Bark&co > London, England > Firm Profile

Bark&co
BRIDEWELL COURT
14 NEW BRIDGE STREET
LONDON
EC4V 6AG
England

Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general Tier 2

Bark&co deploys a boutique-style approach to cover the full range of general crime work, from murder and manslaughter, to drug offences, sexual offences, and immigration crimes. The department has a track record of work on high profile crimes, and strives to create robust public relations defences for clients, including tailored media plans. Giles Bark-Jones is the firm’s principal and founder, and ‘remains the backbone of the firm‘, with a practice which includes anti-terrorism legislation. Also key are senior solicitor Ria Kudrati, who is the lead crime supervisor for the firm, and solicitor Vanessa Wiggins, who is active on prominent violent crime and drugs cases.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Giles Bark-Jones is still one of the real heavyweights of the criminal defence world. He is actively involved in client management and providing high-level strategic and tactical advice.’

‘Bark & Co offer an all round gold service, from pre-charge advice to handling the media to success at trial. Their experience in dealing with high profile clients and cases is second to none.’

‘Giles Bark-Jones is a brilliant tactician and has such a wealth of hands on experience that he is the go to solicitor for high profile clients charged with serious crime.’

‘Extremely well run firm, led by a dynamic individual who is well respected within the sector. Each lawyer has access to any resource they need and deliver results week in week out.’

‘I have been impressed by Vanessa Wiggins and Giles Bark-Jones in particular. No task is too great and they seem unflustered by anything thrown their way.’

‘All extremely responsive and accessible. Consistently involved in the biggest and most high profile of criminal cases.’

‘Excellent quality of work, good attention to detail, dedicated team, excellent support staff.’

‘They are a very well respected and thorough firm, pleasure to work with.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for one of four individuals charged with murder following the death of a forty-year-old woman after an attack in a village near Clacton in Essex, in April 2021.
  • Acting for two individuals charged with offences following a police investigation and discovery of a large-scale cannabis factory in a rural location in Wales.
  • Acting for a high-profile individual under investigation for alleged historic sexual offences.

Corporate and commercial > VAT and indirect tax Tier 3

London criminal defence firm Bark&co deals with high-value, cross-border work in relation to business crime and VAT tax litigation. The firm’s work covers tribunal appeals, HMRC interventions and seizures, tax investigations and enquiries, while the criminal tax fraud practice advises on a wide range of tax evasion and tax fraud matters. The team is led by founder Giles Bark-Jones, who specialises in VAT fraud cases and challenges to HMRC assessments. He is supported by Peter Finbow, with a focus on fraud and white-collar crime, such as insider trading, bribery and fraudulent trading. Maria Stalbow is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Bark&Co has an excellent tax litigation and VAT department which complements its other teams, making them a fantastic all round firm.’

‘The firm has great strength and depth. I would wish to single out Giles Bark-Jones who remains the backbone of the firm and very much in control of the whole show. He is an excellent lawyer and very much the powerhouse that drives the firm forward and ensures that it provides the excellent quality of service that it does.’

‘Patricia Wilson has great experience and has a marvellous manner with clients and goes the extra mile for them, putting in a huge amount of effort.’

‘Bark & Co has huge experience in representing clients facing investigations (and subsequent civil and criminal proceedings) into their tax affairs. They have real strength in depth amongst the team, and my experience is that they provide a first rate service.’

‘Giles Bark-Jones is still one of the real heavyweights. He is actively involved in client management and providing high-level strategic and tactical advice. Clients really know that he is on their side..

‘Peter Finbow is someone who provides a reassuring presence in any case. He has excellent instincts, and is adept at spotting and resolving issues long before they become a problem.’

‘Maria Stalbow gets under the skin of a case and has a knack of getting straight to the heart of the case. Clients like her and she’s always on top of the detail.

