Maximilian Hardy


Specialising in criminal and regulatory law, Max is a persuasive and experienced advocate who is dauntless in pursuit of a successful outcome for clients.

He is ready to advise at any time, in person or in writing, on cases great or small, whether privately funded or legally aided.

Background and expertise

Max has been a tenant at 9BR since 2007. He maintains a mixed practice, defending and prosecuting a range of criminal offences. Having appeared in hundreds of trials, he has learnt from long experience the hard work and preparation that is required to win in court.

In 2018 he was seconded to CPS London in the Homicide Unit assuming responsibility for murder and fatal road traffic prosecutions, Max has a busy homicide practice including trials at the Central Criminal Court.

In 2015 he undertook a secondment with the Nursing & Midwifery Council presenting cases, providing advice and progressing investigations.

In 2014 he spent six months on secondment to the Financial Conduct Authority working on Operation Dovercourt, the multinational investigation into foreign exchange manipulation. Max has acquired an in-depth knowledge of this area of financial services.

In 2010 he was seconded to the fraud prosecution division of the CPS as a senior crown prosecutor. He assumed a serious and heavy caseload – providing pre-charge advice to investigators, making charging decisions, and drafting letters of request for international assistance.

Max also has plenty of experience of defending young people or vulnerable clients – including people battling addictions – and is sensitive to their needs. He has defended immigration and identify offences and has an interest in art crime, having worked at Sotheby’s before coming to the Bar.

Notable cases

R v T, 2021

Prosecuted a shooting in Luton in which the defendant was convicted of grievous bodily harm with intent during the course of a violent disorder. Luton Crown Court. News story here

R v C, F & U, 2021

Prosecuted three defendants for robbing two sex workers at a brothel in Hackney with two of the defendants also convicted of rape. Wood Green Crown Court. News story here

R v P, 2021

Prosecuted a shooting in which a 16 year old boy was found in a street in Borehamwood paralysed from a gunshot wound to his neck. The defendant was convicted of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. St Albans Crown Court. News Story here

R v B, 2019

Prosecuted a conwoman who posed as a carer to Sir Samuel Brittan, brother of the late Lord Brittan, former Home Secretary. She defrauded him of over £100,000. Southwark Crown Court.

News story here

R v B and A, 2019

Led Leena Lakhani in the successful prosecution of £1 million pound van and motorbike ringing operation using a breaker’s yard in London and remote farm location in Somerset. Southwark Crown Court.

News story here

R v R and A, 2019

Drugs related shooting incident in Luton. Defendants, both represented by Silks, indicted with conspiracy to murder and resulted in conspiracy to cause s.18 convictions. Luton Crown Court.

Video of shooting in news story here

General Crime

R v F and Others, 2018

Prosecution of 5 boys aged 14 and 15 years for the murder by stabbing of another 15 year old boy. The case was a true joint enterprise as the Crown could not prove who the stabber/stabbers were and the case involved piecing together large quantities of circumstantial and CCTV evidence. There were bad character applications re gang membership. Led by Jane Bickerstaff KC. St Albans Crown Court.

News story here

R v B, 2018

Prosecuted a BMW driver who drove deliberately into the path of a moped rider. Convicted of s.18 GBH. St Albans Crown Court

News story here

R v P, 2018

Prosecuted arson and perverting the course of justice arising from the torching of a car used to commit a murder in Battersea. To date no convictions have been obtained for the murderers partly due to the destruction of the getaway vehicle. Central Criminal Court.

News story here

R v M, 2018

Client prosecuted for murder, attempted s.18 GBH and possession of an offensive weapon. Led by Edward Henry KC (QEB Hollis Whiteman). Client was acquitted of murder and attempted s.18 GBH. Croydon Crown Court.

News story here

R v B, 2018

Prosecuted woman who inveigled her way into the life of Sir Samuel Brittan and defrauded him of approximately £100,000. Southwark Crown Court.

News story here

R v F

Operation Baum: six-handed case of violent disorder which had resulted in the death of a man. Led by John Cammegh at Croydon Crown Court. .

R v G

Max defended in one of the last ever careless driving simpliciter prosecutions causing death. Case stopped at half-time.

