Mr Ahmad Bin Quasem. Michael Polak

It has been two years since Bangladeshi barrister Ahmad Bin Quasem, who has also been called to the Bar of England and Wales, was forcibly abducted from his home by Bangladeshi Government security forces.

Ahmad’s abduction is just one incident in an increasingly concerning tally of human rights abuses perpetrated by the Bangladeshi Government.  The International Community must stand up against the repression by the Bangladeshi regime.

Ahmad Bin Quasem

Ahmad Bin Quasem, or Arman as he is known to friends and family, is a barrister who was representing his father Mir Quasem Ali before the International Crimes Tribunal (“ICT”) which was set up in 2010 by the ruling Awami League and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.  Mir Quasem Ali was convicted by the ICT in 2014 and sentenced to death becoming the seventh opposition leader to be given a capital sentence, amplifying local and international concerns that the ICT has been used to further political objectives.[1] The appeal hearings were ongoing when Arman was abducted by the government.

An associate of Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina confirmed that Mr Bin Quasem’s enforced disappearance by the security services was authorised by the Prime Minister[2] and in secret recordings of a high ranking RAB Officer obtained by Sveriges Radio[3] the Officer explained how enforced disappearances operate and the fact that the fate of those seized is decided by those ‘high up’ within the government.

The abduction

Late on 5 August 2016, a group of around 8 men came to the apartment where Mr Bin Quasem was living with his wife and two young daughters. Four of the men were wearing RAB (Rapid Action Battalion) uniforms. They introduced themselves as members of the RAB and sat with Mr Bin Quasem in the living room where they asked him basic questions about the living arrangements at the apartment and from whom it had been rented.

The abduction occurred at around 11pm on the 9th of August 2016 when a group of 8 or 9 men attended the apartment and demanded that Arman’s wife and sister tell them where he was.  Mr Bin Quasem then went to the door, and the men told him that he had to come with them. They then gave Mr Bin Quasem 5 minutes with his family then began banging on the door again. The man who was in charge of the group gave a hand signal and the other men stormed into the apartment.  Despite Mr Bin Quasem’s wife and sister trying to shield him from the men and prevent them from taking him, the men pulled them away and grabbed him, dragging him to the stairs and out of the house. Mr Bin Quasem was placed in a mini-bus which was driven away. This abduction followed the exact modus operandi of other abductions by the security forces in Bangladesh.

A breach of domestic and international law

Mr Bin Quasem has not been charged with any offence and his abduction and continued detention by the Bangladeshi government is contrary to the Bangladeshi Constitution and Bangladesh’s obligations under international law. Unfortunately, forced disappearances are common in Bangladesh under the current Government and hundreds have been disappeared since 2009.[4]  Human Rights Watch’s report, ‘We Don’t Have Him’: Secret Detentions and Enforced Disappearances in Bangladesh, found that at least 90 people were victims of enforced disappearance in 2016 alone[5] and Bangladeshi human rights group Odhikar, reports that between January 2009 and October 2017, at least 402 persons became victims of enforced disappearances in Bangladesh.


The British legal community have raised their concerns about Mr Bin Quasem’s situation[6] and the international press has reported Mr Bin Quasem’s case and the problems with enforced disappearances in Bangladesh.[7] The European Union’s EEAS has also raised the issue of enforced disappearances with Bangladesh[8] and Mr Bin Quasem’s situation has also been the subject of an official UK Parliamentary question by Shabana Mahmood MP answered on 30 January 2017 by Alok Sharma MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.[9]  Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also spoken out for Arman.[10]

On 24 February 2017, the UNHCHR’s Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances called on Bangladesh to ‘act now to halt an increasing number of enforced disappearances in the country’ and to immediately reveal the whereabouts of Mr Bin Quasem.[11] The Working Group’s message was endorsed by the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.

Despite the request from these United Nations bodies, the Bangladeshi Government has refused to respond, viewing itself as being free to operate outside the norms of international law and diplomacy.

Response to Channel 4 News Broadcasts

Channel 4 featured Arman’s case during its news broadcast on 28[12] and 29 November 2017[13] and 13 December 2017[14]. The broadcast of 28 November 2017 showed the Channel 4 reporter asking questions at a public rally on 25 November 2017 to Ms Siddiq MP, the niece of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Labour Member of Parliament for Hampstead and Kilburn, which Ms Siddiq chose not to answer. Before the show was aired on 28 November 2017 Bangladeshi police attended the family property in Dhaka where Arman’s elderly mother, sister, wife, and two young daughters were residing. This was seen as an attempt to intimidate them into calling for the news segment not to be broadcast. On the day following the first broadcast around 20 heavily armed police officers attended the property. After this fact was reported on Twitter they left around an hour later but not before an ominous warning was given by the Officer in charge: ‘This time we are going and leaving you. But we will make sure if there is any such news come next time we will not be good like this time and our face you will not get to see like today.’

Ms Siddiq and her team have refused to comment about this intimidation or do anything to ensure that Arman’s elderly mother, sister, wife, and two young daughters are not threatened by the Bangladeshi security services. Responses from the Labour party, which has in the past had close links with the Awami League and described itself as a sister party have also been unsatisfactory with the Labour Party establishment seeming interested in discussing this matter when there is media focus on it with this interest disappearing rapidly once the media coverage subsides. This behaviour calls into questions the genuineness of the Labour Party’s pledge to ‘put human rights at the heart of foreign policy’. [15]

The Commonwealth

As a member of the Commonwealth, Bangladesh is required to comply with the Commonwealth Charter which expresses the commitment of member states to the development of free and democratic societies, to be committed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to believe in the rule of law as an essential protection for the people of the Commonwealth.[16]

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) has the power to suspend a country from the Council of the Commonwealth (as it has done on a number of occasions[17]) if they do not comply with Commonwealth’s values. Despite using this power before, the Commonwealth has failed to speak out on enforced disappearances in Bangladesh. As the Commonwealth Secretary General Baroness Scotland QC heads of on a trip which includes a visit to Bangladesh[18] it is hoped that she will remedy her past silence and speak out for Arman as a fellow lawyer and Commonwealth citizen.


The last week has involved major turmoil in Bangladesh with a mass student protests against road traffic deaths.[19] Many of those protesting ended up being attacked by government aligned militias whilst law enforcement looked on or actively assisted the militia.[20] Since this time,  many students have been apprehended by the security services and there are fears that they will be subject to torture or disappearance.

Speaking out about the government response to the student protests was the well-known photojournalist Shahidul Alam[21] who commented on Al Jazeera Television[22] about the Government’s repression of the protestors and other heavy-handed actions such as limiting the availability of the internet in an attempt to prevent the dissemination of videos of the attacks on protestors.  He stated ‘I think the Government has miscalculated. It certainly felt that fear was enough, repression would have been enough, but I think you cannot tame an entire nation in this manner.’ In the perfect example of the very repression that he was describing in the interview, shortly afterwards, a large number of Detective Branch Police Officers dragged him from his home and refused to tell his wife where they were taking him.[23] Although Mr Alam has now been brought before the court and charged with making ‘provocative comments’[24] its seems that he may have suffered torture in the interim period.

This attempt to intimidate those who dare to speak out against Bangladeshi government repression is not unique. In July, Mahmudur Rahman, a former newspaper editor was set upon by 100s of ruling party activists[25] after being release on bail in case where he is charged with defamation for making ‘derogatory remarks[26] against the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her niece, Tulip Siddiq MP. This behaviour by the government and those operating on their behalf is part of the same series of intimidatory behaviour suffered by Mr Bin Quasem and his family, with the aim of trying to ensure that nobody challenges the government, the Prime Minister, or her family out of fear for their own safety and the safety of their family.  This unlawful and unconscionable behaviour resulted in Mr Bin Quasem’s enforced disappearance in August 2016 and has left his two young daughters without a father and his wife without her husband. Surely now the time has come for those who claim to believe in human rights and the rule of law, whether that be the Commonwealth, the Labour Party, or other states, to speak out against this repression and to help Mr Bin Quasem, his family, and all others suffering under an increasingly illiberal and vicious regime.

We beseech those with the power to release Mr Bin Quasem or the influence to place pressure on the Bangladesh government to do so to ensure that he is returned to his family unharmed. We respectfully request that a full independent investigation is conducted into the circumstances of Mr Bin Quasem’s abduction, detention, and treatment in custody.

Michael Polak


Church Court Chambers

Toby Cadman                                                            


Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers

Note: Michael Polak and Toby Cadman act as Counsel to Mir Ahmad Bin Quasem and his family and have filed Communications with the UN Special Procedures Branch in Geneva.

Please see www.freearman.com for updates on the campaign.

Media enquiries may be made to m.polak@ccc.chcdigital.com or clerks@guernica37.org

[1] there has been widespread criticism of the ICT for a lack of fairness and due process by groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

[2] https://thewire.in/south-asia/secret-detentions-bangladesh-intelligence-sheikhs-hasina

[3] https://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=83&artikel=6665807

[4] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/disappearances-plague-bangladesh-171208160532558.html; https://www.voanews.com/a/human-rights-group-for-missing-persons-in-bangladesh/4141462.html

[5] https://www.hrw.org/report/2017/07/06/we-dont-have-him/secret-detentions-and-enforced-disappearances-bangladesh

[6] http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/media-centre/news-and-press-releases/2016/august/bhrc-and-bar-council-raise-concerns-over-abduction-of-bangladeshi-lawyer

[7] http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/12/16/bangladesh-is-vanishing-the-opposition/ ; http://ccc.chcdigital.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/2389_001-2-2.pdf

[8] https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/17657/eu-bangladesh-sub-group-good-governance-and-human-rights_en

[9] http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-questions-answers/?page=1&max=20&questiontype=AllQuestions&house=commons%2clords&member=3914

[10] https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2017/03/bangladesh-man-released-from-long-secret-detention/

[11] http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21220&LangID=E)

[12] https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=E5_jIpcu0_0&app=desktop

[13] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8SklwN-ss8&feature=share&app=desktop

[14] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMUSqjSaSYA


[16] http://thecommonwealth.org/sites/default/files/page/documents/CharteroftheCommonwealth.pdf

[17] http://thecommonwealth.org/sites/default/files/inline/SuspensionHistory.pdf

[18] http://thecommonwealth.org/media/news/commonwealth-secretary-general-visit-bangladesh-brunei-and-sri-lanka

[19] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-45080129

[20] https://en.prothomalo.com/bangladesh/news/181143/How-BCL-attacks-were-carried-out

[21] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/08/the-guardian-view-on-shahidul-alam-bangladesh-should-let-him-go

[22] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9j3EgLm62Q

[23] https://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2018/08/06/driks-shahidul-alam-detained-by-police-family-claim

[24] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/06/famed-bangladeshi-photographer-held-over-road-protest-comments

[25] https://rsf.org/en/news/bangladeshi-opposition-journalist-nearly-lynched-ruling-party-activists

[26] https://en.prothomalo.com/bangladesh/news/180209/BCL-men-attack-Mahmudur-Rahman-in-Kushtia

Not guilty verdict for Michael Polak’s client in £350,000 courier fraud conspiracy

Michael Polak, a member of Church Court Chambers Criminal team, successfully represented a Defendant at trial at St Albans Crown Court who was alleged to be a courier in a multi-handed courier fraud conspiracy. This conspiracy involved the defrauding of a number of individuals of over £350 000 by the participants who called them pretending to be from Scotland Yard and misled them into withdrawing large sums of money out of their bank accounts and handing this money to a person sent along to retrieve the money and return it to the criminal gang.

The trial, which lasted for over 4 weeks, included a large amount of telephone cell-site evidence the cross-examination of an expert in this area. The Defendant Michael Polak was representing was one of only two Defendants who were found not guilty after trial.

Michael Polak was instructed by Gias Uddin of Woolfe & Co Solicitors.

Draft Registration of Overseas Entities Bill released: Colin Witcher and Fiona McAddy

The draft Registration of Overseas Entities Bill sets out provisions to establish a new beneficial ownership register of overseas entities that own UK property. The release of the Draft Bill follows the Government’s commitment made at an Anti-Corruption Summit in 2016 to establish such a register, in order to combat money laundering and achieve greater transparency in the UK property market. That register has a wider ambit than the current Register of beneficial ownership (the “People with Significant Control Register) notwithstanding the transposition of the EU’s Fourth Anti Money Laundering Directive into UK law in June 2017.

The effect of the new Bill is that foreign companies owning UK properties will have to reveal their ultimate owners on the world’s first public register. To that end, there has long been concern that the UK’s property market is particularly attractive to those seeking to launder criminal gains. There is currently a perceived lack of transparency around who ultimately owns land in the UK, where the land is registered to an overseas company or other entity. To that end, according to analysis by Transparency International of data from the Land Registry and the Metropolitan Police Proceeds of Corruption Unit, between 2004 and 2014 over £180m worth of property in the UK has been brought under criminal investigation as the suspected proceeds of corruption, and, crucially, three in four of these properties involved the use of off-shore corporate vehicles. Similarly, a World Bank review reported that 150 of the 213 grand corruption cases investigated involved the use of at least one corporate vehicle to hide beneficial ownership and the true source of funds. In these 150 cases, the total proceeds of corruption were approximately $56.4bn

The new Register is described as having the following primary objective: “to prevent and combat the use of land in the UK by overseas entities for the purposes of laundering money or investing illicit funds by increasing transparency in overseas entities engaged in land ownership in the UK”. To support the proposals and structure of the Register and underlying Bill, the government commissioned research aimed at understanding the potential impacts of the proposed register through qualitative interviews with industry stakeholders. The impact assessment makes for interesting reading.

The Bill will require any overseas entity that wishes to own land in the UK to take steps to identify their beneficial owner(s) and to register them. Once registered, an overseas entity will obtain an overseas entity ID and will be required to update their information annually, until such time as it successfully applies to be removed from the live register of overseas entities. In order to comply with the updating duty, the overseas entity will have to annually deliver updated information (or confirm that the information in relation to it on the overseas entities register is up-to-date) and statements required for registration and will have to have taken steps to identify registrable beneficial owners (including sending notices to such beneficial owners). Failure to provide an update on the information held on the register is an offence under the Bill, as is delivering (or causing to be delivered) misleading, false or deceptive information. The same is met with custodial sentences.

As explained in the Governments’ overview document, clauses 1 to 16 of the Bill create the register and the framework through which an overseas entity can apply to be registered. Once registered, an overseas entity is required to update the information annually until such time as it successfully applies to be removed from the register.

The Bill contains five Schedules:-

A. Schedule 1 sets out the information required about an overseas entity, its beneficial owners, and if applicable, its managing officers for the purposes of (i) the application to register as a “registered overseas entity”, and (ii) the updating requirements (set out in clause 7 of the Bill).

B. Schedule 2 sets out who the beneficial owner of an overseas entity is. This is modelled on the PSC regime for UK companies and other UK entities.

C. Schedule 3: Part 1 inserts new provisions (“Schedule 4A”) into the Land Registration Act 2002 (“LRA 2002”). Schedule 4A sets out the circumstances in which overseas entities may apply for registration as proprietor of land, and the restrictions that will be imposed on overseas entities that own land. Part 2 of Schedule 3 provides for a transitional regime for certain overseas entities that own qualifying land when the Bill comes into force. These entities will have 18 months from the commencement date to either provide beneficial ownership and other information to the Registrar as part of an application to register or to dispose of the land if they do not wish to register.

D. Schedule 4 makes provisions equivalent to the provisions in Schedule 4A described above for Scotland, subject to the differences in land registration in Scotland.

E. Schedule 5 makes provisions equivalent to the provisions in Schedule 4A described above for Northern Ireland, subject to the differences in land registration in Northern Ireland. The key difference is that the requirements will only apply to new purchases by overseas entities on or after the commencement date. Existing overseas entities that own land prior to commencement are outside of scope because it is not possible for the Northern Ireland Land Registry to identify them

The Bill demonstrates a wider effort by Government to tackle potential financial wrong doing within the UK. The release of the Bill comes the same week as the first Undeclared Wealth Order is being considered in the High Court.

The consultation for the Draft Bill closes on the 17th September 2018; responses are encouraged.

Colin Witcher and Fiona McAddy are both members of Chambers’ Corporate Crime and Regulatory Team, with experience in financial crime, asset forfeiture and confiscation.

Relevant Links

Overview Document: Draft Registration of Overseas Entities

Register of Overseas Entities

Draft Registration of Overseas Entities Bill


Ciara McElvogue secures unanimous acquittal in major perverting the course of justice trial lasting 7 weeks.

