Christopher Henley QC

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Fraud and Financial Crime

Extensive experience in fraud and financial crime of all categories. Instructed as leading counsel to defend allegations of fraudulent trading brought by the Serious Fraud Office and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, MTIC fraud, ‘Boiler room’ fraud, duty evasion and diversion fraud, advance fee fraud, commercial mortgage fraud, tax and VAT fraud, and money laundering.

Current instructions include the representation of a construction manager charged with conspiracy to fraudulently evade income tax and VAT arising out multi-million pound Motorway contracts. These complex allegations involve fraudulent payments to ‘missing’ or hijacked companies within the construction industry over a number of years. 

Recent cases include:

R v Josh Kopp and 3 others (2017) Southwark CC - £45 million VAT fraud

R v JG and 11 others (2016) Southwark CC - Multi-million fraud (£40 Million) on Barclays. Mortgages raised on multiple high value properties in Mayfair and Kensington. JG, professional valuer, alleged to have provided dishonest inflated valuations.

R v Mehboob Akhtar & 10 others (2016) Birmingham CC - MA a revered 'holy man' and spiritual leader, thousands of followers. MA, members of his family and inner circle prosecuted for multiple commercial and residential mortgage frauds, tax fraud and money laundering.

R v N W-D Southwark CC (2015) - Tax fraud. N W-D financial adviser to city traders, investment in 'film schemes'. Two 10 week trials.

HMRC V John Beatty and 19 others (2014). 4 month trial. Leading counsel for JB, acquitted of conspiracy to evade income tax and VAT. 17 defendants convicted of multi-million construction industry fraud.

R v N.O. (2013/14) - Leading counsel for NO, long-term target of covert surveillance operation. Alleged to be main supplier of class A drugs within Derbyshire area. Allegations of conspiracy and money laundering. 16 co-defendants.

R v Munir Farooqi (2014) - Leading counsel. Successfully opposed the counter-terrorism unit's application to seize the Farooqi family home. High Court Judge refused to order forfeiture.

R v S.M. (2014) - SM acquitted of money laudering proceeds of son's drug business'.

R v Kim West (2013) £multi-million duty evasion.

R v Omer Butt and others (2012) – Leading counsel for the main defendant. OB, a dentist was accused of conspiracy to defraud the Bury Primary Care Trust of hundreds of thousands of pounds, and of false accounting. OB owned the largest dental practice in the Bury PCT area. Case involved extensive analysis of the new General Dental Contract, introduced in 2006. Allegation of conspiracy to defraud stayed as an abuse of process following lengthy legal argument and expert evidence. No evidence offered on false accounting. Trial fixed for three months.   For press coverage, see: Manchester Evening News - Dentist is arrested in NHS fraud plot probe

R v Derek Arnold and others  (2012) – Leading counsel for DA. Conspiracy to defraud the DWP of £1.8Million. DA and BB set up a company to employ and train individuals with disabilities. Massive claims for support workers, transport costs and equipment submitted under the Access to Work scheme. Two month trial. For press coverage, see: The Daily Mail - 'Disability champions' jailed for claiming £1.8MILLION in benefits to fund luxury cars, scuba diving and a penthouse apartment. 

Dept for Business Innovation and Skills v Andrew Booth and others (2012) – Leading counsel representing Company Director in four month trial. Allegations of fraudulent trading, fraud, perjury and theft, two substantial insurance companies with off-shore structures collapsed. Issues relating to ownership, control, defrauding creditors, perjury in High Court Proceedings. Acquitted of two of the three principal allegations. Tens of thousands of pages of evidence.

Coventry Trading Standards v Dr Vincent McKee (2012) – Dr Mckee an academic and three times Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate was charged with 34 counts of fraud, and other related offences. VM was the Chief Executive and Director of a Tutoring Company (ICUT ). UAT was the subject of repeated complaints of dishonest practises and overcharging. VM was investigated by Sky News. 7 week trial. For press coverage, see: Sky News - Lib Dem Candidate in tutition fees scam.

R v Said Bouzemada (2011) – Conspiracy to defraud the Islamic Bank of Britain

SFO v Paul Murphy (2011) - Leading counsel. SFO prosecution for 'boiler room' fraud.

Regina v Scott Henderson (2011) – Leading counsel. Defendant alleged to have played a senior role in a 'boiler room' fraud operated from Spain

R v Sales (2011) – allegations of internet based conspiracy to provide false identities and documentation to facilitate fraud. Multi-million pound losses alleged.

R v Rasool (2011) – acquitted of involvement conspiracy to defraud, involving the wholesale compromise of the CHIP and PIN system. Loss alleged to be in the region of £50 million.

R v Allard (2010) – acquitted of duty evasion and diversion fraud. The two co-defendants were convicted.

R v Smith (2009) – acquitted of defrauding HSBC.

R v Green (2009) – SFO prosecution alleging fraudulent trading. Successful companies acquired and then systematically stripped of their assets. 

R v Bardwell (2009) – Leading counsel for ‘inside man’ acquitted of laundering the proceeds of fuel stolen from an oil refinery in the Thames estuary.

R v Razzaq (2009) – principal defendant in advance fee fraud.

R v Nung (2008) – Leading counsel for main defendant alleged to be in charge of a network of businesses established to launder the proceeds of drug crime. Nung was acquitted of all charges including money laundering and fraud. This was the largest financial enquiry conducted by Norfolk police.

R v Ellis (2008) – Company director acquitted of factoring fraud. Two co-defendants pleaded guilty.

R v Leedham (2007) – the owner of a dairy charged with PAYE and revenue fraud.

R v Ali (2007) – Leading counsel for principal defendant in a family charged with multiple mortgage fraud and benefit fraud.