Renowned for its formidable track record, Bark & Co Solicitors has successfully represented many of the most notable criminal defence cases to have hit the headlines in recent years.
We are constantly receiving new instructions and continue to play a crucial part in a significant number of the major litigations currently in progress. Below is an example of one of our cases.
R –v- G – Southwark Crown Court – 2005- This case concerned an alleged conspiracy to defraud a major insurance company, The Prudential, of £42 million, by employees of that company, who were responsible for reviewing files to establish whether pensions had been mis-sold. It was alleged that the defendants set up ‘outsource companies’ to which contracts were awarded which guaranteed extortionate rates of remuneration, from which the defendants are said to have made significant financial gains. The case collapsed and received national press coverage due to the defence identifying a catalogue of poor management, administrative disasters and regulatory problems at The Prudential in the late 1990’s, together with scandalous failures within the police investigation.
R –v- L & Others – 2005 – the firm acted for 3 defendants allegedly linked to a MTIC carousel fraud conspiracy in which HM Revenue and Customs stated that in excess of £100 million VAT has not been declared. Following 2 years of proceedings, culminating in a 40 day abuse hearing, the judge stayed proceedings when the defence successfully identified a catalogue of prosecution errors in disclosure which meant that the defendants could not have a fair trial. The Judgment is being considered by HM Revenue and Customs and is expected to have potentially catastrophic ramifications for other MTIC frauds either under investigation or at the proceedings stage. This is an important result as this case was the first such case of its kind to be stayed after HM Revenue and Customs had introduced new methods in dealing with such cases.
R-v-D – Southwark Crown Court – 2005 – successfully acted for a defendant charged with money laundering offences following the arrests of what has been described by the prosecution as the biggest cocaine cartel ever to have been intervened in the UK.
R-v- S & others – Birmingham Crown Court – 2004/5 – represented 2 defendants in a multi-million pound ‘Maxwell-style’ pension fraud, prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). The case involved complex issues and is also linked to other serious frauds involving DTI investigations, money laundering prosecutions and mortgage fraud.
R –v-N –Southwark Crown Court – 2005 – High profile case involving alleged schemes to defraud the New Millennium Experience Company in offences of Corruption and the removal of the proceeds of these offences out of the jurisdiction. The firm represents a defendant who is charged with 4 charges of corruptly giving to an agent of NMEC inducements or rewards for the influence of the award of a contract to his company for the supply of goods and services in connection with theatrical lighting in the Millennium Dome, following an investigation spanned over several years.
R –v- H & Others – Southwark Crown Court – 2005 – The allegation in this case is that sixteen defendants were involved in a ‘large scale international money laundering operation’, during the course of which £3.8 million is said to have been introduced into the financial system, and then ‘layered’ in what the prosecution describes as a ‘trail of complex movements of funds’, designed to conceal the origins of the funds, in advance of their transfer to a variety of locations worldwide. The firm acts for two defendants in these proceedings.
R –v- C & Others – Cardiff Crown Court – 2005 – representing a client in defending an allegation he was involved in a multi-million pound fraud involving false insurance claims by a company and fraud against the Welsh Assembly for money received for grants following false information.
R – v- F – Blackfriars Crown Court – 2004 -accused of kidnapping students and various others over a period of 10 years by falsely representing he was an undercover police officer (or MI6 agent) on an assignment to infiltrate an IRA cell, during which he committed a series of dishonesty and fraud offences ranging from bank transfers to car purchase fraud. This is a high profile case, not only because the national press coverage, but also because of the unique legal issues.
R-v-B – Blackfriars Crown Court – 2003 – Successfully defended an SFO prosecution involving a multi-million pound fraud in the internet and telecommunications industry. The case was highly complex and extremely technical, involving a large amount of documentation and expert witnesses dealing with the detail of specialised computer technology and technical documents. The trial took place in a designated court for the special electronic presentation of evidence and ran from September 2002 until April 2003. 6 Defendants were initially charged with the firm securing the only acquittal in the case.
