Specialist Criminal & Regulatory Barristers

London: 020 7520 6000 | chambers@18rlc.co.uk

East Anglia: 01245 280 880

Max Hill QC

Call: 1987 | Silk: 2008

020 7520 6000

Max Hill is Head of Red Lion Chambers and, since March 2017,  the current Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation.  He is also the former Leader of the South Eastern Circuit (2014-16) and Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association (2011-12).  Whilst unable to advise or appear in terrorism-related cases during his tenure as Independent Reviewer, Max maintains a heavy-weight crime practice, defending and prosecuting in a number of complex cases of homicide, violent crime  and high value fraud and corporate crime. He also has extensive advisory experience both nationally and internationally. 

Max has been instructed in many of the most significant and high-profile murder  trials in recent years, including the second set of trials concerning the killing of Damilola Taylor, and the London bombings of 2005.  Murder cases include R v Long (2015), R v Campbell and others (2014-5), R v O’Driscoll (2014) and R v Robinson (2015).  Max defends in substantial fraud cases, including tax fraud.  In Fraud, he was instructed for the defence in the SFO Forex (Foreign Exchange) investigation and the long-running SFO pharmaceutical cartel case.  His terrorism cases include R v Bourgass and others (the ricin conspiracy), R v Ibrahim and others (the 21/7 bombers), R v Ali and others and R v Girma and others (the 21/7 follow-on trials). He appeared for the Government in the Binyam Mohamed case in the Administrative Court. He acted for the Metropolitan Police in the Inquests into the 7th July London bombings. Most recently he prosecuted a London Cabbie and bomb-maker for the killing of a US soldier in R v Sardar (2015).  He also prosecuted two men who gave sums of money to the Paris and Brussels terror suspect Abrini, engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism.



Fraud & Proceeds of Crime (POCA) 

R v Webb and Simpson (2000)
Defending with Anthony Arlidge QC. An extraction fraud which went to the Court of Appeal when the Attorney General argued that non-custodial sentences were unduly lenient notwithstanding that the trial judge gave an indication during the trial. In addition to being Anthony Arlidge QC’s junior in this case, he acted alone in representing the third defendant who was acquitted following a submission of no case after three months of trial.


Max has appeared in a number of significant homicide trials (Murder and Manslaughter), for the defence and prosecution in equal measure.

His past cases at the Central Criminal Court include the successful second prosecution for the killing of Damilola Taylor, R v Preddie and Preddie, in which he was first junior prosecution counsel.

R v Long (2015) - Prosecuting a former Metropolitan Police Firearms officer for Murder in relation to the fatal shooting of Azelle Rodney.


R v Jones and others (2015) - Defending one of seven young men charged with Double Murder in a drugs-related homicide in East London.

R v B**** (2012) - Defending the lead defendant in a 4-handed murder trial. The four were doormen accused of manslaughter following an altercation with a customer at a nightclub in Southend. The deceased had died while being restrained. Evidence was heard from numerous eye-witnesses, club staff and management, CCTV footage, pathologists, neuro-pathologists, security experts, restraint experts and police officers. All four were acquitted.

R v (Dagauzu) Ali (2012) - Prosecuting for the murder of a young man on the Old Kent Road motivated by minor rivalry relating to the ownership and sale of cars. The leading defendant and person in direct dispute with the victim was convicted and sentenced to life with a minimum tariff of 25 years.


Max has built a reputation as a true leader in his field, appearing in a number of high profile terrorism cases.

Max was instructed in the last IRA prosecution in this country, R v Hulme and others. The Real IRA mainland campaign of 2001 included bomb detonations at the BBC premises in White City, together with a very large bomb at Ealing Broadway and a third detonation at Birmingham Smallbrook. The trial took place over several months in 2003, and culminated in the conviction of all five members of the terrorist cell.

Thereafter, he was continuously instructed for the prosecution, first as junior counsel then, as leading junior and now as QC, in a series of Al Qaeda and then ISIS terrorist trials from 2004 to date. These include the so-called ‘Ricin Conspiracy’ trial R v Bourgass and others, concerning the discovery of poison recipes and ingredients in north London, terrorism trials involving Syria (R v Tabbakh, Birmingham Crown Court 2008), Baluchistan (R v Baluch and Marri, Woolwich Crown Court 2008-9), Somalia (R v Mohamed and Yusuf, Kingston Crown Court 2009) and one of the most significant terrorist publications case to date (R v Faraz, Kingston Crown Court 2011), as well as all three trials resulting from the ‘21/7’ plot by suicide bombers to detonate bombs on London transport two weeks after the carnage of ‘7/7’. These trials lasted a total of 16 months during 2007-8, and resulted in the conviction of sixteen defendants. Max was appointed QC in the middle of the third trial. His second junior in the second and third trials was Emma Gargitter, also of Red Lion Chambers.