This case revolved predominantly, though not exclusively around the activities of a former
employee of EMS Limited, a Ministry of Justice appointed electronic monitoring company.
A total of 30 Defendants were charged, including employees of EMS Limited.

It was alleged that the employees arranged wholly outside of the proper scope of their duties
and/or any legitimate authority to use genuine EMS issued equipment to tamper with electronic
monitoring equipment. The equipment was applied to monitor compliance with legal curfew
requirements imposed on some of the Defendants.

It was alleged that the EMS Limited employees tampered with the equipment in an effort to
evade the practical restrictions which electronic monitoring necessarily involves.
The Crown’s case was that the ‘inside men’ were making money providing an unlawful service
abusing the trust placed in them by virtue of their position, selling the opportunity to those who
were made the subject of strict bail conditions to avoid the restrictions which tagged curfew
necessarily involved and in the process thereby perverting the course of justice.

This case involved many thousands of pages evidence including including a vast amount of raw
scientific data and extremely lengthy cross examination of the Crown’s scientific experts.
The Defendant was unanimously acquitted in week 7 of the trial.

Ciara McElvogue


Kerim Fuad QC and Kevin Molloy of Church Court Chambers conclude remarkable Old Bailey Murder trial, dubbed the “Snapchat Murder”

Kerim Fuad QC and Kevin Molloy of Church Court Chambers conclude remarkable Old Bailey Murder trial, dubbed the “Snapchat Murder”

After a trial before HHJ Topolski QC and two juries (the first having to be discharged) that started in late May 2018 and lasted till 24th July 2018, Miss F. K, a 21 year old woman, was found not guilty of the Murder of Khalid Safi on 1st December 2016. She was found guilty of his manslaughter.

She was alleged to have become fed up of being pestered by her on/off boyfriend Mr Khalid Safi and arranged for a male suitor, R K to come down to North Acton and murder him or at the very least cause him really serious harm. R K came to the scene armed with a knife and proceeded to slash at and repeatedly stab Khalid Safi before fleeing the scene. Most of the incident was captured on CCTV. Earlier that very day she had been herself captured filming the very same area of the pavement outside Costa Coffee.

FK rang R K moments after the attack and spoke for over 4 minutes and then remained in sporadic phone contact with R K for several hours until he vanished and has not been seen since. He remains wanted by the police.
The jury heard evidence of her becoming increasingly frustrated and unhappy with KS, coming to her home and workplace in the weeks before the incident, saw footage of her laughing at him and calling him a “lowlife,” culminating in her using the medium of Snapchat to summon R K down in a taxi to outside Costa Coffee in North Acton to get him to make KS “leave her alone.”
There was evidence of her parents arranging for her to be married to a different man in Qatar.

The jury also heard from a barista at Costa Coffee who noticed that FK had a knife secreted in her handbag.

FK was a Snapchat addict such that as Mr Fuad QC described it;

“She lived her life through the prism of Snapchat not seeing the world with her eyes but seeing it, living it, through the tiny window of her phone, social behaviour that is sadly a blight on our youth of today. She is the Ilford Queen of Snapchat.”

The jury heard evidence of her having over 38,000 photos on just one of her mobile phones.

As Khalid Safi lay bleeding to death and being treated by members of the public, she walked up to him and shocked all there as she started taking a video of him lying in a pool of blood and took a photo of him.

She added the caption;

“That’s what you get when you fuck with me,” which she promptly sent to her Snapchat group.
She did not ring for an ambulance.

She had taken the deceased’s mobile phone from the scene and said her father later threw it away. Accordingly its contents could not be accessed.

Afterwards she sent ‘Whats App’ messages to the deceased’s mobile number 2 months after his death asserting her profound love for him and how much she was missing him. These were claimed by the crown to be false sentiments to throw the police off track.

During the trial and in the middle of her evidence , out of the blue she started producing items from her handbag which she claimed supported her defence but which (easily) proved to be documents that she had forged and a watch she produced which she said she kept as it reminded her of him. It transpired that she had been bought a watch but had lost it. She produced a replacement watch for the jury which she had just bought on the internet during the trial. The ‘whats app’ messages recovered showed dialogue that she did not care about the watch.

Further she claimed that she had a driving lesson on the evening of the murder that she had to get back in time for, so could not have planned the murder. During the trial the jury heard that she had asked her driving instructor to insert a false entry in his work diary to state that she had a lesson an hour after the incident. The driving instructor was called by the crown in rebuttal to give evidence against her.
She also fabricated her own schedule of lessons to suggest she had a lesson that evening.

She claimed to have a tattoo of the deceased’s first name. The invoice she produced in support of this, showed she had in fact forged it (using a phone app to do so) and even misspelt the name of the tattoo shop (“Fantos” instead of “Fantas”). This was another matter disproved with ease in rebuttal by the crown.

Mr Fuad QC made another of his powerful trademark opening speeches which succeeded in diffusing much of the crown’s cross examination of FS and putting the case in context.

Kerim Fuad QC and Kevin Molloy both of Church Court Chambers, London were instructed by Attiq Malik of “Liberty Law” solicitors.

BBC News

Sky News

The Guardian

The Times


Kerim Fuad QC & Kevin Molloy



Chris Johnston secures acquittal in major drugs conspiracy with a street value of £8m.

Chris Johnston secures acquittal in major drugs conspiracy involving one tonne of cannabis and 130,000 Class C tablets with a street value of £8m.

Chris represented a mechanic who, along with others, was charged with an eighteen months’ long conspiracy to import huge quantities of class B & C from Holland on an industrial scale . Officers from the Serious and Organised Crime Command of The Metropolitan Police had been monitoring the movements of an organised criminal gang for several months and unearthed freight shipments via the UK ports from the continent dating back eighteen months. The acquitted defendant was the alleged warehouseman who had stored 14 such shipments in his industrial unit with the assistance of local “fixer” or transport man and an overall manager, based in Cardiff.

The case involved covert surveillance, phone cell siting and detailed analysis of the continuity of the consignments from various locations in Holland. When officers raided his unit in September 2016 they arrested two workers, he’d left minutes earlier, who were caught unloading eight packing crates full of cannabis and class C tablets. These were destined for onward supply within the UK.

The case was further linked to other drugs conspiracies both before and after the indicted period for other class B & C drugs. Following a five weeks’ trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court the jury took less than an hour to clear the client of both conspiracies he faced. In the event of conviction a sentence in double figures was expected, but thankfully avoided.

Chris Johnston


George Hepburne Scott succeeds in landmark Ecuadorean Extradition case

After eighteen months of hearings, the case of Ecuador v D C-V has finally come to a successful end. The client was overjoyed when she was discharged at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 22nd June 2018 following successive and co-ordinated contested legal applications in Court in Ecuador and England.

The case further strengthens our expertise in the field of extradition

George Hepburne Scott


Chambers are delighted to announce the arrival of Mark Harper QC

Church Court Chambers is delighted to welcome Mark Harper QC as a Door Tenant at Chambers joining our Commercial and Business Group. Mark has been involved in some of the largest and most high profile cases to be heard in the Chancery and Mercantile Courts outside of London including his representation of Wayne Rooney in his successful restraint of trade challenge to this Image Rights Representation Agreement and his representation of Sir Bradley Wiggins in defending the claims brought by his former management company following his termination of their retainer. His areas of specialism are Banking & Finance, Civil Fraud, Commercial Litigation, Company, Insolvency, Partnership, Professional Negligence and Sport.

He has been described as the “complete all-rounder” being equally adept at all aspects of the role of the advocate coupled with tactical and strategic acumen and an affable and approachable personality that commends him to his peers, solicitors and clients alike.

Mark has been consistently ranked in Chambers and Partner and Legal 500 for some years.

Mark remains a tenant at Kings Chambers (Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham). He joins Church Court Chambers as his London base.








1st Cypriot Young Lawyer Awards (YLA) 2018 held at Nicosia Hilton on 27 April 2018 a Success

1st Annual Cypriot Young Lawyers Awards

The first Cyrpiot Young Lawyers Awards were held at Nicosia Hilton on 27 April 2018 where the winners of the 9 awards were announced.

The Young Lawyer Awards were established to acknowledge and reward the exceptional work of young lawyers who excel in the face of an ever-increasing competitive legal market. These awards recognised young lawyers within a variety of different legal sectors, such as public sector and private sector.

Sponsors of the YLA

Sponsors of the Young Lawyers Awards were

Bank of Cyprus Youth Supporter


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Legal News Cy and EM Law Firm.

Proceedings on 27 April 2018

The organising committee, Michael Polak and Diana Constantinide, members of Church Court Chambers and Çagil Özsoy member of the Özsoy Law Firm delivered this bi-communal initiative, which brought together young lawyers from across the island.

The awards included speeches by the Mayor of Morphou Mr Victoras Xatziavraam who welcomed the initiative and highlighted the importance of YLA to become a tradition.

Followed by the President of RIK1 Mr Thanasis Tsokkos who commented on the bi-communal initiative and applauded YLA brining island’s legal communities together.

With a speech by the renowned lawyer Mr Rikkos Mappourides who spoke about the difficulties young lawyers are facing as well as presenting the awards to the winners Best Trainee Lawyer, Best Trainee Lawyer in the Private Sector and Best Trainee Lawyer in the Private Sector.

The large crowd also heard from the founder of LearnX, Mr Shamit Manilal who was one of the sponsors and introduced an online learning platform for the trainee lawyers in Cyprus, called Ixion. The Awards were attended by the British Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Ian Whitting, respected businessman, lawyers, professors and district judges.

The Winners of the Young Lawyers Awards 2018

The awards were decided by a professional panel and given solely based on merit to commend those most deserving for their ingenuity and hard work, distinguishing them from their competition and proving them worthy of recognition. This year Young Lawyers Awards recognized nine categories of winners.

    1. Best Trainee Lawyer: The Winner of this category was Avraam Koutalianos, who won among 7 nominations and is currently undertaking his training at L. Papaphilippou & Co LLC.
    2. Best Trainee Lawyer in the Private Sector: The winner of this category was Christos Skiakallis, who won this award after performing exceptionally in his role as a Trainee Lawyer in Banking and Corporate Law.
    3. Best Trainee Lawyer in the Public Sector: The winner of this category was Kiriakos Tikkas. Kyriako’s active participation as an intern at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Parliament.
    4. Best Young Lawyer: The winner of this category was Alexandros Theodotou who outshone the competition given his work doing including civil and commercial and the fact that he has been running his own law firm since 2015.
    5. Best Young Lawyer in the Public Sector: The winner of this category was Stefani Theodotou who noticed for her loyalty to the public sector.
    6. Best Young Lawyer in the Private Sector: The winner of this category was Koukounis Nikolas who has showed a great commitment in the highly challenging area of construction and building contracts for George Koukounis LLC.
    7. Best Young Public Interest Lawyer: The winner was Zafeiro Kastanou who has multiple engagements with European projects, newspapers and organisations like Red Cross.
    8. Best Cypriot Lawyer Abroad: The winner was Aleksia Solomou who currently works as an Associate Legal Officer at the International Court of Justice and focuses on human rights and arbitration.
  • Best Law Student: The winner of this category was Antonia Michailidou who is a young leader at a Commonwealth level. Her academic interests focus on immigration law and abuse of women and she studies at UCLan Cyprus.


Next year: YLA 2019

We look forward to the 2nd Annual Cypriot Young Lawyers Awards in 2019. Sponsorship opportunities are now open for Young Lawyers Awards 2019, please email us at info@rolesa.org for more information about our sponsorship packages.

We look forward seeing you all next year to celebrate exceptional young lawyers in Cyprus.

Church Court Chambers are delighted to announce our association with Glover Chambers – Mauritius.

Chambers are delighted to announce the launch of its working partnership with Glover Chambers in Mauritius.

Glover Chambers headed by Mr Gavin Glover SC are involved in some of the highest profile legal matters in Mauritius and it surrounding area.

The two chambers have formed a relationship to enable a truly international service and source of legal expertise to our growing client base.

Church Court Chambers now have tenants and associate tenants in The Cayman Islands, Ghana, Gibraltar, Mauritius, Scotland, Qatar and The USA.

Michael Polak Represents British Businessman Incarcerated in Belarus

Michael Polak has been instructed to represent the British businessman Alan Smith who is incarcerated in Belarus. This role has involved communicating with Alan’s family, his Belarussian Lawyer, and the British Embassy in Minsk and seeking to ensure that Alan is not mistreated and that he is returned to the United Kingdom immediately following the end of his sentence. Michael travelled to Belarus in 2017 to attend Alan’s trial in Glubokoye in northern Belarus.

The Ferret, Scottish award-winning investigative journalism platform has written about the case and Michael’s involvement here and Michael can be contracted by emailed about this case or any other matters on m.polak@ccc.chcdigital.com


Lewis Power QC Secures Acquittal In Youth Murder Case

Following a trial at the Hove Crown Court in which a young 16 year old youth had died as a result of a knife attack , Lewis’ s client was the only Defendant acquitted on all charges. A key theme which was at the heart of this case and which is all too prevalent in today’s society was the ever increasing occurrence of youths carrying and using knives which cause fatal injuries. Lewis led Aidan Harvey from Richard Body Solicitors. 

Diana Constantinide speaks at University of Westminster on ‘How to become an international legal practitioner’

On the 4st May 2018, Diana Constantinide, a member of Church Court Chambers, who has experience in international law, was invited by International Law Students Association who has its headquarters in Chicago, to deliver a speech about ‘How to become an international legal practitioner’ which was hosted by the University of Westminster.

The talk joined professors and/or doctors from University of Westminster.

Diana Constantinide is available to be instructed in international law areas including international criminal law and human rights or delivering talks/speeches about international law by contacting the clerks at: clerks@ccc.chcdigital.com or by calling them at +020 7936 3637.


Against the Odds Not Guilty Verdict in Blackmail Trial for Michael Polak at Luton Crown Court

Michael Polak’s client was accused of forcefully gaining entry to a house whilst armed with a knife and threatening that he would return to kill a member of the household if a sum of money was not paid to him. The prosecution called two witnesses who lived at the property who gave evidence of this and they were cross-examined on alleged inconsistencies in their evidence by Michael. After a probing closing speech and despite their being no clear motive for the Crown’s witnesses to fabricate their evidence,  the jury returned after just over half an hour of deliberation with a unanimous not guilty verdict.
Michael was instructed by Mr Andrew Smith of SBS Solicitors


Lesley Manley represented a vulnerable Afghan Refugee accused of the attempted rape and sexual touching of a 13 year old school girl. The complainant was extremely vulnerable and required the assistance of an intermediary and extremely sensitive cross-examination. The defendant was also vulnerable by virtue of being traumatised by war and having a low intellect. He required the assistance of an interpreter. As a result of careful preparation by solicitor and counsel he was able to be taken through his evidence in chief in a coherent and logical manner.

The jury found him not guilty of two attempted rapes and one count of sexual touching.

Instructing Solicitor was Peter Fernando of Londinium Solicitors


In her following trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court Lesley Manley represented an Uber driver who was alleged to have sexually assaulted a male passenger. The Uber driver was a man of good character who had been rendered acutely depressed by this allegation. He had arrived in the country from Afghanistan 20 years ago and was the sole breadwinner for his family. He was of good standing within his community. He maintained that the allegation was fabricated following an altercation with the passenger. He was able to call a number of character witnesses who attested to his loyalty and honesty.

The jury unanimously acquitted him after just under an hour of deliberation.

Instructing Solicitor was Gias Uddin of Liberty Law Solicitors

Acquittal for Fiona McAddy in arson with intent to endanger life trial.

Fiona McAddy represented CM, a 19 year old man accused of arson with intent to endanger life. At trial CM accepted that he had sent a series of threatening text messages to his ex partner in the lead up to the alleged offence, and that in the hours before the fire began he had sent her a text threatening to burn her house down. CM further accepted that he had attended his ex partner’s property in the early hours of the morning when he knew the occupants would be asleep, equipped with a jerry can of petrol which he used to douse the front door before setting fire to the property. 
As a result of a lively, incisive and persuasive closing speech, the jury unanimously acquitted CM.
Fiona McAddy was instructed by Liberty Law Solicitors, Luton. 

Kerim Fuad QC leading Robert Newcombe secure another Acquittal for Murder and Manslaughter

The jury at the Old Bailey unanimously acquitted the client on charges of murder and also manslaughter as a lesser alternative.

The incident arose over a £20 drug debt in Plashett Park in East Ham on 15th October 2017. The defendant’s case was that he threw one punch at a man who he thought was an aggressor and then withdrew from the incident. Another man then stabbed without anyone seeing the fatal blow. The deceased died at the scene from a single wound to the heart.

