ABV Solicitors > Hayes, England > Firm Profile

ABV Solicitors
The Shipping Building, Old Vinyl Factory
252-254 Blyth Road

Crime, fraud and licensing > General crime and fraud Tier 1

Representing clients in high-profile, and often international, fraud cases is at the core of the workload of ABV Solicitors' ‘extremely talented’ fraud and complex crime team in Hayes, which is jointly led by Deepak Vij, Akhtar Ahmad and serious crime expert Robert Borwick. Vij heads up the financial crime team, and is known to be ‘highly experienced in white-collar crime’, while Ahmad’s ‘wealth of experience’ extends to working with clients that have been investigated by foreign law enforcement agencies. Amirah Ajaztackles matters of complexity with ease’, with her practice focusing on complex fraud and confiscation cases, as well as organised crime. Fergus Harrington, ‘a star in the making’, is recommended for white-collar, business and money laundering crime issues.

Practice head(s):

Deepak Vij; Akhtar Ahmad; Robert Borwick

Other key lawyers:


‘They are an exceptionally talented firm of specialist practitioners, formidable in their own right, and highly impressive as part of a team.’

‘They have high calibre professionals at all levels in the firm, with very wide-ranging experience in their specialist areas.’

‘Amirah Ajaz is a highly professional and tactical specialist partner. Tackles matters of complexity with ease and very strong client care skills.’

‘Deepak Vij is a very heavyweight and well known specialist. He regularly features in high profile cases of utmost seriousness and complexity.’

‘Fergus Harrington is an outstanding lawyer, excellent with clients, an instinctive tactician, diplomatic, sensitive, and always makes himself available. He really excels at serious crime, business and financial crime. A star in the making, he deserves to reach the very top of the profession.’

‘This is an excellent firm that is well run and works hard. The quality of work is excellent, and the solicitors and paralegals are very professional.’

‘Akhtar Ahmad brings a wealth of experience to difficult cases. Always looking for a different angle on a tricky case, he is also excellent at managing the anxieties of clients and their families.’

‘Deepak Vij – highly experienced in white-collar crime. He has seen it all.’

Key clients

London Capital Group

Patisserie Holdings

Operation Maple Lodge (Royal Mail)

Work highlights

  • Advised London Capital Group on an SFO investigation of a £237m investment fraud.
  • Advised Patisserie Holdings on an SFO investigation of a £94m “black hole” accounting fraud.
  • Advised a client who is charged with a Premier League footballer in a high-profile multi-rape and sexual assault trial.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general Tier 2

Akhtar Ahmad and Robert Borwick jointly lead the complex crime team at ABV Solicitors, with clients describing the department as ‘standout‘ and ‘extremely dedicated‘. The practice is experienced in advising clients in matters such as attempted murder, joint enterprise murder, sexual assault charges, drug trafficking, charges relating to indecent images, and driving offences. The ‘unflappableHanisha Godhania is responsible for the practice’s Crown Court team and is particularly skilled in EncroChat cases. Sunita Mehta is praised for her ‘exceptional client care‘ and has recently led on matters involving murders, and high-profile clients charged with driving offences. Associate Fergus Harrington, who specialises in money laundering cases and complex white-collar crime, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Akhtar Ahmad; Robert Borwick


ABV Solicitors are a standout firm in the area of general crime. They have a wide spectrum of legal talent on their roster. They offer clients impeccable advice and a conscientious service, guiding them seamlessly through complex litigation when the stakes cannot be greater.’

They have a core of experienced solicitors who have been with the firm for over a decade. This means they are able to provide a comprehensive service, drawing on a wealth of practical experience across all levels of tribunal. They are extremely dedicated to client care and making an effort to match client to counsel.

Rob Borwick has an approachable style offering frank, clear, and careful advice. Akhtar Ahmed is highly experienced across the spectrum of criminal law. Sunita Mehta is exceptionally hard-working and diligent with the ability to dig deep into a case and carefully scrutinise complex, detailed, and novel cases. Hanisha Godhania is unflappable in her approach and is not afraid to give strong advice when needed.’

Sunita Mehta is a partner who cares. She dedicates time to her clients and her cases in a way that is unusual in the current very busy climate and as a result, is a pleasure to work with. The care with which she analyses the issues ensures her clients are able to make the best decisions in their cases.

