John Charles Rees QC

Call: 1972  / Silk: 1991

Areas of expertise

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John Charles Rees QC specialises in heavy crime and serious fraud in particular. He has been involved in numerous high profile murder trials. He has taken on HMRC in several MTIC (carousel fraud) cases and the SFO in serious fraud cases such as the ‘IKEA’ and ‘IMPERIUM CORPORATION’ cases. He has enviable success rate. He has represented several solicitors charged either with defrauding the legal aid fund or private clients, with a 100% success rate.

Notable cases

R v John Actie and others (John Actie was acquitted of murder by jury after 3 defendants found guilty but convictions quashed by Court of Appeal, case has become known as “the Cardiff three”)

R v Ali (the “body in the carpet” case, Ali was convicted of murder by jury, JCR was instructed to represent him on appeal, conviction for murder quashed)

R v Jonathan Jones (Jones was convicted of double murder by jury, convictions quashed on appeal)

R v Burke (Burke was a teacher at a children’s home, he was charged with numerous offences of child abuse (boys) of the most serious nature, it was even alleged that one of his victims was killed to teach him a lesson; JCR’S cross-examination of the alleged victims was so successful the High Court judge who was trying the case allowed a submission of no case to answer and he was acquitted of all charges)

R v Jolley (Jolley was the headmaster of a care home he was charged with numerous offences of child sex abuse (girls), JCR cross-examined the first alleged victim to such effect that she refused to return to court to continue giving her evidence; JCR cross-examined the second alleged victim to such effect that she refused to return to court to continue her evidence as a result the prosecution offered no evidence against Jolley and he was acquitted of all charges)

R v Carney (Carney was charged with serious fraud offences, submissions of law made on his behalf were accepted by the judge who stayed all charges)

R v Ward (Ward was charged with serious fraud offences, submissions of law made on his behalf were accepted by the judge whereupon the prosecution offered no evidence against him and he was acquitted of all charges)

R v Staines (Staines was senior partner in the largest criminal legal aid firm in the country; acquitted by jury of all charges of legal aid fraud)

R v Lewis (Lewis was a solicitor charged with offences of legal aid fraud, acquitted of all charges by jury)

R v Khan (Khan was a solicitor charged with dishonestly overcharging private clients; JCR took numerous points re disclosure eventually the prosecution offered no evidence and khan was acquitted on all charges)

R v Chandoo and others ( very substantial MTIC fraud alleged, High Court Judge stayed proceedings as an abuse of process finding that the Customs Officers and others had lied in respect of disclosure of information)

R v Hauxwell-Smith and others (very substantial fraud alleged known as the “the IKEA” case, during the proceedings JCR took numerous points re disclosure, the case went to the House of Lords in respect of the jurisdiction to hear an interlocutory appeal in respect of disclosure; although the prosecution alleged that Hauxwell-Smith was one of the major players in the fraud they eventually offered no evidence against her and she was acquitted of all charges)

R v Raven and others (the “Imperium Corporation” case, Raven and others were charged with a fraud running into £100’s of millions, JCR took numerous points re disclosure, eventually the prosecution offered no evidence against Raven and he was acquitted of all charges)

British Dredging Services v Secretary of State for Wales and Monmouthshire (High Court) (power of Secretary of State to make a coast protection order by virtue of section 18 of the Coast Protection Act 1949)

Collins v British Airways (Court of Appeal) (interpretation of “baggage check within the Warsaw Convention as adopted by the Carriage by Air ACT 1961)

Donovan v Gwent Toys (House of Lords) (judge’s power to override the time limit in personal injury and fatal accident claims under section 33(1) of the Limitation Act 1980, JCR reprented Gwent Toys whose appeal to the House of Lords was successful)

2,000 Plaintiffs v Cardiff City Council and South Glamorgan County Council and Welsh Water (High Court) (test action for damages in respect of serious flooding in Cardiff, the Plantiff’s alleged the various authorities were negligent, JCR represented Welsh Water, the claim against Welsh Water was dismissed)

Robson v Scott (High Court personal injury action in which JCR obtained substantial damages in respect he sustained whilst participating in a water skiing race)

R v Unibay (Health and Safety prosecuting resulting from serious brain damage suffered by a young child in a near drowning incident at a swimming pool controlled by Unibay)

Quotes

“John Charles Rees QC is universally regarded as ‘the best criminal Silk in these parts’, ‘exceptionally gifted and fearless in all he does’.”

“John Charles Rees QC retains his reputation as the best in Wales: “if you haven’t called him for a case by 09.30 on Monday morning, the other side will have him already’ said one solicitor.”

” The A1 John Charles Rees QC has a reputation that speaks for itself with solicitors praising his ‘fantastic advocacy skills’ and ‘down to earth nature’.”

“According to his legion of votaries ‘there is no harder working, dogged or successful Silk around’.”

“One solicitor even commented that ‘if he murdered his wife, john would be his first point of call’.”

“Highly sought after and very much a fighter.”

“A fearsome, fearless cross-examiner who is meticulous in his preparation.”

“Strongly recommended for white collar crime.”

“His commitment, dedication, painstaking preparation and mastery of detail make him second to none in complex, serious fraud cases.”

“John Charles Rees QC leaves no stone unturned. In every case he undertakes he provides a ‘Rolls Royce’ Service.”

Personal

Education: Jesus College, Cambridge BA (1st class), LLB (Public and Private International Law) (1st class) MA, LLM
Russell Vick Prize McNair Scholar

Cambridge University Boxing Blue

Represented Cambridge University at Association Football

Director and Steward of British Boxing Board of Control

Chairman of the Welsh Area Council of the British Boxing Board of Control

Former Chairman of the Trustees and Governors of St John’s College, Cardiff

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