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Chambers of Oliver Blunt QC & Sally O'Neill QC

Work 020 7405 3232
Fax 020 7405 3322

Keith Hadrill

Work 020 7405 3232
Furnival Chambers (Chambers of Oliver Blunt QC & Sally O'Neill QC)

Work Department

Serious crime, criminal/civil fraud, serious sexual offences, regulation/compliance, asset forfeiture, anti-terrorism, prison law, health and safety, police disciplinary, courts martial, inquests and public inquiries.


Keith’s practice encompasses serious and complex fraud, substantial drug importation and supply offences and violent crime, judicial review and appellate hearings, licensing (of all types including alcohol, gaming and firearms), health and safety, trading standards, road traffic, prison law and courts martial. The majority of the work Keith undertakes he is instructed in as a leading junior. Originally, Keith’s practice was general common law which included family law, but which developed over the years to become principally crime based. Keith undertakes cases on the south-eastern and western circuit, but is also instructed in other parts of the country. Serious crime: criminal work undertaken includes substantial fraud, drugs offences, serious violence, sexual offences and general serious and complex crime. He is frequently instructed in substantial and lengthy fraud cases (Inland Revenue, VAT and MTIC), on behalf of the defence on the south-eastern and other circuits. He is also often involved in major cases alleging conspiracy, including those involving issues of entrapment and agent provocateur. Keith is instructed in cases concerning telephone surveillance, mobile telephone location and tracking relating to police covert operation. Abuse of process hearings relating to both participating informers and entrapment. Childcare cruelty and paedophilia conspiracies. Instructed increasingly in murder cases, increasingly involving psychiatric and medical evidence. Money laundering: money laundering plays an important part in the disposal of unlawfully and fraudulently gained financial assets. As a result bureaux de change and foreign exchange bureaux/financial facilities are often the subject of criminal investigation and prosecution. Keith has been involved in defending persons who are often caught up in these alleged frauds. The following cases relate to such offending: R v A & ors (Southwark Crown Court) – leading junior for a defendant in a multi-million pound drugs and money laundering case. Monies gained from the illegal importation of drugs into the UK were said to be later laundered thorough bureau exchange and banks to dissipate the proceeds of the drugs conspiracy. R v Dhalliwel & ors (Southwark Crown Court) – instructed for the defence of a participant in a money laundering operation involving a bureaux de change concealing the proceeds of crime by the conversion of sterling into Euros. Regulatory proceedings: although Keith’s practice focuses predominantly on criminal litigation he also undertakes regulatory work including trading standards, road traffic offences and disciplinary hearings, international money laundering offences (including evidence taken out of the jurisdiction). Banking fraud (helped by having worked in the past for a merchant bank), company and accountancy fraud. Professional defendants: instructed for accountants with regards to pension provisions, nursing home staff and managers relating to over-sedated/abused patients/residents by staff requiring knowledge of drugs, medical and otherwise, and the relevant regulations. Noxious substance prosecutions as they relate to stupefaction of residents in nursing homes requiring pharmacological and medical experts. Defended St John Ambulance in its first prosecution of that type under the health and safety regulations for causing death. Defence of consultant surveyor involved in an animal offences prosecution (building development work). Civil proceedings: false imprisonment and malicious prosecution proceedings, release on prison licence and parole hearings on judicial review to the Administrative Court. Other work includes regulatory offences including nursing homes, trading standards, general road traffic offences and disciplinary tribunals. Fraud: Keith has an extensive and wide-reaching defence fraud practice and experience in defending in substantial fraud trials. Q v W & ors (Southwark Crown Court) – instructed as the leading junior in the largest international MTIC (mobile telephone) fraud ever prosecuted by HMRC (losses alleged to be in excess of £250m). His female client was alleged to be centrally involved in all levels of the fraud (importer, missing trader, buffer, and freight-forwarder).


Called 1977.


