One of the UK’s Best Bribery & Corruption Criminal Defence Barristers
As one of the very best Bribery & Corruption barristers and KCs [QCs] in the UK, I know that it has always been a difficult charge to defend, but the offence has become much wider and more complex since the passing of the Bribery Act 2010, which came into force on 1st July 2011 – replacing the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.
It is unusual too, because unlike most crimes (eg Murder, Fraud, Robbery and Rape), it is as much an offence to be bribed (Section 2) as it is to bribe (Section 1).
The Bribery Act 2010 is also unusual because most crimes need to have been committed in the UK to be tried in the UK. It is drafted so as to make an offence triable in the UK even if the person bribed – and the business that he carries on or the function that he carries out – is overseas. There is even a specific offence of ‘Bribery of Foreign Public Officials’ (Section 6).
Top-Rated Specialist Bribery & Corruption KC [QC] | London, UK, International
Expert in Successfully Defending Criminal Fraud Charges
As a seasoned and top-rated Bribery & Corruption trial lawyer, I know that a great deal of time-consuming and thorough investigation precedes a charging decision in Bribery cases, and considerable resources are utilised in the course of that investigation.
A prosecution for Bribery cannot be commenced without the authority of the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) and the SFO (Serious Fraud Office). That, together with the UK’s international obligations under the OECD conventions to promote economic progress and world trade, perhaps serve to explain why Bribery is taken so seriously both in the UK and in very many countries abroad.
Another way in which the offence of Bribery is so wide ranging is its application to people who don’t actually themselves, do the alleged bribing, but are in a position of potential criminal liability for it nevertheless. This is because of the strict liability upon commercial organisations, including partnerships, to prevent bribery. The only defence to this form of ‘business liability’ is to be able to prove, on balance, that ‘due diligence’ or ‘adequate procedures’ were in place to prevent it.
Bribery has thus become a major target for investigators of ‘commercial crime’ and those of us engaged in defending these allegations frequently have a tough job to do.
Top-Rated Barrister KC [QC] to Defend Bribery Charges | London & UK
Providing an effective and robust defence is a highly skilled art, and one that needs to be predicated on the success that I have achieved as one of the very best Bribery & Corruption defence barristers and KCs [QCs] in the UK. The nature of the work leans on my track record as a master strategist and supreme tactician.
While a successful defence of this charge can be difficult, with tenacious and expert planning it CAN be achieved and a ‘not guilty’ verdict secured. This is where my experience as a skilful defence barrister and court room advocate comes to play most effectively.
Sometimes the best way to handle this type of case is to try to ‘sideline’ my client so that the spotlight falls on others. And indeed, there are times when my careful study of the business concerned helps to demonstrate that the allegation is actually totally unfounded. Using this most careful pre-trial investigation and preparation, a client who seems to face an uphill battle, can be triumphantly acquitted.
Some Sample Fraud Case Wins:
Conspiracy to Defraud – Acquittal[K & OTHERS]
K was the main defendant in the case, and was the CEO of a housing charity. He and the directors of a building company were tried for conspiracy to defraud the charity in relation to house building and maintenance contracts. The two co-defendants gave evidence. K did not. He was acquitted by the jury at the end of a long trial.
Conspiracy to Cheat HMRC – Acquittal[A & OTHERS]
This was the biggest excise duty fraud case. A was a dealer in imported wines and spirits. He was charged with conspiracy to cheat HMRC. Lengthy pre-trial arguments took place relating to disclosure by the prosecution of European trading records. The judge ruled in favour of the defence that the prosecution must provide the disclosure. The prosecution were unable (or unwilling) to comply with the judge’s order, and the judge stayed the proceedings as an abuse of the process of the court. The client had a verdict of not guilty recorded and was discharged.
Accountancy Tax Fraud – Acquittal[K & OTHERS]
K was an accountant and company director alleged to have been involved in a dishonest tax saving scheme. The case involved the flotation of companies and the fraudulent ‘ramping’ up of the share price to unrealistic levels. The shares were then gifted to charities at an inflated value, resulting in a major tax deduction by clients of the firm, and a large tax loss to HMRC. K did not give evidence. He was the only one of the accountant defendants to be acquitted by the jury.
Multi Million Pound Stamp Duty Fraud – Suspended sentence[ G ]
G had been the senior partner in a large firm of solicitors. He was prosecuted for a multi million pound fraud in relation to dishonest schemes to avoid stamp duty being paid by property buyers. Pressure for disclosure of information resulted in HMRC eventually conceding that the lost tax had in fact been repaid! In the light of that new concession, the judge was asked if he would pass a non-custodial sentence if the client pleaded guilty to certain specimen charges. The judge agreed. The client received a suspended sentence.