Ranked in Tier 1 for Crime – The Legal 500 (2019)
“Very experienced in defending in heavyweight criminal matters.” – The Legal 500 (2019)
“He maintains absolute mastery over the facts.” – The Legal 500 (2017)
“An outstanding silk, and a thorough and inspired cross-examiner.” – The Legal 500 (2016)
“Very thorough in his preparation and management of the facts.” – The Legal 500 (2015)
“Leading Silk In Crime… The Paragon Of Legal Excellence” – The Legal 500 – 2014
Abdul Iqbal QC is a favoured choice of counsel among both solicitors and lay clients. He is widely recognised for his skilful, tactical and robust advocacy in the most complex cases. He took Silk in 2014 after years of being instructed as leading counsel in high-profile cases where Queen’s Counsel had been instructed by other parties in the case.
Abdul has built a very large and successful defence practice focused on the most serious criminal cases, such as homicide, high-value complex commercial fraud, serious organised crime, terrorism, and large-scale international drug trafficking. He also has specialist expertise in confiscation and deprivation of assets issues arising from these areas of criminal work.
Abdul previously practised as a pharmacist, and has a particular interest in cases involving expert medical or paramedical evidence. He is noted for his ability and experience in cross-examining expert witnesses on the most complex areas of evidence.
He has defended in a series of sensitive cases where professionals (solicitors, accountants, doctors, pharmacists) have been charged with criminal or regulatory offences.
Court of Appeal
Abdul regularly reviews serious and complex cases and advises upon the prospects of seeking to overturn, before the Court of Appeal, potentially unsafe convictions sustained in cases where he has not appeared at first instance. He also regularly reviews serious cases and advises as to whether a sentence can be regarded as manifestly excessive so as to be successfully appealed before the Court of Appeal.
Abdul is noted for his ability and judgment to quickly and reliably identify the real and decisive issues in ‘very heavy’ cases. He excels in offering clear, concise and tactically focused advice in the most complex and voluminous cases
- R v DI , Preston Crown Court [Operation Pearl]- Conspiracy to murder. Alleged revenge shooting to eliminate rival drug dealers. The defendant supposedly hired a hitman from West Yorkshire who shot the victim in the face at point blank range. Successful challenges to each strand of the circumstantial evidence implicating DI of the offence.
- R -v- SD , Bradford Crown Court [Operation Helix] – Shooting in Newcastle alleged to be intimidation in relation to drug trafficking. Cut-throat defences involving successful admission of reprehensible behaviour of co-defendants.
- R -v- AA , Leeds Crown Court [Operation Panderwick] – unlawful detention and murder of the defendant’s wife followed by attempted destruction of the body by burning. Complex neurological and pathological evidence as to ultimate time and cause of death. Cut-throat defences involving the utilisation of covertly recorded prison conversations.
- R -v- MT , Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court [Operation Florence] – murder of the defendant’s mother-in-law by multiple stabbing. Medical issues as to bone density and force used to inflict fatal wounds.
- R v DJ , Leeds Crown Court (Operation Posestoke). Allegations of double murder by arson.
- R v MZ , Bradford Crown Court. Double murder involving the defendant fleeing the jurisdiction to Pakistan. First extradition from Pakistan to the United Kingdom to face trial in over 10 years. Complex arguments as to the legality of the Pakistani extradition proceedings.
- R v ZK , Warwick Crown Court (Operation Bridge). Successful defence of charges of murder, wounding with intent, and violent disorder. Murder by stabbing to the neck and slashing to others within a nightclub in Coventry.
- R v DW , Preston Crown Court, (Operation Albany) – Conspiracy to murder. Attempted execution by shooting to the head and upper body with a sawn off shotgun. Allegations of serious criminality on the part of the victim.
- R v JW & Another , Bradford Crown Court – Attempted murder involving allegations of an ordered execution and slashing of the throat with damage close to the carotid artery.
- R v DI , Bradford Crown Court (Operation Plummen) – Murder involving allegations of marital infidelity. Voluntary repatriation to the UK to face trial.
- R v BMO , Leeds Crown Court (Operation Pipeville) – Revenge murder by stabbing within the Kurdish community.
- R v LD & Another , Leeds Crown Court – Manslaughter of 4-month-old baby found with multiple fractures, bite injuries and skin burns. Complex multiple medical evidence as to causation of death.
- R v AH , Sheffield Crown Court (Operation Koat) – Murder by stabbing and decapitation of the victim whilst she was still alive.
- R v AS , Leeds Crown Court (Operation Pillarmen) – Pre-planned murder of an associate of the defendant by the slashing of his throat outside his family home.
- R v AS & others , Bradford Crown Court (Operation Peranga) – 64-year-old woman charged with double murder and the disposal of the bodies in a rural location.
- R v AA & another , Leeds Crown Court (Operation Parilla) – Conspiracy to murder. Alleged arrangement for the victim to be shot whilst she was visiting family in Pakistan.
