Andrew has particular expertise in high value fraud and financial crime for both the prosecution and defence. These include mortgage, VAT, financial services, investment fraud and fraudulent trading. He regularly receives instructions for advice pre-charge by the Serious Economic, Organised Crime and International Directorate (SEOCID), National Trading Standards (NTS) and National Trading Standards eCrime Team (NTSeCT).
In his work for the MMO, Andrew has dealt with and developed a unique understanding of wholly new areas of domestic and international law. In Op Iroko, he was instructed to provide pre-charge advice in the first prosecution of a business directly connected to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing off West Coast of Africa. He was notably instructed to advise the Falkland Islands Government in R v Baston and others, the first prosecution for deliberate targeting of fish without a licence.
Alongside his financial crime specialism, Andrew continues to act for individuals charged with serious and organised criminal offences, from murder and firearms cases to serious sexual offences and drugs conspiracies.
Andrew prides himself on his attention to detail, thorough preparation, his understanding of complex legal and evidential issues and his ability to resolve them.
R v Baston and others
Instructed by Falkland Islands Government to advise on prosecution of Spanish owners and operators of trawlers suspected of deliberate targeting of certain species of fish without required licence. Ds entered satisfactory guilty pleas following charging advice.
Operation Circus 2 (Birmingham Crown Court 2020-2022)
Prosecution of defendants charged with high value (£25.5 million) fraud and money laundering. Partner at London and US firm of solicitors used his position to persuade investors to invest in two allegedly ‘risk free’ trades. Funds sent to group in US without investors’ knowledge. He operated his own ‘Ponzi’ scheme on two other investment groups. Four defendants convicted after five-month trial. To be followed by two further trials in 2022 and 2023.
Operation Funder (Leeds Crown Court 2018)
Successful prosecution brought by National Trading Standards (NTS) eCrime Team of boiler room style fraud. Three Ds charged with conspiracy to defraud elderly and vulnerable members of the public to service and buy Dyson and Kirby vacuum cleaners. Principal D’s benefit about £1.5 million. Trial lasted eight weeks.
Operation Porcupine (Sheffield Crown Court 2017)
Leading Junior in prosecution of four Ds charged with fraud and fraudulent trading by taking steps to remove assets from their companies to avoid payments to their creditors. The case involved complex forensic accountancy and other expert financial evidence.
Operation Circus (Leeds Crown Court 2016-2018)
Leading Junior in successful prosecution of five Ds charged with a £6.5 million land fraud (in Panama) and investment (platform trading) fraud. The case lasted 6 months. Ds included Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) and a solicitor charged with offences of fraud and making misleading, false or deceptive statements contrary to section 397 (2) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The case required complicated and detailed analysis of the legislation. Successfully opposed all applications by the defence in relation to the operation of the legislation.
Operation Bamburgh (Newcastle) (Teesside Crown Court 2015)
Led by Jane Bewsey QC. Conspiracy to defraud by a number of corrupt professionals in North East acting in breach of their professional obligations arising out of a £110m mortgage fraud.
Operation Bamburgh (Durham) (Teesside Crown Court 2015)
Leading Junior in successful prosecution of four Ds charged with £1 million mortgage fraud in the North East. A number of different mortgage lenders were defrauded. The financial transactions in this case were numerous and complex. Trial lasted two months.
Operation Felucca (Leeds Crown Court 2014)
Leading Junior in successful prosecution of two brothers charged with fraudulent trading arising out of property investment fraud. Ds sold off-plan holiday properties in Bulgaria and Cape Verde to 72 victims diverting £1.6 million to pay off personal debts.
Operation Vetchball (Birmingham Crown Court 2014) and Vetchball 2 (Leeds Crown Court 2014)
Successful prosecution of four Ds convicted of multi-million pound conspiracies to evade excise duty payable on alcoholic drinks.
Operation Coil 2 (Teesside Crown Court 2014)
Leading Junior in successful prosecution of three Ds charged with defrauding a developmentagency (One North East) involving a sophisticated attempt to divert and misappropriate funds.
Operation Badger (Portsmouth Crown Court 2014)
Leading Junior in successful prosecution by the MMO of large-scale conspiracy to defraud. The case involved an elaborate scheme to defraud the British Government and the European Union of grant funding under European Fisheries Fund (EFF) using the clever manipulation of quotes for work done by different suppliers. It also involved expert evidence regarding the use of computers to further the fraud.
Operation Coil (Teesside Crown Court 2013)
Leading Junior in successful prosecution of a large-scale mortgage fraud by four Ds. Conspiracy to defraud different financial institutions involving false and hijacked identities. The case raised challenging issues relating to disclosure, and cut-throat defences.
