The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon
Work 01534 766254
Fax 01534 737355

Show all Press releases

Baker & Partners Join Costa Rican Defense Team to Secure Acquittal of Ann Patton for Husband’s Mur

September 2015

Stephen Baker, Senior Partner and Advocate at Baker & Partners, joined the defense team for Ann Patton against the Costa Rican Public Prosecutor, securing her second acquittal for the murder of her husband, multi-millionaire John Bender, in Costa Rica.

John Bender died of a single gunshot to the head in the bedroom of the Benders’ home in the Costa Rican jungle, at 12.15am on January 8th 2010. Ann was the only witness to her husband’s death, and was found by her security team next to his body following her radio call for help. At 11.00am she gave investigators a witness statement in the nearby city of San Isidro de El General, stating that her husband had taken his own life. John Bender had documented mental health difficulties, and was suffering from suicidal tendencies in the months leading up to his death.

Ann Patton was first acquitted of John Bender’s murder in 2013 but was subsequently retried in 2014 following an appeal filed by state prosecutors. She was found guilty in May 2014 and sentenced to 22 years in prison. Patton served nine months of her sentence in El Buen Pastor prison in Desamaparados before an appellate court in Cartago threw out the guilty verdict. In February 2015 the appellate court ordered a retrial, commencing on August 10th 2015. She was acquitted on Monday 7th September 2015, by unanimous vote by a three-judge panel.

Advocate Stephen Baker was appointed to advise throughout the trial on the defense strategy. He worked with the Costa Rican counsel, English Barrister Gary Pons and Sonia O Donnell, an Appellate Attorney from Miami who acted in the prosecution of former military dictator Manuel Noriega. 

Advocate Stephen Baker commented: “We welcome the verdict issued by the San José Court on Monday 7thSeptember, acquitting Ann Patton of the murder of her husband, John Bender, for the second time. I hope Ms. Patton will now be able to rebuild her life following the court’s verdict.”

Legal Developments by:
Baker & Partners

Legal Developments in Jersey

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Modernisation of Jersey’s pensions law

    Modernisation of Jersey’s pensions law
  • Jersey Opens the door to QROP’s

    Jersey opens the door to QROPs
  • Jersey Legislation Overview

    Jersey Legislation Overview
  • Civil Liability for Breaches of the Codes

    Civil Liability for Breaches of the Codes
  • AML Update: Review of 2014 amendments to the substantive offences

    AML Update: Review of 2014 amendments to the substantive offences under the Proceeds of Crime (Jersey) Law 1999 
  • The New Charities Law - a bright new dawn

    As of Friday 21 November 2014, the new Charities (Jersey) Law 2014 (the " Law ") (or at least certain parts of it) came into effect.  This represents a quantum leap forward for Jersey in the charity field.  The Law has introduced a new test for what is charitable (the " Charity Test "), has introduced the post of a Charity Commissioner and a Charity Tribunal, and in time will introduce standards that those who run charities in the Island will have to abide by.  It is hoped that the Law will enable the Island to flourish as a centre for the administration of charitable and philanthropic structures.
  • New Managed Account Regime for Jersey Hedge Fund Managers

    An exemption which will enable Jersey-regulated fund managers to be appointed in relation to managed accounts has now been introduced.  This will enable hedge fund managers that are already regulated under the Financial Services (Jersey) Law (FS Law) in Jersey to carry out fund services business (FSB) to also service qualifying segregated managed accounts (QSMAs) without the need to seek additional regulation for the conduct of investment business under the FS Law.
  • The Security Interests (Jersey) Law 2012: Changes to Jersey's security regime

    On 2 January 2014, the Security Interests (Jersey) Law 2012 came into force in respect of Jersey law security over intangible movable property (e.g. shares/securities, bank accounts and custody assets).  The new law replaces the Security Interests (Jersey) Law 1983 (which was in force for the last three decades) and introduces a number of important changes which modernise Jersey's security regime.
  • Exclusive and Inherent Jurisdictions: to boldly go where no Court has gone before?

    On 26 November 2014, the Privy Council delivered judgment in the long-running case of Crociani & Others v. Crociani & Others [2014] UKPC 40 .  The case is of interest to trustees because it provides conclusive and binding guidance on the treatment of exclusive jurisdiction clauses in trust deeds.  However, it also raises questions as to the fundamental nature of the inherent supervisory jurisdiction of the Royal Court in connection with trust matters, and whether it is in fact broader than previously thought.
  • Accessing EU Institutional investor capital

    Luxembourg is one of the largest global investment fund domiciles, benefiting from the following factors: