Charles Sherrard is particularly interested in white collar fraud, drug related and violent crime. In all of these areas, he has built up an impressive track record over twenty years of being a junior and leading junior. During the last 9 years, Charles has devoted himself to detailed and successful case preparation in a large number of MTIC frauds tried in Liverpool, Birmingham, Northampton and London. In 2011, he was engaged as leading junior representing a key defendant in Operation Ghast, tried at Southwark Crown Court. This not only involved the first ipod carousel, but involved extensive evidence concerning the FCIB. The latter has become a common theme in such frauds, and Charles was a speaker on the panel of an FCIB Seminar, held in Birmingham last year in conjunction with Alias Dass and others. He addressed an impressive audience on abuse of process within MTIC cases. Also at Southwark, Charles was lead counsel for a property ‘finder’ in a complex fraud involving the actual theft of houses including amendment of land registry details. As junior, Charles was involved in Operation Heyrick [Birmingham Crown Court] concerning the carouselling of mobile phones on a huge scale. In the past few years, he represented Dean Simons in Operation Capri; the lead defendant in Operation Devout 2 [Jona Adali-Mortty]; and the only defendant in Operation Devout 1 [Bruce Thomas] to be acquitted. He prides himself in assiduous case preparation, tactical savvy and client care.
Since taking Silk in March 2012, Charles has bucked the trend by being continuously busy and constantly in demand. He gained significant credit and media coverage for his unstinting and powerful defence of Kweku Adoboli [aka The UBS Rogue Trader] taking on the might of the Swiss Bank and securing unexpected acquittals on all false accounting counts despite the seemingly overwhelming evidence. The sentence for the abuse of trust fraud was significantly lower than expected given that $3.2bn was the largest ever to come before a UK court. Another notable client, unpopular with many, but successfully acquitted of a large scale income tax fraud, was Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, better known to many as Tommy Robinson [ex leader of the EDL]. Similar success in the white collar field has been achieved in Carousel Frauds in Liverpool [Operation Forbear] securing the only acquittal in the whole case, and not guilty verdicts for a solicitor said to be at the heart of a fraud on the Olympic Development Authority [Operation Cavalcade] in a long running fraud trial at Southwark. The last six months have seen Charles defending another professional, this time an accountant, at the heart of a massive property fraud [R-v-Entwistle & others]. 2015 will see his continued representation of the son of Sir David Jones, in the fraud case arising out of the capital raising by the board of JD Sports in 2009. His time is not spent solely unpicking complex fraud allegations. International drug conspiracies and production of drugs, including crystal meths and ecstasy are one of his specialities. Whether it is a case involving the illegal use of Police undercover agents, cut-throat defences between transporters, manufacturers and dealers, or lengthy surveillance operations covering different international jurisdcitions, Charles never leaves any stone unturned in the pursuit of his client’s interests. One of his recent cases involved a significant haul of crystal meths. Gaining an insight into the forever changing drugs world is seen by Charles as key to staying up-to-date with current criminal practices. Assiduous case preparation, research and professional client care are just some of the main reasons many solicitors cite for instructing Charles so regularly.
At the highest end of the criminal skill, murder trials have featured significantly in Charles practice, especially since taking silk. The most high profile involved the representation of John Davies [Cardiff Crown Court], wrongly accused of murdering his wife in India. Continued and dogged pursuit of disclosure and avenues of investigative enquiry, caused the Crown to ultimately offer no evidence. Defending in R-v-Bernard [DJ Rascal], an execution of a rival drug baron, and R-v-Daniel Collins [Peckham Young Gunz] demonstrated the high level of instructions he receives in gangland crime. Successfully defending R-v-Dwayne Roberts [Central Criminal Court] and R-v-Jerome Andrew [Wood Green Cr Ct] and securing their acquittals, led to recommendations and further instructions, such as R-v-Johnson [Central Criminal Court] and currently, R-v-Abdirizak [Central Criminal Court]. Despite expectations of robust and aggressive tactics from many, Charles has demonstrated an ability to exercise sensitivity when required especially when representing youths, as exemplified in his handling of the case of R -v- H, a murder trial involving a 16 year old accused of killing his mother and brother and attempted murder of his father.
- Criminal fraud
- Drugs conspiracies
Charles’ experience of drugs cases is equally extensive and included the longstanding representation of Sylvia Allpress as part of the ‘Michael Michael’ operation, also culminating in the successful defence of Jerry Coffey, ‘the lawyer’ within the conspiracy. The Allpress litigation finally and successfully concluded, after 9 years of representation in the Court of Appeal [see Notable Cases]. Charles also acted for John Barton in connection with a 200kg class A conspiracy, and was leading counsel for Warwick McNay and Anthony Mahoney. All of these cases involved detailed confiscation hearings. Most recently, three defendants, all within Operation Iberus, have requested his services, one after the other, in separate trials. Major London drug players, such as Riaz Mohammed and Asnat Akram have all instructed Charles and still do. More recently, Charles was leading junior representing the lead defendant, Adil Khan, in a multi-conspiracy and multi-defendant operation in the Hertfordshire area. Complex, extensive and international confiscation proceedings form part of his ancillary practice.