‘Pat Wilson is someone who clients love because they can see that she genuinely cares and will never rest until she has chased down every detail and turned over every stone in her clients’ case.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for an individual in investigations by the National Crime Agency and SKAT (the Danish tax authority) into fraud and money-laundering activities worth over £1.5bn committed against the tax authorities in a number of countries, predominantly the UK, Denmark, the US and Belgium.
  • Acting for one of a number of individuals alleged to have been part of an OCG into which HMRC conducted an intensive investigation concerning a long-running conspiracy to cheat the public revenue along with ancillary money laundering offences.
  • Acting for one of a number of individuals charged in relation to an alleged alcohol diversion fraud operated on a massive scale in 2009 and 2010.

Dispute resolution > Tax litigation and investigations Tier 4

Bark&co has expertise in civil tax and criminal tax fraud with an increasing focus on litigation in areas of VAT and excise duty. Giles Bark-Jones leads the practice with expertise extending to several areas of civil litigation including fraud and contentious tax. Peter Finbow specialises in white-collar crime including VAT fraud and money laundering.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘In my view, Bark and Co is one of the pre-eminent firms in both areas of criminal practice (fraud and general crime) with great strength and depth in the team. They also have a very effective tax/civil department that compliments what they do, particularly with regard to fraud.’

‘As stated above the firm has great strength and depth. I would wish to single out Giles Bark-Jones who remains the back bone of the firm and very much in control of the whole show. He is an excellent lawyer and very much the power house that drives the firm forward and ensures that it provides the excellent quality of service that it does.’

‘Bark & Co’s is one of the leading boutique white-collar crime firms, with particular experience of investigations and prosecutions relating to tax frauds, meaning that they have a wealth of expertise in dealing with tax investigations and the litigation that flows from it.’

‘Giles Bark-Jones is still one of the real heavyweights. He is actively involved in client management and providing high-level strategic and tactical advice. Clients really know that he is on their side.’

‘Peter Finbow is someone who provides a reassuring presence in any case. He has excellent instincts, and is adept at spotting and resolving issues long before they become a problem.’

‘Maria Stalbow gets under the skin of a case and has a knack of getting straight to the heart of the case. Clients like her and she’s always on top of the detail.’

‘One of the top firms in london with a series of great work and high profile cases.’

‘Similar to their white collar crime offering, the firm excel in their offering to clients in the tax litigation and investigations market. They are becoming full service for contentious criminal/civil cross over work, an area of work which we are seeing a large increase of volume in over the last few years.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for an individual in investigations by the National Crime Agency and SKAT into fraud and money-laundering activities worth over £1.5bn committed against the tax authorities in a number of European countries.
  • Acted for one of a number of individuals alleged to have been part of an OCG into which HMRC conducted an intensive investigation concerning a long-running conspiracy to cheat the public revenue along with ancillary money laundering offences.
  • Acting for one of a number of individuals charged in relation to an alleged alcohol diversion fraud operated on a massive scale in 2009 and 2010.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals) Tier 5

Bark&co has standout involvements on behalf of high-profile sportspeople, politicians, and business executives, handling cross-border white-collar proceedings including insider dealing, tax fraud, bribery, and money laundering cases. Most notably, the firm represented Boris Becker in his ongoing tax fraud prosecution, reflecting its regular involvement in major trials, as well as complex SFO and FCA investigations, combining litigation and compliance expertise with in-house reputation management capabilities. Giles Bark-Jones heads up the team, a ‘powerhouse‘ in complex international fraud and corruption cases, while senior consultant David Byrne is noted for his work on regulatory investigations, and the ‘tirelessMaria Stalbow plays a leading role in FCA insider dealing cases and corruption cases brought against former police officers.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Very open and honest advice. Do not tie you up in legal jargon. Fully break down the whole process and always available in a time which can be the most stressful for anyone.’

‘Giles Bark-Jones is a superb lawyer. Amazing knowledge and more than happy to go the extra mile for clients.’

Maria Stalbow – She is like a legal encyclopedia. Gives nearly all legal answers there and then. So thorough with her work.

‘In my view, Bark and Co is one of the pre-eminent firms in both areas of criminal practice (fraud and general crime) with great strength and depth in the team.’

