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Rajiv Menon QC

  • Call: 1993
  • Silk: 2011
"Fearless when it is required."

Legal 500, 2019


Rajiv has over 20 years of experience in a wide range of serious, complex and high profile cases. His primary area of work is criminal defence, both at trial and appellate level. He also specialises in related areas of criminal justice including inquests, extradition, regulatory law, police actions, criminal judicial review, ECHR applications and Privy Council death penalty appeals. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2011.

Rajiv is particularly interested in cases involving human rights violations, miscarriages of justice, political protest and the abuse of power by the state.

Rajiv’s criminal practice covers the entire spectrum of criminal law including murder, terrorism, public order, drug trafficking, armed robbery, fraud and money laundering. He has defended in over 30 murder and 20 terrorist cases. He has also acted for many political activists and protestors including those involved in anti-nuclear, anti-war, anti-fascist and environmental campaigns.

Rajiv was leading counsel for ten of the bereaved families at the new inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool football supporters who died at Hillsborough stadium in 1989. The inquests were the longest jury proceedings in British legal history. The jury concluded that the 96 men, women and children who died were unlawfully killed as a result of the gross negligence of the match commander, Chief Superintendent Duckenfield. Rajiv questioned over 75 witnesses including Mr Duckenfield at the inquests on behalf of 77 of the bereaved families.

Earlier in his career, Rajiv was junior counsel for Dwayne Brooks at the Stephen Lawrence Public Inquiry. Dwayne was the principal eyewitness and surviving victim of the racist attack that killed Stephen Lawrence. This Inquiry was a landmark event in the history of race relations in the UK, given its condemnation of institutional racism within the police service.

Rajiv’s experience in related areas of criminal justice is extensive. He has acted for those facing extradition in a number of important cases, both at first instance and on appeal. He has acted for the families of the deceased at a number of contentious inquests, including those into the deaths of Mikey Powell, Paul Coker, Adam Rickwood and Julian Webster. And he has represented claimants in over 100 police actions.

Rajiv is ranked for crime in the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

Notable Cases

Terrorist cases

R v Kalayci & others (2004) – Kingston Crown Court – Represented A Kalender – Prosecution for terrorist fundraising & membership of Turkish proscribed organisation stayed on grounds of abuse of process
R v Rowe (2005) – Old Bailey – Represented A Rowe – Case involving possession of articles for terrorist purposes
R v Khyam & others (2006-2007) – Old Bailey – Operation Crevice “fertiliser” trial that lasted over a year – Represented S Mahmood who was acquitted of conspiracy to cause explosions
R v Tsouli & others (2007) – Woolwich Crown Court – Represented T Al-Daour – Case involving incitement of terrorist murder and conspiracy to defraud
R v Bullivant (2007) – Old Bailey – Represented C Bullivant who was acquitted of breach of control order obligations on grounds of reasonable excuse
R v Tabbakh (2008) – Birmingham Crown Court – Represented H Tabbakh – Case involving preparatory terrorist acts & what constitutes explosive capacity
R v Baluch & Marri (2009) – Woolwich Crown Court – Case involving use of anti-terrorist legislation to prosecute supporters of armed liberation struggle in Balochistan against repressive regime – Represented H Marri who was acquitted of inciting terrorist murder & preparatory terrorist acts
R v Siddiqui & others (2010) – Old Bailey – Represented AN who was acquitted of conspiracy to breach control order obligations
R v Mohamed & Yusuf (2009) – Kingston Crown Court – Case involving use of anti-terrorist legislation to prosecute supporters of armed liberation struggle in Somalia against foreign occupying army – Represented M Yusuf who was acquitted of dissemination of terrorist publications and terrorist fundraising
R v Yusuf (2010) – Old Bailey – Retrial for possession of documents likely to be of use to terrorists – Represented M Yusuf who was acquitted when prosecution offered no evidence following 2nd hung jury
R v Chowdhury & others (2012) – Woolwich Crown Court – Represented G Desai – Case involving preparatory terrorist acts, namely planned detonation of explosive device at London Stock Exchange
R v Iqbal & others (2013) – Woolwich Crown Court – Represented S Hussain – Case involving preparatory terrorist acts
R v Khan & others (2013) – Woolwich Crown Court – Represented A Hussain – Case involving preparatory terrorist acts, namely planned armed attack on English Defence League rally in Dewsbury
R v Shaukat & others (2016) – Old Bailey – Represented A Shaukat – Case involving preparatory terrorist acts & Syria
R v Abdallah & Gray (2016) – Woolwich Crown Court – Represented A Abdallah – Case involving preparatory terrorist acts & Syria
R v Abdalla & Diini (2015-2016) – Old Bailey – Represented A Abdalla – Case involving preparatory terrorist acts & Syria
R v Ali & others (2017) – Old Bailey – Represented K Hussain – “Three Musketeers” case involving alleged terrorist plot to kill
R v Abdallah (2017) – Old Bailey – Represented M Abdallah – Case involving Syria and membership of Islamic State