Messrs Fuad QC and Newcombe were instructed by Mahomed Ismail of MFI Law, Solicitors.

Michael Polak Speaks on Expert Panel about Bangladesh Human Rights hosted at the House of Lords

On 24 April 2018, Michael Polak, a member of Church Court Chambers who has experience in human rights and international law, was part of a panel discussion arranged by Voice for Bangladesh and hosted by Lord Stunnel OBE at the House of Lords.
Michael spoke about his client, Ahmad Bin Quasem, a Bangladeshi barrister disappeared by the Bangladeshi authorities in 2016, and the fact that this case was unfortunately not unique, given that over 400 people have been disappeared between 2009-2016. Enforced disappearances, Michael explained, can amount to a crime against humanity when committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack, and is one of a range of serious breaches of domestic and international law provisions being carried out in Bangladesh at this time.
Joining Michael on the panel were members of the Lords, MPs, human rights experts, and activists.
Michael Polak is available to be instructed in International Law areas including human rights cases by contacting the clerks: clerks@ccc.chcdigital.com  Tel: +44 020 7936 3637

Success for Yasin Patel on Murder at the Old Bailey.

Nathan Charles, who was being represented by Yasin Patel was found Not Guilty of murder and acquitted of all charges at the Old Bailey on the 16th April 2018.  The trial, before Her Honour Judge Joseph, lasted for 31 days following a thorough investigation by officers in an operation called Operation Nunton.

Liam Harman was killed in an execution style murder in July 2017. It was said that he had been stealing drugs from local drug dealers and was targeted because of this.

Mr. Charles was identified by witnesses as being at the scene with medical gloves on and running away from the murder scene. The gloves were recovered not far from the murder scene.

In a cut-throat murder case, Cedric Kiyago was found guilty of murder and is due to be sentenced on the 4th May 2018

Yasin was instructed by JSP Law Luton.




Michael Polak’s Article ‘The Jadhav Case & the Right to Consular Assistance: ‘Confessions’, Spies, and Remedies in International Law’ Published by the Indian Journal of International Law

Michael Polak’s article, , has been published by the Indian Journal of International Law.

The article considers the Jadhav Case between India and Pakistan which is to be heard by the International Court of Justice which concerns the trial of an alleged Indian spy before one of Pakistan’s notorious military courts and the death sentence which was passed without him being provided with access to his Consul as required by Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.  The article focusses on whether the remedies requested by India, that Pakistan be restrained from giving effect to the sentence and to annul the decision of the Military Court or if Pakistan is unable to do this, that the Court restrain Pakistan from giving effect to the sentence or convictions and to direct Pakistan to release Mr Jadhav are available under international law and whether these remedies are likely to be granted.

The article can be accessed here http://rdcu.be/JEID

Michael Polak is available to be instructed in International Law areas including human rights cases by contacting the clerks: clerks@ccc.chcdigital.com  Tel: +44 020 7936 3637



Success for Mike Fullerton and Chiara Maddocks following 8 week trial in Carbon Credit Fraud.

Carbon Credit acquittals; Mike Fullerton, leading Chiara Maddocks, obtained unanimous Acquittals on two counts alleging Conspiracy to Defraud and Conspiracy to Convert Criminal Property following an 8 week trial at Bristol Crown Court.

The trial concerned the sale of carbon credits to investors over a 4 year period and the use of commission derived from such investments. Despite expert evidence asserting otherwise and 240 witnesses in the prosecution case, the jury found there was no intent to defraud investors after reviewing a comprehensive array of exhibits including corporate records, audio recordings of calls to investors, numerous bank accounts and data downloaded from several computers and mobile phones. Five co-Defendants charged with one count were also acquitted.

Mike and Chiara were instructed by Ebenezer Madeinlo of Hanson Woods Solicitors, Ilford.

Michael Polak Speaks on International Law in Parliamentary Launch of Myanmar Report

On Thursday 15 March 2018, Michael Polak from Church Court Chambers’ international team appeared on a panel in a House of Commons Committee room put together for the launch of a report on the situation regarding the Rohingya in Myanmar, They Ran For Their Lives. Michael spoke about the international law on universal jurisdiction and immunities as well as the procedure in England and Wales for the commencement of prosecutions under the universal jurisdiction provisions in English law.

The event was hosted by Stephen Gethins MP, and Michael was joined on the panel by human rights activist Yvonne Ridley, head of the International Relief Organisation Mamdooh Badawi, and Myanmar expert Dr Maung Zarni.

Michael is available for instructions in international matters by contacting Church Court’s clerking team on clerks@ccc.chcdigital.com
or Tel:+44 (0)20 7936 3637.

Church Court Trio Spearhead Efforts to Bring Accountability for Situation in Myanmar

On Saturday evening, Lewis Power QC, Michael Polak, and Diana Constantinide of Church Court Chambers’ International Team were guests of honour at the Universal Peace Federation where they spoke about the situation in Myanmar and the Myanmar Inquiry, an independent mechanism which they are establishing in order to achieve justice and accountability for any international crimes committed in Myanmar in recent times.  The event was attended by community leaders, Rohingya activists, human rights champions, and media representatives.

The Myanmar Inquiry will consider whether there is prima facie evidence that international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes have been committed if it finds that there is such evidence, will consider the individual responsibility for the commission of these crimes under international law.

The outcomes of the Inquiry will be to:

  • produce a report identifying whether there is evidence of responsibility for international crimes based upon which any perpetrators could be brought to justice before international or domestic forums;
  • provide for the collection and preservation of evidence which could be provided to any tribunal or commission considering the situation in Myanmar;
  • provide a historical and legal record of what has occurred in Myanmar; and
  • provide educational material about the situation in Myanmar and the responsibility for that situation including both written records and a web stream of live hearings.

Further information about the Inquiry can be found at http://www.myanmarinquiry.co.uk/ 

A news broadcast of the evening is available here https://youtu.be/-b2eNDMTiH8


Yasin Patel instructed in Multi handed murder at the Old Bailey

Yasin Patel is currently instructed to defend Nathan Charles in a multi-defendant murder case being tried at the Central Criminal Court in Operation Nunton.   Following the murder of a man in Essex last year, Charles and three other defendants are on trial for the murder of Liam Harman.  The case is expected to last several weeks with the Prosecution alleging that the background to the murder is drugs and retribution.


Yasin Patel secures acquittal at the Old Bailey on high profile terrorism case

Yasin Patel’s client was acquitted at the Central Criminal Court on Friday 2nd March, as the jury in the high-profile terrorism case, Operation Osmoregulation, convicted all but one of the defendants of charges relating to preparatory acts of terrorism, dissemination of terrorist publications and collection of information. Heard before Mr. Justice Haddon-Cave, the jury listened to evidence of school-children being trained for fighting, ISIS supporters, videos of beheadings, travel to Syria and more. Those guilty of offences are due to be sentenced at the end of March. Further information can be obtained from …



Alex Balancy secures the acquittal of his professional celebrity cage fighter client after a 6-week trial.

Alex’s client was one of 10 defendants charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine in the High Wycombe area. Two other defendants were tried earlier and convicted of possession with intent to supply cocaine. Two of the 10 defendants pleaded guilty and the trial proceeded with the remaining 8 defendants. Alex’s client was only one of 4 found not guilty by the jury. There was a total of 150 witnesses and over 125,000 used pages. Alex was instructed by Sasha Sidhu and Sajid Mahmood at SVS Solicitors

Alex’s in the last few months successfully secured the acquittal of his clients in a series of very similar conspiracy to supply cocaine, heroin and cannabis trials in Croydon Crown Court and Woolwich Crown Court. This followed the successful acquittal of his client on a murder charge following a 4 weeks trial at the Old Bailey.

Chris Johnston secures acquittal at Old Bailey in GBH trial involving the use of a truck as a weapon.

Chris Johnston secures acquittal at Old Bailey in GBH trial involving the use of a truck as a weapon.

His client was accused of pushing his brother out of a moving truck causing the victim to cling onto the door as he drove down a residential road in broad daylight. With the truck travelling at 35 mph, he then mounted the pavement and drove at telegraph posts to try to seriously injure him. Witnesses described the events with a degree of horror as the vehicle was deliberately aimed for not one but two such posts whereby the victim struck one and collapsed in the gutter before the driver fled the scene at speed. The collision left the victim him with a large cut on his liver and other internal injuries, causing a lengthy stay in hospital and long-term harm. The jury acquitted the defendant not only of the more serious count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, but also of the lesser count of causing serious bodily harm by dangerous driving.

Chris was instructed by Mark Bonner of McQueens Solicitors

Success for Pamela Brain in Historic Abuse Case.

Pamela Brain instructed by Nayan Patel of JD Solicitors represented a 60 year old man of impeccable character in respect of historic sexual allegations involving multiple complainants. As a result of her cross examination of the complainants, she was able to make a successful application for all the counts to be dismissed at the close of the prosecution case. Formal Not Guilty verdicts were duly entered in respect of all charges.



After a hard fought six week trial at the Old Bailey, Kerim Fuad QC and Fiona McAddy’s client, DL was the only one of the 5 defendants to be acquitted of Murder & Manslaughter. DL was unanimously acquitted.

In what was one of his toughest cutthroat defences to date, Mr Fuad QC exposed the first 3 defendants’ lies, that their client DL was in the culprit car that went to the murder and whom was alleged by all to have played a lead part in the brutal and fatal knife attack on young Jermaine Goupall.

This was in spite of DL getting a text shortly before the murder saying;

“Get your nank we going 7.” 7 was a reference to “CR7” another part of Croydon with whom the gang who lived in “CRO” postcode had historical issues of taunting and violence.

Complex issues relating to a co-defendant’s bad character dominated the case, and Mr Fuad QC’s powerful and incisive cross examination based in part around the fruits of the application decimated the accounts of the co-defendants, and critically, augmented the Crown’s case against them.

Mr Fuad QC was the only silk to make a defence opening speech which firmly laid the foundation for their defence and took the sting out of the case against his client.

They were instructed by Tim Edwards of Edwards Vaziraney.

Amjad Malik QC successfully prosecutes wide reaching conspiracy

Amjad Malik QC successfully prosecuted in the trial of the remaining 4 defendants of an 18 defendant conspiracy which involved a wide-reaching conspiracy to supply wholesale quantities of high purity cocaine in the UK over a 6 month period in 2016.The supply involved men based in Oxford and the West Midlands, and Albanian Crime groups that were based in London. The national Co-ordinator of the conspiracy, Khalad Uddin, pleaded guilty and received a sentence of 16 years imprisonment.




George Hepburne Scott has been invited to lecture at the 2018 International Extradition Conference to be held in Sarnico, Italy in June 2018

George will join a panel of globally renowned academics and practitioners and deliver a lecture based on his article published on New Law Journal (Lexus Nexus UK) published in July 2017 https://www.newlawjournal.co.uk/content/dawn-new-era-extradition-law

 The lecture will focus on recent developments in the law surrounding s.2 of the Extradition Act 2003 since the landmark case of Palar v Court of First Instance, Brussels http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2005/915.html where George appeared as counsel for the requested person and set a precedent regarding the level of detail required to satisfy s.2 in accusation EAW’s that has been developed and refined ever since.

 Details of the lecture have also been published on the International Extradition Portal and can be viewed here http://internationalextradition.org/?p=549

 For more detailed information please contact the Clerks.


Yasin Patel achieves successful appeal in Fraud & Money Laundering Case

Appearing before Lord Justice Treacy at the Court of Appeal, Yasin Patel was successful in an Appeal Against Sentence in a Fraud and Money-Laundering Case. Appearing for one of the main defendants in this multi-million pound case, Mr. Patel argued that the sentence imposed upon his client was manifestly excessive and that it should be reduced.

The Court of Appeal agreed with the submissions made and a significantly reduced sentence of 2 years and 9 months was imposed upon the appellant.


Kerim Fuad QC wins another high profile trial

Mr Fuad QC represented the main defendant a Serco detention officer, Mr H, who was accused of very serious counts of rape and sexual assault of a female detainee at Yarlswood detention centre in Clapham, Bedfordshire.

In addition his client faced an allegation of misconduct in a public office.

In this high profile and complex trial Mr Fuad QC managed to thoroughly discredit the complainant’s account over two days by his incisive, sensitive but powerful cross examination.

The allegations had hung over his client who was of impeccable character for over 5 years.  His attention to detail and painstaking research into thousands of pages of material, comprising years of Serco and Home Office reports lead to a hugely focused and ultimately compelling cross examination of the complainant.

His trademark opening speech set the tone from which the crown’s case never truly recovered.

Kerim Fuad QC was leading Matthew Kirk instructed by Cartwright King Solicitors.

Michael Polak Succeeds in Human Rights Case against Prison for Failure to Provide Kosher Meals

Michael Polak, working alongside Shkar Kider of Kesar and Co Solicitors, successfully settled a human right claim against the Ministry of Justice which is responsible for the administration of HM Prison Parkhurst.  The claimant in this case is a long-serving prisoner who practises a strict adherence to a kosher diet and has been doing so since he was a child. Upon conviction, the claimant was held at a number of prisons where, after making his religious beliefs clear to the staff, he was provided with two kosher meals per day. When the claimant was transferred to HMP Parkhurst, despite telling staff about his religious dietary requirements, he was only provided with one kosher meal a day. This continued for the 13 months he was held at this institution. The claim was made under the Human Rights Act and the Equality Act 2010.

Robert Newcombe delivers lecture on Cyber crime to INN Group commercial and fraud specialist solicitors

Barrister Robert Newcombe of Church Court Chambers together with Tom Fairfax MD of SRM Solutions, gave a lecture entitled “Cyber Security and Cyber fraud: Trojan botnets, web-injects and mules” to solicitors (20 November 2017) of the INN Group at the City offices of law firm DAC Beachcroft.

Tom Fairfax has over 20 years experience as a cyber- security expert, having been Head of Operations at the British Army’s cyber warfare unit. He is Managing Director of Security Risk Management- SRM Solutions. In addition to cyber security advice and planning and implementation, SRM provides a computer / cyber forensic expert witness service in civil and criminal cases. SRM’s platforms for e-discovery and e-disclosure were of great interest to attendees.

Robert Newcombe gave a rapid-fire lecture on the law, types of offending and practical case management in the context of cyber crime prosecutions. These included examples of cases he has been instructed in, of cyber fraud, manufacture of malware and denials of service attacks, and a short discourse on the AML risks of Bitcoin and its similarities with Hawala banking. Instructed cases include the use of Trojan botnets to access compromised personal data in order to perpetrate frauds and the common law offence of conspiracy to defraud. RIPA notices under section 49 and the Computer Misuse Act offences were also covered, with a summary of sentencing policy in this area.

All enquiries regarding cyber crime instructions should be directed to Daniel Bartlett, Senior Clerk in chambers on 020 7936 3637, or d.bartlett@ccc.chcdigital.com.

Robert Newcombe Completes Complex Multi-handed Drugs Conspiracy where Police Utilized Services of Convicted Child Rapist as Informant XY

Robert Newcombe, barrister at Church Court Chambers, represented a defendant in Operation Emerald, (5 handed conspiracies to supply class A drugs). Two co-accused in this complex drugs conspiracy were also defendants in Operation Shelter.

A combined hearing for defendants of both operations took place before HHJ Moreland to determine whether the use by the police of a CHIS (Covert Human Intelligence Source) known as XY amounted to an abuse of the court process by bringing the administration of justice into disrepute. The hearing lasted for 4 weeks in the autumn of 2016. There were numerous complex issues for all parties to make submissions upon.

XY gave evidence and was cross-examined by Mr Newcombe (as leading junior counsel) and many other counsel in a court closed to the public (but with members of the press in attendance). The learned judge ruled in favour of the Crown. The trial of Operation Emerald then took place in the Spring of 2017 and resulted in a conviction and 15 year sentence for Mr Newcombe’s client.





Channel 4 News Reports on Michael Polak’s Client: Disappeared Barrister Arman (Ahmad Bin Quasem)

On Tuesday 28 November 2017 Channel 4 News reported on Michael Polak’s client, Mir Ahmad Bin Quasem, or Arman as he is known to friends and family.  Arman is a Bangladeshi barrister, also called to the Bar of England and Wales, who was representing his father before the International Crimes Tribunal when on 9  August 2016 he was abducted by Bangladeshi security forces in front of his wife, two young daughters, and his sister. He has been held incommunicado since.

 Michael is instructed by Arman’s family to fight for his release.

