Firm Profile > Rustem Guardian Solicitors > London, England

Rustem Guardian Solicitors
44 Southampton Buildings

Crime: general Tier 5

Led by 'leading player' Timur Rustem, the general crime team at Rustem Guardian LLP is said to be 'outstanding in client care'. Adept at both domestic and international matters, the firm specialises in murder, sexual offences, county lines drug cases, account freezing orders and forfeiture proceedings. Notably, the practice has established a presence in the Far East and includes Chinese and Thai speaking solicitors within its defence team.

Practice head(s):

Timur Rustem


Very proactive and diligent. Accommodating and realistic in their approach. Ably led by Timur Rustem, who is always measured and unflappable‘.

This firm has very high standards with an excellent record of successful results. The type of cases dealt by this firm are cases at the very high end of the scale of seriousness. Overall the firm is designed to provide a Rolls-Royce service‘.

This is a vibrant, diverse team, which has a great track record for nurturing young talent. As a result clients will find that their solicitors are high quality but yet down to earth. Their attention to detail is impressive and they have a solid structure in place to ensure that nothing is overlooked‘.

Rustem Guardian are outstanding in client care. Nothing is too much and no stone left unturned. If expert evidence is required, then it is provided. Conferences are arranged expeditiously and are comprehensive. Further, if advice is given, then it is followed up with alacrity, so that thorough trial preparation is always up-to-speed‘.

I value their attention to detail, their proactivity and their sound legal analysis. This ensures that the clients are given sound advice from an early stage, so that they have a realistic understanding of their case. It also means that I can be confident that if I advise that something be done to prepare the case, that it will be done in a timely and considered manner. Key stars are Tim Rustem and Katerina Tsibouklis‘.

I have worked with Tim Rustem and reckon him to be very wordly-wise and savvy. He is the sort of solicitor I would want to represent me: on top of his brief, and with great tactical awareness. Tim has been a leading player for many years now, but is still top-notch‘.

Timur Rustem is the heart of the firm and retains overall responsibility for all matters that are ongoing. Timur Rustem has a robust approach to police interviews and always ensures that the best results possible are obtained. There is always careful analysis of pre-interview disclosure. He is incredibly well regarded in various communities and is regularly approached by those involved in extremely serious matters to consider their cases. Timur Rustem has been properly regarded as one of the leading solicitors in respect of EncroChat work and has dealt with the most serious of those cases‘.

Rustem Guardian Solicitors is a leading criminal defence firm based in the heart of legal London.

The firm specialises in defending those falsely accused of sexual offences, serious fraud and money laundering. Additionally, the firm specialises in appeals against wrongful conviction and excessive sentences as well as serious crime matters. The firm also has a specialist commercial litigation department that represents high-profile sporting professionals and international companies.

The firm’s specialist team advises and defends both individuals and companies on financial crime including challenging account freezing orders and forfeiture proceedings associated with substantive investigations or proceedings. Many of the cases have an international aspect and multiple agency operation which requires careful tactical planning and robust defence of clients whether corporate or individual.

The firm: Rustem Guardian was founded in 2005 by senior lawyer Timur Rustem after a very successful and high-profile career. Rustem Guardian has quickly established itself as a formidable niche criminal defence law firm in the city of London with a reputation associated with high-profile and complex criminal cases in specialist practice areas such as sexual offences, appeals and fraud.

Rustem Guardian Solicitors has risen to become one of the most highly regarded criminal defence specialists in the country, with an enviable reputation for meticulous case preparation and tenacity in defending its clients. The firm’s team of lawyers speak a range of languages and regularly receive referrals from a number of foreign consulates as a result of a reputation for excellence.

The senior lawyer of the firm will travel both nationally and internationally in order to meet with his clients and put together a proposed legal team. This may include meetings with top Queen’s Counsel to advise on the case, instructing a team of forensic accountants as well as a specialised legal team of consultants, advocates, solicitors and support staff.

