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The Team

Our team of experts offer world-class services to all our clients.



Abbas Lakha KC

Badge - Abbas Lakha KC is ranked in Chambers UK Bar in 2024 Badge - Abbas Lakha KC is a Legal 500 Leading Silk  Badge - Abbas has contributed to the International Fraud & Asset Tracing section of the Chambers guide.
Abbas Lakha KC has been ranked in Chambers for 17 years. You can click on the badges to be shown his profile in the directories.
“Abbas Lakha KC got me through my proceedings with his expertise, professionalism and constant communication. Abbas is approachable, constantly available on a daily basis and responded directly to my questions promptly and professionally and allayed any concerns.”


Abbas Lakha KC is regarded as one of the most accomplished advocates of his age, having taken Silk at 40, and is experienced at the highest level of the Criminal Bar. He has a wide-ranging practice covering serious crime, regulatory work, asset forfeiture and money laundering. He increasingly appears in the High Court and Tax Tribunals. He is rated in Chambers UK and Legal 500 directories as a leader in the fields of international crime, murder, terrorism, financial crime and asset forfeiture and is noted for his detailed preparation, incisive examination and strong jury advocacy.

Abbas is a voice of expertise in International Fraud & Asset tracing as demonstrated by his contributions to the Chambers guide; his insight is relied upon in the legal community. You can read more about his articles here.

Notable Case: Money Laundering Regulations

Abbas successfully appealed against HMRC’s decision to cancel Brac Saajan Exchange Limited’s registration under The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017.

Brac Saajan is a successful money service bureau which is required to register with HMRC. HMRC cancelled Brac’s registration because it believed that were widescale breaches of the Money Laundering Regulations.

In a 10 day hearing at the First Tier Tribunal, Abbas was able to demonstrate that the majority of the breaches HMRC contended were simply not made out. Focusing on the errors in approach and interpretation by HMRC and its officer Sarah Chapman, Abbas succeeded in reversing the decision to cancel BSEL’s registration and the decisions that individual officers of Brac were not fit and proper person and to impose a permanent prohibition on three officers from holding a management role.  

John King

“As a client of John King’s, I found him to be meticulous, extremely accessible but above all consistently professional in every aspect of representing my business and in particular when dealing with third parties on my behalf.”

-Jean Curran, Founder Just Create (Europe) Ltd

For more testimonials, please use the testimonials link to the right.

John King stands as a distinguished barrister in England and Wales, renowned for his thirty-plus years of unwavering dedication to the legal field. His practice encompasses a broad spectrum of both civil and criminal matters, where he has consistently delivered outstanding results for his clients. Known for his legal acumen and meticulous case preparation, John’s professional journey is marked by numerous testimonials praising his deep insights into legal procedures and strategies.


Philosophy and Approach

Central to John’s success is his client-centric philosophy. He firmly believes in prioritizing the interests of his clients, coupled with a commitment to being thoroughly factual and realistic in assessing the strengths of each case. His strategic prowess lies in his ability to forecast a range of judicial outcomes accurately, which forms the foundation for developing effective negotiation and advocacy tactics. This approach has been instrumental in securing the most favourable outcomes for his clients.


Experience and Expertise

John’s career is highlighted by his involvement in numerous high-profile and high-value cases. He approaches every case, regardless of its scale, with the same level of forensic precision, ensuring that every detail is meticulously analysed and utilised. His expertise extends across the complete spectrum of the court system in England and Wales, as well as the European court structures.

A notable aspect of John’s practice is his extensive experience in handling cases that require expert evidence. His proficiency encompasses a wide range of specialised fields, including but not limited to:

  • Forensic accountancy
  • Forensic psychiatry and psychology
  • Forensic linguistics
  • Firearms and ballistic analysis
  • Forensic fibre analysis


Criminal Law Specialisms

John’s expertise in criminal law is extensive, covering a broad array of areas:

  1. Violent Crimes: Including murder, attempted murder, serious assault, and armed robbery.
  2. Sexual Offences: Expertise in handling cases of rape, sexual assault, and historic abuse.
  3. Economic Crimes: Specialising in various forms of fraud such as VAT, corporate, tax, mortgage, and benefit fraud.
  4. Drug Offences: Handling cases of drug supply, importation, possession, and conspiracy.
  5. Complex Crimes: Dealing with terrorism, international hijacking, prison riots, and conspiracy to commit criminal offences.
  6. Regulatory and Corporate Offences: Including trading standards, environmental offences, corporate crimes, and regulatory breaches.
  7. Financial Crimes: Expert in dealing with cases involving proceeds of crime, money laundering, and modern slavery.


