Saba Naqshbandi

Call: 1996

"Extremely clever and has great tactical nous – at silk level"

Legal 500: Inquests & Inquiries

"The first choice for fire safety work."

Legal 500: Health & Safety

"One of the leading licensing juniors"

Legal 500: Licensing

"Composed, compelling and tenacious."

Legal 500: Health & Safety

"Her mastery of the detail, advice and advocacy are consistently excellent"

Legal 500: Financial Crime

Saba Naqshbandi is an expert in public inquiries and inquests, health and safety, fire safety, environmental and commercial crime, known for her strategic and commercial approach, as well as her exemplary written and oral advocacy.

She is recommended as a leading practitioner across four practice areas: public inquiries and inquests, health and safety, financial crime and licensing.

Saba is passionate about mentoring those who wish to access the legal profession and those within the profession. Through her work for many years within Chambers, Middle Temple, specialist legal associations and in her own personal life, Saba has successfully supported students to pupillage through advice, application review and mock interview practice; school pupils to experience life as a barrister; junior solicitors to obtain new roles and colleagues to develop work and attain senior positions. She is a mentor for Advocate, the Bar’s national pro bono legal advice charity.

Legal Expertise

Public Inquiries & Inquests overview

Saba is a specialist in high profile, sensitive inquiries and inquests, often involving vulnerable people and with an international element.

She is described as: ‘“..an exceptional barrister – highly intelligent and tactically very astute..”. (Legal 500 2022), “very impressive both in written and oral legal arguments, and handles very difficult clients with great sensitivity’ (Legal 500 2023), a client observing that “….She is a canny advocate – I always go into a hearing glad she’s on our side not theirs!” (Chambers UK 2024).

Appointed in 2019, Saba is an Assistant Coroner in Inner North London.

Her cases include:

  • Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry
  • Manchester Arena Public Inquiry
  • Westminster Bridge terror attack inquests
  • London Bridge terrorist attack inquests
  • Alexander Litvinenko Public Inquiry

She is instructed by all participants across all her specialist areas including:

  • Families
  • Corporates (including for profit, not for profit, schools, care and housing providers)
  • Prisons
  • Foreign Governments
  • Individuals
  • Enforcement bodies (police, fire, rail)

Notable Public Inquiries & Inquests cases

Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry

Representing the National House Building Council. Led by Matthew Butt KC.

Manchester Arena Public Inquiry

Represented an individual core particular as sole advocate.

Alexander Litvinenko Public Inquiry

Represented the Metropolitan Police Commissioner. Led by Richard Horwell KC.

Westminster Bridge terrorist attack

Represented the London Fire Commissioner as sole advocate

London Bridge terrorist attack

Represented the London Fire Commissioner as sole advocate

Lakanal House

Deaths of six people in a South London tower block. Represented the London Fire Commissioner. Led by Stephen Walsh KC.

ED

Murder of a mother by former partner. Represented the charity Refuge as sole advocate.

LR & MP

Double fatality of a mother and young daughter on a railway. Represented Transport for London as sole advocate.

AR

Death of a train driver. Representing the Office of Rail and Road as sole advocate.

KT

Death of a young man. Representing family based abroad. Successfully persuaded Coroner to issue a PFD.

CR

Death of a mental health in patient. Represented the family as sole advocate.

MG

Death of an employee at work. Represented the employer supermarket as sole advocate

JD

Death of a vulnerable young person from suicide. Represented the venue where the deceased was found as sole advocate.

KR

Death of a teacher from suicide. Represented the school.

Health & Safety / Environmental / Licensing / Other Regulatory law overview

Saba is an expert in complex and serious health and safety work with a particular expertise in fire safety, rail safety and environmental law, especially water pollution, frequently appearing against silks. She has extensive experience in investigating and prosecuting fatal fires in care homes whilst smoking. In recent years, multiple investigations have been discontinued following Saba’s advice and representation.

She is regularly sought by commercial clients to expertly guide them through the often contentious licensing process and “..boasts a strong track record of representing iconic venues in highly contentious matters” (Chambers UK 2024).