R v Abdallah and Gray (2016) - Prosecuting a Birmingham-based plot to send fighters, firearms and cash to Syria.

R v Khan and Khan (2016) - Prosecuting a Luton-based plot to behead US servicemen in East Anglia, as well as intended travel to join so-called Islamic State in Syria.

R v Alshayeb (2015) - Terrorism trial involving military files in the possession of a Bahraini activist resident in London.

R v Iqbal and others (2012-2013) - Leading counsel (Duncan Atkinson and Carys Owen) Section 5 preparation and training case, the 'Luton group'. Before Wilkie J, Guilty pleas March 2013.

R v Faraz (2011) - Leading Counsel (Duncan Atkinson, opposite Joel Bennathan QC). Section 2 TA terrorist publications. Before Calvert-Smith J, and Pitchford LJ on appeal.

R v Ahmed and Mohammed (2009) - Leading Counsel (Alison Morgan). Al Shabaab funding and support. Before Mackay J and (retrial) the Recorder of London (HHJ Beaumont QC).

R v Baluch and Marri (2008-2009) - Leading counsel (Kate Wilkinson, opposite Henry Blaxland QC and Baroness Kennedy). Baluchistan Liberation Army funding and support. Before Henriques J.

R v Tabbakh (2008) - QC alone (opposite Rajiv Menon QC). Section 5 TA bomb-maker. Before Hughes LJ on appeal. 

R v Girma and others (2008) - Leading counsel (Alison Morgan and Emma Gargitter). The final 21/7 trial. Before HHJ Worsley QC at the Central Criminal Court.

R v Ali and others (2007-2008) - Leading Junior (Alison Morgan and Emma Gargitter). The 21/7 assisters. Before HHJ Worsley QC at Kingston.

R v Ibrahim and others (2007) - First Junior (Nigel Sweeney QC). The 21 July 2005 Bombers. 6 month trial before Fulford J.

R v Bourgass and others (2004-2005) - Second Junior (Nigel Sweeney QC and Mark Dennis QC). The ricin conspiracy. 9 month trial before Penry-Davey J.

R v Hulme and others (2002-2003) - Second Junior (Orlando Pownall QC and Mark Heywood). The Real IRA mainland bombing campaign 2001; White City, Ealing Broadway, Birmingham Smallbrook.

Sexual Offences

R v Bryan (2014)
Defending a step-father accused of multiple rapes against his 6-year old step-daughter. The case reached the Court of Appeal as an Attorney-General’s reference.


Inquiries & Appellate Work

Max Hill QC was lead counsel for the Metropolitan Police Service throughout the Coroner’s Inquests into the London Bombings of 7 July 2005, before Hallett LJ.

Max regularly appears in the Court of Appeal Criminal Division:


R v Hartwell (2016) - Representing an Applicant before Treacy LJ in relation to both conviction and sentence in a Liverpool-based international drugs conspiracy.

R v T & C (2015) Court of Appeal Civil Division - Representing the CPS in an appeal from the Central Criminal Court via the Divisional Court concerning reporting restrictions for young defendants.

Fraud and Business Crime

Fraud & Business Crime

Max has continued to act for the defence in a number of significant fraud cases, including the pharmaceutical industry cartel case R v O’Neill and others (also known as the SFO’s ‘Operation Holbein’), in which he defended Norton Healthcare Limited for seven years since the SFO raids in 2002.



SFO FX investigation 2015-6 - Representing one of the core traders being investigated by the SFO in relation to the FX market which trades US$ 5trillion per day. SFO eventually announced there would be no prosecution.


R v Mohiaddin (2014-5)  - Tax fraud. Defending a consultant cardiologist charged with Cheating the Revenue.

R v O'Neill and others (2002-2008)  - First defence junior (Peter Carter QC), for Norton Healthcare Limited in SFO 'Operation Holbein', the pharmaceutical cartel case. Before Pitchford J.

