020 7387 2032

Leila Abdul-Rasool

Consultant Solicitor

020 3811 5143

Year of admission 2002

Serious Crime and Fraud Defence Specialist - Recommended in the Legal 500

Areas of Specialisation

With over 20 years’ experience of dealing with a wide variety of criminal matters with particular emphasis on serious organised crime, Murder, large-scale Fraud and cases involving people smuggling and fraudulent evasion of duty 

Leila has substantial experience in defending individuals and Prosecutions bought by the Special Casework Unit of the Crown Prosecution Service, office, the HMRC and the National Crime Agency.   

Leila is regularly instructed by members of the Kurdish and Arabic community and specialises in defending individuals charged with offences relating to the smuggling of tobacco – HMRC prosecutions and human trafficking prosecutions.

She has a high success rate in defending these cases see RT and AJ below

Extradition Practice

Leila is regularly instructed in relation to Extradition matters and often appears at City of Westminster Magistrates Court


R v M J

Leila Abdul Rasool and Miles Herman have instructed Nichola Cafferkey, Senior Counsel at 33 Bedford Row. The defendant is charged with Conspiracy to cheat the Public Revenue.  It is alleged between January 2017 and March 2022, a highly sophisticated infrastructure, an organised crime group conspired to cheat HMRC, of the sum of £21,836,744.74.

The fraud prompted a joint investigation between police and HMRC with the police taking the role as primary prosecution agency with HMRC providing the evidence, explaining the labour supply of that in the construction industry, scheme forms of which the cheat comprises of.

The prosecution is the biggest of its type in the case summary and is in excess of 1700 pages and the prosecution evidence runs into thousands of pages.  The defendant MJ, a company director is alleged to be a complicit director that he agreed for his company to be a participant in the fraud for substantial personal reward. 

It is alleged the loss relating to MJ’s company alone to the HMRC is in excess of £400,000.

The defendant will plead not guilty to conspiracy to cheat, but guilty to a matter acquiring criminal property.

This case is attractive to significant publicity and currently before the court are a number of disclosure applications relating to the way the material was seized and relied upon by the prosecuting authorities. 

Trials are expected to take place in 2024/2025. There are currently in the region of 30 defendants before Southwark Crown Court.  The code name for the prosecution is ‘Operation Venetic’.

R v P H 

Leila Abdul Rasool and Miles Herman represented P H, charged with Murder of Imran Issat at the Central Criminal court.  The defendant was one of five charged with an offence of Murder, joint enterprise.

Following a contested trial, the defendant was represented by Anya Lewis KC and Stella Harris of Garden Court chambers.  The defendant was acquitted of Murder and convicted of Manslaughter, having earlier entered a plea of guilty to Robbery. 

Following a sentencing hearing before the Central Criminal Court, HHJ Peter Kelson on 9 October 2023, imposed a Manslaughter life sentence for the defendant P H, contrary to Section 285 of the Sentencing Act 2020.  The defendant to serve a minimum term of 16 years discretionary. 

The sentence, an unusual one given the nature of the offence is subject to appeal and brings together complex and other issues relating to sentencing law in this matter.

R v D Y

Leila Abdul Rasool represents the above named defendant.  Nichola Cafferkey of 33 Bedford Row is instructed Counsel.  The defendant is jointly with others relating to a cash for cash insurance Fraud, code name “Operation Mickey” and investigations by insurance industry investigators and prosecuted by the Specialist Fraud Division, Birmingham.  The alleged Fraud is estimated at over £5m.  The defendant is charged is Perverting the Course of Justice in assisting the main perpetrator of the Fraud into the laundering of significant sums over a concerted period of time. 

The case is subject to the Legal Aid Agency VHCC Regulations and is a contracted case.  The defendant was due to stand trial at Nottingham Crown Court in 2024 


Leila represented RT subject of Evasion charges from Operation Dandelion an investigation into the evasion of Excise Duty on the illegal supply of non-duty paid cigarettes and shisha tobacco. This offence is contrary to Section 170 of the Customs & Excise Management Act 1979. This investigation relates to an interdiction that occurred on the 12th of January 2017 which resulted in 801,640 cigarettes, 63.9kgs of shisha tobacco and£29,370.00 being seized.

The revenue evaded on the cigarettes was £220,787.69. The investigation also concerned the associated laundering in criminal proceeds.

The client put forward a favourable basis of plea and avoided a custodial sentence

R v AJ

Leila and Mustapha Hakme of 9 Bedford Row represented AJ who was charged with conspiracy/criminal agreement to facilitate breaching the immigration laws of the United Kingdom by being a member an Organised Criminal Group (‘OCG’) who participated in an agreement involving the transportation of foreign nationals from France into the UK.

Following a 6-week trial at the Southwark Crown Court AJ was the only defendant to be found Not Guilty


Leila and Stella Harris of counsel Garden Court represent PR charged with

  • Two offences contrary to section 1 Terrorism Act 2006
  • One offence contrary to section 58 Terrorism Act 2000

This matter concerns an investigation into the online activities of the Telegram handles ‘patitude’ and ‘patitudeus’ (ID1507996238) within Telegram super groups ‘The Grand Reopening’ (TGR) and ‘The Resistance UK’ (TRUK). TGR had in excess of 8000 members and TRUK in excess of 18000 members. A variety of interests, agendas, and opinions are promulgated on the two super groups. The content can be loosely categorised as anti-establishment, anti-Covid and anti-vaccine with the thread running through all of the posts that governments across the world, the UK included, were actively involved in some form of large-scale conspiracy against the population whereby the Covid pandemic was fabricated and the vaccination programmes a form of population control.

PR has pleaded Not Guilty at the Central Criminal Court and will stand trial in September 2024



Leila represented JV subject of extradition proceedings to Colombia, to serve a sentence of 38 years ofimprisonment that was imposed on him, having been found criminally responsible, as co perpetrator of the crime of Aggravated Kidnapping for Extortion.

Proceedings were contested before City of Westminster MC in December 2023.

The client was represented by Ben Cooper KC and Amelia Nice both from Doughty Street Chambers.

The proceedings concluded on the 18TH December with the court discharging the warrant representing a considerable success for Leila and counsel


Top Ranked Lawyers: Legal 500 

Celebrating 40 years of practice in 2022, we are leaders in criminal defence, serious fraud, serious crime and many other areas of legal practice. We have been involved in many leading cases over the last 40+ years and are well known for our genuinely high acquittal rate and overall success rate. Please click the Legal 500 logo below for more information about our rankings.

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