Family Law Specialisms

In the domain of family law, John’s expertise is equally comprehensive, covering:

  1. Financial Remedies: Skilled in applications for financial remedies involving complex financial situations.
  2. Asset and Liability Management: Expertise in handling cases involving director/partnership liabilities, pension sharing, and offshore bank accounts.
  3. Property Matters: Specialising in cases with multiple property involvements.
  4. International Family Law: Dealing with international cases, including those involving international assets.
  5. Maintenance and Agreements: Proficient in handling maintenance cases, pre-nuptial, and separation agreements.
  6. Asset Protection: Expert in injunctions to prevent asset disposal or setting aside transactions, and setting aside orders.



John King’s illustrious career as a barrister is a testament to his profound expertise and unwavering commitment to justice. His broad spectrum of specializations, combined with a strategic and client-focused approach, makes him a formidable presence in the legal arena of England and Wales.


Nigel Edwards KC

Nigel has a reputation both nationally and internationally for his no-nonsense, hard-fighting but fair and courteous approach to all he does and with all he meets. He is meticulous in his preparation and highly regarded for his attention to detail.

Nigel specialises in complex Corporate and White collar Fraud; Serious Organised Crime; Murder; Terrorism; International Law and Regulatory matters. He has particular expertise in matters of high value confiscation, restraint and forfeiture.

Nigel is go-to Counsel of choice countrywide, highly sought after.

For many high-profile public figures wanting unvarnished, honest, solid, and sound advice he is the first person they turn to.

Nigel has for many years represented children involved in the gravest of crimes and has been the go-to expert in relation to the defence of them. He builds a rapport and gains their trust second to none.

Nigel is Head of his London Chambers International Law Group and has recently finished advising the family and leading the legal team representing a British dual national who was detained in Iran until successful negotiations saw his release by the regime.

In the past he has been involved with issues arising all over the world including, among others: South Africa, Russia, Ukraine, Japan, India and the United States.

Nigel takes instructions and advises on all areas of international law.

He is listed in the Legal 500.


Michael Chambers

“Across the past 5 + years I have instructed Michael in dozens of cases of varying complexity including serious sexual assault, fraud, serious violence, murder and drugs related offending. He has always provided a very professional personalised service and my clients and I have been very impressed by his attention to detail and his ability to put clients at their ease” Defence Solicitor Advocate

Michael has a mixed general criminal, family and civil practice.

His criminal practice covers all areas of crime including gang related serious violence, public order disturbances and drug related allegations; fraud, including benefit fraud; domestic violence and sexual offences including rape and serious sexual assault.

His civil advice draws upon his 15 years’ experience of working in the commercial sector, before retraining as a barrister in 2003. He has advised and represented clients in defamation suits, applications for injunctions and several breach of contract cases.

He also has a rapidly developing family practice including private children law, financial orders and confiscation proceedings.

He is a witness and case preparation trainer for the UK’s leading legal training company where he has run numerous courses for professionals involved in the legal system as witnesses and/or investigators.

Before qualifying as a barrister Michael spent over 20 years in advertising in London and New York where he was responsible for the negotiating, planning and buying of multi-million pound television advertising campaigns for major companies including Fiat, Twentieth Century Fox Films, Procter and Gamble and Nationwide Building Society.

Notable Cases
R v G (June 2019)
G, a man of good character acquitted of all nine counts of criminality associated with his alleged abusive relationship with his former partner over 3+ years during which it was asserted that he was controlling and coercive, repeatedly assaulted her and controlled her finances and social life, and made repeated racist threats against her and members of her family.

Although it was a very successful result, the effect of these proceedings on the defendant, his children and his family has been dramatic and is ongoing.

T and L (May 2019)
Instructed to advise T and L in a multi-million £ contractual dispute with vulture capitalists who attempted to capitalise on T and L’s vulnerable short-term financial position to extract maximum shareholder value and control for a nominal investment and ambiguous future investment commitments. The advice  and conferences held was realistic and pragmatic, constructive and commercially focussed and included consideration of liquidation, insolvency, fraud, breaches of contract and directors duties pursuant to the Companies Act.

Represented the respondent who faced multiple allegations of domestic violence across a number of months in a rapidly deteriorating relationship. At the contested fact-finding hearing all the allegations were rejected by the court.

