CasesStokoe’s criminal defence practice has cultivated a well-deserved reputation for dealing with complex heavyweight criminal investigations and prosecutions, particularly those involving organised crime.

Our team specialises in defending a wide variety of cases, ranging from international frauds involving the United Nations and Foreign Government ministers to large-scale “city” frauds. Our firm has attracted an increasing number of private instructions from both established clients, and clients referred to us.

At the same time we have maintained our commitment to publicly-funded work.

Business Crime

  • Instructed to advise an individual in respect of Operation Tabernula. The operation relates to allegations of insider dealing at a financial institution that is being prosecuted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The operation has been described as the UK’s largest insider dealing investigation to date and is reflective of the FCA’s focus on taking aggressive action against insider dealing.
  • Instructed to represent two company directors who have been charged with allegations of corruption relating to their work with HBOS. The charges follow a long-running investigation (which lasted in excess of three years) into corruption and other offences, and allegedly involves tens of millions of pounds. The subsequent trials are currently due to span the best part of 2015.
  • Instructed to advise an individual who is being investigated in respect of a Carbon Credit Trading fraud. The investigation is at an early stage but relates to his conduct at a company and associated banking accounts.
  • Represented a former Goldman Sachs employee who was charged with money laundering offences relating to his work as a financial advisor for a former Nigerian State Governor.

Murder and serious crime

  • Represented a former police officer, following his arrest during the investigation into a murder that took place in 1987. The case collapsed after 18 months of legal argument. The principle defendant was also linked to the “phone tapping” allegations.
  • Representing the lead defendant in a multi-handed sophisticated facilitation of illegal immigration on a massive scale and related money laundering charges.
  • Representing a defendant in a multi-handed case involving allegations of an international conspiracy to commit criminal damage running into hundreds of thousands of pounds.
  • A multi-national conspiracy to kidnap and blackmail a son of a Chinese millionaire by a gang of Chinese triads. Stokoe represented a defendant who was found not guilty after an eight-week trial.
  • Case involving a series of cash-in-transit robberies across North London over an eight-month period. The firm represented a defendant who the Crown asserted was a principle organiser.
  • The practice acted for a defendant charged with the murder of a stabbing victim in the Tottenham area.
  • Murder involving a 15-year-old contract killer paid £200 to shoot and kill a Turkish mother.
  • The practice represented an individual charged with murdering a female sunbathing on Mitcham Common. It took the authorities three weeks to find the body buried on the common. The defendant was convicted of murder but the sentence was reduced by the Lord Chief Justice on appeal. The case now appears in Archbold as an authority on sentencing involving sexually motivated murders.
  • The practice acted for a father accused of killing his daughter in an ‘honour killing’ on appeal. This was the first case involving an ‘honour killing’, which led to the police setting up a specific directorate to deal with these type of cases. The case was recently featured on Panorama.
  • The firm represented a father and two sons accused of murdering a business man who was found dying in the rear of a van. The suspects were driving the van when the vehicle was stopped by the police.
  • The practice acted for a man arrested on suspicion of the murder of a woman in December 2010. The defendant was the landlord of the deceased, in a case that was extensively reported, both nationally and internationally, over the New Year period.  Notwithstanding the fact a further arrest had been made in the intervening period, our client was not eliminated as being a suspect in this case until March 2011, following frequent and lengthy written representations to the police and Legal Directorate.
  • The practice is also acting for ‘M’, who was widely reported in the national and international press in relation to a bank vehicle heist in 1993 and spent the next 19 years out of sight of the authorities. He was subsequently arrested in the United States of America and awaits possible prosecution there and extradition to the UK for proceedings here.

Drug Trafficking

  • A multi-national conspiracy to supply Class A drugs involving 25 defendants. The case involves the Serious Organised Crime Agency and includes covert surveillance and phone tapping plus a layering of cases from different areas of the UK and abroad.
  • The practice acted for an individual who was found not guilty following a three-month trial, accused of partaking in a large conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and money laundering. The principal defendant, a school teacher, was convicted and received 21 years.
  • Represented one of nine defendants charged in one of the largest conspiracies to import and distribute heroin in the north-west of England.  The Serious Organised Crime Agency worked closely with Dutch police officers to establish the drugs route, while surveillance officers secretly photographed meetings between the gangs and “bugged” telephone calls.
  • Represented one of eight defendants charged on drugs conspiracies where over £113 million worth of drugs were imported into the UK. The members of the drug-smuggling gang attempted to import around 22 tonnes of Class A and B drugs into the UK mainly from Spain. The case involved covert surveillance and phone tapping by the Serious Organised Crime Agency.
  • Acted for a defendant in a case involving a £3 million conspiracy to supply and burgle a cannabis factory leading to the death of an occupant. The case attracted widespread media attention.
  • The practice is defending an individual said to be involved in a national conspiracy to supply class A drugs into London, Cornwall, Birmingham, Manchester and the Midlands.
  • Stokoe acted for a defendant said to be involved in a conspiracy to import cocaine and cannabis, in what was said to be a highly organised conspiracy importing drugs from Spain to the UK, involving a total sum of 30 tonnes of cannabis and 120kg of cocaine between 2007 and 2009 with an estimated value of £60.5 million.

Fraud and Money Laundering

  • Represented two defendants in a huge duty diversion fraud alleged to have resulted in a loss to the revenue in excess of £50 million per year. The investigation spanned more than three years and involved numerous jurisdictions.
  • Represented a defendant in a nine-handed conspiracy to defraud, which involved the selling of bogus personal injury insurance claims to various firms of personal injury solicitors. This was a very complex and sophisticated case and was listed for a six-week trial.
  • Represented a defendant involved in a large scale drug importation and money laundering prosecution, which was reported in the national press and was said to be on such a scale that hundreds of thousands of pounds of cash was left to rot after being forgotten about. In total, over £12 million has been identified as being laundered through one Bureau de Change alone.
  • The practice acted in a large scale international card cloning scam involving 100,000s of copied cards, described by the Crown as the largest operation prosecuted to date.

Proceeds of Crime and Civil Recovery

  • A substantial civil recovery claim brought by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) following the stay of three criminal trials spanning 1999 – 2003. The claim was issued in 2008 following a further five year investigation by SOCA.
  • Represented a Nigerian civil servant in civil recovery proceedings. The defendant had been subject to a failed criminal prosecution, a civil claim by the Nigerian state and cash forfeiture proceedings.
  • The practice also acts for the family of an individual in Ireland facing proceedings under the Irish confiscation regime, and advised in relation to the Human Rights issues which attached to the regime and it’s compatibility with European jurisprudence.