‘I would wish to single out Giles Bark-Jones who remains the back bone of the firm and very much in control of the whole show. He is an excellent lawyer and very much the power house that drives the firm forward and ensures that it provides the excellent quality of service that it does. ’

‘Giles Bark-Jones is still one of the real heavyweights of the financial crime defence world. He is actively involved in client management and providing high-level strategic and tactical advice. He has seen it all and know exactly what to do in any given situation.’

‘Maria Stalbow gets under the skin of a case and has a knack of getting straight to the heart of the issue. Clients like her and she’s always on top of the detail.’

‘David Byrne is one of the stars of the white-collar world and has been for years. There is nothing he doesn’t know about fraud, and when he takes a point he is like a dog with a bone. The sort of scrapper that you really want in your corner.

Work highlights

  • Acted for an individual in relation to the SFO’s high-profile bribery and corruption investigation into Amec Foster Wheeler.
  • Secured a significant victory in the Supreme Court for a HNW client concerning the extent to which suspects of crime are entitled to privacy.

Bark&co has one of the UK’s leading fraud and business crime practices, with specialist expertise in heavyweight prosecutions and investigations brought by the SFO, the FCA, HMRC and other national and international prosecuting bodies. It is committed to fighting tenaciously to protect its clients’ interests, and has represented clients in relation to many of the largest and most important frauds of recent years.

The firm: Bark&co is one of the UK’s most progressive and successful fraud and business crime firms. An original member of the Specialist Fraud Panel, it handles civil and criminal fraud, business and tax regulation, tax investigations, white-collar crime, bribery and corruption, and serious crime cases for high-net-worth individuals, as well as national and international companies. The firm has a flexible approach, tailoring its advice to meet each client’s individual needs. Its rigorous commitment to quality and discretion is widely recognised and generates significant referrals from satisfied clients. The firm also appreciates the importance of working with specialists to create robust PR and media management plans.

Principal areas
Fraud: white-collar crime: 
Bark&co handles a wide range of white-collar crime and fraud cases, including prosecutions and investigations brought by the SFO, the FCA, HMRC, the Special Compliance Office of the Inland Revenue, the CPS, the NCA, SOCA and other prosecuting bodies. Specialists in heavyweight criminal fraud work of all kinds, Bark&co’s advice is increasingly also sought in major civil fraud cases. Acknowledged as a leader in the field, the firm has helped clients in connection with many of the highest-profile prosecutions brought by the SFO and other agencies. Expertise includes money laundering and carousel fraud, mortgage fraud, investment fraud, corruption, pension fund fraud, telecoms fraud, theft, fraudulent trading by company directors and internet fraud. Dedicated teams also assist in relation to confiscation and post- and pre-charge restraint proceedings.

The firm’s track record includes acting for individuals in many of the largest and most important frauds of recent years, such as the Cheney Pension fraud (the largest theft from a pension fund since Maxwell); the high-profile Asil Nadir case (an SFO prosecution involving allegations of theft from Polly Peck International – including acting for Ersin Tatar (then Prime Minister of Northern Cyprus) in connection thereto); the US$1bn BAE Systems corruption claims; and the Adoboli case (the former trader at UBS charged in relation to US$2.3bn trading losses); and acted for an individual in relation to the SFO’s bribery and corruption investigation into Amec Foster Wheeler (the SFO confirming that it will not proceed with the case after entering a DFA with the company). The firm also acted for a defendant in the SFO prosecution following the Libor scandal; represented key individuals in the high-profile SFO investigations into alleged corruption at Rolls-Royce; acted in R v F & Others: described by prosecution counsel as the ‘biggest case ever’ involving allegations of carbon trading fraud; and more recently acted for three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker in relation to criminal charges brought by the Insolvency Service following his bankruptcy.

The firm’s civil fraud, VAT and indirect tax practice has grown rapidly in recent years. Much of its work in this area is highly confidential, but recent highlights include representing Dominic Chappell in relation to his prosecution for various counts of tax fraud arising from his takeover of BHS from Sir Philip Green; assisting a client in relation to National Crime Agency and SKAT (Danish tax authority) investigations into a £1.5bn fraud against the tax authorities in a number of countries; acting in a substantial MTIC fraud case, in which an Organised Crime Group was alleged to be accountable for significant losses to the UK Exchequer through associated large-scale VAT and Excise duty frauds; and acting for one of a number of individuals charged in relation to an alleged alcohol diversion fraud operated on a massive scale in 2009 and 2010. The firm’s track record also includes acting in relation to an £800m international tax fraud, and assisting a client in a £100m case arising out of Operation Amazon, described by KPMG and The Daily Telegraph as ‘one of the biggest direct tax frauds in UK history’.

