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Crime: fraud

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  1. Crime: fraud
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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.


Crime: general

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  1. Crime: general
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Crime: general clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Blackfords LLP fields a ‘very experienced and polished’ team with substantial expertise in Crown Court trials, regularly handling cases arising from murder, historic sexual assault, grievous bodily harm (GBH) and international drug trafficking. It represented a defendant accused of attempted murder, successfully reducing the sentence to GBH, and acted for another client charged with terrorism offences. In another key highlight, the team represented a client accused of murdering a fellow prison inmate with another defendant, with the team successfully striking out the client’s alleged confession to prison staff. The firm is also experienced in advising clients accused of rape; it secured a unanimous acquittal for a client accused of assaulting a family friend. The practice is headed by Trevor Francis, a cybercrime specialist, and Gary Bloxsome, who focuses on terrorism-related cases. Also recommended are solicitor advocate Sarah Hall, litigation executive Anne-Marie Geraghty, bribery and corruption expert Daniel Cundy, and Diana Payne, who has experience handling child abuse cases.

An excellent firm with a great criminal defence practice’, IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett)’s Uxbridge-based team ‘has a number of outstanding principal solicitors who take client care very seriously’. The practice handles the full spectrum of criminal cases including murder, manslaughter, Class A drug importation and rape. In a recent matter, the team represented a client charged with the murder of his wife and for defrauding his mentally incapacitated father-in-law of £300,000. Other key matters included acting for a client accused of theft and GBH, with the client eventually acquitted of all charges. The firm is also notable for its ability to leverage expertise from its family, fraud and commercial practices. Caroline Dunne attracts praise for her ‘strong grasp of the relevant law and procedure’; she is well-versed in undertaking international financial criminal litigation. John Milner, who is noted for his strength in matters at the intersection between general crime and fraud, ‘is a very experienced, wise and tactically shrewd expert’; ‘he is particularly calm under fire’. Eddie Tang’s track record includes representing clients in criminal charges arising from road traffic accident cases, acting defendants accused of terrorism offences, and money laundering matters.

For some, Taylor Haldane Barlex Solicitors LLPis the most forward-thinking firm in the area’. Key work includes representing a client accused of eleven counts of sexual assault and rape of underage victims, and defending a client was charged with murder following a vigilante-style attempt to lure and entrap a suspected paedophile, which involved testing the new rules concerning joint enterprise murder; the defendant was acquitted of murder. In an illustration of the practice’s Legal Aid workload, Michael Warren represented a defendant in civil and criminal litigation arising from the client’s former role as a suspect in the murder of a prostitute. The 11-partner team includes regulatory expert Matthew Taylor (‘a smooth lawyer with a phenomenal intellect’), police law specialists Russell Haldane (‘a litigation genius’) and Ita Farrelly (‘respected for her no-nonsense approach’), and military law expert Peter Barlex (‘his common-sense approach always has the ear of the court’).

The team at ABV Solicitorsis very experienced and competent’. The firm, which has grown its privately funded work in 2016 alongside its substantial Legal Aid practice, handles the full spectrum of general crime matters including complex murder cases, serious violence matters involving vulnerable or mentally incapacitated persons, as well as historic sexual abuse cases. The firm’s recent caseload includes a modern slavery case, multiple rape matters and an aggravated burglary case. Department head Akhtar Ahmad ‘is a man who can cope with the most stressful situations and difficult cases’; he is known for his work in terrorism and extradition matters. Hanisha Godhania, who is adept at handling sexual abuse and murder cases, ‘is a feisty, diligent solicitor who anyone would want on their side’ while drug smuggling offences specialist Sunita Mehta ‘leaves no stone unturned and goes beyond the call of duty for each client’. Deepak Vij is another key name.

Edward Hayes Lawyers has a track record of representing clients in serious violence cases, manslaughter matters, GBH issues and large-scale drugs supplying cases. The experienced team is also adept at handling cases arising from road traffic accidents and represents clients accused of rape and child abuse matters. Charles Long is adept at handling white-collar crime cases, sexual abuse matters and rape charges for clients, while Yogesh Patel is an expert in representing clients charged with terrorism offences, historic sexual abuse and financial crime. He also has previous experience in the criminal aspects of extradition cases and people trafficking matters. The two are ably supported by white-collar crime and business crime expert Christopher Hayes. Former partners Maria Monan and Neal Gozzett left to form Monan Gozzett Solicitors.