ABV have real strength in depth, ranging from their partners to their trainees. They deliver a first-rate service to their clients through assiduous attention to detail and a highly committed approach to client care. Every solicitor I have worked with has shared that level of commitment, and it comes through in the case preparation.

Akhtar Ahmad is one of the best solicitors in London. He brings an intellectual curiosity and an enthusiasm for the law to bear on a diverse practice encompassing terrorism offences, serious violence, dishonesty and sexual offending. Sunita Mehta has exceptional client care at the heart of her practice. She deals with litigation very efficiently, and running a case with her is always an easy experience.

ABVs provide a premium service to their clients. They will go the extra yard to pursue lines of enquiry, instruct the best experts and demand a high level of service from their counsel.

‘Akhtar Ahmad (Partner) is bright, enthusiastic and hard-working. He is able to rapidly deconstruct cases and identify the real issues. He is particularly well regarded in cases involving allegations of murder and terrorism. He also represents clients very effectively in fraud cases. He has a keen eye for detail, which is a vital quality for that type of work.’

Work highlights

  • Advised in the high profile multi-rape and sexual assault trial of a Premier League footballer playing for Manchester City FC.
  • Advised a Sheffield United FC player in a highly publicised assault resulting in a pitch invasion by fans at Wembley Stadium.
  • Advised in the high profile gang murder tried at the Old Bailey involving rival gangs using the famous “drill music” as part of their murder operation.

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

Representing individual clients across the media, renewable energy, and finance industries, the fraud and complex crime team at ABV Solicitors is praised for its ‘international capability’, which it leveerages to handle proceedings brought by foreign investigative agencies. The firm is also highly recommended for acting on behalf of senior company executives and directors implicated in serious fraud investigations, as well as a range of regulatory matters. Deepak Vij and Akhtar Ahmad co-head the practice; the former specialises in financial and complex fraud issues, while the latter boasts experience in SFO, NCA, and FCA proceedings. Amirah Ajaz covers serious organised crime, while senior fraud lawyer Rohit Sharma and Fergus Harrington are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Deepak Vij; Akhtar Ahmad

Other key lawyers:


‘Deepak Vij is a truly exceptional team leader and solicitor of the fraud and business crime team. Calm and meticulous, corporate and individual clients are always best served by Deepak and his team. Enjoying now an international practice this team are up there competing with the large corporate firms, providing exceptional client care and representation. An outstanding solicitor and a master tactician.’

‘Amirah Ajaz is a tenacious solicitor with superb judgment. Down to earth and dedicated to achieving the best outcomes for her clients, she has generated an enviable reputation in fraud and business crime cases.’

‘Rohit Sharma commands the confidence of clients and the counsel, and is one to watch for the future.’

‘Deepak Vij has an incredible client following. Clients facing the largest and most complex allegations of financial crime flock to him as they appreciate he is one of the very best solicitors in this area. He is always on top of the facts of the case he is dealing with and puts clients at ease. He is a delight to work with. I have always found him to be very intelligent and insightful. His understanding of trial strategy is highly impressive.’

‘Akhtar Ahmad has practiced in crime for over two decades. Whilst his experience is vast, his enthusiasm has not waned. He is passionate about every client’s case. He is able to rapidly deconstruct even the most complex prosecution case and identify the holes to exploit. He gives clients realistic and enormously helpful advice about how to achieve the best possible outcome in their cases. He has an exceptional record of securing acquittals for his clients in cases of the highest gravity.’

‘Amirah Ajaz is an exceptional talent. She has the complete trust and respect of her colleagues and clients. She has conduct of a substantial portfolio of substantial fraud cases. Amirah is remarkably assiduous. She works incredibly hard to ensure no stone is left unturned. She is without doubt a superstar in the practice area of white-collar crime.’

‘Zahir Ahmed is a stalwart in heavy fraud cases. He has a calm demeanour which is both reassuring and contagious. His clients always know they are in good hands.’

‘This is one of the UK’s top fraud and regulatory specialist law firms. Boutique in terms of partner access and the flexibility to react to client needs, and a case CV that rivals any of the city-based international firms in the sector. They have depth in their team, from associate, through the mid ranks and all the way to the very experienced and well thought of partners.’

