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Chambers 2018

Serious Fraud Office

The Serious Fraud Office investigates and prosecutes allegations of high value and complex fraud, white collar crime and certain cases involving market abuse or market manipulation.

If you or your business are under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office or are being prosecuted, it is essential that you get in touch with Janes Solicitors as soon as possible.  Our expertise and extensive experience of defending and advising against Serious Fraud Office proseuctions and investigations means as our client, you will have the best defence team on your side. 

As a highly skilled and experienced fraud team, Janes Solicitors are renowned for our command of serious and complex fraud, white collar crime and financial crime matters.  We have dealt successfully defended a number of high profile and complex Serious Fraud Office prosecutions. 

Our expertise will advise you across a range of matters including: any initial investigation, preparing for section 2 notices and interviews; contesting forfeiture orders; negotiating Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs); and Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (SOCPA) arrangements.

Janes Solicitors will advise and support you every step of the way and help you to produce a robust strategy that will give you or your business the best outcome possible. 

Our Expertise & Experience

Janes Solicitors’ criminal defence team take a proactive approach with each client to offer maximum support and a commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for you, and ensuring your interests are paramount.

Our lawyers offer a personal case tailored service to suit the differing needs of our clients.  Our skilled and focused approach, as well as our technical expertise on these demanding cases have helped to mark us out as leaders in our field.  Janes Solicitors will guide and advise you every step of the way.

Our Exceptional & Proven Track Record

Janes Solicitors are involved in some of the largest and most complex fraud cases about to be tried in this country – and have an exceptional proven track record. In the last year the firm has handled an exceptional caseload in this practice area, both in terms of matters coming to trial and new instructions. We regularly defend high profile fraud cases attracting widespread media coverage, including:

  • R v Khan - acquittal of our client following a retrial in a fifteen-handed conspiracy to defraud mortgage fraud (in excess of £40 million) investigated by the Economic Crime Department of the City of London Police. The case involved several well-known high street banking institutions, including Barclays Private Clients International and complex offshore and international property transactions using trusts;
  • R v Wootton - the famous Jubilee Line Extension case in which the acquittal of our client was secured after an extraordinary two-year trial;
  • R v Jain – The London Metal Exchange Fraud Trial - a highly complex billion-pound metal trading fraud and ensuing confiscation proceedings in which a discontinuance was obtained for our client;
  • R v Fergal Lynch – Conspiracy to defraud - the Fallon race fixing trial; our client jockey Kieren Fallon and five others were acquitted of a £10 million race fixing allegation;
  • R v Shinder Gangar - $200 million Ponzi Fraud which is also now a leading authority on confiscation cases in relation to default interest calculations;
  • R v Van Meel - Beijing Olympic ticket fraud prosecution where the case against the client was discharged mid-trial as a result of successful legal argument;
  • R v Goodman (Libor Manipulation) - successful acquittal of our client, an ICAP broker predicting LIBOR rates.  The first Serious Fraud Office prosecution against financial brokers and only the second trial in the country (and the first success) involving allegations of manipulating LIBOR – a worldwide rate setting benchmark linked to trillions of global financial products;
  • R v Grillo and Grillo - successful acquittal of our clients, two personal assistants to Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi accused of fraudulent misuse of company credit cards for over £685,000.  Dubbed the ‘trial of the year’ with unprecedented worldwide media attention. A momentous victory in the face of extreme media scrutiny and high-profile opponents;
  • R v Thomas - acquittal of CEO in £160 million broadband fraud, following accusations of creating and selling falsely inflated contracts to business lenders, Barclays Bank and KBC;
  • R v Lewis - prosecution of a broker in a large-scale mortgage fraud where a non-custodial sentence was obtained following the client’s acquittal on the large majority of counts and thereafter a confiscation order in the amount of £1 only;
  • R v Oyekoya – conspiracy to defraud and money laundering – acquittal in case involving fraudulent transactions totalling circa $800,000 with further attempted transactions of $500,000 from Amex accounts in the UK to personal accounts in the UK and globally;
  • R v TB – national cash machine fraud – defendant accused of stealing £1,000,000 from cash machines through the installation of malware onto the machines. Expert cell-site analysis proved our client was in the vicinity of over half of the affected machines during the commission of the offences leading to favourable basis of the plea being accepted by the Crown at the Central Criminal Court;
  • R v Kudirat Fowewe (Operation Snapbook) – conspiracy to Defraud and Fraudulent Misuse of Computer Systems – highly publicised as defendants infiltrated Barclays and other banks computers obtaining data from thousands of bank accounts.

