James Pickup KC > Kate Blackwell KC > Manchester, England > Barrister Profile

Kate Blackwell KC
Lincoln House Chambers
M3 3BZ

Work Department

Business Crime & Financial Regulation
Criminal Law
Professional Discipline


He has long been established as a specialist in commercial fraud defence and corporate crime. More recently, whilst he continues to defend in substantial commercial fraud prosecutions, he has widened his practice to embrace civil fraud and is now regularly instructed in the VAT and Duties Tribunal, both First and Upper Tiers, High Court (Chancery and Companies Court), Administrative Court and Court of Appeal, both criminal and civil.

He has a wealth of experience in defending in the criminal courts in tax and duty fraud (R v Anwar 2003, R v Baig 2004/05, R v Sandhu 2007, R v Raykanda and Others 2006, and Rv Allad and Others). In the Tribunal, he is instructed on behalf of traders appealing against decisions of HMRC to withhold the repayment of VAT on grounds of the trader’s participation in fraud. In February 2010, he represented the lead appellant in the conjoined appeals of Mobilx, Calltel Opto and Blue Sphere Global before the Court of Appeal. This was the first opportunity for the Court of Appeal to consider the legality of the “Kittel” test and the proper approach of the FTT to its application in domestic law. Since Mobilx, he has appeared in a number of appeals before the FTT and others are to be heard in 2013/14.

In July 2010, he represented the Directors of the bonded warehouse Abbey Forwarding Limited, who were sued for damages by the Liquidator (put in place by HMRC) for breach of duty, being their involvement in excise duty fraud. He also appeared on behalf of Rochdale Drinks Distribution before the Companies Court (Floyd J.) in March 2011 successfully overturning HMRC’s ex parte application to appoint a provisional liquidator on the ground that the company had been engaged in duty evasion. This decision was appealed by HMRC in September 2011 where RDDL were able to resist.

HMRC’s argument that there should be a lower threshold of proof in cases where HMRC sought a PL having presented a winding up petition on assessments raised on suspicion of fraud.

During 2010/2011, he was engaged on behalf of the Directors of Eastenders PLC in challenges to restraint and management receivership orders obtained by the CPS on grounds of suspected excise duty fraud. In January, the Court of Appeal quashed orders made by the Central Criminal Court in December 2010, and in February 2011 on a renewed application, the Directors achieved a similar result. He has conducted associated challenges to search warrants obtained by HMRC for the premises of Eastenders and other parties, before the Divisional Court in April, May and June 2011 as well as similar challenges to the legality of search warrants in the conjoined applications of Glenn & Co., Medway Soft Drinks and Dale Wholesale.

In addition to his work in both criminal and civil fraud, he has experience in professional discipline work, both at Tribunal Statutory Committee and Higher Court level in the Administrative Court and Court of Appeal; representing Police Officers, Pharmacists and Solicitors.


Called 1976; assistant recorder 1993; recorder 1998-2012; QC 2000.


Criminal Bar Association; Fraud Lawyers Association.


King’s School, Macclesfield; Lincoln College, Oxford (MA Jurisprudence; BCL).


Gardening, fell walking, music; the wines and culture of Rousillon; all sports, especially Rugby Union and League, football, tennis, cricket, squash; member MCC, Lancashire CC; Harlequins CC, Cheshire CCC; supporter of Manchester City FC.