All Barristers

Balraj Bhatia QC

Year called:

1982. Recorder: 2001 (Crime). Appointed Queen’s Counsel 2019

Balraj ‘Baz’ Bhatia QC has been a Specialist Practitioner in Crime for over 30 years. He has been instructed almost exclusively in high profile and heavyweight criminal defence cases.

The last 10 years have seen him involved in the most serious and substantial Defence cases throughout the country particularly largescale conspiracies involving drugs, frauds, money laundering, human trafficking, terrorism and sexual grooming. The cases invariably involve page counts of over 10,000 pages and is a specialist in the legal arguments for the service of those pages as “served evidence”.

Notable cases:

R v Baker and others: Wolverhampton Crown Court leading counsel in one of the largest investigations in the Midlands of familial sexual abuse involving conspiracies to rape and prostitute to paedophiles.

R v Miah and others: Leeds Crown Court: Manslaughter, conspiracy to defraud (cash for crash) and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice (attempts to bribe members of the jury).

R v Yaryare and others: Leicester Crown Court lead counsel on attempted murder and large scale violent disorders with complicated police expert admissibility arguments (Claire and Peach) and facial mapping arguments.

R v Singh and others: Nottingham Crown Court: First prosecution under the Modern Slavery Act involving conspiracies to enter into sham marriages and sexual exploitation.

R v Singh and others: Birmingham Crown Court: largescale money laundering £120 million drug related money laundering, involving 3 conspiracies London, Birmingham and Nottingham.

R v Rashid: Leeds Crown Court: Terrorist case complicated legal arguments on an application to dismiss where Defendant had no statutory defence of reasonable excuse.

R v Banning and others: Leicester Crown Court: Terrorist case involving 3 conspiracies to import prohibited weapons to incite racial hatred and inflict GBH.

R v Farooq: Leeds Crown Court: Terrorist case involving largescale distribution of terrorist related material and to recruit potential jihadists to Syria.

R v Decelis and others: Nottingham Crown Court: sex chat line worker defrauding vulnerable old men of £750,000

R v Atwal: Nottingham Crown Court: Murder trial involving complicated legal arguments on Bad Character and identification issues.

R v Narwain and others: Wolverhampton Crown Court: conspiracies involving county lines £20,000,000 worth of Class A drugs. Challenging cross examination of drugs expert reduced figure to £1,000,000.

R v Umber Farooq: Stafford Crown Court: largescale sexual grooming conspiracies to rape a 14 year old vulnerable complainant.

R v MS: Nottingham Crown Court: 11 year old defendant on rapes of a 4 and 5 year old cousins.

R v ZM: Wolverhampton Crown Court: Murder involving a cut throat defence against a 14 year old co-accused.

R v Bilal Akhtar: Preston Crown Court: Drug related gang warfare involving the use shotguns.

R v Hajrah Sarfraz: Leeds Crown Court: Largescale human trafficking conspiracy for economic exploitation involving an Immigration Lawyer.

R v Shamsul Islam: Bradford Crown Court: Conspiracy to kidnap Muslim girl who had run away from strict Muslim background by family members.

R v Mohammed Raffiq: Leicester Crown Court: largescale gunrunning case involving machine guns and ammunition.

R v Sukraj Atwal: Nottingham Crown Court: Murder of step grandfather with complicated family history involving legal arguments as to admissibility.

R v Badrash Shah: Southwarke Crown Court: Money laundering conspiracy involving £80,000,000 of drug related money with international jurisdictional issues.

R v Jasbir Singh: Birmingham Crown Court: Corporate Manslaughter with complex legal arguments on causation and contributory negligence.

R v Tyler Smith: Birmingham Crown Court: Murder involving legal issues on joint venture.

R v Paul Ferguson: Birmingham Crown Court: Prison Drone case involving a number of conspiracies to use Drones for the supply into prisons of drugs, weapons and mobile phones.

R v William Billingham: Birmingham Crown Court: Murder by father of his 8 year old daughter as revenge against his ex wife.

R v Jabar Paktia: Worcester Crown Court: Acid throwing case on his 3 year old son as part of a bitter divorce, complicated Afghanistan cultural issues to grapple with.

R v Brian Witty: Nottingham Crown Court: one of the largest Trading Standard prosecutions in the Midlands.

R v Mohammed Yassin: Bradford Crown Court: Conspiracy to Murder involving a driveby shooting.

R v Palvinder Hayre: Wolverhampton Crown Court: Murder involving cross examination of the world’s leading expert on bones and ageing injuries to the bones.

R v Jagdip Dhesi: Leicester Crown Court: Death by Dangerous driving dealing with legal arguments as to appropriate category under the sentencing guidelines thereby reducing significantly his sentence.

