Exchange Chambers barristers act in Autofocus trial over ‘widespread perversion of justice’

February 13, 2017

John Charles Rees QC and Guy Vickers from Exchange Chambers are acting for Accident Exchange in a trial against seven former Autofocus employees for contempt of court at the Royal Courts of Justice.

In 2012, Accident Exchange brought the case against the defendants, including former operations director Elaine Walker, for allegedly doctoring credit hire rate evidence and lying about it in court.

Mr Justice Supperstone heard that Walker’s solicitors submitted an open letter to the court on 23 January admitting to allegations against her and inviting the court to issue directions in respect of costs and sentence.

Acting for Accident Exchange, John Charles Rees QC argued that sentencing should be passed with respect to the wider context of allegations alluded to by Walker in her affirmation to the court, not just to the two cases admitted to in the open letter.

He said: “She is admitting to these two cases. She was director of the company, and evidence shows to a large extent that she was controlling dishonest working practices.

“Clearly the allegation is wider than the schedule itself. The schedule contains only an indicative sample. This is not one person acting on their own, this was endemic. This was the whole staff acting in this way.

“She has made voluminous admissions to being involved in a widespread perversion of justice in courts up and down the country. It would be wholly wrong not to sentence her against that background.”

Elaine Walker will be sentenced at the conclusion of the Trial against the other 6 defendants.

The other defendants are Duncan Sadler, David James, Keel Broom, Nathan George-Broom, Andy Watts and Laurence Gray.

The trial is expected to last 8 weeks.