Colin Aylott QC

Call 1989 | Silk 2017

"Once you have briefed him you will continue to do so. He is always professional and calm under pressure and grasps complex issues with ease. He is very approachable and understanding and the clients love him. He is admired for his expertise and skills amongst the profession and a delight to work with."

Legal 500 2021

"Completely down to earth and goes the extra mile for his clients, exhibiting just the right amount of empathy. He is an extremely persuasive advocate."

Chambers & Partners 2022

"A sound tactician." "His advocacy is pragmatic and very convincing."

Chambers & Partners 2022

"A pragmatic and highly skilled leading barrister who is well respected by clients, opponents and judges alike. He delivers superb cross-examinations."

Chambers & Partners 2021

"Popular with instructing solicitors for defending complicated fraud cases. Particularly noted for his expertise in tax fraud cases. A charming performer."

Chambers & Partners 2021

"Very diligent and instils confidence in those he represents as he grasps complex legal issues with ease and is a delight to work with. He is a very able advocate."

Chambers & Partners 2020

"He is completely dedicated to the client’s position with a very keen eye for even the smallest detail. Sharp witted and fully conversant with the law, he works tirelessly to ensure the job is done."

Chambers & Partners 2018

Expertise

Colin is a sought-after Silk to defend allegations of serious crime. He defends in many of the highest profile murder trials particularly multi-handed cases involving organised criminal groups (“OCGs”).

Notable Crime cases


R v H (2021)

Successfully defended a client alleged to have been part of a gang involved in a night-time raid on a commercial cannabis grow leading to the death of one of the individuals guarding the site.

R v A (2021)

Represented client aged 15 years at the time of the alleged murder. Allegations arose out of an allegedly unprovoked attack on a group with a significant backdrop of social media evidence. Client acquitted.

R v G (2021)

Central Criminal Court. Represented a 14-year-old charged with murder together with three others.

R v B (2020)

Three handed murder trial involving an alleged gang-related attack. The huge police investigation featured on the BBC TV programme “The Real CSI” focusing on the wide range of forensic tools deployed by the investigative team.

R v W (2020)

Murder case concerning a gang related drive-by shooting that was alleged to be the latest “tit-for-tat” attack in a long history of inter-gang violence. The Prosecution alleged the victim was hunted down and then executed in a daytime City Centre shooting as he was pursued and with the gun discharged three times from a moving vehicle as he fled. The case involved admissibility issues in relation to YouTube drill videos and other bad character social media evidence.

R v T (2020)

Three handed murder trial. Acted for the principle defendant acquitted of murder and attempted murder.

R v C - (2019)

Central Criminal Court. Six handed murder. Colin represented the principle defendant.

R v W - (2019)

Central Criminal Court. Six handed murder. Colin represented the first defendant in the three-month trial. The murder was alleged to be connected to gang related drug dealing.

R v B - (2018)

Central Criminal Court. Secured the acquittal of a teenager in three handed gang related murder.

R v K – (2018)

Central Criminal Court. Five handed gang related murder.

R v H (2018)

Represented a 16-year-old man charged with murder. The case had gang related background. Client acquitted of murder.

R v R (2018)

Allegation of manslaughter arising from the alleged commercial sale of the banned “diet drug” DNP. Linked allegations of money laundering. Client acquitted of all charges.

R v Das

Acted for a father charged with the murder of his 18-month-old child and a further charge of attempted murder. The case involved complex psychiatric issues. The Crown accepted the defendant’s plea to manslaughter.

R v D - Lewes Crown Court

Murder & Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

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.

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • The Fraud Lawyers Association
Legal 500 Leading Silk

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