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Shahida Begum

  • Call: 2008
Garden Court Chambers


Shahida is a specialist criminal defence practitioner. She has experience defending clients in a range of matters from serious violence and dishonesty, to drug supply and sexual offences. Shahida also has experience with cases involving a cross-over with other practice areas. She has worked on cases raising immigration, family and housing law issues. This has led to a specialism in defending refugees and victims of trafficking, youths and protestors. Shahida also practices extradition and crime related public law.



R v SO-R – Junior advocate in youth gang-related murder. Led by Icah Peart QC.  ‘Gang evidence’, telephone records and cell site evidence. Multiple defendants

R v DCN – Youth gang-related attempted murder

R v JA – Junior advocate in conspiracy to control prostitution and money laundering over £2million. Led by Tom Wainwright. Multiple premises and bank accounts. Multiple defendants

R v MD – Money laundering allegation of £40 million. Multiple defendants

R v MI – Junior advocate in conspiracy to cause GBH and possession of firearms. Led by Alex Taylor-Camara. Series of shootings in Bedford. Multiple defendants

R v LA – Junior advocate in conspiracy to supply class A drugs and money laundering offences. Led by Nick Wrack. ‘County lines’ allegation

R v DH – Junior advocate in child cruelty linked to manslaughter charge of co-defendant. Led by Helen Johnson of Emery Johnson Astills.

R v RV – Section 18 and robbery involving a firearm

R v FA – Section 18, fracture to eye socket. Application to dismiss on causation.

R v AS – Robbery with a knife. Facebook identification

R v TS – Multiple count indictment of affray, ABH, common assault and criminal damage

Serious Fraud Office – Instructed as disclosure counsel in restraint proceedings involving possible proceeds of crime from Ukraine, disclosure counsel in case involving allegations of bribery to secure contracts for currency production and independent LPP Counsel on the Rolls Royce investigation

R v SM – Trademark offences and breach of EU safety regulations. Application to dismiss on the basis ‘not in the course of trade or business’

R v AC – Southern Rail employee fraud

R v IN – Multinational company in breach of planning regulations during London 2012

R v BW – Supply class A

R v JMD – Supply class B


Romania v DS – Specificity of warrant

Turkey v KZ – Alevi sought for ID card offences. Human rights and extraneous considerations

Turkey v IK  – Alevi social justice activist in 1990s, accused of terrorism offences. Dual criminality, human rights and extraneous considerations

Turkey v KD – Alevi, Kurd and social justice activist in 1990s accused of terrorism offences. Dual criminality, human rights and extraneous considerations

Civil liberties

FJ v DPP – Section 14 order and obstruction of the highway. FJ was protesting corruption in the judiciary outside the Royal Courts of Justice

R v JD – Section 14 order and obstructing the highway. JD was protesting against fracking in Balcombe. High profile case which involved a Member of Parliament who was a co-defendant, Caroline Lucas MP

R v KB, CH and LE – Three defendants, s.14 order and obstructing the highway, linked to R v JD above (alleged offences occurred on the same day). Protest against fracking in Balcombe

R v CD – Obstructing an officer in the execution of duty and obstructing the highway. CD in student protest against cuts to university administration

R v AC – Aggravated trespass. Protest against the Bexhill-Hastings link road

R v OS – Aggravated trespass and common assault. Linked to R v AC, protest against the Bexhill-Hastings link road (occurred earlier in time but part of the same campaign)


Assisted with research for 7/7 inquiry


R v YH – Application for leave to appeal against conviction out of time. Refugee not advised of relevant defence who entered a guilty plea in 2009. The ‘substantial injustice’ test does not apply to non-change of law cases.

R v JM [2017] EWCA Crim 1228 – Guideline case. Junior advocate in appeal against conviction and sentence. Led by Henry Blaxland QC. Joint enterprise murder. Effective participation of youth defendants and post-Jogee directions. Challenge to mandatory life sentences for youths

R v AA [2017] 1 Cr. App. R. 33 – Guideline case. Remit of the protections for victims of trafficking charged with criminal offences

R v ZK – Remit of the reduction to be afforded to victims of trafficking in mitigation

R v JM [2013] EWCA Crim 1051 – Guideline case. Junior advocate in appeal against conviction. Led by Tom Wainwright. Female who disguised herself as a male and had a relationship with another female, whether deception as to gender can vitiate consent

Romania v DS [2014] EWHC 1326 – Specificity of warrant and article 8, expert evidence on whether Brussels II applied

FJ v DPP [2015] EWHC 3296 Guideline case. Junior advocate in appeal against conviction. Led by Tim Owen QC. Legality of s.14 and proportionality of the prosecution

Articles & Publications

Co-author of ‘Criminal Disclosure Referencer’, Wainwright, Fenn and Begum (Bloomsbury – Second edition published December 2017).

Associated Work

Served as Junior Representative on Garden Court Board of Directors

Conducts pupillage training and advocacy

On approved list of Assistant Counsel at the International Criminal Court


Shahida was educated in east London and studied law at Cambridge University and King’s College London. Shahida undertook work experience with the BBC in Nairobi, voluntary work in Rio de Janeiro, a Legal Protection internship at UNHCR London and taught English in Guangzhou before coming to the Bar.

Shahida enjoys mentoring young people having previously tutored in schools and is on the Board of an initiative to encourage children from east London to consider careers in technology called the ‘Inventors Club’.

Shahida enjoys travelling, films and karaoke.