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Simon Connolly , Duncan Lewis , Crime Freelance Solicitor , Harrow

Simon Connolly

Consultant

Contact Information

Profile / Experience

Awards Recommendation for Simon Connolly
Legal 500

Simon is a Recommended Lawyer in the 2020 edition of The Legal 500.

Legal 500 2020 Edition.
Crime, Fraud and Licensing / South East: Milton Keynes & Luton
I am Consultant Solicitor at Duncan Lewis and I specialise in criminal defence and white collar fraud matters.

I have forged a particular niche in the area of confiscation proceedings. My particular specialism is acting for clients where the prosecution seek high value orders in excess of £1 million pounds.

I have had care and conduct of matters dealing with a range of offences including theft, fraudulent trading, money laundering and various conspiracies most notably being conspiracy to defraud the public revenue. I was the solicitor who had day to day care and conduct of a matter before Birmingham Crown Court in which the Prosecution sought a confiscation order in the sum of £197 million. However, upon the case being determined at a final hearing with various legal arguments being heard an Order was eventually made in the sum of just over £106,000.

I have a reputation of blending both a pragmatic approach with an extensive knowledge of legal cases in this area of law to ensure my clients’ confiscation orders are not disproportionate and are calculated correctly.

Career

  • Duncan Lewis Solicitors 2013-present
  • Qualified as a Solicitor 2011

Notable Cases

High Court
  • R v S (Kingston Crown Court) MTIC Fraud - Following the service of the s.18 statement which was drafted by myself, it was successfully demonstrated that the Crown should discontinue the confiscation proceedings in relation to our client even though he had a significant role as a freight forwarder within the conspiracy.

  • R v C (Birmingham Crown Court) MTIC Fraud - I was the Solicitor who had day to day care and conduct in which the Prosecution sought a confiscation order in the sum of £197 million. However, upon the case being determined at a final hearing in November 2012 with various legal arguments being heard an Order was eventually made in the sum of just over £106,000. The Confiscation Order was later reaffirmed by the Court of Appeal.

  • R v Z (Birmingham Crown Court) Money Laundering - After the withdrawal of the Defendant’s legal aid order, I was able to put forward written submissions to the Crown Court to illustrate the compelling justifications why a representation order should be granted. Upon being successful in obtaining the representation order, the Prosecution submitted that the Defendant had benefited from his proceeds of crime in excess of some £2.3 million and had ‘hidden assets’ to the same value of the benefit figure. This case involved the process of laundering funds via the scheme of ‘cuckoo smurfing’. The Crown eventually accepted through the detailed legal submissions contained within the section 17 statement (drafted by myself) that the defendant’s benefit from the conviction was only £36,000 and not the £1.8 million as submitted in their original section 16(3) statement. The confiscation proceedings concluded by consent in June 2014 for just over £59,505.00 and the Crown also accepted that the Defendant did not have any ‘hidden assets’.

  • R v N (Leeds Crown Court) Conspiracy to Import Class A Drugs - After obtaining the representation order by successfully illustrating that there had been a breakdown in the relationship with his trial solicitors, the Crown contended that the Defendant’s benefit was in excess of £600,000 and that the Defendant had assets in the same amount. Due to the legal submissions detailed in the Defendant’s section 17 statement (drafted by myself) the Crown accepted the benefit figure should be reduced by some £300,000 and a nominal order of £1.00 should be paid.

  • R v A (Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court) Human Trafficking - This matter was the first of its kind in the United Kingdom which determined the issue of a Defendant having received a benefit in respect of confiscation proceedings as a result of keeping a domestic slave. No such legal argument had been previously determined before any Crown Court or Higher Courts in the United Kingdom and this case was the first case in which the legal argument had been submitted. This matter was extremely high profile and enjoyed a significant amount of media attention from the BBC and from other national and local press due to its unique background and the legal issues which were being determined. The case has been described as a ‘landmark’ case.

  • R v L (Maidstone Crown Court) Conspiracy to Import a Controlled Drug of Class A - Having received a custodial sentence for his involvement in the conspiracy, the Crown alleged that he had benefited from his ‘general criminal conduct’ in the sum of £441,000 and he had identifiable assets in excess of £106,000 and that he also had ‘hidden assets’. However, the Crown eventually accepted after the legal submissions I drafted in the defendant’s s.17 statement that the defendant’s benefit figure should only be £1,000 and not the £441,000 submitted by the Crown in their original section 16(3) statement. As a consequence, a Confiscation Order was certified by the Court in February 2016 for the sum of £1,000.

  • R v AH (Birmingham Crown Court) Money Laundering - The Crown alleged that AH had benefited from his ‘general criminal conduct’ in the sum of £4.8 million and that he held identifiable assets in excess of £2.3 million and that he also held ‘hidden assets’ abroad. However, the proceedings concluded by consent after the Crown accepted the Defence’s submissions that his benefit figure should be only £313,022.17. This is a reduction of over 93% of the Crown’s original benefit figure. Furthermore, the Order is also subject to the R v Ahmed provisions which should result in the Defendant paying back less than £200,000.

  • R v U (Birmingham Crown Court) Money Laundering - This matter was extremely high profile and included a recent documentary from Channel 4 called Busting the Drugs Millions: Inside the National Crime Agency due to its unique background and the value of money that was laundered. The Prosecution alleged that the Defendant had benefited from his general criminal conduct in excess of £120 million and that he held ‘hidden assets’ to the same value of the benefit figure. During the course of proceedings, I drafted several section 17 response statements on behalf of our client detailing deficiencies in the Crown’s calculations. After the service of the Defendant’s extensive section 17 statements and other supporting work product the Crown accepted that the Defendant’s recoverable amount was only £54,000 and that the Defendant’s benefit from his general criminal conduct should be reduced by over £33 million.

Interests

  • Watching sports
  • Supporting Stoke City FC
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