Crime: general: The firm also continues to act in large, high-profile criminal cases, following arrests for murder, money laundering, drugs importation, sexual offences and people smuggling. The firm focuses on high-end work, much of it with an international dimension. Bark&co is also active in the fast-growing area of cyber crime, and advises individuals and companies facing investigations or criminal proceedings as a result of health and safety and environmental breaches. The specialist team carefully guides clients through all stages of criminal proceedings from pre-charge interviews through to trial and, where appropriate, appeal.

Bark&co has an impressive track record of representing clients in complex criminal matters. These have included the News of the World ‘phone hacking’ prosecution and subsequent computer hacking investigations; the Melanie Hall historical murder case; the case of cricket match fixing / conspiracy to pervert the course of justice involving former New Zealand captain Chris Cairns; the Clerkenwell ‘crime syndicate’ case; the Operation Yewtree sexual offences investigation; the landmark Agnes Taylor case, involving torture offences dating back to the Liberian civil war; and the UK’s largest ever burglary case (carried out by an international criminal gang in December 2019). Further recent highlights have included securing the acquittal of a client of one of two conspiracies to murder, on allegations that the client had been engaged by a co-defendant to commit contract killings on behalf of a gang leader; securing an acquittal in a multi-defendant ‘county lines’ drugs and modern slavery case; and securing the acquittal of a client on charges of murder and manslaughter in connection with the stabbing of a drill rapper in Camberwell in 2018, as well as assisting clients in international drugs supply, firearms and terrorism matters. While the firm is well known for its discretion, Bark&co’s services are also sought after in cutting-edge matters in the public eye. It recently won a landmark victory in the Supreme Court for a high-net-worth client, concerning the extent to which suspects of crime are entitled to privacy – a highly significant decision with profound implications for media reporting as well as for individuals subject to criminal investigation.

International: The firm’s work frequently extends overseas with specialist teams deployed for cases with a multi-jurisdictional element. Its international credentials are demonstrated by its involvement in R v Marrache & Co (the Gibraltar/international law firm fraud case).

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Senior partner Giles Bark-Jonesgbarkjones@barkco.com
White-collar crime/fraud Giles Bark-Jonesgbarkjones@barkco.com
General crime Giles Bark-Jonesgbarkjones@barkco.com
Civil fraud Riz Majidriz.majid@barkco.com
Adverse Possession Riz Majidriz.majid@barkco.com
VAT and indirect tax Riz Majidriz.majid@barkco.com
Extradition Magdalena Motylmmotyl@barkco.com
PhotoNamePositionProfile
David Byrne photoMr David ByrneUp until February 2003, partner and head of litigation and investigations in…
Paul Cameron photo Paul CameronSENIOR CONSULTANT
Rajvinder K Dayal photo Rajvinder K DayalFraud/Serious Crime 
Sabrik Dhamu photo Sabrik DhamuSenior Solicitor
Peter Finbow photo Peter FinbowSenior Solicitor  Particular experience in defending cases of serious crime, fraud, corporate…
Ria Kudrati photoMs Ria KudratiRia qualified as a Solicitor in 1999, gained her Duty Solicitor status…
Riz Majid photo Riz MajidHead of Litigation
Shakira Marsh-Finch photoMiss Shakira Marsh-FinchSolicitor
Magdalena Motyl photoMs Magdalena MotylLegal Consultant
Alex Nelson photoMr Alex NelsonSenior Lawyer
Maria Stalbow photo Maria StalbowSenior Solicitor
Vanessa Wiggins photo Vanessa WigginsSolicitor
Patricia Wilson photo Patricia WilsonPat is a criminal defence expert in white collar and business crime,…
Number of UK partners : 1
Number of other UK fee-earners : 30

CLIENT: TM EYE
TESTIMONIAL: TM Eye have used Bark & Co for over 8 years in both criminal and civil proceedings in over 60 cases. They provide an outstanding service that is professional, friendly, and cost effective. They are client focussed with an attention to detail second to none.


