Zaki qualified as a solicitor in 1995 and gained Higher Rights of Audience in 2008. He has firmly established a reputation for his highly persuasive, finely tuned and measured approach to advocacy in the Crown Court.
Zaki has represented clients charged with the full spectrum of criminal allegations, including murder and complex fraud, both as sole and junior counsel. He has recently successfully represented clients accused of tax evasion, large scale historic money laundering, conspiracy to steal and export high value vehicles, high value cigarette and alcohol importations, conspiracy to supply drugs and drug importations, and offences contrary to the Modern Slavery Act. He has also successfully represented clients charged with offences of serious violence and sex offences, including child pornography.
Zaki’s meticulous analysis of evidence is invaluable in cases involving voluminous case papers. Throughout his career he has litigated all aspects of criminal allegations and it is this attention to detail which has earned considerable praise from both clients and fellow advocates.
Zaki also represents many clients on a private basis in the magistrates’ court on a range of offences including taxi touting, driving offences, drink driving and failing to provide a specimen. He provides a careful and thoroughly considered second opinion on a private basis to clients seeking to appeal against conviction and sentence in the Crown Court and has appeared regularly in the Court of Appeal.
Zaki’s ability to analyse and prepare cases to a high standard has been utilised by the Legal Aid Agency and Ministry of Justice for whom he has worked as a Crime Peer Reviewer since 2006. As a Senior Peer Reviewer, he examines and assesses the quality of work undertaken by criminal law firms throughout England and Wales in order to ensure that they meet the standards required of them.
A former committee member of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association (LCCSA), Zaki currently serves on the LCCSA subcommittee concerning new crime legislation and government consultations on sentencing guidelines reform.
R v N- Isleworth Crown Court
MORTGAGE FRAUD/ TAX EVASION
This matter related to a serious fraud and tax evasion exceeding £1.2M on a large buy to let property portfolio. The case involves a series of allegedly fraudulent mortgage applications over a ten- year period by the defendant and his wife. They were also accused of failing to pay income tax on the rental income and capital gains tax on the sale of the properties, whilst also making fraudulent applications for tax credits. The case involves dozens of mortgage applications and tenancy agreements, together with bank statements and related correspondence, amounting to in excess of 12,000 pages of prosecution evidence. A forensic defence accountant has been instructed to assist in this task.
Operation Doberman – Manchester Crown Court
Following the convictions of a number of family members for the importation of heroin and other dishonesty offences, and investigation was conducted into the finances of 11 Defendants. The individuals faced allegations of Conspiracy to Launder Money over a 10- year period and were said to have dissipated their assets worth around £1 million at the point of a family members arrest or confiscation proceedings. Unusual case which is linked to Operation Cadmus, Operation Shoreham and Operation Muscadet.
Operation Lighthouse – Maidstone Crown Court
EVASION OF DUTY – DIVERSION FRAUD
Multi-handed duty evasion case involved an operation, which lasted in excess of 15 months. The defendants are alleged to have brought alcohol into the country without the appropriate duty being paid. The estimated loss to the Revenue being in the region of £2 million. Following a two month trial the defendant represented by this firm was acquitted of all charges against him.
Operation Berg / Meeker – Southwark Crown Court
A £1.4 million Tier 1 and Revenue fraud. Registered immigration advisors and company directors allegedly manipulated earnings to support immigration applications and to obtain a rebate of taxes previously paid to the Revenue. The Serious Fraud Division Prosecution team described this case as sophisticated due to the number of companies which were created.
Operation G – Old Bailey
Represented a Defendant in a SCD1 investigation into murder which occurred in east London. This was a multi-handed case in which some defendants had links to high profile celebrities and as a result this case attracted a great deal of media interest.
Operation Chambrak – Croydon Crown Court
The Defendant was charged with the attempted murder of two individuals, one of whom suffered life changing injuries. The case was investigated by the Trident Gang Crime Command Unit. The two victims received multiple gun shot wounds at close range. The Prosecution relied upon extensive cell site and ANPR evidence.
Operation Withern – Inner London Crown Court
We were instructed to represent many cases involving the 2012 riots across the country including offences of violent disorder, burglary, theft and arson.
Operation Consonant – St Albans Crown Court
The case was a multi-handed serious honour crime with allegations of Conspiracy to Kidnap, False Imprisonment and Assault. Defendants charged included family members and individuals who were instructed as “heavy weights” to take part in a series of assaults, including kidnapping the victim and taking him to a remote location. Issues in the case were particularly sensitive as they involved a male and female from a Muslim background.
R v K & Others – Birmingham Crown Court
Multi-handed nationwide conspiracy to supply a vast amount of class A drugs. The defendant we represented was acquitted of 5 out of 6 of the charges against him.
Operation Peltier – Southwark Crown Court
ABV represented a client in a multi handed trial involving foreign nationals accused of trafficking and raping prostitutes in and around the United Kingdom. This case received a large amount of media coverage as being one of the largest cases of its kind at the time.
Operation Woodgate – Guildford Crown Court
This case was brought under the Modern Slavery Act; the case against our defendant was that he was one of a number of adults engaged in arranging the transportation of 14-15 year old females to various hotels in South London for the purposes of sexually exploiting them after supplying them with alcohol and drugs. Our client was acquitted after a lengthy and complex trial.