David Durose QC

David Durose Q.C. has a criminal practice which focuses on prosecuting cases of complex fact and law, particularly fraud, corruption, money laundering and drugs conspiracies. He took silk in 2019. In his last year as a junior David was nominated for Crime Junior of the Year by the Legal 500 (December 2018). He is ranked in the Legal 500 in Criminal Fraud, and Chambers & Partners 2020 stated: “He’s devastating; his grasp of the detail is second-to-none, he knows his law and he’s an extremely effective cross-examiner.” “One of the best prosecutors out there, he leaves no stone unturned and is relentless. He’s committed, determined and thoroughly prepared.”

David has a particular interest and expertise in financial crime and regulatory offences, and as a leading junior has appeared in cases covering diverse areas of fraud including banking fraud, mortgage fraud, boiler room fraud (shares, coloured diamonds, rare earth metals etc), MTIC carousels and advance fee fraud. He also prosecuted the first professional cricketer to be charged with “spot-fixing” during a county cricket match. For details of recent and current instructions, see the “Notable Cases” section.

David is also frequently instructed in advice work, especially in relation to the consideration of charge in high profile cases of corruption, money laundering and large scale fraud. He has recently advised in matters regarding the potential prosecution of individuals such as police officers of the highest ranks and serving and former MEPs.

He is instructed to advise and provide representation for the defence, particular in relation to cases and situations involving unusual aspects of allegations of financial crime. He has experience in advising professionals in respect of third party LPP issues and other such technical aspects of criminal law and procedure.

In 2019, David is instructed to prosecute complex fraud including R v L, the prosecution of a banker for his alleged role in assisting in the laundering of €100 million as part of Operation Yuletide. He is also instructed in pre-charge advice work, notably Operation Vanbrugh (a £50m Ponzi-style allegation of fraud) and Operation Smirnoff (a film financing fraud). Forthcoming cases include Operation Cullinan (trial in 2020), a boiler room fraud centred on the sale of coloured diamonds in which one of the defendants is a reality TV star.

During 2017 and 2018, David led for the Crown in a four-month trial relating to a large-scale boiler room fraud involving the dishonest selling of rare earth metals as an investment via dozens of separate boiler rooms to hundreds of victims, to a total value in excess of £7m. All four defendants were convicted after trial, receiving substantial sentences. He also prosecuted a seven-handed case relating to the fraudulent manipulation of mobile telephone contracts, which cost the mobile networks many millions of pounds. Again, all defendants were convicted. He also led in Operation Zico, a series of cases involving allegations of corrupt behaviour against serving police officers.

In 2016, David prosecuted two trials involving allegations of corruption relating to contracts for repairs to the Royal Palaces (Operation Hayrack); a total of seven defendants were convicted in relation to two different companies paying bribes to the same corrupt employee at Buckingham Palace. David also led for the Crown in Operation Yuletide, involving the laundering of €100m fraudulently obtained from an international shipbuilding company as well as the use of fake bank guarantees purportedly worth billions of dollars.

In other fraud in recent years, David prosecuted Operation VIllalot, a collection of large scale mortgage fraud and money laundering derivative of organised crime with a total of around fifteen defendants, Operation Oilton, a five-handed conspiracy based on fraudulent claims for the provision of training in adult education, Operation Nautique (£25m mortgage fraud with associated fraudulent trading) and Operation Rico (boiler room fraud re coloured diamonds.

In the field of corruption, David led for the Crown in Operation Obsidian, in which a PCSO and eight other Defendants were convicted or offences of corruption and drug-dealing. He also acted as junior prosecution counsel in the prosecution of Mervyn Westfield, the Essex Cricketer involved in “spot-fixing” in relation to a one day county cricket match. David also prosecuted an intelligence analyst working for the Metropolitan Police who was involved in disclosing the location of cannabis factories to his cousin, a cannabis dealer, so that the drugs could be stolen, and led for the Crown in the six-handed prosecution of Operation Tiramisu regarding car-ringing and police and prison corruption, as well as prosecuting separate prison corruption at HMP Pentonville (Op Starfire). He also prosecuted a chartered surveyor who was bribed to provide false valuations as part of a £10 million mortgage fraud.

In 2010 David acted as leading junior counsel for the Crown in the prosecution of PC Mark Bohannan, a Metropolitan Police Officer who entered into a corrupt relationship with a substantial drug dealer who was supplying free cocaine to Mrs Bohannan in return for intelligence from the police computer systems. The same year, David prosecuted a police officer responsible for obtaining £3.5 million of fraudulent mortgages.

Away from fraud and corruption, in 2008 David led for the Crown on the biggest ever graffiti trial in Britain, the main Defendant in which had been employed to add his graffiti to the set of Eastenders! David has also appeared in cases brought by the Federation Against Copyright Theft, the DTI / BERR, the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority, Trading Standards and other specialist regulatory bodies.

His instructions generally come from the CPS HQ Central Fraud Unit, CPS HQ Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and CPS London Complex Casework unit.

Notable cases

Operation Yuletide (Part Two)

David is instructed as leading counsel to prosecute OL, a former employee of a Swiss Bank alleged to have assisted fraudsters including Luis Nobre – see Operation Yuletide (Part One), below – in the laundering of €100m defrauded from a Dutch shipbuilding company.

Operation Zico

David is leading for the Crown in a series of cases involving criminal activities by serving police officers (and others) linked to Cash for Crash fraud, tobacco smuggling and perverting the course of justice.