Private children law
Instructed in cases involving:

  • Allegations of domestic violence, including successfully represented the respondent in a fact-finding hearing who faced multiple allegations of domestic violence;
  • Cultural and religious concerns;
  • Education concerns;
  • Parental responsibility agreements;
  • Child arrangements orders including prohibited steps orders and specific issues orders.

Financial orders
Instructed in cases involving:

  • Financial Orders including negotiations in relation to the matrimonial home at FDR;
  • Represented respondent in late instructed FDR case in which parties disputed the accuracy of the schedule of assets.

Confiscation proceedings

  • Representing third party interests in the former matrimonial home that the prosecution seeks to confiscate as part of the ex- husbands proceeds of crime.

Stephen Lue

Stephen Lue is a specialist family law barrister. His practice covers a wide range of applications including public and private children law, ancillary relief and domestic violence. He also acts in Court of Protection cases.

Stephen was shortlisted in the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2021 for Barrister of the Year.

Children’s Law

Stephen’s experience in children law covers cases involving contact with children and their residence, including hearings where there are serious allegations of sexual abuse and violence. His strength is always focusing on the welfare of the child regardless of the issues that adults in the case seek to pursue.

Stephen has experience representing parents, Guardians, local authorities, grandparents and those making special guardianship applications. He is regularly instructed in cases which involve issues of neglect, drug misuse, mental health, domestic violence, physical and emotional abuse.

Financial Settlements and Disputes

Stephen represents wives, husbands and civil partners in financial disputes and settlement cases. He represents those with modest assets as well as those who hold more complex assets in multiple countries. Stephen also handles court proceedings involving financial provision for children. He regularly advises and represents clients with property and land claims.

Court of Protection

Stephen is member of the Court of Protection Team at Garden Court Chambers. He is ideally placed to work on all cases concerning vulnerable adults in the Court of Protection, drawing on his expertise in children and family law for families and local authorities. Both areas of law deal with vulnerable people who need the protection of the court.

Stephen has dealt with cases involving contentious and sensitive issues including those concerning forced marriage, the giving of medical treatment, deprivations of liberty, care, contact with family members where there are allegations of sexual or physical abuse and/or neglect, access to the community unescorted, injunctions to e.g. remove persons from their home or prevent family members returning them to the family home.

International Family Law

In his international family law practice, Stephen also deals with child abduction cases involving the removal of children to and from any country.


Mai-Ling Savage

Mai-Ling is a barrister focusing in children’s law, care proceedings,, international family law, surrogacy and assisted reproduction, matrimonial finance and Court of Protection.

Children’s Law (Family)

Mai-Ling’s practice includes residence and contact disputes, including internal and international relocation, disputes between same sex couples, fact-finding hearings and cases of parental alienation and recruitment of children against a parent by care givers. Mai-Ling has particular expertise in issues relating to surrogacy and assisted reproduction cases in which issues of legal parentage arise.

Mai-Ling has particular expertise in care proceedings involving allegations of non-accidental injury with complex medical issues or disputed medical evidence, sexual abuse (including false allegations of sexual abuse), factitious illness and vulnerable adults. She also has expertise in cases involving forced marriage, FGM and radicalisation.

Examples of recent cases include fractures to an 8-week-old baby, life-limiting injuries to a 6-week-old baby, sexual abuse allegations including a paedophile ring and inter-sibling sexual abuse.

Mai-Ling has recently undertaken a number of cases involving breaches of the Human Rights Act 1998.

She frequently advises in family proceedings concerning immigration and nationality issues as well as international adoptions, transnational care and child placement arrangements.

Divorce and Family Finances

Mai-Ling has a wide experience of financial remedies and appears in courts of all levels including the High Court.

She has also been instructed in applications under Schedule 1 Children Act 1989 and Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees act (ToLATA).

Court of Protection

Mai-Ling has an established practice acting in health and welfare cases for all parties, including health and social care bodies and individuals. She is co-convenor of the Court of Protection Team.

She has undertaken cases that involve best interest decisions, welfare and financial decisions and deprivations of liberty, including contested applications involving fact-finding hearings.

Mai-Ling has acted in cases involving adults with learning disabilities, adults with acquired brain injury and people with dementia, including disputes about residence or contact with family members. She is instructed by the Official Solicitor, individuals and local authorities.

Mai-Ling has particular expertise in cases where there is a crossover with family proceedings, for example, non-consensual marriage.

