Kaj Scarsbrook

Practice areas

Crime, Immigration

Year of call: 2014

Kaj joined Chambers as a tenant in September 2016 upon successful completion of his pupillage under the supervision of Matthew Farmer and Beresford Kennedy. He has a varied practice and is regularly instructed in London and on the Western Circuit.

Prior to joining chambers, Kaj worked as a general legal editor at Sweet & Maxwell. His work included editing the 2015 edition of the criminal practitioner text, Archbold. Further editorial responsibilities included Criminal Law Week, Archbold Review, and Wilkinson’s Road Traffic Offences.

In 2013 Kaj received a Reserve Commission from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He has since served as an officer in A (London Scottish) Company, the Guards Reserve Battalion. This has given him an inside perspective in matters involving clients from the Armed Forces.

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Kaj is a Grade 2 Prosecutor and is regularly instructed by the CPS as junior counsel in serious cases and as trial counsel in his own right in the Crown Court. He has experience dealing with complex disclosure issues in major Crown Court trials.

Kaj has a flourishing defence practice and regularly appears at all stages, from first appearance to trial. He has experience defending at the Magistrates’ Court and in Crown Court trials, in a wide variety of offences from armed robbery to sexual offences. He handles complex legal and evidential matters whilst maintaining sensitivity and compassion for the needs and concerns of his clients, and has experience appearing in the Youth Court and advising young defendants.

Cases Kaj assisted with during his pupillage gave him experience of the approach of both the the prosecution and the defence to the most serious matters, including murder, terrorism and rape.

Recent Prosecution cases

  • R v O (2016 & 2017) – Disclosure counsel in a rape case involving allegations of police misconduct and substantial third-party disclosure issues, and a complete review of the disclosure process following a change in the investigating police force
  • R v M (2016) – Led junior in the successful prosecution of a former solicitor who defrauded clients during conveyancing transactions and falsified freehold and leasehold transfers for profit
  • Portsmouth City Council v W (2016) – Privately instructed by the council to prosecute an appeal against conviction relating to landlord property licencing offences. The appeal was dismissed.
  • R v A (2016) – Successfully prosecuted an appeal against conviction in a drink driving matter involving complex expert argument relating to the functioning of evidential breath machines.
  • R v K (2016) – Successfully prosecuted a contested Proceeds of Crime Act hearing relating to the proceeds of fraudulently claiming lower mileage on second hand vehicles.

Recent Defence cases

  • R v B (2017) – Led by Sally Howes QC in the defence of a senior British Army Brigadier accused of negligently performing a duty in relation to claiming school fees for his children
  • R v K (2017) – Successfully argued against the activation of a suspended sentence for a client found guilty of a third offence of driving whilst disqualified, whilst subject to a suspended sentence for the same offence
  • R v O (2017) – Defending a client who pleaded guilty to an organised robbery of a High Street jewellers in leading role, with 8 prior robbery convictions; sentenced to 18 months imprisonment following mitigation
  • R v Q (2016) – Defended a youth charged with 3 common assaults on a joint enterprise basis. Secured an acquittal after legal argument on the (at the time) new law.
  • R v T (2016) – Defended a client in Portsmouth charged with failing to provide when suspected of driving a vehicle; argued for the charge to be amended to ‘in charge’ and subsequently avoided a disqualification.
  • R v M.S. (2017) – Client acquitted of burglary after a trial with fingerprint evidence placing him at the scene.
  • R v N (2017) – Client acquitted of dangerous driving and sentenced to a fine for the lesser offence of careless driving.


Kaj is instructed on a regular basis by the Home Office to resist appeals against immigration decisions in the First Tier Immigration and Asylum Tribunal. He has also been instructed on behalf of appellants, including in relation to judicial review in the Upper Tribunal.


  • LLB – University of York (2013)
  • BPTC – BPP Law School (2014)


  • Lincoln’s