Gullands Solicitors represents clients accused of manslaughter, murder and historic sexual abuse. The team also has expertise in criminal litigation for environmental offences as well as matters concerning mentally incapacitated defendants. John Roberts, who was appointed managing partner of the firm in December 2016, heads the department and is experienced in handling murder and manslaughter cases. Other key figures include associate and health and safety expert Andrew Clarke, and Patrick Bligh (also an associate) who recently acted for clients accused of rape.

According to clients, Lawtons Solicitorshas no limits in terms of the gravity of cases it can manage’; ‘it approaches criminal law with private law standards of care and expertise’. The firm, which has multiple offices across the South East, regularly handles high-profile murder cases, sexual abuse matters and GBH, with additional experience in regulatory and professional negligence. The team represented a client accused of gross negligence manslaughter stemming from the treatment of patients with an unlicensed drug; the client was eventually acquitted of the charge. It also acted for another client accused of supplying Class A drugs in prison and represented a client charged with conspiracy to supply firearms and Class A drugs. Stephen Halloran, managing partner of the Hertfordshire office, is highly praised as ‘experienced, knowledgeable and highly industrious’; he is adept at handling manslaughter litigation. Nick Titchener, who is the managing partner of the Luton office as well as overseeing the Crown Court team and senior solicitor Nick Seeley, who specialises in serious sexual abuse offences, are other key names.

Reeds Solicitors handles a range of criminal matters including murder cases, representing clients accused of rape and drug trafficking matters. In 2016 it represented a client charged with murder and possession of an imitation firearm in a joint enterprise murder trial. The team also acted for a client charged with possession of a knife, where the client was initially convicted before an appeal secured their acquittal, and represented a client accused of assault and forced labour of a mentally incapacitated victim. Abigail Ashford, Mark Abbott and Neil Jarvis all joined from Blaser Mills, bringing expertise in blackmail cases and armed robbery matters among others. They join the ‘extremely helpful’ Tom Brymer, Clare Galo (who ‘achieves remarkable results’) and ‘thoroughly professional’ director Julian Richards.

Blaser Mills attracts praise for ‘providing a high standard of service’. Recent work includes representing a client that was charged with murder, resulting in a reduction of the minimum term of the sentencing, and acting in multiple assault cases, manslaughter caused by dangerous driving and criminal licensing offences. Abigail Ashford, Mark Abbott and Neil Jarvis all moved to Reeds Solicitors, with senior associate Daniel Martin taking over the role as department head in July 2016. Martin is supported by ‘very professional, attentive and honest’ associate Benjamin Langley, who has experience in serious firearms cases as well as GBH matters and frequently undertakes duty litigation.

Clarke Kiernan LLP Solicitors has broad expertise ranging from serious crimes including manslaughter cases, Class A drugs trafficking matters and high-profile bribery and corruption cases to road traffic accidents and assault matters. Previous work has included a high-value money laundering matter, multiple sexual abuse cases and trials for murder and rape involving a mentally incapacitated or vulnerable defendant. The general crime practice is closely interlinked with the firm’s fraud team, enabling the firm to represent clients on the full spectrum of criminal matters. Department head Catherine McCarthy specialises in prison law cases and is recommended alongside Daniel Bonich, who is an expert in drug trafficking and money laundering matters, and Dennis Clarke, whose criminal practice intersects with public law.

According to clients, the ‘wholly professionalJerman Samuels & Pearson LLPhas real talent at every level’. It regularly acts for clients charged with online sex offences, murder and theft and has notable experienced in murder and attempted murder trials. The practice acted for a co-defendant charged with attempted murder after the victim was shot while his home was burgled, with the client acquitted of the charge. Other highlights include representing six defendants accused of violent disorder at a football match and acting for a client accused of burglary and torture. Mark Jerman heads the team, which includes Simon Samuels (the ‘bedrock of the firm’, according to some), Ian Clift, who ‘is a very effective advocate in court’ and the well-respected Matthew Bone, whose ‘legal knowledge is outstanding’. Mark Pearson and Jane Werry are also recommended.