COUNSEL: Richard Christie QC
TESTIMONIAL: Giles Bark-Jones is a first rate specialist fraud lawyer. He is the power-house behind his firm which is one of the pre-eminent firms in this area of practice, especially with regard to high net worth individuals. If I were asked to recommend a practitioner in this area he would always be on my list.


CLIENT: Clive Garrad
TESTIMONIAL: Bark and Co solicitors, in my opinion are one of the best, if not the best solicitors in London. Their team go to extraordinary lengths to understand complicated situations. They provide accurate and clear information without the complicated legal jargon and smokes and mirrors that I have encountered previously with some legal service providers. They have served me well and I can only recommend them from my own experience.


CLIENT: TW
TESTIMONIAL: If ever you find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you need representation, you need to speak to these guys. The last thing you need, is a flurry of fancy sales pitches. You need sound advice from people who are expert in what they do and – crucially – who know what it takes to organise and deliver a winning strategy.


CLIENT: David Noyes
TESTIMONIAL: I owe my family’s freedom to Bark and Co. They believed in me from the beginning and defended me with great loyalty. I would recommend them to anyone/everyone and do.


CLIENT: Ian Edmondson
TESTIMONIAL: Great team, led by a great legal mind. I have recommended Giles and his team to many clients and they always do a great job.


CLIENT: Samid Shah
Highly recommended! Support and help every step of the way, always on the phone if something needed no matter what the time or situation, do not think there is anyone better I can think of to be represented by.


CLIENT: Aminoor Ahmed
TESTIMONIAL: Bark and Co are without a doubt the best firm in London. They have provided me with outstanding service. Manager Ditesh’s client care has been amazing, he was always supportive. My solicitor at the firm Vanessa Wiggins has been instrumental, she has worked relentlessly throughout the case and was always contactable via phone or e-mail at all times. I always felt confident with my team and that was down to Bark and Co business ethos. I have already recommended a friend to use Bark and Co as I know they will do everything they can to help. Thank you Bark and Co.


CLIENT: Pardeep Briah
TESTIMONIAL: What an outstanding service. Historically I have used other firms who were good however after using Bark and Co I will never use any other firm. From representation and support at the beginning of the problem all the way to getting the result in court. Absolutely outstanding.


CLIENT: Jason Marshall-Smith
Consumate professionalism afforded to me throughout the legal process. I cannot recommend Bark and Co. highly enough. In my case, absolutely at the very top of their chosen specialist field. Thank you Bark and Co.


CLIENT: Aneta Rydlinska
Excellent service received from Bark&Co and their legal consultant Magdalena Motyl for my British citizenship application. Very helpful – from filling in the forms to precise information about documents and procedures. Ms Motyl intervened very effectively during lengthy time of the process and I received positive decisions within timeline – my application can qualify as a difficult one due to my circumstances. Excellent communication via emails, phone calls and texts – even in busy periods I always received very quick response. Highly recommended.


CLIENT: SR
TESTIMONIAL: I initially was with a different firm and they let me down by not turning up! I was recommended Bark&Co by a friend and it was the best decision. Very efficient to get things done, and always went over and beyond! I got an in depth plan of what the other side were saying about me which made me really understand what was going on and what was about to happen. Cannot recommend this firm enough – Huge Thanks!


CLIENT: Tomasz Swidzinski
I recently used Bark&co services for my British Citizenship application. I was extremely happy with the service from start to finish. Magdalena Motyl is highly professional, the documents were prepared flawlessly and the whole process was very smooth. She always responded quickly to emails and phone calls. I would have no reservation about recommending Bark&Co for any immigration matters.


CLIENT: KS
TESTIMONIAL: Top law firm Highly recommend.


CLIENT: Paulina Bednarska
I highly recommend Bark & Co. Full professionalism, fantastic contact and high commitment to the case. If I need a future solicitor definitely I will contact Bark & Co.


