The 2011 Chambers and Partners Guide to the Bar has ranked 33 Chancery Lane as a leading set in the fields of fraud and its new category 'POCA Work and Asset Forfeiture'. In the latter category, Andrew Mitchell QC was nominated the 'Star Individual.' Kennedy Talbot was similarly ranked in the Leading Juniors section.
No other set at the Bar has as many ranked individuals in the area.
The Fraud section has this to say:
THE SET: This "top-notch set" came into being relatively recently in order to focus on fraud and the emerging demand for expertise in POCA law and asset forfeiture. Members of the set are adept in relation to commercial and financial crime, and the barristers are well placed to provide a fully comprehensive level of advice to clients on all aspects of their case, from pre-charge through to the confiscation stages of complex frauds. The administration at the set is "absolutely fabulous," according to solicitors, who admire the "professional, organised and approachable" clerks on hand here.
Andrew Mitchell QC
has a greater reputation for proceeds of crime work than straight fraud but is equally accomplished in both areas. "
A lawyer with a superb mind that he puts to great effect,"
Mitchell is "
not shy in putting himself forward on behalf of his client."
David Evans QC
is a new addition to the set. He arrives having appeared in a plethora of heavy-duty frauds and having put in a number of
olished and impressive courtroom performances."
An expert in SFO investigations and prosecutions, Evans has appeared in a number of high-profile carousel frauds, including the R v Uddin matter.
"a talented practitioner who knows his way around fraud cases."
His practice encompasses major VAT and MTIC frauds, as well as business, financial and white-collar crime matters. His ability to sift through heavy paperwork and present a cogent argument in court is the envy of many, and his recent work highlights are just as impressive. By way of example, he led in the Operation Exhort 'cash for crash' matter, and was also involved in the Operation Vaulter MTIC fraud involving contra trading and offshore operations in Dubai. One source said of him: "
He is just superb. He's always involved in the biggest cases in the country and he has a great touch with the clients."
Mitchell sits in the tables along with the
"extremely thorough and intelligent"
, a powerful advocate with civil and criminal fraud credentials. Pearce recently acted on the Operation Rize matter, involving a safety deposit box fraud, and the £150 million MTIC fraud, Operation Emersed.
is a first choice for many when a significant matter rears its head. He has
"a great brain,"
"an able and responsive barrister who is fantastic with people."
He is frequently brought in for high-value MTIC frauds, most recently appearing in Operation Shootout.
joined the set after many years at Cloisters. He is a go-to individual for fraud cases that have a crossover with human rights and public law. He recently advised a company involved in an SFO investigation into corruption arising from the Oil for Food Programme, and defended a boat manufacturer prosecuted for money laundering arising from the sale of vessels to drug runners.
The POCA Section has this to say:
Andrew Mitchell QC of The Chambers of Andrew Mitchell QC is undoubtedly a pioneer in this area, having at an early stage identified the need to develop it as a standalone discipline. Mitchell's is often the first name that springs to mind in any conversation related to asset forfeiture work. "The king of POCA" and "the godfather of the area" are just two of the epithets attached to him. A true trailblazer in his field, Mitchell has acted on some of the most ground-breaking asset recovery cases of the last decade. His work has included representing the governments of Trinidad & Tobago, the Turks & Caicos Islands, the Cayman Islands, Canada, Gibraltar, the USA, Abu Dhabi and Pakistan. He has advised and acted in SFO, CPS Confiscation Unit and Revenue & Customs Prosecution Office Asset Forfeiture Division cases, and represented SOCA in relation to civil recovery actions. One instructing solicitor said of him: "He's a market leader – he's fantastic. He absolutely knows the subject back to front and he knows how to deal with all of the related issues." His style is hailed as an example to others. One source said of him: "If you want a hard-hitting silk, he is your first choice." Another commended his "absolutely unbelievable" client service.
Undoubtedly a leading light in the field, Kennedy Talbot is at the same set as Mitchell. He is acclaimed by sources as one of the best lawyers in the world for asset forfeiture and civil recovery work. One said of him: "He really has no equal in terms of his breadth of knowledge and experience in the area," while another declared: "He's not a silk, but frankly he could be. He's an exceptional lawyer who gets the right result. He's absolutely first-class." Talbot's broad practice also encompasses POCA, and he regularly acts for SOCA, receivers and respondents in High Court proceedings and Part 6 taxation proceedings.
Also present there is Martin Evans, who has experience of working both for SOCA and on the respondent side. He recently appeared in R v Modjiri.
Stablemate Ivan Pearce is another to impress. He is "a bright spark who presents his cases beautifully," according to observers.