Many of our high profile cases have featured in the media including: R v CC, a high profile armed robbery of jewellery valued at £40m from Graff Jewellery Stores on New Bond Street; R v GD, a high-net-worth Chinese individual and his business in a complex £20m money laundering case with international aspects in Hong Kong and China; R v SS, an accountant involved in an £79m Ponzi scheme defrauding London investors; R v JP, a member of a cyber-gang prosecuted for a multi-million international fraud involving the selling of fake identity documents to thousands of customers; R v MH, represented main defendant involved in two prosecutions for complex multi-handed frauds where the accused impersonated police officers to defraud vulnerable victims.

Rustem Guardian, with its specialist Chinese legal team and presence within China and Hong Kong including Mandarin and Cantonese speaking solicitors, has established a reputation for defending companies and high-net-worth individuals, receiving instructions both in the United Kingdom and China.

Fraud and financial crime: Timur Rustem leads a team defending serious fraud. The department advises clients domestically and internationally. The firm’s experience of both domestic and international serious fraud and money laundering offences allows it to provide specific guidance to those charged with offences involving complex issues of law and jurisdiction. The firm has an outstanding reputation for defending in matters involving serious fraud, money laundering, and account freezing orders.

Rustem Guardian Solicitors is regularly instructed to defend the most serious and complex of prosecutions brought by agencies including the Serious Fraud Office, Financial Services Authority, Office of Fair Trading, Serious Organised Crime Agency, and HM Revenue and Customs. Each individual case is reviewed by the senior lawyer to ensure that every client receives accurate advice and assistance.

We defend and manage many of the most complex cases and high-profile cases in the country with discretion and sensitivity including representing senior members of the legal profession.

We are currently representing a senior member of the Bar in a multi handed case involving allegations of a serious legal aid fraud involving more than £12m.

Serious sexual offences: Rustem Guardian is well known for its team of specialist solicitors who provide a dedicated and discreet service to private clients facing false allegations of sexual offences. The team utilises the skills of specialists to gain a competitive edge over the prosecution wherever possible, including leading forensic experts, prominent legal enquiry agents, and a selection of the UK’s leading specialist barristers (including Queen’s Counsel where funding permits). The team has successfully dealt with a number of high-profile cases including an award-winning BBC producer and a number of legal, banking, and other professionals accused of serious sexual offences. Our senior lawyer Timur Rustem is often sought by Sky News for his legal opinion and comments on this area.

Appeals: Rustem Guardian Solicitors also has particular expertise in pursuing appeals for those who have been wrongly convicted at trial having been represented by another firm. It offers an unparalleled, first-class service with a highly skilled team who leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of grounds of appeal.

Serious crime
We have recently dealt a number of high-profile murder cases including one involving a Columbian gang and another involving a Lithuanian group where out of the seven defendants on trial we secured an acquittal for our client, while five of the other co-defendants were convicted of murder and manslaughter. We are currently defending a youth at the Central Criminal Court for attempted murder.

Modern slavery: This is a relatively new area of prosecution and Rustem Guardian are leading the way. We recently secured an acquittal for a modern slavery prosecution of an Albanian car wash. We are currently working on several cases in this area including advising individuals and companies regarding allegations of human trafficking, running of brothels and modern slavery. These matters often have an international aspect with associated investigations in foreign jurisdictions.

Drugs: The firm has dealt with a number of county-line drug cases in conspiracy cases often with a number of defendants and complex evidence to review.

Military Court: Our specialist team represent members of our armed services for defending and appealing Court Martials. We instruct a specialist military law barrister from one of the top criminal sets who provides advice and assistance in this area.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Director Timur Rustem
Sexual Offences and Fraud Specialist Timur Rustem
Practice Manager Dylan Gardner
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Timur Rustem  photo Mr Timur Rustem Timur Rustem has 25 years of experience in criminal defence and has…
Number of UK partners : 1
Number of other UK fee-earners : 10
Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese)

Rustem Guardian are proud to employ an exceptionally diverse team from a variety of different backgrounds. We regard this as one of our greatest strengths and it allows us to assist many different communities around the country.