- R v OR & others , Stafford Crown Court – Conspiracy to murder. Group pre-planned action to execute the victim by shooting for unknown motives.
- R v MNA & another , Leeds Crown Court (Operation Paea) – Alleged murder (during heightened racial tensions locally) by Asian men by punching and stamping to the head of the victim.
- R v JI , Bradford Crown Court – Homicide of a vulnerable passenger by taxi driver driving away, causing her to jump to her death.
- R v AM , Bradford Crown Court (Operation Stanton) – Triple murder of occupants of house by arson.
- R v Kahar, Eshati and others  EWCA Crim 568. Appeared as leading counsel in the guideline Court of Appeal judgment (handed down by the Lord Chief Justice in a 5-member court) relating to sentencing for terrorism offences contrary to section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 (“Preparation of terrorist acts”). The judgment can be found here:
- R v GH , Leeds Crown Court [Operation Polyamine] – Engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism. Undercover police operation seeking to infiltrate active terrorist sympathiser networks. Active support for the proscribed organisation “ISIS”. Preparation and active steps to travel to Syria to engage in active warfare.
- R v SC , Central Criminal Court, (Operation Casebox) – Engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism. Active support for the proscribed organisation “ISIS”. Preparation to travel to Syria to engage in active warfare. Successful arguments as to dangerousness.
- R v AE , Central Criminal Court, (Operation Bravely) – Possession of material for terrorist purposes and/or likely to be of use to persons engaged in terrorism. Purchase of over 1,000 tons of heavy gauge ammunition for $28.5 million for onward transport by air from Italy to Libya for use by the Zintan militia in the ongoing civil war.
Serious fraud/financial crime/corruption
- R v SI , Snaresbrook Crown Court – Serving councillor charged with long-term housing scheme fraud upon the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
- R –v- FH , Southwark Crown Court, [Operation Kadenza] – Banking and cyber fraud valued in excess of £100 million. Lead counsel for the main defendant charged with complex multi-layered fraud and tiered international money laundering of the proceeds of the fraud.
- R -v- AB , Teesside Crown Court, (Operation Bamburgh 2) – Large-scale national property fraud involving financial and estate agency professionals fabricating and distorting financial information so as to deceive financial institutions and legal professionals
- R v MA & Others , Manchester Crown Court – Chartered accountant charged with fraud upon the NHS. Allegations of false accounting, complex falsification of documents, and operation of a closed market. Proceedings stayed as an abuse of process after serious prosecution disclosure failures relating to 3 terabytes of seized digital material.
- R v GS & Others , Bradford Crown Court (Operation Bellum) – Bank fraud and money laundering involving the provision of loan facilities to fabricated or impecunious applicants by corrupt internal bank employees.
- R v RK & Others , Southwark Crown Court (Operation Harvest) – Conspiracy to defraud (boiler-room fraud’) involving allegations of international fraudulent ‘share’-trading and money laundering by a complex corporate structure.
- R v DC & Others , Leicester Crown Court (Operation Gain) – Mortgage, land registry and conveyancing fraud with associated international money laundering involving corrupt solicitors using the stolen identities of bona fide solicitors.
- R v JL & Others , Nottingham Crown Court (Operation Wickerball) – Serious organised international fraud and money laundering of UK state benefits by Eastern European citizens using fake or falsified identities.
- R v SAO , Liverpool Crown Court (Operation MFB) – Leading counsel for the defence in an international tax fraud involving over £100 million of reclaimed VAT on complex financial transactions.
- R v WK & Others , Bradford Crown Court – Laundering of large sums of money over a decade. Large property portfolio and complex financial affairs requiring expert interpretation and reconstruction of financial affairs.
- R v YH & Others , Hull Crown Court (Operation Ocean Breeze) – Leading counsel for the defence for the first and principal defendant; international intellectual property rights advance fee fraud (‘Duracell Energy Drink – Procter & Gamble’).
- R v MAJ & Others , Manchester Crown Court (Operation Enigma) – Alleged international money laundering fraud involving in excess of £170 million of funds transmitted abroad by money-services business.
- R v SA & Others , Southwark Crown Court (Operation Podium) – Law undergraduate alleged to have defrauded the Olympic Delivery Authority of sums in excess of £2.4 million.
- R v SD & Others , Leeds Crown Court – Large-scale alleged tax evasion on purchase of high-value cars by disabled drivers using tax-avoidance regulations.
- R -v- MB , Bradford Crown Court [Operation Trafalgar] – Importation of multi kilo quantities of class A drugs. Covert recording devices placed in home of suspects pursuant to intrusive police surveillance. Abuse of process arguments relating to pre CPIA 1996 disclosure failings on part of prosecution.
- R v NK , Peterborough Crown Court [Operations Trojan and Forward] – regional and national trafficking of multi kilo quantities of class A drugs involving organised crime groups operating in Cambridgeshire and neighbouring counties. Complex covert surveillance, telecommunication and financial evidence as to companies operated by the defendant.