 The full Channel 4 news item can be found here https://www.channel4.com/news/tulip-siddiq-mp-and-niece-of-bangladesh-pm-asked-to-help-free-barrister-abducted-by-men-apparently-linked-to-government

 Michael Polak can be contacted by email (M.Polak@ChurchCourtChambers.co.uk) or by phone on +44 (0) 20 7936 3637



On 16th November 2017, in the case of District Court of Koszalin, Poland v Rafal Szpiec, heard at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, District Judge Inyundo discharged Mr Szpiec from the European Arrest Warrant that he faced. This was notwithstanding that it was a conviction warrant issued for Threats to Kill and multiple counts of Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm. The offences dated back to 2006 – 2008 and although Mr Szpiec, the Requested Person, was a fugitive, George argued that he had built a productive and blameless life in the UK since arriving here in 2008. Following powerful legal submissions, the District Judge agreed with George that to order extradition in this case would constitute a disproportionate interference in Mr Szpiec’s Article 8 rights to a private life. This was an incredible result given that (a) he was a fugitive, (b) it was a conviction warrant, and (c) he had a substantial custodial term of 18 months’ still outstanding.George continues to ruthlessly advance the interests of all of his clients to the fullest extent permissible within the law.

 George was instructed by Magdalena Motyl of Bark & Co Solicitors.


Kevin Molloy of Church Court Chambers has been ranked in 2018 edition of Chambers and Partners.

Furthermore, he has been invited onto the “Section 28 Local Implementation Committee” as the sole representative for the Independent Bar. The committee is headed by HHJ Warner and will oversee the implementation of recorded cross-examinations in vulnerable witness cases as envisaged by section 28 of The Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999.

The above committee will cover the roll-out of this new scheme in St Albans, Luton and Cambridge Crown Courts.

Success for George Hepburne Scott in the Administrative Court

The case of Polish Judicial Authority v MM was heard at the Administrative Court on 25th October 2017 before Sir Wyn Williams sitting as a High Court Judge. George Hepburne Scott appeared for the Appellant. Following submissions, the Court quashed the order for extradition made at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and ordered the Appellant’s discharge so she will not now be returned to serve the balance of her sentence for Attempted Murder. George mounted a powerful and persuasive Article 8 bar to extradition which ultimately succeeded and secured this young mothers’ release. The learned judge complimented both Counsel for the manner of their submissions.


George was instructed by Magdalena Motyl of Bark & Co Solicitors

Lewis Power QC secures Not Guilty Verdicts In Marital Rape Trial

At the Inner London Crown Court in the case of R v C, LPQC who was instructed on a privately funded basis by Rod Hayler of Old Bailey Solicitors, was successful in his submissions in persuading the Crown at trial to offer no evidence. After highlighting crucial inconsistencies in the disclosure process and in the disclosed material itself by way of an analysis of the served unused material, LPQC was able to make succinct representations to the Trial Judge who in turn asked the Crown to fully review their case. After a further review of the case and consultations with the CPS the Crown offered no evidence.

The case is particularly illustrative in just how important it is to serve a meaningful Defence Case Statement in a rape case where consent is the issue and accordingly how the disclosure process is triggered and utilised and scrutinised by the Defence.

Oliver Grimwood was called to the Bar of the Cayman Islands

Chambers International Law and Business Crime team continues to expand its reach.  Oliver Grimwood was called to the Bar of the Cayman Islands on the 4th of October 2017 by the Honourable Mr Justice Malcom QC.  The Jurisdiction is a one of the major international financial centres, 85% of all hedge funds are based here and it is the world’s fifth-largest banking centre.  Chambers impressive roster of Queen’s Counsel and Juniors in the Business Crime Team are able to advise on corporate economic crime in both jurisdictions, and represent clients in litigation before the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands both in the Financial Services, and Criminal Division

Myanmar: Genocide? The law

Michael Polak and Diana Constantinidou Deliver Genocide Lecture at the Universal Peace Federation

Last Thursday 28 September 2017 Michael Polak of Church Court Chambers and Diana Constantinidou of Strattonfield Chamber who is currently undertaking an international pupillage with Church Court Chambers delivered a well-received presentation at the Universal Peace Federation UK in Kensington. The lecture, which was presented to leaders of different minority groups, political and faith leaders, and those with an interest in the situation in Myanmar, covered the legal definitions and international criminal case law on Genocide as well as explaining the international and domestic legal and political avenues available for situations where it seems that genocide or international crimes may have been committed.

The event was hosted by:

Mr Robin Marsh, Secretary General of Universal Peace Federation UK and

Skeikh Hoja Ramzy, Director of Oxford Islamic Information Centre and Director of the Universal Peace Federation.

Diana and Michael are available for instructions in international law matters and have experience bringing cases before UN Mechanisms as well as media engagement in human rights campaigns. To instruct Diana and Michael please contact the clerks’ team by email: clerks@ccc.chcdigital.com or phone +44 (0)20 7936 3637

You can watch the discussion via the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8V9zMzFdVI&feature=youtu.be



Lewis Power QC succeeds in Murder Charge being dropped at Close of Prosecution Case

Lewis Power QC instructed by Rod Hayler of Old Bailey Solicitors represented a young 21 year old man “M”, at Hove Crown Court who was jointly charged with the murder of his close friend. The victim had been fatally stabbed.

At the close of the Crown’s case, a submission of no case to answer was successful and the murder charge was withdrawn from the Jury as against “M” only and a formal verdict of not guilty was entered.


AMJAD MALIK QC Spoke at BNP Paribas, London on October 5

Amjad Malik QC was invited to speak to an audience of over a 100 bankers at  BNP Paribas offices in London on the new Corporate offences of Failing to Prevent the facilitation of Tax evasion under the Criminal Finances Act 2017.

The City is calling on expert practitioners, such as Amjad Malik QC, to explain and apply the newest corporate economic crime legislation that impacts on the financial services they provide. Reasonable prevention procedures are required to be in place in order to meet the strict liability offences set out in the Act.

After explaining the offences, he then dealt with unseen questions from the audience, including the senior management of the Bank, which set out different factual scenarios and he provided clear answers as to how and whether the offences applied. The audience were pleased to see and hear an expert criminal QC dealing with these offences outside of the court arena.


Kerim Fuad QC succeeds in university rape case.

Mr Fuad QC, Head of Church Court Chambers represented a young man accused of the rape of a fellow University student. After a trademark opening speech by Mr Fuad QC, straight after the crown’s opening, and his meticulous cross examination (which was praised by the Judge for its sensitivity) Mr Fuad QC exposed the complainant’s account.

Mr Fuad QC’s client who was a young man of impeccable good character, had given a complete and consistent account from the moment of his arrest that all sexual contact was consensual. He could not have assisted the investigation more.

Unusually and a first for the very experienced trial Judge, the trial did not even get to half time as the crown in the exceptional circumstances of this case, simply had no choice but to offer no evidence after the cross examimation had concluded. The Judge directed the jury who happily found him not guilty.

Mr Fuad QC complimented his opponent in open court for the sensible decision he initiated, making plain how important it is that the independent Bar prosecute these sensetive and complex matters. Mr Fuad QC was instructed by Steve Halloran of Lawtons Solicitors.


George Hepburne Scott has been instructed to represent Michael Herba the Polish national who is alleged to have been involved in the kidnapping of English model Chloe Ayling in Italy. Mr Herba was arrested on a European Arrest Warrant issued by the Italian authorities. The Extradition Hearing is due to take place in due course at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. This case has attracted massive national and international press attention.

George is instructed by Magdalena Motyl of Bark & Co Solicitors. Please contact Dan Bartlett or Rod McGurk for more details. See below for some of the national and international publicity surrounding the case.













Successful Appeal by Robert Newcombe leads to 10 years Imprisonment for False Rape Accuser

Robert Newcombe, barrister at Church Court Chambers, succeeded in his application to the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) to quash the conviction for rape of Mahad Cassim. Mr Cassim had been convicted of raping Jemma Beale after giving her a lift in his car. The matter has been sub judice since 2014.

In a highly unusual decision of the Court of Appeal, Mr Cassim had been granted bail pending appeal. He had served over two years of a 7 year sentence.

The appeal against conviction was timetabled as a “fresh evidence” appeal with numerous witnesses in July 2015. Shortly before the Appeal presided over by Davis LJ, the Crown conceded and agreed with defence submissions that Mr Cassim’s conviction was unsafe.

After Mr Cassim’s conviction was quashed Ms Beale was charged with perjury and other offences against public justice on the basis of evidence which had been uncovered by a police investigation. She was eventually convicted at Southwark Crown Court in the summer of 2017 and received a sentence of imprisonment for 10 years.

Robert Newcombe was tirelessly assisted by Neena Baba, Solicitor, Central Law Practice, Wembley having both represented Mr Cassim at trial and the Appeal against conviction, and Chiara Maddocks, Barrister, at Church Court Chambers.










Colin Witcher secures dramatic rape acquittal in less than an hour.

Colin Witcher represented Mr X who faced an allegation of rape: the Jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty after a six day re-trial within less than an hour of deliberations.

The allegation was that at a house party Mr X had entered the bedroom where the complainant was sleeping and raped her. The complainant awoke and in fear was unable to stop the defendant who was older, bigger and much stronger. The complainant left the bedroom and reported the alleged rape to her friend immediately, thereafter leaving the house party and reporting the rape to another friend before repeating the allegation to the police.

It was the defence case that the entire allegation was invented; not simply the act of rape but even the act of sex. Mr X denied entering the bedroom, yet alone touching sexually the complainant. The Crown however called evidence from the defendant’s then girlfriend who alleged Mr X had confessed to having sex at the house party, which Mr X denied was true. The motive for the false allegation was unclear; Mr X had only met the complainant that evening.

Counsel was instructed by Mel Kelemework of ABV Solicitors


George Hepburne Scott wins three High Court Extradition Appeals in a row:

Roman Kolodziejczyk v Poland – This was a case involving a conviction for Murder. Following George’s successful legal argument surrounding Article 13 of the European Council Framework Decision the Appeal was allowed and the Appellant released.

Marek Jaworski v Poland – This was a case involving an allegation of £multi-million fraud. The High Court discharged the Appellant following successful legal argument from George on s.2, s.14, s.21 of the Extradition Act 2003 and Article 8 of the ECHR.

Vidmantas Michelebertas v Republic of Lithuania – This was a case involving a Robbery conviction from Lithuania. Following successful legal arguments from George Hebpurne Scott, the High Court upheld the appeal and the Appellant was released. 

George was instructed by Magdalena Motyl of Bark & Co in all three appeals. Please contact Dan Bartlett or Rod McGurk for more details.

Kevin Molloy secures unanimous not guilty verdicts on all counts in historic sex case.

R v J

Kevin Molloy secures unanimous not guilty verdicts on all counts in historic sex case at Luton Crown Court.

The complainants in the case were considered vulnerable and one gave her evidence through an intermediary. All the prosecution witnesses opted to give their evidence via a video link. To add to the complexity of the case the defendant himself required an interpreter throughout.

The trial lasted 5 days and the jury took 3 hours to reach verdicts on all counts

The Criminal Bar Quarterly Reports on the Efforts to Free Michael Polak’s client, Abducted Barrister Mr Ahmad Bin Quasem

The Summer Edition of the Criminal Bar Association’s Criminal Bar Quarterly reports on Michael Polak’s work advocating for the release of Bangladeshi Barrister Ahmad Bin Quasem.  Ahmad was abducted by state security forces in August 2016 and has been held incommunicado since then. The article, written by fraud and serious crime heavyweight barrister Kevin Dent, explains the circumstances under which Ahmad was seized as well as work being done on behalf of Mr Bin Quasem including Michael‘s travels to Bangladesh to press for his release.  The article is available here CBQSummer2017 Ahmad Bin Quasem

Michael Polak can be contacted by email:  M.Polak@ChurchCourtChambers.co.uk


Yasin Patel was one of 3 main speakers at an International Sports Law Conference held in Colombo

On the 13th August Yasin Patel was one of 3 main speakers at an International Sports Law Conference held in Colombo. Along with Dr Shiromi De Alwis, an eminent IAAF Panel Education and Testing Doctor and Justice Suresh Chandra, presentations were given on anti-doping and sports.

Yasin spoke about the WADA, its Code, the Court of Arbitration for Sports  and important recent authorities and cases in various sports. Attendees included Lawyers and distuniguished guests from all over the World including England, Australia, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Caribbean, New Zealand and other countries.

Lewis Power QC Secures Acquittal in University Rape Case.

Lewis Power QC, instructed by Gerard Maye of Gerard Maye Legal, Brighton, represented a young University Student at Hove Crown Court charged with Rape and Sexual Assault. Central to this case were issues of Consent and Self-Induced Intoxication involving both alcohol and drugs. The Jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty on both counts within 1 hour of being sent out.


Lewis Power QC secures Unanimous Acquittal In Modern Day Slavery Trial

The case at Guildford Crown Court R v C involved allegations of slavery, servitude and forced labour.

Following a multi-agency operation, Patrick Cash, 38, of Glaziers Lane, Normandy, was charged on December, 20 (2016) with holding a person in slavery.

The jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict after a 7 day trial. Lewis Power was instructed by Andrew Smith at SBS Solicitors


Chambers are delighted to welcome Amjad Malik QC to our Business Crime Group.

Mr Malik QC is a highly respected Queen’s Counsel ranked in both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500. He is known as being at the forefront in the field of fraud, corruption and commercial crime.

 Head of Chambers Kerim Fuad QC observes “we are delighted that Amjad Malik QC has joined our growing Silks’ Team bringing added depth to our Business Crime Group. He is a highly regarded Silk with experience at the highest level in both Prosecution and Defence work. He is a much welcomed addition to team Church Court”  

Mr Malik QC demonstrates a multi disciplinary skill set encompassing civil, commercial and criminal expertise. He is continuously instructed in the most complex and important of cases, being sought after by solicitors because of his stylish, persuasive advocacy. Mr Malik QC represents financial clients in large, high priority and critical cases which involve high profile and complex investigations. He represented JM in the landmark proceeds of crime case, Anwoir, Meghrabi and others (Operations Raphis and Aloof),  KM in R v SB and others (Operation Vex) a £95m MTIC fraud and RM in R v Miah and others 2015 representing directors in an international Money laundering enterprise. He further advises a number of organisations including Charities and banks with regard areas of compliance.

 Mr Malik QC also executes a regulatory and civil expertise when appearing before specialist regulatory tribunals including the General Medical Council; the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Healthcare Professionals Council. He also has wide experience of many aspects of mental health law. His practice encompasses many areas in which this specialism is important, for example, the Court of Protection and inquiries.

 For further information on Mr Malik QC or our Business Crime Group please not hesitate to contact Chambers Senior Clerk Daniel Bartlett or our Practice Manager Rod McGurk


Kerim Fuad QC and Colin Witcher secure back-to-back murder acquittals

Following Mr Fuad QC‘s and Mr Witcher‘s recent acquittal at Kingston Crown Court for Attempted Murder in the case of R v LF, both Counsel were reunited again, instructed by the same solicitors to defend in a case of Murder, this time before HHJ Bevan QC at the Central Criminal Court.  The victim had been stabbed at least 12 times in a senseless act of gratuitous violence; the motive inferred as revenge for the victim having dared “mess with the wrong people”.  The defendant, K.M, an accepted road related (gang related) young man, was the owner of the car that carried the killers to the scene; the number plate having been noted down by an off duty police officer. The defendant was later positively identified on an ID procedure by an independent eye witness as being one of the two killers. When arrested the defendant’s face was half burnt – the car carrying the killers had been set on fire. Further, the defendant’s phone had ceased all contact with the co-defendant after the time of the murder.

The jury acquitted K.M after the evidence, although seemingly compelling on its face, had been carefully dissected by the defence.

The co-defendant was convicted of Murder and was sentenced to a life imprisonment with a minimum term of 26 years.

Michael Polak Succeeds in Private Prosecution

Michael Polak has succeeded in a private prosecution for Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm where the defendant was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work, ordered to pay compensation, and a costs order was made in the complainant’s favour. This case concerned a violent incident whereby a taxi driver assaulted his neighbour by striking him to the eye and kicking him to the floor because the neighbour had parked in a communal parking spot that the defendant had marked as his taxi spot. The defendant in this case had been cautioned by the police despite the complainant not agreeing to this course of action. The complainant suffers problems with his vision caused by the attack.

Michael Polak was instructed in this case from its inception, advising on the charge, assisting with the laying of the information, and making written submissions to the court for a summons to be issued. The prosecution also included extensive written submissions to the CPS not to take over the prosecution and discontinue it as well as a full day abuse of process hearing.  Michael’s lay client was very pleased with the results of the case after feeling that the authorities had failed him following the attack.

