Ben Douglas-Jones

  email      029 2023 2032 

Practice Areas
Serious and complex fraud, bribery and corruption, serious crime, regulatory law, consumer law and human Rights.

Overview
Ben is highly recommended in Chambers UK and The Legal 500 for Fraud, Criminal and Consumer Law.

Ben defends professional and corporate clients including public limited companies. He practises in all fraud, including mortgage, Excise, Hawala, advance fee (419), boiler room, MTIC, NHS, dental, pharmaceutical, Internet, car-ringing, gambling, banking, cheque clearing cycle, insurance and banking fraud. He has vast experience in restraint, confiscation and receivership proceedings.

Ben’s regulatory practice extends to all areas of consumer law, with an emphasis on trade-marks and copyright law, criminal planning, food safety and environmental health.

In the last 3 years, Ben has appeared in over 20 reported human rights appeals, including the human trafficking cases and the leading asylum defence cases. Also At the invitation of the DPP, Ben has recently co-written the CPS Guidance on charging and prosecuting victims of human trafficking.

Ben prosecutes and defends in serious criminal cases, including murder, sexual and drug offences.

Ben conducts second-opinion defence appellate work where he did not appear in the Crown Court and is instructed by the CPS Appeals Unit in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

He also has significant expertise in miscarriage of justice work having represented Colin Stagg and secured his £706,000 compensation for Stagg’s wrongful indictment for the murder of Rachel Nickell.

Ben’s civil practice centres on judicial review and fraud.

Ben is also an attorney-at-law in Grenada, with rights of audience in the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal.

See
www.bendouglas-jones.com

Fraud
Ben’s notable cases include; SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE V O'BRIEN [2014] UKSC 23

Serious Fraud Office V O'Brien is a massive, landmark legal victory for the Serious Fraud Office. Ben, together with Edward Jenkins QC represented the SFO.

SFO Blockbuster Case Collapses

After five days of legal submissions, Mr Justice Hickinbottom has dismissed a charge of conspiracy to defraud against five defendants in a commercial transaction worth £170 million. The court's ruling was reported by the BBC and The Lawyer.

Operation Canister [2013-2014] Ben, leading Joanna James of Apex Chambers, representing the first of nine defendants in Operation Canister, a mobile telephone insurance fraud. The unused material in the case is reputedly more voluminous than in any other case investigated by the relevant Police force.

SFO v OB [2011-2014] [2012] EWCA Crim 67; [2012] 1 W.L.R. 3170; [2012] 3 All E.R. 999; [2012] Lloyd's Rep. F.C. 389 (judgment 1); [2012] EWCA Crim 901; [2012] 1 W.L.R. 3188; [2012] 3 All E.R. 1017; [2012] 4 Costs L.R. 678; [2012] 2 Cr. App. R. 29 (judgment 2). Ben, led by Edward Jenkins QC, successfully persuaded the Court of Appeal that the contempt of court constituted by a breach of a restraint order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The appeal of the decision was heard by the United Kingdom Supreme Court on 5th December 2013 and judgment is pending.

Operation Valgus [2008-2014] Ben, led by Patrick Harrington QC of Farrar’s Building and prosecuting for the Central Fraud Group recently secured convictions of five defendants in the first of three trials in Operation Valgus and seven defendants in the second trial.

Operation Valgus, a 14-handed mortgage fraud, is reportedly the biggest mortgage fraud ever tried in England and Wales, involving over 1,000 mortgages. It is the biggest fraud ever to have been investigated by North Wales Police.

Operation Hippolamp East [2012-2014] Ben recently represented a defendant in an Operation involving the production of Counterfeit Golden Virginia tobacco on an industrial scale in which £140 million pounds worth of Excise was evaded.

Operation Militia [2013 - 2014] Ben is prosecuting a defendant for the Organised Crime Division of the CPS HQ in Operation Militia. The Defendant is a cyber criminal who has pleaded guilty to Computer Misuse Act offences centring on the deployment of malware known as the Butterfly Bot to infiltrate the computers of thousands of victims.

Operation Ernest [2009-2013] £110 million con 'funded lavish lifestyles'. The confiscation orders made comprised the largest confiscation orders ever made in a Leicestershire Police case.

Serious Fraud Office v BH [2012-] Counsel for the SFO in £2.7 billion multi-jurisdictional proceedings bribery and corruption stemming from commodity dealing.

Regina v Keary [2012] Ben, prosecuting on behalf of the South East Complex Case Unit, successfully secured the conviction of a bank manager for manipulating the profiles of customers to steal money from HSBC over a number of years.

Serious Fraud Office v Baird [2011] EWCA Crim 459; [2011] 2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 78; 2011 WL 719506: Counsel for the SFO in an appeal against an 18-month sentence for breach of a restraint order in the context of boiler room fraud. Ben successfully persuaded the court to distinguish between coercive and punitive or deterrent sentences.

