LEGAL 500 2019 - RANKINGS RELEASED

Chambers again performs very well in the Legal 500, recommended in Business and regulatory crime (including global investigations), Fraud Crime and in Proceeds of Crime Act and Asset forfeiture.

Individuals are also recommended in these sections as well as Ian Smith in the Civil Fraud section.

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The Set

The ‘very approachable’ boutique chambers 33 Chancery Lane is a ‘market leader in the niche of white collar crime’ and ‘certainly leads in POCA and asset forfeiture cases’. ‘The set also excels in high-profile fraud cases and has brilliant silks and juniors straddling both areas’. Practice director Martin Adams is ‘bright, proactive, extremely responsive and good to get on with’. With deputy practice director Chris Chiles and second deputy practice director Oliver Carroll by his side, Adams ‘provides a first-rate service to solicitors’.

Business and regulatory crime (including global investigations)

33 Chancery Lane’s members, alongside the set’s primary reputation for proceeds of crime, handles a range of heavyweight work concerning corruption and interest-rate rigging. Amanda Pinto QC and Christopher Convey represent a former Barclays rate submitter accused by the SFO of manipulating her submissions to the calculation of Euribor.

Andrew Mitchell QC - ‘He has a track record of international corruption cases.

Graham Brodie QC - ‘The intellectual rigour he applies to the task reaps real rewards.

Amanda Pinto QC - ‘Her work includes sensitive bribery advice to major corporates.

Mark Rainsford QC - ‘His practice includes challenging cases with complex Middle Eastern elements.

Keith Mitchell - ‘Extremely personable and strong on pastoral care with the lay client.

Christopher Convey - ‘Industrious and has a fine legal brain – he is particularly strong on his drafting.

Proceeds of Crime Act and asset forfeiture

Undoubtedly number one in this practice area’, 33 Chancery Lanecertainly leads in POCA and asset forfeiture cases’. The set had a large number of members involved on various sides of confiscation proceedings in the wake of the conviction of Ketan Somaia, who was found guilty of various forms of fraud and subjected to a £20.5m confiscation order. The matter went to the Court of Appeal to consider whether confiscation was possible after a privately-prosecuted conviction (Kennedy Talbot QC, Catherine Collins and Ian Smith for the prosecution, Penelope Small for the defendant, and Martin Evans QC, Barry Stancombe and Fiona Jackson for various third parties). In addition, eight members, including some of the aforementioned, have been involved representing parties such as the Serious Fraud Office in multi-jurisdictional litigation concerning Gerald Smith, who was convicted in 2007 of a £35m fraud.

Andrew Mitchell QC - ‘A genius, highly sought after silk.

Graham Brodie QC - ‘He combines meticulous preparation with searing intellect and humour.

Mark Rainsford QC - ‘A very active silk who stands out from the crowd.

Kennedy Talbot QC - ‘Just fabulous: he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the law, and balances it with commerciality.

Martin Evans QC - ‘He appears in POCA proceedings after some of the biggest fraud trials.

Barry Stancombe - ‘He possesses a great knowledge of the law and procedure when it comes to big-time litigation.

Christopher Convey - ‘He is approachable and clients really trust him.

Fiona Jackson - ‘Extremely knowledgeable, and a genuine expert in POCA and asset forfeiture matters.

Ian Smith - ‘Excellent with clients and at providing an overall strategic view.

Penelope Small - ‘In demand for confiscation cases, she is admired by leaders and opponents alike.

Faisal Osman - ‘One of the leading juniors in the field – his input is invaluable.

Fraud: crime

Best known for its confiscation prowess, 33 Chancery Lane also handles a range of fraud cases, including Ponzi schemes, boiler rooms and money laundering, including pre-charge advice. Andrew Mitchell QC continues to act for the prosecution in the corruption and fraud trial of large swathes of the Turks and Caicos Island elite, while Faisal Osman was instructed as junior for the first defendant in Operation Amazon.

Andrew Mitchell QC - ‘Instructed in sensitive offshore cases.

Amanda Pinto QC - ‘Hugely experienced, immensely clever, collegiate, hardworking and cerebral.

Graham Brodie QC - ‘A brilliant lawyer with a brilliant analytical mind.

Faisal Osman - ‘An exceptional junior in the financial crime field.

Keith Mitchell - ‘His biggest strengths are his advocacy and pastoral care of clients.

Fraud: civil

Ian Smith - ‘Never underprepared – commercial and client focused.

Fiona Jackson acts for SFO in successful civil recovery order to recover £4.4m from corrupt diplomats in Chad Oil share deal.

Following a successful application in the High Court, the SFO is set to recover millions lost in a corruption case which saw Griffiths Energy bribe diplomats in the United States and Canada.

Securing exclusive contracts with corrupt deals, Griffiths Energy bribed Chadian diplomats with discounted shares deals and ‘consultancy fees’ using a front company ‘Chad Oil’ – which was set up days before agreements were signed.

‘Chad Oil’ was used by senior diplomats at the Chadian Embassy to the United States to facilitate a deal which saw the wife of the former Deputy Chief, Mrs Ikram Saleh purchase 800,000 shares at less than 0.001$CAD each, before selling them on for a considerable profit.

Griffiths later self-reported these and other transactions as bribes intended to illegally secure commercial interests in Chad and pleaded guilty to corruption charges brought by the Canadian authorities.

Following the takeover by Griffiths Energy by a UK corporation and share sale via a UK broker, the corrupt proceeds entered the UK’s jurisdiction and the SFO began civil recovery proceedings to secure the £4.4m share sale profits from Ikram Saleh.

The matter was brought to a three-day trial at the High Court which today granted the SFO’s order to the value of £4.4m, the first time money has been returned overseas in a civil recovery case.

Fiona Jackson has been involved for some years and this marks the most recent success for the SFO with their pursuit of criminal funds via civil recovery.   

Minister of State for International Development, Harriett Baldwin said:

“The UK Government has a zero tolerance approach to corruption and today’s landmark judgment means this money can be used to help the people of Chad.

“DFID is already working in Chad, investing in humanitarian programmes and supporting safety nets to tackle poverty. We will now be working on the details of how these recovered funds can best help one of the poorest countries in the world.”

If you would like to find out more about this case or instruct Fiona Jackson please contact her Practice Directors via email or on 0207 440 9950.