- Violent crime
In 2011, Charles acted as junior counsel for one of the key defendants in what became known as the ‘Victoria Station Murder‘, involving 21 youths charged with murder arising out of West London college rivalries. He has appeared as junior in a number of gang murders involving the MDP and other such organisations over the past few years. Of considerable note, Charles appeared for William Cockram in the high-profile Millennium Dome Robbery case. He has enjoyed success in a number of major trials, including defending Vernon Wood against murder charges at the CCC. Here he appeared as junior counsel alone though he has been led, equally successfully, in an array of other murder trials. Charles’ other criminal work has included corruption cases, terrorism (acting as lead counsel in the 2003 PKK trial) and benefit fraud. He recently acted as lead counsel for Paul Farmer in connection with a tobacco importation case involving corrupt customs officers that arose out of Operation Athletic.
- Regulatory work
Charles experience of regulatory work includes his recent successful defence of one of the “Metric Martyrs”, Janet Devers, at Snaresbrook Crown Court. See Notable Cases for further details.
- Inquest health & safety
For a number of years, Charles has been instructed on behalf of insurance companies. He has appeared in the Oxford Coroners Court representing a Police Officer responsible for a multiple road fatality, the Hornsey Coroners Court concerning the death of a yard operative crushed by a lorry load of beans, in 2010 an inquest concerning the death of a young man from drowning and numerous Health & Safety and Death by Dangerous Driving cases. In all areas, the cases receive the utmost sensitivity in their handling.
- Chambers business
As the chair of Furnival Chambers’ pupillage committee, Charles is committed to ensuring a smooth-running and successful pupillage process while providing professional, hands-on training. Charles was appointed a Chambers Director in July 2008 and is regularly involved in the administration of chambers business.
- Notable Cases
- R-v-Stuart Jones [2015 – successfully defended employee and son of chief exec of JJB in fraud and forgery trial against SFO]
- R-v-John Clifton Davies [2015 – representation of defendant, whilst at large, for insolvency fraud relating to 10 companies]
- R-v- Nicholas Pomroy [2014 – represented accountant in massive property fraud conspiracy. Op Cassandra]
- R-v-Abdi Rizak [2014 – defendant charged with murder but dealt with for violent disorder]
- R-v-Turner [2014 – represented defendant on 16 allegations of historic sex abuse of 3 generations of same family. Sensitively handled examination of 8 different victims of all ages]
- R-v-David Johnson [2014 – successful representation of head of security for Rebekkah Brooks – Op Sacha ]
- R-v-Stephen Yaxley-Lennon [2014 – successful representation of defendant, aka Tommy Robinson, in tax evasion fraud. Submissions led to case being dropped]
- R-v-Mickey Bowman [2013 – att murder trial in Leeds]
- R-v-Andy Ho [2013 – represented defendant, aged 16, in murder of brother and parents]
- R-v-Robert Bernard [2013 – execution killing trial of DJ Rascal]
- R-v-Asher Johnson [2013 – joint enterprise murder]
- R-v-Mayichandra Bathia [2013 – represented only defendant, the bookkeeper, to be acquitted in Op Forbear, a massive MTIC fraud tried in Liverpool Cr Court. ]
- R-v-Dwayne Roberts [2012 – successfully defended in murder trial]
- R-v-Jerome Andrew [2012 – successfully defended in murder trial]
- R-v-Kweku Adoboli [2012 – defended the media titled ‘UBS Rogue Trader’ in the biggest fraud resulting in losses to the bank at the time of £3.2bn. Successfully acquitted of 4 out of 6 charges]
- R-v-Nadeem Khan [2012 – successfully represented accountant said to be at heart of fraud on Olympic Delivery Authority]
- R-v-Collins [2011 – representation in murder trial of Peckham Young Gunz leader]
- R-v-Adil Khan [2011 – represented leader of Luton/Herts Class A drugs scene]
- R-v-Nicola Pond [2011 – successful representation of student in death by dangerous driving trial]
- R-v-Dadabhoy [2011-12 – represented defendant over lengthy time for long running lottery fraud]
- R-v-Marathuyil [2011 – successful representation of man charged with rape of wife and assault of son]
- R-v-Shabir Ahmed [2012 – represented defendant in huge MTIC fraud Op Ghast]
- R-v-Allpress [2010 – doggedly pursued appeal on confiscation for 10 years before her confiscation order was finally overturned]
- R-v-Amoah [2010 – represented only defendant in Victoria Station murder trial, at scene of stabbing, to be acquitted of murder and manslaughter]
- R-v-Guo Hai Chen [2010 – represented defendant in large scale people trafficking from China]
- R-v-Iqbal Gandham [2010-11 – representation of defendant in Op Heyrick, another huge MTIC fraud relating to mobile phones]
- R-v-Bercin Kart [2010 – successfully defended in murder trial re stabbing at Turkish party]
- R-v-Bastable [2010 – large scale Class A conspiracy trial]
- R-v-Heatley [2009 – kidnapping and drug conspiracy trial]
- R-v-Jermaine Morris [2009 – successfully defending in joint enterprise murder trial]
- R-v-Siavosh-Khani [2008 – successful defence in murder trial relating to activities of MDP gang]
- R-v-Adali-Mortty [2008-12 Long running representation of defendant at heart of Op Devout 2, MTIC fraud concerning computer chips]
- R-v-Din [2007 – large Class A drug conspiracy and kidnapping]
- R-v-B Thomas [2007 – successful defence of only person acquitted in Op Devout 1 – MTIC trial re computer chips]
- R-v-Pankhania [2005-7 successfully defended in 5 rape trials relating to complainant using lip speakers]
- LTA –v- CD [2005 – successfully negotiated licence to teach tennis despite sex abuse allegations]
In addition, I have appeared in a number of inquests but names and details are deemed sensitive.