Michael Brunskill acted for a senior partner in a commercial law firm who was charged with fraud, money laundering and perverting the course of justice. Proceedings at Chester Crown Court 2012.
The proceedings arose out of a complex financial investigation by the Cheshire Constabulary Fraud Squad into the activities of convicted fraudsters DA and JP. The police discovered that the fraudsters had instructed H to conduct a number of property and financial transactions. This commercial property work had taken place before the fraudster’s convictions and before it became known by H that his clients were engaged in criminal activity. The Crown’s case was that H’s work for DA and JP was done in support of their frauds.
During the initial stages of the investigation, H was served with a Production Order. Brunskill was not instructed at that stage and H did not seek professional advice on how to comply with the order, the scope of the order or the penalties for non compliance. His actions in response to the Production Order led to him being subsequently charged with perverting the course of justice.
Intensive negotiations prior to trial resulted in the Crown essentially abandoning the allegations of fraud and agreeing to substantially reduce the indictment. NH then entered limited guilty pleas which largely related to the issue with the Production Order and received an 8 month custodial sentence.