Specialist Crime

Specialist Crime

There are several areas of law in which Outer Temple specializes where in certain circumstances our clients, many of them corporate and commercial, find themselves subject to the criminal courts.  We have a long established reputation in advocacy in all courts. We have a strong team of specialist advocates including QC’s and juniors at all levels who are able to effectively represent clients in civil or criminal proceedings.

Our Specialist Crime areas are;

  • Commercial Fraud
  • Bribery and Corruption
  • Health and Safety Crime
  • Environmental Crime
  • Financial Services Crime
  • Cartel Offences
  • Medical Crime
  • Transport Crime
  • International White Collar Crime

Commercial Fraud

Outer Temple Chambers has a long established reputation in commercial fraud. 

Members of chambers have experience in all aspects of civil fraud, including breach of fiduciary duty, breach of trust, direct & indirect tax fraud, asset recovery, freezing orders and other injunctive remedies.    Members of chambers act for both the taxpayer and the Revenue in the Tax Chamber of the first-tier tribunal and have appeared in some of the leading cases on MTIC fraud including Bond House Systems Limited and others v HMRC [2006] STC 419 before the European Court of Justice.  Uniquely, we also have an acknowledged expertise in criminal fraud with members having appeared in some of the biggest and most high profile criminal fraud cases in the UK.

We act for corporations and individuals as well as financial institutions caught up in fraudulent transactions.  We also act for the government and regulatory agencies (including the SFO, FSA and OFT).

We work extensively in foreign jurisdictions and have considerable experience of the cross-jurisdictional issues which arise in fraud cases, including tracing and freezing assets, compliance with anti-bribery legislation and the obligations under Part 7 POCA.   With offices in New York and Abu Dhabi, we also have invaluable experience of matters involving regulators and prosecutors in the US and the Middle East.

Chambers’ strength in commercial fraud complements its work in financial services regulation.  Members of chambers have acted in nearly all of the cases brought before the criminal courts for market abuse and insider dealing and frequently act for both the FSA and regulated firms and individuals before the RDC.

Bribery and Corruption

No new piece of legislation has caused as much debate, argument and confusion as the new Bribery Act 2010. The Act’s broad extra territorial scope will presage the possibility of senior non UK executives of international companies facing jury trial in this country for acts done by their employees in some far flung country.  The new Act introduces changes including a controversial corporate offence and challenges surrounding when is a bribe a bribe, all with extra-territorial application. Businesses and their advisors are in a new dawn of uncertainty, with vast pressure on corporations to comply with the new law and to face serious penalties if they fail.

Health & Safety and Environmental Crime

The need for representation of corporate clients and their Senior Officers and Directors following untimely deaths in the workplace has seen a marked upturn as a result of the new Corporate Manslaughter legislation.  Outer Temple Chambers acts for companies and individuals in corporate manslaughter and health and safety matters where companies face criminal charges.

The starting point for the team is frequently before a Coroner at the Inquest into the death. The Inquest hearing can play a crucial part in determining whether a company or an individual is going to be prosecuted and if so for what.

Our cases range from the most straightforward to the most complex and high profile. These have included those involving heavy industry and construction as well as retail and commercial premises, housing associations and NHS Trusts.  The oil, gas and power industries are specialities and members of Chambers are used to acting for large corporates such as RWE Npower PLC and British Pipeline Agency in the recent Buncefield oil refinery case. Members of Chambers were instructed in the leading appellate Health and Safety cases recently reported, namely R v. Chargot Ltd [2008] UKHL 73 in the House of Lords (now Supreme Court) and R v Electric Gates Services Ltd [2009] EWCA Crim 1942. Chambers is acting for the defendant in the Cotswold Geotech Ltd prosecution, the first under the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007.

Environmental Regulatory Crime

We provide representation in both the Magistrates Court and Crown Court. In particular, the environmental element in “HSE –v- Buncefield”, the largest peace time explosion in the UK.  Chambers are instructed in a Crown Court trial regarding hazardous smells emitted by a factory close to the 2012 Olympic facilities and have advised and represented major power suppliers including RWE Npower PLC in relation to environmental accidents and issues.  In addition members are often asked to provide specialist advice on preventative measures to avoid breaching both regulations and legislation.  This includes legionella protection, waste management, land, air, noise, river pollution and fly tipping.  We represent one of those charged as a result of the fire at the Penhallow Hotel in Cornwall and advised a Strategic Health Authority in relation to the largest hospital outbreak of Clostridium Difficile ever encountered.  To demonstrate the team’s ability to provide assistance with the most up to date issues we have recently been asked to grapple with issue of carbon emissions on behalf of a substantial corporate client.

