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Who Represents Who

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Blackfords LLPis at the top of its game’. Based across its offices in Woking and Croydon, the team undertakes the full range of fraud matters including high-profile and complex financial crime cases; high-value benefit fraud mandates; and multi-jurisdictional Ponzi scheme matters. The practice recently represented a client who was allegedly part of a large money laundering scheme, and acted for another client in a complex and longstanding conspiracy to defraud case concerning the rail ticket issuance process. In an illustration of its cross-border expertise, the team represented a client in a multi-million pound VAT evasion case regarding imported cigarettes from Lithuania, which involved German and French authorities, and acted for a senior insurance underwriter concerning the fabrication of company documents and opening of false bank accounts affecting businesses in multiple jurisdictions including Central and South America, the Cayman Islands and the USA. The practice is headed by Gary Bloxsome, who ‘is a wise counsellor who leads with real distinction’, and ‘first-class all-rounderTrevor Francis. They are ably supported by ‘hardworking and intelligent’ solicitor advocate Lucinda Shand; white-collar crime and money laundering expert Daniel Cundy, who ‘is an excellent tactician’; and Gary Rubin, who was promoted to partner in March 2017.

ABV Solicitorsprepares its cases thoroughly and cares very much about the service that it provides to its clients’. The practice is based in Hayes and leverages the firm’s offices in Acton and London, as well as a strong general crime practice that complements the fraud team. Recent work includes immigration cases, boiler room fraud matters and mortgage fraud mandates, often worth tens of millions. The team is also adept at handling cybercrime matters, including large-scale phishing campaigns targeted at bank customers. Cross-border crimes are another key feature of the firm’s practice, with experience in white-collar crime cases spanning Europe, the US and China. Deepak Vij ‘gives a premium service to his clients’ and is experienced in multi-defendant trials, grey-collar crime matters and VAT and customs offence cases. White-collar crime and boiler room fraud expert Amirah Ajaz ‘has an extraordinary work ethic and strives tirelessly to get the best results’. Solicitors Rohit Sharma, Taimoor Tarafdar and Sunita Mehta are also recommended.

Clients of IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) value the firm’s ‘many years of experience in dealing with criminal and in particular white-collar criminal cases’. The team, based in Uxbridge, handles a complete range of financial and business crime matters for individuals, including cross-border EURIBOR matters, international money laundering cases and white-collar crime issues. It recently represented a client accused of defrauding a Russian bank of $200m, with further accusations of bribery, forgery and blackmail among others; the client was acquitted of four counts of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud. Other key matters included representing a client who allegedly defrauded two banks of £160m by obtaining loans through fabricated contracts for fibre-optic cables, and acted for another client accused of being involved in a longstanding LIBOR fraud by misleading USD LIBOR submissions in Barclays Bank’s name. The practice is led by ‘top-notch practitionerJohn Milner, who is ‘capable of going toe-to-toe with the best of the white-collar crime solicitors’. Also recommended are Caroline Dunne, who has experience handling white-collar crime matters; money laundering specialist and solicitor Aman Uppal; and business crime expert Eddie Tang.

Sternberg Reed’s fraud practice is spread across the firm’s three offices in Barking, Grays and Romford and is complemented by a strong general crime team. The team undertakes a full spectrum of fraud matters including multi-jurisdictional fraud, organised crime cases and VAT fraud. It is currently representing a client accused of high-value tax evasion and acted for a client accused of running two boiler room companies, one under prosecution by the Essex Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the other under investigation by the City of London Trading Standards Department. It also acted for another client in a confiscation case concerning BT, involving £3m-worth of assets. The well-regarded Ben Thomas heads the fraud and general crime department; he is ably supported by senior consultants David Barbone, Martine Taube and Kenneth Carr. Solicitor advocate Richard Cooper ‘prepares cases thoroughly and doesn’t stop working for his clients’; he is experienced in representing clients in serious fraud cases.

Taylor Haldane Barlex Solicitors LLPhas a forward-thinking and savvy mindset, which has led to its continued success’. The eleven-partner team, which is spread across the firm’s four offices in Essex as well as branches in Ipswich and Norwich, is regularly called on to act in cross-border money laundering cases, investment fraud matters and conspiracy to defraud mandates for a client roster that includes businesses and individuals. Its expertise spans privately funded and Legal Aid matters. Recent work includes representing a client in an expenses fraud investigation in Guernsey concerning a 29-year period of false expenses claims for dates the defendant was not on duty; and acting for another client accused of participating in an organised crime operation targeting tenants in East Anglia and Sheffield, in which the team secured suspended sentences for the defendants. The team also acted for a client accused of claiming expenses for journeys across a three-year period. Practice head Mike Warren is ‘very experienced, tactically savvy and has great tactical judgement’; he is adept at handling banking fraud, VAT fraud and boiler room fraud cases. Money laundering and police law expert Ita Farrelly and environmental fraud specialist Matthew Taylor are other key names in the team.

From its Tonbridge offices, Clarke Kiernan LLP Solicitors is regularly called on to represent South East and London-based clients in high-value fraud matters, including international fraud cases, high-value mortgage fraud mandates and conspiracy to defraud matters. The firm also undertakes privately funded and Legal Aid cases for individuals and businesses. Past work included acting for defendants accused of defrauding a local council authority of several million pounds, successfully ensuring with expert evidence that a defendant did not face charges for wide-scale tobacco importation fraud; and acting for an NHS consultant accused of serious fraud. Daniel Bonich leads the department and is noted for his money laundering, confiscation and business crime expertise. Serious fraud expert and advocate Dennis Clarke is another name to note.

With offices in West Sussex and Hampshire that are complemented by a central London presence, Edward Hayes Lawyers is adept at handling money laundering cases, tax and VAT fraud mandates, as well as conspiracy to defraud matters. White-collar crime specialist Charles Long and VAT fraud expert Christopher Hayes are the department heads; asset recovery and confiscation case expert Yogesh Patel is also recommended. Former partners Maria Monan and Neal Gozzett left to form Monan Gozzett Solicitors.

Clients of Eric Robinson Solicitors single out ‘the attention the team affords to each case and client, which is undoubtedly the reason it receives so many repeat instructions’. The practice handles the full remit of fraud cases for clients in the South East region, including benefits fraud matters, conspiracy to defraud cases and cyber fraud mandates. The team acted for a client as one of twelve accused of being a part of a conspiracy to defraud and launder money in a £12m carousel fraud scheme. Other mandates included representing a company director in a £1.7m VAT fraud matter and acting for a Chinese national in a six-week trial at Southampton Court for allegedly committing duty fraud by illegally importing tobacco and avoiding paying duty on the point of entry to the UK and the point of sale. Senior associate David Franklin, who heads the practice, ‘is impressive in his preparation of cases and client care’. He is ably supported by an eight-lawyer team in Southampton.

The fraud team at Noble Solicitors regularly undertakes high-value and complex fraud cases including conspiracy to defraud matters, credit fraud cases and money laundering mandates. Recent work includes defending a client accused of conspiring to defraud and money laundering offences concerning several million pounds-worth of precious materials, as well as representing another client that had allegedly fabricated documents in order to approach multiple lending institutions to raise funds for third-party organisations. It also acted for a defendant involved in a multimillion-pound telecoms fraud case concerning fraudulently attaining funds from service providers. Managing director Paul Millan is the practice head and is adept at handling complex regulatory and fraud cases. Other notable names include Parm Sidhu, David Noble and Jas Kalirai. The firm has branches in Luton, Welwyn Garden City and Wembley, in addition to a central London office.

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