CLIENT: RC
Amazing client care. Totally worth the money, amazing attention to detail. Props to Ditesh, Ria & Sef who have been available instantly to assist with any questions. Got me a great result on sentencing and now waiting for them to deal with a confiscation and I am sure I will be back to leave a great review. Thanks everyone.


CLIENT: Rico Smith
TESTIMONIAL: There is a reason why Bark&Co are one of if not the top law firms in London. They have an amazing team who are very knowledgeable and very helpful. Has a family feel when you arrive on site. Vanessa Wiggins in particular has been a key figure at Bark & Co. Her passion to do her job leaves her contactable 24/7. She goes above and beyond to make sure that you’re supported and achieve the best possible solution. Would definitely use their services again and have already recommended Bark & Co and in particular Vanessa. Keep up the amazing work you are doing.


CLIENT: Nas Ahmed
TESTIMONIAL: My case was dealt with very quickly thanks to Ditesh Patel and the help of Sefer Mani. They were available 24/7, gave me updates and even helped me after the case. They are very knowledgeable and professional. Top tier law firm, would recommend highly.


CLIENT: Baljinder Sangha
I cannot speak highly enough of Bark & Co. With this being my first time having to use solicitors I could not have asked for anymore. Having wasted thousands of pounds on other solicitors who were more interested in getting payments than dealing with my case, Bark & Co were a breath of fresh air. From my first meeting with Ditesh & Sef to the conclusion of my case I always felt in safe hands. Sef Mani who managed my case was excellent. He always keeps me in the loop and was always pushing to get the best for me. He takes real passion in his work and I am very pleased with the support and work he put into my case.


CEO: ADMYHER
TESTIMONIAL: During my times of uncertainty, they have been here to help which has been really great for myself, allowing me to focus on the far more important challenges life has to offer. I would highly recommend their service, they are reliable, trustworthy, and extremely experienced. They have a good team around them and know what they are doing. Thank you guys for your previous support and wish you all the best going forward.


CLIENT: Tara Tucker
TESTIMONIAL: I’m writing on behalf of Ian Tucker. The whole Tucker family are so grateful for the professionalism and courteousness we experienced with Sef Mani, Patricia Wilson. Outstanding legal work was carried out by the team from start to finish with no stone left unturned in the pursuit to prove my innocence. Words can’t describe how thankful we are, I feel indebted to them for the rest of my life. Thanks to everyone at Bark & Co for believing in me and giving me so much support.


CLIENT: Alex Neville
TESTIMONIAL: Amazing law firm recommend them to any one and rate them very highly.


CLIENT: Chris Garrett
TESTIMONIAL: This law firm is brilliant, professional and the team are amazing. They took my case and was very honest about possible outcomes, with regards to my solicitor Vanessa Wiggins, she was amazing. Very hard working, patient with absolute professionalism. They always made time for me, whether it was a meeting or a simple query they were there. Guiding and supporting me through a trouble time I was under no illusion. But they worked extremely hard to get the result we all wanted and deserved so a massive thank you to the Bark and Co firm, especially to Vanessa Wiggins, without her I wouldn’t have had the confidence to face my charges. Thanks again guys.


CLIENT: Fidell Williams
Definitely a top tier firm, I’m extremely pleased with the service provided, efficiency, correspondence and result were second to none. Highly recommend.


CLIENT: Vahit Oktar
TESTIMONIAL: Best of the best, very helpful from start to end, I would recommend without any doubt.


CLIENT: Richard Turner
TESTIMONIAL: Words cannot describe what Bark & Co. have done for me and my family. The professionalism and empathy they have shown is unbelievable. Pat Wilson is an absolute asset to their organisation, she was available every step of the way and contactable 24/7. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your hard work and commitment!


CLIENT: Rebecca Jones
TESTIMONIAL: I was very pleased with this firm and in particular my solicitor. I was kept fully up to date. If I rang and she was not available, it wouldn’t take her long to get back to me. I was very much impressed. Would definitely recommend.


CLIENT: TKI
TESTIMONIAL: Pat was more than helpful and always available.