Barrister Maryam Syed

Maryam Syed

Year of call: 1993  

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“Tenacious advocate, who is a force to be reckoned with; good with defendants making them feel at ease in the most difficult of situations.”

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Overview


Maryam Syed is a highly regarded criminal and family practitioner heavily experienced in dealing with serious complex and high profile cases, with a keen interest in International Human Rights Law.

From defending in the Jill Dando Murder at the Old Bailey to prosecuting a RAF Squadron Leader for sexual abuse of boys, to defending a UKIP Councillor in fraud Maryam has dealt with a wealth of complex serious and notorious cases.

Often instructed prior to charge she advises in often highly complicated and distressing matters and is asked to direct the shape of an investigation or defence-the marshalling of evidence then acting at trial.

She has particular expertise in complex serious sexual abuse cases, rape and historic matters often spanning decades.

Maryam is a Grade 4 Prosecutor on both the Rape and Serious Crime Panel Lists

In family she deals with children and allegations of physical and sexual abuse in care proceedings, private law and fact finding.

Maryam has a fearless reputation and is lauded for her ability to talk to and persuade whoever her audience be whether Judge or jury. She is often asked to deal with cases of extreme sensitivity and represent those who are vulnerable or have physical or mental health difficulties.

She regularly commentates both in the written media and on television.

Maryam is fluent in Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi and is often called on to deal with allegations of religious and racially motivated crimes.

She is direct access qualified and able to accept instructions directly from lay clients.

Child & Family

Child & Family


Maryam is an experienced family practitioner with emphasis on children. She has acted for both Local Authorities and represented parents and grandparents and other Respondents.

Maryam’s care and adoption work includes cases for mentally disordered clients, for those with learning difficulties and where factitious illness has featured.

In private law again she has a great deal of experience in protracted custody and contact disputes where domestic violence and abuse of the child or wife/mother are alleged.

Experienced in all other Children Act matters, her caseload is also multi-jurisdictional with knowledge on cases in Pakistan.

Her vast experience in dealing with the Criminal side of Serious Child Abuse means she has a special knowledge of NAI and sexual abuse, and where there are allegations of serious multiple sexual abuse by family members.

Again she is experienced with dealing with the particular cultural and religious issues that often arise in proceedings.

She has been instructed in the Crown Court on behalf of Social Services in relation to sensitive disclosure issues in criminal rape/child sex trials.

Maryam is often instructed in relation to Fact Finding Hearings on child sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Memberships


  • FLBA

Child & Family Cases


  • Re W: Initially in public care proceedings then in private custody and contact – representing father in the High Court-mother was found to be dosing child with unnecessary medication and presenting her to hospital – eventually a Supervision order in father’s favour was made.
Financial Crime

Financial Crime


Local Authority, Benefit or Bank fraud, Maryam has acted in numerous cases of fraud, money laundering and restraint and confiscation matters, often with a multi-jurisdictional element.

Financial Crime Cases


  • R v A & Others (2014): Sole Prosecution Counsel – The Defendants had targeted elderly victims with a scam letter from Hong Kong Banks proclaiming a fake inheritance then sought large sums to buy special ink remover and equipment to recover the money. The proceeds were then laundered through a number of accounts, the police mounted a video sting operation to make arrests.
Crime

Crime


From defending in the Jill Dando Murder to prosecuting a RAF Squadron Leader for sexual abuse of boys, to defending a UKIP Councillor in fraud Maryam has dealt with a wealth of complex serious and notorious cases.

Often instructed prior to charge she advises in often highly complicated and distressing matters and is asked to direct the shape of an investigation or defence-the marshalling of evidence then acting at trial.

She regularly represents and prosecutes those charged with organised crime, homicide, drugs, gang violence, firearms and Operation Trident cases.

Maryam has defended and prosecuted footballers, teachers, soldiers and politicians and others from all walks of life. She has a particular experience in Defending and Prosecuting the young in the Crown court, some as young as 10 years of age.

Noted for her meticulous preparation and robust representation she works tirelessly to ensure all stones are turned and that a client is left feeling fully included and their concerns heard and appropriately dealt with.

She is particularly experienced in presenting and contesting complex expert evidence whether it be forensic, cell site and phone records or audio and visual or financial.

Her child abuse cases are routinely over decades in multiple locations with others, High Level Sex Offenders acting at trial but also in ancillary matters advising on the propriety of sex offender and restraining orders.

For a number of years Maryam has acted as Specialist Defence Counsel in prosecutions under the Obscene Publications and Video Recordings Acts.

She has extensive experience in Complex/Sensitive Third Party Disclosure and SOCPA agreements [testifying for the prosecution].

Her articles and comments in The Times, Lawyer, Solicitors Journal, Law Society Gazette and Barrister Magazine have dealt with judicial diversity, anonymity in rape trials, Operation Cotton and the effects of the legal aid cuts and recent high profile sex abuse cases such as Rolf Harris.

She has lectured police, Defence Solicitors, CPS, NGOs and ISVAs and SOITs on Forced Marriage Act, the prosecution and investigation of serious child sex offences, and vulnerable witnesses.

Maryam sits as a Recorder in the Crown Court.

