Serious & Organised Crime
Chambers has a formidable reputation in the prosecution and defence of allegations of serious and organised crime, with our practitioners providing advice and representation of the very highest quality in the most serious high-profile criminal trials of this nature throughout the UK and abroad.
All Recent Cases
R v. B [Wood Green] 2017
Money Laundering over £200,000 in cash
Senghin Kong prosecuted B for possession of criminal property following the seizure of over £200,000 in cash during the course of a joint National Crime Agency / Metropolitan Police operation. Instructed by CPS London.
R v. Whitlock & Baker [Blackfriars] 2017
Escape from HMP Pentonville
R v MT & Ors [Blackfriars] 2017
Kidnap and Blackmail
James Martin was junior alone in this case that was said to involve a gang related kidnap and blackmail that was connected to the distribution of drugs. Case against MT was built on the concept of Joint Enterprise. Said to have allowed her house to be used by other members to kidnap, attack and blackmail another. Unanimously acquitted by the Jury. Instructed by Hodge Jones Allen.
R v. Khan & Barclay [C.C.C.] 2017
Catherine Farrelly was prosecution Counsel in this trial of two defendants for the pre-meditated revenge stabbing of another in connection with a drug-deal gone awry. The case involved the analysis of a significant amount of telephone evidence in addition to expert cell site and voice recognition evidence.
R v. MB & ors [Croydon] 2017
Cash in Transit Robberies
Gordon Carse defended in this multi-handed conspiracy to commit cash in transit robberies. The defendant and his team were alleged to be responsible for all cash in transit robberies in the South East of England in the first half of 2016. Following halftime submissions verdicts of not guilty were directed by the Learned Judge. Instructed by Goldkorns.
R v MS & Ors [Southwark] 2017
Conspiracy to Steal and Burgle
James Martin leading Lizzie Wilson as led Junior. Case involved allegations that MS was the leading figure in a conspiracy to steal to order high value motor cars either by keyless thefts or by burglaries where the car keys were stolen. It was a sophisticated operation where cars were stolen to order which had a total value of well over £2m
Operation Kilburn [Maidstone] 2016
R v. Weise [Canterbury] 2016
Importation of 42 kilos Class A drugs
Sue Rodham defended this German National whom was acquitted by the jury for his alleged role in the importation of 42 kilos of class A drugs through the "EuroTunnel" port in Kent. Instructed by Sternberg Reed Solicitors.
Operation Slate [Wood Green] 2016
Conspiracy to Supply Class A drugs
R v. Miah [Bristol] 2016
Conspiracy to supply class A drugs
Paul Jackson represented a male accused of being the leader of a London based gang that supplied huge quantities of class A drugs to Swindon as part of a multi-handed conspiracy. This case centred around the close analysis of cell site evidence.
R v. MSA & ors [Croydon] 2016
Conspiracy to Supply Firearms
Sue Rodham successfully represented this defendant whom was cleared of any involvement in trading firearms after detectives uncovered their stash of hand guns, 300 ammunition rounds, thousands of bullet casings and a bomb-making manual. Instructed by Goldkorns.
R v. Eren & ors [Wood Green] 2016
Plan to commit armed escape from Wood Green Crown Court
Jonathan Polnay prosecuted this six-handed conspiracy to escape and possession of imitation firerarm case at the Crown Court at Woolwich, as a sole junior. The case centred around a plot to free Izzet Eren whilst he was being transported to Crown Court at Wood Green to be sentenced for firearms offences. During the police police operation to disrupt the planned offence, a firearms officer shot dead a man in the car with the conspirators.
Operation Volmar [Croydon] 2016
Conspiracies to Facilitate illegal entry
Irshad Sheikh defended in this substantial conspiracy to obtain vast sums from local authorities and individuals through carers recruited in breach of immigration law and the consequent laundering of the criminal proceeds . Instructed by EBR Attridge.
R v. S & ors [Snaresbrook] 2016
Jeffrey Israel was defence Counsel in this 3 month guns and ammunition conspiracy.
