John Charles Rees QC specialises in heavy crime, with a particular emphasis on serious fraud. He has taken on HMRC in several MTIC (carousel fraud) cases and the SFO in serious fraud cases such as the “IKEA”, “IMPERIUM CORPORATION” and “R v HUMPHREYS aka WELSH MINING” cases. He has an enviable success rate, and considered to a go-to silk for matters of the utmost gravity. He has represented several solicitors charged either with defrauding the legal aid fund or private clients, with a 100% success rate. He has been involved in numerous, high profile murder trials.
His main areas of practice include:
- Serious crime
- Serious fraud
- Regulatory / Compliance
- Asset forfeiture
- Prison law
R v John Actie and others – John Actie was acquitted of murder by jury after; 3 defendants found guilty but convictions by Court of Appeal; case has become known as “the Cardiff three”.
R v Ali – the “body in the carpet” case; Ali was convicted of murder by jury; JCR was instructed to represent him on appeal; conviction for murder quashed.
R v Jonathan Jones – Jones was convicted of double murder by jury; convictions quashed on appeal.
R v Burke – Burke was a teacher at a children’s home; he was charged with numerous offences of child abuse (boys) of the most serious nature; it was even alleged that one of his victims was killed to teach him a lesson; JCR’s cross‐examination of the alleged victims was so successful the High Court judge who was trying the case allowed a submission of no case to answer and he was acquitted of all charges.
R v Jolley – Jolley was the headmaster of a care home; he was charged with numerous offences of child sex abuse (girls); JCR cross examined the first alleged victim to such effect that she refused to return to court to continue giving her evidence; as a result the prosecution offered no evidence against Jolley and he was acquitted of all charges.
R v Staines – defendant acquitted by jury after 12 month trial of conspiracy to defraud the legal aid fund. It was alleged he was 1 of 2 principal conspirators and that it was the biggest legal aid fraud to be prosecuted.
R v Humphreys – conspiracy to defraud (£150 million plus) known as the Welsh Mining Case. Successfully applied to dismiss the case and in the process got a landmark ruling from the judge (Hickinbottom J) limiting the ambit of conspiracy to defraud. Thereafter successfully opposed an application by the SFO for a voluntary bill of indictment and in the process obtained an important ruling from Lord Justice Fulford setting out the limited circumstances in which a voluntary bill would be granted. Thereafter obtained orders for costs (approx. £1m) against the SFO in respect of the proceedings and the application for the voluntary bill and in the process obtained important rulings from Hickinbottom J in respect of s.19 Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 and quantum of costs.
R v James – senior solicitor charged with money laundering offence. Successfully applied to dismiss the case. Thereafter, obtained an order for costs against the CPS pursuant to s.19 Prosecution of Offences Act 1985.
R v Carney – Carney was charged with fraud offences; submissions of law made on his behalf were accepted by the judge who stayed all charges.
R v Ward – Ward was charged with serious fraud offences; submissions of law made on his behalf were accepted by the judge whereupon the prosecution offered no evidence and Ward was acquitted on all charges.
R v Chandoo and others – very substantial MTIC fraud alleged; High Court Judge stayed proceedings as an abuse of process finding that Customs Officers and others had lied in respect of disclosure of information.
R v – and others – very substantial fraud alleged; known as “the Ikea” case; during proceedings JCR took numerous points regarding disclosure; the case went to the House of Lords in respect of the jursidiction to hear an interlocutory appeal in respect of disclosure; although the prosecution alleged that Hauxwell‐Smith was one of the major players in the fraud they eventually offered no evidence against her and she was acquitted of all charges.
R v Raven – the “Imperium Corporation” case; Raven and others were charged with a fraud running into £100s of millions; JCR took numerous points regarding disclosure; eventually the prosecution offered no evidence against Raven and he was acquitted of all charges.