Nigel R Edwards QC

Carrying his strong junior reputation for fraud over into his silk practice

Legal 500 - 2020

  • Year of QC 2018
  • Year of Call 1995

Practice

Practice

Nigel specialises in white collar and serious crime together with regulatory matters. Nigel has a particular interest in the area of confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) 2002.

'He is a persuasive advocate, who builds a rapport with witnesses, clients and judges'

Nigel was sworn in as Queen's Counsel in March 2019. As a junior Nigel specialised in Criminal Fraud, Serious Crime and Regulatory matters, exclusively for the defence. In addition he has undertaken work in the area of Sports and Media Law, and occasional Family work limited to Finance and Care.

In 2007 Nigel qualified as a commercial mediator and has run a successful mediation partnership with a number of non-legally qualified mediators.

International Case Work
Nigel has assisted in a number of cases overseas either as an observer or case investigator offering assistance. The work usually involves matters of ensuring fair trial or human rights issues in relation to the same and more generally. Nigel has been involved in advising the team representing the former prime minister of the Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko, who was the subject of a show trial in that country.

Mediation
This has been a private business run independently. Nigel undertakes instructions in relation to commercial disputes and has assisted in joint mediations at all levels, including community mediation.

Professional Endorsements

"Carrying his strong junior reputation for fraud over into his silk practice" - The Legal 500, United Kingdom 2020

"Well known for defending in complex fraud cases"

"He has extensive experience in serious fraud cases"

"He is a persuasive advocate, who builds a rapport with witnesses, clients and judges"

"He has a great tactical brain"

"Gets to grips with complex fraud cases quickly and easily"

"A great deal of experience in large fraud work"

Nigel Edwards QC is a member of the following groups:

  • Crime
  • Criminal Fraud and Proceeds of Crime
  • Commercial 
  • Inquests, Public Inquiries
  • Misconduct and Compliance
  • Regulatory
  • Public Law
  • Sports and Media Law

 

Notable Cases

Notable Cases

FRAUD LAW
Represented the first Defendant on a multi-handed multi million pound advertising/ charity fraud. The case ran to 10,000 pages plus and required close scrutiny consideration and analysis of banking material, credit control material, telephone evidence and computer data. The case resolved on the third day of the trial when the defence analysis was accepted in great part allowing for only a short sentence to be passed compared to that anticipated.

R v Lynch
Two trials in the same year, 2013. The first being a multi handed multi million pound mortgage fraud involving the setting up of allegedly dubious companies to obtain mortgages and then subvert the funds to others than those who held the liability. The Defendant was acquitted at half time on this matter. The second, was an internet based multi-million pound multi Defendant case where the allegation was a company was set up to attract several hundred tradesmen and companies in order to advertise via the internet they and them for the provision of plumbing, electrical and building associated services. The Defendant was allowed to accept a minor advertising infringement after various discussions and negotiations with the crown. This resulted in a conditional discharge from the judge for this Defendant. In the first case I was first on the indictment and the second I was second.

R v Langley
Fraud and widescale illegal pornography distribution. This was an internet-based fraud involving the sale of counterfeit and illegal non certified pornography. This Defendant was first on the indictment and said to be the computer expert and principle fraudster. After a month long trial he was acquitted of the most serious charges and convicted of minor matters resulting in a none custodial sentence, he having anticipated 7 years or so.

R v Pgw
Alleged complex fraud by directors of Hull City Football Club. Allegations of trading whilst insolvent, false accounting, under-declaration of gate receipts and theft. Listed for six-week trial acquitted. Leading Junior.

R v Webster
Conspiracy to cheat the revenue by Chartered accountant using complex interlinking and false declarations of a company group in order to gain rollover relief, together with the counterfeiting of documents on a large scale.

Ten-week trial led by Nigel Sangster QC. Convicted after 12-week trial, quashed on appeal.

R v Russell
Alleged complex fraud by the directors of Exeter City Football Club. Allegations of fraudulent due diligence, trading whilst insolvent, false accounting, VAT fraud, obtaining the services of Michael Jackson by deceit, false declaration of tickets sales. Acquitted on principle charges after legal argument.

RR v Bryden & Burrell
Large scale NHS recalled attendance and prescription fraud. Both acquitted after submissions. Leading Junior.

R v DR
Charities commission fraud. Acquitted on main charges.

R v Ives
Alleged large-scale multimillion-pound fraud involving copyright infringed sales of computer equipment and software, false account and theft, following severance from French multi-national. Listed for a 10-week trial acquitted after legal submissions.

R v Hussain
Multi-million pound complex insurance and banking fraud. Listed for eight weeks hung jury. Pleaded guilty at the beginning of re-trial on a pragmatic minimal basis, but allowed to change plea after all other acquitted. Leading Junior.

