General crime and fraud in West Midlands
Jonas Roy Bloom
Jonas Roy Bloom has a leading criminal practice and acts for both publicly funded and privately funded clients. The group has particular expertise in defending motoring and money laundering offences. Other areas of expertise include defending sexual offences and child pornography as well as handling all aspects of business crime. Names to note are Steven Jonas who is an excellent criminal lawyer – he also sits as a deputy district judge and tribunal judge. Ben Henry receives a lot of accolades for his work on fraud and white-collar crime. Matt O’Brien primarily focuses on private clients and has represented some high-net-worth individuals on numerous complex fraud prosecutions, while Fergal Bloomer is another key member of the team.
Other key lawyers:
‘Ben Henry has a fierce legal intellect, who applies tactics and strategy to his cases like a chess grandmaster. He is very well regarded by barristers on the Midland circuit and South Eastern circuit for his professionalism and expertise in financial crime‘.
‘Regarded as a top-level practice whilst remaining very competitive with regard to fee structure. Ben Henry’s qualities are his ability to build client rapport whilst being extremely hardworking with an exceptional knowledge of criminal law. He has a calm and measured persona which exudes confidence‘.
‘”Go-to” criminal boutique in Birmingham. Ben Henry is a very cool head in a crisis‘.
‘Ben Henry for fraud/white-collar crime is meticulous and is so skilled at analysing the figures in the prosecution’s case‘.
‘Ben Henry is a capable lawyer’.
‘Ben Henry is hugely experienced‘.
‘Fergal Bloomer is a phenomenal advocate‘.
- Acted for a defendant in an industrial blackmail case – where the defendants were alleged to have blackmailed the employees of a business to obtain payment of a debt.
- Successfully defended the prosecution for the importation of £130m of cocaine by yacht into Cornwall.
- Represented a Dutch national in confiscation proceedings arising from a large seizure of cocaine in UK waters, totalling 1.4 tonnes and valued at £112m.
- Representing a man who is accused of significant offshore money laundering on behalf of a drug dealer.
- Acted for two defendants in a significant armed burglary and robbery conspiracy trial involving high-value offences in the south Birmingham area.
Kangs Solicitors fields a large serious crime and white-collar/fraud team under the leadership of Hamraj Kang. The group has substantial experience in all aspects of serious and financial crimes and routinely handles multi-jurisdictional criminal and financial regulatory investigations. It is regularly instructed by a wide range of plcs, corporate and individual clients on a national basis. Hamraj Kang has extensive skill in defending SFO, HMRC, FCA and BEIS cases. John Veale is lauded for his work on complex fraud cases and Helen Holder heads the Crown Court Department. Timothy Thompson is another name to note for his work on high-value fraud and money laundering cases. The serious crime team is recommended for its skill at defending a myriad of complex matters from allegations of murder, drug trafficking and assault to sexual offences and road traffic matters.
‘Exceptionally strong in both white-collar and serious crime matters. It conducts cases which are on a par with any criminal defence department in the country. It is the market leader for criminal and fraud work‘.
‘Hamraj Kang is an iconic leader in the criminal and regulatory field, always ahead of the field in his business planning and service to clients. Hamraj leads by example‘.
‘The lawyers are all experts in crime and provide the highest levels of service to their clients. Their work is always top quality. One of, if not the best, criminal specialist firms in the country‘.
‘John Veale is renowned for his meticulous preparation of cases. He deals with cases of significant complexity and magnitude with ease. A very measured, calm and reassuring solicitor‘.
‘Helen Holder is an experienced criminal litigator. She is much admired for having conducted the full array of criminal and fraud cases with considerable skill over her career. A superb manager and organiser of a case‘.
‘Helen Holder is extremely intelligent and hardworking. Her cases are so well prepared. She often goes above and beyond the call of duty for her clients, private or legal aid, to provide an outstanding level of service‘.
‘Hamraj Kang works very hard and has great judgment. Tim Thompson is a very clever lawyer‘.
‘Tim Thompson is very good when under pressure faced with a mass of complex detail; cuts through to the key issues with great skill‘.
