Klentiana Mahmutaj is a barrister of 15 years’ call. She acts as counsel in Business Crime & Fraud, Civil Liberties & Human Rights and International arbitration, with a focus on investment arbitration.
Klentiana regularly handles politically sensitive material, acting for governments and other stakeholders. She has substantial public inquiry experience, having represented the Metropolitan Police Service for the last four years in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.
In March 2020, Klentiana became a United Nations mandate holder. She was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as Independent Expert on the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development.
In July 2021, Klentiana co-founded the Balkan Arbitration Conference. The first event truly inclusive of the whole region, it brings together world leaders in the field of arbitration as well as local practitioners, supporting the rule of law in the Balkans.
Civil Liberties & Human Rights
Klentiana has extensive experience dealing with human rights cases.
- The right to development (2020 – ongoing) – Instructed as an independent expert in the expert mechanism on the right to development; providing UNHRC with expertise on the right to development in searching for, identifying and sharing best practice with member states and to promote the implementation of the right to development worldwide. Lead on international investment law and the right to development.
- Asset recovery, bribery and corruption (2020 – ongoing) – Instructed as an independent expert on the United Nations Human Rights Council Draft Principles on stolen assets, corruption by public officials and human rights. In the capacity of a UN mandate holder and UK counsel, advised on amendments by reference to the UK example in prosecutions of public officials for bribery and corruption.
- Business and human rights, treaty negotiator (2018) – Advised and negotiated on behalf of the Albanian government the Zero Draft Treaty of the legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises. This involved a critical analysis of the instrument as well as proposed draft amendments.
- Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Slynn Foundation (2011-2015) – Worked with Lord Justice of Appeal, the late Sir Henry Brooke CMG and Lord Justice Dingemans on legal reform on Albania. Drafted amendments to primary and secondary legislation to the Albanian law governing the legal profession and regulations of the Albanian Supreme Court. The amended laws were one of the pre-conditions for Albania’s status as a candidate member of the European Union.
- AB v Ukraine (2014) – Advised a major international bank on fundamental principles and steps in bringing a claim against the government of Ukraine for breaches of the ECHR, under Article 1 Protocol 1, Article 6 and Article 13.
- A and B v the Government of X (2011) – Instructed by a foreign NGO to advise on an ECHR application against the Government of a member state on unlawful expropriation under Article 1, Protocol 1, the right to life under Article 2 and the right not to be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment and/or torture under Article 3.
- DG v Belgium (2016-2017) – Led by Peter Carter QC, represented the appellant in the High Court extradition appeal concerning breaches of Articles 3, 5 ECHR and prison conditions in Lithuania.
- PC v France (2016- 2017) – Instructed by the requested person in an extradition involving breaches of Articles 5 and 8 ECHR, technical interpretation of the amended EA 2003 and an abuse of process argument against the requesting authority.
- AB v Lithuania (2014) – Led by Peter Carter QC, represented the appellant in the High Court extradition appeal concerning breaches of Articles 3 and 5 ECHR and conditions in prisons and police detention in Lithuania.
- Vreibe v Romania (2012)  EWHC 678 (Admin) – Application to stay pending the outcome of Romanian proceedings challenging the legality of a decision by its Supreme Court, and for interim measures before the European Court of Human Rights.
- (July 2021) – Contributor to the United Kingdom ICC National Committee’s Response to the ICC Task Force on Addressing Issues of Corruption in International Arbitration.
- (2018 – to date) – Counsel acting on behalf of the Republic of Albania in an ongoing BIT arbitration claim brought by foreign investors under the UNCITRAL rules involving land concessions.
- (2016) – Advised a Ukrainian state entity in English proceedings seeking enforcement under the New York Convention of a multi-million pound award.
Business Crime & Fraud
Klentiana acts for appellants and respondents in confiscation and civil recovery matters in the Magistrates’ Courts, the Crown Court, the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
- National Crime Agency v X (2019) – Ongoing criminal investigation into cross-border offences involving public officials of a state. Advised an interested party on whether the continuation of a ‘without notice’ restraint order over a number of high-value assets in the specific circumstances of that case was in breach of the interested parties’ human rights.
