John Carl Townsend

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Fraud and Financial Crime

Provides advice and representation to companies and individuals in relation to allegations of civil and criminal fraud. His civil practice includes representation in the Queen’s Bench and Chancery Division in connection with claims for deceit, breach of fiduciary duty, unlawful means conspiracy, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt. As a result of his dual practice John Carl has frequently advised on the difficulties arising from civil disclosure obligations in the context of concurrent and connected criminal investigations. His experience includes complex claims with pleaded losses in excess of £100m.

John Carl’s criminal fraud practice encompasses SFO investigations and all aspects of financial misconduct. He has advised on a number of occasions in relation to the assertion of privilege in investigations conducted pursuant to s.2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 and the process for identification of disclosable material. Notable cases have included:

Appearing for a defendant in an SFO fraud and money laundering trial where the total loss is said to amount to some £150m.

Successfully defending a former KPMG Director in a prosecution for internal fraud.

The representation of a former city CFO in respect of allegations of internal and inter-company fraud.

Representation of a defendant company director in a Chancery Division claim for breach of fiduciary duty by making a secret profit.

Contempt proceedings arising from alleged third-party disclosure failures in a £25 million SFO investigation.

Leading counsel for the 2nd Defendant in one of the largest sham marriage connected fraud prosecutions ever undertaken in the United Kingdom.

Representation of a former accountancy Partner in relation to a Chancery Division claim arising from the disposal of $8m of assets belonging to a US corporation.

Representation of the second defendant in a £14m multi-agency (HMRC, Home Office and DWP) fraud prosecution.

Commercial Court proceedings arising from a US$175m fraud.

Representation of a Director of home care provide Care First 24 regarding an allegation of criminal fraud and a separate count of money laundering relating to £2.5m of assets.