The secure CJSM email is:

salma.lalani@1mcb.cjsm.net

Salma specialises mainly in defence work and has developed a highly successful practice encompassing all areas of serious and complex crime.

A well respected leading junior highly sought after by solicitors who are impressed by her sensible, thorough and well balanced approach to often difficult matters.

She began her practice in family law and is also regularly instructed in regulatory work. Her mixed practice background gives her an edge in her approach to case strategy and client relations.

Crime

Extensive experience in all aspects of criminal defence work in the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal including abuse of process hearings, written advice on evidence and appeals against sentence and conviction. Particular experience and notable successes in cases of serious violent crime, harassment, fraud, drugs and public order offences as well as road traffic matters, both publicly and privately funded.

Recent cases

  • R v G & Ors (Central Criminal Court, March 2017): defended D who along with two others was charged with murder. Victim had attacked D some four years before and the prosecution alleged that the assault on the deceased was a reprisal in the context of gang rivalry. CCTV showed the attack but identification of the attackers was not possible. Prosecution relied on CCTV, cell site and forensic evidence. 7 week trial. Led by John Benson QC from 1MCB Chambers.
  • R v G: multi-handed large-scale complex fraud. Represented defendant who was deemed a principal in a gang of 15 that stole the identities of 1300 NHS staff to claim £1 million in benefits;
  • R v AZ: the defendant was accused of the rape of a special constable. Issues of capacity to consent and reasonable belief. The defendant was acquitted;
  • R v A: led junior in a murder trial. Fatal stabbing where the defendant argued self-defence;
  • R v B: led junior in a Serious Organised Crime Agency prosecution of a substantial drugs conspiracy. Case involved significant cell site analysis, telephone interrogation material, covert surveillance and public interest immunity issues. Multiple defendants at each trial. Co-defendant was convicted and the defendant was subject to a retrial whereby the jury was again unable to reach a decision. SOCA became the National Crime Agency and sought a second retrial at which the defendant was convicted of conspiracy fraudulently to evade the prohibition on the importation of a class A drug, namely cocaine. He was subsequently sentenced to 14 years imprisonment. The matter was appealed on the ground that the judge should not have permitted a third trial upon the same allegation to be conducted.  The appeal was allowed on the basis that the Crown had failed to demonstrate that the case was sufficiently exceptional and the second retrial should not have taken place. The conviction was quashed. Reported as Burton [2015] EWCA Crim 1307; [2016] 1 Cr. App. R. 7; [2016] Crim. L.R. 75;
  • R v A & Others: defended one of five defendants involved in a serious public order offence on New Year’s Eve on Tower Bridge involving the use of bottles and blades. The defendant accepted presence but that he did not participate in the incident. He was the only defendant to be acquitted after trial;
  • R v JJ: defendant accused of harassing and assaulting his ex-partner. The matters against him prevented him from seeing his children. Family proceedings were awaiting the outcome of the trial. Defendant was acquitted;
  • R v JM: defendant was accused of dangerous driving with another in a stolen vehicle. The case included cross-examination of numerous police officers involved in a prolonged police chase and analysis of substantial CCTV and identification evidence. The defendant was acquitted.
  • R v K: defendant accused of theft from an employer. Case relied on his fingerprint being found inside a safe, which had been broken into and damaged. He was not permitted access to the safe or the room it was located in. The defendant absconded and the trial proceeded in his absence. Successful application to dismiss the matter based on innocent transference;
  • R v S: defended multi-count trial of possession with intent to supply class A drugs. Large quantity of items seized from the defendant upon search. Legal argument regarding insufficient forensic analysis on prosecution exhibits was successful. Prosecution offered no evidence;
  • R v N: represented one of six defendants in a multi-handed large-scale drugs supply operation. Police raid at a home recovered class A drugs, significant amounts of cash as well as drugs related paraphernalia and evidence of supply chains. Prosecution persuaded to accepted lesser role and defendant sentenced to a community penalty;
  • R v L: led junior in a well-publicised multi-handed robbery case involving the London underground network. The defendant was the only one of eight defendants acquitted. Relied heavily on attention to detail and analysis of CCTV evidence;
  • R v K: complex and large scale immigration fraud spanning decades. An operation involving the manipulation of the immigration process through false documentation;
  • R v J: successfully defended a security officer to celebrities charged with section 18 wounding with intent. Eye witnesses supported the alleged attack. Acquitted unanimously by the jury;
  • R v R: possession of class A with intent to supply. Significant seizure of drugs, money and paraphernalia with mobile phone interrogation evidence relied upon. At trial negotiated a basis of plea limited to social supply to a friend only.
  • R v R: led junior at contested confiscation proceedings. £3 million reduced to £150,000 as the available amount;
  • R v A: Operation Trojan, undercover Met Police drugs operation. Extensive legal arguments relating to RIPA and covert methods. Abuse of process.

Family

Salma’s practise encompasses all areas of family law from cases concerning financial remedies following relationship breakdowns to child welfare matters.  

She undertakes the full range of private law matters including child arrangement, prohibited steps orders, specific issues orders and fact finding hearings.

Regulatory law

Routinely acts for the Nursing & Midwifery Council as a case presenter in professional disciplinary proceedings. Expertise in dealing with complex evidence in the context of serious criminal trials provides a significant advantage in dealing with witnesses and technical issues in such disciplinary cases.

Education

  • Diploma in Professional Legal Skills – City University, London
  • Bar Vocational Course – Inns of Court School of Law
  • LLB (Hons)  – City University, London
  • BA (Hons) Sociology – Birmingham City University

Scholarships

  • Jules Thorn Scholarship, Middle Temple

Awards

  • City University Law Prize (End of Year Exam Results)
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