Michael was instructed by Mr Bassam Tablieh of John Street Solicitors.

Michael Polak is available to provide advice and representation for private prosecutions.


Miss Manley’s client Miss X had pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited firearm contrary to section 5 (1) (aba) of the The Firearms Act 1968.

This offence carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years.

On the 3 July 2017 at Croydon Crown Court Miss Manley mitigated on the basis that the circumstances of the offender were such that the Judge could take the wholly exceptional course of imposing a suspended sentence.

The co-defendant was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment

Lesley Manley was instructed by DEXTER HENRY SOLICITORS

Extradition success for George Hepburne Scott in the High Court

Appearing before Garnham J in the Administrative Court,on 11th July 2017, following legal submissions, George Hepburne Scott was granted permission to proceed to a full appeal of an Extradition Order made by Westminster Magistrates’ Court. 

 The case of Michelebertas v Lithuania will now proceed to a full Appeal Hearing before the High Court on a date to be notified. The legal argument revolves around the proportionality of the extradition in relation to rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

 George was instructed by Magdalena Motyl of Bark & Co, any queries should be directed towards, Daniel Bartlett, Senior Clerk or Rod McGurk, Practice Director.’


Michael Polak’s Letter about Bangladesh’s Disappeared Published by the Guardian

Michael Polak who is instructed in the case of Ahmad bin Quasem, a Bangladeshi Barrister abducted by the security services in August 2016 has had a letter published by the Guardian calling on the Government of Bangladesh to do more to end enforced disappearances which are prevalent in Bangladesh and to free his client.  See here.

Further information about the case can be found here.

Michael, who also has experience working with cases involving the Middle East and Belarus as well as in South Africa and Cambodia, can be instructed in international human rights matters by contacting our clerking team.


George Hepburne Scott – Success in the Court of Appeal on 27th June 2017

On 27th June 2017, George appeared before Full Court of Appeal – constituted by Flaux LJ,  Royce J, and Cheema-Grubb J and succeeded in persuading the Court that his client,  Andrew Ward’s sentence was ‘manifestly excessive‘.

The sentence was then reduced from 4 years to 3 years. George had argued for a further reduction when the Court told him what it had in mind but no further reduction was granted.

No further details are released due to Reporting Restrictions that are in place; this was a highly sensitive case.

Any queries can be directed to the Senior Clerk, Daniel Bartlett or Rod McGurk Practice Director

Success for George Hepburne Scott in the High Court

On 23 May George Hepburne Scott was granted permission to appeal an Extradition Order that had been made at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.  His client is a 52 year old woman who was unrepresented at Westminster. George appeared at the appeal hearing before Sir Ross Cranston sitting as a High Court judge and, following obviously persuasive submissions, was granted permission to appeal on the grounds that the judge agreed that it was reasonably arguable that there were ‘less coercive measures available’ to the requesting state, pursuant to section 21A(1)(c)(3) of the Extradition Act 2003. The case will now proceed to a full appeal hearing before the Administrative Court. George was instructed by Magdalena Motyl of Bark & Co Solicitors.

Acquittal for Yasin Patel on £80m fraud / money laundering.

Success for Yasin Patel following 6 week trial at Southwark crown Court.  Yasin defended Ketan Varma one of  only two defendants acquitted on all main charges in this 10 handed case involving fraud and money laundering to the value of £80m.


Yasin was instructed by BH Mohammed Solicitors in Birmingham.

George Hepburne Scott successfully prosecutes stabbing gang at Woolwich Crown Court:

Following a 3 week trial, on 28 April a jury at Woolwich Crown Court returned verdicts of guilty against 4 fifteen year old defendants who had attacked 3 Afghan asylum seekers with knives in South East London one of whom was rushed to hospital by air ambulance and underwent emergency surgery. The attack which had taken place in a residential street in broad daylight in May 2016 and followed months of abuse by the gang.  The defendants had all contested their guilt throughout the trial but all we’re convicted by the jury.

The prosecution team was led by George Hepburne Scott who was instructed by CPS Headquarters, London. Sentencing was adjourned to 26 May.

Krystelle Wass successfully prevents client deportation pending Judicial Review

Krystelle Wass successful over the weekend in an emergency telephone injunction to stop removal from the United Kingdom. The Applicant was due to be removed at 8am on Bank Holiday Monday following the refusal of the Secretary of State for the Home Department to defer removal until the Applicants outstanding Judcial Review had been determined. Krystelle was instructed by Mr Al Mamun from Syed Shaheen and Partners

Chambers Welcome Three New Tenants

Church Court Chambers are delighted to welcome Patrick Canessa, Yasin Patel and Alex Tinsley.

Patrick Canessa joins our crime, international and military law teams and brings a wealth of experience from his continuing practice in Gibraltar .

Yasin Patel brings a wealth of experience in serious crime, sports, extradition and regulatory law.

Alex Tinsley joins following a successful pupillage with Chambers.  Alex joins our crime, extradition, international and immigration teams and is a recognised expert in Interpol matters.


Mizan Abdulrouf is speaking on the issues surrounding of Forced Marriage and capacity to consent – 27th April

Mizan Abdulrouf is speaking at a seminar being held at the London Muslim Centre on the issues surrounding of Forced Marriage and capacity to consent.  Exploring the consequences of forced marriages amongst adults with disabilities. Other guest speakers include Lord Justice McFarlane, and experts from the Local Authority disability teams.

For ticket information please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/forced-marriage-and-capacity-to-consent-tickets-33623415541?aff=eac2  

Lewis Power QC enjoys Judicial Review success in the Northern Ireland Divisional Court

The case of Martin O’Neill concerned the challenge of a Magistrates Court’s decision to grant two search warrants upon application by HMRC together with the lawfulness of the entry and search effected by HMRC of the same. Mr Power QC was praised by Lord Justice Gillen for the industry displayed and the presentation of his oral submissions. The challenge was successful.

This important decision of the Court crystallised the correct information that should be presented to Magistrates’ before the granting of search warrants in addition to emphasising the close scrutiny that must be applied by the Judiciary upon considering any such application. Further, the Judgment identified the importance of paying close attention to the drafting and structure of search warrants to ensure that the warrant does not fall foul of the law due to the lack of clarity.

This case is now the leading authority on this often controversial area of law.

Mr Power QC appeared together with Mr Sayers of Counsel instructed by Eric Williams of Cobleys in Liverpool

Lewis Power QC secures acquittal on 3 month Money Laundering trial

Lewis Power QC after a 3 month long trial at Southwark Crown Court secures a unanimous acquittal in this multi-Million pound alleged Italian Mafia linked Bureau de Change Money laundering case Lewis who was instructed by Gerard Maye of Gerard Maye Legal  in this internationally based complex fraud  case successfully ran a defence  of duress in the trial. The Bureau had laundered an estimated £53 Million in the course of this criminal enterprise.

Link ishttp://courtnewsuk.co.uk/mafia-gang-laundered-cash-bureau-de-change/

Kerim Fuad QC and Colin Witcher secure acquittal in sensitive and unusual Attempted Murder case.

Kerim Fuad QC, Head of Church Court Chambers, and Colin Witcher were instructed on behalf of the defendant in an unusual case where the victim was stabbed repeatedly following a heated exchange over a trivial parking matter.  The allegation was that the defendant, having had a fight with the victim on his doorstep, retreated to his house and retrieved a kitchen knife. After a few moments he was then captured on CCTV running through the cul-de-sac where both parties lived. Whilst the victim was sat in his car, unarmed, trapped by his seatbelt and sitting next to his partner, the defendant stabbed repeatedly through the open window, causing “devastating and life changing injuries.”

The case was unusual in that the defendant’s evidence was that he simply could not remember what had happened – one moment he was at his front door with the victim, the next he was standing with a knife with people screaming at him that he had stabbed someone.  The Crown argued that there was a clear intent to kill in that the defendant had said, as he went to get the kitchen knife; “Just watch what is going to happen next.” He then plunged the knife repeatedly into the victim and had told officers soon afterwards that he “had seen red mist”. He also made other unhelpful remarks noted by police officers.  By good fortune and the commendable work of paramedics the victim survived, albeit being in a coma and sustaining life changing injuries. He spent many months in hospital.  The added complexity to the case was that the defendant’s previous firm of solicitors withdrew having unusually breached legal privilege. As such the entire former legal team withdrew only a few days before the trial was scheduled to commence.  The Learned Judge, HHJ Dodgson recognised that this unusual case deserved the attention of Queen’s Counsel – Kerim Fuad QC and Colin Witcher were instructed. The trial had in the first instance to be adjourned in October 2016 and the jury discharged, Counsel rightly not being satisfied that the case had been fully prepared by the original legal team and that critical matters of disclosure remained outstanding. The trial then took place this week and after a five day trial the jury took only an hour and a half to unanimously find the defendant “not guilty” of Attempted Murder.

Kerim Fuad QC took the decision to make a robust and persuasive opening speech which helped quell much of the fire of prosecution counsel’s speech.

The defendant had earlier pleaded guilty to section 18.


ITV: http://www.itv.com/news/london/2017-03-15/knifeman-jailed-for-frenzied-attack-on-his-neighbour-in-trivial-parking-space-row/

Standard: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/jailed-for-five-years-thug-whose-frenzied-knife-attack-left-neighbour-in-coma-a3489841.html

Counsel were instructed by Karmenah Vaziraney, Partner at Edwards Vaziraney

Michael Polak is Guest Speaker on Inspire FM on Missing Barrister Ahmad Bin Quasem

Michael Polak spoke as a guest on Attiq Malik’s Inspire FM show ‘Ask Your Lawyer’ about the case of Ahmad Bin Quasem, a Bangladeshi barrister who was abducted by government forces in August 2016 and held incommunicado since then. The radio show recording from 27 February 2017 can be found here http://www.inspirefm.org/32/33/ask-your-lawyer and further information about Mr Bin Quasem’s case is available here, here,  and here Michael can be contacted in regards to this case in Chambers on +44 (0) 20 7936 3637 or by email m.polak@ccc.chcdigital.com


Colin Witcher negotiates HMRC settlement

Mr Witcher orginally represented the defendant in respect to drug matters before the Crown Court (thereafter acting succesfully in the Court of Appeal). Those proceedings gave rise to numerous restraint and confiscation issues. Following the same, and the return to the defendant of signifcant restrained assets, HMRC carried out a retrospective tax enquiry, declaring that almost £200,000 had been earned and upon which no tax had been paid. Mr Witcher, recognised for his expertise in financial and buisness crime, was instructed to secure a settlement with HMRC. Mr Witcher took conduct of negotiations with HMRC and in due course following representations and meetings, HMRC agreed that the tax liability was closer to £10,000 and that the penalty would be settled by way of minimal interest. This latest favourable result concluded this long running case for the defendant. Counsel was privately instructed by TIna Donoghue of Powell Spencer and Partners, London.

Success in the High Court for George Hepburne Scott on emergency injunction application

Following an emergency application by George Hepburne Scott on behalf of his Romanian client, on 6 March 2017 Mrs Justice Lang DBE grated an injunction preventing the extradition of M.F. a Romanian national whose extradition had previously been ordered. A previous High Court appeal had been dismissed but due to further cases of breaches of Romanian state assurances re prison conditions, George saw new grounds of appeal and applied (a) to re-open the appeal and (b) for an injunction preventing the extradition. The extradition was scheduled for 7 March 2017 so the application was urgent. The extradition has now been stayed pending the new Application to re-open the appeal. The clients’ reaction was ‘Are you a magician?’ George was instructed by Magdalena Motyl of Bark & Co.


Acquittal for Lesley Manley representing security guard at Kingston Crown Court.

Lesley Manley represented a security guard accused of sexually assaulting a female customer at the store. The security guard was a family man of good character whose future career was in jeopardy. He maintained the offence was deliberately fabricated against him as he had apprehended the customer stealing.

He was found not guilty by the jury and a defendant’s cost order was made.

Lesley Manley was instructed by Mel Kelemework of ABV Solicitors.


Kerim Fuad QC, Leader of the South Eastern Circuit and Head of Church Court Chambers attends Family Law Bar Association dinner with Joanna Toch, Head of Church Court’s Family team.

On Friday 24th February, at a packed Middle Temple Hall, the Lord Chief Justice gave a supportive speech for all the great work that is done and the crucial role that Family law barristers play in the justice system.

Kerim was delighted to be invited as one of the guests and to meet the Chair, Philip Marshall QC and Vice Chair, Frances Judd QC.

He will ensure that there are stronger links between the Criminal and Family Bar as they both play such a pivotal and often unsung role in society.

UN expert group urges Bangladesh to stop enforced disappearances and to reveal whereabouts of Michael Polak’s client Mr Ahmad Bin Quasem

On 24 February 2017 the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances called on Bangladesh to ‘act now to halt an increasing number of enforced disappearances in the country’ and to immediately reveal the whereabouts of Michael’s client Mr Bin Quasem. The Working Ground also called for the Bangladeshi Government to reveal the whereabouts of fellow detainees Humam Chowdhury and Brigadier General Al Azmi. (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21220&LangID=E) The Working Group’s message was endorsed by the UN Special Rapporteur on: torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.

Mr Ahmad Bin Quasem is a Bangladeshi barrister, who has also been called to the Bar of England and Wales.  He was representing his father before the International Crimes Tribunal, a tribunal set up by the ruling party in Bangladesh to try crimes allegedly committed during the Bangladesh Liberation War. The ICT has been widely criticised internationally including by groups such as Amnesty International[1], Human Rights Watch[2], as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,[3] and in the independent report prepared by Geoffrey Robertson QC.[4]

Michael Polak has been instructed by Mr Bin Quasem’s family to push for his release since September 2016. Michael’s work on this case has included political representations to the UK Government and EU institutions, submissions to the United Nation’s Human Rights bodies, and communicating with both the international and domestic press. Michael also travelled to Bangladesh in November 2016 to meet with the international diplomatic community on this matter.

The welcomed intervention by the Working Group and Special Rapporteurs follows communications to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights made by Michael in September 2016. It also adds to a chorus of voices calling for the release of Mr Bin Quasem including MP Shabana Mahmood who raised the matter in a written Parliamentary question answered on 30 January 2017 by Mr Alok Sharma MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.[5]

The European Union’s EEAS has also raised the issue of enforced disappearances with Bangladesh[1] as has Amnesty International[2], Human Right Watch[3], The Bar Council and Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales[4], and individual members of the English Bar.[5]

Michael Polak can be contacted by email (m.polak@churchcourthchambers.co.uk) or by phone in Chambers (+44 020 7936 3637)


[2] https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa13/4935/2016/en/

[3] https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/10/12/bangladesh-end-arbitrary-and-secret-arrests

[4] http://www.barhumanrights.org.uk/bhrc-and-bar-council-raise-concerns-over-abduction-of-bangladeshi-lawyer/

[5] https://www.5sah.co.uk/news-and-events/articles/2017-01-30/kevin-dent-discusses-a-lawyers-right-to-freely-represent-their-client-whilst-examining-the-case-of-abducted-barrister-ahmad-bin-quasem

[1] https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/08/bangladesh-halt-execution-of-quasem-ali/

[2] https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/11/20/bangladesh-halt-imminent-war-crimes-executions

[3] http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=54746#.V_o4gIWcF1w

[4] http://www.barhumanrights.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/REPORT-ON-THE-INTERNATIONAL-CRIMES-TRIBUNAL-OF-BANGLADESH.pdf

[5] http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-questions-answers/?page=1&max=20&questiontype=AllQuestions&house=commons%2clords&member=3914

[1] https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/08/bangladesh-halt-execution-of-quasem-ali/

[2] https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/11/20/bangladesh-halt-imminent-war-crimes-executions

[3] http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=54746#.V_o4gIWcF1w

[4] http://www.barhumanrights.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/REPORT-ON-THE-INTERNATIONAL-CRIMES-TRIBUNAL-OF-BANGLADESH.pdf

[5] http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-questions-answers/?page=1&max=20&questiontype=AllQuestions&house=commons%2clords&member=3914


[7] https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa13/4935/2016/en/

[8] https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/10/12/bangladesh-end-arbitrary-and-secret-arrests

[9] http://www.barhumanrights.org.uk/bhrc-and-bar-council-raise-concerns-over-abduction-of-bangladeshi-lawyer/

[10] https://www.5sah.co.uk/news-and-events/articles/2017-01-30/kevin-dent-discusses-a-lawyers-right-to-freely-represent-their-client-whilst-examining-the-case-of-abducted-barrister-ahmad-bin-quasem

Michael Polak Obtains Not Guilty Verdict in GBH Trial at Northampton Crown Court

Michael Polak of Church Court Chambers successfully secured an acquittal for his client who was charged with GBH after a lengthy trial at Northampton Crown Court. The prosecution’s case was that there was an assault by three young men on an older man who had challenged their friends for making noise at night. Michael successfully advanced the defence of self-defence before the jury who unanimously found his defendant not guilty.

