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Financial Crime

We offer a ‘cradle to grave’ service, advising at the critical pre-charge stage and in relation to restraint proceedings, moving through to trial and confiscation proceedings thereafter if necessary. In addition, we have extensive experience of cases with an international dimension, enabling us to advise on a variety of cross-jurisdictional issues and investigations.

Our barristers act both for the Crown, whether brought by the CPS, Serious Fraud Office, HM Revenue and Customs, CMA, DTI or DWP, or on behalf of the defence, acting for both corporate and individual clients.

Our barristers have experience of a wide spectrum of issues which companies or individuals can face including allegations of:

  • Boiler room fraud
  • Bribery and corporate corruption
  • Cartel activity and price fixing
  • Commercial fraud
  • Competition and Marketing Authority prosecutions
  • Corporate and investment fraud
  • Cyber fraud
  • Direct and indirect tax fraud
  • Diversion fraud
  • Evasion of duty
  • Fabricated accident claims involving fraud rings
  • FCA offences
  • Fraudulent trading
  • Insider dealing
  • Internal investigations
  • Money laundering
  • MTIC carousel/VAT fraud
  • Pension, insurance and mortgage fraud
  • Pharmaceutical and health industry fraud
  • Ponzi scheme fraud
  • Property fraud
  • Revenue fraud
  • Sanctions (SFO investigations, international state co-operation, and advice on internal investigations and compliance)
  • Trading standards fraud

We have extensive experience in proceeds of crime, restraint, confiscation and civil recovery provisions, including associated appellate work.

Many members of the team have vast experience of criminal regulatory issues and are perfectly adept at dealing with cases where there are crossover aspects, particularly in regards to environmental crime, health and safety and trading standards

We also assist and advise in internal investigations carried out by Companies who face either an allegation that staff have committed fraud, or where a company has been the victim of fraud.

Notable Cases

  • Serious Fraud Office v X – 2020

Samuel Skinner has been instructed by the Serious Fraud Office, in relation to an investigation into a multi-billion dollar bribery and corruption investigation involving a FTSE100 listed corporation.

  •  R v Gary Gardner

Leicester, Samuel Skinner successful prosecuted the defendant who was convicted of defrauding the son of the murdered soldier Lee Rigby. Click Here

  • R v Hassan and Macko

Derby - Samuel Skinner successfully prosecuted the first case investigated by the East Midlands Regional Fraud Squad

  • R v Entwistle – William Harbage QC

Led for defence of County Council officer charged with money-laundering, forgery and misconduct in public office in relation to a £1/2 million contract for the refurbishment of travellers’ sites using grant money from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.  Issues re abuse of process, mens rea in forgery, cover up in the council and the extent of  the offence of misconduct in public office.  Entwistle acquitted after prosecution dropped the case in 6th week of trial after cross-examination of one of their key witnesses.

  • Philip Hackett QC 

Represented broker in SFO allegation of conspiracy to manipulate LIBOR submissions.

  • Philip Hackett QC 

Represented Senior partner of firm of solicitors charged by SFO together with other solicitors , a QC and executives of Celtic Mining over the transfer of mining rights and obligations to BVI companies

  • R v Alan Yeomans – John Lloyd-Jones QC leading Kevin Barry

Confiscation/money laundering. Defending, Instructed in confiscation proceedings by Sonn MacMillan Walker (London) after the previous Solicitors went into administration and previous Counsel sacked. The case attracted some notoriety as Mr Yeomans was alleged to have disguised a substantial luxury mansion as a farm shed. Insolvency Service claimed a benefit and available amount figure of £8m. After complex proceedings, £650,000 was eventually agreed as being available with no ‘hidden assets’ being pursued.

  • R v RG - Kate Brunner QC

Kate represented a woman charged with laundering the proceeds of her husband’s £5million international arms dealing programme. Following legal argument during the case the trial judge directed the jury to acquit her. Click Here

  • R v HN - Kate Brunner QC

Prosecutors dropped all charged against Kate’s client, a senior NHS manager accused of fraud, part-way through the trial. Kate successfully submitted that the case should be discontinued after she cross-examined prosecution witnesses to demonstrate that the dishonest financial transactions and illegal commissioning had not been carried out by her client, but by the Trust’s Chief executive, who subsequently admitted her guilt. Click Here

  • Kolicaj & Others (Operation Jumfru) - 2018 - Sarah Gaunt leading James McLernon

Leading counsel instructed by CPS Organised Crime Division on successful prosecution of an NCA led international money laundering operation where an estimated £8 million had been transferred abroad by a UK based Organised Crime Gang (OCG) of Albanian origin. National and International HP17 8ED evidence was used during the course of the trial alongside a substantial amount of evidence obtained from a variety of other sources. Couriers, often of Romanian origin, were engaged in the conspiracy in order to transfer large quantities of cash through a variety of national airports, on occasions being escorted by the organisers of the conspiracy

  • R v NB - Kate Brunner QC

Kate represented chief executive of large council charged with misconduct in public office relating to the process of salary increases for senior employees including himself. Kate cross-examined experts in accountancy and auditing to demonstrate that the Crown Prosecution Service had failed to follow required procedures in relation to expert evidence and unused material. Kate successfully argued that the expert evidence should be excluded, and as a result the judge dismissed all charges against the defendants - click here to read. The episode concluded with compensation being paid to the defendants along with a full pension and a public acknowledgement by the council that there had been no wrongdoing.

  • R v Baljit Singh Rai & others – John Lloyd-Jones QC leading Simon Ash

Conspiracies to Assist Unlawful Immigration and Making Articles for use in Fraud. OP Elder.  Successfully prosecuting three family members (father and two sons) for their involvement. Case focused on the provision, through a series of family run businesses based in Derby, of illegal concreting workers to contractors working on major construction projects across the country between 2004 and 2014 (including Drax power station & Dubai Ports World, London Gateway). 65% of the workers provided had no entitlement to either work or be in the United Kingdom.

  •  R v W – Dean Armstrong QC

Represented a defendant in the first-ever joint prosecution conducted by HMRC, CPS, and FSA

  •  R v Nadir – Dean Armstrong QC

Represented the defendant, a former business tycoon, accused of a £60 million theft. This case achieved worldwide publicity.

  •  R v O – Dean Armstrong QC

Represented the defendant in a multi-million pound fraud in the construction industry. The case required extensive specialist knowledge of tax in the construction industry. This case was also notable for being the first completely ‘paperless’ trial in the UK.

  • R v Crane – Mary Loram QC

Defence of woman in her 60s who, with a number of others, was accused of involvement in a “pyramid selling scheme”involving over £20 million pounds

  •  R v MS – Andrew Copeland

Represented one of 6 defendants allegedly involved in a £100 million MSB fraud

  •  Operation Kadenza – Andrew Copeland

Representing one of 12 defendants allegedly involved in a fraud on a clearing bank and its customer

  •  R v Bancroft (Operation Hornet) – Rebecca Herbert

Defending in large (over 100,000 ppe) fraud involving HBOS

  •  Operation Starving 1 & 2 -  Sarah Gaunt leading John Hallissey

Leading Prosecution counsel in a 15 defendant Internet based fraud and money laundering offence trial

  •  R v Christmas – Nicola Moore

Acting for member of the jersey judiciary charged with fraud in prosecution by Jersey Financial Services Commission leading to the longest reported judgment in the Jersey Criminal Appeal Court on the interpretation of financial services regulatory legislation

  •  R v Paul Baxter – Nathan Palmer

Leading junior, multi-million pound money laundering through a London Money Transfer Business.

  •  R v Street – Kevin Barry

Kevin was instructed to prosecute by ERSOU in this case where the defendant pleaded guilty to selling DDoS facilities to others on a commercial basis, and to using the notorious Blackshades software to harvest passwords and user details for the purpose of fraud – a (£9k confiscation order made at sentence). See

  •  Leicester City Council v Rohman & Others – Kevin Barry for LCC Paul Prior for the defence

The biggest ever UK food substitution fraud trial. This case had complex issues of law and fact arising from a 2 year Fraud Conspiracy conducted by multiple defendants. The case arose from the importation of over 100,000kg of turkey meat that was not certified as Halal, which was then sold on nationally to Islamic meat businesses as Halal lamb.

  •  R v Pawelski – Grace Hale

Successfully defended a deaf Defendant accused with 4 others of defrauding the Government of grants totalling £1.2 million. The fraud concerned  4 bogus companies being set up to claim for grants to assist deaf people at work by engaging communication support workers to assist them  when in fact no such support was provided and no such support workers existed.

  •  R v N and 13 others – Simon Ash

Leading on conspiracy to commit fraud. The defendants were operating a claims management company and used it as a vehicle to carry out a crash for cash fraud. In the course of the fraud they induced a large number of road traffic collisions

  •  Operation Icarus – Adam Pearson

Prosecution for alleged Fraudulent Trading and CPUTR offences in relation to companies providing “Meet and Greet” parking services at Manchester Airport.

  •  Operation Candara – Nadia Silver

Instructed as leading counsel in the prosecution of a multi-handed conspiracy to defraud motor insurers, in which the conspirators staged a number of collisions, over a 12-month period, in order to make fraudulent claims of personal injury.

  •  Operation Moonshine – John Hallissey

Prosecuting alone.  Dark web/credit card conspiracy. Dark web bitcoin transactions used to obtain details of US and Canadian credit cards, which were then used to make purchases in the UK.

Related Areas of Practice