Internationally recognised as a leading practitioner in fraud and financial crime. ‘An extraordinary intellect and a magnificent advocate... Brilliant and charming in the courtroom… His paperwork is second to none’.

Charles is a prominent advocate, who specialises in cases of serious fraud, money laundering and revenue evasion. He is regularly instructed in serious criminal and regulatory cases of all kinds.

Combining extensive criminal experience with a background in civil and commercial law, he has also become a leading practitioner and recognised authority in the fields of civil fraud litigation, asset recovery, civil recovery and account freeing orders. He has recently led teams in the  private prosecution of serious fraud.

Charles has appeared in more than 85 serious fraud trials in his career including some of the leading cases of recent years and advised many other clients under investigation. He has represented politicians, solicitors, accountants and prominent figures in the city and insurance markets. AB, Chief Executive of a leading psychiatric hospital and a  client who received a public apology after his acquittal, described Charles as, ‘passionate and committed...(he) has natural talent of a very high order’. 

Charles’ recent work includes criminal aspects of insider dealing, rate manipulation, cross jurisdictional asset recovery, market manipulation and anti-competitive trading. He has advised banks and other financial institutions and has drafted asset recovery legislation for dependent territories and advised on the implementation of money laundering and mutual assistance regimes.

He also has extensive experience in cases of homicide, terrorism, serious violence and drug trafficking and has appeared in two major public enquiries.

Recent clients include News of the World news editor James Weatherup, James Gilmour inter-dealer broker acquitted in the LIBOR trial, JV, prominent defendant in major European corruption trial and IJ, accused of corruptly influencing cricket matches.

Charles frequently  contributes articles to Lexis on subjects relating to fraud and financial crime. He has written for the Money Laundering Quarterly review.

He regularly speaks to audiences in different parts of the world on subjects relating to fraud, money laundering and international asset recovery. 

Expertise
Fraud and Financial Crime

Charles’ experience in this field is extensive. It includes serious fraud cases of all types, including many of the  leading fraud trials of modern times.

His fraud clients include: 

  • a portfolio manager at BZW (R v. Borkum 1990)
  • a senior bank manager at Nat West (R v. Crowther 1991) 
  • a leading importer of Indian films (R v. Jumani 1990) 
  • the Chairman of Boodles (R v. Shand 2002) 
  • the director of a re-insurance brokerage at Lloyd’s (R v. Felstead 1997) 
  • the largest UK importer of tropical birds and parrots (R v. Hammond 1996) 
  • the director of a UK travel agency charged with defrauding German parent company (R v. Devlin 1997) 
  • the principal sub-contractor on the Millennium Dome site (R v. McHale 1999) 
  • a solicitor accused of laundering money for a major drugs syndicate (R v. McMaster 1998) 
  • an accountant accused of laundering money for a Colombian cartel (R v. Lyons 2001) 
  • a retired police officer accused of substantial revenue fraud (R v. McKelvie 1997/8) 
  • the managing director of a chain of employment agencies charged with fraudulent trading (R v. Strachan 1997) 
  • a solicitor accused of embezzling client funds on a substantial scale (R v. Harrison 2003) 
  • the owner of the Windmill Club (R v. Owide 2004) 
  • the auditor in the Jubilee Line Extension fraud (R v. Mills 2004/5) 
  • a Tower Hamlets councillor accused of financial corruption (R v. Uddin 2006) 
  • the director of a leading pharmaceuticals company (R v. F 2006-2008) 
  • the Chief Executive of a major psychiatric hospital (R v. AB 2009) 
  • an accountant accused of multi jurisdictional tax fraud (R v A 2014) 
  • a Customs officer accused of corruption and revenue fraud (R v TK 2014) 
  • a prominent IFA who promoted film investment schemes (R v NWD 2015) 
  • an Inter dealer broker charged in the LIBOR rate manipulation case (R v Gilmour 2015-16 ) 
  • an accountant employed in an ethical investment company (R v JB 2016- 17) 
  • the director and founder of the UK’s largest ‘umbrella’ employment agency (R v JC 2017) 
  • ‘Mr Lituania’ – a leading figure in a trial relating to bribery of Lithuanian government minsters and officials (R v JV 2018-19)