Mai-Ling is a member of CoPPA.

Cross-Border Family Cases

Mai-Ling is experienced in cases of international abduction, international adoption and the application of Brussels II Revised. She frequently advises in family proceedings concerning immigration and nationality issues as well as international adoptions, transnational care and child placement arrangements.

Pro bono Work

In 2015 and 2017 Mai-Ling was shortlisted for Sydney Elland Goldsmith Bar Pro Bono Award, in recognition of an outstanding commitment to pro bono work.

Mai-Ling joined Garden Court from Fourteen in September 2016. She is a trustee of Wheels for Wellbeing, an award-winning inclusive cycling charity, which helps people enjoy the benefits of cycling regardless of disability, age or health condition.


Dinah Loeb

Dinah is a Legal 500 ranked barrister. She qualified as a solicitor in 1990 and a barrister in 2004. She is a highly experienced specialist in matrimonial finance and children law. She is regularly instructed in high value complex financial cases and disputes regarding arrangements for children, including where they live and the time they spend with each parent. Her work covers international finance and children cases.

Dinah is a robust advocate who will always fight for the best possible outcome for her client whilst recognising the benefit of reaching agreements were possible


Financial cases

Dinah’s work covers the full range of family finance disputes from multi-million pounds to more modest assets. She has substantial experience dealing with complex cases including companies, partnerships, overseas assets, trust and cases where third parties may need to become involved.


Children work

Dinah accepts instructions from parents and other family members including grandparents. She has extensive experience in complex and high conflict cases include serious allegations of domestic and child abuse.


Domestic abuse

Dinah regularly accepts instructions in relation to complex fact finding cases where allegation have been made of serious domestic abuse.


Professional Membership

– Family Law Bar Association

– Association of Lawyers for Children




Dessy Nascimento

Dessy’s background is in fund management and law.

Her professional experience includes managing investments for a global multinational, providing regulatory advice on the UK financial services sector and being on the board of directors of a small London-based consultancy. Alongside that, she has also held the pro-bono position of managing editor at an Oxford-based, peer-reviewed literary journal.


Kafeel Shafique

Kafeel has worked in immigration, asylum and human rights since the age of 18, starting off as a volunteer. During that time, Kafeel has gained a wealth of experience dealing with all types of immigration and asylum work.

He has dealt with submitting various Immigration applications such as: Spousal applications, further leave to remain, Naturalisation, EU Settlement Scheme applications, Right of Abode, Ancestry visas, Tier 1 visas, Tier 2 visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain, EEA applications, Entry Clearance applications, Tier 4 applications, obtaining travel documents, Asylum applications, Judicial Review and Oral renewals, FTT appeals and permission appeals to Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal, Out of Hours injunction in order to stay removal directions, revocation of deportation orders, bail applications and ECHR applications.

He takes instructions for commercial immigration cases for the Start Up visas, Intra-Company Transfer visas, Sponsorship Licenses, Sole Representative of Overseas Business visas and Skilled Worker visas.

Kafeel has an international client base, undertaking work for clients in the UK, Asia, Middle East and Africa. He has also taken instructions from high profile premier league footballers, professional cricketers both domestic and international and professional boxers.

Kafeel plays amateur men’s cricket and has an interest in football and boxing.


Riad Ahmed

Riad is a highly respected and experienced fraud and regulatory criminal defence lawyer, specialising in serious and complex cases brought by various authorities including the CPS, the National Crime Agency, Serious Fraud Office and HMRC.

Riad is especially regarded by his loyal client base of individuals and companies alike, who value his expertise, discretion, high standards of client care and tenacious attitude in defending their cases. His reputation is supported by his track record of successes ranging from discontinuance of matters before charge in the police station, applications of withdrawal of prosecutions, as well as preparing successful abuse of process arguments and securing acquittals at trial.

Riad has built his client base up purely through reputation and personal recommendations and is regularly referred for serious and complex defence matters by UK and international law firms and barristers’ chambers whose clients require his expert legal advice and input. His excellent connections also ensure that the country’s leading defence barristers and experts, as well as specialist interpreters for those clients for whom English is not their first language, are available to vigorously defend their cases.



