Jonathan Elystan Rees KC

Call 2000

"Outstandingly able."

Chambers and Partners 2019
Photo of Jonathan Elystan Rees KC

Practice Overview

Jonathan has a heavyweight practice in white collar, complex and serious crime, and has been involved in some of the most important authorities on fraud and costs in the criminal courts in recent years.

He is highly regarded as a specialist in regulatory prosecutions, being regularly instructed on behalf of local authority trading standards teams, environmental agencies and other government bodies. He has an outstanding reputation for representing police officers in criminal and gross misconduct proceedings, and acted in the UK’s biggest police corruption trial. Jonathan’s case history includes:

  • Defending in proceedings for the murder of an adopted infant daughter by a gay father; high profile and national media publicity; complex medical evidence (25 expert witnesses) relating to the cause of death and injuries (‘non-accidental head injury’ case);
  • Defending in a £35 million international money laundering prosecution involving cross-jurisdictional evidence (England, Netherlands, China and Pakistan);
  • Defending in a £170 million ‘blockbuster’ SFO fraud case, involving complex issues of planning law, mineral law, local government law, company law and international law – defendant acquitted with the SFO ordered to pay costs in excess of £3m;
  • Defending a former police Inspector accused of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in relation to a murder investigation in 1988-1990 which resulted in three men being convicted for the murder of a prostitute in Cardiff following alleged forging of witness statements and the use of oppression – acquitted after 4 month trial collapsed;
  • Prosecuting an international prostitution ring, involving Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Bulgaria, the Republic of Ireland, and UK; led a cross-jurisdictional team, with investigators from the Garda, the PSNI and the Serious Organised Crime Agency, resulting in a hidden assets confiscation order and a total of 17 years’ imprisonment for main offender;
  • Defending soldier accused of abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the Bread Basket Camp, Basra during the second Iraq war.