Zafar Ali QC, FCIArb

International Arbitrator & Criminal Defence Barrister, London

“Glass, china, and reputation are easily cracked, and never well mended” – Benjamin Franklin

If you are charged with an offence, the loss of not only your liberty but your reputation and livelihood are also at stake. You will want to be represented by a committed criminal defence barrister with a long history of acquittals.


About Zafar

Zafar is cited as a leader in crime by the Legal 500, who describe him as “a flawless courtroom performer” and "down to earth, sharp, tactically astute and works harder than anyone in defence of his client." He has established himself as a leading defender, who stands out as a “well prepared and meticulous advocate”.

Before being called to the bar, Zafar served as an army officer. It was this that taught him discipline, precision and rigour, which he now utilises in the courtroom.

Since being called the bar in 1994, Zafar has exclusively defended. His work spans the full spectrum of criminal law from tax evasion to terrorism. Zafar took silk in 2012. His work remains varied, and in the last year alone, Zafar has worked on murders, complex frauds, confiscations, drug importations and appeals against convictions and sentence.

Zafar has considerable experience in arbitration and mediation, and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He also holds a Diploma in International Arbitration from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is frequently instructed in international cases. Since call, he has advised many international organisations and governments, including Pakistan and Syria, and he has advised the leader of the Malaysian Opposition; Anwar Ibrihim, on his appeal.

Zafar practices from 23 Essex Street Chambers in London, and St. Ives Chambers in Birmingham:

Link to 23 Essex Street website

Link to St. Ives Chambers website

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