Crime: fraud in South East

Blackfords LLP

Blackfords LLP is noted for its strong track record in high-profile fraud cases, both in the South East and nationally. The firm is particularly experienced in Very High Cost Cases, as well as matters involving multiple jurisdictions. The 'tenacious and combative' Trevor Francis heads the team along with the 'highly intelligentGary Bloxsome, and both are highly experienced in serious fraud. Other key names at the practice include fraud specialist Daniel Cundy, and solicitor-advocate Diana Payne.

Practice head(s):

Gary Bloxsome; Trevor Francis

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Cundy; Diana Payne


Blackfords is a smart well organised from that provides outstanding service for clients

Gary Bloxome’s team are unique and have provided some of the best client support that I have ever seen

They instinctively understand clients’ need to feel that they are supported and they always provide amazing service

They really understand the level of detail and ingenuity required to deliver outstanding results in complex cases

Jen Richardson and Rachel Wilson are intelligent and extremely able.

The firm is highly competent and respected by the legal establishment

Trevor Francis is an astute political operator

Gary Bloxsome has acute instincts and great judgement

Daniel Cundy is a stand-out star and a constant thorn in the side of prosecutors.

Work highlights

  • Defending client in a case of fraudulent trading linked to the Welsh Assembly.
  • Representing a company director indicted alongside seven others with conspiracy to defraud, regarding the suspected mis-selling of carbon credits worth in excess of £7m.
  • Representing the first defendant in a multi-handed cash-for-crash fraud case.
  • Defending a senior Conservative Party official charged with submitting fraudulent returns in respect of the General Election in 2015 in the constituency of South Thanet.
  • Representing a client in a case involving allegations of income tax fraud by not declaring rental income, mortgage fraud, and child tax credit fraud.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett)

The fraud team at IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) is notable for its work on high-value SFO investigations and prosecutions, as well as FCA investigations. The firm, which also undertakes publicly funded defence work in fraud cases, has particular experience in corruption and VAT fraud cases. The 'approachable and groundedJohn Milner heads the team, and is supported by Eddie Tang and Caroline Dunne. Dunne prosecutes fraud offences on behalf of local authorities in addition to undertaking defence work.

Practice head(s):

John Milner

Other key lawyers:

Eddie Tang; Caroline Dunne


IBB’s criminal fraud team is small but phenomenally experienced

IBB’s white collar crime department occupies an important place in the market.

John Milner offers top-flight experience and expertise

If a client’s case goes to trial John Milner will fight tooth and nail on their behalf

John Milner is a seasoned tactician and gives a high level of attention to his clients

John Milner is widely recognised as a very able and astute tactician

John Milner is a fantastic trial lawyer, straight-talking, and can deliver on what he promises, whether you are client or counsel.

Key clients

Sisse Bohart

Giuseppe Morreale

George Alexander

Work highlights

  • Defending the client, a former Barclays employees, in connection with an SFO investigation into the manipulation of EURIBOR.
  • Defending client in an SFO prosecution concerning the defrauding of two banks out of £160m.
  • Defending client in an SFO prosecution connected to allegations of bribery and corruption in the Oil and Gas sector in Angola and the UK.

Sternberg Reed

Sternberg Reed has significant experience in Serious Fraud Office investigations and prosecutions, and has a strong track record of work on high-profile, widely reported cases. Of particular note are the firm's international connections; it maintains close links with the European Criminal Bar Association, strengthening its presence in cross-border and complex fraud cases. The 'hugely experienced' Ben Thomas leads the group, while higher court advocate Richard Cooper is a 'very impressive solicitor'.

Practice head(s):

Ben Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Richard Cooper


My experience working with Richard Cooper has been simply first rate

Richard Cooper is the real deal; utterly committed to his clients, highly intelligent, incisive, and always goes the extra mile

‘Ben Thomas knows the law and is wise and sensible.’

The team at Sternberg Reed will go the extra mile for their clients, whoever they may be.

‘They are diligent despite the cuts in funding, client focused in an age in which many are mere paper shufflers and dedicated to getting results which they achieve with alarming regularity.’

‘Ken Carr should be a QC. He is incisive, quick and humane.’

Martine Taube has all the attributes of a top criminal lawyer – she is cerebral, practical, and persuasive.’

Richard Cooper is a very impressive solicitor indeed.

I have always found the work undertaken to be of the highest standard, preparation thorough and deadlines are never missed.

‘The firm is well resourced and Ben Thomas has a strong reputation

Work highlights

  • Defending client in a SFO case regarding the Euribor fixing scandal.
  • Defending client in a high profile fraud trial involving the £1m estate of a well-known actress.
  • Defending a client in confiscation proceedings, following the conclusion of a large fraud trial, securing a limitation of confiscation to £1.
  • Advising on the ongoing investigation into a director of a company owning a cemetery that has allegedly been unlawfully disturbing human remains, fraudulently selling licences for plots in which to bury and conducting illegal exhumations.
  • Advising one of five co-defendants charged with involvement in a long-running conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine.

