Leon Kazakos QC > Chambers of Jonathan Laidlaw QC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Jonathan Laidlaw QC
2 Hare Court


Prior to taking silk this year Leon Kazakos was shortlisted for Crime Junior of the Year 2019 and ranked Band 1 for Crime as a leading individual by Chambers and Partners. His practice divides into business crime, general crime, regulatory proceedings, tax appeals and police disciplinary work. In business crime he is instructed to defend across the spectrum of misconduct; from allegations of high value fraud, corruption and misconduct in public office to cheating the public revenue, money laundering, breaches of FSMA, and other related misconduct. His general criminal practice encompasses homicide (murder and manslaughter), human trafficking and slavery, serious drugs and firearms offences, and serious sexual offending. His regulatory work spans firearms licensing, breaches of planning notices, wildlife offences (CITES regulations) and some health and safety work.

He provides advice and advocacy in substantial, sensitive and complex cases usually from a pre-charge stage; representing individuals and companies who are under investigation or being prosecuted for serious wrongdoing. He is an accredited advocacy trainer (Lincoln’s Inn), a pupil supervisor and a trained facilitator for advocacy and the vulnerable. Leon lectures and delivers training to solicitors’ and accountancy firms in relation to criminal and regulatory matters, with a particular focus on financial misconduct and money laundering.

Recent instructions include the largest ever prosecutions brought for slavery and for steroid importation, SFO and police bribery investigations, defending against BEIS in a £ multi-million insolvency prosecution, an international banking fraud, tax fraud in the hospitality sector, advice and representation in the Tax Tribunals in CIS and DOTAS tax cases, corruption and misconduct in public office cases, investment frauds, sexual ‘grooming’ cases and murder.

He is a contributing editor to Butterworths “Fraud Law, Practice and Procedure” and a contributing author in corporate crime to LexisNexis.


Year of Call 1999, Appointed Queen’s Counsel 2020


  • Advocacy Trainer (Lincoln’s Inn)
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Financial Services Lawyers Association
  • Revenue Bar Association
  • Private Prosecution Association

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Fraud: crime

(2020 Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

Leon Kazakos QC2 Hare CourtTactically smart. He always pitches the tone with the jury perfectly.

First-class set2 Hare Court is ‘very strong in all areas of crime, including fraud‘. The set’s members are adept at both prosecuting and defending in money laundering, VAT and MTIC frauds, investment scams, tax evasion, and boiler room scams, as well as also being active in private prosecutions. Strengthening the team on the senior end, early 2020 saw the ‘tactically smart‘ Leon Kazakos QC take silk. Meanwhile, at the junior end, the ‘conscientious and extremely bright‘ Grace Forbes is a rising star in the criminal fraud arena.

London Bar > Crime

(2020 Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

Leon Kazakos QC2 Hare CourtHe is an exceptional advocate and every client rates him. He never leaves any stone unturned in a case and therefore you know that the case has been prepared as thoroughly as possible meaning it is rare you encounter something you were not expecting. Leon’s strengths undoubtedly lie in the courtroom where he always pitches the tone with the jury perfectly every time.

2 Hare Court ‘is an excellent chambers with a fine reputation in criminal law‘. The set has established expertise in handling a range of prosecution instructions, and in the words of one client, ‘its private prosecutions group is market-leading‘. Recent instructions include Oliver Glasgow QC representing the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in R v Kirill Belorusov, in which the defendant was convicted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend and burying her body in the garden of her home. Turning to the juniors’ unled work, Nneka Akudolu successfully represented Gheorghe Mihai, one of three defendants who was charged with gang rape. In recent news, March 2020 saw Leon Kazakos QC elevated to silk, while in September Kate Blackwell QC joined chambers.

London Bar > Set overviews: England and Wales

Over the last 12 months, crime and regulatory set 2 Hare Court has seen Leon Kazakos QC and Mark Graffius QC appointed Queen’s Counsel, while Kate Blackwell QC has joined as a full members while also retaining her tenancy at Lincoln House Chambers, Manchester. Strengthening the junior end, Iain Daniels  and Rebecca Erkan-Bax  have also joined the set from Ely Place Chambers and 4 Breams Buildings respectively. Also of note, Michael Rawlinson  has been appointed a part-time, Employment Judge, deployed to the North Eastern Circuit; Sarah Przybylska  and Julia Faure Walker  have been appointed Treasury Counsel by the Attorney General