Hossein Zahir specialises in criminal defence work. Formerly as a solicitor and now as a barrister he has represented defendants charged with murder, drug trafficking, fraud, money laundering and other serious crimes. He has a particular interest in terrorism and public order and protest cases.
Over the years Hossein has acted for political activists involved in anti-war, human rights and anti-fascist campaigns. He acted for the majority of the defendants charged following the Burnley riots in 2001, where the defendants successfully argued they were defending their community, and a number of those charged following the Oldham riots of 2001. He also successfully acted for seven defendants charged with membership and fundraising for a proscribed organisation in R v Kalayci and others (2004) Kingston Crown Court.
As a solicitor advocate Hossein acted as junior in the “Ricin” trial (an alleged terrorist conspiracy to murder) and junior alone for Joseph Magee on a plea to murder (an INLA suspect sentenced for murder in Nottingham).
Since transferring to the Bar, Hossein has maintained a varied practice with a focus on terrorism cases.
Hossein is ranked for criminal law in Chambers UK 2018 (Band 4), Chambers UK 2017 (Band 5), 2016 and 2015 (‘Up and Coming’).
Reported and Notable Cases
R v Iqbal & others (2013) – Woolwich Crown Court
Represented Mohammed Ahmed who pleaded guilty to engaging in preparatory terrorist conduct.
R v Irfan Naseer (2013) Woolwich Crown Court
Represented Bahader Ali, Mohammed Rizwan and Mujahid Hussain on guilty pleas in relation to allegations of acts preparatory to acts of terrorism and terrorist fund raising.
R v Khan & others (2013) Woolwich Crown Court
Represented O Khan who pleaded guilty to engaging in preparatory terrorist conduct, namely an armed attack on an English Defence League rally in Dewsbury.
R v DD (2013) Central Criminal Court
Represented DD charged with breaching a Terrorism Prevention Investigation Measure (TPIM).
R v Begum (2012) Central Criminal Court
Defendant charged with possessing terrorist documents/ publication.
R v Chowdhury & others (2012) Woolwich Crown Court
Represented O Latif who pleaded guilty to engaging in preparatory terrorist conduct.
R v Kanmi (2010) Manchester Crown Court
Represented defendant charged with various terrorist offences including dissemination of terrorist publications. Engaged complicated mental health issues.
R v Shanthan (2009) Kingston Crown Court
Represented Shanthan in a trial of alleged members of the proscribed organisation LTTE (Tamil Tigers) and providing support for that organisation.
R v Saleem (2008) Kingston Crown Court
Trial of former members of the Islamist group Al Muhajiroun. Represented Abdul Saleem accused of inciting terrorism and fundraising.
R v Ahmed Ali and others (2008) Woolwich Crown Court
The “Heathrow bomb plot” or Operation Overt – represented Mohammed Gulzar.
R v Baluch and Marri (2008) Woolwich Crown Court
Represented Faiz Baluch who successfully raised the defence of self defence to allegations of inciting terrorist murder overseas and involvement with a terrorist group operating in Baluchistan, Pakistan.
R v Barot & others (2007) Woolwich Crown Court
The “Dirty bomb plot” – Represented Junade Feroze.
R v Khyam & Others (2006-2007) Central Criminal Court
Operation Crevice “fertiliser bomb plot” trial – Represented Anthony Garcia
R v Usman Khan  EWCA Crim 468
Consideration of dangerousness in terrorist cases.
R v Wassab Khan  EWCA Crim 1345
Consideration of the test to be applied on submission of no case to answer.
R v Abdul Rehman Saleem & Ors  EWCA Crim 920
Sentences reduced on appeal for terrorist convictions.
R v Omar Khyam & Ors  EWCA Crim 1612
Appeal against conviction and sentence.
Ayliffe, Swain and Percy v DPP  EWHC 684 (Admin)
Appeal by way of case stated on the question of lawful activity in aggravated trespass the appellants claiming the activity they disrupted was unlawful as it was in pursuance of the Iraq war. Hossein was the instructing solicitor.
R v Saddiqui  EWCA Crim 1191
Appeal against sentence in relation to the Burnley disorders. The court clarified the approach to violent disorder arising from the appellants’ lawful presence in the streets in defence of their community.
Percy v DPP  EWHC Admin 1125
Appeal by way of case stated on protest, freedom of expression and Article 10 ECHR. Hossein was the instructing solicitor.
R v (1) Kingston Crown Court (2) Sutton Youth Court Ex Parte B 164 JP 633 QBD (2000)
Judicial review of the application of youth courts time limits and the duty to provide reasons.
Other Recent Cases
R v Eroglu (2012) – Central Criminal Court
Represented defendant charged with arson by throwing petrol bombs into a cafe used by political opponents.
R v Iqbal (2012) – Liverpool Crown Court
Represented defendant in relation to complicated allegation of fraud linked to dental practise.
R v Azad Hussain (2011) – Snaresbrook Crown Court
Represented defendant charged with wounding a teacher in east London for ideological reasons.
R v Rollins (2011) – Blackfriars Crown Court
Represented defendant charged with conspiracy to commit violent disorder as part of an anti-fascist protest.
R v Woollard (2011) – Southwark Crown Court
Represented a student who threw a fire extinguisher from a roof top during protest.
In the early 1990s Hossein spent a number of years working for the Newham Monitoring Project, an anti-racist campaigning organisation that provides legal advice and practical support to victims of racial violence and harassment in east London.
He qualified as a solicitor in 1998 having completed his training at Bindman and Partners solicitors. He then moved to Hickman and Rose solicitors where he qualified as a court and police station duty solicitor. In 2000 he moved to Birnberg Peirce and Partners solicitors where he qualified as a Higher Courts Advocate in 2003. He transferred to the Bar in 2005.