Described as “excellent at health and safety cases” (Legal 500 2023) with an “an encyclopedic knowledge of fire safety,” (Chambers UK 2023) Saba’s cases include:

  • R (London Fire Commissioner) v BUPA Care Services (ANS) Ltd [2022] EWCA Crim 1508
  • R (London Fire Emergency Planning Authority) v New Look Retailers Limited [2010] EWCA Crim 1268
  • R (on the application of London Borough of Southwark) and London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and Health and Safety Executive[2016] EWHC 1701 (Admin)

Chambers UK Health and Safety Junior of the Year 2021 (finalist)

Legal 500 Planning and Land Law Junior of the Year 2022 (finalist)

Specialist Advocate in Health & Safety and Environmental Law (A Panel)

3RB Chair Health & Safety Licensing Practice Group

Saba advises and represents:

  • Corporates
  • Individuals
  • Enforcing authorities (the Health & Safety Executive, the Office or Rail and Road, the Environment Agency, fire and local authorities and the police)

Areas of specialisation include:

  • Health & safety
  • Fire safety
  • Environmental
  • Consumer protection
  • Food safety
  • Trading standards
  • Data Protection and Freedom of information
  • Licensing
  • Gambling

Notable Health & Safety / Environmental / Licensing / Other Regulatory law cases

R (London Fire Commissioner) v BUPA Care Services (ANS) Ltd [2022] EWCA Crim 1508

Death of CS, a wheelchair user, after he caught fire while smoking unsupervised in the garden of a care home. Highest fine to date in fire safety upheld by Court of Appeal. Represented the LFC as lead advocate.

R (London Fire Emergency Planning Authority) v New Look Retailers Limited [2010] EWCA Crim 1268

Fire safety breaches at flagship store in Oxford Street, London. First appeal under the fire safety order. Fine upheld by the Court of Appeal.

R (on the application of London Borough of Southwark) and London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and Health and Safety Executive [2016] EWHC 1701 (Admin)

Fatal South London tower block fire where six people died. Represented the LFEPA at the inquests, judicial review and prosecution.

Anchor Trust

Two deaths from smoking in care homes operated by the defendant company. Represented the LFEPA and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service. Sole advocate.

Fire safety breaches at a professional football club

Represented the Club. Sole advocate.

Fire safety breaches at a prominent school

Represented the school. Sole advocate.

IB

Serious health and safety accident at a factory led to loss of an arm. Represented the company. Sole advocate.

T

Two separate serious health and safety accidents at a well known supermarket. Represented the company. Sole advocate.

Anglian Water Services Limited

Multiple prosecutions of a water company for sewage discharge. Represented the Environment Agency. Sole advocate.

WC

Alleged breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998. Represented the company and director. Sole advocate.

Licensing clients include;

The Wolseley Group, Murano, Nusr-et, Virgin Limited Edition, Rochelle Canteen, Madame JoJos, Aspers and the Gambling Commission.

Serious & Commercial Crime overview

A criminal specialist with a recognised reputation, Saba’s advice is sought both nationally and internationally and includes advising foreign Governments and enforcement authorities, corporates and individuals in multi-jurisdictional cases. She is an expert in complex production orders.

She is described as “.. really clever…and can take anything that gets thrown at her,” (Chambers UK 2023); “offers sharp strategic insight,” “…a wonderful communicator who easily brings everyone else around to her way of thinking.” (Chambers UK 2024) and is “highly regarded for her expertise in fraud, bribery and money laundering cases.

Cases include:

  • Birmingham Pub Bombings: application for a production order. Represented West Midlands Police. Led by James Lewis KC.
  • MKA: advising in relation the investigation into the former chairman of BTA Bank who conspired to commit one of the largest corporate frauds in history exceeding US$10 billion. Led by James Lewis KC.
  • Preko: Represented the former banker of James Ibori Led by Richard Horwell KC.
  • SEM: Successfully defended football agency and individuals in a private prosecution brought by a football agent. Sole advocate.

Areas of specialisation:

  • Private prosecutions
  • Bribery & corruption
  • International crime
  • Mutual legal assistance
  • Fraud
  • Insider dealing
  • Money Laundering
  • Confiscation and restraint Terrorism
  • Complex production orders

Notable Serious & Commercial Crime cases

BCW

Represented defendant with a fraud conviction on appeal to the Court of Appeal following conviction (not trial counsel). Before the LCJ.

SD

Represented an individual charged with bribery. Sole advocate.

SEM

Successfully defended a football agency and individuals in a private prosecution brought by a football agent. Sole advocate.

W&C

Represented a company and director regarding alleged breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998. Sole advocate.

