Szilvia Booker

Szilvia Booker

‘Szilvia is very strategically sound.
She sees the bigger picture and has an eye on the long game.’

Chambers and Partners (2024)

‘Szilvia is very strategically sound. She sees the bigger picture and has an eye on the long game.’

Chambers and Partners (2024)



University of Toronto 9T0 (Bachelor of Arts)
University of East Anglia (PgDip Law)
BPP Professional Education (Postgraduate BVC)


Prosecution Advisor to UNODC on Controlled Deliveries
CPS Serious Crime Group specialist panel
Appointed to the CPS Advocate Panel at Level 4
Appointed as a CPS specialist rape prosecutor
NCA and FCO Subject Matter Expert (SME) in Security & Justice Reform
Former Attorney General’s List C Prosecuting Counsel


Criminal Bar Association
South Eastern Circuit
CBA Judicial Liaison Committee

Overview of Practice

Szilvia is a valuable member of the Criminal Bar Association fraternity, belonging to a handful of independent barristers who undertake the defence and prosecution of criminal cases in equal measures. She is regularly instructed in cases involving murder, organised crime, large-scale drugs, firearms and sexual offences. She is a level 4 specialist RASSO and serious organised crime panel prosecutor for the CPS, and has a reputation for handling serious cases with brainy humour, inspiring confidence in her clients and those who instruct her. A former Canadian police officer, her specialist global knowledge of covert and reactive police operations enables her to undertake cross-jurisdictional case involving JITs and international investigatory partners including NCA, FBI, RCMP, Eurojust and AFRIPOL. She has built a reputation for finding novel evidential bases for arguing settled legal points. Independent-minded and hard-working, she is a firm favourite with silks requiring a senior junior in large, complicated, and multi-defendant cases.

Szilvia has a wealth of experience in the deployment and challenging of expert forensic evidence including: digital and cell site analysis, facial recognition and identification evidence, psychiatry & pathology, architecture, and accountancy. She is a specialist Human Trafficking and Slavery prosecutor, and leading defence counsel in Modern Slavery Act offences, appearing in cases involving large-scale trafficking of sex workers, commercial and domestic slavery operations, and exploitation offences committed by organised criminal trafficking networks, including money laundering and corruption offences.

Szilvia has been appointed by the UNODC and the national prosecution authority of Kenya, as part of a team instructed by Shamini Jayanathan and lead by Anu Mohindru Q.C. to advise on the considerations and legal framework for controlled deliveries and the use of informants in East Africa, devising policy and legal protocols to trace the flow of illicit goods such as drugs, wildlife specimen, counterfeit products or falsified medical products, and enable successful prosecution of organised groups involved in such enterprises in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda for seniors members of the respective DPP, CID, and transnational crime police units.

‘She’s always on top of her cases, always prepared and can deal with all kinds of clients.’ Chambers and Partners (2024)
‘Szilvia is very strategically sound. She sees the bigger picture and has an eye on the long game.’ Chambers and Partners (2024)

Practice Areas

As a criminal barrister with an international perspective, she has been briefed to consider appeals to the Privy Council, to take evidence for parliamentary committees on investigations into international human rights violations, and lecture on comparative legal jurisdictional issues. As a former Canadian police officer, Szilvia has invaluable insight into police investigative practices and procedures and an exceptional working knowledge of the forensic examination of evidence relating to firearms, narcotics, sexual offences and bio-data identification. She has operational understanding of covert and intelligence-led law enforcement operations, which has proved extremely useful both in defending and prosecuting cases involving firearms and drugs, large-scale police operations and informant-based evidence.

Corporate crime cases often overlap with Szilvia’s general criminal practice, as many of her clients act as, or represent the interests of, corporations, and are white-collar professionals. This can also be said about Szilvia’s cases involving organised crime. Szilvia has defended a number of people accused of setting up corporations either for the purposes of crime, or, as vehicles for laundering the proceeds of crime.

Szilvia is regularly asked for pre-charge advice by the CPS and by the Hertfordshire police in cases involving corporate manslaughter.

Szilvia is routinely instructed to prosecute and defend cases involving allegations of fraud and financial misconduct, including: bank fraud conspiracies, high value systemic defrauding of the benefit system, VAT frauds and income tax evasion, and related money laundering offences.

Many of the cases in which Szilvia appears, involve organized criminal networks, whose assets are restrained by the police at the earliest stages of proceedings. Challenging such restraints, or responding to challenges against restraint, are common legal applications undertaken by her in such cases. Asset recovery, and in particular, recovering the proceeds of crime through confiscation proceedings form part of cases concerning human trafficking, drug importation, high-value frauds, and arms dealing. Szilvia is well versed with the applicability, reach and limitations of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Szilvia has been involved in the pursuit of the hidden assets of international criminals, utilising the assistance of forensic accountants, joint international investigation partners, and the deployment of foreign jurisprudence to refute claims for, or to asserts rights over, assets held outside the United Kingdom

Szilvia has drafted requests for assistance under the provisions of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (1959) and (2000), in obtaining certain information, statements and exhibits in relation to a criminal investigation being conducted by officers of the Metropolitan Police Service, and advises other police forces and regional prosecution authorities.

Similarly, she has been involved in cases requiring legal mutual assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigations in the United States, and requests for disclosure and assistance from private digital data and social media companies.

Notable Cases

R v BA (2024) – Led by Mark Trafford KC in an attempt murder case in which a defendant confronted his wife as she returned home with their children with a kitchen knife, kicking her to the floor and stabbing her multiple times all over her body, chest and neck, his intention was to kill her. Her family rushed to her aid and found the aftermath of the incident and the victim telling them that she was dying. Such force was used in the frenzied attack on his wife, that the knife used to inflict the wounds had broken in half, with its blade on the floor in the hallway, bent and the handle in another room.

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Operation Motley: R v Asenov & Ors (2023) – Instructed by CPS Pan London Complex Casework Unit, leading Liam Gregory in a case that arose out of Bulgarian authorities contacting their MET police counterparts about a Bulgarian female at an address in London stating that she was being forced into work as a sex worker. Operation Motley was a police investigation into the trafficking of women from Bulgaria, for the purposes of sexual exploitation, and the controlling of these women in prostitution involving an organised crime group who bought and sold females into prostitution across Europe.

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Operation Reconverge: R v Singh & Ors (2023) – Between 01/01/2017 and 01/112019 in excess of £35 million in criminal cash was taken to Dubai by a crown of London wholesalers, originating from among other activities the smuggling of Afghan Sikh migrants into the UK, evading immigration controls, in cramped compartments in a modified van being driven from the Hook of Holland to Harwich in Essex in June of 2019. Miss Booker’s client was said to be involved in the purchase and modification of a van for this purpose, and tasked with meeting the migrants in Harwich port for onward transportation. Instructed by Olivia Rose and Linda Barker at Duncan Lewis Solicitors, Szilvia’s client was tried in absence when he failed to attend court on the first day of trial.

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