Michael was instructed by Mr. Chris Bennett of Bennett & Co Solicitors. Michael is available to be instructed in both legally aided and privately funded criminal matters.


Chris Johnston secures reduced sentence for deaf client at Court of Appeal

Following a refusal of leave to appeal sentence from the single judge, an application for leave to appeal sentence was lodged before the full court where counsel appeared pro bono. The case concerned a profoundly deaf defendant who had been sentenced in a conspiracy to defraud the DWP, aligned with a similar separate conspiracy to defraud the DWP with members of his own family. The client was the financial officer of a deaf interpreter organisation, which was run fraudulently by his employer and his employer’s wife. The amount defrauded from the DWP was approximately £645, 000 and his own separate fraud netted £72,000. The court granted leave to appeal and moved to grant the appeal against sentence in the absence of the appellant. The sentence of 40 months’ imprisonment for Chris Johnston‘s client was reduced to 30 months to reflect the unique difficulties faced by prisoners who are profoundly deaf, which were more acutely evident by the time of the appeal. This was the only successful sentence appeal following the trial of several defendants in the same case.

Colin Witcher to present keynote address in Seattle, USA at 30th Anniversary Inn Celebrations

Colin Witcher of Chambers’ Crime and Regulatory Team travels to Seattle on the 22nd February 2017 to present a keynote address at the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Hon. Robert J. Bryan American Inn of Court.  Whilst there Colin shall also be the guest of local Judges and lawyers, and will observe Court proceedings in addition to receiving warm hospitality from Members of the Inn.

2017 marks the 30 year anniversary of the United States Supreme Court case Batson v. Kentucky 476 U.S. 79 (1986), which held that racial discrimination in the selection of jurors not only deprives the accused of important rights during a trial, but also is devastating to the community at large because it undermines public confidence in the fairness of the system of justice. It is that decision and the racial composition of juries that forms the subject of the Anniversary Lecture of the Hon. Robert J. Bryan American Inn of Court.

In contrast to the selection process for American juries, Colin shall present a short paper on the selection of jurors in England and Wales outlining the Court’s approach to concerns as to racial composition. To that end, it has been suggested that there should be a principle that the jury consists partly or wholly of members of the same ethnicity as the defendant. However, it is thought that such a principle cannot be correct, for it would depend on an underlying premise that jurors of a particular racial origin or holding particular religious beliefs are incapable of giving an impartial verdict in accordance with the evidence. Accordingly, the law provides that “fairness” is achieved by the principle of random selection of juries.

Kevin Molloy secures manslaughter acquittal

Kevin Molloy secured the acquittal of the defendant Gearty who had been charged with Gross Negligence Manslaughter. The case attracted notoriety as it involved the treatment of the deceased, a drug addict with the unlicensed drug ibogaine.  The case involved the cross-examination of many experts, one of whom gave evidence via video-link from Miami. Kevin was instructed by Lawtons Solicitors and was led by Max Hill QC

Pupillage Update

Church Court Chambers intends to recruit in May 2017 for two 12 month pupillages, one to commence in October 2017 and one in April 2018.

In May 2018 we intend to recruit again for pupils to start in 2018 and 2019.

Please refer back to our website in May 2017 for details of the application process. To that end, all applications shall be fully compliant with the BSB regulations and shall be by way of application form followed by two interview rounds.

We welcome third six applications at any time by way of covering letter and CV.

Foreign Policy Reports on Problem of Enforced Disappearances in Bangladesh Quoting Church Court’s Michael Polak

Well-regarded international affairs journal Foreign Policy has run a feature article on the problem of enforced disappearances in Bangladesh and how they are being used against the political opposition by the Government.  The article which can be read here reports on the case of Mr Ahmad Bin Quasem, a Bangladeshi barrister who was abducted by Government forces whilst defending his father at the internationally maligned International Crimes Tribunal in Dhaka.  Michael Polak of Church Court Chambers is instructed by Mr Bin Quasem’s family to fight for his release.  This work has included travelling to Bangladesh to make representations to the international diplomatic community, meeting with Ministers of the British and European Parliaments to discuss the case, submitting international legal communications to the UN bodies, and liaising with the press to ensure that this matter is publicised.


Michael Polak of Church Court Presents Guest Lecture at Brunel University

Michael presented a guest lecture on Criminal Law and the Exclusion of Evidence at Brunel University on 30 January 2017. Michael was invited to present this lecture by Brunel University because in his criminal practice he specialises in applications to exclude evidence under PACE 1984 and its associated codes as well as for reasons of unfairness and breaches of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Michael is available in criminal, public law, and international matters and to deliver lectures for firms, NGOs, and other organisations.


Sexual Assault Acquittal Result for Pamela Brain

Pamela Brain has successfully defended a 21 year old man on a charge of sexual assault. The Defendant had no previous convictions of a sexual nature. After two days of evidence at Kingston Crown Court, the jury returned a unanimous verdict acquitting the Defendant on the single count. The Recorder thanked Ms Brain for her assistance and careful approach to the case, which involved cross examination of the Complainant behind a screen as well as CCTV footage.    Pamela was instructed by Duncan Frost of Foxes Solicitors, Bromley.


Pamela Brain secures consecutive acquittals in two separate cases

Pamela Brain secured an acquittal of 12 counts following an eight day trial at Woolwich Crown Court. The charges related to allegations of historical sexual assaults and rape made by three complainants from the defendant’s family between 1968 and 2012. Ms Brain was able to successfully challenge the accounts of the complainants. The Prosecution later dropped the case on two further counts.

Ms Brain was instructed by Christina Vernon of McQueens Solicitors http://www.mcqsolicitors.co.uk/

Pamela Brain also secured an acquittal of 13 counts at Luton Crown Court following a five day trial concerning historic allegations of indecent assault and buggery. This case concerned allegations made by four complainants in the defendant’s family, dating from 1971 to 1977.

One of the challenges in this case was the admission that virtually all members of the wider family had themselves suffered sexual abuse by family members, as children. Ms Brain’s sensitive cross examination of each complainant successfully raised doubt as to the accuracy of their recollection, resulting in the prosecution offering no evidence in relation to one multiple count at an early stage.

Ms Brain was instructed by Angie Deacon of Lawtons Solicitors http://www.lawtonslaw.co.uk/

Michael Polak Secures Unanimous s18 GBH, Wounding, and Assault Trial Acquittal

Michael Polak, a member of Church Court Chambers, secured a unanimous acquittal for his defendant after a 4-day trial at Birmingham Crown Court.  After an argument about a stolen computer Mr Polak’s client was alleged to have attacked a couple using a knuckleduster causing a cut to the bone on one of the complainants’ faces and serious injury to the other.  After cross-examining both complainants and making a closing speech focussing on self-defence Michael’s client was unanimously acquitted. Michael’s client who was facing a sentence of around 9 years imprisonment was very pleased with the result as was his mother.

Michael Polak was instructed by Mr Babir Adris of BH Mohammed Solicitors.


Colin Witcher secures a clean sweep of acquittals in multi-count historic rape case

Colin Witcher of Chambers’ Crime and Regulatory Team represented a defendant who faced an indictment containing five counts of historical rape against his foster-brother. Counts One to Four concerned specific incidents of rape, both anal and oral. Count Five was a multi-incident Count to cover further rapes alleged by the complainant, thought to amount to a further twenty times.

The case involved the cross-examination of a ten year old complainant together with family members. This was a highly sensitive and emotive case; the family fractured as a result of the allegations said to have occurred when the complainant was four and the defendant thirteen. 

The Jury acquitted of all Counts. 

Counsel was instructed by Afaya Syed of SJ Law Solicitors, London. 


Private Eye Reports on Michael Polak’s client Mr Ahmad Bin Quasem, Barrister Enforceable Disappeared in Bangladesh

In the last two editions, Private Eye, has reported on Michael Polak‘s client, Mr Bin Quasem, who was enforceably disappeared by the security forces in Bangladesh where he was defending his father at the International Crimes Tribunal. Since this time, Mr Polak has been making representations to United Nations’ bodies, the diplomatic community, and members of both the United Kingdom and European Union Parliaments pushing for Mr Bin Quasem’s release.

Mr Polak will continue to pursue all legal and political avenues until Mr Bin Quasem is freed to be with his wife and two children.

Private Eye


Lesley Manley’s client Mr H was tried at Lincoln Crown Court together with two co-defendants in relation to the trafficking of children in the United Kingdom in order that sexual offences would be committed. The case had resulted from a complex police investigation in respect of vulnerable children in the care of social services. The preparation of the  defence case necessitated analysis of cell-site evidence, phone records, ANPR records  and sensitive cross-examination of vulnerable witnesses. A considerable volume of third party material was scrutinised in detail by Miss Manley and the instructing solicitor.

In addition to allegations of trafficking the defendant also faced counts concerning having sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 and causing a child to become a prostitute by engaging in sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 knowing payment had been promised.

After a trial lasting 8 days Mr H was found not guilty of all counts alleged against him.

Lesley Manley was instructed by Kareena Maciel of U.K. Law Solicitors.

Kerim Fuad QC and Michael Polak of Church Court Chambers present at Scottish Criminal Bar Association Conference.

Kerim Fuad QC and Michael Polak were the only members of the English Bar invited to the Scottish CBA conference held at Ballathie Country House on the River Tay in Perthshire. The pair were first taken to visit the courts in Edinburgh and meet members of the Scottish Bar and judiciary including the Vice-Dean of Faculty.  They then travelled to Ballathie House where they presented a lecture on intermediaries, an important topic for the Scottish Bar given that intermediaries are to be introduced in Scotland in the near future.


Kerim Fuad QC elected as Leader of the South Eastern Circuit

Chambers are delighted to announce that Kerim Fuad QC has been elected as Leader of the SEC to take effect from the 1st January 2017.

Kerim has been an active member of the SEC and the CBA for many years and brings a wealth of experience coupled with infectious enthusiasm and warmth.

He looks forward to working alongside the current committee and Leader Max Hill QC until his tenure takes effect from the New Year.

The members and staff of Church Court Chambers extend their congratulations.

Church Court Chambers are delighted to welcome Lewis Power QC.

Chambers welcome another exceptional silk, Lewis Power QC of 7 Bedford Row has joined Church Court Chambers.

He was recently acknowledged as being in the top ten list of Barristers in the UK by Legal 500.

He has been described as an “unrivaled cross-examiner…nothing short of brilliant.”

Lewis is a formidable advocate who since taking silk has established a reputation as a leading practitioner in complex jury trials. His practice areas include; criminal fraud litigation, fraud, money laundering, bribery & corruption, offshore & international, murder & manslaughter, terrorism, and war crimes.

Recognised for his market-leading, strategic approach, Lewis combines intellect with a friendly approachable manner that instills confidence in all who instruct him, both professional and lay clients alike.

Lewis is regularly instructed in heavyweight criminal proceedings involving fraud and regulatory cases with an international dimension, and for those which are particularly complex requiring prompt judgment. His previous cases have ranged from the infamous Bruce Grobbelaar match fixing case to the London terrorist bombing trials.

He has been admitted as Defence Lead Counsel to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL); is a full member of Association of Defence Counsel before the ICTY (Former Yugoslavia)and is an approved Foreign lawyer and authorised to appear before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).  He is also a member of the War Crimes Forum of the IBA.

He is currently advising the former world heavy weight boxing champion Tyson Fury.

Lewis is able to accept Direct Access work.

Kerim Fuad QC Head of Chambers said;

“Lewis Power QC joining is a reflection of the powerhouse quality set of Chambers Church Court is. We welcome him and know that he will flourish not just in his practice but within the friendly and supportive community we have created here.”

A full profile for Lewis Power QC will follow shortly.


John Aspinall QC 1948 – 2016

Chambers are very sad to announce that John Aspinall QC died on Saturday 29th October.  He had been receiving wonderful care for some time and passed away peacefully with his loving wife by his side.

Called to the Bar in 1971 he was appointed Silk in 1995. His practice was second to none and Chambers were delighted when he agreed to join us in 2014.

He had a love of Motor Sport, the Le Mans 24 hour race having been a permanent fixture date in his diary for many years which also fitted with his love of France. His interest in the sport led him to becoming Chairman of the Judicial Committee and a member of the sport’s governing body.

He would walk into a robing room even at a court centre he had not been to for many years and everyone would know him within minutes, he was on first name terms with Chambers’ cleaners and even the cleaners in the other chambers in our building, a sign of his true humanity.

Mr Aspinall’s humour and incredible ability will be sorely missed by members of Chambers and its staff.  He was a true gentleman, a brilliant talent and was passionate about our profession until the end.

Our thoughts are with his wife Frances and family and friends.

The Funeral will be held on Friday 11th November at 4pm at Poole Crematorium.




Kerim Fuad QC starts another high profile and absorbing trial at the Old Bailey before Mrs Justice McGowan.

Kerim Fuad QC represents Jose Leonardo who is alleged to have murdered his wife in their home in Belsize Park. He leads Andy Mooney and is instructed by George Kampanella of EBR Attridge solicitors.


Michael Polak attains not guilty verdict to 5 charges of sexual assault against Italian national in Newcastle Crown Court

Michael Polak was instructed to represent an Italian national who was charged with 5 counts of sexual assault in Newcastle Crown Court. The defendant had been represented by a local firm of solicitors for some time and had spent time in custody awaiting trial.

On being instructed in this case by specialist Italian law firm Consulenti Italiani, Michael arranged for the tape of the defendant’s police interview to be obtained from the Police and upon listening to the tape discovered that no caution had been given before interview despite the transcript of the interview prepared by the Crown Prosecution Service stating that a caution had been given and explained. Michael subsequently raised the matter before the court upon which the Prosecution was left with no option but to offer no evidence to all the charges.  The defendant’s family, some of whom had lost their jobs in Italy through coming to the United Kingdom to support the defendant, were very pleased that within two days of instructing Consulentti Italiani and Michael Polak to act for them the defendant was free with no criminal record.

Michael Polak was instructed by Davide Cupertino from Consulentti Italiani (http://www.consulentiitaliani.com/)

Rod McGurk to join Church Court Chambers as Senior Practice Development Manager.

Rod McGurk will join Chambers to work alongside our Senior Clerk, Dan Bartlett.

He bolsters our hugely experienced and approachable clerking team of Rachael Pearman, Sam Elvin, Will Barry and Mark Bird (Fees’ Clerk).

Rod McGurk was 7 Bedford Row’s Senior Clerk.

Rod has been praised as “very user friendly” by Legal 500.

Rod joined 7 Bedford Row chambers in 2012 having begun his clerking career 27 years ago, in 1989.

He is adept at building and maintaining client relationships both domestically and internationally. He has a thoroughly professional and compellingly friendly manner.

He was awarded a professional qualification by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and is a member of the International Bar Association.

Rod was also invited to join the Legal Forum at the University of Greenwich.

Church Court Chambers are proud to have him onboard and look forward to his imminent start.

Chambers Delighted to Welcome Edward Boateng-Addo of Counsel.

Church Court Chambers are delighted to announce that Edward Boateng-Addo has joined us as a tenant.  Edward is 2000 call and a seasoned and very able advocate.

We welcome him to our friendly and thriving chambers.

Edward will practise as a dual tenant in both Ghana and the UK. He intends to maintain his successful practice in Ghana whilst maintaining his common law practice in the UK.

In Ghana Edward practises purely Civil law (mainly Corporate /Commercial and Employment law).

Head of Chambers, Kerim Fuad QC said:

“I am particular pleased as Edward is such an amiable and intelligent lawyer. I recall Edward successfully co-defending with me some years ago at the Bailey. He has excellent communication skills and will fit into chambers beautifully. He is also one of the best dressed barristers in the country!”

A full profile will be available on our site shortly.

Colin Witcher, after six week trial, secures acquittal in 17 handed armed robbery conspiracy

After a six week trial before Vice-Advocate General Hunter and Jury at the Kingston Crown Court, Colin Witcher secured the acquittal of AH of conspiracy to rob and the lesser alternative of conspiracy to steal. The case, prosecuted by Leading and Junior Counsel   and investigated by the specialist Flying Squad, concerned a terrifying campaign of robberies involving 69 separate attacks on High Street mobile phone stores. On occasion staff were threatened with weapons including knives and hammers. The total loss was £1m.