James Turner at Tuckers Solicitors handles a varied workload of regulatory, white-collar crime and professional defendant cases. The team had another busy year advising companies and managing directors on a wide range of matters from aggressive trading practices to hazardous waste issues and bribery and corruption cases. Sharon Bailey who is a solicitor higher courts advocate is recommended along with Inderdeep Bhomra who is also a highly regarded solicitor higher courts advocate. Alex Atkins is another prominent member of the team. The group is particularly rated for its work in defending drug conspiracies, sexual offending, complex fraud as well as terrorism-related matters. It also frequently advises on confiscation and restraint proceedings and has considerable expertise in advising on civil liberties and on prison law. Gareth Beynon and Ron Parker are the other names to note.
‘Real expertise and experience in criminal and regulatory matters. Very approachable, very responsive and very knowledgeable. The team really fights for its clients‘.
‘Outstanding attention to detail at the Birmingham office. James Turner is the best criminal solicitor in the Midlands. He does his best for his clients‘.
‘James Turner is a first-class operator. Extremely personable with a deep understanding of his broad area of expertise and achieves very successful results‘.
‘James Turner is professional, succinct, knowledgeable and does this with a kind and pleasant disposition. He works hard on his cases with diligence and dedication’.
‘James Turner is a good advocate who deals with a broad spectrum of criminal work‘.
‘James Turner is a very practical solicitor, knowledgeable in his field, keen and enthusiastic, always on time and fully prepared for meetings and appointments‘.
‘James Turner is held in the highest respect regionally and nationally for his expertise. James’ strengths are his experience in criminal law for over 20 years. James stands out amongst criminal lawyers and his peers in terms of his dedication to clients and his knowledge in this area‘.
‘Alex Atkins is very responsive and personable. He has obtained some very positive results on cases‘.
Cartwright King has a first-rate team that regularly defends investigations and prosecutions that are brought by agencies as diverse as the SFO, the FCA and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The practice receives a steady flow of instructions from corporate clients on fraud matters and on money laundering and bribery issues. The group undertakes a mixture of privately paid and publicly funded fraud work as well as insurance-backed work. It routinely acts for directors, senior employees and the management of multinational companies. Under the direction of Sundeep Soor the practice has built up considerable experience in advising on account freezing orders and on the unexplained suspension of accounts. John Allchin specialises in defending heavyweight fraud cases.
‘This is a very strong team with great depth of talent. Sundeep Soor is extremely good at what he does and has a very good manner with clients‘.
‘Sundeep Soor provides great attention to detail from an early stage in a case and provides very good strategic insight into case planning‘.
‘Sue Swan is very good with clients, particularly professionals unused to having any involvement with criminal investigations or prosecutions‘.
‘Sundeep Soor is immensely experienced. John Allchin has developed considerable specialist expertise in defending heavyweight fraud cases’.
‘Sundeep Soor has an extensive knowledge of fraud law and his experience and wisdom was evident in our discussions and consultations’.
‘John Allchin is head and shoulders above most criminal lawyers. His attention to detail is outstanding and his work ethic unequalled. One of the finest lawyers with whom I am associated‘.
‘John Allchin is a hardworking and diligent professional who goes that extra mile for his clients. Definitely a rising star in the profession‘.
‘John Allchin has a wealth of experience in high-profile matters concerning financial crime. He is committed to providing first-class client care and he has an eagle’s eye for detail‘.
‘The team is experienced and knowledgeable and offers the highest client care and is friendly and easy to work with.’
‘The team is focused upon client care and has high standards of professionalism.’
- Defended a client who was facing a substantial SFO prosecution where there was an alleged large fraud – there were allegations of international investment fraud akin to a Ponzi fraud.
- Defended its client in a SFO prosecution into an internationally backed multimillion-pound UK commercial property development.
- Defending a solicitor in various allegations including a conspiracy to defraud a substantial number of investors.
- Defending its client in an investigation by the insolvency service and HMRC into a series of insolvent companies said to be involved in contrived liquidations to defraud creditors and the HMRC.
