Tahir Khan QC

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Tahir Khan QC

Year of Call: 1986
Recorder: 2004
QC: 2011
LL.B (Hons), Liverpool Polytechnic
Lincoln’s Inn




A highly experienced criminal law specialist with an emphasis on complex casework. Strong advocacy skills, adaptable and comfortable in different environments. Consistently features in the Legal 500 for his excellent handling of criminal cases.



Tahir has defended and prosecuted many serious criminal trials, including offences of Murder, manslaughter, gang land shootings, terrorism, baby shaking cases, drugs importations, serious sex offences (including child grooming) and complex frauds.

Notable, recent murder cases:

R v KA 2018, Cambridge Crown Court, Tahir defended a young man in a murder trial in which the motivation for the killing was allegedly connected to a drugs turf war.

R v TL 2018, Bradford Crown Court, Tahir defended this Iraqi man who stabbed his wife 21 times in an attempted murder.

R v DB 2018, Leeds Crown Court, Tahir prosecuted this trial in which a man was charged with murder and grievous bodily harm with intent arising out of a burglary of a house where the occupant was growing cannabis plants. The householder was viciously attacked with a baseball bat and left for dead

R v CW & MJ 2017, Winchester Crown Court, Tahir successfully prosecuted two men in a murder case in which defendants had attacked, robbed and killed an Albanian drug dealer.

R v YA and others 2017, Leeds Crown Court, Tahir defended a 28 year old woman in a six week murder trial which involved a brutal killing of a young woman in the defendant’s home and the disposal of the body by burning. During the trial, it was necessary for Tahir to cross-examine Dr. Daniel Du Plessis, one of the country’s foremost forensic neuropathologists. The trial was made more challenging by the fact that three of the defendant’s co-accused engaged in a vicious cut-throat against her.

R v MZ 2017, Bradford Crown Court, successfully prosecuted a man in a double murder trial which had complex extradition issues in it. It was the first successful extradition from Pakistan in a decade.

R v Ahmed 2016, at the Central Criminal Court, defended a 30 year old man with alcohol and drug dependency who murdered his brother. The case involved consideration of his mental health.

R v Szarkowski 2015, In the Central Criminal Court, represented a Polish man accused of being the mastermind behind the contract killing of a Greek businessman. After a two month trial, secured an acquittal on the murder charge.

R v Danter 2015, at Leeds Crown Court, prosecuted a 30 year old man for the murder of a gay teenager who he had met in a club and then brutally killed without apparent motive.

R v Callender 2015, at the Central Criminal Court, defended a young man accused of a gangland murder. Secured a hung jury.

R v Heald 2015, at Hull Crown Court, defended a man charged with multiple rapes and murder. The case attracted regional and national media attention as the defendant had gone on the run and media appeals were made and a reward offered for his capture.

R v AL-Khatib 2014, defended a man who murdered his wife and buried her body in an isolated location from where it has never been recovered. The case involved medical evidence of his psychiatric condition amongst allegations that he was possessed by a demon. This case also attracted national media attention.

R v Vilela 2013, defended a Portuguese woman accused of the murder of her husband by pouring petrol over him whilst he slept and burning him alive. The case involved consideration of the “slow burn provocation” issues that arise in loss of control cases.

R v Hussain 2012, prosecuted a man for the double murder of two friends, one of whom was alleged to be having an affair with the defendant’s wife.

Notable, recent baby shaking cases:

R v Laverick 2015, at Hull Crown Court, defended a man who was initially charged with the murder of his four week old baby son. Secured an acquittal on murder and the case proceeded to trial on manslaughter. The prosecution case was that the accused had shaken his son and inflicted catastrophic brain injuries. The trial involved medical evidence from nearly a dozen experts.

R v Sanderson 2014, defended a man accused of shaking his 9 week old son and causing the child brain damage.

R v Denner 2013, defended a woman accused of involvement in the infliction of injuries to her own child that resulted in brain damage. Many expert, medical witnesses were called and cross-examined in this case.

Notable, recent sex cases:

R v AH 2017, Court of Appeal- This was a sentence appeal in the Rotherham child grooming case which was before The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. It was a highly emotive case and one in which the lower Court had passed a very long sentence. The lord Chief Justice began his ruling on the sentence appeal with the following words, “We have received eloquent submissions from Mr. Khan QC..”

R v Butt and others 2016, at Leeds Crown Court, defended a man in a trial involving child sexual exploitation. Conducted the cross-examination of the complainant on behalf of all 24 defence teams.

R v Hussain and others 2015-2016, at Sheffield Crown Court, defended the ringleader of a gang who were tried over the course of two months in respect of the Rotherham Child Abuse Scandal. The case was the subject of a public inquiry, articles published in the Times Newspaper and attracted national media attention as well as interest from the government.

R v Kabir and others 2015, at Bradford Crown Court, defended one of fourteen men accused of child grooming offences against a girl from Keighley.

R v Islam and others 2015, at Leeds Crown Court defended one of twelve men accused of the child sexual exploitation of a girl from Beeston, Leeds. Was appointed to conduct the sensitive and difficult cross-examination of the complainant on matters of credibility.

R v Hussain 2013, defended a man who was charged with the sexual exploitation and grooming of a number of young girls.

R v Jackson 2012, defended a preacher who raped and abused a number of women that he was in relationships with spanning 15 years.

Notable, recent fraud cases:

R v Latif 2014, defended a businessman accused of involvement in a multi-million pound MTEC fraud where the evidence exceeded 219,000 pages of evidence. This was a highly complex case of its type and ran for approximately two years from the date that I was first instructed.


  • Appointed a Crown Court Recorder in 2004.
  • Appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2011.
  • Given authorisation to try rapes and other serious sexual offences in 2013.