Colin is a highly regarded expert in the field of complex fraud and financial crime. He is regularly instructed to defend in “big-ticket” fraud trials. He has extensive experience of defending in cases prosecuted by the SFO, FCA and HMRC and is frequently instructed at the pre-charge stage to advise board level employees and professionals who are under investigation.
Notable Business Crime & Fraud cases
SFO & “O”
Acted pre-charge for two years for the MD of a Monaco based company under investigation by the SFO. The Unaoil investigation” concerned allegations of bribery and corruption in the award of multi-million dollar contracts for the rebuilding of the Iraqi oil industry infrastructure. Colin led the defence team that included another QC. After a lengthy investigation his client was not charged.
R v G
Defended a yen cash broker in the SFO LIBOR manipulation prosecution. The case followed the SFO’s largest ever investigation and the trial attracted global media coverage. The defendant was alleged to have operated at the heart of the conspiracy to manipulate the Yen LIBOR rate via contacts at various LIBOR panel banks. The Crown asserted that the manipulation provided a UBS and Citibank trader with an advantage in numerous multi-billion yen derivatives trades. Client acquitted.
R v C & Ors
Southwark Crown Court instructed as Queen’s Counsel on behalf of a partner-level accountant charged together with three others with VAT fraud. The case concerned the alleged use of two large engineering companies that had been contracted to install broadband for BT Carillion Telent to defraud HMRC. The contracts were worth in-excess of £15m.
R v S - Southwark Crown Court
“Operation Banjax”. HMRC prosecution alleging a total loss to the Revenue of £86 million through VAT and duty frauds. Colin represented the principle defendant said to head the Organised Criminal Group behind the fraud.
R v C
Instructed to act for a company director charged with a complex VAT fraud. Four handed alleged conspiracy to cheat the public revenue of VAT of £35 million. The allegations concerned the use of a series of umbrella companies to steal VAT paid on company payrolls.
R v H
“Operation Chainmail & Crystallite” – Advised an Investment Banker charged with conspiracy to cheat. The allegations concerned a film investment scheme that was used by “high net-worth” individuals to offset personal tax liabilities. The scheme utilised Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) as investment vehicles that were allegedly created with the sole purpose of tax avoidance and used by the LLP partners to then fraudulently claim sideways tax relief against their personal tax liabilities arising out their employment.
R v S
Acted for one of the directors of the London Fields Brewery. The company was one of the first and most successful of the craft microbreweries that have been established in recent years. The defendant was charged with a range of offences relating to tax avoidance by the company. Due to the company’s high profile and strong brand image the case has attracted significant media attention. Client acquitted of all charges.
Re CE Limited v The Serious Fraud Office
Instructed by the board and current directors of CE Limited to intervene in judicial review proceedings arising out of an SFO investigation. Former directors of the company were potential defendants in criminal proceedings giving rise to various issues relating to professional legal privilege and the R (Kent Pharmaceuticals) v SFO procedures. This was a complex multi-party judicial review with the underlying allegations relating to the use of fraudulent international holding companies to transfer ownership of various freeholds and thus circumvent UK primary legislation prohibiting the same.
R v U
Represented the defendant against allegations of laundering money generated by Ukrainian organised crime gangs.
R v K
Defended Customs Officer alleged to be involved in high level corruption and linked revenue fraud.
R v B
Client acquitted in £45m carbon credit trading VAT fraud.
R v M
Large scale City of London carbon credit investment fraud.