Zarif Khan > Chambers of Karim Khalil QC and Andrew Campbell Tiech QC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Karim Khalil QC and Andrew Campbell Tiech QC
Drystone Chambers


Zarif Khan is an established practitioner with over 22 years experience at the Criminal Bar, gained from the spectrum of a varied defence practice and being involved in some of the Countries most high profile cases. He has an excellent reputation with Judges and legal practitioners as an agile and hard-working defence advocate, experienced in dealing with serious crimes of terrorism, murder, serious sexual offences, people trafficking, fraud, money laundering (POCA Proceedings) and drugs. Zarif is relied upon both as leading and junior counsel, who can get to the heart of the case with clear logical thinking, an abundance of common sense and good judgment to dissect and simplify matters to the core.

Chambers & Partners says he is a: “recommended individual”.

The diversity of Zarif’s practice has enabled him to develop expertise in a wide range of matters in criminal law as well as related areas of law. He is therefore able to effectively handle cases with a grounded understanding of how for example human rights, immigration and family law provisions affect and can be intertwined into criminal matters. Zarif’s ability to unravel and de-mystify the interaction of complex and overlapping issues has gained him a robust reputation within the profession and for being able to clearly communicate the same. In addition, Zarif’s personable style as an advocate and his enthusiasm to do the best for his client shines through in every case. As a result, Zarif has developed excellent relationships with both lay and professional clients, which have continued to garner recommendations by those he has represented. Due to Zarif’s diligence and down to earth approach his practice reaches the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. He has worked on some of the Country’s most complex, interesting as well as legally challenging cases. As a result of which, he has gained widespread recognition with solicitors for being able to take on some of the most difficult and challenging clients. This inevitably means that Zarif is brought in to calm, reassure and advise the lay client and conduct their case, with the sereneness that is required.

Frequently, Zarif has been instructed in cases where ever-evolving modes of technology play a significant part in the organisation of criminal activities and consequently the evidence presented. His extensive knowledge of the ways in which evidence involving technology including cell-site, IP addresses, Facebook, and other social media and App. based communication platforms are used, means that his clients are fully appraised of the way that this evidence affects their case and the challenges that can be made in relation to the same. Disclosure deserves a special mention as Zarif has been described by others as having an ‘old fashioned’ attitude towards disclosure, this he takes as a complement since it is probably the single most important issue in a case but many lawyers don’t have the understanding, experience or tenacity to ask the right questions from the relevant authorities to untangle their case and get the right result for their client.

Since the police & CPS are the gatekeepers of any disclosure and therefore a self-interest to limit the same to the defence. It is therefore important that with Zarif’s knowledge and tenacity that they do not withhold material which may ultimately lead to an acquittal. Over the years this has been the single most important issue, which has lead to the right result for the accused.

The most recent example of Zarif’s success following issues of non-disclosure was in representing a Russian billionaire heiress which received extensive media coverage here in the UK, as well as abroad, on an appeal against a conviction from the Magistrates Court. The conviction was notably overturned despite a full confession in the police station interview.

Currently, Zarif is advising in matters for a variety of international high-net-worth individuals (HNWI), relating to issues such as money laundering, POCA proceedings as well as general advice in relation to quasi-criminal issues. For example, Zarif is overseeing a contractual dispute and the claim arising thereof between an individual who introduced the Big Bus Company in Dubai. Zarif is now more regularly relied upon by corporations to act in an advisory capacity, with regard to matters approaching litigation in commercial and civil disputes. This is complemented by Zarif being a qualified ADR mediator.

Zarif is fluent in Urdu and Punjabi, Direct Access Accredited and an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) / Mediator. Zarif has consistently been highly ranked as a leading individual in Criminal law, in both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners directory for many years.


Called to the Bar 1996

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Crime

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 3

Zarif KhanDrystone ChambersHe able to grasp new laws very quickly and explain them to clients in digestible way. Proactive, approachable, and effective strategist and advocate able to deal with the most complicated cases with ease.