Read more General Crime

Financial Crime

R v P and others

Conspiracy to defraud; Operation Danks Corner. Max was led by Paul Watson KC in the prosecution of a counter-terrorism officer who was convicted following trial of defrauding the Metropolitan Police of over £90,000. See Daily Mail article.

R v A-S and others

Conspiracy to defraud and to contravene trademarks (Operation Donets). Max was the disclosure junior for the Crown in an eight-handed case at Southwark Crown Court which culminated in a number of convictions in July 2009. See BBC story.

Read more Financial Crime

Civil Fraud

IA Associates v HMRC

Acting for a Company appealing against a decision to disallow a VAT reclaim on the grounds of constructive knowledge fraud. Lead by Abbas Lakha KC.

Hawkeye v HMRC

Acting for a Company appealing against a decision to disallow a VAT reclaim on the grounds of constructive knowledge fraud. Lead by Abbas Lakha KC.


Poland v L, 2006

2006 EWHC 3227 (Admin) Max represented the requested person at first instance for his contested extradition hearing, arguing that it would be unjust and oppressive for him to be extradited to Poland to face trial for offences of fraud many years after their alleged commission. The same argument was advanced in the Divisional Court; the appeal succeeded.

United States of America v H

Max represented Abu Hamza in a sequence of remand hearings in the run-up to his contested extradition proceedings at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court – and assisted in drafting advice concerning the instruction of an expert to comment on the possible use in the US of evidence obtained by torture or oppressive treatment. See BBC news story.

Appellate Work

Jarman (Brett Francis), 2008
Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) [2008] EWCA Crim 810 Appeal against sentence in an ABH in which it was contended that it was improper for a judge to overload the requirements of a suspended sentence order, as a result of deciding not to impose an immediate sentence of imprisonment.
Brown (Curtis), 2008
Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) [2008] EWCA Crim 988 Appeal against sentence in an ABH arguing that the judge improperly made a finding of dangerousness in circumstances where the previous year the same judge had imposed a suspended sentence order and where the Probation Service had failed to give effect to an important requirement contained within the order.

Read more Appellate Work

Other activities and interests


  • Frequent contributor to Counsel magazine

Professional Commentary and Attribution

"A passionate advocate who tackles every case with enthusiasm and masterful expertise."
"He adopts a very practical, realistic approach to cases, and goes above and beyond, working collaboratively with his instructing solicitors."  (Chambers UK, 2023)
"A calm, measured and impressive advocate who leads from the front and does a fantastic job." (Chambers UK, 2021)
'Max is an extremely impressive trial advocate. He is very hard working and diligent. He is a very able and stylish advocate with a very persuasive manner. One of his best attributes is his ability to rapidly assimilate complex legal and factual issues, and to then address the Court on these issues succinctly and persuasively. He has very good case management and is highly organised.' (Legal 500, 2021)
"He is willing to go the extra mile to ensure the case is prepared to a high standard and has a calm unflappable manner. He gains the respect of clients and judges alike" (Chambers UK, 2020)
"An enterprising defender and also a highly-respected prosecutor" (Legal 500, 2020)
"A bright and personable practitioner able to distil complex concepts into jury-friendly language" (Legal 500, 2019)
"He has an exemplary court manner, is wise beyond his years and is particularly good at dealing with young defendants." (Legal 500, 2017)
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PROFILE: Maximilian Hardy

Legal 500, 2024 Chambers UK, 2024

Year called




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Confiscation / POCA

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Financial Crime

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Fraud, Bribery & Corruption

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Serious Crime

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Sexual offences

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Inquests / public inquiries

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Financial and Corporate law

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Civil Fraud

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Corporate Offences

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VAT Tribunals


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Road Traffic

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Road traffic

Direct access



020 7489 2727


MA (Oxon), University of Oxford (Lady Margaret Hall)

CPE/GDL, City University

BVC, Inns of Court School of Law


CBA (executive committee since 2010), Amicus Fraud Lawyers' Association, Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers


Florida Bar Criminal Advocacy Program, 2008

Member of England & Wales team at International Moot Court, 2009

Chairman of young barristers' committee of Bar Council, 2014

Pupil supervisor

Gray's Inn accredited advocacy trainer

CPS Panel (Grade 4)

CPS Rape Panel (Grade 4)

Serious Crime Panel (Grade 3)

Fraud Panel (Grade 3)

Counter Terrorism Panel (Grade 3)


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