Andrew is currently instructed in the following:
Ds accused of fraudulent trading and money laundering. First three Ds ran a series of businesses selling allegedly fraudulent property trusts to the elderly and vulnerable [worth over £5 million]. Claimed their products could avoid the payment of Care Home fees. Ds 4-6 qualified solicitors, who designed products for Ds 1-3. Required to deal with huge amount of digital information on Ds computer system for service/disclosure. Questions of legal professional privilege requiring appointment of independent Counsel. Difficult issues relating to expert evidence [whether any product could avoid payment of fees] and correct approach to use of such evidence by jury.
Andrew is also currently instructed pre-charge by SEOCID and HMRC to advise on prosecution of Ds involved in an allegedly significant money laundering operation (about £35 million).
R v Raine and others (Teesside Crown Court 2016)
Defence of award-winning sheep farmer charged with conspiracy to obtain stolen sheep by disguising them as his own, and then laundering the proceeds of their sale. Successfully raised legal argument to oppose form of indictment.
Op Teddington (R v Spence and others) (Leeds Crown Court 2011)
Led by Simon Bickler in the largest case ever prosecuted by the Leeds Complex Casework Unit arising from a covert police investigation involving the use of undercover police officers and technical surveillance. D accused of conspiracy to defraud creditors by complex web of offshore companies.
Operation District (Leeds Crown Court 2010)
Led by Guy Kearl QC. Three-month trial alleging an acquisition tax fraud with evasion of £11.3m VAT due on sales of car imported from the EU. D acquitted.
Leading Andrew Smith. Successful prosecution of seven defendants for murder of 16-year-old male in tit-for-tat violence between rival factions. Eighth defendant convicted of manslaughter. Complex issues of joint responsibility, bad character and ‘gang-related’ evidence.
R v DP and others (Newcastle Crown Court 2019)
D charged with conspiracy to murder, wounding with intent and rape of a male. P alleged D and co-accused conducted sustained physical, mental and sexual attack upon C, which involved stabbing him with knives and a screwdriver. They placed tape across his mouth, and his hands. They kept him at D’s house over number of hours during which they tortured him over an alleged drugs debt. Complex tactical issues arose when D’s initial defence that victim’s wounds were self- inflicted changed mid-trial after pathologist’s evidence. D subsequently admitted causing some of wounds but maintained co-accused must have caused the others.
R v SM (Kingston upon Hull Crown Court 2019)
D accused of the murder of her next-door neighbour. Struck her multiple times over head with a stone garden bird bath. D suffered from significant mental health issues, including a claim that she heard voices instructing her to kill the deceased, who she did not know. The case involved complex psychiatric evidence as to whether D’s responsibility for attack diminished by reason of abnormality of her mental functioning. Case involved correct interpretation and inter-relationship of/between sections 37, 41 and 45A [hospital/hybrid orders] of the Mental Health Act 1983.
Operation Shell (Teesside Crown Court 2018 – 2019)
Leading Counsel in successful prosecution of twelve Ds charged with conspiracy to supply 3.5 kilograms of heroin and cocaine. They used sophisticated methods to distribute the drugs to top tier dealers based in Liverpool, Teesside and Newcastle via couriers. Use of complex telephone/cell site, ANPR and covert surveillance evidence. Three separate trials, including money laundering offences against principal D and his wife, lasted 10 weeks.
R v NH (Bradford Crown Court 2018)
D accused of murder of his ex-partners daughter in Aldi supermarket in Skipton. D planned to kill deceased over two-week period in advance of attack. He bought a cross bow over the internet. He also armed himself with an axe. He made enquiries about buying a gun. He stabbed victim twelve times to her chest and abdomen. Successfully argued before CACD for reduction in minimum term.
[Section 269/Schedule 21to CJA 2003] of 30 years’ set by Crown Court.
R v DH (Blackfriars Crown Court 2018)
Defence of father (RAF serviceman) charged with non-recent rape of his daughter between the ages of 4 and 15. Cross border offending. Number of complaints made, and retracted, going back 30 years. Further complicated by prosecution going back on promise not to prosecute in 1995, and its loss of evidence at time. Abuse of process argument. D acquitted after two-week trial.
R v SL and NC (Doncaster Crown Court 2015)
Prosecution of two Ds charged with vaginal and anal rape. Prosecution case included CCTV footage and social media correspondence, hearsay evidence (significant witness in Mongolia) and complex issues relating to expert psychiatric and toxicology evidence on effects of alcohol on memory.