R v. Vassell & ors [C.C.C.] 2016
6-handed kidnap, torture and blackmail
Jonathan Polnay successfully prosecuted this 6-handed kidnap, blackmail and torture case at the Central Criminal Court. Following a perceived drug debt, the Defendants kidnapped the victim and held him hostage. He was made the subejct of numerous sadistic assaults when the demanded ransom was not paid.
R v. O [Croydon] 2016
NCA Drugs Operation
Senghin Kong instructed to prosecute the last defendant charged in a substantial NCA drugs operation. The case involved complex cell site and telephone evidence. Instructed by CPS Organised Crime Division.
R v. Arthy & ors [C.C.C.] 2016
Conspiracy to import Firearms
Charlotte Newell appeared for the defence of a female defendant accused and cleared of conspiring to import vast amounts of automatic weaponry after a lengthy Old Bailey trial. Instructed by Thos Boyd Whyte.
Operation Linear [Nottingham] 2016
Rape and human trafficking
Prosecution by Queen’s Counsel of 23 defendants charged on an 80 count indictment. Orla Daly acted unled in defence of the second defendant, a 17 year old facing allegations including rape and human trafficking. Successful abuse of process application was appealed by the prosecution. Continued to act in the Court of Appeal where the Crown Court judge’s ruling was upheld in all but one respect. Complex case involving issues of capacity and consent as well as abuse of process. Now a leading case on indecent images: R v W (P) & others (2016) 2 Cr App. R. 27. Instructed by EBR Attridge LLP.
R v. Bucur & ors [Southwark] 2016
Rishi Nathwani, leading Hannah Wyatt, represented 1 of 9 Defendants charged with people trafficking for sexual exploitation and linked controlling prostitution charges. Successfully applied to dismiss three of the four counts faced by the Defendant. Thereafter, the Crown’s main evidence was successfully excluded, some of which related to complex hearsay arguments. After further legal arguments relating to disclosure and admissibility of evidence that had been tampered with by the Investigating officers, the jury were discharged after 12 days and the Crown formally offered no evidence to the remaining counts faced by this client. Instructed by Hodge Jones Allen.
R v. Campbell & ors [Birmingham] 2016
Conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs
James Martin instructed as junior alone. Large scale conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs.
R v. Owen & ors [C.C.C.] 2016
Largest ever importation of firearms into the UK
James Martin instructed as junior alone. Largest ever importation of firearms into the UK. Weapons were military grade assault rifles of the type that could have been used in a "Paris Style" attack on the UK mainland. Weapons were smuggled in to the country on a boat into Kent where they were intercepted by armed under cover officers
R v. Anwar & ors [C.C.C.] 2016
Catherine Farrelly leading Senghin Kong in this prosecution of 6 defendants on charges including attempted murder, possession of a firearm with intent to commit robbery and conspiracy to rob. At the close of the prosecution case the learned Judge upheld submissions of no case to answer on the charges of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to commit robbery. As a result the prosecution appealed this at an expedited hearing. The Court of Appeal allowed the prosecution appeal and the trial continued on all charges. Leveson LJ gave the judgment of the court reported here. The 6 defendants were eventually convicted of possession of a firearm with intent to commit robbery and conspiracy to rob. The case involved complex cell site evidence and legal argument. Guardian report here.
Operation Peltier 2016
Gordon Carse instructed as prosecution counsel in this multi-handed prosecution founded on a joint investigation between the Hungarian and Metropolitan police into the trafficking of around 200 woman for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The trial is estimated to last several months.
R v. V C & 8 ors [Southwark] 2016
James Martin appeared as leading counsel. 9 defendants charged with people trafficking for the purposes of prostitution and money laundering the proceeds. This case involved a protracted investigation into the alleged conspirators. The evidence centred around flight manifests, Money transfer records, mobile phone downloads and anonymous hearsay evidence taken from internet companies that advertised the prostitutes said to be under the control of the defendants. After substantial legal argument the Crown were persuaded to drop the case against this defendant.