We represent anyone accused of a crime regardless of gender, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability, or sexual orientation. We believe everyone deserves a fair, well-prepared, high-level legal service, and it is our aim to provide exactly that. We have been involved in a number of cases which give rise to issues of race and discrimination.

We are proud to be in a position where our diversity as a team has become one of our greatest strengths, allowing us to deliver an exceptional service in a variety of languages. We are also able to quickly identify the needs of our clients and adapt accordingly, putting measures in place to assist our clients in giving instructions if required.

Abhishek Srivastav
2 months ago
I have no hesitation in recommending Timur Rustem and his firm, Rustem Guardian Solicitors, to anyone looking for legal advice. Although I was introduced to a barrister through my network, I decided to go with Tim and am pleased I did. He demonstrated a fantastic balance of genuine interest, knowledge and preparation. He was able to identify angles, and position them in the best possible light, work with the prosecutor to be more amenable and fought to break ground by achieving an outcome that was better than the minimum ban.

3 months ago
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
For over 6 years now Tim and the team at Rustem Guardian have been at my side. Their dedication to client care, attention to detail and simply getting the job done is remarkable. No request from the most demanding of clients (me!) is too much. From police station visits to securing full acquittal at crown court, they have secured the best possible outcome in the circumstances every time I’ve reached out to them. Most recently they handled a guilty plea sentencing for me and through their brilliant advice from the start to the expert mitigation of one of their leading barristers I received a very reasonable and fair sentence. I can hardly recall an occasion over the years that I’ve not been able to contact the office for support during a case, and the support that office gives is of particular note. Legal expertise, administrative efficiency, years of experience, excellent results, and a human touch hard to find in the theatre of criminal law, these guys have it all in spadefuls. I couldn’t recommend them highly enough. They have literally saved my life.

2 months ago
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness
I would like to thank Katerina and her team on the amazing work they did for me over the course of this year and they definitely helped me relieve my stress. I was charged with two offences and taken to an adult court despite my age, they were able to fight to prove my innocence and get my charges dismissed. They were very helpful over this past year and gave me nothing but hope and great advice , however they were honest in times when they needed to be so I would definitely recommend them as they were such a big help and nothing but kind hearted people.

Ken Hus
3 months ago
Positive: Professionalism
For the past few months I have been plagued by a very stressful case and some nights I found it hard to even sleep. Luckily, Rustem Guardian Solicitors were on hand to help, very professional and Courteous throughout, Tim Rustem seems to think of every possible angle and find a barricade for it. After a month of discussions and tactics, Tim and the team with paralegal Natasha Green put forward a very strong, precise representation for my case and inevitably got it dropped. If it wasn’t for Tim Rustem and Rustem Guardian solicitors the case may

well have dragged out to court. So pleased with the outcome and the way Tim and his team worked so the right decision could ultimately be made. I would usually say on a review I’d love to work with them again but…

I couldn’t recommended them enough!

Ayaz Rafiq
3 months ago
Positive: Professionalism
I would recommend them to friends and family. During the case they spelt out the procedure and kept us informed throughout. Contact is easy and they always respond. I am overjoyed by the outcome and this has been due to their efforts. They deserve more than 5 stars.

Anthony Welcher
9 months ago
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness
During what was a very stressful time of my life I consider myself extremely lucky and privileged to have had Tim Rustem and his team there to support me. Having no previous experience of courts and legal proceedings Tim and his team guided and explained every aspect of what was happening throughout and in a manner which was easier for me to understand. His advice and guidance was always accurate and helpful and I will be forever grateful to him and his objective was always to put my interests first and foremost. I count Tim as a personal friend and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him and his team to anyone who needs legal help and have in fact done so.

Imran B
8 months ago
The whole team at Rustem Guardian has been extremely helpful and meticulous throughout the entire process. Can’t stress enough what a relief it is to deal with a competent organisation and individuals who care.