Appointments


  • Crown Court Recorder 2012
  • Grade 4 Advocate
  • Rape and Serious Crime Panels

Memberships


  • CBA

Crime Cases


  • R v Leslie, McCarthy, Smith and O’Dell [2015 – 2018] As Leading Crown Counsel at Central Criminal Court for Complex Serious Crime Group. Torture and Imprisonment of Elderly Wealthy Couple in Cambridgeshire by Gang in forensic suits armed with sledgehammer and crow bar who broke into home and stole treasured items of gold jewellery and ornaments later smelted down and fenced in London. Complex case involving cell site and DNA. Then witness interference arising from first trial. Convictions Were upheld on 9 October 2018. Media coverage – BBC, Telegraph, Appeal.
  • R v Jordan Worth [2018] – As Sole Prosecution Counsel successful prosecution of young female defendant for controlling behaviour and s18 assaults on her boyfriend for which she received 7.5 years imprisonment.
  • R V P [2016-7] as sole Prosecution Counsel of 17 year old Defendant charged with multiple rapes of younger family members under the age of 10. Defendant himself had been groomed and abused. Case involved calling very young witnesses, s28 pre recorded cross examination and complex DNA evidence.
  • R v Egbujor and Nwenwu [2017] – as Sole Prosecution Counsel successful prosecution of Bishop and Prophetess of London’s largest church – convicted of sexual assault on adult and child female parishioners during private prayer sessions.
    BBC and Martin Bashir broadcast a special report from court on day of
    sentence. Appeals against sentence ( defended Daniel Janner QC ) dismissed [2018] Court of Appeal Judgement given by Lady Justice Hallett.
  • R v Muttitt [2017] – as Sole Prosecution Counsel successful prosecution of chemist delivery driver in his 70s convicted of sex attacks on two elderly and disabled women in West London. The case involved calling with intermediaries partially mute, and blind witnesses via link from across the country.
  • R v Lewis [2017] – as Sole Prosecution Counsel for Eastern CCU successfully prosecuted accountant convicted of stealing more than £150K from celebrity clients including new Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker
  • R v Hughes John, Raeside & Ors [2010-14] EWCA Crim 416 – As Sole Prosecution Counsel. Gang Kidnap and Torture case. First Defendant was Former Member of Team GB Bobsleigh Team and Ambassador for the Princes Trust. Two Trials – all convicted, then successfully representing Crown before both Divisional Court before LCJ Lord Thomas then in Court of Appeal in 2014 . Case now cited in all CPS instruction briefs under CTL.
  • R V A [2014] As Defence Counsel Difficult and Sensitive allegations of rape against Community Leader. The case involved complex expert evidence including calling own CCTV expert to enhance then present analysis of 1000s of hours of footage.
  • R v A and others [2014] – As Sole Prosecution Counsel. The Defendants had targeted elderly victims with a scam letter from Hong Kong Banks proclaiming a fake inheritance then sought large sums to buy special ink remover and equipment to recover the money. The proceeds were then laundered through a number of accounts, the police mounted a video sting operation to make arrests.
  • R v McGrath [2013] – As Sole Prosecution Counsel successful prosecution of RAF Squadron Leader for sexually assaulting young boys, who was defended by QC.
  • Operation Azerill [2013/14] – As Leading Defence Counsel, complex large drugs importing and dealing conspiracy in London against 5 Defendants.
  • Operation Felix [2013] – As Sole Prosecution Counsel successful prosecution of 4 Defendants for Barclays Bank ram raid and high value car theft conspiracies. Case involved complex cell site and CCTV analysis.
  • Operation Simba-Sole [2012] – As Sole Prosecution Counsel successful prosecution over several trials of 6 Russian Defendants involving a three police force operation for sophisticated Conspiracy to Burgle across several counties . Case involved calling experts in DNA, Cell Site, Fibres, Tool and Glove Marks.
  • R v Urbartas [2010] – As Sole defence counsel, Wisbech “Mattress” Murder- defendant exonerated.
  • R v Lunn [2010] – As Sole Prosecution counsel, of lead cellist and music teacher with London Symphony Orchestra – prosecuted for abuse of boys over 40 years in schools across England.
  • Operation Saltus [2009/10] – As Leading Defence Counsel, BBC Crimewatch Argos Robberies – only Defendant to be acquitted of the main conspiracy, then acting for 2 Defendants in successful appeals against sentence.
  • R V Brown and others [2006-7]. Defending Semi Professional Footballer in Large Drugs Conspiracy where drugs were said to be buried within football grounds. Case involved painstaking phone and cell site charts and hundreds of covert recordings. Acquitted after 2 trials of all charges.
  • R v Barry George [2002] EWCA Crim 1923: The murder of BBC TV Presenter Jill Dando. Representing Barry George, from pre-arrest through trial at the Old Bailey and appeal and applications to the House of Lords and European Court assisting in CCRC submissions – Led by Michael Mansfield QC. Maryam was tasked with all aspects of the case particularly disclosure where she remained for many days at Kensington Police Station investigating the HOLMES system and Led the Disclosure meetings with the Crown Orlando Pownall And Jonathan Laidlaw QC and Allison Saunders (later to become DPP). At the trial she was asked by Mr Justice Page to vet all court drawings and images released by the press. At the Court of Appeal she was asked by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf to amend and correct their final judgement before it was published to the awaiting media. The Court then orally amended upon her notes.

How to get in touch


For more information please contact our clerks by calling +44 (0) 20 7242 3555 or by email.

Privacy Notice


Maryam is committed to protecting and respecting the privacy of individuals. In order to provide legal services, including advice and representation services, Maryam needs to process personal data. This will include client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the course of any matter upon which she is instructed.

Maryam will process personal data in accordance with her Privacy Policy.

Please click here to see how Maryam will, absent any other arrangement with those instructing her, fulfil any Joint Controller responsibilities she may have under relevant data protection legislation.

Judicial Appointments


  • Recorder in Crown Court (2011)
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