Operation Sifiye [Snaresbrook] 2016
Conspiracy to import cocaine
R v. J & ors [Isleworth] 2016
Supply of Firearms & Ammunition
Robert Ellison led Dickon Reid in this case involving four defendants charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, possession of cannabis with intent to supply and with the supply of firearms and ammunition. The defendants were accused of robbing drug dealers at gunpoint of cash and drugs.
R v. M & ors [Snaresbrook] 2016
Conspiracies to Rob
Dickon Reid was led by Peter Clement in this case involving six defendants charged with conspiracy to rob. The defendants were part of a group responsible for a number of robberies in East London during which victims were attacked with a baseball bat.
R v. AS & 17ors [Cambridge] 2015
conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs
Irshad Sheikh defended in this conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs – a case involving many hours of covert audio recordings and over 50,000 pages of statements and documentary exhibits.Instructed by Bailey Nicholson Grayson.
R v. Shaibu & Nelson [C.C.C.] 2015
Discharge of automatic weapons at PCSO
Jonathan Polnay prosecuted this two handed trial at the Old Bailey involving a proposed revenge attack to seek retribution on a group they believed was responsible for assaulting one of their gang associates armed with a submachine gun. A PCSO who heard the altercation intervened and was shot at but was unhurt. The defendants were jailed for 24 years & 12 years.
R v. K & ors [Bristol] 2015
Manufacture of Crystal Meth
R v. W & ors [Bristol] 2015
Conspiracy to Supply Drugs
Operation Crow [Maidstone] 2015
Conspiracy to import cocaine
R v. RS & ors [Snaresbrook] 2015
Firearms & Drugs Conspiracies
Jeffrey Israel defended in a number of linked trials that involve allegations of conspiracy to transfer guns and ammunition, as well as vast quantities of cocaine and heroin. Much of the evidence revolves around telephone schedules.
R v. Dirda & ors [Canterbury] 2015
Jonathan Higgs QC leading Paul Jackson in the defence of male charged along with others with rape and enforced prostitution. The complainant alleged that when she was 13 years old she was forced to consume class A drugs, forced into prostitution and raped on multiple occasions. The trial was stopped after 2 months at half-time following successful submissions of no case to answer based on the unreliability of the complainant. This case included the cross-examination of a vulnerable 16 year old witness through an interpreter and intermediary and application for third party disclosure from a different country. The served unused disclosure amounted to thousands of pages in this case. Instructed by TS Law. News report here.
R v. Ymeraj & ors [Portsmouth] 2015
Paul Walker acted as eading junior for the “Albanian connection” in a 14 handed conspiracy to supply cocaine trial. The case concerned a “multi million pound” drugs operation and lasted for 8 weeks. Instructed by Edward Hayes LLP, junior Hannah Smith.
R v. S [Inner London] 2015
Conspiracy to Supply Drugs
Senghin Kong prosecuted a defendant for possession of over £20,000 worth of Class A drugs with intent to supply and possession of a loaded firearm with intent to endanger life.
R v. S 2015
Ben Holt prosecution counsel in an armed robbery trial. Crown’s case relied solely on ANPR, cell site and other circumstantial evidence. Defendant convicted and imprisoned for life.
R v. Galvin & ors [Cambridge] 2015
Conspiracy to supply A and C drugs
James Martin appeared as defence counsel in a multi-handed conspiracy to supply cannabis and cocaine. This was a large intelligence led operation which centred on the activities of one of the defendants said to be the head of an organised crime group which was supplying large quantities of both Cocaine and Cannabis. The key evidence came from a combination of phone/cell site evidence and the product of a covert listening device placed in the car of the lead defendant.
R v. M & ors [C.C.C.] 2015
Alison Wilkes instructed as sole prosecutor on a five-handed trial at the Central Criminal Court. 2 armed robberies of a Bangladeshi money transfer business in which £340,000 was stolen. Case built on CCTV together with cell site evidence and call pattern analysis. Evidence of lifestyle and post-offence spending a particular issue.