Key clients

Operation Gillingham

Operation Candlewood and Volt

London Capital Group (SFO)

Patisserie Holdings (SFO)

Operation Robinia

Operation Maple Lodge (Royal Mail)

Operation Mallard

Operation Jane

R v K

Operation Cluster

Operation Brightly

Operation Bacon

Work highlights

  • Representing a company director part of a Plc, floating on the London Stock Exchange, alleged to be running multi-million investment opportunities in the renewable energy sector.
  • Advising London Capital Group in an SFO investigation of a £237 million investment fraud.
  • Advising Patisserie Holdings in an SFO investigation of a £94 million “black hole” accounting fraud.

The firm: ABV Solicitors is well-established as one of the country’s leading criminal law firms. With over 30 specialist solicitors, the firm has an outstanding reputation for dealing with the full spectrum of criminal and regulatory cases nationwide. ABV Solicitors are regularly instructed in both high-profile and complex cases, especially in and around the Thames Valley area and London. Of particular note, ABV Solicitors provide an unparalleled personal service to clients facing allegations of large-scale organised crime; complex fraud; bribery and corruption; white-collar crime; serious sexual offences; terrorism; murder; extradition and drugs with emphasis on cases involving cross-border jurisdiction.

The firm’s extensive knowledge in criminal and regulatory law as well as close links to some of the best Queens Counsel in the country, has enabled it to successfully defend clients and companies from various different backgrounds including senior professionals such as, surgeons, pharmacists, accountants, bankers, lawyers, journalists and government officials, alongside other clients such as Premier League Footballers.

Not only does the firm deal with an extensive array of serious crime and regulatory law but it is also proud of its team of highly experienced solicitors, who act for clients facing a wide range of financial crime allegations including; SFO Investigations; FCA Investigations; Investment fraud;  insider trading; VAT/MTIC Fraud;  high value mortgage fraud; international asset tracing and confiscation.

Areas of work: ABV Solicitors are routinely instructed on multi-handed organised crimes including murder; manslaughter / corporate manslaughter; war crimes; serious sexual offences; terrorism; large scale drug operations and violent crimes up and down the country. Cases of interest over the last 12 months include:

  • Operation Exact – represented a client who is charged with a Premier League footballer in a high-profile multi-rape and sexual assault trial.
  • Premier League Footballer – a high-profile professional footballer in an allegation of assault, where there was a mass pitch invasion of thousands of fans;
  • Premier League Footballer – a high-profile footballer in relation to driving offences, where a conviction would have impacted his ability to play professional football;
  • R v G – highly political prosecution involving serious terrorism charges before the Old Bailey, questioning the interpretation of the current legislation;

Serious fraud: The firm continues to retain a strong reputation for handling some of the largest, complex and high value frauds nationwide. Cases of interest over the last 12 months include:

  • SFO Investigation – bribery and corruption allegation of a value of circa $1bn against a company who faced a parallel investigation conducted by the US Department of Justice where a Deferred Prosecution Agreement was reached and fines of over $250m.
  • Operation Maple Lodge– high profile Royal Mail fraud investigation with an alleged loss of £81m over 9 years, prosecuted by the Royal Mail.
  • SFO Investigation – bribery and corruption allegation against British American Tobacco.
  • SFO Investigation – fraud investigation into the alleged financial irregularities of the company Patisserie Valerie, linked to a parallel investigation into Grant Thornton.

ABV Solicitors are frequently instructed by clients who face extradition proceedings. These matters routinely involve cross-border jurisdictions in countries such as Dubai, Spain, USA, Africa, Switzerland, Pakistan and India.

Specialist teams at ABV Solicitors also represent clients daily at Police stations, Magistrates’ courts and Crown courts nationwide.

Offices: West London, Central London, Walthamstow, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partne Akhtar Ahmad akhtar.ahmad@abvsolicitors.co.uk 0344 587 9996
Senior partner Aneeta Borwick aneeta.borwick@abvsolicitors.co.uk 0344 587 9996
Managing partner Robert Borwick robert.borwick@abvsolicitors.co.uk 0344 587 9996
Senior partner Deepak Vij deepak.vij@abvsolicitors.co.uk 0344 587 9996
Number of UK partners : 4
Number of other UK fee-earners : 37
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