R –v- F – Southwark Crown – 2003 – This high profile money laundering prosecution was brought following an undercover ‘sting’ operation, based in London and Gibraltar, which ran for nearly five years and during the course of which in excess of £15million is said to have been laundered. A pre-trial abuse of process application based on entrapment was commenced on behalf of our client and two co-defendants in January 2002. This legal argument, which we believe to be the longest of its kind in legal history, was not concluded until July 2003, when His Honour Judge Bathurst Norman stayed the case against all defendants on a number of grounds. These included a ruling by the Judge that the police conduct had been ‘massively illegal’, that the operation amounted to ‘state created crime’ and that our client had been entrapped. The case and its conclusion attracted much high profile publicity.
R –v-H & others. – 2003 – The firm acted for 3 out of 4 defendants charged following the largest investigation into police corruption ever to be conducted in this country. Following a dramatic collapse of the Trial, all charges against the defendants were dropped, which provoked wide-scale publicity.
Carousel frauds/ MTIC Frauds – The firm currently acts for a number of defendants in several ‘carousel frauds’ prosecuted by HMCE, alternatively described as Missing trader/ intra-community frauds (MTIC Frauds). Defence teams within the firm have been set up specifically to deal with these types of fraud which, by their nature, are extremely voluminous and require detailed knowledge of the market, analysis of tax regulation and procedures as well as detailed analysis of the paper trail of invoices that such a fraud inevitably generates. The firm is instructed in the following Carousel frauds:-
(a) R –v- L & Others – successfully represented 3 defendants in an alleged fraud involving £100 million VAT. (see above)
(b) R –v- Diamond- defending £4 million MTIC Fraud involving computer components.
(c) R –v- P – defending £1.7 million missing trader fraud involving computer components.
(d) R –v-B – defended £11 million MTIC Fraud involving computer components.
(e) Regina –v-S – Birmingham Crown Court – defending £53 million MTIC Fraud involving mobile phones.
London City Bond appeals – The firm’s continued involvement in appealing HMCE prosecutions for Duty evasion emanating from a bonded warehouse known as London City Bond. The firm has been instructed from the outset in relation to defending numerous clients charged with Duty evasion from this Bond. Following convictions, the firm has become instrumental in successfully appealing these convictions on the basis of state-generated crime and entrapment. These high profile appeals (reference to recent press reports and BBC Panorama- Wed 23.3.2005) and expertise in this area of the law continues with several related appeals ongoing.
a) R –v- M – currently appealing LCB conviction for Duty Evasion; the firm has previously successfully appealed Confiscation proceedings resulting in a £10 million Confiscation Order being quashed.
b) R –v- S – currently appealing LCB conviction for Duty Evasion
c) R –v- O – currently appealing LCB conviction for Duty Evasion
d) R –v- N – currently appealing LCB conviction for Duty Evasion
e) R –v- A – currently appealing LCB conviction for Duty Evasion
f) R –v- M – currently appealing LCB conviction for Duty Evasion
Confiscation proceedings and appeals – the firm continues to build on its experience in this specialised field, with several multi-million pound confiscation hearings at preparation stage, with work also continuing on appeals of confiscation orders, such as the appeal against the £11 million confiscation order in the case of R – v- T
R -v- CF and others – Making front page news and attracting much publicity, this highly prominent money laundering prosecution – involving sums in excess of £15 million – was brought following an undercover ‘sting’ operation in both London and Gibraltar, running for almost five years.
In our criminal defence role on behalf not only of our client, but of two co-defendants, in January 2002 Bark & Co Solicitors lodged a pre-trial abuse of process application based on entrapment.
Believed to have been the longest legal argument in the history of litigation, it was only concluded some 18 months later, when His Honour Judge Bathurst Norman stayed the case against all defendants on a number of grounds, including “massively illegal” police conduct. In these benchmark proceedings, the Judge further ruled that the operation amounted to “State created crime”, and that our client had been a victim of entrapment.
Bark & Co · Bridewell Court · 14 New Bridge Street · London · EC4V 6AG
Tel: 0845 466 4631