Operation Compost [2009-2010] As Defence Counsel, Ben secured the acquittal of the director of several allegedly fraudulent companies, on all charges following a complex three month trial at Liverpool Crown Court. The investigation commenced in 2006, charges of conspiracy to evade excise duty on diesel fuel and money laundering followed with the case concluding successfully for the Defence in November 2010.

Operation German Cars [2009-2010] Leading Counsel for the Crown in multi-jurisdictional car cloning fraud, involving high-end German cars.

Chesney’s Ltd v F & C [2009-2010] Counsel for 1st Defendant in alleged High Court Civil fraud by company finance director.

Regina v Mount [2008-2010] Leading Counsel for defence in multimillion pound mortgage fraud.

Regulatory Law
Ben works in association with London Corporate, a one-stop shop for corporate compliance.

He specialises in the provision of pre-emptive due-diligence and compliance advice in AML, bribery, fraud and all areas of the regulated sector. He also provides crisis advice to public and private limited companies facing possible investigation and represents prosecuting bodies and corporate and individual defendants in all courts.

Operation Albatross [2013-2014] Ben, instructed by Ayo Awoyungbo and Bryony Dean of the MHRA Unit of the Welfare, Rural and Health Division of CPS HQ, is currently prosecuting the directors of a company for illegally importing counterfeit Durex condoms. The operation has been the subject of a BBC Fake Britain documentary due to the public health implications of counterfeit contraceptives.

DBIS v Rees [2010-2012] Leading Defence Counsel in criminal proceedings involving the alleged breaches of a director’s disqualification order in the context of two separate companies.

Merton, LBC v Sinclair Collis Ltd [2010] EWHC 3089 (Admin); [2010] WLR (D) 286; [2010] All ER (D) 68 (Nov); [2011] 1 W.L.R. 1570; (2010) 175 J.P. 11. Ben and Edward Jenkins QC appeared for London Borough of Merton. They successfully argued that, notwithstanding the civil complaint procedure a sale of tobacco to a person under the age of 18 through a cigarette vending machine was capable of being an offence.

Operation Citrus / Bedford County Council v M [2011-2012] Restraint and Management Receivership Counsel in multimillion pound advance fee / consumer fraud.

Operation Cantonese [2007-2012] Counsel for Merton LBC and the Central Fraud Group in successful prosecution of three men for conspiracy to defraud through betting tipster and advance fee frauds relating to bloodstock. Confiscation involves tracing assets in the middle East and Cyprus.

Merton, LBC v Tesco Counsel for Local Authority in food safety case against Tesco, concerning its flagship store in New Malden, resulting in its highest fine ever for a food-safety offence.

Asset Recovery Agency v Green [2005] EWHC 3168 (Admin); 2005 WL 3719494; Times, February 27, 2006 Counsel for Respondent in largest civil recovery case of all time. Leading case defining “criminal property” in restraint (Part 5 of POCA).

Sexual Offences
Ben prosecutes and defends the most serious sexual cases in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal. Recent reported cases include R v P (October 2014), the leading case on handling of vulnerable witnesses in cases involving allegations of sexual offences; R v Cleobury [2012] Crim. L.R. 615, concerning the mishandling of DNA in the context of sexual offences; R v T [2011] EWCA Crim 2116, the first man ever extradited from Peru to the UK in the context of intra-familial rape; R v Guest [2011] EWCA Crim 1762, dangerousness in the context of sexual offences.

Violent Offences
Ben prosecutes and defends in homicide cases, attempted murder and serious violence; see R v Birchwood [2011] EWCA Crim 431, a forensically complex murder.

Drug Offences
Ben prosecutes and defends in the most serious drug offence cases.

As an example, between 2012 and 2014 he has successfully prosecuted joint NCA, Metropolitan Police and UKBA investigations involving 5 conjoined operations including Operations Tuna, Siberian and Cook, which involved the importation of tens of kilos of cocaine from the Caribbean and tonnes of cannabis from Africa. All defendants were convicted and received sentences ranging from 10 to 25 years’ imprisonment. The Judge commended Ben as the “unsung hero” of the case for the preparation of the case and his handling of the evidence.

Dishonesty Offences
Ben prosecutes and defends in the most serious dishonesty offences, with particular specialisation in cyber crime.

Memberships
Member of Gray’s Inn.

Tenant in 5 Paper Buildings, London.

Door tenant in Linenhall Chambers, Chester.

Attorney-at-law in Grenada, with rights of audience in the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal (Called to the bar of Grenada in 2011).

Ben is a qualified advocacy trainer for Gray's Inn.

CPS Grade 4 Prosecutor since 2011.

Member of the Criminal Bar Association.

Fraud Lawyers’ Association.

Fraud Advisory Panel.

Regulatory Compliance Association.

Anti-Corruption Compliance Group.

Member of South Eastern Circuit.

Member of Wales Circuit.