Vakas joined Chambers in April 2018 following the successful completion of his pupillage, under the supervision of Gareth Hughes, Terence Woods and Sasha Bailey.
Vakas regularly appears in the Crown Court, Magistrates’ Court and Youth Court. He has also appeared in the Court of Appeal where he successfully appealed a sentence where the defendant was not given a sufficient reduction in his sentence for a guilty plea. He has defended in a broad range of cases which have included, ABH, s.20 GHB, robbery, sexual assault, drug offences, theft and public order.
Vakas has a very good grasp of identifying what the key issues in a case are, and how best to tackle them. He has been described as a “fine advocate” who “invests himself deeply in the plight of his clients.” Vakas is highly relatable to those who he defends as he has an “unpretentious style of communicating,” which serves him well when dealing with vulnerable clients, who present with significant mental health and substance misuse issues.
Prior to starting pupillage Vakas undertook various internships and paralegal roles. He interned at the Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana in New Orleans, where he worked with other Attorneys representing individuals who had been sentenced to death with the appeals. He also co-chaired the ‘Rotherham 12 Defence Campaign’ where all 12 Asian men were acquitted of violent disorder at Sheffield Crown Court. The men were charged after they were attacked by members of a far-right racist group following a protest in the town center.
R v ST (Court of Appeal) – The defendant pleaded guilty to 7 counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs. The sentencing judge did not give the correct reduction in sentence for the guilty plea. In allowing the appeal the Court of Appeal reduced the sentence from 36 months custody to 32 months.
R v MWA (Snaresbrook Crown Court)– Represented a youth charged with an adult co-defendant in a two-day trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court
R v SL (Chelmsford Crown Court)– 18-year-old defendant pleaded guilty to s.20 GBH. He was given 12 months custody suspended for 12 months.
R v SM (St Albans Crown Court)– Defendant was charged with theft from an employer for over £20,000. Sentenced to 12 months custody suspended for 18 months.
R v MM (Harrow Crown Court) – Defendant pleaded guilty to s.20 GBH. He had a lengthy history of previous convictions, which included ABH, GBH, rape and robberies. He was sentenced to 16 months custody.
R v SB (Southend Magistrates’ Court)– The Crown had to offer no evidence on an allegation of serious sexual assault following submissions on adjournments.
R v AH (Romford Magistrates’ Court)– The defendant was a teacher who had been charged with two common assaults in a domestic contest. He was of good character, and a conviction would have resulted in him losing his job. He was acquitted of both charges after trial.
R v MSH (High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court) – A taxi driver was acquitted of a common assault following trial. An application for a restraining order on acquittal was also successfully resisted.
R v JB (Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court)– Defendant found not guilty of possession of class A drugs.
R v FB (Colchester Youth Court)– A youth charged with robbery was found not guilty after trial.
Bar Professional Training Course, City Law School – Very Competent
LLB (Hons) University of Leeds, Upper Second Class Honours
Continuing Education Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn.
Fluent in Urdu and Punjabi