Large Revenue Fraud Cases include: 

  • R v. Green (1991)

  • R v. Boxall (1992)

  • R v. Andrews (1995) 
  • R v. Lowen (1998)

  • R v. Rose (2001)

  • R v. Smith (2001)

  • R v. Clodd-Broom (2003)
  • R v. G Smith (2005) 
  • R v. Fisher (2004/5)

  • R v. Jones (2006/7)

  • R v Koser (2008)
  • 
R v Mallourides (2010/11)
  • R v Mohammed (2011) 
  • R v Turner (2011)  
  • R v PS (2012)
R v H (2013/4)
R v M (2013)
R v NWD (2015) 
  • R v AA (2015/16)
  • R v JB (2016/7)
  • R v GC (2017) 
  • R v RC (2017)


Other Recent Fraud Work includes:

  • 
R v. Miller (1998) Prominent case about corruption in influential circles in the City.

  • R v. Stepnika and others (2000): Substantial money laundering by former Czech police officers.
  • R v. Colorado (2001) Vast Colombian money laundering case.

  • R v. Headley (2002) Laundering the proceeds of Europe’s largest armed robbery.

  • R v. Zone (2003) Recent test case on abuse of Local Authority Right to Buy scheme.

  • R v. Baldar (2005) Surgeon accused of obtaining 9 NHS posts by deception.

  • R v. M (2007) FSA/French Stock Exchange insider dealing inquiry.

  • R v. Thorne (2009) SFO Prosecution of leading UK car retailer.

  • R v. R (2009) SFO Prosecution of investment fraud.

  • R v H (2011/2012) SFO prosecution of Ponzi fraud

  • R v U (2012) Businessman acquitted in Ukrainian money laundering case’

  • R v S (2012) The first UK prosecution alleging artificial trade in carbon credit permits.
  • 
R v PM (2013) SFO prosecution of major investment fraud

  • R v AH (2015) Substantial mortgage fraud prosecution. 

Charles is currently advising a range of clients who are the subject to major fraud investigations.

Confiscation, Civil recovery and Asset Forfeiture

Charles  has acted and advised in a wide range of confiscation and civil recovery cases. He speaks regularly on these subjects to audiences from both the professional and financial world. He recently advised on the introduction of civil recovery regime in dependent territories and drafted legislation.

In 2016 and 2017, he represented US pension funds in relation to a substantial international fraud enquiry .

He is currently representing account holders in relation to a major NCA civil forfeiture case based upon allegations of political corruption in former Soviet states.

Commercial Fraud and Business Disputes

Charles has conducted and advised in  a wide range of civil cases relating  to fraud  and asset recovery. His recent work in this field includes 

PDL v Alexander Gutin and Crosspoint Ltd (2019)

Sullivan and others v Briggs (2019)

Burnley FC v Lloyds Bank (2017)

Trifanova v Kuznetsov (2015/16)

Private prosecutions

Charles has led teams conducting some of the largest modern private prosecutions in the area of serious fraud. His cases include 

Geraud UK Ltd v Bonnet, Burnett and another (2016-18)

ASM Ltd v Cable and Whaley (2016 - 19)

Terrorism

Charles has appeared in a number of prominent cases of terrorism . They include :

R v MD (1996) – Palestinian journalist accused of plot to bomb the Israeli embassy 

R v MA (2007) – 21/7 terrorist case 

R v HF (2011) – allegations of recruiting terrorists for Afghanstan 

R v JJ (2014) - Allegations of terrorism arising out of the conflict in Syria. Secondary School teacher accused of  two section 5 Terrorism Act 2006 offences. Extensive news coverage, see BBC News.