International Representation

In addition to criminal trial work, Max has been instructed by the Treasury Solicitor on behalf of the Government in proceedings relating to the detention of British nationals in Guantánamo, including the case of Binyam Mohamed v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (3) [2008] EWHC 2519 (Admin) [2008] WLR(D) 323.

His appearances on behalf of the Home Secretary in terrorism Control Order cases in the High Court include SSHD v BB and BC [2009] EWHC 2927 (Admin). In 2012 he advised the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in relation to the diplomatic immunity of foreign visitors to the London 2012 Olympic Games.


Top-league criminal silk, who was chair of the Criminal Bar Association in 2011–12. Described as a compelling, extraordinarily logical and appealing advocate, he often acts in terrorism and homicide cases.


Chambers UK 2014

"He is a very methodical, precise and thorough advocate, who is very persuasive."

Chambers UK 2014

In The Times List of 100 Most Influential Lawyers in Britain 2012.

Publications, Lectures and Training


2015 Urgent Interviews and the Concept of Oppression in Terrorist Cases. Investigating Terrorism, edited by John Pearse, Wiley Blackwell.

2014 The Stephen Lawrence Murder Twenty-One Years on. IILP Review, pp 148-154.

2013 Cell Site and the Judiciary, DVD

2013 Removing Dishonesty from the Cartel Offence. Lexis Nexis 11/3/13

2013 Social Media and Criminal Justice, Criminal Bar Quarterly Issue 4 2013

2012 The Stephen Lawrence Murder: 18 years on. Criminal Law and Justice Weekly Vol 176 No 45 at pp633 and 651

2007 A practitioners guide to terrorist trials, contributing editor


Lectures and Training

Max Hill QC is regularly invited to lecture at international events

Oman 2014 - Delivering a training programme to Omani Prosecutors on comparative counter-terrorism law and practice.

Trier 2016 - Lecturing for the European Judicial Training Network, meeting in Germany.

New York 2016. - A US-UK seminar on counter-terrorism co-sponsored by NYU and Texas University Law Schools.



1986 BA Jurisprudence (Oxon)

Open Scholarship, St Peter’s College Oxford.

Professional Appointments

2005- Crown Court Recorder

Authorised to sit at the Central Criminal Court

2012- Bencher, Middle Temple

2012- Present - Head of Red Lion Chambers


2011-12 Chairman, Criminal Bar Association

2014-16 Leader, South Eastern Circuit

2014- Chairman, Kalisher Trust

Fellow, Royal Society of Arts

Patron, Scene & Heard Childrens’ Charity


German and French (basic)

Chambers UK - Crime

”The clerks are very dependable," and “always anxious to help.”


Chambers UK - Fraud

"Red Lion Chambers both prosecutes and defends serious fraud cases, securing involvement in some of the causes célèbres of the day such as the BAE Systems corruption affair and the pharmaceuticals cartel investigation."

Chambers UK - Crime

"Red Lion Chambers offers clients a great deal of experience and a high level of professionalism. Observers note that it has proved skilful in maintaining the standards of its members over the years and it is widely expected to thrive in this period of uncertainty at the Criminal Bar."

Chambers UK - Fraud

"Substantial number of talented criminal fraud practitioners."

Chambers UK - Crime

"When instructing barristers from Red Lion Chambers, you always know that you will get a safe pair of hands. The large group of capable barristers specialises in the full range of criminal and related regulatory work."

Chambers UK - Crime

"Likeable, knowledgeable, responsive and proactive clerks."

Chambers UK - Crime

"Because Red Lion Chambers has that strength and depth, if you cannot obtain your barrister of choice, there is always someone of equal stature and ability to then take on the case."

Chambers UK - Fraud

"Red Lion Chambers is viewed as "one of the prestige sets" and is a popular choice for fraud work."

Chambers UK - Fraud

"The clerks are very helpful and always do their very best to accommodate us at short notice. They work closely with the members, so they are very good at knowing who you will like and who you will want."

Chambers UK - Fraud

Home to some of the most cogent, eloquent and outstandingly prepared advocates."

Legal 500 - Crime

"Around 80 members dedicated exclusively to the full range of crime work."

Chambers UK - Fraud

"You can't go wrong at Red Lion Chambers if you are facing a serious, high-value fraud matter. Its team is well versed in all aspects of white-collar crime, and excels when defending lengthy and labyrinthine fraud trials. It also proves equally strong on the prosecution side ..."


020 7520 6000

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