- R v RA , Leeds Crown Court [Operation Fillview] – Conspiracy to possess firearms, ammunition and silencer with intention to endanger life. Alleged planned gun offending related to drug trafficking. Events on 2nd January 2017 when armed West Yorkshire Police Officers shot dead Yasser Yaqub at the Ainley Top junction of the M62. The case involved complex legal argument about disclosure of police intelligence that led to the armed police response leading to the death of Yasser Yaqub. The case also involved complex disclosure, hearsay, bad character, and cross-admissibility considerations.
- R v AR  – secured the unanimous acquittal after trial of RA who was charged with conspiracy to possess firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life. Please click here for media coverage
- R v SD  – secured not guilty verdicts in gun violence trial.
- R v IA & Others , Bradford Crown Court (Operation Custard Apple) – Multiple importations of heroin hidden in wooden cargo imported via the international postal system
- R v WK & 2 Others , Leeds Crown Court (Operation Borage) – Importation of 245kg of heroin via the international cargo delivery system.
- R v JM & Others , Nottingham Crown Court (Operation Lineal) – Large-scale regional and national distribution of class-A drugs from the East Midlands. Employee of solicitors’ practice indicted. Issues of legal professional privilege and abuse of process.
- R v NS & Others , Bradford Crown Court (Operation Block) – Large-scale conspiracy to facilitate breaches of UK immigration law by falsification and fabrication of documents in relation to overseas applicants seeking UK entry clearance.
- R v GK & Others , Sheffield Crown Court (Operation Babbage) – International conspiracy to facilitate breaches of immigration law. Alleged ‘sham’ marriages. Fraudulent documents allegedly produced to support multiple ‘marriages’ to ensure UK citizenship was granted to non-EU citizens, under false pretences.
- R v RH & Another , Leeds Crown Court – Multiple importations (around 100kg) of heroin hidden in woven carpets. Issues of public-interest immunity, complex surveillance and telephonic evidence.
- R v MI & Others , Leeds Crown Court (Operation Bizarre) – Principal defendant involved in multiple large-scale importations of cocaine from Peru and Ecuador. Issues of the admissibility of material obtained using foreign legal provisions and convictions sustained abroad.
- R v UH , Bradford Crown Court (Operation Giltford) – Organised live firearms and ammunition distribution regionally for the purposes of serious organised crime.
- R v MI & Others , Bradford Crown Court (Operation Lapworth) – Leading counsel for the defence; one of the principal defendants in large-scale importation of Glock firearms from the USA and distribution within the UK to organised crime groups.
- R v MFH & Others , Bradford Crown Court (Operation Prime) – International conspiracy to kidnap and blackmail involving the drugging, gagging and beating of the victim over several days. US$2m ransom-demand made in China. Inter-jurisdictional co-operation led to the detection and arrest of the perpetrators.
- R v YH & Others  EWCA Crim 228,  All ER (D) 255, Court of Appeal Criminal Division – Leading Court of Appeal judgment on the principles to be applied and procedure to be adopted in ‘absconder’ appeal cases.
- R v DH (2012) Leeds Crown Court – Serial rapes and other serious sexual assaults of stepdaughters over several years; complex medical and scientific evidence.
- R v BB & Others  Leeds Crown Court (Operation Pelatos) – Murder by shooting with associated allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
- R v MK  Bradford Crown Court – Multiple rape and serious sexual assault of a schoolgirl who had been groomed by MK and another.
- R v MD (2011) Leeds Crown Court (Operation Recall) – Cold case; rape of student over 25 years ago; reliance upon pre-DNA scientific evidence and bad character.
- R v MS & Another  Bradford Crown Court – Principal defendant charged with unlawful entry into a young mother’s home followed by her torture, degradation, detention over hours, and serial multiple rape.
- R v CN & Others  EWCA Crim 314, Court of Appeal Criminal Division – Large conspiracy to burgle and handle stolen goods involving ‘Hanoi’ burglaries and the dissipation of stolen cars in the North of England.
- R v NM & Others [Att Gen Ref 8, 9, 10 of 2002, 2003 1 Cr. App R. (s) 57], Court of Appeal Criminal Division – Guidelines on sentencing for kidnapping cases.
Private client work
- R v ZH (2016), Leeds Crown Court – Successful defence of Chartered Accountant charged with offences of violence and public disorder.
- R v TH (2016), Leeds Crown Court – Successful defence of male nurse charged with sexual offences relating to two care assistants in private nursing homes.
- R v SA (2016), Snaresbrook Crown Court – Serving Councillor charged with serial housing fraud upon the local authority.
- R v MH (2015), Manchester Crown Court – Successful defence of Chartered Accountant charged with serious fraud.
Abdul Iqbal QC may accept Public Access work, where he can be instructed directly by a member of the public rather than a solicitor.