Preko

Acted for the former banker of James Ibori.

Operations Weeting, Elvedon & Tuleta

Advised the Metropolitan Police specifically in relation to productions orders.

Al-Sanea

Advised in relation to criminal aspects of this substantial civil claim.

James

Represented the personal interpreter to the Commander of forces in Afghanistan charged with offences under the Official Secrets Act and Wilful Misconduct in Public Office.

‘Jubilee Line fraud’

Successfully represented an individual.

Whiting

Junior counsel for the prosecution in the abduction and murder of Sarah Payne.

Public Inquiries & Inquests

 “She’s straight-talking, clear-thinking and knows what is in the client’s best interests.” Chambers UK

 “She’s very experienced, fantastic with clients and very good tactically.” Chambers UK

 “A seriously impressive senior junior who leaves nothing to chance.” Legal 500

 “She has impeccable attention to detail, leaving no stone unturned, and is extremely client-friendly.” Legal 500

 “She has an excellent manner with clients, a commanding presence and a nice style. Her attention to detail is first-rate and she is able to get up to speed very quickly. She is especially impressive when technical medical evidence is involved.” Chambers UK

“Brilliantly friendly with clients and solicitors but she also has a very strategic mind and an excellent grasp of the law.” Chambers UK

 “An excellent junior, she is very intelligent and hard-working, and a pleasure to work with.’ ‘She’s really thorough and well prepared, excellent on her feet and great on the detail in terms of her written work.” Chambers UK

Health & Safety

“The first choice for fire safety work.” Legal 500

“A very fearless advocate who is not cowed by a difficult case or difficult tribunal.” Chambers UK

“Strategically a master, making difficult decisions with ease.” Legal 500

“Composed, compelling and tenacious.” Legal 500

“Her client-handling skills are really impeccable and her advocacy is first-rate.” Chambers UK

 “A strong barrister with exceptional knowledge of fire safety law.” Legal 500

 “Precise and persistent as an advocate. You can just depend on her for the right view.” Chambers UK

Licensing

“One of the leading licensing juniors.” Legal 500

“An accomplished advocate, who frequently advises well-known operators and is called on to appear in challenging tribunal hearings.”

“She is very good with tribunals, has an ice-cool temperament and is very articulate.” Chambers UK

 “She is a super advocate and is very, very clever.” “Her detail is second to none and she is very popular with clients.” Chambers UK

 “Professional, diligent and extremely personable, she has great presence before licensing committees and in the courtroom, and is extremely popular with the client.” Chambers UK

 “The ‘outstanding ‘Saba Naqshbandi has ‘a wealth of experience’ in the area.” Legal 500

 “Saba Naqshbandi is ‘very bright, hardworking, dedicated and good with clients. She is very persuasive, yet measured. Her written work and her advocacy are both top class’.” Legal 500

Serious & Commercial Crime

“Offers sharp strategic insight and has a very calm and reassuring manner. She really whittles down the facts to the key issues.” Chambers UK

“A junior highly regarded for her expertise in fraud, bribery and money laundering cases.” Chambers UK

“Her mastery of the detail, advice and advocacy are consistently excellent.” Legal 500

“Very polished and very versatile.” Chambers UK

 “Has an impressive practice.” “She is an incredibly thorough practitioner, who is smart and absolutely charming with judges. She focuses judges’ minds on the points they need to focus on and is very adept at dealing with clients.” Chambers UK

Extremely user-friendly, sharp, quick and to-the-point, making her a pleasure to work with Legal 500