Financial Services Crime

This forms a substantial part of our practice.  Members of chambers have acted in nearly all of the cases brought before the criminal courts for market abuse and insider dealing and frequently act for both the FSA and regulated firms and individuals in criminal proceedings.

Cartel Crime

OFT criminal investigations of companies and businesses both in the UK and Internationally, regarding cartels and price fixing, and other investigations within the remit of the Office of Fair Trading. We are able to advise clients on matters of compliance, and advise on the merits and to provide representation in civil and criminal courts. Chambers is instructed by the OFT in a criminal investigation into a suspected international cartel involving companies in many countries. 

Medical Crime

We have almost unrivalled experience in criminal cases involving healthcare professionals.  Individual members of Outer Temple Chambers have acted in such cases for more than 20 years.  Cases in which barristers from these chambers have been instructed include allegations of murder, gross negligence manslaughter, rape and other sexual assaults, perjury, perverting the course of justice, and other cases of dishonesty including theft and false accounting. 

Members of chambers are regularly instructed to advise at an early stage in criminal investigations in which the acts or omissions of healthcare professionals fall under scrutiny.  In cases that result in a criminal prosecution a number of members of chambers have very considerable experience defending in jury trials.  In these types of case it is often vital for the defence that the lawyers instructed have a sound understanding of medical or dental practice, and a familiarity with patient records.  A number of members of chambers have been instructed on behalf of the prosecution in medical manslaughter and in other, serious cases. 

There will be many cases in which an investigation does not lead to a criminal prosecution but to other proceedings, such as a Public Inquiry, Coroner’s Inquest or a Fitness to Practise Panel hearing before the General Medical Council, General Dental Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council or some other professional regulatory body, Primary Care Trust or a healthcare employer. We can provide continuity for healthcare practitioners who may face more than one set of proceedings.  For larger cases Outer Temple Chambers can provide teams of barristers whose skills complement each other as may be required.

Members of these chambers have been involved in the criminal proceedings, Public inquiry, Inquest or Fitness to Practise hearings of each of the following: Shipman, Dr Ayling, Rodney Ledward, Richard Neale, Roberts and Goel (the ‘wrong kidney’ case), Mr Dixon (illegal abortion),  Kingsway Hospital, Derby, Dr Barton (Gosport War Memorial Hospital), Dr Misra and Dr Srivastava, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, Dr Freddie Patel (Forensic Pathologist), in addition to scores of other cases.

Transport Crime

We are probably unique in having a dedicated team of specialists in criminal and regulatory transport law. We have acted in most of the leading regulatory/ criminal road transport  cases in recent years - including many that have significantly altered the regulatory regime. We enjoy an international reputation in this field, and frequently act for or are consulted by major European international transport companies. 

The range of transport related criminal work we regularly undertake include:

  • Corporate and individual manslaughter charges arising from fatal accidents
  • Causing death by dangerous and careless driving
  • Tachograph and drivers’ hours charges – ranging from individual breaches to large scale falsifications
  • Criminal charges arising from breaches of the operators’ licences regimes
  • International offences relating to smuggling, illegal immigrants and cabotage
  • Overload and dangerous condition offences
  • Environmental and health and safety prosecutions relating to the transport sector.

International Crime

We work extensively in foreign jurisdictions and have considerable experience of the cross-jurisdictional issues which arise in fraud cases, including tracing and freezing assets, compliance with anti-bribery legislation and the obligations under Part 7 POCA.   With offices in New York and Abu Dhabi, we also have invaluable experience of matters involving regulators and prosecutors in the US and the Middle East.

Crime not otherwise stated above

Serious crime i.e murder, and terrorism – members of Chambers were Instructed in the high profile Huntingdon Life Science prosecution involving animal rights activists. Chambers are also instructed in a high profile multiple murder prosecution by Hampshire CPS Special Casework Directorate with international aspects in Europe.

Members of Chambers are instructed by  the RSPCA in respect of cruelty to animals at Magistrates’ and Crown Court level.

We are instructed in “case stated” hunting matters of importance that effect hunting and criminal law in the UK, often working with Countryside Alliance on a wide range of cases, at the Magistrates Courts, Crown Courts, the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court.

Trading standards criminal cases acting on behalf of both local councils, and defending businesses facing charges in the Crown Court- particularly involving the farming and abattoir industry, in defending cases brought by DEFRA and the Food Standards Agency.

For further information contact us on 020 7353 6381.

