Fraud: crime in London Bar
Work taken into account in this Fraud: crime section concerns criminal prosecutions of Ponzi schemes, land-banking scams, VAT frauds, confidence frauds, and boiler rooms, among others. It does not cover regulatory investigations or business crime, such as interest rate manipulation, bribery, and trade union law offences; please see Business and regulatory crime for coverage of those specialisms. POCA and asset forfeiture expertise is also ranked separately, as is violent crime, which is covered in the Crime: general section. That said, many barristers have practices that do not neatly fit within these boxes and so may be ranked in more than one practice area. Civil fraud is also covered separately.
2 Bedford Row is an 'excellent' set that houses a team noted for its 'experienced strength in depth'. New silk appointment Stan Reiz QC (as a junior) was instructed in Operation Surging, a money laundering case involving over 20 defendants; at the junior end, Simon Baker is defending Dominic Chappell against allegations of tax fraud, arising from Chappell's takeover of BHS from Sir Philip Green. In a boost to the set, 2020 saw Nick James join from Furnival Chambers.
'First-class set' 2 Hare Court is 'very strong in all areas of crime, including fraud'. The set's members are adept at both prosecuting and defending in money laundering, VAT and MTIC frauds, investment scams, tax evasion, and boiler room scams, as well as also being active in private prosecutions. Strengthening the team on the senior end, early 2020 saw the 'tactically smart' Leon Kazakos QC take silk. Meanwhile, at the junior end, the 'conscientious and extremely bright' Grace Forbes is a rising star in the criminal fraud arena.
Defence-only chambers 25 Bedford Row is 'a superb set with a range of barristers equipped to deal with the most complex fraud and serious crime cases'. Members' workloads include money laundering, VAT and MTIC frauds, as well as boiler room scams. Recent representative instructions include George Carter-Stephenson QC and Nigel Sangster QC acting in the Operation Surging, a money laundering case concerning the diversion of monies through 14 shell companies as well as issues of excise fraud.
A 'high-quality, very professional set', QEB Hollis Whiteman houses a team noted for its 'good strength in depth'. Money laundering cases, VAT fraud, investment schemes, corporate-related frauds, and private prosecution work feature in members' workloads. The team was recently bolstered at the senior end by Paul Raudnitz QC's appointment to silk in March 2020. Chambers is also praised by instructing solicitors for its facilities and COD training programmes.
'Heavyweight set' Three Raymond Buildings is 'amongst the handful of go-to sets for fraud and financial crime, with unparalleled strength in depth'. It is well known for its strength in handling both defence and prosecution work in cases with blended aspects of fraud and business crime matters. Recent instructions for the set include Ben Summers acting for the defendant in an alleged conspiracy to defraud case involving an account takeover fraud valued at £1.8m; the trial was halted following a successful abuse of process application.
23 Essex Street is 'well respected in the field of fraud' thanks to 'a strength in depth of counsel who are strong in this area'. Its members have a solid track record in handling Ponzi schemes, boiler room frauds, money laundering, and tax fraud cases, to name but a few areas. Defence work is a core strength for the set, however, the team is also well known for handling prosecution instructions for the Crown Prosecution Service's Specialist Fraud Division. Chambers houses former chair of the Fraud Lawyers Association, Mark Fenhalls QC, who will become Vice-Chair of the Bar in 2021.
Carmelite Chambers is 'an impressive set with clerks who are approachable, helpful, and extremely professional'. The set's members have notable strength in defending across a range of fraud work, including VAT and MTIC frauds, tax evasion, carbon credit frauds, and money laundering cases. The set is well known for representing financial professionals, for example, accountants, bankers, and solicitors. The Set also undertakes some fraud prosecutions. Instructing solicitors say the set's junior counsel are 'extremely reliable and well-liked by defendants'.
