Saleema Mahmood


For several years, Saleema has been recognised as a leading practitioner in complex crime in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 and continues to be instructed in high profile leading junior work.

Saleema regularly acts as a leading junior in complex  serious crime, with a focus on violent offences including homicide and complex drug conspiracies.

Saleema’s practice instructions include representation of vulnerable adults and youth defendants in a range of serious prosecutions including terrorism, murder and conspiracy offences.

Saleema is fluent in French and Spanish. She has a working use of Urdu and Punjabi.

Saleema specialises in:

  • Organised Crime.
  • Terrorism.
  • Homicide.
  • Fraud and Financial Crime.
  • General Crime.
  • Sexual Offences.

Saleema is a very experienced senior junior specialising in criminal defence. She is frequently instructed as leading junior and has appeared in a number of high-profile cases.

She has appeared in a number of the recent high profile cases both in the Midlands and North of England, including the defence of the only defendant acquitted of the murders of Charlene Ellis and Letitia Shakespeare, the representation of one of the defendants in the murder of Naila Mumtaz (exorcism) and Percy Wright (murder of ex-partner leading to significant investigation into the practices of Warwickshire Police in cases of domestic abuse).

Saleema specialises in the defence of violent and sexual offences but also holds a growing Money laundering/ Fraud practice.

At 22 years call, Saleema holds a practice far beyond that which could be expected and holds a strong reputation in the field of criminal defence particularly young and vulnerable defendants.

Saleema is well regarded by both lay and professional clients for her no nonsense yet empathetic approach to defendants and complainants alike. She has frequently been recognised with entries in both Chambers and the Legal 500 publications.

Saleema’s attention to detail and focused approach to complex analysis work is well recognised and she has developed a strong reputation for her ability to deal with extensive telephone evidence and financial accounting in a manner which appeals to juries and judges alike.

Her down to earth court room approach lends to her growing reputation as an expert in cases involving young or vulnerable witnesses, frequently commended in the courts.

Those fortunate enough to have watched Saleema at work have praised her sensitive yet direct approach to cross-examination particularly in sexual offences cases and vulnerable complainants.

Her style of advocacy is commended by senior members of the circuit as direct, relevant and intelligent.

Saleema is well known for her meticulous preparation and analysis of cases together with her friendly and amiable personality. She has excellent rapport with young defendants and those from ethnic minorities.

Saleema’s style of advocacy lends itself well to leading junior counsel and solicitor advocates.

Her forensic analysis in complex frauds and large scale telephone work is second to none.

Saleema holds a formidable reputation for her detailed and forensic approach to her preparation and is counsel of choice in cases of terrorism, homicide, fraud and money laundering, multimillion pound frauds, money laundering allegations, and public office breaches.

Saleema is public access accredited, he can accept instructions directly or via solicitors.


Criminal Defence

General Crime

Saleema has an extensive criminal defence practice with a particular interest in drugs and violent offences. Recently she has successfully argued against applications for several serious crime prevention orders

R v Hussain (Conspiracy to Supply Class A)

R v Luke Nutting (Attempted Murder)

R v David Murphy (Conspiracy to Rob Financial Institutions)

R v Ellahi and others (Current trial)

Organised Crime

In the last decade Saleema cemented her position as one of the leading counsel representing gang members in the Midlands, in particular members of the Burger Bar Boys gang.

R v Tafarwa Beckford (Murder)

R v Johnson (Armed Robbery)

R v Martin (GBH with intent)

R v Leroy Davidson (Armed bank Robbery)

R v Hassam Rasool (Conspiracy to supply class A drugs)

R v Amarah Gidden (County Lines)

R v KD and others, Nottingham Crown Court 2022 – Operation Tinge

Fraud and Financial Crime

Saleema has a wealth of experience in large scale fraud and POCA proceedings. She has represented defendants in a number of mortgage and VAT organised fraud cases.

R v Butt and others (Mortgage fraud)

R v Ian Herdman (POCA)

R v Edward Hulse (Carousel Fraud)

R v Yan Li (Banker to Morecombe Bay cockle pickers gang leader)

R v Qa Ho Dong (Money Laundering)

Saleema was part of the only team acquitted in the New Years Eve murders and has gone on to be instructed as junior counsel in a number of very high profile murders including honour killings and gang murders raising defences including diminished responsibility. Her notable cases are:

R v Beckford and others (New Years Eve murders),%2Drelated%20drive%2Dby%20shooting.

R v Percy Wright (Diminshed Responsibility)

R v Mohammed Shafique (Honour Killing)

R v Mohammed Shafaqat (Gang Murder)

R v Shazad Mahmood and others (Gang Murder)

R v Ul Haq (Exorcism)

R v McDermid (Diminished Responsibility)

R v Ahmed Alaeidein (Unprovoked attack, Diminshed Responsibility, Hybrid Orders)

Saleema is well known her local circuit as counsel to call upon in particularly sensitive sexual offences trial and has been instructed to cross-examine complainants as young as four years of age.

She has good solid knowledge of sexual offences ancillary orders

R v Dennis Compton (Historical Sexual Abuse of children aged 4 and 2 years)

R v Graham Murray (Sexual Grooming)

R v Nathaniel Henry (Rape of 7 year old complainant)

R v Stuart Cooper (Multiple rape of step-daughter from age 5)

R V Elliot Dale (Rape, Sexual Grooming, Drugs. Acquitted)

R v Rahman Aziz (Kidnap, Rape and Blackmail. Acquitted)

R v Robert Taylor (17 counts of historic rape and indecent assault allegations. Acquitted)

R v IF (2014) client charged with dissemination under the Terrorism Act 2006. The case revolved around the use of social media and sharing of videos on You Tube and other forums

R v Hassan Butt and others. (Material inciting racial hatred)


"I have instructed Saleema Mahmood to defend my clients on many occasions. Miss Mahmood demonstrates attention to detail, leaves no stone unturned and is always guaranteed to give 100% to a clients case. Miss Mahmood shows excellent client care, and will always make herself available for conferences and is very easy to work with both for the lay and professional client, where she communicates with them in a down to earth empathetic manner. Miss Mahmood has demonstrated particular expertise in defending sex cases and child neglect/ injury cases and has time and time again exceeded expectations in the outcome for my clients. I would not hesitate to recommend Miss Mahmood to others. "Neil J. Gerrity (LLB) Senior Solicitor / Higher Court Advocate (Head of Criminal Department), 2022
"I have worked with Saleema now for a number of years and during that time, I have had the opportunity to see, at close hand, just how hard she works in what are very often serious, complex and sensitive cases . She is an extremely able and capable barrister and I would have no hesitation in recommending her for any case, however difficult it may be!"David Mason KC
"I would instruct Saleema Mahmood to represent any client regardless of the offence they are charged with. Saleema has the ability to emphasise with all walks of life, but is tenacious when defending their case. Saleema is extremely dedicated and a credit to her profession"Lisa Yates, Vienna Kang Solicitors
"Having worked with Saleema on several very serious cases over the past 12 months, I have found her to be consistently reliable, extremely well versed with the facts of the case and impressive, both with clients and in court. On more than one occasion she has suggested novel strategies which have solved awkward issues in a case."Ruksana Kauser, Director KA Solicitor
"Knowledgeable and competent senior junior with an excellent eye for detail and second to none presentation skills."Anon., 2020
"Saleema’s ability to analyse complex telephone material is second to none."Anon., 2015
"She is an excellent jury advocate and establishes a firm rapport with the jury when acting for the defence."Anon., 2010


  • Saleema is an accredited pupil supervisor and a member of the Criminal Bar Association. She is a mentor on the Midlands Circuit Women’s Forum
Instruct SaleemaTo instruct Saleema please contact our clerks by phone on +44 (0) 20 7036 0200 or email us at