Track record and prominent cases

VAT Significant cases

  • HMRC v Mobilix, Blue Sphere Global and Calltel [2010] EWCA (Civ 517)– circumstances in which a taxpayer can be deprived of the right to  deduct input tax
  • Halifax plc and others v HMRC[2006] STC 919
  • Bond House Systems Limited and others v HMRC[2006] STC 419

Commercial Fraud

  • SFO’s ‘Oil-for-Food Programme’ sanctions prosecution
  • SFO’s investigation into the Union of Democratic Mineworkers compensation payments
  • GG plc - the SFO’s high profile prosecution in respect of alleged price fixing in the generics drugs industry GG Plc ([2007] EWCA Crim 2659; [2009] 1 WLR 458 (HL)
  • Wickes
  • Blue Arrow
  • Polly Peck
  • Barlow Clowes
  • Maxwell
  • Levitt
  • Guinness
  • R v J
  • The State Prosecutor v Dr Ismail
  • (Advising former Minister of Development in Brunei in relation to his sentence for prolonged period of alleged corruption.) 
  • R v Hylton-Potts, Whybrow and Esson
  • (prosecution of substantial mortgage fraud involving a well known solicitor and property developer)
  • R v Lady Aberdour
  • (Theft of £2.7 million from her employers)
  • R v Lynch, Man & Man
  • (prosecution of passport officer for fraudulently processing in excess of 100 false passport applications)
  • R v Samrai & Walker
  • (fraud involving a barrister and solicitor relating to provision of manufactured documents to enable Hong Kong residents to obtain ILR in the UK)
  • R v Grey
  • (alias Joe Flynn, international fraudster causing serious damage to major British companies by providing false information to both sides in major takeover deals)
  • R v Gorst
  • (prosecution of substantial tax evasion in relation to businesses and property in the UK, France and Switzerland)
  • R v Garnett & Garnett
  • (prosecution of defendants relating to theft of cheque from the Bank of England)
  • R v M and another
  • Defending a solicitor in a multi million pound mortgage fraud with international aspects
  • R v Jackman
  • (prosecution of President of Northamptonshire Law Society for theft of more than £1 million from his client accounts and obtaining fraudulent loans from banks in a similar sum)
  • R v Hyder and others
  • Prosecuting 11 million Euro money laundering operation involving several different trials and asset confiscation
  •  R v Peter Young & Others (Morgan Grenfell fraud with losses in excess of £300m).

Financial Services

  • R v R v McFall, Rimmington & King
  • FSA insider dealing prosecution: awaiting trial at Southwark Crown Court in 2010.
  • R v McQuoid & Melbourne
  • FSA insider dealing prosecution: March 2009
  • R v. McQuoid
  • Appeal against sentence: guidelines given by the Court of Appeal: [2009] 4 All E.R. 388
  •  Mustapha and others – the FSA’s first prosecution of an ‘insider dealing ring’.
  • Case name: FSA v Semperian Investment Partners Limited Partnership & others (2010)
  • Case summary: Enforcement action brought by the FSA against a LLP for breaches of the change in control regime under FSMA (acting for the FSA)
  • Pamplona PE Holdco 9 SARL- in 2010
  • Instructed by the enforcement division of the FSA in this change in control case which relied on the reputation  of the company directors as one of its objections.

Health & Safety

  • R v Cotswold Geotech Limted and Peter Eaton
    The first case for the new offence of corporate killing under the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007
  • HSE v Chargot Limited, Ruttle Plant Hire Limited and George Ruttle
    Representing the Appellants in the House of Lords in the lead case regarding directors’ duties and the scope of the general duties under the HSWA
  • Buncefield  (R v Total (UK) Ltd, British Pipeline Agency Ltd & others)
    Defending one of the oil companies in the joint prosecution by the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive arising from the explosion at the Buncefield oil storage terminal
  • R v EGS Ltd (Court of Appeal) which has further clarified Lord Hope's judgment in Chargot, as to the extent to which a prosecution have to identify specific breaches as part of their prima facie case.
  • Case name: R v Connolly and Kennett [2007] 2 Cr. App. R (S) 82, CA Case summary: Gross negligence manslaughter arising from the Tebay rail accident (acting for the owner of the company, instructed by Berrymans Lace
  • R v Jones (Hednesford rail crash)
  • Potters Bar Rail Crash
  • Hatfield Rail crash
  • Ladbroke Grove Rail Crash
  • Tebay rail crash
  • Southall Rail Crash
  • The Avonmouth Bridge gantry collapseR v Costains & Kvaerner (multiple fatality gantry collapse on M5 Avonmouth Bridge),
  • R v OLL Ltd (Lyme Bay canoeing tragedy)
  • R v Ayres (Loss of the Pescado)
  • Re A Strategic Health Authority Advising a Strategic Health Authority in relation to an HSE investigation of an outbreak of Clostridium Difficile and the death of 96 patients. Advising on co-operation, disclosure, confidentiality, internal enquiry documents and strategy for the future management of the case.
  • R  v Misra & Srivastava  and the linked case of R v Southampton NHS Trust
  • The lead court of appeal authority on gross negligence manslaughter arising from a gross negligence manslaughter prosecution of two doctors (2 members) and the resultant prosecution of and successful appeal by the hospital for which they worked
  • HSE v. RWE Npower PLC 2010 Defending, with Richard Lissack QC, a prosecution under section 3 of the HSWA 1974 brought by the Health and Safety Executive concerning a failed isolation in a compressed air system that led to a contractor being injured. The case involved a 3 day application for a stay relating to abuse of process which, although unsuccessful, resulted in a fine of £7,000 and a modest costs order in favour of the HSE.
  • HSE v Tulip Group Limited 2009 and 2010 Representing the Defendant in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) in respect of a number of admitted breaches in relation to separate incidents at the Defendant’s premises with no issues concerning ability to pay. The Court of Appeal reduced all the fines by approximately 1/3rd.
  • HSE -v- Anthony Ward Health and safety case collapses Judge accedes to defence submissions by Ben Compton leading Oliver Assersohn that the delay by the CPS and HSE in prosecuting Anthony Ward for health and safety offences, following a gas explosion in a village at which he was warden, amounted to a breach of their client's Article convention right and stayed the case as amounting to an abuse of the courts process"
  • R v Todd(Death on Mount Everest)
  • R v T Clarke plc and others was a recent prosecution of a large PLC for alleged major chalk aquifer pollution by causing an escape of jet aviation fuel at USAF Mildenhall [RLQC instructed by Hamlins for the Defence];