Alsters Kelley Solicitors Ltd
Alsters Kelley Solicitors Ltd is primarily focused on the Coventry and Warwickshire areas and deals with a broad spectrum of criminal matters from manslaughter, drugs and assault through to fraud cases. Jas Thiara leads the criminal litigation and motoring offences department and advises on a wide range of matters including breaches of food safety regulations and professional conduct matters. Thiara is also recognised for her representation of vulnerable clients with mental health and learning difficulties. Stefan Hunka represents clients at police stations and has a particular interest in motoring law as well as health and safety and regulatory law. Nazir Vania is another significant member of the team who is particularly skilled at defending motorists.
‘Alsters Kelley is one of the leading firms in the Warwickshire area, its client care is exemplary and the instructions to counsel are well produced and show a firm that puts the client first. This is why the team is involved in the biggest cases in the area‘.
‘Stefan Hunka and Jas Thiara are driven characters who put their clients first‘.
‘The team prepares its cases well’.
The fraud practice group at BLM has a wealth of experience in handling claims in the insurance sector. It has also been developing niche expertise in advising tour operators on unconfirmed sickness claims and has been dealing with a significant number of potentially fraudulent cavity wall insulation claims. Head of the practice group Sarah Hill is adept at dealing with large-scale organised fraud and high-value exaggerated fraud cases. Daniel Thomas represents insurance companies dealing with staged and contrived accident and fraudulent exaggeration cases while Naomi Grant covers all aspects of motor claims fraud.
‘The team really understands its clients’ needs. Always one step ahead in terms of developments – (Sarah Hill and Dan Thomas)‘.
‘Sarah Hill is experienced in all aspects of motor fraud‘.
‘It specialises in representing insurance companies in relation to potentially fraudulent civil claims‘.
- Brought a test case against Dr Bux and AMS Solicitors due to concerns regarding their conduct in relation to multiple travel sickness claims.
- Acted for an insurance company in securing a fundamental dishonesty finding against a claimant.
- Acted on behalf of an insurance company in securing a win in a fundamental dishonesty case against an opportunistic fraudster.
- Acted for an insurance company in pursuing a tort of deceit claim against a claimant.
- Won a fundamental dishonesty case for an insurance company in a road traffic accident claim.
DWF fields a large fraud team nationally that advises on all aspects of financial crime and fraud. Clients include major insurance companies and it acts for nine out of ten of the largest composite insurers as well as the Lloyd's market, corporates and self-insured. Additionally the team is skilled in other sectors such as financial, technology, retail and logistics. Practice head Lorraine Carolan is adept at advising on all areas of financial risk and fraud, including fraud prevention and crisis response, as well as investigating fraud and the recovery of any assets. Andrew Leach has substantial experience in international litigation and arbitration with a focus on large and complex cases involving fraud and cross-border issues. Mike Henman recently joined the team.
‘It is a very competent firm in handling insurance fraud work‘.
LV General Insurance
Insure the Box
- Represented A in a claim arising out of an allegedly fraudulent operation of a dividend arbitrage tax reclaim scheme in London/Dubai for in excess of £1.6bn.
- Acting as supervising solicitors in a doorstop search order to be executed in four locations in England/Wales.
- Acting for an insurance company in obtaining committal proceedings/suspended prison sentences against nine people who were involved in crash for cash.
- Defended claims for an insurance company that were made by two claimants who were found to be fundamentally dishonest.
- Advised an insurance company on a case involving telematics data to uncover a fraudulent claim.
Gateley Plc represents both claimants and defendants in civil fraud disputes and tracing actions across a broad range of industry sectors both nationally and internationally, with particular strengths in breach of duty actions, corporate transactions and restructurings as well as financial services and banking litigation. Other core areas of expertise include insurance litigation and corporate crime. Ruth Armstrong is the national head of the firm's regulatory team and is immensely experienced in defending businesses and senior office holders. Mark Wilson frequently advises on complex fraud-related litigation including claims for dishonest assistance and fraudulent misrepresentation.
Other key lawyers:
‘Ruth Armstrong is an able regulatory lawyer‘.
‘Mark Wilson has very substantial experience acting for insolvency practitioners in civil fraud related matters and is knowledgeable and well equipped to run or defend such claims‘.
‘Victoria Portman is a very intelligent and knowledgeable lawyer who provides clear and practical advice to clients‘.
