Nick began to specialise in criminal fraud cases in about 2001 when he successfully acted for a director in a property fraud case, arguing on an interim appeal that the reverse burden of proof under s.206 of the Insolvency Act was incompatible with the Human Rights Act 1998. Over the years, he began to act more frequently as leading counsel in some of the largest fraud jury trials in the UK, appearing in major tax, carousel, pharmaceutical, boiler room, diversion, financial markets and property frauds, prosecuted by agencies such as the SFO, HMRC, MHRA and Trading Standards. Many such cases had an international dimension and Nick first became involved in multi-jurisdictional work in 2008, when he was instructed to act for a former Vice President of Finance in relation to a large corporate bribery case, investigated civilly and criminally in three separate jurisdcitions. More recently, he acted for a managing director in the first ever bribery case in the UK involving a corporate conviction under section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010. Companies and individuals retain him, both advising on preventative measures such as bribery, money laundering and whistleblowing measures and corporate compliance, and for wider strategic advice. He is also retained by specialist fraud prosecuting agencies. Examples of his recent financial crime cases are as follows: -
- SFO/DOJ/SEC/Greece v X and Others - Multi-jurisdictional alleged corporate bribery of surgeons to use Johnson & Johnson medical devices. J&J has paid $70m US and £5m UK settlements and entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement. Nick is sole UK counsel for a former VP of Finance. Nick and his team successfully negotiated with the SFO, DOJ, SEC and FBI so that no charges were brought either in the UK or the US. Criminal proceedings before the Fraud Court in Athens are ongoing. There are highly complex issues of double jeopardy, admissibility, disclosure and international comity in concurrent and lengthy multi-jurisdictional criminal proceedings. Worldwide media coverage such as in the Telegraph here, here and in the New York Times here.
- R v H and Others - International fraud and money laundering investigation. £12m said to have been obtained via diversion fraud from UK public bodies including NHS Trusts. Nick acted for a Dubai based company director and represented him in Dubai and the UK, advising as to the criminal law in both jurisdictions and extradition. A large case running to 50,000 pages of material. Nick successfully avoided a conviction for fraud. Media coverage here.
- R (MOD Fraud) v X International - Ongoing bribery investigation by the fraud department of the Ministry of Defence, into a company who provides services to active troop operations in the Middle East. Nick acts for company directors, alleged to have paid bribes in return for inside information relating to the tendering process for securing large construction contracts.
- R v K and Others - 8-handed HMRC MTIC fraud, where £20m tax was evaded. Nick was Leading Counsel for the alleged “orchestrator” of the fraudulent trades. There were 49,000 pages of used material in a trial which lasted 6 months, followed by lengthy POCA proceedings. The trial involved cut throat defences, international aspects and sensitive issues of public interest immunity. Media coverage here.
- Operation N - Nick is retained by the Central Fraud Division of the CPS to act as Leading Counsel for the prosecution in an alleged £75m landfill tax fraud perpetrated by organised crime groups who have infiltrated the UK waste disposal industry.
- R v B&F - Nick secured an acquittal for a company director alleged to have been engaged in a £9m HMRC cheat, running a cut-throat defence. The case concerned false trade in PPI leads, with money circulating offshore, including the UAE. The case required a thorough understanding of complex banking and IT evidence.