17 defendants were identified. 10 pleaded guilty pre-trial, 1 was not fit to stand trial and six protested their innocence at trial. Mr Witcher represented the 3rd Defendant at trial as sole Counsel. He was one of only two defendants to be acquitted by the Jury.

Mr Witcher was instructed by Messrs Dexter Henry and Company.

Michael Polak Instructed to Represent Barrister Mr Ahmed Bin Quasem Abducted in Bangladesh

Mr Ahmed Bin Quasem is a Bangladeshi barrister, who has also been called to the Bar of England and Wales. He was representing his father before the International Crimes Tribunal, a tribunal set up by the ruling party in Bangladesh to try crimes committed during the Bangladesh Liberation War. The ICT has been widely criticised internationally including by groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and eminent British lawyers. Mr Bin Quasem’s father, Mr Quasem Ali, was executed on Saturday 3 September 2016.
At around 11pm on the 9th of August 2016 Mr Bin Quasem was abducted from the home where he lives with his wife and children by security forces. Since this time there has been no confirmation of his whereabouts. It is believed that he was abducted to prevent him from taking part in the appeals on behalf of his father as well as to prevent him from speaking to international contacts about the trial.
Mr Bin Quasem has not been charged with any offence and his abduction and detention by the Bangladeshi government is contrary to Bangladesh’s obligations under international law.
Michael Polak was instructed by Mr Bin Quasem’s family to fight for his release. Any media enquiries about this case can be directed to M.Polak@ChurchCourtChambers.co.uk



Mizan Abdulrouf of Church Court Chambers has been appointed to the Executive Board of the Qatar Law Forum (QLF).

Mizan joins; Mr Faisal Al-Shaouti (CEO of the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre, QICDRC) Mr Firas Ahmad (Head of International Relations of Qatar’s Public Prosecutors Office) and Dr Ibrahim Al Jazi, (CEO of the Rule of Law Centre, Doha.

The two Convenors of Qatar Law Forum are, The Rt Hon Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers (former LCJ of England and Wales, and current President of the QICDRC, and His Excellency Dr. Ali Bin Fetais Al Marri, Attorney General of the State of Qatar.

The next Qatar Law Forum will take place in February 2017.   For more information of QLF please go to the website www.qatarlawforum.com



Radio 4 “PM Programme” today at 5:40pm

Andrew Taylor will be talking today live on Radio 4 on how the law can protect people from being ripped off, and how Trading Standards officers need to be vigilant in keeping and eye out for rouge traders who seek to take advantage of consumers who might be attracted to pay money for days out and attractions that turn out to be a pale imitation of what is said in the advert. In recent times there seems to more companies and individuals who offer mouth watering days of entertainment, only for the consumer to be bitterly disappointed, and substantially out of pocket. The law needs to be more active in protecting against such practices.

While consumers are protected by law from such practices,  it is difficult to seek redress, and criminal courts have intervened by passing custodial sentences where large sums have been taken from the public.



Michael Polak selected for Foreign & Commonwealth Office Pro Bono Lawyers Human Rights Panel

Church Court Chambers is pleased to announce that Michael Polak has been selected for the FCO Pro Bono Lawyers Panel which was set up to help promote and protect the human rights of British nationals detained or imprisoned overseas.

Panel members provide assistance where a British national faces criminal proceedings; or is in detention or imprisoned overseas; in cases such as those which raise concerns about the fairness of any pending, current, or past trial, including due process or other human rights violations such as torture and mistreatment.

Panel members work with the British nationals’ local lawyer providing advice and assistance directly to the British national and their local legal team.


Fiona McAddy in Section 18 GBH acquittal

Ms McAddy of Chambers’ Criminal Group secured the acquittal of a defendant accused of using his vehicle as a weapon, attempting to run down in the street the defendant’s former partner and new boyfriend. This was a serious case fraught with emotions where a significant custodial term would have followed if convicted. Following the jury’s acquittal of section 18, Ms McAddy persuaded the Judge to impose a Suspended Sentence Order for an alternative count of dangerous driving.

Ms McAddy was instructed by Arora Lodhi Heath Solicitors

Kerim Fuad QC’s client acquitted of Murder in triple stabbing incident.

After a two month Murder trial before the Honourable Mr Justice Openshaw, the jury unanimously acquitted Mr Fuad QC’s client, E.S of both Murder and S.18.

E.S was one of the main defendants and was caught on a covert prison van recording, confessing to not only ‘not knowing whether he had licked the victim’ but also shouting ‘Get the Ting,’ at the time they were alleged by eye witnesses to have gone to the boot of the car to obtain the murder weapons.

Two of the co-defendants were convicted JB of both Murder and S.18, and ND convicted of S.18. The rest were acquitted.

Kerim Fuad QC was leading Ray Tully of Guildhall Chambers.

He was instructed by Damon Whitlow and Emily Evans of Allen Hoole Solicitors, Bristol.


Kerim Fuad QC and Colin Witcher conclude representing the lead defendant in a long running benefit and charity fraud

In the biggest case of fraud yet of its kind to be heard in the UK, Mr Fuad QC and Mr Witcher secured a six year term for the first defendant in a widespread and long running conspiracy to defraud the Government.

The defendant was allegedly the principal protagonist in well-orchestrated scheme which, between 2005 and 2012, caused the DWP losses of a little under £1 million. These frauds were committed by pretending that employees had received interpreting support from fully qualified British Sign Language interpreters when either no support had been received and/or the number of hours for which support had been provided had been grossly exaggerated.

This was a complex and voluminous case, which underlines Counsels’ unique knowledge and experience in communicating with, gaining the trust of, and supporting defendants who are profoundly deaf and mute. Later this year, Mr Fuad QC and Mr Witcher shall be presenting a paper and accompanying seminar on representing vulnerable defendants in the modern court system.

Related Media:



Kerim Fuad QC and Colin Witcher both of Church Court  Chambers were instructed by Tim Edwards, Partner at Edwards Vaziraney solicitors

Chambers Secure the Acquittal of Two Men Charged with Murder

Success – Chambers secure the acquittal of two men charged with murder. Richard Carey – Hughes QC leading Glenn Harris for one defendant and Oliver Grimwood as junior counsel for another, successfully defended two men charged with murder by successfully arguing the prosecution case fell outside of the ‘new’ interpretation of joint enterprise (per R. v. Jogee).

Chambers were instructed on this matter by Foxes Solicitors, Bromley


Church Court Chambers is delighted to announce the arrival of Richard Carey-Hughes QC as a tenant.

Richard joins us from 9 Bedford Row and brings with him a wealth of top flight experience of the most complex cases.

He was called in 1977, appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court and elevated to silk in 2000.

Kerim Fuad QC Head of Church Court Chambers said;

“Richard Carey-Hughes QC is a seasoned defender of murder and complex fraud trials at the Old Bailey. His catalogue of successful outcomes in his cases over the years is second to none. He marries shrewd tactics and hard work with a charming manner. He is a true gentleman and will fit very well indeed into our progressive and friendly set.”


Success For Mike Fullerton Following Four Week Death In Custody Inquest

Mike Fullerton represented the family in an Inquest at the Doncaster Coroner’s Court concerning an unusual death in custody from malaria involving 11 Interested Parties. Hearing evidence from 81 witnesses including 4 experts over 4 weeks, the jury returned a conclusion with a finding of Neglect against four doctors and a nurse. As a result of the finding, the Coroner is making PFD recommendations to the Ministry of Justice and NHS England.

Robert Newcombe successfully represents confessed murderer in disputed Newton hearing at the Central Criminal Court.

Mr Newcombe’s client had pleaded guilty to murder on a Basis of Plea. The Crown disputed the Basis. A Newton hearing was held in order that the judge determine the factual basis for sentence.

The Crown case was that this was a murder for gain and that the correct starting point for the mandatory life sentence was 30 years.

The defence case was that the correct starting point for the mandatory life sentence was 15 years.

The main issue was whether the sentencing judge could be sure that the deceased was murdered for financial gain. The defendant had used the deceased’s bank card to gain access to his account after killing him in a ferocious attack. The two men had been in each other’s company during the day of his death when cheques were paid into the deceased’s bank account.

The defence case was that this was a tragic drunken overreaction to a minor slight which lead to the killing. The use of the deceased’s bank card was an afterthought.

A two day hearing was held at the Central Criminal Court. The learned judge heard evidence from prosecution witnesses, agreed pathology and neuropathology evidence, blood spatter and other forensic evidence. Other agreed evidence from CCTV stills showed the defendant using the bank card apparently with the deceased’s permission in shops and at an ATM prior to his death.

The learned judge also heard evidence from the defendant, and then defence submissions by Mr Newcombe.

In a detailed judgment the learned judge ruled that he could not be sure that the murder was done for gain. He made a finding that an aggravating feature of the case was that the defendant had concealed the body in bushes. This had been disputed.

The correct starting point for sentence was therefore 15 years as per the defence submissions. This was increased by 6 years to take full account of the aggravating features (including the ferocity of the attack, the vulnerability of the defendant at the time and the concealment of the body).

The learned judge then applied the full discount allowable in cases of murder for the  guilty plea (one sixth or 5 years whichever is the less). The sentence of the court was therefore Life Imprisonment with a minimum term of 17 and-a-half years (less days spent on remand).

George Hepburne Scott succeeds in another sentence appeal in the Court of Appeal

On 27 January George succeeded in having a sentence of 16 months’ immediate custody for supply of Class A reduced to a Suspended Sentence of 12 months’. The appeal had been expedited due to our ruthless advancement of the clients’ best interests. He was released immediately.

Any enquiries should be directed to Dan Bartlett, Senior Clerk.


Members attend British-Albanian Lawyers Association event at Hill Dickinson Solicitors

On 4th April 2016 Kerim Fuad QC, Kevin Molloy and Paul Webb all of Church Court Chambers were guests at a lecture and reception at Hill Dickinson Solicitors.

They heard a fascinating lecture delivered by Dr Rudina Jasini on the recently established “Kosovo’s Special Crimes Court.” They met many members of the British-Albanian Lawyers’ Association and had the pleasure of being introduced to the Kosovon Ambassador.

Messieurs Fuad QC, Molloy and Webb were part of a select handful invited as recognised defence barristers with knowledge in international criminal law.

They express their thanks for this successful event to their hosts The British-Albanian Lawyers Association.

Colin Witcher secures only acquittal in multi-handed Money Laundering trial

After a 7 Day Trial at the Canterbury Crown Court, Colin Witcher secured the only acquittal out of five defendants who were stopped at Dover Docks in a BMW car each found to be carrying a significant quantity of Euros. There was no evidence of an audit trail showing derivation from legitimate income and there were contradictory accounts advanced by the defendants upon search in contrast to their accounts presented during the course of their respective police station interviews.

Mr Witcher secured favourable directions and a route to verdict (preparing the latter himself as a proposed draft for the Learned Judge which was adopted). All defendants, save BW for whom Mr Witcher acted were convicted.

Counsel was instructed by Delaney Igbo, senior partner of Delaney and Company Solicitors.

Liam Loughlin secures unanimous acquittal at the Old Bailey

Liam was instructed to defend a sixteen year-old defendant in a case concerning the tragic stabbing of a teenager in North London.

Liam acted as junior alone in the case alleging murder against the co-defendants and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm in relation to Liam’s client.

At the end of the four week trial the jury returned after 14 hours to unanimously acquit the defendant.

Liam was instructed by Shofna Begum of Stewart Begum solicitors.

The matter was widely reported in the national press (not always accurately), further information can be found here:




Legal Argument Success for Lesley Manley

At the Inner London Crown Court following the early engagement regime the Crown Prosecution Service had communicated by telephone and email an offer to accept pleas of guilty to charges of aggravated vehicle taking and taking without the owners consent from defendant X and offer no evidence in respect of a more serious charge of robbery.

This offer was withdrawn when a further statement was submitted by the police.

Miss Manley’s submitted that it would be unfair to try the defendant and that it was a point of constitutional importance that government departments should not be permitted to renege on their promises.

The Judge found that there had been prejudice caused to the defendant and stayed the robbery proceedings as an abuse of process.

Instructing solicitor was Steve Nelson

Nelson Guest and Partners

Pamela Brain achieves successful outcome in Sports Sexual Allegation trial.

Miss Brain defended a Rugby Player accused of sexual assault on an opposing team member.

The matter was tried at the Aylesbury Crown Court and the prosecution case had to be withdrawn from the jury following a successful submission of no case to answer at the close of the Prosecution Case.

The defendant was a man of good character whose entire reputation, career and family life were in jeopardy.

It was as a result of Miss Brain’s diligent attention to detail that she was able to establish that the identification of the defendant as the perpetrator of the crime had not been properly investigated and could not be established.

Miss Brain was instructed by Steve Foster of Coyle White Devine Solicitors


Chris Johnston secures acquittal of absent defendant in rape trial

In a trial lasting four days Chris Johnston secured the acquittal of a Romanian national who was accused of raping his partner in Birmingham in 2014. The case was unusual in that the defendant was absent at his trial having only ever appeared in the Magistrates Court before the case was transferred to Birmingham Crown Court. The learned judge had rejected the defence objection for the Crown to proceed in the absence of the accused and the trial continued.The Crown called the complainant and three other civilian witnesses living in the same house. The defendant had given a no comment interview.Based on instructions given at the police station, counsel conducted the entire case without a client and without any defence witnesses. He was cleared of rape within 30 minutes.


Shaun Esprit and Colin Witcher attend International War Crime Conference at The Hague.

Over the weekend of the 30th January 2016, the International Bar Association’s War Crime Committee held their now annual War Crime Conference at the Peace Palace, in the Hague.

The event brings together leading international lawyers, judges, military officers and academics from around the world for a critical analysis of contemporary War Crime issues. This year’s topics included cyber warfare, the detention of those on the battle field and the investigation of war crimes, to name but a few.

Shaun and Colin, who are both Members of Chambers International Criminal Team, found the programme informative, engaging and enlightening. Despite the well documented events of history and the often devastating effects of war, countries (and non-state actors) continue to resort to armed conflict. It is important that lawyers who advise before, during and after such conflicts understand not simply the applicable law but the practical realities of being the soldier on the ground with the finger on the trigger.

Events such as those hosted by the War Crime Committee are therefore important in ensuring that the discussion and the debate involves the military and brings a truly rounded and international perspective.

Both Shaun and Colin express their thanks to the IBA and the War Crime Committee Officers.

George Hepburne Scott succeeds in another sentence appeal in the Court of Appeal

On 27 January George succeeded in having a sentence of 16 months’ immediate custody for supply of Class A reduced to a Suspended Sentence of 12 months’. The appeal had been expedited due to our ruthless advancement of the clients’ best interests. He was released immediately.

Any enquiries should be directed to Dan Bartlett, Senior Clerk.


George Hepburne Scott wins two successive victories in the Court of Appeal on the same day before returning to Lewes Crown Court to conclude a Rape trial.

On 14 January George appeared before the Full Court of Appeal and succeeded in having a Crown Court Sentence radically restructured.  Later the same morning he was before Mr Justice Jay QC for an oral hearing for permission to appeal a separate sentence. Permission was granted in that case and the expedited appeal before the Full Court will take place next week.

Anthony Eskander instructed in Boxing Day machete attack case

Anthony Eskander of Church Court Chambers has been instructed in the recent high-profile gang machete attack case, which took place on the Bromley Shopping Centre, INTU.

Following a contested bail hearing at a pre-trial stage, Anthony secured bail for the defendant.







Colin Witcher and Michael Polak appointed to the Exec Committee of South Eastern Circuit

Church Court Chambers’ Colin Witcher and Michael Polak have been invited to sit on the Executive Committee of the South Eastern Circuit, the representative body for barristers practicing on the Circuit. The objects of the South Eastern Circuit include promoting the professional interests of its members, assisting with consultations undertaken in connection with the law or the legal profession, and providing professional education and training.  


Kerim Fuad QC leading Chris Johnston both of Church Court Chambers conclude high profile terrorist trial.

Mr Abdulraoof Al Shayeb was found with material both on his computer, flash stick and handwritten notes that contained detailed instructions on Dragunov sniper rifles, Grad rockets, mortars, a jihadi training checklist and bomb making information. He asserted that agents from the Bahraini state had collaborated with the UK in planting the material on him and in his home.

He claimed to be a peaceful human rights activist who had been tortured by the Bahraini state. He successfully sought asylum in the UK in 2006.