Grant Thornton UK LLP
Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP
Ernst & Young LLP
CVR Global LLP
RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP
Scania Finance Great Britain Limited
Arkle Finance Limited
Kennet Equipment Leasing Limited
Macquarie Corporate and Asset Finance No. 2 Limited
- Acted for a finance company following a dawn raid by the authorities for allegations of fraud.
- Acted for one of the defendants in a large-scale property conspiracy involving selling off assets of a water company at an undervalue.
- Acting for an investor in relation to allegations of fraud and financial misconduct relating to BVI loan notes.
GQS is experienced at advising and representing clients who are charged with the most serious and complex offences, such as murder, terrorism and drug importation, as well as on complex fraud matters. It is a known name for its work at defending clients who are being investigated and prosecuted by law enforcement agencies, ranging from HMRC, the CPS Complex Crime Unit, the UK Border Agency through to Trading Standards and the NCA. The team under the leadership of Ishfaq Qadir and Ahmer Sattar has represented clients in courts throughout the country.
‘All of the work is done to a high standard, the lawyers have many new cases referred to them from previous happy clients. They are involved in some of the biggest cases not only in the Midlands but also at Southwark‘.
‘The team is efficient and incredibly busy. The lawyers are sought out by clients up and down the country to conduct their cases‘.
‘Ishfaq Qadir is the consummate professional. He stands out because he works so incredibly hard to make a difference and has the intellect and stamina to make it happen‘.
‘Ishfaq Qadir is a truly exceptional solicitor with a unique blend of hard work, tactical awareness, likeability and common sense. He leaves no stone unturned and nothing is ever too much trouble. He’s always able to make the time to discuss something that has arisen during trial and gives a helpful point of view‘.
‘Ishfaq Qadir knows about a case inside out and is prepared to go that extra mile for his clients‘.
‘The lawyers are very hardworking and talented individuals but yet approachable. Ishfaq Qadir – no matter how difficult the client or the situation he remains calm and measured‘.
‘It is an excellent firm particularly for difficult and substantial fraud cases. The lawyers are reliable, highly organised, warm and approachable. Ishfaq Qadir is a truly outstanding solicitor. He has a calm efficiency and is totally on top of his cases. He has a wonderful manner with clients‘.
- Successfully represented a client who was charged with seven others in connection with a network of accident claim and associated service companies that were successfully used to make multiple fraudulent accident claims over a seven-year period.
- Represented a businessman accused of fraud and money laundering valued at over £1m.
- Represented a defendant accused of investment fraud that targeted victims with the offer of worthless investment opportunities.
The experienced team at Lanyon Bowdler routinely represents clients at the police station all the way through to the conclusion of the case at the Crown Court. It now boasts three higher court advocates who cover the full range of offences from summary matters to indictable offences. The team is also adept at dealing with environmental agency prosecutions such as farm animal burials and deaths in farm accidents. Stephen Scully is a known name for his work on motoring offences. Head of department Adrian Roberts has extensive experience in a diverse range of regulatory and environmental issues.
Other key lawyers:
‘This firm has a first-class criminal team. Adrian Roberts – no case is too big, no case is too small. He gives each client he represents brilliant representation, leaving no stone unturned and no line of enquiry left unexplored‘.
Slater and Gordon has particular expertise in the defence of police officers facing criminal and misconduct allegations, with a growing reputation for its work in representing members of the public on a private basis. Robert Newbould, who divides his time between the London and Birmingham offices, is a key member of the team. Tim Coolican is now at Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP.
‘Wide geographical reach, long illustrious history, specialist representation for police officers. Rob Newbould is knowledgeable, dedicated and conscientious‘.
‘The team particularly defends police officers. The team has the resources to really assist its clients and leaves no stone unturned‘.
‘The team has particular strengths in defending police officers, defending criminal proceedings against them personally. This is founded on the team’s long-established reputation for handling police disciplinary matters. The team is also highly experienced in representing other professionals forced to defend criminal proceedings whom the team deals with both sensitively and pragmatically‘.
‘Robert Newbould has a wealth of knowledge about police matters and disciplinary procedures. My experiences of working with him have been entirely positive’.
‘James Walbeoff is a real street fighter. Clients who have him on their side know that they will receive the most tenacious representation and the most realistic advice‘.