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Areas of Practice:

• Crime
• Financial & Regulatory Crime
• Public & Human Rights


David Gottlieb is a leading junior practitioner and trial lawyer with an extensive defence practice in complex crime including terrorism, fraud and money laundering. He also continues, where possible, to represent anyone who believes they have been treated unfairly and require fearless representation.

He has advised and continued to advise in relation to criminal and quasi criminal civil matters including Inquests, Disciplinary and Regulatory Hearings.


His cases, many of which are high profile and have been reported, involve Terrorism, Freedom of Speech, Murder, Firearms, Drug Trafficking, Money Laundering, Fraud, Extradition, Control Orders and TPIMS, Special Immigration and Appeals Commission, Human Rights, Civil Liberties and Public Law. He has a long-standing interest in cases concerning the treatment of people with mental health issues.

Notable Cases:

• 2017 R v Mashoud Miah. Central Criminal Court. (Charity worker who aided insurgents in Syria after Aleppo bombing) First successful acquittal of terrorism offences on grounds of self defence.

• 2017 UK (name redacted) Successfully advised teachers in the ‘Trojan Horse school Inquiry’.

• 2016 R v Bashir. Central Criminal Court. (speeches supporting ISIS with ~Isabella Forshall QC).

• 2016 R v Hamlett. Central Criminal Court. (‘The ISIS-style drive-by shooting plot’) Successful acquittal with Nigel Lambert QC of conspiracy to murder.

• 2015 Cage Prisoners UK v Charity Commission. (The ‘Jihadi John’ case) Represented Cage Prisoners UK. Charity commission conceded they did not have the power to direct charities not to fund Cage.

• 2014 R v Yousma Jan. Central Criminal Court. (Young woman accused of failing to disclose husband was a terrorist). Successfully argued for bail. Case dropped shortly before trial after legal arguments.

• 2014 Y1. Represented the first British citizen to be stripped of his nationality before Special Immigration Appeal Tribunal.

• 2013 R v Michael Adebolajo. Central Criminal Court. Represented Michael Adebolajo, the first defendant, in the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby (the Woolwich murder).

• 2013 R v Salma Kabal. Woolwich Crown Court. Successfully acquitted of failing to disclose husband was a terrorist.

• 2012 R v HE. Central Criminal Court. (downloading bomb-making instructions from the internet). Successful defence young man before a jury.

• 2012 R v M Smith. Worcester Crown Court. Successful defence of singer and songwriter PJ Proby before a jury (benefit fraud). Case dismissed after cross-examination.

• 2010 R v NJ. Snaresbrook Crown Court. (making up a false allegation of rape in order to stay in the U.K). Successful defence of NJ, a young mother, before a jury.

• 2010 R v M. Weston. Inner London Crown Court. Successful acquittal at half time for five possession of firearm charges with intent.

• 2009 R v Sadrettin. Inner London Crown Court. Importation £10 million of heroin. Successful acquittal.

• 2009 R v J. Hatch. Manchester Crown Court. (Fathers 4 Justice handcuffing of a government minister). Successful acquittal of false imprisonment on grounds of justifiable protest.

• 2009 R v Usman Malik. Central Criminal Court. First prosecution under section 57 Terrorism Act (2000). Possession of an article for a terrorist purpose. Successfully argued for bail in a terrorism case. Conviction quashed on appeal.

Reported Cases:

• R v Alangir and others [2018] EWCA Crim 1321 Speeches supporting ISIS.

• R v Adebolajo and others [2014] EWCA Crim 2779 Represented the first defendant in the Lee Rigby Woolwich murder trial. (meaning of ‘under the Queen’s peace’ in the definition of murder/ whole life sentences)

• M (Parliamentary candidate name redacted) [2012] Conviction for possession of child pornography quashed and retrial ordered; to be reported.

• Saunders v R [2012] EWCA Crim 1380; [2012] EWCA Crim 1380 (inferences from silence).

• Arshad v Southwark Crown Court [2011] EWCA 2728 108(20); L.S.G. 2110 (£10 million fraud). Successfully released on bail due to failure to comply with Custody Time Limits.

• R v Abbas [2009] EWCA Crim 1386; [2010] Cr.App. R (S) 47; [2010] 1 Cr.App. Rep (S) 47. Successfully reduced sentence for an unprovoked assault.

• R v Shah Jala Hussain [2009] EWCA Crim 920 leading Freya Rowe. Successfully reduced sentence for fundraising contrary to s.15(1) Terrorism Act 2000.

• Zafar & Ors v R [2008] EWCA Crim 184; [2008] 2 Cr App R 8; [2008] 2 Cr App Rep 8; [2008] 2 WLR 1013; [2008] 4 All ER 46; [2008] QB 810. Successful appeal against section 57 Terrorism Act which distinguished M(2). In his judgment, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips said: ‘Early in the trial Mr Gottlieb, on behalf of Malik, asked the judge to rule on the meaning and scope of section 57. His concise written submissions in support of the application argued that the phrase ‘a purpose connected with’ required the connection to be direct, not merely remote, and that the purpose had to be connected with the immediate commission, preparation or instigation of terrorist acts, at least in the sense of something that was to happen within a relatively short time’.

• R v K [2008] EWCA Crim 1900; [2009] 1 All ER 510; [2009] 1 Cr App R 9; [2009] 1 Cr App Rep 9; [2009] 1 WLR 694; [2009] PNLR 6, [2009] WLR 694. Successful interlocutory appeal for non-practising barrister accused of practising without a certificate.

• R v M [2007] EWCA Crim 298, [2008] Crim LR 71. Interlocutory appeal successfully dismissing an offence under section 57 Terrorism Act 2000 (later overturned).

• R v M (2) [2007] EWCA Crim 970; [2007] 3 All ER 53, [2007]; [2008] 2 Cr App R 8, [2008] 2 Cr App Rep 8, [2008] 2 WLR 1013, [2008] 4 All ER 46, [2008] EWCA Crim 184, [2008] QB 810 First attempt to challenge the overturning of M1, leading Faisal Saifee.

• AD (Control Order) [2007] The Times May 18 2007: First prosecution of a control order to reach the Court of Appeal (defendant absconded before trial; prosecution stayed).

• Malik v Central Criminal Court & another [2006] EWHC 1539 (Admin) [2006] 4 All ER 1141, [2007] 1 WLR 2455. First successful Judicial Review leading to the release on bail of a person accused of an offence under 2000 Terrorism Act.

• Dales & Others (on the application of) v Wolverhampton Crown Court & Another [2003] EWHC 1307 Successful appeal leading to release on bail for large drugs conspiracy on Custody Time Limits.

• R v Watters [2000] EWCA Crim 89 (19th October 2000) Successful Appeal against conviction. The trial judge wrongly directed the jury on the significance of unsupported DNA evidence.

• R v Waseem Malik (1999) EWCA 1718 (22nd April, 1999) A police-officer may be cross-examined on his disciplinary record. In his judgment the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham, said that ‘[Mr Gottlieb] made his submissions in an attractive and persuasive manner’.


• Criminal Bar Association

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