- Operation C (2017) – Instructed alone by HMRC as independent LPP counsel in an ongoing investigation involving tax fraud
- R (on the application of Bavi) v Snaresbrook Crown Court  EWHC 4015 – Successful claim for judicial review of court’s decision to forfeit the claimant’s cash on fresh evidence and ‘retrospective’ application of new case-law.
- Bavi v Snaresbrook Crown Court  EWCA Civ 1830 – Asset recovery under POCA concerning successful reopening of an appeal some six years out of time, introduction of fresh evidence and successful permission to seek judicial review.
Regulatory & Professional Disciplinary
Klentiana prosecutes and defends a wide range of regulatory offences. They include, predominantly, Health & Safety offences, offences under the Insolvency Act 1986 and Companies Act 2006. She also has particular expertise in relation to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
- Regina (BIES) v Peter Druzyc (2019) Court of Appeal, Criminal Division Division  EWCA Crim 1076 – Instructed to represent the prosecution at trial and in an appeal against conviction, where the appellant was found guilty of two counts of fraudulent trading contrary to s993 of the Companies Act 2006 and one count of fraudulent removal of property in anticipation of the winding-up of a company contrary to s206 of the Insolvency Act 1986. Subsequently appeared for the prosecution/respondent in the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division as sole counsel.
- A. H. v The Solicitor Regulation Authority (2019, SDT) – Instructed to represent the appellant whose practising certificate was successfully reinstated after he had been struck off.
- KFRS v MM (2019) – Instructed to represent Kent Fire and Rescue Service in a prosecution involving six counts of failing to comply with a prohibition notice, contrary to Article 32(2)(h) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
- National Crime Agency v X (2019) – Ongoing criminal investigation into cross-border offences involving public officials of a non-European State. Advised on whether ongoing “without notice” restraint order over a number of high-value assets was in breach of the interested parties’ human rights.
- BIES v KK and RJ (2017) – Instructed to prosecute two company directors for failing to keep adequate accounting records, pursuant to s387 of the Companies’ Act 2006, concerning a college providing courses for overseas students who arrived in the UK on student visas.
- R (BIS) v Weal (2015) – Instructed to prosecute an individual for dishonest non-disclosure of his assets following a bankruptcy order. The main hidden asset was a painting attributed to Joseph Mallord William Turner, which is valued by insurers at £20m. [Press Report]
Inquests & Inquiries
Klentiana has considerable public inquiry experience, including the handling of politically sensitive material.
- Undercover Policing Inquiry (2016-ongoing) – Counsel and co-lead of ‘Tranche 2’. Instructed by the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, leading the preparation of evidence and submissions on all undercover deployments between 1983 and 1992 and the preparation of restriction order applications. The Undercover Policing Inquiry was set up to examine the contribution that undercover policing has made to tackling crime, how it was and is supervised and regulated, and its effects on the individuals involved.
- Inquest into the death of a care-home resident, PA (2016) – Instructed by the CQC as an interested party.
- Clico Inquiry (2013-2015) – Assisted Peter Carter QC, leading counsel to a public inquiry in Trinidad and Tobago into the collapse of two major insurance and financial services businesses, which caused the government to intervene and inject several million dollars. The Inquiry explored, amongst others, due diligence, good governance and the role of the national regulator in the running of major financial institutions.
Klentiana is well-versed in The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (‘RRO 2005’) and has conducted numerous successful prosecutions on behalf of fire services across the UK. Her work includes successfully resisting abuse of process arguments and contesting the admissibility of expert evidence.
- HFRS v UK Fire Consulting Limited and CM and others – Instructed to prosecute on behalf of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service in relation to charges brought against risk assessors under Articles 9 of RRO 2005. Successfully resisted an application to stay proceedings as an abuse of process on grounds of alleged conflict of interest. Successfully argued the majority of the defence expert report was inadmissible. The defendant pleaded guilty on the second day of trial.
- NFRS v B and P – Instructed to prosecute on behalf of Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service in relation to charges brought under Articles 27 and 32 of RRO 2005 following the inspectors’ findings of serious breaches of fire safety measures on the premises.