'An extremely good and strong set', Cloth Fair Chambers' 'counsel are at the top of their field and have a deep understanding of the law'. Its members are well known for their established experience in financial crime matters, notably in providing pre-charge advice to professional individuals concerning tax evasion investigations.
'A strong set, with particularly good silks' Red Lion Chambers' members have been kept particularly busy handling private prosecution work; in this space, Gillian Jones QC continues to act in a long-running private prosecution concerning alleged international property fraud and forgery of company documents. In recent news for the set, March 2020 saw Cameron Brown QC elevated to silk, while Tim Godfrey was appointed to the district bench. Solicitors praise the set for its training programmes which 'are delivered to a high standard on complex legal issues'.
'Well run, slick, and commercial', 33 Chancery Lane is 'a top-quality chambers' with 'strength in depth' with a reputation for being 'one of the more specialised sets in the fraud world'. Members have been kept busy of late handling tax frauds, money laundering cases, MTIC and VAT frauds, and boiler room scams.
'A first-class quality set of chambers for fraud', 5 Paper Buildings is 'an excellent set with very capable barristers specialising in prosecution and defence work'. The set's members handle a range of fraud matters, including Ponzi schemes, tax evasion, and VAT fraud cases. Emma Deacon QC is acting for the Crown Prosecution Service's Specialist Fraud Division in a long-running investigation into an alleged pension liberation fraud.
'Stellar chambers' 6KBW College Hill is 'full of experts on financial crime cases'; it has 'many brilliant lawyers with a great range of experience and who judges have the highest regard for'. Money laundering cases, MTIC and VAT frauds, Ponzi schemes, and investment fraud schemes feature in members' workloads. The set has established strength in handling prosecution work, however, the 'always client-friendly' team is also adept at handling defence instructions.
'A very good set that has real breadth and depth in terms of expertise' and 'a huge pool of very talented barristers', Doughty Street Chambers' recent instructions include boiler room cases, carbon credit frauds, and tax evasion matters. In recent work of particular note, Benjamin Newton successfully defended Marcus Allen, one of eight defendants on trial for an alleged carbon credits fraud; Allen was acquitted following the trial's collapse when an expert witness was discredited. In August 2020, Jonathan Lennon joined from Carmelite Chambers.
With 'a strong reputation for serious crime and fraud' Foundry Chambers has 'a strong backbone of good criminal counsel covering all aspects of crime'. Its members are kept busy with a workload that includes acting for both the prosecution and defence in tax evasion cases, VAT, and MTIC frauds, as well as diversion frauds. Mark Bryant-Heron QC is prosecuting the former owner of BHS, Dominic Chappell, for alleged tax evasion. Strengthening the fraud team at the senior end, early 2020 saw Anu Mohindru QC take silk.
A 'solid, reliable set' with some 'very good fraud practitioners', Furnival Chambers' David Durose QC is acting for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in a multi-defendant boiler room case worth £3m concerning the sale of coloured diamonds. In another matter, Charlotte Yarrow was instructed for the defence of an individual, one of ten defendants, concerning a large-scale fraud and money-laundering case worth £25m; her client was the only defendant who was acquitted of the charges.
Garden Court Chambers is home to 'deservedly renowned defence practitioners in the field of criminal law with a large pool of talent at every level of the profession'. Members have been kept busy of late handling a number of money laundering, VAT, and MTIC-related fraud cases. Of particular note, Ali Naseem Bajwa QC is representing four defendants in R v Charan Singh, a case concerning an alleged money laundering operation where £15m was smuggled from the UK to Dubai by an organised crime group.
The 'outstanding' Matrix Chambers is 'a stellar set and provide excellent representation to clients as well as support to solicitors through excellent training'. In recent work of note, Adrian Waterman QC is representing Yoshiki Ohmura in an ongoing case concerning alleged fraud against a Libyan sovereign wealth fund which had invested in a hedge fund owned by banker Frederic Marino. Also in recent news, Jamas Hodivala QC strengthened chambers after being elevated to silk in March 2020.