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United Kingdom > South East > Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: fraud > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  1. Crime: fraud
  2. Leading individuals

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Blackfords LLP's team is ‘excellent and has a well-earned reputation’ for handling high-value and frequently high-profile fraud cases. Its work is principally based in London and the South East but it also handles cases with international aspects. The team, which includes ‘excellent lawyers at all levels’, has deep expertise in defending cases ranging from fraudulent investment schemes and frauds concerning both individuals and companies to money laundering, bribery and corruption. ‘Very tough criminal litigator’ Gary Bloxsome and ‘diligent, clever and hardworking’ Trevor Francis, who jointly head the department, have successfully defended a number of high-profile white-collar crime cases. Daniel Cundy, who is ‘a hardworking, personable and tactical lawyer and one of the first names to be called in any complex fraud’, is handling a caseload that includes a ‘cash for crash’ conspiracy to defraud insurance companies and a carbon markets share scheme where the client and others were alleged to have sold Certified Emission Reductions and Voluntary Emission Reductions to individuals who were induced into buying worthless shares.

ABV Solicitors has ‘a strong team that is capable of dealing with any case, however complex’ and which ‘really fights for its clients’. Deepak Vij, who heads the fraud and complex crime department, is ‘highly skilled, knowledgeable, and determined’  and ‘has an unerring ability to identify the key tactical and evidential issues in complicated cases’ and ‘an outstanding reputation for fighting high-profile cases with a strategic approach’. The team undertakes the gamut of financial crime cases including insider trading, with work extending to large-scale immigration frauds. Akhtar Ahmad is noted for having ‘a cool head in the toughest of cases’ and Rohit Sharma, Taimoor Tarafdar and Amirah Ajaz are also key practitioners.

Clarke Kiernan LLP Solicitors ‘is exceptional when it comes to handling fraud’ litigation. From its two offices in Tonbridge, it handles the gamut of work in this field, including cases that have reached appellate courts. The team's expertise spans bribery, money laundering and HMRC investigations and prosecutions, where it ‘keeps on delivering at the highest level’. ‘Tenacious’ practice head Daniel Bonich’s ‘never-say-die attitude is a real inspiration to all’ and Dennis Clarke  ‘is highly intelligent and a creative lawyer with a sharp analytical mind, who is fearless in the defence of his clients.’ Its recent workload includes a high-profile VAT evasion fraud and a civil fraud case involving several high street banks.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett), which provides ‘a high quality service’, handles lengthy, high-profile investigations and trials emanating from SFO and FCA investigations, which frequently extend into a number of jurisdictions. The team is representing an individual in a case involving a fraud on a Russian bank, which had a number of cross-jurisdictional complications. In other work, it is dealing with an FCA prosecution for insider dealing, boiler room frauds, bribery and corruption and a Euribor case. According to one source, practice head John Milner ‘is one of my go-to people for SFO investigations' and 'has excellent criminal law instincts and fights very hard for his clients’. Caroline Dunne and Eddie Tang are also expert in regulatory breaches and frauds.

Sternberg Reed defends an array of fraud and organised crime cases including high-value tax, and boiler room-related investigations and prosecutions. Department head Ben Thomas, who ‘has a knack of getting to the heart of the case quickly and spotting the weaknesses in the prosecution case’, is defending a SFO prosecution of Euribor traders. Senior consultant David Barbone, who provides ‘outstanding dedication to his clients’, defended a client against claims abuses of the student visa system and dishonest immigration advisory agencies. Martine Taube, Kenneth Carr and Richard Cooper are other key practitioners.

David Franklin, who heads a sizeable team at Eric Robinson Solicitors , has a wealth of experience in criminal defence work. The team successfully acted for an individual who was one of a number of people charged with conspiracy to defraud and to launder money via a 'carousel fraud', which involved bogus companies trading with each other and which arose from a long police inquiry. In other work, it acted for an individual accused of a £64,000 VAT fraud. The team handles a range of fraud and white-collar crime matters, including investment, insurance and online frauds.

The team at Noble Solicitors handles a broad range of criminal defence work including complex fraud and money laundering offences. It acted for the defendants in respect of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering charges where the defendants were alleged to have fraudulently sold carbon credits causing investors to lose millions of pounds over a number of years. It also acted for a number of defendants in a case concerning charges of conspiracy to reduce the tax liability of several companies by issuing dummy invoices for salaries through a third company, where charges had been brought following a large-scale investigation by HMRC. Paul Millan heads the practice and Parm Sidhu and David Noble are other key practitioners.

Taylor Haldane Barlex Solicitors LLP has four offices across Essex in addition to two in East Anglia. Based in the Chelmsford office, fraud practice head Mike Warren handles both legally aided and privately funded cases. His work includes defending allegations of VAT and other tax fraud and white-collar crime. He defended a company director accused of a criminal conspiracy to steal fuel from several sites across the UK. Matthew Taylor, who is also based in Chelmsford, specialises in health and safety and environmental law.

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