- SWFRS v WC – Instructed to prosecute on behalf of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service in relation to a textile factory owner guilty of ten offences under Articles 8 to 22 of RRO 2005. WC failed, amongst others, to make a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and failed to provide his employees with adequate fire and safety training. Successfully resisted an application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
- LLM Public International Law
- LLB (Hons)
- Open Society Foundation Scholarship
- Middle Temple Pupillage Hardship Award
- Associate Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), UK
- Panel of Arbitrators at the Arbitration Center, American Chamber of Commerce, Kosov
- List of Arbitrators, the London Court of International Arbitration, European Users’ Council
- SFO Panel Advocate (2016-2020)
- Panel Advocate: Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive (2013 to date).
- Lecturer in Law, De Montfort University
- SFO List (Panel B)
- CPS Panel Advocate (Extradition)
- Advocate Specialist Counsel (B Panel) for the Department of Business Innovation and Energy and the Health and Safety Executive
- List of Arbitrators, London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)
- List of Arbitrators, Arbitration Center, American Chamber of Commerce, Kosovo
- Visiting Lecturer in Human Rights Law, National School of Judges, Tirana, Albania
- Called to the Albanian Bar (2016)
- Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- International Law Association (British Branch)
- British Institute of International and Comparative Law
- London Court of International Arbitration, European Users’ Council
- Bar Human Rights Committee
- Arlidge, Eady & Smith on Contempt (5th ed.), Sweet & Maxwell, 2017, contributor on the chapter on civil contempt
- Humanitarian Intervention in Kosovo: Legal Right or Legal Wrong?, Qendra e Studimeve Europiane, Tirana, May 2007, with a preface by Professor C. Greenwood CMG QC (now the UK judge at the International Court of Justice); a recommended text in Kosovar and Albanian universities
- ‘Will Investors end up in court over the right to development?’, The Banker, Sustainable Views, London, 2021
- Bribery, Corruption and International Arbitration meet again: The case of Alexander Brothers Limited (Hong Kong SAR) v (1) Alstom Transport SA; (2) Alstom Network UK Limited  EWHC 1585 (Comm)’, London, May 2020 [Report]
- ‘Observations on the Zero Draft – A Detailed Proposal for a System of Arbitration’, Business and Human Rights Centre, London/New York, November 2018 [Press Report]
- Bribery and Corruption and the case of National Iranian Oil Company v Crescent Petroleum Company International Limited and Crescent Gas Corporation Ltd  EWHC 510, Alternative Dispute Resolution Center, American Chamber of Commerce, Kosovo, June 2016
- ‘The Defence of Corruption in International Arbitration: An Emerging Trend or False Alarm’, Jeta Juridike, Tirana, March 2016
- ‘Legal Professional Privilege in Criminal Law: Privilege and Inter-jurisdictional Issues’, Practical Law, Thomson Reuters, 2015, co-authored with Peter Carter QC
- ‘The Protection of Human Rights in the Face of Terror Threats: A Bare Necessity or Unreasonable Hindrance to the Work of Intelligence Agencies’, Construction Law International, Vol 10 No 1, March 2015 and the IBA Human Rights Working Group Newsletter, London, 2015
- ‘UN and EU Sanctions, Terrorism and International Law: A Brief Overview’, Albanian Law Review, Tirana, November 2014
- ‘The Cham population and legal remedies under the ECHR: A study of legal obstacles and potential remedies concerning the expulsion of the Cham population from Greece at the end of WWII’, Institute of Cham Studies, Tirana, Albania, 2011
‘Cash Forfeiture Following Acquittal: An “Affront to Public Perception” or a Breach of A Fundamental Human Right?’, 2009, Crim LR 783
- ‘The Death Penalty and the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights’, AMICUS Journal, London, 2008
- ‘The English Legal System, Some Aspects’, Jeta Juridike, Journal of Magistrates School Tirana, April 2007
- ‘Confessions: A few considerations in the case of Michael Stone’, Criminal Bar Association Newsletter, London, Sweet & Maxwell, June 2005
- Various contributions to the AIRE Centre and European Human Rights Law Review, March 2003
- Albanian (Native)
- Italian (Very good command)
- French (Basic)