Barrister Maryam Syed

Maryam Syed

Year of call: 1993  


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



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.

As a crime practitioner – as Leading Counsel and Counsel alone – both prosecuting and defending she has substantial experience in offences ranging from murder, firearms, large scale drugs, fraud and terrorism.

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

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.

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

Asian International Who’s Who 2012/13.

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.

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


  • 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.


From defending in the Jill Dando Murder to prosecuting a RAF Squadron Leader for sexual abuse of boys, to defending a UKIP Councilor 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 those charged with organised crime, drugs, gang violence, firearms and Operation Trident cases.

She has defended and prosecuted footballers, teachers, soldiers and politicians and others from all walks of life.

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.

She has for a number of years 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 last 12 months alone 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.

Maryam sits as a Recorder in the Crown Court.


  • CBA

Crime Cases

  • 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.
  • R v Urbartas: Sole defence counsel, Wisbech “Mattress” Murder-defendant exonerated.
  • Operation Saltus: Leading Counsel, Crimewatch Argos Robberies – only Defendant to be acquitted of the main conspiracy, then acting for 2 Defendants in successful appeals against sentence.
  • R v Hughes John, Raeside & Ors [2014] EWCA Crim 416: 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-Court of Appeal in 2014.
  • R v Lunn: Prosecution counsel, cellist with LSO – prosecuted for abuse of boys over 40 years in schools across England.
  • Operation Simba-Sole: Prosecution Counsel, three police force Prosecution for sophisticated Conspiracy to Burgle across several counties.
  • Operation Azerill: Leading Defence Counsel, complex large drugs importing and dealing conspiracy in London.
  • Operation Felix Sole: Prosecution Counsel bank ram raid and high value car theft conspiracies.
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