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Broad Street Bristol BS1 1DREmail
Philippa is an established criminal defence advocate, regularly instructed in complex and significant cases. In representing those accused in diverse cases from murder to drug conspiracies and cheating the public revenue, she has built a reputation for meticulous case preparation, strategic thinking, and determined and incisive defending.
Philippa has particular expertise in financial crime and in Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 cases, including the restraint, recovery, forfeiture or confiscation of assets. She has conducted substantial and high-profile cases of fraud, money laundering and bribery and is ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners for her specialism in fraud. She has gained recognition for her strength in marshalling and managing voluminous material, exacting case preparation, and intelligent and pithy advocacy. She has experience in representing and advising both individual and corporate clients.
Fraud & financial crime
Recent cases in fraud and financial crime include:
- Conspiracy to Cheat the Public Revenue c.£163mil – Represented the first defendant in a multi-handed HMRC fraud involving investments in carbon credit/medical research tax schemes;
- Conspiracy to money launder of value c.£25mil – Successfully represented the Defendant who was acquitted after a three-month trial for his role in an alcohol-smuggling conspiracy;
- VAT Fraud – Advised a large company in the construction industry regarding possible multi-million VAT fraud conducted by its contractors, whistleblowing, and the company’s liability under criminal law. Also conducted due diligence on the company’s VAT processes;
- Bribery and Corruption – Involved in pre-charge work for a well-known multi-national mining and energy company, under investigation by the SFO;
- Fraudulent Trading c£5mil – Defended a former UKIP councillor for fraudulent trading involving EU/Welsh government funding;
- VAT Fraud – Defended against allegation of multi-million pound international smuggling premised on months of probe recordings and police observations against the backdrop of the defendant’s former association with the IRA, and historical convictions for terrorist activity.
Philippa has a particular expertise in confiscation and ancillary proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Examples of her work include:
- Confiscation – Represented client convicted of fraud in POCA proceedings successfully reducing the benefit figure from £41 mil to £1.8mil;
- Restraint Order – Advised pre-charge client in respect of discharge of a restraint order;
- Contempt of Court – Represented a defendant in proceedings for breaches of his restraint order relating to the re-patriation of hidden assets from abroad;
- Confiscation Appeal – Represented client in the Court of Appeal challenging the benefit under POCA from criminal conduct in money laundering in the course of employment in a Money Services Bureau.
Other criminal cases
- Conspiracy to Burgle – Defended in a multi-handed, cross-border conspiracy to burgle trial involving numerous heists on warehouses containing high-value items, with burglars abseiling in through rooftop windows to evade the alarm systems (dubbed the ‘Mission Impossible’ burglars in press) including the stealing of antique books of international cultural significance (insured at £2mil), which were later recovered in Romania.
- Kidnap, Blackmail and False Imprisonment – Defended a youth in a multi-handed case alleging the violent kidnapping of two victims over a 24-hour period.
- Conspiracy to Murder – Defended a young man said to have stabbed the victim over 18 times in a turf war between drug gangs.
- Murder – Defended in historic re-trial for murder after the original conviction was overturned on appeal. The case involved issues of diminished responsibility, involuntary intoxication and loss of control arising from Alcohol Dependency Syndrome.
- Murder – Represented defendant in murder trial where the victim had been subjected to over 30 stab wounds with a pair of scissors, running defences of diminished responsibility and loss of control.
- Murder – Represented the defendant said to have murdered his wife in an ‘Honour Killing’.
- Murder Appeal – Acted in an appeal following a Criminal Cases Review Commission referral for historic murder premised on an alleged ‘cell confession’.
- Possession of a Firearm – Defended a case involving an undercover police operation into the wholesale supply of drugs, where a search of a ‘safe house’ revealed not only 1kg of high purity cocaine, but a loaded firearm with the defendant’s DNA, and bullets which had been fired.
- Importation of Cocaine – Represented lead defendant alleged to have masterminded importation of over 200kg of cocaine.
- Conspiracy to Supply Class-A drugs – Represented defendant indicted with conspiring to supply over 50kg heroin.
- Conspiracy to use an Explosive Substance – Represented serving life prisoner who was prosecuted by the Counter-Terrorism Division for conspiring with a fellow prisoner to send explosive substances in the form of letter bombs with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Employment & Professional Disciplinary
- Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal – Defended former owner of a Solicitors’ firm in a three-week trial against allegations of serious professional misconduct including dishonesty.
Philippa appears regularly in the Court of Appeal. She was a contributing author of Taylor on Criminal Appeals (second edition). In line with her recognised expertise, she advises in particular on matters of financial crime and confiscation. Notable appearances in Court of Appeal include:
- R v Fulton – Re: POCA 2002 and benefit from criminal conduct in money laundering in the course of employment in a Money Services Bureau;
- R v Edwards (Steadman) – CCRC referral of historic murder case involving alleged ‘cell confessions’;
- R v Lang & Ors – Guideline case on CJA 2003 ‘dangerousness’ provisions;
- R v Athwal – Guideline case on ‘recent fabrication’ and s120 CJA 2003.
Philippa undertakes work in Courts Martial and in Standing Civilian Courts.