R v Iqbal
Complex multi-level and layered banking fraud and money laundering allegations, involving 12 defendants. Issues over the systems of security and due diligence. Acquitted on re-trial after hung jury. Leading Junior.

R v Dalton
Multi million pound complex benefit fraud and money laundering allegations. Match fixing allegations in relation to boxing and non-declaration of income as a boxing promoter for various high profile boxers. Pleaded guilty to save children and grandchildren.

R v Buckley
Allegations of multi-million pound fraud involving the West Yorkshire Ambulance trust, including the siphoning of money from the trust to directors of it involving complex interlinked transactions and setting up of a register of Pilipino nurses claimed to have been brought to this country under the NHS direct scheme. All other convicted, this defendant Acquitted. Led by Derek Duffy.

R v Morgan
Large-scale mortgage fraud by developers, solicitors, surveyors and accountants. Acquitted of main charges convicted of money laundering. Leading Junior.

R v Mahmood-Ghani
Complex insurance fraud and money laundering. Allegations included the setting up of multiple accidents, false claims involving interlinked companies and false names. Prosecution dropped case after refusal of disclosure upon failure to obtain PII certificates following the 7/7 bombings and aftermath investigations. Leading Junior.

R v Haghverdi
Complex conspiracy alleging banking and insurance fraud. Dropped after multiple and ever more complex disclosure requests. Junior.

R v Crossthwaite
Large scale NHS dental fraud involving multiple claims and prescription fraud. Absolutely discharged following submissions based on medical/ psychological evidence. Leading Junior.

R v Bower
Large scale multi-company fraud and money laundering allegations involving car wash and fast food outlets.

R v Kalbassa
Allegations against senior bank manageress said to be at the head of a complex banking fraud conspiracy. Issues of failures under due diligence, false accounting and multi layered money laundering through a variety of accounts and false name. Acquitted. Leading Junior.

R v Hussain
Leading junior in multi-handed MTIC fraud involving the sale of high-end motor vehicles imported into the UK and to various parts of Europe and the Middle East.

R v Ali
Complex banking and gone away fraud. Ongoing. Led by Abbas Lakha QC

CRIMINAL LAW
Nigel is generally instructed on matters concerning large-scale organised crime and homicide cases. He has vast experience in drugs conspiracies, violent crime and sexual offences.

Murder Cases

R v Cambridge
An 18 year old who found his girlfriend in the clutches of another man as the new years’ bells chimed in. a fight took place outside the pub, all caught on CCTV, where a single blow from a small craft knife pierced the aorta of the deceased who collapsed in the middle of giving the defendant a good hiding. The trial was run on the basis of self-defence but the defendant was convicted. The judge accepted there was no intention to kill and barley to cause grievous bodily harm and thus passed a minimal sentence of 12-years. Led by Guy Kearl QC.

R v Samwell
The eldest of five children aged between 11 and 16 years. The allegations involved the suggestion that they had acted in joint enterprise to kill a young man aged 19 as he had walked home from a night out in Town. The defence in the case was that the group had indeed attacked him but that the fatal blow was delivered by a relative of one of the very youngest of the group. The crown applied to keep evidence suppressed as being unreliable for a variety of reasons. Once the learned High court judge dismissed the application the crown were forced to accept pleas to GBH. Led by Simon Myerson QC.

R v Hafiz
Allegations of gangland conspiracy to murder. The case involved 7 defendants, complex cell-site analysis, prison intercepts, voice analysis and much more besides. This defendant was the first lieutenant to the gang leader. The investigation involved the attempted shooting of a witness to another crime followed by the murder of the failed assassin. On day one of the trial my leader was sacked and my application for further time to instruct new leading counsel refused. The defendant was acquitted of conspiracy to murder but convicted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Led by Graham Highland QC initially, then Simon Myerson QC before acting as Leading Junior.

R v Jones
Allegations of conspiracy to commit murder, involving Pakistani and Afghani drugs gangs assisted by their street runners. This defendant was said to have been involved in the build up and aftermath. At the commencement of the trial the prosecution reduced charges to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The jury found him guilty of one out of two counts. Sentenced to time served. Leading Junior.

R v Baxter
Allegations of Conspiracy to commit murder and Armed Robbery. Highly controversial case involving tracking analysis, cell site analysis and voice analysis.
The conspiracy to murder came to light whilst the gang of 6 was being tracked and bugged following an investigation into a series of armed robberies across Britain. In the course of one such interception a plan was heard to murder a local gangster.

The police intercepted four of the group on the way to commit the murder, including this defendant. Convicted after trial, leave to appeal granted on the admissibility of voice analysis evidence and the nature of the crowns expert. Expected to become the leading case on such matters. Lead by Andrew Stubbs QC.