SVS Solicitors handles minor motoring offences through to high-profile murder cases, manslaughter trials and cases involving robbery and conspiracy to rob. The firm also undertakes a substantial amount of fraud. Recent work includes acting for a client charged with attempted murder after shooting a police officer following a raid in East London. The team also represented two defendants accused of murder following the repeated assault of a vulnerable man, with the murder charge being lowered to a wounding with intent charge. Senior solicitor Robert Johnson took over as practice head from Colin McEwan, who formed MACS Legal Services Ltd; other key names in the team are managing director and gang member trials expert Sasha Sidhu and consultant solicitor Sajid Mahmood who specialises in immigration and asylum cases.

Woodfines LLP has an established reputation in the region for criminal defence cases, having acted for clients accused of murder, rape and GBH. The firm’s fraud, regulatory and white-collar crime work also augments the general crime practice. The team represented a client, a nurse and care home manager, charged with not following health and safety regulations following the death of a resident in a care home, and is acting for a client accused of importing prohibited firearms and ammunition along with seven other defendants. Mike Hayward is the practice head and specialises in murder and motoring defence matters; he is ably supported by solicitor Chris Birchall and solicitor Michelle O’Garro, who has experience in representing clients in criminal environmental cases.

GT Stewart Limitedis an excellent firm with a deservedly good reputation in crime’. The firm frequently acts for clients in attempted murder cases, rape and sexual assault matters, as well as cases involving possession of firearms. The team, based in Surrey and Kent, represented a client charged with GBH after smashing a bottle in the complainant’s face, and acted for another client accused of assault and witness intimidation, with the defence securing the dismissal of the charges. Managing partner Greg Stewart heads the department with Julie Ann Boyle, who is ‘dedicated and on-the-ball’. Also recommended are Sean Longley, who ‘is dogged in the defence of his clients and fearless in court’, and the ‘tenacious and hardworking’ Peter Boyle.

Gerard Maye Legal handles the full range of general criminal defence work including sexual assault matters, imprisonment offences and drug trafficking trials. Its serious fraud and regulatory work are other key aspects that complement the general crime work undertaken. The firm also represents clients using Legal Aid assistance as well as privately funded cases. According to one client, Gerard Maye is ‘the pre-eminent defence lawyer for miles around’; he is adept at handling serious sexual offences, high-profile murder trials and cases involving mentally incapacitated or vulnerable persons. Other key names in the department are John Searby, who handles criminal cases relating to health and safety issues, and James Warren, a murder case and terrorism offences expert.

Noble Solicitors is known for its work in rape cases, white-collar crime matters and money laundering issues. Recent matters include acting for a client in a high-profile murder case where the client murdered their sibling, as well as representing another client accused of murder after meeting his victim on a dating website. The practice also has strong inter-departmental links with the firm’s family and business crime teams, providing regulatory, health and safety, and environmental crime support. Its client base includes privately funded and Legal Aid individuals in the South East and London regions as well as nationally. Managing director Paul Millan heads the complex crime unit, with experience in VHCC matters. Other key names in the practice are Parm Sidhu, David Noble and Jas Kalirai.

Sternberg Reed represents clients accused of theft, possession of firearms and murder. The team successfully had a client acquitted of murder and GBH charges, and secured the acquittal of a defendant in a conspiracy to illegally import £8m of cigarettes and an ongoing investigation into £70m-worth of cocaine being imported into the UK. Ben Thomas is the practice head, with experience in serious crime matters including drug trafficking and murder. Also recommended are white-collar crime and cross-border prosecutions solicitor David Barbone and associate partner Frances Anderson. Richard Cooper ‘is a first-class solicitor’; ‘cases from him are always meticulously prepared’.


Licensing

Index of tables

  1. Licensing
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Licensing clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Blake Morgan LLP handles applications for alcohol licences, advocacy before contested hearings for premises licensing applications, and assists with the extension of trading hours for clients. It advised The Southern Co-operative on several personal licence applications and successfully acted on a contested new licence application for the sale of alcohol in the client’s Wimbledon premises. It also advised Cathedral Hotels on its licence application for a multi-purpose premises including provisions for a hotel and two concession restaurants in Bromley. Other highlights included assisting Bletchley Park Trust with its application to extend the approved extension areas for entertainment purposes, including advocating at a contested hearing for the application before the Milton Keynes Licensing Committee. Waitrose, the University of London and Aramark are also clients. The highly regarded Jon Wallsgrove heads the department, which includes senior associate Tim Williamson, whose ‘work ethic is matched by his acumen and judgement’.

