Background Gavel
Matheos Lefteris
Year of call:


Matheos Lefteris was called to the Bar in 1997. He is a highly experienced defence practitioner who has appeared in numerous murder trials over the last 20 years, particularly at the Central Criminal Court.

Matt was instructed in his first murder at just 2 years call; and frequently appears as leading counsel. Having only ever practised in the field of criminal defence Matt has been instructed across the whole spectrum of criminal matters and has particular experience in cases of conspiracy, those involving multiple defendants and cases of serious violence.

Matt’s overriding philosophy is that preparation is everything, ‘living’ his cases and admitting to having “no life beyond work” until a case is over.

Matt is a ‘duty accredited’ barrister and is frequently instructed to give pre-charge advice. He is a registered vulnerable witness advocacy trainer and has been praised for his focused preparation and his compelling courtroom manner.


• Murder and serious violence

• Conspiracy and multi defendant cases

• Fraud and conspiracy to defraud

• Serious sexual offences

Notable Cases

Notable Pending Cases:

R v P *Fixed trial [2021] Southwark Crown Court - 10 week 7 handed trial involving allegations of ‘fake’ Bollywood films designed to evade immigration rules.

R v J * Fixed June [2021] Central Criminal Court - Junior counsel in 4 handed murder of NHS worker during COVID lockdown in April 2020. Fixed for 6 weeks.

R v J * June [2021] Chelmsford CC - Supply of class A drugs/ county lines/modern slavery;

Notable Murder Trials:

R v W: Central Criminal Court - Leading junior for defendant charged with assisting an offender in murder trial repeatedly halted due to Covid. 58 day trial from November 2020;

R v D: Central Criminal Court - Murder/Violent disorder. Leading junior in 3 month trial involving the murder of  one man and the stabbing of his father. Case involved numerous issues including potential cut-throat defences, competing interests and the disclosure of thousands of pages of evidence on the day of trial. Prosecuted by first senior treasury counsel. Subsequently reported [2014] EWCA Crim 1154;

R v I: Central Criminal Court  - Murder  of a promising young athlete in Peckham. Case subsequently reported in relation to hearsay provisions. Defendant acquitted after cell site expert was challenged as to his flawed conclusions. Client became the only remanded defendant in Feltham to take and pass his A levels whilst in custody and is currently a commentator on social/youth issues and former policy advisor to the government. Adeojo & Nyamupfukudza [2013] EWCA Crim 41;

R v B: Central Criminal Court - Murder of 16 year old on the streets of Pimlico in January 2013. Reported in all national newspapers given the extreme ferocity of the attack;

R v C: Central Criminal Court - Murder. Shooting. Represented a defendant with whom the victim was involved in a gang related feud. Defendant was tracked via his mobile phone travelling to the scene, on CCTV fleeing the scene and tracked leaving the area;

R v G: Central Criminal Court - Murder. Instructed to represent defendant in relation to the murder of a man in a disused Tottenham house. All 4 defendants entered guilty pleas to manslaughter and were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. Argued (alone) on behalf of 3 defendants before the Court of Appeal. Sentenced reduced to 7 years. [2011] EWCA Crim 435;

R v K: Central Criminal Court - killing of 2 year old child by East London mother;

R v M: Central Criminal Court - Murder of teenager in Ealing, West London. Case involved consideration of blood trails (drip, drop, spatter, cast off etc);

R v P: Central Criminal Court - Client charged with assisting offenders in relation to North London stabbing. Client convicted in absence after fleeing to Cyprus

R v H: Central Criminal Court - Murder. Killing of 2 year old Ainlee Walker by her parents in a case strikingly similar to that of Victoria Climbie’s case earlier that year. Case led to a review of care and child protection practices when dealing with aggressive or violent parents.

R v C: Central Criminal Court - Murder. Stabbing in East London involving a defendant found unfit to plead and subsequent retrial once able to give instructions to his legal team

R v D: Central Criminal Court - Sole Counsel in case of defendant charged with the murder of his wife after years of torment. Prosecution accepted plea to manslaughter on day of trial. Subsequent successful argument that the defendant did not pose a threat to the public.

R v O: Woolwich Crown Court - Murder of promising young medical student in Romford;

R v A: Norwich Crown Court - Murder by husband of ex-wife;

R v A: Kingston Crown Court - Murder of 19 year old victim on the streets of Edmonton in gang related shooting. Case involved 3 other defendants, CCTV evidence of the shooting, cell site and evidence of gang association.

Notable Serious Crime Trials:

R v M:  St Albans Crown Court - leading junior counsel in multi handed people smuggling operation;

R v T:  Kingston Crown Court - 3 month multi handed firearms conspiracy;

R v Ajay & Limby:  leading ‘county lines’ authority. Court of Appeal [2017] EWCA Crim 1011;

R v AS: Isleworth Crown Court - Defendant charged and acquitted of wounding with intent after stabbing the complainant 5 times.

R v O: Winchester Crown Court - Importation and Money laundering. Leading counsel in 6 week multi-handed trial involving the importation of 30 kilos of heroin from Nigeria and the subsequent laundering of the proceeds. Case involved some 60,000 pages of evidence and months of surveillance evidence.

Notable Fraud Trials:

R v Y: Central Criminal Court - Fraud. Leading counsel in 3 month multi-handed fraud involving high value Cisco computer equipment. Defendant arrested in a warehouse surrounded by stolen/illegally obtained equipment. Case involved surveillance evidence as between the defendants and numerous schedules of telephone evidence;

R v R: Central Criminal Court -  Fraud. 9 handed fraud in relation to the fraudulent use of genuine bank customer accounts and the transferring of monies to members of the conspiracy;

R v C: Blackfriars Crown Court - Money laundering. Represented defendant charged in relation to large scale transferring of monies out of the UK involving an Organised Crime Network;

R v A: Southwark Crown Court -  Leading counsel in relation to an allegation of the laundering of over £64,000,000 over a 6 year period using an MSB (Money Service Business). The trial proceeded in absence, involved over 25,000 pages of prosecution evidence and detailed consideration of ‘Hawala’ banking including expert evidence re banking methods;

R v R: St Albans Crown Court - Fraud. Multi-million pound mortgage fraud involving the obtaining of false/fraudulent bridging loans. Over 10,000 pages of prosecution evidence served. Case also involved as defendants a solicitor and non-practising barrister.

R v C: Blackfriars Crown Court - Fraud. Tax fraud involving over £11,000,000 fraudulently claimed from HMRC by the defendant working as a chartered accountant. Defendant devised and implemented his own system calculating tax liabilities for self employed workers.

R v S : Isleworth Crown Court - Fraud. Leading counsel instructed to represented one of 2 defendants in relation to the largest case of car ‘clocking’ ever brought.

Notable Sexual Offences Trials:

R v SG: Snaresbrook Crown Court - Sexual assault of a child. Represented the defendant in relation to 3 counts of sexual assault against a 12 year old friend of the family. Trial conducted in absence and acquitted;

R v J: Wood Green Crown Court - Rape. Instructed to represent Belgian national charged with the rape of his 12 year old niece during a trip to the UK.  The cross examination of the complainant was described by the trial judge as :  

 “one of the best examples of cross examination I have seen”.