R v Perry
The night of the first England world cup game against the USA. This defendant was alleged to have gotten into a fight with the deceased. A single punch caused the deceased to fall to the floor hitting his head, causing fatal injuries and which take their effect several days later. The defendant was originally charged with murder but this was reduced to manslaughter for trial. At the end of o two-week trial the defendant was acquitted after close analysis of available CCTV and questioning of the many witnesses. Leading Junior.

R v Knowles
Murder of a major Somali drug dealer by a West Indian rival drug lord. Ongoing. Led by Abbas Lakha QC.

Cases involving Violence

R v Mahmood
Multi count, multi Defendant violent disorder alleged to involve the same victims on dates many months apart. This Defendant was first on the indictment and the main alleged perpetrator of violence. In the end after extensive requests from the crown and submissions to the judge, the case was dropped save a minor matter allowing for the Defendants immediate release from prison after remand.

Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Cases

R v Holroyd
High profile case involving a man of good character who had spent 20 years beating and raping his wife. The Defendant pleaded guilty at the first opportunity after advice. He was sentenced after the receipt of various reports in relation to him and his own problems. 8 years was in the event a good sentence.

Drugs Cases

R v Nguyen
Multi-million pound, multi-defendant conspiracy to produce and distribute cannabis. This Defendant was said to be one of the leading players. The crowns case was scene specific on one hand and loaded heavily with telephone and banking evidence. The case resolved on the day of trial after significant work on a much lower basis and a sentence allowing for immediate deportation, that being the Vietnamese Defendants desire. First on the indictment.

R v Rowley
Transportation into of and the Supply of drugs into prison by a serving prison on home release. This was a complex case involving a variety of considerations of material and significant cross examination and examination of expert witnesses involved in the Defendants own drug use and needs. Acquitted of the significant counts and guilty of simple possession.

R v Hunt
A case of alleged conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs together with car ringing. This case took up my life from September 2009 to December 2010 and has been described as one of the longest running and most expensive drugs trials in recent years. This defendant was first on an indictment of 7 said to have set up and run a multi-million pound drugs factory/ bash house. The police had observed the premises over many weeks and made several incursions into the property. The defendant and his co-accused were well known to the police and high on the list of most wanted within the GMP area. The day the defendants were arrested almost a kilo of heroin was found in the factory together with all the necessary accoutrements for producing drugs. The defendant’s case was that he was a sole-trader mixing and dealing nothing more than amphetamine, and that the heroin was planted by the police. This was a highly complex case that involved a multiplicity of issues and led to the first prosecution of a juror for face booking a defendant, albeit acquitted at the time, whilst still deliberating.

The defendant was acquitted of everything except being a sole-trader and mixer of amphetamine paste. The sentence passed amounted to time served. Leading Junior to two juniors.

FHC v Watson
A case of an English lorry driver stopped on the outskirts of Paris with almost a ton of cannabis hidden within his load of pottery. I was initially instructed as an observer but was granted full rights of audience by the senior judge when I had to intervene to properly explain and then examine a cell site expert. The defendant was acquitted of the drugs charges but convicted of failing to properly list the contents of his lorry on the manifest i.e. he didn’t say he was carrying a ton of cannabis. He was fine £750 000 for this. A non-enforceable nor arrestable fine that prevented any claim for 2 years false imprisonment. Many others involving gang related multimillion-pound importation and supply conspiracies.

REGULATORY LAW
Nigel has been instructed in a wide variety of regulatory cases including matters of Environmental Law, Health and Safety and professional discipline and trading standards. He has also acted on behalf of sportsmen and women at every level in front of their sports adjudication panels and on appeal.

SPORTS LAW
Nigel has since childhood been closely involved with Rugby Union at a variety of levels. As a result he has become associated with a variety of sportsmen and women involved in many areas both high profile and not so. He initially developed a niche practice by request from those he knew, which over time has grown into him being requested to assist and advise by a number of governing bodies and players associations. It has often not been possible to undertake much of the work he is instructed in owing to work pressure elsewhere. This is work he would wish to expand and more fully involve himself in.

He has represented sportsmen and women in every area and arena, from breaches of rules and appeals in relation to them, to assisting in contract difficulties, to involvement in representation in criminal cases. He has been approached and undertaken work on behalf of those involved in football, rugby union, rugby league, horse racing and motor sports.

He is presently undertaking the FIFA academy course to enable admission to their roll of approved agents and negotiators.

MEDIA LAW
Nigel assists in advising in relation to a variety of television programmes from news and current affairs to drama and documentary programmes. He has advised in relation to programmes in this country, the USA, Australia and Japan. Nigel has undertaken extensive media training and has advised in relation to the same.