David Mawson
Local Guide·461 reviews·2,206 photos 9 months ago
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness
So pleased to have found Tim who has been outstanding since my first telephone contact with him which was at 7pm one evening. I feel I am in safe hands and really appreciate his help.

Five stars to Tim and his team for being so amazing at this current time.

Dr Eyo Inameti
9 months ago
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
I have received a very satisfactory service from Rustem Guardian Solicitors. The legal representation, administration contacts and keeping me informed have been very professional and prompt. I have been very satisfied with the outcome of the case handled and at a reasonable cost. Many thanks to the Senior Solicitor for his legal expertise and reassuring approach.

Gareth Bowes
9 months ago
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness
Rustem Guardian Solicitors helped me cope with a very stressful situation in my life earlier this year. First contact was with Tim, who was very professional and understanding whenever I spoke to him. He has the ability to be calm, measured and reassuring which was exactly what I needed at the time. I must also thank Katherina for her help. I would have no hesitation in recommending Rustem Guardian Solicitors.

Bulent Ali
8 months ago
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
Tim and his fantastic team were absolutely brilliant from start to finish. Tim’s professional guidance, advice and amazingly calm manor made an extremely stressful situation bearable.

I wouldn’t hesitate recommending Tim and his fabulous team to anyone as they’re all very knowledgeable & thoroughly efficient.

Thank you so much. Bülent

Damien Carty
11 months ago
Positive: Professionalism, Responsiveness, Value
I was very fortunate to have Tim as my solicitor during a very stressful time in my life. And the man is brilliant I really don’t know how to describe him and my experience because it was brilliant everything was on point from start to finish. This firm knows what they are doing and they do it well. This firm looked after me and if I’m ever in a situation or anybody close to me is, Tim and his firm will be my first choice solicitors.

Sig Group
11 months ago
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
Rustem Guardian exceeded my expectations and its legal team is comprised of highly recommended professionals. Best law firm by a mile!.

Andy Cooper
9 months ago
Very professional, very helpful and reassuring. They certainly are very knowledgeable and will help with every aspect of your case. Always there when you need them. Thank you.

9 months ago
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness
A huge thank you RG solicitor, Help me and Guide me through the most difficult time. They are really professional, Dedication, willing go an Extra mile for their client . I have recommend this company to anyone who need help.

Thank you !

Chen Chen
a year ago
Thanks for the professional and warm service from Rustem Guardian. As an international student, I have spent the toughest time in my life and my parents worried about me a lot. A professional law firm can provide you the truth about what is legal and the guidance about how to protect your legal right. But I think the most important thing is that they accompany with me in my desperate time. During these five months, they told me what we should do in order. The complex case then became more logical. I felt comfort since I knew the direction and we solved the problems together. And finally the case successfully concluded. Wish Rustem Guardian all the best.

Taylor Hanna
11 months ago
Positive: Professionalism, Responsiveness
A Trustworthy and Honest solicitors. Wouldn’t know what I’d have done without these fantastic people.

a year ago
Very good law firm, highly recommended. I want to say a big thank you to Rustem Guardian who showed nothing but patience and dedication to ensure I was dealt with fairly. Her hard work surely paid off and I can’t thank her enough

Suzy Wongche
a year ago
Great team of solicitors. Really took time to work with the family throughout our case. They and the barristers they instructed were professional & dedicated in the care & advice we received…and ultimately we had the best result. Would definitely recommend them to my family & friends.

a year ago
Rustem Guardian Solicitors were recommended to me – I have no hesitation recommending them to others As someone who was falsely accused of a serious historical criminal offence, I felt threatened and extremely vulnerable even though I knew I was innocent. Fortunately for me, I was represented by Rustem Guardian Solicitors and I can only applaud the professional and supportive help I received from the company during the three years of my ordeal. They, together with an excellent barrister, have ensured that I have had my life and dignity restored once more.

My wife and I will always be grateful to them.