Other recent criminal cases

R v Brown (2009) – Winchester Crown Court – Murder
R v Johnson (2010) – Winchester Crown Court – Double murder
R v Robinson (2011) – Old Bailey – Murder
R v Moles (2011) – Old Bailey – Murder
R v Young (2012) – Birmingham Crown Court – Murder
R v Ennis-Simpson (2012) – Old Bailey – Double murder
R v Naja (2013) – Wolverhampton Crown Court – Manslaughter
R v Marshall (2013) – Birmingham Crown Court – Conspiracy to import & supply cocaine
R v Maynard (2013) – Old Bailey – Murder
R v Williams (2013) – Birmingham Crown Court – Double murder
R v Kumarathas (2014) – Southwark Crown Court – £130 million Bureau de Change money laundering
R v Holub (2015) – Leicester Crown Court – Murder
R v Christian (2016) – Maidstone Crown Court – Double murder
R v Khan (2016) – Bradford Crown Court – Murder
R v Ali (2017) – Birmingham Crown Court – Attempted murder

Reported criminal appeals

R v Roble [1997] Crim LR 449 – Appeal on how legal advice to remain silent when questioned could prevent adverse inference direction under s34 of Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
R v Davis [1998] Crim LR 564 – Appeal on whether screwdriver is bladed article in law
R v Lambert, Ali & Jordan [2002] QB 1112 – Appeal on whether reverse legal burden on defendant to prove diminished responsibility in murder trial is compatible with presumption of innocence under article 6(2) of ECHR
R v Reid & others [2002] 1 Cr App R 21 – Appeal on admissibility of psychiatric reports ordered by court in cut-throat murder trial
R v Quayle & others [2005] 2 Cr App 34 – Appeal on availability of necessity defence to those who use or supply cannabis for medicinal purposes
R v Anderson & Norris [2006] EWCA Crim 738 – Appeal on whether there can be possession of firearm with intent to endanger life where firearm is unloaded
R v Rowe [2007] QB 975 – Appeal on availability of self-defence in terrorist cases & ambit of s57 & s58 of Terrorism Act 2000
Attorney General’s References (Nos. 85, 86 & 87 of 2007) [2008] 2 Cr App R (S) 45 – Appeal on appropriate sentences to be passed for incitement of terrorist murder through internet websites & chat forums
R v Jones [2008] EWCA Crim 3317 – Sentence of life imprisonment reduced to sentence of imprisonment for public protection
R v Akintayo [2008] EWCA Crim 3040 – Sentence of imprisonment for public protection reduced to determinate sentence
R v Tabbakh [2010] Crim LR 79 – Appeal on what can properly be taken into account when deciding whether defendant with mental condition should receive adverse inference direction under s35 of Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994
R v AY [2010] 1 WLR 2644 – Interlocutory appeal on ambit of reasonable excuse defence in terrorist cases & whether it can extend to intended use of military information for lawful defence of others
R v H [2012] EWCA Crim 525 – Interlocutory appeal in which stay for abuse was upheld due to legal uncertainty about whether powdered bark & dried cacti containing Class A drugs amounted to preparations or products under Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
R v L, R, S & E [2012] EWCA Crim 2611 – Interlocutory appeal on fairness of identification procedure where identical twins were both suspects
R v AA & MD [2016] EWCA Crim 7 – Interlocutory appeal of ex parte ruling on disclosure, public interest immunity & use of “neither confirm nor deny”
R v Abdallah, Shaukat & others [2017] 1 WLR 1699 – Appeal against sentence in series of cases involving preparatory terrorist acts & Syria

