We are routinely involved in high-profile document-heavy complex cases that require expertise, document and knowledge management and forensic computing and accountancy skills. Listed below are a small selection of the cases we have been involved in:
SOCA and RCPO
We have extensive experience of challenging Revenue and Customs (formerly HM Customs and Excise) and the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (now the NCA):
R v S: we represented one of the lead defendants in the largest ever Royal Mail fraud. This case involves the alleged dumping of millions of items of mail by a mail forwarding house. Preparation of the defence in this case required us to track the life history of millions of items of mail and scour an imaged computer network containing over 50 gigabytes, looking for key documents and email. The defendant was acquitted.
R v P: we represented the lead defendant in a case where he was said to have perverted the course of justice by attempting to bribe allegedly corrupt Customs Officers. This case sparked a major police enquiry into the conduct of customs officers. The defendant was acquitted.
R v P: we secured the acquittal before the trial of this computer chip carousel fraud. The alleged loss to the exchequer in this case ran into the £10's of millions.
R v W: we were embroiled in an attack on the legal integrity of HM Customs and Excise's investigative techniques in relation to VAT Carousel Frauds following our assault on the methods used by Customs in Money Exchange Bureau money laundering prosecutions.
R v D: we secured the acquittal of this alleged multi-million pound international money launderer. When this high profile HM Customs and Excise case ended in ignominy for the Crown the national press reported our success as yet another expensive failure. This case tested our ability to search, review and identify key data buried in gigabytes of computer material.
R v V: we represented the defendant in one of two lead cases that challenged how HM Customs and Excise use trade sources in Money Exchange Bureaus as the foundation of their prosecutions. Our internal knowledge management systems were tested to their limits when we analysed the 30,000 pages of unstructured data that HM Customs and Excise served as disclosure in this case.
R v W: we successfully defended the most expensive international drug trafficking prosecution by HM Customs & Excise, securing the acquittal of an alleged associate of a South American cocaine cartel. Our work sent shock waves through the international drug-enforcement establishment. In the course of this case, Daniel Berman travelled in the Americas to gather evidence which assisted our client, in circumstances which necessitated a bodyguard.
Serious Fraud Office
R v B: we secured the acquittal on all charges of one of the defendants in the alleged fraud which led to the collapse of Versailles Group PLC, one of the largest and most complex Serious Fraud Office prosecutions of recent years. This case required us to assimilate hundreds of files of prosecution evidence and unused material and correlate them to our client's business records to produce a well -documented bullet proof defence.
NHS fraud: we have advised a number of key players in the pharmaceutical industry in relation to a proposed price-fixing prosecution.
Confiscation and Asset Forfeiture
Our extensive work in the field of asset forfeiture has led numerous well-known fraud clients to seek our services to battle on their behalves in confiscation proceedings both at first instance and on appeal.
R v M: we challenged the impasse that prevents clients from seeking certificates of inadequacy following a "hidden asset" confiscation order. We expect this case to be finally decided in the House of Lords.
R v O: we challenged the basis upon which a Judge can make assumptions and inferences when imposing a confiscation order.
R v O: we defended an award winning computer assembly in a DTI prosecution for fraudulent trading.
R v S: we acted in the biggest DTI fraudulent trading prosecution ever. The client was delighted with the £10 confiscation order made against him.
Other Interesting Cases:
R V K: we were retained by prominent Yemenis in order to advance and protect their interests in relation to the alleged murder of a Norwegian student in London.
R v S: We secured the acquittal of a civil engineer charged with murder. We questioned and challenged the medical and scientific cause of death; and undermined the testimonies of more than 100 eyewitnesses to the assault. The defence lawyer assigned to this case vigorously pursued a line of investigation and investigated the treatment provided by the hospital to establish whether anything was done by the paramedics and hospital doctors that could have triggered or accelerated death of the deceased i.e. medical negligence or some other medical peculiarity. Much of this case centred upon fine analysis of eyewitness accounts and cross-referencing of eyewitness statements, with analysis of CCTV footage that captured the incident in Ludgate Hill.
R v W: W stood charged with three others on an indictment containing three counts. Our client and two others were charged with murder (count 1) and conspiracy to rob (count 2). The fourth defendant was charged with assisting an offender (count 3). W was placed at the scene of the murder and robbery by two persons known to him. In addition the cell site and mobile phone evidence placed him in the locality at the time of these offences. We skilfully and successfully challenged the identification evidence and explained the cell site and mobile phone evidence resulting in W being the only defendant to be acquitted of the charges.
R v P: Ms P was charged with four counts of money laundering. This case relates to commercial supply and importation of drugs; and large scale high value burglary. The proceeds were allegedly laundered through members of a South London family. The first trial was aborted during jury deliberations, because of concerns about the conduct of the officer in the case and alleged impropriety. Ms P was cleared of three counts and is due for re-trial in October 2008. Ms P¿s assets were restrained under a High Court Restraint Order and we persuaded the CPS to unfreeze her bank accounts after a long and arduous battle.
R v T: We successfully challenged the decision of Judge Roberts QC, sitting at the Old Bailey, where he extended custody time limit in our client¿s case. We mounted an application to judicially review Judge Robert¿s decision and secured our client¿s release from prison. We represented one of the defendants in a 24 multi-handed murder case, involving Somali youths. Our client was arrested as result of an altercation between rival groups of Somalis. He was part of a 30-40 strong Somali gang who stabbed the victim 32 times. The stabbing took place at night time in a crowded public place in Camden Town in 2006. This was a complicated case to piece together due to the time of night, the speed of the attack, and the number of persons involved.
R v I: We represented a young defendant in a multi-handed attempted murder case, involving the use of a machete. This case required forensic analysis of blood spatter evidence and an explanation from our lay client to explain the presence of the victim¿s blood on his clothing and shoes which, the prosecution forensic expert conceded in his evidence, was consistent with the blood pattern.
R v D: we represented the leading defendant in this enormous multi-million pound money laundering case. The case required us to analyse computer and paper based evidence in Spanish and English. We created multi-lingual teams of international lawyers to attack the Crown's case and significantly reduce the ambit of the allegation. The case attracted widespread international publicity and involved simultaneous arrests in London, Spain and Colombia.
R v D: we secured the acquittal in pre-trial legal argument of this alleged international letter of credit fraudster.
R v D: we secured the acquittal of a Court employee who was alleged to have influenced a jury as a result of her romantic involvement with one of the accused.
R v J: we defended one of the "Lavender Hill Mob", the most prolific counterfeiting gang detected by The Bank of England. Daniel Berman's role is documented in the novel "Funny Money".