R v. O & ors [Snaresbrook] 2015
Drugs, Kidnap & Wounding
Christopher Sutton-Mattocks led Andrew Collings on the first trial who then led Samantha Bonner in a long running trial and re-trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court involving multiple incidents of kidnapping false imprisonment and GBH over a failed drug deal. Those kidnapped were burned to the face and body with irons whilst falsely imprisoned.
R v. N & ors [Bristol] 2015
Conspiracy to produce crystal methamphetamine, amphetamine and MDMA
Pieter Briegel led Hannah Wyatt in this 12 week Bristol trial, defending a senior member of a conspiracy to produce crystal methamphetamine, amphetamine and MDMA. An unusual case due to the lack of knowledge about crystal methamphetamine in the UK and involving over 500 hours of covert audio recordings. Instructed by Blackfords LLP.
R v. S [Guildford] 2015
Conspiracy to burgle high value motor vehicles
Senghin Kong represented one of five defendants charged with conspiracy to burgle high value motor vehicles worth over £100,000. Following negotiation, there was a plea on a basis which resulted in a suspended sentence. Instructed by Thomas Boyd Whyte Solicitors.
R v. Cohen & ors [Kingston] 2015
Conspiracies to commit Armed Robbery
Jonathan Higgs QC defended a Hatton Garden jeweller in a long running Kingston trial involving armed robberries upon Mappin & Webb in the City, Prada and Jimmy Choo in Bond Street and Alexander McQueen's wharehouse in Islington. Instructed by Blackfords LLP.
R v. Castano & ors [Snaresbrook] 2015
Supply of Cocaine
Catherine Farrelly was instructed for Prosecution in this cases involving four defendants in relation to the supply of 1 kilogram of cocaine with an estimated street value of £100,000.
R v. T.N & ors [Wood Green] 2014
Conspiracy to Steal High Value Motor Vehicles
Irshad Sheikh represented this defendant on a Long running Wood Green trial involving a large-scale conspiracy to steal £10m worth of high value motor vehicles such Range Rovers and Ferrari's.
R v. AB 2014
Possession of firearm with intent to endanger life
Gordon Carse appeared as sole prosecution counsel in a possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life trial. This prosecution arose from an Operation Trident investigation and related to a loaded sawn off shotgun and ammunition. The case relied upon interpretation of DNA evidence and resulted in a conviction.
Operation Listado 2014
Conspiracy to supply of class A drugs
Gordon Carse instructed as sole counsel by the defence in multi-handed, multi-kilo supply of cocaine trial. This observation case placed significant reliance on covert listening devices, cell site evidence, ANPR records, call data and text messages. The defendant was the only one acquitted.
Operation Kennedy [Portsmouth] 2014
Conspiracy to supply class A drugs
Gordon Carse led Ben Holt for the defence in this multi-handed Class A conspiracy trial. The defendant was alleged to have been part of a conspiracy to supply over £600,000 of cocaine in and around the Portsmouth area. The defendant’s involvement and role were underpinned by cocaine found in his possession, call data and text messages. The defendant was acquitted. Sentences totalling 54 years imprisonment were handed down.
R v. Kharrahassan & ors [C.C.C.] 2014
Importation of £5m of Cocaine
R v. T [Chelmsford] 2014
Firearms and drugs
Ben Holt represented a defendant charged with possession of firearm with intent to endanger life and drug supply offences. Convicted of the drug matters and simple possession of the gun. Sentenced to an eight-year term of imprisonment.
R v. Prospere [Turks & Caicos Islands] 2014
Supreme Court Providenciales
Fiona Ryan appeared at the Supreme Court Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, in respect of an armed robbery trial which stopped at half time following submission of no case to answer.
R v. B & ors [Basildon] 2014
Conspiracy to Supply Class A drugs
R v. Gibney & ors [C.C.C.] 2014
Kidnap & Blackmail
James Martin was junior alone in this Multi-handed conspiracy to Kidnap and Blackmail. This case concerned the enforcement of a drugs debt. The principle defendant was a drugs dealer and the man kidnaped dealt for him. He had built up a significant debt and was taken from the street and held for most of the day. His family were contacted and demands for money were made.