Photos were before the jury of him in Parliament with Jeremy Corbyn. He had also worked with Lord Avebury.

Mr Alshayeb was also shown in photos in Iraq dressed in military fatigues holding two firearms.

There was a huge amount of press interest throughout and after the trial.




Chambers were instructed on this matter by Louise James of Montague Solicitors.

Kevin Molloy secures acquittal in murder trial at St Albans.

At the end of a 10 week murder trial Kevin Molloy of Church Court Chambers, led by A. Berry QC representing the husband of estranged wife Salma Begum secured his unanimous acquittal of both the murder and manslaughter charges he faced.  The case concerned the murder of the defendants 19 year old sister Shahena Uddin, who lived in the family home. The case had many disturbing aspects which have been well reported in the press. The jury unanimously convicted Salma Begum of the murder of Shahena Uddin and the remaining five family members including the husband Suhail Uddin were all convicted of causing or allowing the death of their vulnerable adult sister.

Michael Polak wins Human Rights Judicial Review of Prison Adjudication

Following a prison adjudication where extra time was added to the prisoner’s sentence, Michael successfully judicially reviewed the decision resulting in it being quashed. 

The judicial review was brought on the bases that the process was in breach of the prisoner’s Article 6 fair trial rights, prison law, and principles of natural justice.

Michael was instructed by Shkar Kider of Kesar & Co Solicitors

Anthony Eskander wins back to back appeals in the Crown Court.

The first appeal concerned an allegation of harassment. Anthony’s cross-examination of the complainant was so damaging that he was able to successfully argue for the appeal to be dismissed at the close of the prosecution’s case.

In the second appeal, the complainant had recently been diagnosed with dementia and was no longer able to attend court. The Crown applied for her statement to be adduced as hearsay. Due to Anthony’s successful written and oral arguments, the judge ruled in favour of the defence. The Crown subsequently offered no evidence.

12 Month Pupillage Vacancy

Church Court Chambers is delighted to announce that we are able to recruit an additional pupillage for the 2015 cycle. The successful candidate shall commence Pupillage on Monday 14th December 2015. Application is by way of an application form, which is available here: Application Form . Your application must be received by Chambers by 4pm on Wednesday 4th November 2015. Please email the completed form to: w.barry@ccc.chcdigital.com 

Applicants who have already applied during the 2015 cycle are kindly asked not to resubmit an application unless (a) the applicant was successful in reaching the final stage earlier this year or (b) there has been a demonstrable improvement in the strength of your application. All former applicants shall be eligible to apply during the course of the 2016 cycle. 

First Round Interviews are to be held on the evening of the 11th 12th and 13th November with Final Rounds to be held on Saturday 28th November. We have already selected marking panels and interview panels. Due to tight deadlines we are unable to offer any flexibility as to dates save in exceptional circumstances. 

Chambers is committed to equal opportunities and acts in accordance with the Bar Councils Code of Conduct and the Equality Code for the Bar. We do not discriminate, or permit discrimination, by reference to sex, race, ethnic origin, national origin, nationality or citizenship, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, religion, political persuasion, disability or age.

Robert Newcombe secures Acquittal of FCA Authorised Broker in Complex Mortgage Fraud trial.

Church Court Chambers barrister Robert Newcombe has secured the acquittal of an FCA authorised mortgage broker who was accused of making dishonest false representations to lenders that 3 residential conveyancing transactions were genuine when in fact they were not. A co-defendant was convicted of fraud and another of laundering the proceeds of the transactions.

The fraudsters had targetted properties which were mortgage-free. This type of fraud is often referred to as “Title Fraud”. The fraudsters impersonated the owners, and provided false identity documentation. The mortgage broker unwittingly assisted with 3 mortgage applications on behalf of buyers that he thought were genuine.

There were lessons to be learned by the “sellers'” solicitors. They transferred the sales proceeds to the third party launderer rather than the named owner.

There were lessons to be learned by the “buyers'” solicitors. Deposit funds had been shown to the buyers’ solicitors as being from cash deposited shortly before the simultaneous exchange/ completion date. In one instance the bank statements showing “source of funds” were forgeries.

Robert Newcombe will present a seminar on Title Fraud as part of the Church Court Chambers CPD lecture series in the near future. Please contact Senior Clerk Daniel Bartlett at d.bartlett@ccc.chcdigital.com for details.

Success for Mizan Abdulrouf in 4kg Drugs Supply Trial.

At Oxford Crown Court, Mizan Abdulrouf of Church Court Chambers secured a unanimous acquittal of one count, of possession with intent to supply class B drugs and one count of, concerned in the supply of class B drugs.  Defendant indicted on the above counts for trying to supply over 4kg of cannabis with a street value of £55,000.

Mizan Abdulrouf was instructed by Angela Porter Solicitors.


After 13 day trial at Basildon Crown Court, Mizan Abdulrouf of Church Court Chambers secured a unanimous acquittal of one count of Affray and one count ABH. A highly publicised brawl, described by the papers as the “Wild West” took place at the Bar Blanco in Rayleigh, involving 12 men from two groups.  Mizan Abdulrouf was instructed by Liberty Law Solicitors for the 2 defendant.

After two days of deliberation the jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict on both counts.


Colin Witcher instructed in £150m Confiscation Case.

Colin Witcher of Chambers has been instructed in a £150 million confiscation matter as sole Counsel. The matter is fixed for a five day contested hearing in November where the Crown contend that the defendant has available assets to meet the alleged benefit figure. This complex and voluminous case concerns money laundering internationally by the defendant on behalf of Criminal enterprises.  The Crown allege that the defendant has hidden significant assets around the world. Colin has been instructed by leading confiscation solicitor Lavina Hobdell of Lawtons Solicitors.

Lesley Manley Success At Wolverhampton Crown Court

Lesley Manley has  defended a young man of good character accused of sexual allegations against a child aged 6 years of age. The complaint was made when the child was 11. The child was assisted by an intermediary. Skilled cross-examination of the child was essential. At the conclusion of the trial the defendant was acquitted. His reputation thus remained intact and he is able to continue with his career ambitions.  Lesley was instructed by JD Solicitors, Wolverhampton.

Chambers Criminal Team Get Back to Work

Church Court Chambers “no returns policy”

Following the decision taken by the Criminal Bar Association this morning Church Court Chambers is now suspending its “no returns” policy which has been resolutely in place since the July.  The criminal practitioners at Church Court Chambers have made an immense sacrifice in support of those solicitors who have taken a stand against the consequences of yet further fee cuts.  It is hoped that ongoing further negotiations can resolve the outstanding issues surrounding the two-tier contracting system.

Kerim Fuad QC

Robert Newcombe secures acquittal in “historic” rape trial

Robert Newcombe secures client’s acquittal in “historic” rape trial. “Bad character” evidence of both complainant and defendant was admissible at trial.

Robert Newcombe this week secured the acquittal of a man accused of raping (and otherwise sexually assaulting) his son around a decade ago. Successful submissions were made to admit the “bad character” of the complainant, as the “important matter in issue” was the complainant’s credibility. The defendant had a previous conviction for a sexual offence, and the Crown made a Bad Character application for it to be admitted as evidence of propensity; but the learned judge accepted the defence submissions that this offence was not admissible as evidence of propensity, for a number of reasons, given the factual differences between the conviction and the index offences.

The defendant’s conviction was however admitted in evidence by agreement between the parties as background and was also admissible due to the attack on the complainant’s character – but not as evidence of propensity. After reviewing the recent five judge Court of Appeal authority in R v Hunter [2015] EWCA Crim 631, a “modified” bad character direction relating to the defendant’s conviction was given in the Summing Up, (being a short reference to the defendant’s credibility). In addition, a bad character direction was given in relation to the complainant’s character.

Robert was instructed on this matter by Paul Watson & Co in Middlesbrough.

For any advice on cases involving credibility of witnesses, contact Mr Newcombe’s clerks at d.bartlett@ccc.chcdigital.com

Kerim Fuad QC & Christopher Johnston instructed on Terrorism Trial

Kerim Fuad QC, Head of Church Court Chambers, is instructed in another Terrorism trial.

He leads Chris Johnston of chambers representing Mr A, a well known anti Bahraini Government Human Rights’ activist.  

The case is subject to significant press reporting restrictions.

Mr Fuad QC and Mr Johnston are instructed by Louise James of Montague Solicitors.


Alison Pryor Acquittal on Anti-Fascist Protest Linked Affray

Alison Pryor secured an acquittal in a case involving alleged affray  and possession of an offensive weapon (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/terrifying-video-shows-moment-man-4202059; http://www.itv.com/news/london/2014-09-12/man-wielding-huge-knife-attacks-cyclist-on-a-busy-street-in-front-of-terrified-eyewitnesses/). The defendant, a café owner, was arrested after his premises   were attacked by anti-Fascist protestors. It followed a war of attrition spanning several months in which the Vegan restaurateur became the victim of an Internet and leafleting campaign falsely alleging that he associated with known Fascists. It took a jury at Blackfriars Crown Court less than an hour to acquit him on both counts.

Robert Newcombe delivers lecture on Cyber crime to solicitors and barristers as part of the Church Court Chambers’ CPD lecture series

Robert Newcombe of Church Court Chambers together with Tom Fairfax of SRM Solutions gave a lecture entitled “Cyber Security and Cyber fraud: Trojan botnets, web-injects and mules” to solicitors and barristers (21 May 2015).

Tom Fairfax has over 20 years experience as a cyber- security expert, having been Head of Operations at the British Army’s cyber warfare unit. He is Managing Director of Security Risk Management- SRM Solutions. In addition to cyber security advice and planning and implementation, SRM provides a computer / cyber forensic expert witness service in civil and criminal cases.

Robert Newcombe gave a knowledgable lecture on the law, types of offending and practical case management in the context of cyber crime prosecutions. These included examples of cases he has been instructed in, of cyber fraud, manufacture of malware and denials of service attacks. These cases have included the use of Trojan botnets to access compromised personal data in order to perpetrate frauds and the common law offence of conspiracy to defraud. RIPA notices under section 49 and the Computer Misuse Act offences were also covered, with a summary of sentencing policy in this area.

All enquiries regarding cyber crime instructions should be directed to Daniel Bartlett, Senior Clerk in chambers on 020 7936 3637, ord.bartlett@churchcourtchambers.co.uk.

Kerim Fuad QC and Robert Newcombe secure Old Bailey murder acquittal

Kerim Fuad QC leading Robert Newcombe, both of Church Court Chambers secured the unanimous acquittal of Robert Anderson at the Central Criminal Court.

Mr Anderson faced counts of murder and violent disorder in relation to the murder of Femi Junaid in Stockwell in February 2014. He was acquitted following  a 2 month trial.

Counsel were instructed by Chanelle Wray of Dexter Henry

Pupillage Application Update

Due to an unprecedented number of high quality applications our marking of Pupillage Applications has taken longer than first anticiapted, for which we apologise. We have a stringent and transparent marking process which requires all forms to be double marked, and where appropriate marked by a third member of Chambers. This effort demonstrates our investment in our Pupillage Programme.

We hope to have completed marking by Monday 27th April 2015. Thereafter there shall be an independent sample review by Chambers’ Equality and Diversity Office, following which we hope to send out result emails by Friday 8th  May 2015. Emails shall be sent to all applicants not simply those who are successful in being shortlisted.

First Round interiews shall be held over the course of weekday evenings (and potentially on one weekend date) in May 2015, with Final Round interviews to be held in late May or early June 2015.

We thank all applicants for their patience and understanding.

Kystelle Wass represents footballer Clarke Carlisle

Krystelle Wass represents Clarke Carlisle, the former Professional Footballers’ Association chairman, who played for Burnley, Queens Park Rangers, Leeds United and Northampton Town, in his current widely publicised drink driving matter.

Related Media:

Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-3007532/Carlisle-admits-drink-drive-offence.html

Sky News: http://news.sky.com/story/1450720/clarke-carlisle-pleads-guilty-to-drink-driving

BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-32018656

The Express: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/565824/Clarke-Carlisle-pleads-guilty-drink-drive-charge

Ivor Frank appointed as panel member for Child Abuse Inquiry

Chambers are pleased to announce that Ivor Frank has been confirmed as a panel member for the widely publicised inquiry into allegations of child abuse which has received statutory footing.

Ivor Frank is a leading expert in family law and child protection matters.
Related media:


Colin Witcher presents USA Pegasus Scholarship Report

In late 2014, Colin Witcher of Church Court Chambers was fortunate enough to be awarded a Pegasus Scholarship by the Inns of Court. Here, he presents a summary of his time in America; the full article shall be published in this year’s edition of the Inner Temple Yearbook. 


With the greatest of respect to Frank Sinatra, if you can make it anywhere, it is not New York, New York, but rather Washington DC where one’s ambition should be directed. The Capital is the political and legal heavyweight of the United States and perhaps therefore unsurprisingly it played host to the British Pegasus Scholars in 2014. However, not content with simply exposing both myself and my co-scholar to the Capital, the American Inns of Court insisted on flying us to Chicago and Philadelphia. Whilst the hotel suites, the dinners and the private tours cannot go unacknowledged, they were but cherries upon a very large cake which had been carefully and thoughtfully prepared by our American hosts.


The experience of being a Pegasus Scholar is truly unparalleled. That expression is often over used. Here it fails to encapsulate the magnitude of the opportunity. As you sit engaged in conversations with Judges, legal academics and renowned trial advocates, you cannot quite believe the opportunity which is presenting itself to you. The insight they offer through their individual and collective experience directly enhances the aims of being a Pegasus Scholar, for it brings personality and truth to the process of learning about, and crucially learning from, the differences between our respective legal jurisdictions.


What was excellent about the American Scholarship was that the legal process from start to finish was fully explored over the course of six weeks, from investigative techniques being discussed with the FBI through to observing an appeal before the US Supreme Court. This led to a truly rounded experience.


The American Legal system was, in my view, more efficient and advanced in respect of the use of technology, especially in criminal matters. I observed a post-charge hearing in Philadelphia where suspects appeared by video-link before a Magistrate who sat, on rotation, 24 hours a day. Similarly, during the trial process, exhibits commonly appeared on computer screens which could be viewed by the Bar, the Bench and the Jury. These screens were electronically highlighted or annotated by an advocate in real time as he seamlessly presented his case. Despite their quest for technologically advanced Courts, the American Inns have an entrenched respect for history and tradition. My wig and gown drew rapturous applause on the 70th floor of a Chicago law office as they were presented to an enthralled audience. I wish that moment could have been witnessed by Christopher Grayling; perhaps then even he would have appreciated the great respect our profession commands from our global contemporaries, the same profession that he is destroying with savage cuts in public funding.


As the Americans embraced and celebrated our traditions, all eager to know if their respective Inns were accurately replicating the ethos and teaching of those found in London, I have never felt more fortunate to be a barrister and a Pegasus Scholar. During my scholarship, I was privileged not only to experience criminal and employment law, which allowed for a direct comparison with my practice back home, but also to observe military law, clinical negligence and patent law, to name but a few. I even attended the Marine Training School at Quantico, albeit I failed to successfully complete the first exercise of the assault course. The unique feature of the Pegasus Scholarship is that one is given access and exposure which simply cannot be gained in any other forum. A few highlights include personal tours of the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill culminating in a black tie dinner at the Supreme Court.


The experience of being a Pegasus Scholar was enlightening. Upon my return to London I found myself actively discussing the Scholarship with fellow Members of the Bar and perhaps more importantly, applying what I had learned to my own practice. However, as I presented my first post Pegasus closing speech to the Jury, I realised that unlike my American counterparts I knew nothing about my jurors. In the States, I witnessed advocates interrogate the Jury pool before making their selection; they learned the potential jurors’ religious ideals, their occupation and even their views on the burden and standard of proof. As the twelve faces stared at me, I found some comfort in knowing that my closing speech was not tailored to the idiosyncrasies of the jurors but was built solely upon the interpretation of admitted evidence that had been given in open court and tested in cross-examination. That comfort was temporarily faltered when the jury convicted; but then regained when I dissected the matter further. Sometimes, what works for one jurisdiction will not work for another. However, crucially, it is about identifying and exploring what does work and if it does not, why not.


To those that are reading this and are eligible, do apply to become a Pegasus Scholar. To those that are reading this and are able, please do host the Pegasus Scholars. In either role you have the opportunity to become part of a tradition powered by enthusiasm, dedication and an inherent respect for understanding and learning. There is no greater accolade.

Shortlist ( )

Criminal Law

Business Crime


Immigration Law

Regulatory and Disciplinary Law

Sports Law