ABV Solicitors

ABV Solicitors frequently act for high net worth individuals in fraud cases, as well as high profile cases in several different areas of financial crime. Akhtar Ahmad and Deepak Vij head the team, and each have a strong serious fraud practice. The firm is particularly notable for its work in cases involving allegations of VAT fraud, while Amirah Ajaz is an expert on confiscation, restraint, and seizure issues.

Practice head(s):

Deepak Vij; Akhtar Ahmad

Other key lawyers:

Amirah Ajaz


ABV have real strength in depth. They provide excellent representation across the full range of criminal offences. They apply the same rigorous approach to Magistrates Court work as they do to their SFO serious fraud work. At the top end they have the sort of high level quality work that most firms would dream of.’

‘In my experience their case preparation and client care is always first class.’

‘An excellent firm. Manages to get the balance right between approachability and expertise so the client doesn’t feel secondary to the case. Very strong in fraud and serious crime with an international element. In this market segment the firm is very strong.’

‘ABV are a fantastically well organised and hard working team of solicitors. They approach fraud cases with enormous care and skill. Their solicitors are meticulous in analysing every detail of the evidence and seeking out evidence to support their clients’ cases. Every solicitor I have been instructed by at the firm is dedicated to client care and engages well with both counsel and the lay client. This firm stands out amongst other fraud practices. They offer an excellent service to both legally aided and private clients. I couldn’t recommend them highly enough.’

‘Deepak Vij as one of the managing partners sets the tone for the firm. Adopts a driven and highly detailed approach to all his cases. Has really acute tactical awareness and clients love his pragmatic, sensible advice.’

‘Amirah Ajaz is tireless and no-one works harder on getting the right outcome for the client. Always knows the case inside out and leaves no stone unturned. A really brilliant performer who is heading for the top.’

‘Deepak Vij has a reputation as being easy to get on with, but also razor sharp in his consideration of the issues.’

‘Amirah Ajaz is a rising star.’

‘Deepak Vij is an outstanding fraud practitioner. He has many years of experience in advising clients facing allegations of very substantial fraud and money laundering. He is intelligent and very personable. His caseload would impress any criminal solicitor practising in this area.’

‘Amirah Ajaz is an exceptional lawyer.  Her attention to detail is unparalleled. She provides very effective representation for her clients.’

‘Akhtar Ahmad is supremely intelligent and gives every important decision which needs to be made in a case great consideration. He is strategically brilliant. His enthusiasm for cases is infectious.’

Clarke Kiernan LLP Solicitors

Clarke Kiernan LLP Solicitors provides the full range of criminal defence services in fraud cases, defending clients in cases prosecuted by a wide range of authorities including the Serious Fraud Office, the National Crime Agency and others. Managing partner Daniel Bonich leads the fraud and business crime team, while Dennis Clarke is another key name at the practice. The team is particularly adept at handling high-profile, serious fraud cases.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Bonich

Other key lawyers:

Dennis Clarke


Clarke Kiernan is a versatile and experienced firm that punches well above its weight in terms of the quality of fraud work it secures

Dennis Clarke is a fighter for his clients and a thorn in the side of prosecutors all over the country.

Daniel Bonich has a calm approach to securing great results for his clients.’

Work highlights

  • Represented three men accused of being part of a multimillion-pound ‘boiler room’ fraud concerning binary options schemes.
  • Defending a client accused of defrauding a private bank.
  • Fraud prosecution against a man named on the UK’s ‘most wanted’ list for many years, and accused of multiple frauds across the UK and Europe.
  • Represented a woman accused of fraudulent trading.
  • Acting on Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings for a man charged as part of the largest VAT fraud ever prosecuted by West Midlands Police.

Blaser Mills Law

Blaser Mills Law is active across the business and financial crime sector, providing services to private and legal aid clients in the Thames Valley area as well as London. The firm's presence is particularly strong in cases concerning benefit fraud. Practice head Daniel Martin is 'very professional' and noted for his significant experience in confiscation work, maintaining close relationships with forensic accountants

Practice head(s):

Daniel Martin


Dan Martin is an assured and wise operator.

‘A progressive firm with a very talented group of younger lawyers

A great team that can deal with the full range of financial crime

The quality of advice that I have witnessed being provided to my clients is exceptional.

They made me feel very confident with their advice.

Work highlights

  • Instructed for one of the largest ever fraud investigations by Royal Mail and successfully negotiated an out-of-court settlement agreement for the client.
  • Acting for a client involved in an international money laundering case with a value exceeding £400,000.
  • Secured a discontinuance in a local authority prosecution against a client for failure to declare a pension.
  • Representing a client in complex confiscation proceedings following involvement in an international passport fraud ring.
  • Successfully helped a client avoid prosecution for failing to declare £70,000 of savings to the local authority.