R v. Zharra & ors [Portsmouth] 2014
Conspiracy to Supply Class A drugs
Paul Walker led Charlotte Hole for the 2nd defendant in this large-scale conspiracy to supply cocaine, an 8 week "professional drug dealing" case. Paul Walker persuaded the crown to serve the full telephonic evidence totalling 20,000 pages. Despite his conviction and the crown`s allegation that he was a “major player” Mr Zharra received a sentence of only 8 years imprisonment following Paul`s plea in mitigation.The 1st defendant received a sentence of 15 years.
R v RW & ors [Bristol] 2014
£20m Conspiracy to Supply Heroin
Jeffrey Israel represented the main defendant in one of the largest ever UK conspiracies to supply heroin (80kgs) worth £20m.
R v. Cisse & 5 ors [Croydon] 2014
Conspiracies to commit armed robberies
Robert Ellison acted as leading junior. A conspiracy to commit armed robberies. Issues included complex circumstantial evidence based upon telephone data and data from vehicle security tracking systems.
Operation Arrow [Bristol] 2014
Large Scale International Drug Importation
Jeffrey Israel was instructed for the defence in this 8 week trial involving the supply of huge quantities of cocaine at 98% purity, as well as possession of firearms. Instructed by Thos Boyd Whyte.
R v. B & ors [Harrow] 2013
Bogus college immigration fraud
Jonathan Higgs QC led Jonathan Polnay and Senghin Kong prosecuting three defendants involved in running a bogus college for conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration. The defendants were convicted after a 3 month trial. The case involved complex legal argument in relation to Griffiths-type conspiracies and substantial disputed evidence from forensic accountants. Senghin Kong was instructed to prosecute the resulting 3 day confiscation hearing without a leader, against three QCs and juniors. Instructed by CPS Central Fraud Group.
R v. R & ors [Croydon] 2013
Catherine Pattison led Ben Holt for the prosecution in this 5-handed kidnap trial. This case involved counsel reviewing a considerable amount of unused material. This included downloads from over 40 mobile telephones.There were numerous issues relating to sensitive disclosure. The case against the defendants was solely reliant on cell-site and tracker evidence. One defendant was convicted and received a prison sentence of 12 years. Instructed to draft respondent’s notice to appeal. Leave refused; renewed in front of the full Court and refused. (Investigated by Kidnap & Special Investigation Unit of the Met, instructed by CPS SCU).
R v. F & ors [Canterbury] 2013
Conspiracy to assist Unlawful Immigration
Mark Dacey led Senghin Kong defending an accounts manager at a security company. The defendant was charged with two counts of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration. The allegation was that the company was receiving refugee passports unlawfully issued by a corrupt Home Office official. The defendant was acquitted of one of the counts at the close of the prosecution case following a successful submission of no case to answer, and acquitted of the other by the jury after a 3 month trial. Instructed by Thomas Boyd Whyte Solicitors.
R v. J & ors [Snaresbrook] 2013
Kidnap / False Imprisonment
Andrew Collings Successfully defended the first defendant in this 6 week kidnap / false imprisonment trial .Complicated factual background to case involving, “turf war “of rival drug gangs. High profile press interest as third defendant related to international singer.
R v. DT & ors [Bristol] 2013
Conspiracy to import cocaine
Jeffrey Israel defended in a large-scale nationwide cocaine conspiracy involving 11 defendants. The evidence comprised of telephone data from over 100 telephones and extensive covert surveillance.
R v. Osolase [Canterbury] 2013
Anthony Orchard QC was defence Counsel in this trial involving allegations of human trafficking, rape, sexual assaults and ritual assault (voodoo) relating to young girls trafficked from Nigeria via the UK to Europe. Issues dealt with included admissibility of overseas evidence; mobile telephone and cell site analysis; issues of character (defendant and witnesses); extensive video testimony and alleged organized ritual assault said to be used as a control mechanism.