Riad defends in a variety of cases both domestically and internationally, including:

  • Conspiracies to defraud, to supply drugs, etc.
  • Criminal fraud, including, banking, carousel, boiler room, investment, mortgage, insurance, land, diversion, NHS, trading, Ponzi scheme and short and long term frauds.
  • Civil fraud, director or corporate wrongdoing and governance, asset forfeiture and recovery.
  • Cyber crime and internet fraud
  • Company investigations, cartel offences, insider dealing, market abuse, rate fixing and other FCA investigations and proceedings.
  • Bribery and corruption matters
  • Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigations and proceedings.
  • Disqualification of directors, VAT & Duties Tribunals.
  • Evasion of taxes including VAT, Duty and PAYE and the suppression of income.
  • False documents, false accounting, false returns and deception.
  • Counterfeiting and forgery
  • High value theft
  • Money laundering and other Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) offences
  • Cash seizures and Restraint (Freezing) Orders
  • Confiscations
  • Large scale drug trafficking, sham marriages and people trafficking.
  • Business Regulatory Law including breaches of Health and Safety, corporate manslaughter, Food Safety, Trading Standards, consumer protection, licensing breaches and Environmental Law.
  • Extradition, European Arrest Warrants (EAW) and Interpol Red Notices.
  • Judicial Review
  • Appeals against conviction and sentence

Riad’s clients are located throughout England and Wales and also include foreign nationals currently under investigation or being prosecuted within the United Kingdom. Riad can be instructed via private, insurance and legal aid (where available) funding avenues.


Notable Recent Cases

  • R v C – Conspiracy to defraud by false representations
  • R v K – Fraud offences
  • R v S – Conspiracy to defraud immigration law
  • R v G – Conspiracy to supply drugs
  • R v M – Conspiracy to cheat the public revenue of VAT and PAYE
  • R v P – Money laundering and other Proceeds of Crime Act offences
  • R v S – Banking fraud
  • R v D – Engaging in unfair and misleading commercial practices
  • R v K – Fraudulent disposal of property
  • R v J – Obtaining services dishonestly


Memberships and Associations

  • Member of the Law Society of England & Wales
  • Member of the Society of Asian Lawyers
  • Member of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association


Legal Executives, Legal Consultants & International Lawyers

Senior Legal Executive

Dr Robert Thomas

His profile is coming soon.

International Legal Consultant

Maria Londono

María Londono, an international lawyer with over 18 years of experience, specialises in Private International Law. Her focus on Anglo-European matters and her practice in Spain, Europe, England, and Wales assures clients of her expertise in various cross-border legal matters, including Family, corporate and criminal matters.

At the start of her career, María specialised in criminal defence and immigration law. In Spain, she handled several high-profile criminal cases, including those involving drug offences, kidnapping, and extradition. Since 2015, María has expanded her practice in the UK and Europe, working on international family matters such as child arrangements, divorce, financial settlements, property disputes, and corporate matters such as breach of contract, import/export licenses, international contracts, and negotiations between Latin America and Europe.

Maria’s extensive experience in cross-border disputes involving multiple countries, such as England, Wales, Europe, Switzerland, and Latin America, is a testament to her competence and reliability in handling complex legal matters.

She is a native Spanish speaker and is fluent in English. She is a member of the following organisations:
1. The Law Society of England and Wales, regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
2. The Spanish Bar Association (Colegio de Abogados de Madrid)
3. The European Bar Association (CCBE)
4. Civil Litigation Section of the Law Society of England & Wales

Senior Legal Executive

Lady Sheila Davenport

Sheila specialises in serious White-Collar Crime, Fraud, Murder, Drug Cases, Rape & Proceeds of Crime (POCA). She has worked in several practices from London to Manchester, dealing with cases from the client’s arrest all the way through to the high courts, completing each step along the way in a methodical manner.

Sheila possesses a deep dedication to exceptional client care with a forward-thinking approach which enables her to review and enhance current policies and procedures whilst delivering exceptional legal services to all clients. She has taken a criminal case all the way to the European Courts of Human Rights in Strasburg on the 28th February 2024.

She had the honour to be appointed first District Judge for the Federation of Aboriginal Nations of the Americas best known as FANA along with the appointment of Chief of Staff and Legal Advisor for International and Trade.

Educated within the Military and the University of Leicester and Huddersfield studying Law, Criminology, Business Law & Finance, Advance Cost Drafting, Anti Money Laundering and Private Investigator (PI).

Before attending university, she was honoured to be asked to teach students Business Law at Huddersfield College. This afforded her to achieve exceptional organisational communication and administration skills and work within the legal profession.

Sheila is an ex-military WRAC who worked alongside various bodies within the Military, taking part taking in numerous deployments in various parts of the world.


Support & Administration

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