Medical crime

  • R v Ghadiali, and GMC v Dr Ghadiali Acted for consultant psychiatrist accused of multiple sexual assaults on female patients.  Doctor acquitted on all counts in criminal courts, over two trials, at Nottingham and Leicester Crown Court.  Subsequent GMC proceedings in 2009 over 4 weeks.
  • R –v- Mr J Roberts– at Cardiff Crown Court in 2005Wrong Kidney case of a surgeon who removed the wrong kidney- Instructed by the MDU
  • Re Gosport War Memorial Hospital, and GMC v Dr Barton Acted for Gosport GP who worked as clinical assistant at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital in 1990’s.  More than 90 deaths investigated by Police.  Appeared at inquest into 12 deaths at Portsmouth Coroners Court during March and April 2009.  Appeared at GMC during 12 week Fitness to Practise Panel hearing.  Conditions imposed by panel.
  •  Dr Harold Shipman– High profile Public Inquiry regarding one of the most prolific serial killers in recorded history with 218 murders being positively ascribed to him, although the number is likely much higher.
  • R v Dr G Successfully defended GP on allegations of fraud/dishonesty. After 12 week trial at Kingston Crown Court jury acquitted on (all) 37 counts on the indictment.
  • Re Maypole Nursing Home 2010 Representing the two former owners of the Maypole Nursing Home in relation to an Inquest taking place 6 years after the events. Instructed by Berrymans Lace, Mawer for the two former Doctors, the allegations were of unlawful killing, unjustified sedative medication, unlawful restraint of patients and poor management of the home. The jury returned a short form verdict of natural causes.
  • HSE -v- Cardiff & Vale NHS Trust Inquest Re: Fatality of elderely patient delivered to the wrong address

Other Significant Crime cases of merit

  • Huntingdon Life Sciences PLC: the trial [MBQC and SC] and the subsequent appeal of animal rights activists [MBQC];
  • R v Errol Arthurton LTL 28/5/2004 : (2005) 1 WLR 949 : (2004) 2 Cr App R 33 Prejudicial disclosure of evidence resulting in serious miscarriage of justice overturned at appeal.
  • R v Kay Gilderdale Defending Kay Gilderdale who assisted her severely ill daughter commit suicide and who was then charged with attempted murder.  Raised important questions with regard to the charging of persons in these types of cases.  High profile case with international publicity
  • R v Hopkins & Allen (The Fernie Hunt) – leading hunting case in 2010/11
  • Re CPS -V Christopher Leadbetter – leading hunting case in 2009
  • RSPCA -v- Paul Johnson– leading hunting criminal case in the Administrative Court in 2009
  • Re Exmoor Foxhounds - Hunting Act 2004 Prosecution– leading hunting criminal case in the Administrative Court in 2009
  • Re Crawley & Horsham Hunt Limited – test hunting criminal case
  • Re Minehead Harries – Test hunting criminal case
  • Re Hunting Act 2005– Law changing Test Hunting case in the Divisional Court
  • Re Scottish Ban on Hunting– Law changing Hunting at the House of Lords (Now Supreme Court)
  • Re Burns Inquiry– Public Inquiry into Hunting with Hounds

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