R v MHM (2017) – allegations of preparing serious acts of terrorism in the UK 
 

Homicide and Corporate Manslaughter

Charles has wide experience in cases of homicide. His cases include: 

R v. P (2003) - conspiracy to murder


R v. Osborne (2004) - well publicised intruder murder case

R v. Crawley (2004) – the ‘honeytrap’ murder trial


R v P (2006) – teenage gang murder trial


R v T (2007) – the Woodhams murder


R v Palmer (2009) - Colchester train manslaughter case


R v C (2009) – 'best friend’ murder case


R v N (2010) – low intelligence as diminished responsibility 

R v C (2010) – Dagenham sports club killing 

R v HEB (2011) – Forensic Medical Examiner charged with manslaughter by gross negligence following the death of a prisoner at Chelsea Police Station. BBC News and The Guardian

R v Z (2012) - Russian double murder


R v KD (2013) - Polish revenge murder trial


R v SP (2014) - alleged murder of antiques dealer 

R v ER (2019) – prominent allegation of murder by fire attack


R v H (2019/20) – complex ongoing murder trial 

Appeals and CCRC

Charles has  consistently undertaken appellate work arising from doubtful and unsafe convictions. Successful cases include:

R v. Milton (Privy Council 1996) – Jamaican murder conviction quashed


Loughran (1999) CLR 404 – conviction for rape quashed on new evidence. 

CCRC referrals include:


Mills and Poole The Times June 2003 – notorious miscarriage case

Re L – 2010 – conviction for fraud quashed on referral

Other notable appellate cases:


McMaster (1999) 1 Cr App Rep 402,


Re H The Times 18th March 1999,


R v A The Times Feb 11th 2009


R v Waller (2009) All ER (D) 16


R v Farooqi (2013) All ER 16

Public Law

Charles has appeared in two public inquiries. 

Extradition and Mutual Assistance

Charles’ cases include: 

Cyprus v R (2011)


Thailand v A (2011) – first Thai extradition request since Human Rights Act

Re K (2016/7) – prospective extradition to USA 

Appointments and Memberships

Charles has been a Bencher of Grays Inn since 2014.

He has acted as the Chair of Bar Council Investigation committee and member of FA panel.

Charles has consistently been identified by Chambers and Partners as a leading practitioner in both financial and general crime. He has been ranked in Band 1 for financial crime for the last 7 years. His recent Chambers and Partners’ endorsements include:

‘A top draw silk, who is sharp witted and personable in equal measure. He has the nicest manner with clients .. works tirelessly .’ (2020)

‘He has an extraordinary intellect and is a magnificent advocate. His written work is second to none...He is extremely bright and a good tactician... A very effective performer... brilliant and charming in the courtroom.’ (2019)

‘He is known for his superior intellect, careful attention to detail and great communication skills’ (2018)

‘Immensely impressive ...and tremendously hard-working’ (2018)

‘A lawyer with a brilliant mind and understated advocacy approach’ (2017)

‘He’s a devastating talent in and out of court.’ (2017)

‘A popular choice of silk for the defence of a variety of financial criminal charges, including those relating to rate manipulation, tax fraud and corruption ‘(2017)

‘His attention to details marks him out, as does his measured style in court.’ (2015)

‘A highly regarded criminal silk who focuses his practice on serious fraud defence. Instructing solicitors value his adept handling of complex cases.’ (2015)

‘A great strategist, with an exceptionally bright mind and great attention to detail.’ (2014)

‘He's incredibly clever and hard-working.’ (2014)

He ‘has a truly original mind and is destined to leave his mark at the Criminal Bar’ (2013)

Earlier editions described him as 'a well-known and highly respected figure, especially on the defence side of criminal fraud... he is known as ‘a good strategist who gets on very well with the jury’, ‘intelligent and thoughtful’ , ‘applauded for his impeccable standards’ and a ‘serious player who has extensive experience of serious fraud cases and is noted for his expertise in money laundering and revenue evasion’... ‘endorsed for his ‘sterling work in complex frauds and advice to corporate and individual clients in FSA proceedings’.

He is also recommended in the Legal 500 - particularly for his work in fraud, corruption and interest rate manipulation cases.
‘..he has a very attractive and understated way with the jury’ (2017)

‘His closing speeches leave you in awe.’(2015)

‘He fights like hell for his clients because he really cares about them’ (2015)