Chambers & Partners

Ranked in Band 1 in the field of Crime by Chambers & Partners.

When appointed Junior Treasury Counsel in 1997, Aftab became the first member of any ethnic minority to be so appointed in the one hundred and thirty eight year history of Treasury Counsel. He was appointed Senior Treasury Counsel just four years later. Aftab appeared primarily at the Central Criminal Court, dealing with a wide range of some of the most high-profile cases in the country. They include terrorism, secrets, murder, corruption, and homicide-related medical negligence. Notable cases have included the Greek Embassy Siege, the Afghan Airlines Hijack, the British Aerospace Secrets trials, and the trial of the Pakistani Cricketers’ spot-fixing at Lords. Homicide cases have included the first British cannibal killings, the Harrow school killing, the Ministry of Sound murder, and the 30 year old cold-case review triple murder of the family of the first black footballer to play for England.

Aftab provided the template for the presentation of complex mobile phone and cell-site evidence, which has since been adopted nation-wide, for both prosecuting and defending.

Aftab recently concluded a long-standing involvement as Lead Counsel into the inquiry against Lloyds Bank and HBOS concerning the manipulations of both Libor, and the repayments to the Bank of England`s Special Liquidity Scheme.

Having been described in the recent past in Chambers and Partners as “for some, the most feared prosecutor in the country” and “stunning”, Aftab brings this formidable talent almost exclusively to defending. His Defence practice includes both advisory and trial work concerning allegations of business-related crime, as well as a wide variety of sensitive criminal and regulatory matters. In the last year, the clients he has defended on allegations of murder have been acquitted.

In addition to being renowned as a formidable and “brilliant” cross-examiner, Aftab is regularly instructed to argue matters of law in the Appellate jurisdiction, including the House of Lords (R v Webber; R v Benson), and most recently R v Smith in the Supreme Court. He has recently successfully intervened in the Court of Appeal (Civil Division), reinforcing the scope and availability of Private prosecutions (Scopelight Ltd v Chief Constable of Northumbria, recently reaffirmed by the Supreme Court as the authoritative judgement on the subject).

Aftab is a past committee member of the Criminal Bar Association, and of the Professional Conduct Committee of the Bar.

Aftab was listed by The Times as being one of the country’s top ten criminal barristers at/under the age of fifty.




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  • Queen’s Counsel 2008
  • Treasury Counsel (Senior 2001) (Junior 1997)

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