Kaj Scarsbrook

Kaj Scarsbrook

Call: 2014


Head of Courts Martial Team

Kaj is a Grade 3 prosecutor and is regularly instructed by the CPS as trial counsel, as well as frequently being instructed as a led junior in major and complex trials. He is accustomed to providing advice from an early stage and is often instructed in cases involving complex disclosure exercises, undercover police work, and encrypted communications. Kaj has also been appointed to the Level 3 Counter Terrorism Panel.

Kaj has experience defending in a wide variety of cases, both as a junior and in his own right. He is approachable and straightforward with his clients and maintains sensitivity and compassion for their needs and concerns.

He has a thriving Court Martial practice and is experienced with dealing with the unique complications of military life and service offences. He is regularly instructed by clients from all arms of the military and prides himself on client care.

Prior to joining chambers, Kaj worked as a general legal editor at Sweet & Maxwell on titles such as Archbold and Wilkinson’s Road Traffic Offences. He has previously served as an infantry officer in A (London Scottish) Company, the London Regiment.

He is experienced at advising young and vulnerable defendants and has assisted in training Registered Intermediaries.

Kaj sits as a member of the British Cycling Disciplinary and Appeals Panel.

Crime - Prosecution

  • R v V (Reading CC) – Successful prosecution (led by Tahir Khan KC) of a man who murdered another with a single blow from a horseshoe at Reading Train Station.
  • R v M and others (Operation Sega) (Snaresbrook CC) – Junior counsel (led by Matthew Farmer) in a series of linked prosecutions involving the disruption of multiple drug-dealing networks in East London, and associated firearms offences. A total of 129 defendants were charged across six linked police operations and 28 drugs lines. The case involves complex phone, intelligence and undercover evidence as well as Encrochat material.
  • R v M and others (Operation Yamata) (Snaresbrook CC) – prosecution counsel in a series of linked, multi-defendant prosecutions involving organised Class A drug networks in North London.
  • R v M and others (Operation Scarf) (Stafford CC) – junior counsel (led by Steven Perian KC) in the second retrial of a long-running multi-defendant slavery case involving a considerable disclosure exercise and complex third-party disclosure.
  • R v U and others (Kingston-upon-Thames CC) – successful prosecution of a three-handed false imprisonment case, where two young cousins were imprisoned, tortured, and blackmailed by a family member and his associate.
  • R v A and others (Southwark CC) – junior counsel (led by Rebecca Austin) in the prosecution of linked offences involving the activities of an organised crime group in London and Bournemouth, involving Encrochat material.
  • R v B (Wolverhampton CC) – successful prosecution of a man for wounding with intent, for slashing a woman’s face on Christmas Eve.
  • R v M and others (Operation Fieldhouse) (Kingston CC) – junior counsel (led by Paul Fairley) in a case involving the prosecution of 13 members of a criminal gang which engaged in a year-long spree of robbery, burglary and theft. The defendants relied on mopeds with obscured number plates for transport in London and committed offences including breaking into an armed protection officer’s car; robbing individuals on the street; ram-raiding high-value stores and stealing BBC video cameras from bridges across the Thames.
  • R v S (Central Criminal Court) – Successful prosecution of the ‘driver’ in a multi-handed conspiracy to steal money from parking meters throughout Kensington and Chelsea.

Crime - Defence

  • R v S (Court of Appeal) – Kaj appeared for the defence in an appeal against conviction for assault by penetration following a route to verdict given to the jury which conflated the issue of guilt on two separate counts on the indictment and did not contain a specific separate direction in relation to a reasonable belief in consent. The Court of Appeal quashed the conviction.
  • R v L (Bristol CC) – junior counsel (led by Marion Smullen) in the defence of a client accused of being a member of a paedophile ring. L was accused of conspiring to sexually abuse a child and taking part, with two others, in a rape on one occasion.
  • R v S (Birmingham CC) – Instructed to defend a woman accused of wounding with intent by stabbing her long-term partner through the torso and into the lung following an argument at Christmas.
  • R v T and others (Newport (IoW) CC) – Defending one of three defendants accused of an affray with weapons and racially aggravated assault; Kaj’s client was the only individual acquitted of all charges.
  • R v B (Southwark CC) – Acquittal of a vulnerable homeless man charged with exposure in Trafalgar Square where two police officers and a council worker asserted that they witnessed the offence.

Courts martial

  • R v T (Bulford Military Court Centre) – acquittal of a Royal Navy officer of sexual assault of a colleague; praised as “professional, supportive and responsive throughout”.
  • R v P (Catterick Military Court Centre) – acquittal of a Royal Air Force airman for battery involving a “play-fight” with another service person whilst intoxicated.
  • R v D (Bulford Military Court Centre) – acquittal of a serving Royal Navy junior rate of sexual assault of a colleague whilst deployed abroad.
  • R v E (Bulford Military Court Centre) – acquittal of an ex-Army soldier accused of sexually assaulting and penetrating a colleague after a night out in the United Kingdom.
  • R v B (Bulford Military Court Centre) – acquittal of a senior Royal Naval Police NCO accused of misconduct in a public office and negligently performing a duty. It was alleged by the prosecution that the client had failed to report a rape allegation and actively dissuaded and prevented the complainant from making the allegation officially on multiple occasions over a period of two years. The board acquitted Kaj’s lay client within fifteen minutes of retiring.
  • R v N (Bulford Military Court Centre) – acquittal of a serving Naval Senior Rate accused of assaulting a subordinate on board whilst alongside in Bahrain.
  • R v B (Colchester Court Martial Centre) – 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 whilst serving abroad.

Other instructions

  • Operation Resolve – instructed as one of a number of junior counsel tasked with reviewing material in preparation for the trials relating to the Hillsborough disaster, involving the analysis of statements, exhibits and reports gathered over a thirty-year period and necessitating application of both the current disclosure test and the pre-CPIA regime.
  • Operation Rhum – privately instructed independent counsel in a review of complex electronic evidence for legally privileged material during an ongoing HMRC investigation.


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


20 Mar 2024

Drugs Supply Gang jailed for 56 years – Rebecca Austin led Kaj Scarsbrook for the Crown

A Bristol gang who led a £4.5 million cocaine conspiracy and supplied more than 130 kilos of cocaine across the South West has been...

19 Mar 2024

Hampshire PC who lied about being attacked sentenced – Rebecca Austin led Kaj Scarsbrook for the Crown

Nadia Thurley, 29, was found guilty after trial of Perverting the Course of Justice after lying about being repeatedly attacked by a fictitious ex-boyfriend. ...

18 Mar 2024

Kaj Scarsbrook secures acquittal in historic rape case

Following a trial at Gloucester Crown Court, Kaj’s client was acquitted of two historic sex offences said to have occurred in the late 2000’s....

30 Mar 2023

Man guilty of murdering train passenger with horseshoe – Tahir Khan KC leading Kaj Scarsbrook secure conviction

Kirkpatrick Virgo, 42, from Slough, attacked Thomas Parker, 24, on a platform at Reading Station last July after an argument about music being played...

21 Jan 2019

Barry McElduff and Kaj Scarsbrook secure convictions in drugs conspiracy

Barry McElduff, leading Kaj Scarsbrook, recently secured the final conviction after one trial and two retrials in a complex and lengthy drug conspiracy. Operation...

23 Feb 2018

Kaj Scarsbrook prosecutes a former premier league footballer accused of using a stolen card.

Kaj Scarsbrook appeared at Southwark Crown Court to prosecute an ex West Ham footballer accused of gambling £16,000 at a Mayfair casino using a...


Crime Team

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