Abbas Lakha QC is one of the UK’s leading silks. He is a Defence specialist, with a wide-ranging practice in all areas of serious and complex litigation.
He is particularly noted for his extensive experience in advising and representing Individuals and Corporations in Regulatory and Criminal Proceedings both Nationally and Internationally. His principal expertise relates to the representation of individuals who are being sued or prosecuted in relation to allegations of Financial Crime. Abbas has appeared in many of the country’s most high proﬁle fraud trials which frequently have international dimensions. He is regularly instructed to advise at the pre-investigative stages of cases. He is highly respected for his courtroom advocacy skills, his attention to detail on case preparation and his negotiating skills. He has experience of representing high proﬁle individuals for whom reputation management is a signiﬁcant concern.
Abbas has experience in, and advises on, all forms of asset tracing/asset recovery and forfeiture work including restraint and conﬁscation proceedings. He regularly advises City and International ﬁnancial institutions on all aspects of money laundering, corruption and fraud which includes developing and testing compliance programmes and policies that ensure compliance with the Bribery Act 2010 and foreign bribery and corruption legislation.
He has been instructed to appear before the Upper and Lower Tier Tribunals on behalf of individuals and Corporations in Tax and VAT related matters, and has represented individuals appearing before their Professional bodies and Tribunals on disciplinary matters.
Abbas Lakha QC was appointed an Inspector by the Department of Trade and Industry to conduct a lengthy investigation into Insider Dealing in the shares of a FTSE 100 Company in the lead up to its takeover.
1. INTERNATIONAL LITIGATION
- Re S ApS and others (Current) – Advising and representing a Danish Company and its Directors in relation to a worldwide freezing order and action by HMRC.
- R v Hunter (2012) – Represented an individual charged with Fraudulent Trading and contraventions of the general prohibition on regulated activity and on financial promotion contrary to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
- R v Thanos Papalexis (2009) – Advised on extradition from the United States of America in an International murder investigation.
- R v B & others (2008) – Advised and represented an individual in an International FBI investigation into global arms sales.
- R v Dara (2007) – Advised on and appealed against a European Arrest Warrant and Extradition request by the German authorities against a Pakistani National for allegedly exporting materials for use in the Pakistani Nuclear Weapons program.
2. FINANCIAL CRIME
- R v Goddard (Current) – Operation Vaulter – Represents a Company Director in a Prosecution brought by HM Revenue and Customs in a multi million pound contra trading MTIC fraud in the mobile phone industry.
- R v Azam Yaqoob (2009-Current) – Represented a Defendant in a Prosecution brought by Yorkshire Police alleging mortgage fraud (multiple mortgages) and criminal laundering of the proceeds of a banking fraud. The resulting conviction was overturned on Appeal and awaits retrial.
- R v Gathani (2010-2011) – Operation Inertia – Represented a Trader in a Prosecution brought by HM Revenue and Customs in a contra trading MTIC fraud in the mobile phone industry with a revenue loss of £120 million.
- R v Hague (2010-2011) – Operation District – Represented a Defendant in a Prosecution brought by HM Revenue and Customs involving a multi million pound VAT fraud in the automobile industry.
- R v Mahmood Yaqoob (2010) – Represented a Prison Governor in a Prosecution brought by Yorkshire Police alleging mortgage fraud (multiple mortgages) resulting in an acquittal.
- R v Williamson (2009) – Represented an Accountant in a Prosecution brought by HM Revenue and Customs alleging a conspiracy to cheat the Revenue. Case collapsed as a result of disclosure issues raised by the Defence.
- R v Akhtar Hussain (2008) – Represented a Hawalla Banker on retrial (original conviction quashed on Appeal) in a Prosecution brought by HM Revenue and Customs in relation to the use of a hawalla banking money transmission bureaux for laundering £127 million of the proceeds of drugs and crime over a 3 year period. Successfully resisted a Prosecution application for £127 million conﬁscation order in the ensuing conﬁscation proceedings.
- R v Flint (2006) – represented a Defendant in a Prosecution brought by the Serious Fraud Oﬃce alleging a multi million pound Investment fraud.
- R v Sollazo (2004-2005) – represented an Accountant in a Prosecution brought by the Serious Fraud Oﬃce alleging a fraudulent diversion and use of funds obtained under the Landﬁll Tax Credit Scheme resulting in an acquittal.
- R v Scard (2003-2005) – the ‘Jubilee Line case’ – represented a London Underground Surveyor charged with corruption and conspiracy to defraud in relation to the construction of the Jubilee Line Extension. This was said to be the longest fraud trial ever prosecuted in England. The prosecution failed following successful defence legal arguments.
- R v. Sewell (2002) – the ‘London City Bond case’ –represented a Defendant in a Prosecution brought by HM Revenue and Customs in a multi million pound diversion and reclaim fraud and in the ensuing appeal against conviction and eventual successful stay of Prosecution on grounds of an Abuse of Process.
- R v Dowell (1999-2000) – the ‘London City Bond case’ – represented a Defendant on appeal against conviction and at the following abuse hearing resulting in a successful stay of Prosecution on grounds of Abuse of Process.
- R v Hormoz (1998-1999) – Operation Galleon – represented a Defendant in a Prosecution brought by HM Revenue and Customs alleging a multi million pound VAT & Excise diversion and reclaim fraud in the wine, beer and spirits trade.
- Operation Methuselah (1998) – represented a Defendant in a Prosecution brought by HM Revenue and Customs in a £20 million VAT fraud and money laundering case.
- R v Gursoy & Others – represented a Defendant in a Prosecution brought by HM Revenue and Customs in a multi million pound VAT & Tax Fraud in the rag trade.
3. CIVIL LITIGATION
- HMRC V S ApS and Others (Current) – is advising and representing a Danish Company and its Directors being sued by HMRC for fraud in the mobile phone industry with associated restraint proceedings in the UK and Denmark.
- IA Associates v HMRC (Current) – is representing a Company appealing against a decision to disallow a VAT reclaim on the grounds of constructive knowledge of fraud.
- Hawkeye v HMRC (Current) – is representing a Company appealing against a decision to disallow a VAT reclaim on the grounds of constructive knowledge of fraud.
- Atlantic Electronics Limited v HMRC (Current) – is representing a Company appealing against a decision to disallow a VAT reclaim on the grounds of constructive knowledge of fraud.
- Queens Counsel (2003).
- Inspector for the Department of Trade and Industry (2000).
- The Criminal Bar Association of England & Wales Co-opted Committee Member.
- The Bar Council of England & Wales VHCC Fees Committee.
- Member of the Corporate Crime Editorial Board of Lexis Nexis
- The Bar Council of England and Wales.
- The Criminal Bar Association.
- The European Criminal Bar Association.
- The International Criminal Defence Attorneys Association.
- International Bar Association.
- The Society of Black Lawyers.
- The Society of Asian Lawyers.