Fynn L
a year ago
Many thanks to Ruston Guardians. Mr Xiaoyong Ding’s professional advice and patience made me feel confident in my trial. What I can feel is they are truly caring about me. This helped me not only in the trial but also my life. I am an international student. That was not a easy time for me. I will highly recommend them to all of people I know. Appreciate RG.

Tim Rustem – Founding Partner

What do you think differentiates your firm from your competitors?

Rustem Guardian is a unique combination of an international law firm with a domestic feel. We are a close-knit team with a strong focus on client care. Whilst we represent both corporations and high net worth individuals, we also remain committed to our long-standing clients and have not forgotten our roots.

Client care goes to the heart of the firm’s values. We were one of the few firms who maintained an open office during the pandemic to maintain and protect our high standards of client care. We are also available over the telephone at all hours to meet our client’s needs and will act very quickly when an emergency arises – regardless of the time of day.

Due to having a diverse team, we are able to offer legal advice in a variety of different languages. We have a particular specialism in East Asia and have both Mandarin and Thai speaking lawyers.

Our team are well equipped to adapt to the needs of vulnerable clients. We are quick to identify vulnerabilities such as medical needs/psychiatric issues/victims of modern slavery and adjust our client services accordingly. We will also consider from the outset how such vulnerabilities may impact our client from a legal perspective, and will explore issues such as fitness to plead, modern slavery defences and will make representations to the Crown Prosecution Service to reconsider the proceedings where appropriate.

The firm’s staff are friendly, approachable, and will always ensure that clients feel at ease. We are aware of the importance of ensuring our clients fully informed and reassured during what can be an extremely stressful time in their lives. We work to ensure that our clients have consistency of representation by maintaining the same caseworker throughout their proceedings wherever possible. Our team will fight hard and leave no stone unturned to ensure the right outcome for our clients.

What has been the biggest challenge faced by your firm during the Covid-19 pandemic?

The pandemic began as a challenge due to the lack of client contact – particularly with those who are vulnerable or in custody.  Many prisons refused to accommodate either video link or in-person video links which caused significant delays to proceedings and left many clients feeling confused and frustrated.

The pandemic has however allowed us to build an excellent team and expand our use of technology to adapt to client needs and provide an efficient, accessible service. This has included conducting conferences via telephone and Zoom where required. Our increased use of video conferencing facilities has assisted in particular with our international clients who have been unable to travel in light of the pandemic. Our team are available 24 hours a day to update our clients this challenging period.

We have recently moved offices and have engaged in active recruitment at varying levels of seniority. We have put in place a detailed training scheme for all of our junior staff and have continued to expand our workload and professional network.

We have fought to ensure that our client’s cases our dealt with efficiently despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic and we have maintained our high quality of services from Pre-Charge level to Crown Court, Appeal and Confiscation proceedings.

What are you firm’s core specialisms?

Whilst we are a general crime firm at heart, we are continually expanding our scope whilst ensuring we remain committed to criminal defence. Our team have a wide range of expertise across the criminal sphere including sexual offences, fraud, confiscation and asset forfeiture, serious violent offences and drug offences. We provide realistic and robust advice to our clients to ensure that we can achieve the best possible outcome in their proceedings.

We are regularly instructed in international cases as well as serious offences such as murder and manslaughter, including the successful defence of a 16-year-old charged with a joint enterprise murder. We pride ourselves on being involved in cases which regularly appear in the press and are heard across the country.

We are well equipped to deal with cases where complex and lengthy evidence requires consideration. We are meticulous in our case-preparation which allows us to ensure that all avenues are explored when putting forward our client’s defence.

Whilst we have expertise in complex and multi-handed proceedings, we remain committed to ensuring that our clients receive an extremely high level of service at the police station stage. We do not understate the importance of obtaining out of Court disposals and we are quick to spot weaknesses in allegations against our client. This often means that matters go no further than the police station stage due to the robust advice we provide in the very early stages of criminal proceedings.