Blandy & Blandy LLP’s licensing team is primarily based in the Reading office and services clients in the sport, entertainment and hospitality sectors. The practice focuses on advising on licensing applications for sporting grounds and entertainment venues, and provides assistance with safety certifications at multiple venues including sporting grounds and wedding sites. It continues to advise Ansco Piazza Building 1, part of the group of companies that operate the AEG venues at The O2, on the redevelopment of the venue from the Millennium Dome into The O2 Arena, most recently assisting with its application for an area of land to be developed into temporary hospitality facilities for the ATP World Tour finals. Other highlights included advising Get Living London on multiple premises licence applications for restaurants and bars at the former Olympic Games site, Victory Park, and providing ongoing advice to the Rugby Football Union (RFU) on its licensing operations at Twickenham Rugby stadium. Other clients include Ascot Racecourse, Henley Royal Regatta, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and The FA Group. Sue Dowling heads the team, specialising in venue licensing.

Field Seymour Parkes LLPis extremely well-versed in licensing law’. The practice is adept at handling a full remit of licensing matters including gambling, entertainment and alcohol licences, as well as being experienced in representing clients before court and licensing committees. Highlights included assisting Albert Social Club with updating its licensing conditions following the local licensing authority’s review of the premises, as well as advising Heartstone Inns on reviewing the premises licences for two properties the client purchased, including handling the application for transfer of the licence. The team also advises Reading Football Club on its licensing applications, most recently for an alcohol licence application to extend the opening hours of the stadium concourse bars. Parsons Leisure and Westbury Street Holdings are also on the client roster. The ‘supremely professional’ Mark Banham leads the practice and has specialist expertise in contentious premises licensing cases.

Pitmans LLP’s licensing team operates within the firm’s wider commercial practice and services national and London clients for all licensing mandates, including premises licence applications, changes and renewals for sporting grounds, gaming centres and bookmakers, representing clients in local authority committee hearings and taxi licensing issues. The firm advised Scoozi Bar & Grill on multiple premises licensing applications for outside table areas, including representing the client in a contested hearing before the local licensing committee. It also assisted Metropolitan Restaurants with its planning applications for new premises and with a table and chairs licence application in Westminster. Delicious Dining, Concorde Club and Hotel, Ideal Collection and the Natural Environment Research Council are also on the client roster. The well-regarded Jonathan Gray leads the practice, with experience in advocacy for licensing clients and taxi licensing requirements.

Trethowans LLP frequently undertakes a range of licensing matters for clients including variation applications, changes to operating hours, alcohol licensing applications and premises licences. It has a particular specialism in advising national restaurant chains on licensing matters. The practice advised multiple clients in the hospitality sector in 2016; the team assisted with 18 licensing applications, including representing the client at a contested hearing and advising on the licensing aspects of commercial acquisition papers. It also advised another client on its multiple street trading licence applications for renewals and grant of licences, following individual local authority rules on licensing applications. The client roster includes Five Guys, MOD Pizza, Chelsea Football Club, Pizza Hut and Ladbrokes. Karen Lush is the department head and is adept at handling café pavement licensing issues and entertainment licensing applications. The team also includes health and safety expert Sarah Wheadon who joined from Paris Smith LLP, plus gambling specialist and senior associate Rhiannon Daniel.

Paris Smith LLP’s licensing practice sits within the dispute resolution team and draws on the firm’s business regulatory and white-collar crime practice to provide clients with rounded licensing expertise. The practice acts for a range of clients from the sporting, hospitality and leisure sectors, assisting with premises applications for new licences and variations, sports stadium licensing matters and appeals before licensing committees. Cliff Morris has experience handling alcohol licensing matters and representing clients before magistrates’ courts and local authority licensing committees. Health and safety expert Sarah Wheadon left the team to join Trethowans LLP.


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