Kaja Reiff-Musgrove

Call 1992

Kaja Reiff-Musgrove

Call 1992

Kaja Reiff-Musgrove is a highly experienced leading junior, defending and prosecuting serious crimes. Her practice spans violent offences including murder, manslaughter and child cruelty, as well as gang related kidnap, firearms offences, multi handed drug conspiracies and sexual offences of the utmost gravity. She is frequently instructed in cases involving complex medical issues as well as in frauds and money laundering cases.

She is sought by solicitors for her skill and care in dealing with clients with mental health or learning difficulties, and also has a particular experience in defending allegations made against professionals by children and other vulnerable complainants.

In addition to her criminal practice, she has appeared in many regulatory and professional discipline cases, particularly in the field of police misconduct. She has been instructed in numerous inquests.


Kaja has extensive experience of trials across the spectrum of serious criminal offences.

She has been instructed in a number of murder trials as junior, both defending and prosecuting.

Kaja’s trial experience has also included the offence of causing or allowing the death of a child and she has acted as junior alone for defendants accused of attempted murder.

Notable Murder & Manslaughter cases

R v M

junior counsel in multihanded murder trial representing vulnerable youth accused of murder on joint enterprise basis where trial issues included intentional assistance in a planned “hit” and the extent to which the defendant’s presence could amount to encouragement.

R v JP

Junior counsel defending young mother with learning difficulties accused of allowing her baby to starve to death. The trial involved complex medical issues relating to the cause of the failure of the child to thrive and subsequent death.

R v TH & MM

Junior counsel prosecuting mother and son accused of murdering family member. Issues relating to reluctant witnesses. Diminished responsibility and loss of control in issue.

Kaja is adept at prosecuting and defending in cases where modern slavery has been raised as a defence.

Kaja has extensive experience defending allegations of rape. This has ranged from representing children as young as 13 to pensioners and police officers. She has defended in cases of gang rape, stranger rape, date rape and rape in coercive relationships. Trials she has undertaken often involve allegations of sexual offences against children and other family members.

Additionally Kaja is on the specialist rape prosecution panel and is frequently instructed for the prosecution in the trial of serious sexual allegations.

Notable Sexual Offences cases

R v MC

Allegations of rape made by ex wife claiming many years of coercive and controlling behaviour. Allegations discontinued at trial after repeated disclosure requests uncovered significant undermining material.

R v D

Representing a youth with severe learning difficulties accused of rape as part of a gang. Intermediary involved.

R v D

representing police officer accused of rape of 14 year old after meeting and grooming on the internet. The trial issues involved were consent and reasonable belief in consent. Acquitted of rape but convicted of sexual activity with a child on the basis that the Defendant did not have a reasonable belief that the complainant was over 16.

R v P

Prosecution of youth accused of sexual activity with a person with a mental disability impeding choice. This involved complex legal argument on the issue of capacity.

A substantial part of Kaja’s practice in defending and prosecuting sexual offences is comprised of historic offences.

She has much experience in the complexities of sentencing where offences pre date the Sexual Offences Act of 2003.

Notable Historic Sexual Offences cases

R v C

Representing retired public school teacher for recent and historic offences. Press reports lead to further complainants coming forward.

R v G

Defending man accused of historic rape and recent sexual assault of a child. Conviction overturned in the Court of Appeal on the basis of bad character evidence that was admitted and the legal directions on character that were given.

Kaja has defended in many gang related offences including kidnap, serious violence, drugs and firearms offences.

She is frequently instructed to represent defendants alleged to be involved in serious organised crime including conspiracies to import, supply and produce drugs on a large scale and those involved with “county lines”.

Notable Gangs & Organised Crime Groups cases

R v M & Others

Representing an accused in conspiracy to supply in excess of 30 kg of Class A drugs involving defence of duress. Application was made to stay the proceedings on the basis of phone evidence wiped from the Defendant’s phone during police attempts to recover it. Cut throat defences between the defendants.

R v S & Others

Large scale conspiracy to supply class A drugs. (Seizures alone had a value of £4,500,000).

R v H & Others

Representing one of 9 defendants charged with commercial scale cannabis production in underground bunkers protected by guards with firearms.

R v R & Others

Large scale conspiracy to import cannabis involving intercepted probe material. Multiple consignments. Defending skipper of boat in which 400 tons of cannabis were concealed.

R v X & Others

Representing defendant accused of travelling with a gang to kidnap and assault rival drug dealer.

Kaja has prosecuted and defended in numerous firearms cases from possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, to possessing a prohibited firearm and the commission of robberies with the use of a firearm.

Notable Firearms cases

R v H & Others

Defending in multi -handed trial of possession of prohibited firearms involving huge stash found at scene of a cannabis factory. Whether Defendant was in joint possession was in issue.

R v A

Prosecuting case of possession of prohibited firearm where trial issues included whether it was an “antique” for the purposes of section 58 of the Firearms Act 1968.

R v X

Possession of firearm with intent to endanger life. Defendant stopped by police in car with loaded gun. PII issues.

R v J

Possession of firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. Firearm produced in the course of a robbery.

Kaja has a wealth of experience defending clients accused of causing death by dangerous driving.

Notable Driving fatalities/causing serious injury cases

R v M

Representing Defendant on charge of causing the death of his best friend by dangerous driving. Accident reconstruction and expert evidence on speed involved.

Kaja has significant experience in defending and prosecuting offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Notable Money Laundering cases

R v H

At Southwark Crown Court successfully defending in case involving use of bank accounts to deposit money obtained through a series of banking scams where defendant claimed lack of knowledge that his accounts were being used.

R v G & T

Possession of criminal property namely large quantity of mobile phones that were the subject of an insurance scam also involving the transfer of the proceeds of sale of these, as well as stolen and counterfeit phones.

Kaja has wide ranging experience prosecuting and defending fraud allegations including mortgage, insurance and social security frauds.

Notable Fraud cases

R v S & H

Prosecuting “ cash for crash “ insurance fraud at the Old Bailey.

R v X

Representing defendant accused of conspiring with others to defraud banks.

Kaja specialises in police disciplinary work and regularly defends police officers facing allegations of gross misconduct.

Kaja has defended in the field of food safety prosecutions. She also accepts instructions from prosecuting authorities.

Kaja has particular experience in the specialist area of environmental crime and has prosecuted a trial concerning the depositing of controlled waste contrary to the Environmental `Protection Act 1990 for a local authority.

Notable Environmental Crime (Consumer & Regulatory offences) cases


Prosecuting council employee for depositing asbestos without an environmental permit authorising the deposit.

Associations and Memberships

  • BA Law

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Bar Human Rights Committee

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