Following a four-month trial the prosecution case against her was significantly reduced in scale and role. Following conviction as a freight forwarder the financial confiscation proceedings were largely reduced to reflect that role and agreement eventually reached as to limited assets. R v S & ors (Southwark Crown Court) – instructed for the defendant who is the mother (Mrs S) of the principal defendant. Principal defendant was indicted with extensive fraud, money laundering and theft allegations. Mrs S was alleged to have assisted him by concealing financial proceeds from bankruptcy proceedings, and also concealing the financial proceeds of crime. Defendant (Mrs S) was acquitted. R v W & ors (Reading Crown Court). Multi-million pound fraud on the land registry. Instructed as leading junior for the defence in this six-week trial. Case involved sophisticated fraud on a government department, and the laundering of the financial proceeds of crime in Europe and also allegedly in European trust funds. R v M (Guildford Crown Court) – instructed for post-mistress defendant in large Post Office fraud. Preparation of the defence required the instruction of high level computer experts for interpretation of financial computer programmes at the Central Post Office and Post Office computing accounting procedures. This complex defence case was unique in a Post Office prosecution. R v A & ors (Birmingham Crown Court) – presently instructed for a defendant in a lengthy trial which alleges substantial commercial mortgage fraud and money laundering. Reported cases: R v Horncastle, Carter (2009) EWCA Crim – leading authority of admissibility of hearsay evidence; R v Alsop, Kelly & ors [2005] EWCA Crim 703 – leading authority on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) and telecommunications intercepts. Instructed as leading junior; R v Mintern [2004] EWCA Crim 7, and 148 S.J. 146, (and Archbold 1-140) – leading case authority on ‘rolled up’ conspiracies and duplicity; Director of Public Prosecutions v ex parte Texeira [2002] RTR – leading authority on authorisation of breathalyser machine operation; R v Williams and O’Hare, 98 Cr. App. R. 209, (honey-pot entrapment); R v Doolan (1998) Crim L Rev 747 (section 78 PACE – Archbold 15-366); R v Leather 98 Cr App R 179 – (abduction of young persons from parental control); R v Litanzios [1999] Crim L R 667 – (particularity of indictment in public revenue and VAT fraud prosecution); R v Haigh (2010) (authority on limiting prosecution applications on bad character for a defendant and relevance of allegedly reprehensible behaviour). Notable cases: R v F – Winchester Crown Court – instructed as junior in three-month conspiracy to rob trial, which related to robbery of businessman and firearms offences by falsely imprisoning victim’s family members, abducting the husband/business key-holder and forcing him to unlock business premises and de-activate the alarm system. Also conspiracy to rob regarding armed lorry hijacking of valuable cargo. Many forensics experts involved; R v T (Guildford Crown Court) accountancy fraud; R v T (Reading Crown Court). Instructed as junior bank manager fraud regarding £2m loss; R v Ewington defendant indicted for racist petrol bomb attacks on a petrol station belonging to and operated by an ethnic minority family in May 2004, and followed 14 months later by a racist petrol bomb attack on a mosque and religious centre in Surrey in August 2005 in revenge for the London bomb attacks on 7 July 2005; R v Carter international car-ringing and repair fraud, and insurance fraud regarding luxury sports cars. Instructed as leading junior for one of defendants in a series of complex luxury car-ringing and insurance frauds/conspiracies. Damaged luxury sports cars were often imported from Europe and the Far East and their identities put into other stolen luxury cars. R v K (Newcastle Crown Court) drugs conspiracy and Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) and covert telephone recordings; R v Pond leading junior in s18 group violence. Victim on life support machine. R v Kelly (Kingston Crown Court) represented defendant as leading junior. Defendant was one of a gang who for three-and-a-half years hijacked and robbed high value lorry loads by use of firearms; R v Johnson & ors (three-month drugs conspiracy). Instructed as leading junior for defendant in this complex and involved drugs conspiracy. Defendant acquitted. R v Dutton – conspiracy to import and supply cannabis valued at £15m from Mexico. The drugs were imported into this country concealed within furniture in cargo containers on board ship. The police investigation lasted nine months, and involved a lengthy covert police surveillance operation, culminating with the arrest of ten defendants, following the unloading and storage of drugs and furniture in West London. Defendants acquitted; R v Bhayro defendant was a nursing home owner/manager/proprietor accused of unlawfully administering noxious substances/medication to her clients/residents to over sedate them and stop them disturbing other residents and the running of the home. R v E and L (& ors). Instructed as leading junior for two defendants in a 15 defendant violent disorder and grievous bodily harm trial; R v Hallam & ors leading junior for defendant in conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Substantial covert police surveillance operation; R v Armstrong instructed for the principal of eight defendants listed for eight-week trial for kidnapping, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice. He was the alleged gang leader of a Sri Lankan gang terrorising and injuring opposing gang members in their South London area; R v B (Reading Crown Court) instructed as defence leading junior in murder case, related to business-related killing when business partners fell out. R v Turner (Reading Crown Court) instructed as leading junior in substantial fraud, defending in house company accountant who defrauded private company owners of cash, pension and business amounting to over £1m – accountancy fraud; Q v O’M & S (Winchester Crown Court) instructed for defence of soldiers indicted with s18 GBH on victim in this country following their return from active tour duty in Iraq. Q v Stott & two ors (Chichester Crown Court) – instructed as leading junior in the prosecution of three defendants indicted with arson with intent to endanger life. The victim was a vulnerable man with learning difficulties.

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