Operation Shido 2012
Kidnap & Conspiracy to Rob
Rishi Nathwani represented one of 8 Defendants charged with conspiring to kidnap and rob a known drug dealer of over £1 million worth of cocaine and over £100k in cash. Trident officers conducted a surveillance operation on the Defendants, who themselves were conducting a surveillance operation on the intended target. This Defendant accepted purchasing a tracking device that was placed under the target's vehicle and also accepted travelling from London to Brighton around the same time as the target and his vehicle travelled to that location, with the Crown maintaining the purpose was to follow the target. Evidence against the Defendant also revolved around cell site data and text messages. 4 weeks into the trial, the Court (HHJ Stow) upheld a submission of no case to answer after careful cell site analysis. The Defendant was the only Defendant acquitted of all counts, with others receiving between 7-10 years imprisonment.
R v. Cleland & 6 ors [Ipswich] 2012
£3.3m Evasion of Duty
Mark Dacey defended in this lengthy trial of 7 men for the evasion of import duties on over 20 million smuggled cigarettes. Instructed by Thomas Boyd Whyte.
R v. Pooke [Maidstone] 2012
Conspiracy to commit Armed Robberies
James Martin Led by Trevor Burke QC in this conspiracy to commit armed robberies from 2001. Defendant was the only man not caught up in the original operation which produced four trials. There are issues of Abuse of Process and other complex issues relating to potential ramifications of the evidence given by other defendants in the original trials.
R v. RB & ors [Maidstone] 2012
Evasion of Duty
James Martin was junior alone in this multi-handed conspiracy to import counterfeit cigarettes worth several million pounds. Successfully defended man accused of being involved in a conspiracy to import lorry full of cigarettes. Main defendant was accused of being the centre of plan to use his legitimate haulage company to run large imports of counterfeit cigarettes into the UK from Europe.
R v. Dos Santos & ors [Blackfriars] 2012
Martin Hooper was leading counsel for the prosecution. This was an allegation of a large importation and conspiracy to distribute Crystal Meth. The trial lasted two months and resulted in convictions and sentences of up to 15 years. The case was referred to the Court of Appeal where the lord Chief Justice asked for the Crown to assist in sentencing guidelines. This is currently the leading authority on this topic.
R v. JB & ors [Croydon] 2011
Jeffrey Israel represented a man accused of trafficking over 50 women from Eastern Europe under false pretences and forcing them to work as prostitutes.
R v. RP & 11 ors [Manchester] 2010
Jeffrey Israel defended a young defendant (15) who was accused along with 12 others of conspiring to supply over 100 prohibited firearms including machine-guns and hand grenades between criminal gangs up and down the country. Enormous amounts of telephone evidence, surveillance evidence, CCTV, and complex ‘low copy’ DNA evidence.
R v. JK [Wood Green] 2009
Conspiracy to supply drugs
Valeria Swift instructed as defence junior in this conspiracy to supply drugs. Represented only defendant to be found not guilty in very long trial. Successful result contingent on careful analysis of telephone evidence and extensive intrusive surveillance authorised under RIPA.
R v. JK & ors [Reading] 2009
Conspiracy to supply drugs
Mark Dacey led Valeria Swift for the defence in this complex Conspiracy to supply drugs. They represented the only defendant to be found not guilty after a 3 month trial – successful result contingent on careful analysis of telephone evidence and extensive intrusive surveillance authorised under RIPA. Instructed by Dhanju Mclean.
Operation Deliver [C.C.C.] 2009
£53m Tonbridge Securitas Heist
R v. Pennells & ors [Winchester] 2005
Conspiracies to Rob
Martin Hooper was leading junior Counsel in this case involving allegations of large scale conspiracies to rob commercial premises of high value computer equipment. They involved challenging surveillance evidence including covert bugging, communication interception and PII issues. The trials lasted two and three months, both resulting in acquittals.
- Child Exploitation & Abuse
- Drugs Importation & Supply
- Human Trafficking & Slavery
- Kidnap & Blackmail
- Money Laundering