Janes Solicitors regularly handles an exceptional caseload in serious fraud defence, both in terms of matters coming to trial and new instructions. Below are some of the cases in which we are currently instructed:

  • Rolls Royce plc - Bribery and Corruption Investigation in Leading UK Manufacturer - Janes Solicitors instructed by nine executives and employees surrounding an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into allegations of bribery and corruption.
  • Operation Uzane – Conspiracy to Defraud - Defending owner of care home in on charges of money laundering in relation to the assets of both the care home and its users;
  • Operation Florin – Conspiracy to Defraud and Money Laundering - Representing lead defendant in a pension liberation fraud valued in excess of £9 million involving several hundreds of victims Nationwide.
  • Operation Lunar – KPMG Partner alleged to have cheated HMRC investment schemes - One of the first prosecutions by HMRC of investors into such schemes.
  • Operation Amazon – Conspiracy to Cheat the Revenue - Janes Solicitors is representing a lead defendant in a seven-handed conspiracy to cheat HMRC in what has been described as one of the largest direct taxation frauds in the UK amounting to over £268 million tax at risk.  The underlying business relates to green projects for Research and Development across the globe and environmental carbon trading with investments by hundreds of High Net Worth Individuals. 
  • Operation Dougal - Conspiracy to Defraud - Janes Solicitors instructed in major breach of copyright Trading Standards prosecution – over £30 million alleged fraud. 
  • Operation Cindy – Conspiracy to Defraud - Defending sole client in large Trading Standards prosecution. The value of the case is in excess of £30 million, and involves a significant technological and IT element.  Janes are also assisting in defendant’s dealings with the Advertising Standards Agency.

Section 2 Notices

The Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has the power under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 to compel any individual or entity to provide the SFO with information or documentation which is believed to be relevant to a matter under investigation.

Section 2 is a serious power and any individual or corporate body in receipt of a section 2 notice requesting that they attend for interview or provide information should seek expert legal advice from Janes Solicitors immediately.

Individuals are invited to a section 2 interview where they will be compelled to answer the questions asked.   Section 2 notices a very effective power used by the SFO and is often used as the starting point of an investigation, prior to any arrests or interviews under caution and the information gathered may form the basis of how the case develops from that point.

Answers given under section 2 compulsion are not admissible in criminal proceedings except in exceptional circumstances.  However, your answers will certainly provide valuable information to the SFO for their investigation.

Section 2 also gives the SFO the power to compel individuals and corporate entities to deliver up relevant documents and even to submit to a search of premises.

The section 2 powers include failure to comply being a criminal offence punishable by up to six months imprisonment. Furthermore, knowing or reckless provision of false or misleading information to the investigators is punishable by up to two years imprisonment.

Janes Solicitors will advise you on your options and support you every step of the way.  We have extensive experience of preparing clients for full and frank interviews, which may see a client’s position move away from being a suspect.

Contact our expert Serious Fraud Defence Lawyers London

Janes Solicitors provides bespoke specialist advice on all areas of serious and complex fraud, regulatory, taxation and serious financial crime matters.. With extensive experience in all areas of fraud, white collar crime and financial crime and a well-earned reputation as leaders in our field, our expert defence team take a proactive and pragmatic approach to legal advice and case strategy. We are committed to your successful outcome.  Janes Solicitors pride ourselves on our case tailored approach for each client and our fearless commitment in each and every case we undertake.

If you or your business have concerns, are under suspicion or investigation or have been arrested or prosecuted for any serious fraud or financial crime offence, contact us today on 020 7930 5100, or via our online contact form.  One of our team will be in touch as soon as possible.

For expert legal advice and representation, call Janes Solicitors today 020 7930 5100 or complete our online enquiry form and one of our lawyers will be in touch as soon as possible.

We are there when you need us. Available seven days a week, you can call us on our out-of-hours service number on 07789 622 430.