R v Patel and others. A large scale conspiracy to evade duty by the importation of counterfeit cigarettes valued at over £8 million and duty evaded of £1.2 million. The defendant was as a result of the ensuing POCA proceedings ordered to, and did, satisfy a million pound Confiscation Order. That Order was appealed successfully to the Court of Appeal as part of “The Chambers Review” which resulted, to the delight of the defendant, in the return of £1 million.

R v Dean Letts and others. Large scale drugs importation and distribution involving 165 kilos of cocaine and 168 kilos of cannabis.

R v Amit Kotecha and others. Largest importation and drugs distribution in Northamptonshire involving sophisticated importation of and distribution of very large quantities of cocaine and cannabis.

R v Kuldip Singh Hayre and others. The largest distribution of cannabis in Leicestershire and Derbyshire involving millions of pounds worth of drugs.

R v Shaun Boston and others. Large scale importation of cocaine involving evidence from Belgium and France.

R v Vin Nahm and others. Commercial cultivation of cannabis in warehouses in Leeds and Wolverhampton.

R v Sukhwinder Singh Kandola and others. Professional set-up involving various warehouses for the cultivation of cannabis.

R v Pravin Patel and others. The largest conspiracy to traffick illegal immigrants from India to Great Britain and the United States of America in the Midlands involving the use of very professional forged travel documents and passports which included the use of South African legal provisions for students to study in the United Kingdom. The case involved over 20,000 pages of evidence (VHCC case with 2 counsel, Baz as Leading Counsel).

R v Raza Khan and others. The first prosecution of the importation and economical exploitation of restaurant staff and chefs from India, Dubai and Pakistan to the United Kingdom. A case which inevitably went to the Court of Appeal where it was prosecuted by two Silks to deal with appropriate sentencing guidelines in this area.

R v Gulpinder Singh and others. Operation Ruby was the largest human trafficking for economical exploitation in the Midlands involving over 20,000 pages of evidence. The case also involved very substantial amounts of money laundering.

R v Simon Nicholas Haslam and others. (VHCC case involving two Counsel, Baz as Lead Counsel) Large conspiracy to defraud involving the supply and sale to well known Supermarkets across the country of poultry which was unfit for human consumption.

R v William Lane and others. (VHCC case involving two Counsel, Baz as Lead Counsel) Complicated conspiracy to defraud involving the buy out of large companies and exploiting various provisions of Company laws for huge financial gains.

R v John Mervin Jones. (Baz as Leading Counsel) Conspiracy to defraud involving defrauding the Land Registry of £1.5 million and the money laundering thereof. The POCA enquiry involved 15,000 pages of documents involving money laundering allegations of some £15 million pounds.

R v Tarsem Singh and others. Conspiracy to defraud involving mortgage fraud of just under £3 million.

R v Matt Irannizad and others. “Cash for Crash” conspiracy involving defrauding insurance companies by staging false road traffic accidents. Resultant publicity has caused Baz to be briefed in a similar (64 handed) trial in Newcastle Crown Court.

R v Martin Harriman and others. Large scale conspiracy to steal copper wiring from railway tracks across the United Kingdom.

R v Geoffrey Manning and others. Conspiracy to steal from ATM machines involving over a £1m from ATM machines across the East Midlands. Highly professional. The evidence involved detailed analysis of telephone evidence and cell site analysis. Described by the Judge as a professional crime of a highly organised and sophisticated nature.

R v David Scott and others. Very large scale conspiracy to evade duty involving the importation of tobacco and cigarette manufacturing machines sourcing warehouses throughout the Midlands to set up illegal cigarette manufacturing plants.

R v Raj Bhadry and others. Conspiracy to kidnap involving the son of a wealthy businessman and the ransom of over a million pounds. Baz’s client being the only defendant that was acquitted.

R v John Allen and others. Conspiracy to defraud. Case involved two Counsel, Baz as Lead Counsel. Included analysing substantial chapters of evidence relating to Spain and consequent money laundering.

R v Vinod Sharma. Substantial money laundering in Birmingham, London, Preston and Leeds: professional conjoined conspiracies with a national impact requiring the most adept case management and preparation.

R v Raymond Spencer. A highly technical Appeal against sentence 4 years out of time to correct wrong approach by the Sentencing Judge to the imposition of a sentence in default following proceeds of crime application resulting in the reduction of a 10 year sentence in default to one of 6 years.

R v Lawrence Bell and others. Large conspiracy involving theft of very large amounts of money by a solicitor from clients accounts and the money laundering thereof.

R v John Ashley and others. Triple murder of homeless people in Nottingham.

R v David Stokes and others. A professional shooting of a gang member in Nottingham.

R v Patrick Gallagher: A foster father on 64 counts of sexual abuse on numerous foster children over a significant period of time, involving oral and anal rape. Described by the Recorder of Nottingham as the worst and most serious case of its type with a starting point after trial of 42 years imprisonment.

R v Wayne Williams: Sexual digital abuse of a two week old baby with substantial medical evidence to analyse.