Nick began to specialise in financial crime cases from about 2001, acting for a director in a property fraud case, when he successfully argued 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 the full range of fraud cases, 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 Finance Director in relation to a large corporate bribery case, investigated civilly and criminally in three separate jurisdictions. 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. He is currently instructed by the Specialist Fraud Division of the CPS to prosecute an alleged £75m landfill tax fraud perpetrated by waste management traders. He is also instructed to act for an individual in the SFO investigation into Tata Steel (UK) Ltd.
Nick advises companies and individuals with regard to business crime, often in relation to corporate compliance, bribery, tax evasion, money laundering, whistle-blowers, cryptocurrency, production orders, freezing orders and jurisdictional issues, advice which can make a considerable difference.
Nick contributes to a number of publications and specialist conferences in the area of Business Crime, including as a panel speaker at the ABA White Collar Crime Conference and a Bar Council representative speaker at delegations in New York and Saint Petersburg. He is also a contributing editor to the Lloyds Law Reports: Financial Crime. Examples of his recent cases include:
- SFO/DOJ/SEC/Greece v X and Others - 2008-Ongoing – Multi-jurisdictional investigation into international bribery and corruption by former Johnson & Johnson executives, hospitals and surgeons. 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 Finance, said to be the architect of the acquisition model hiding the bribes. Nick was part of a team which successfully negotiated with the SFO, DOJ, SEC and FBI so that no charges were brought either in the UK or the US. Civil and criminal proceedings before the Fraud Court in Athens are ongoing. Complex issues of double jeopardy, admissibility, disclosure and international comity. Worldwide media coverage such as in the Telegraph here, here and in the New York Times here.
- R v Y and Others - 2014-2017 - International fraud and money laundering investigation. £12m said to have been obtained via a diversion fraud from UK public bodies including NHS Trusts. Nick acted for a Dubai based company director in Dubai and the UK, in matters of extradition, pre-charge negotiation and trial. Media coverage here.
- R (MOD Fraud) v X International - Ongoing corporate corruption investigation by the fraud department of the Ministry of Defence, into a company who provides services to active troop operations in the Middle East.
- R v A 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 X - Nick is retained by the Specialist 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 A&B - 2017-18. 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, corporate structures and IT evidence.
- R v Skansen Interiors Ltd and Others - Nick acted for the MD of Skansen, a London-based fit out and refurbishment contractor, facing allegations of paying bribes to secure refurbishment contracts in London, worth £6m. This was the first ever jury trial in the UK of a company charged with a s.7 "failure to prevent" Bribery Act corporate offence. Abuse of process, DPA issues and the statutory “adequate procedures” defence. This case has led to a deal of coverage and comment online, including here - https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/cps-secures-first-conviction-for-failure-to-prevent-bribery/5065201.article
- R v Y and Others. 2010-11 - Successful defence of company director in largest ever investigation into pharmaceutical counterfeiting in the EU, with fake medicines originating in China. MHRA’s largest prosecution to date, 5-month trial, required extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical regulations and industry, international trade, grey markets and fraud.
- SFO v Tata Steel (UK) Ltd. Ongoing.