“She is very experienced and good at sensitive criminal cases.” Chambers UK

“Excellent tactical judgement” “a reassuring presence.” Legal 500

  • Health & Safety Lawyers Association
  • Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Women in Criminal Law
  • LLM (Distinction), University College London (1995)
  • LLB (Hons), University College London (1994)
  • The Guide to Sanctions’ (GIR) – full publication available here (2020)
  • Featured in the Middle Temple Exhibition Celebrating a Century of Women in Law (2019)
  • Author of the online Westlaw Encyclopaedia for ‘Health & Safety in Sport’ (2012-)
  • Author of the online Westlaw Encyclopaedia for ‘Licensing: Hearings’ (2012-)
  • Author of the online Westlaw Encyclopaedia for ‘Gambling: Appeals’ (2012-)
Current
  • Assistant Coroner for Inner North London
  • Specialist Advocate in Health & Safety and Environmental Law (A Panel)
  • Health & Safety Lawyer’s Association Committee member
  • General Dental Council Panel of Advocates
  • 3RB Tenancy Committee
  • 3RB Business Development Committee
  • 3RB Chair Health & Safety Licensing Practice Group
  • 3RB Pupil supervisor
  • Bar Council Retention Panel Member
  • Bencher of the Middle Temple
Past
  • Chair of the Criminal Law Committee of the International Bar Association
  • Criminal Bar Association Committee
  • Chair of the Annual Bar Conference
  • Bar Council International Committee
  • Middle Temple Membership Committee
  • Board of Governors, The Expert Witness Institute

Awards

  • International Crime Lawyer of the Year – Corporate LiveWire Global Awards (2019)
  • Best Barrister of the Year in Regulatory Compliance & Criminal Law – United Kingdom Global 100 (2019)
  • Crime Defence Lawyer of the Year UK, Women in Law, Business, Lawyer Monthly (2019)
  • Criminal Lawyer of the Year, Lawyer Monthly (2014)
  • Women in Law Awards, Lawyer Monthly (2014)

Nominations

  • Chambers UK Health & Safety Junior of the Year 2021
  • Legal 500 Planning and Land Law Junior of the Year 2022

Languages

  • French (conversational)
  • Urdu (conversational)

I, Saba Naqshbandi, am a data controller and can be contacted at 3 Raymond Buildings, Gray’s Inn, London WC1R 5BH or by telephone on 020 7400 6400 or by email at saba.naqshbandi@3rblaw.com. My Data Protection Policy can be found below.

All personal data that I process is for the purposes of providing legal services, conducting conflict-checks, marketing, defending potential complaints, legal proceedings or fee disputes, keeping anti-money laundering records, training other barristers and pupils and when providing work-shadowing opportunities, and/or exercising a right to a lien. The types of data I process vary upon the nature of the legal matter in relation to which I am engaged to advise, but can include names, contact details, biographic details and ‘special category personal data’ (such as details of racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, health, sex life and criminal convictions and proceedings).

Depending upon the circumstances of the case, the legal bases upon which I process personal data are (i) the performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract, (ii) the processing is necessary to comply with legal obligations to which I am subject, or (iii) the processing is necessary for the legitimate interests set out above, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subjects which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child. When I rely on (iii) legitimate interests, my ‘Legitimate Interests Assessment’ can be found here. When I process data which has not be obtained directly from the data subject (e.g. personal data contained in evidential materials), it will have been supplied to me as part of my instructions in circumstances covered by legal professional privilege.

Depending upon the circumstances of the case, I may share the personal data with:

  1. my Chambers, which supplies professional and administrative support to my practice;
  2. Courts and other tribunals to whom documents are presented;
  3. my lay and professional clients;
  4. potential witnesses, in particular experts, and friends or family of the data subject;
  5. solicitors, barristers, pupils, mini pupils and other legal representatives;
  6. ombudsmen and regulatory authorities;
  7. current, past or prospective employers;
  8. education and examining bodies;
  9. business associates, professional advisers and trade bodies.

I retain personal data for no longer than 7 years after the case has come to an end or as otherwise required by law.

I do not intend to transfer data to any country which is not either within the European Union, ‘white listed’ by the EU or otherwise permitted by EU law (e.g. to the USA under the provisions of the ‘Privacy Shield’).

Under the GDPR, data subjects whose personal data I process have the right to request from me access to, and rectification or erasure of, their personal data, the right to the restriction of processing concerning them, the right to object to processing as well as the right to data portability. Data subjects also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ico.org.uk).

In cases where there is a contract between me and the data subject, the provision of personal data is a contractual requirement and the data subject is obliged to provide the personal data in order that I can supply legal services. A failure to provide such data may mean that I will not be able to provide the legal services.

Data Protection Policy

Legitimate Interests Assessment

Saba Naqshbandi is qualified to accept instructions direct from clients under the Bar Council’s Public Access Scheme. This means that members of the public who seek specialist advice can come direct to her. In addition, she welcomes instructions from solicitors, in-house law departments, qualified foreign lawyers, and clients licensed by the Bar Council to give instructions direct to barristers under the Bar Council’s Licensed Access Scheme.

For further information please contact our Clerks.

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