Recent Inquests

Inquest into death of Mikey Powell (2009) – Birmingham Coroner’s Court – Jury found that Mikey died of positional asphyxia in police van, rejecting alternative cause of death, namely that Mikey died of exertional sudden death associated with his sickle cell trait
Inquest into death of Paul Coker (2010) – Southwark Coroner’s Court – Jury found that Paul died of variant of excited delirium & returned narrative verdict criticising police training on excited delirium, inadequate communication & pooling of information & failure of FME to carry out adequate medical assessment
Inquest into death of Adam Rickwood (2011) – Durham Coroner’s Court – Adam was youngest child to die in custody in modern times, aged only 14 – Jury returned damning narrative verdict, condemning every institution involved in Adam’s care including SERCO, Youth Justice Board & prison service
Inquest into death of Julian Webster (2012) – Manchester Coroner’s Court – Jury found that effects of restraint by door security staff outside nightclub significantly contributed to Julian’s death
Hillsborough Inquests (2014-2016) – Birchwood Park, Warrington – Jury found that 96 Liverpool football supporters were unlawfully killed as a result of gross negligence of match commander, Chief Superintendent Duckenfield – Jury also found that Liverpool football supporters did not cause or contribute to disaster

Recent extradition cases

Mauritius v Appasamy (2009) – Multimillion pound fraud, money laundering and corruption case – Court held that extradition would be unjust and oppressive due to client’s mental condition
Albania v Mustafaj (2009) – Attempted murder & firearms case – Court held that extradition would be oppressive due to passage of time and would breach client’s rights under article 3 of ECHR
Bulla v Albania [2010] EWHC 3506 (Admin) – Armed robbery case – Appeal allowed as unclear whether client who was convicted in absentia would receive retrial if extradited
Zdinjak v Croatia [2012] ACD 95 – War crimes case – Appeal allowed due to breach of double jeopardy principle, client having been convicted twice of different offences founded on substantially same facts
Ragul & Nadarajah v Azerbaijan [2012] ACD 116 – Court held that appellants should be granted extension to file and serve notices of appeal out of time where lateness solely due to miscalculation of statutory time limits by solicitor
Ragul & Nadarajah v Azerbaijan [2013] ECHC 2000 (Admin) – Appeals dismissed – Court held that extradition was neither oppressive nor human rights incompatible

Reported judicial reviews

Percy v DPP [2002] Crim LR 835 – Appeal by way of case stated on whether public order conviction for standing & writing on American flag is compatible with right to freedom of expression under article 10 of ECHR
Hasani v Blackfriars Crown Court [2006] 1 WLR 1992 – Judicial review on procedure to adopt when defendant found unfit to plead becomes fit prior to disposal
R (Gillan & Quinton) v Metropolitan Police Commissioner & Home Secretary [2006] 2 Cr App R 36, HL – Judicial review of use of arbitrary stop & search powers under Terrorism Act 2000 against political protestors & journalist
Thomas & Stubbs v Central Criminal Court [2007] 1 WLR 3278 – Judicial review on how to approach lack of due diligence when challenging decision to extend custody time limits
R (Webster) v CPS [2014] EWHC 2516 (Admin) – Judicial review of CPS decision not to prosecute – Divisional Court quashed decision not to prosecute for unlawful act manlaughter & ordered CPS to review matter afresh


Before becoming a barrister, Rajiv spent an exhilarating three years working for Newham Monitoring Project, an anti-racist campaigning organisation that provides legal advice and practical support to victims of racial and police harassment in east London.


Rajiv is a Trustee of INQUEST and convenes Garden Court’s Special Fund that has donated over £1 million to campaigning organisations and charities working in the fields of civil liberties and social justice.

Rajiv won the Criminal Lawyer of the Year award at the Society of Asian Lawyers Awards in 2011 and was part of the Garden Court Hillsborough team that won the Outstanding Achievement award at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards in 2016. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Law in 2017.