Lan Leist KC Criminal Barrister

Year of Call 2003



View Privacy Notice

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Defence
  • Public Prosecution | Grade 2
  • Regulatory, Disciplinary & Court-Martial
  • Business Crime & Financial Services

Professional Memberships

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • South Eastern Circuit


Paul is an experienced criminal barrister specialising in cases that require expert advocacy skills. He is regularly instructed to defend and prosecute in high profile, serious fraud and money laundering cases, serious violence, kidnap and drug-related offences as both leading and junior alone.

Paul has developed skills in these particular areas. He has an ability for dealing with voluminous quantities of evidence, both paper and digital displaying ease to quickly absorb and assimilate such quantities of evidence to marshal and present to the court in a trial.

With a particular specialism in telephone cell site evidence, Paul has become a sought- after advocate with a specialist forensic eye for dealing with vast quantities of telecoms evidence.

Paul has a varied practice and represents both individual and corporate clients, respectively. Paul is called upon to advise professional clients at an early stage of proceedings in respect of strategy and to achieve the best outcome for lay clients.

Paul has appeared as both leading counsel and junior counsel in cases involving large-scale kidnap, robbery and gang-related violence conspiracies.

In addition to his criminal practice, Paul is experienced in Courts Martials. He has experience of defending members of the Armed Forces in Germany on charges ranging from frontline desertion to AWOL.

Paul has a keen interest in regulatory law and has represented clients in tribunals in professional negligence cases for the NMC and GDC.

Paul has a reputation for being a highly-skilled, measured, forceful and persuasive advocate as such Paul is regularly instructed to appear as a leading advocate both domestically, nationally and internationally.

Paul has successfully represented clients appearing before major hearings at the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Paul is Public Accessaccredited and accepts direct instructions from lay clients.

Notable Cases

Operation Albany [2019] – Instructed as Leading Junior for the defence of a client in a multimillion-pound international money laundering case. This was an HMRC prosecution involving a transfer of cash via separate bank accounts to accounts in Germany and Holland. As ever in these cases, a large volume of banking and telephone evidence had to be dealt with. Paul’s client was a family elder in this alleged family-run money laundering operation setting up individual companies and bank accounts under the guise of alcoholic beverages traders to facilitate the transfer of criminal property out of the UK. Following a seven-week trial, the jury returned unanimous acquittals for all of the six defendants.

R v EQ [2019] – Defence of a client charged with a conspiracy to remove criminal property from the United Kingdom. This involved the intricate conversion of vehicles to house concealed compartments for transporting large sums of cash (£2.5m) across international borders. Paul’s client was a trusted driver. During the trial, it came to light that a co-defendant who was at the top of the conspiracy had a telephone download report that had not been disclosed. This was provided, and the report contained more than 85000 pages. Not only was Paul able to deal quickly overnight with this volume of evidence but discovered crucial text messages that assisted his client and co-defendants. This effectively sank the crown’s case and resulted in a unanimous acquittal after 30 minutes jury deliberation.

R v FA [2019] – Large scale banking fraud where Paul’s client stood accused of being a first-tier money launderer. This fraud had a value of £3.5m. The case was paper-heavy and required the expertise to deal with and understand the intricacies of large scale money laundering and layering off of the criminal property to various bank accounts. This case involved copious amounts of telephone and banking evidence.

Operation Duchess [2019] – Paul’s client, was accused of being high in a chain of a multimillion-pound drugs dealership operating across the East Midlands predominately from Derby. In a case that held more than 10000 pages of evidence, a trial set for eight weeks. This involved many PII issues and questioning undercover officers and having considered all the necessary evidence a series of questions were posed of the undercover officer and disclosed to the prosecution before the officer giving evidence. A short adjournment resulted in a statement from the undercover officer exonerating Pauls client, and the Jury were directed to acquit her of all charges.

Operation Rumble [2019] – Defence of a client charged in a large conspiracy to steal ATM’s from convenience stores. The case involved some 14000 pages of evidence including telecoms that the Crowns case was built from. Pauls client was alleged to have become involved in the conspiracy following release from a five years custodial sentence for conspiracy to steal ATM’s. After a six-week trial and notwithstanding Paul’s client’s previous conviction being placed before the court, he was unanimously acquitted.

R v LB [2019] Defence of an accountant for fraud over £120,000. This case required careful consideration of more than 5000 pages of accounting and banking evidence.

Other Notable Cases

R v H – Defended Junior alone instructed in domestic attempted Murder

R v B – Defended Junior alone instructed in 10 Handed Violent Disorder and S.18 GBH. Large scale organised gang fight in a public house armed with kitchen knives between local men and members of the travelling community representing a gang leader resulting in a unanimous acquittal of the client.

R v J – Appeared as leading counsel in a multi-handed conspiracy to rob cash in transit vans across South East London. Following a successful submission of no case to answer at the close of the crown’s case, the Judge directed to Jury to find client not guilty.

R v B – Led junior in a three-handed conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent. This was a gangland assassination shooting between rival gangs in Newcastle involving cross country tracking of defendants.

R v T – Led junior in a six-handed conspiracy of Money laundering, kidnap, false imprisonment and Grievous Bodily Harm with intent.

Reported Cases

R v SJM [2008] EWCA Crim 52. Sentence of 15 months imprisonment for possession with intent to supply class A drugs. Sentence quashed and substituted with a 2-year supervision order.

R v SB [2007] EWCA Crim 1008. Sentence of 3 years for outraging public decency- reduced to 18months.

R v SM [2006] EWCA Crim 2338. Sentence of 18 months for obtaining a pecuniary advantage by using a false passport to obtain employment.

If you have any legal problems in your life…We are here to Help