Operation Rosewood

David led for the Crown, prosecuting seven defendants, all of whom were convicted, in an allegation of fraud against the mobile telephone providers. The defendants, working from offices in Fulham, signed up hundreds of innocent students to mobile telephone contracts which they then exploited by selling on the inclusive text message to text marketing companies, and exporting the handsets whilst claiming that they had been lost in the post. The main defendants were sentenced to terms of 5-6 years imprisonment.

Operation Stagecoach

David led for the Crown in the prosecution of four defendants charged with conspiracy to defraud in relation to the working of a series of boiler rooms predicated on the fraudulent selling of rare earth metals as a supposed investment. The company run by the main defendants had taken nearly £8m in under a year. The two main defendants each received 9 years imprisonment.

Operation Hayrack

David was leading junior counsel in respect of two linked trials which charged a total of nine individuals with involvement in corrupt agreements relating to the award of contracts for work at the Royal Palaces. This was a sensitive and complex case and led to the main defendant, a former employee of the Royal Household, receiving 5 years imprisonment.

Operation Yuletide (Part One)                                                                                               

David was instructed as leading junior counsel in relation to a €100 million money laundering allegation following a fraud on a Dutch shipbuilding company. The main defendant, who was also charged with the fraudulent possession of fake multi-billion dollar bank guarantees, was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment and a second defendant, a solicitor, was convicted of money laundering.

R v Mervyn Westfield (Operation Chelmer)
David was junior counsel for the Crown in the prosecution of Westfield, a professional cricketer who ultimately admitted being involved in “spot-fixing” – taking £6,000 after agreeing to deliberately concede runs whilst bowling for Essex against Somerset during a County Pro 40 match, in the first case of its kind to be charged. The case is reported at [2012] 3 All ER 737, [2012] 2 Cr App R 18.

Operation Aristo
David was instructed to prosecute offences in relation to the obtaining of corrupt payments by Dutch nationals for assisting a Danish pharmaceutical company to obtain a UN contract for the supply of AIDS and Malaria medications to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Two consultants were convicted of receiving corrupt payments and a UK solicitor was convicted of a money laundering offence.

Operations Teal, Colby and Happy
David advised on charge in relation to three separate sets of prosecutions of MEPs for offences relating to expenses fraud.

Operation Villalot
David advised on charge and was the lead prosecutor in relation to a series of cases of mortgage fraud and money laundering brought against around twenty individuals connected to organised crime who had made use of such mortgage frauds and other devices to assist in laundering the proceeds of such crime.

R v Simmons and others; R v Bishop
David has prosecuted two trials in 2013 and 2014 in relation to a boiler room fraud where vulnerable victims were sold small coloured diamonds for vastly more than they were worth, supposedly as an investment. The 5 defendants involved were jailed for periods up to 6 years.

Operation Obsidian
David was leading junior counsel instructed to prosecute Oguz Batmaz, a Metropolitan Police Community Support Officer who was convicted of misconduct, conspiracy to steal from cannabis factories and was also dealing cocaine and cannabis. The officer provided confidential police intelligence to a network of criminal associates both to assist them in avoiding detection, and to allow them to target other criminals and steal their drugs. Batmaz and eight criminal associates received a total of over 21 years imprisonment in May 2013.

Operation Avro
David was counsel for the Crown in the prosecution of a car-ringing conspiracy involving hundreds of rung vehicles conservatively valued at £3.5m and described by the police as the largest and most sophisticated criminality of its kind. David was also involved in similar prosecutions of ten defendants in 2010 (Operation Demon) and two further substantial car-ringing cases in 2011 in Operations Slugworth and Elmendorf.

Operation Oilton
David prosecuted five defendants for conspiracy to defraud in a case where government training schemes to assist with adult literacy and numeracy were exploited by the enrolment of fake students. All five, including three directors of companies involved in the fraud, received custodial sentences.

Re Copland School
David was instructed as junior counsel to prosecute individuals connected to a school in Wembley who were charged in relation to dishonesty offences regarding £2m of the school’s money. The former Headmaster (Sir Alan Davies) was convicted of false accounting.

Operation Tiramisu
David was leading junior counsel in a multi-handed prosecution involving the corrupt relationship between a serving prisoner, a prison officer and that officer’s partner, a constable in the Metropolitan Police. The relationship, which also involved a civilian police employee, allowed an organised criminal network to run a car-ringing operation and import drugs and telephones into prisons. All six defendants ultimately pleaded guilty, the ringleader receiving 12 years imprisonment in March 2011.

Operation Tarsal
David led for the Crown in a tripartite prosecution involving the long term corrupt relationship between a South London police officer (PC Bohannan), his wife and a substantial dealer of Class A drugs. All nine individuals charged were convicted. PC Bohannan and his wife were convicted after a six-week trial at Southwark Crown Court in which both were defended by Queen’s Counsel. His sentence was raised to six years imrpisonment after a reference by the Attorney-General, see Att Gen’s Reference No. 30 of 2010 [2011] 1 Cr. App. Rep. (S.) 106.

R v Maria Michaela (and R v Rathie)
In 2012 David prosecuted a female fraudster (M) who was sentenced to a total of 9 years imprisonment. She fraudulently obtained over £10m in mortgages after she bribed a chartererd surveyor (Rathie) with over £1m in cash and cars. R then gave vastly inflated valuations for a series of properties and received over £900,000 in cash and two cars, a Range Rover and a Bentley, worth nearly £200,000. R received six years imprisonment after a separate trial which David prosecuted in 2011.

Operation Cloche
In 2012 David prosecuted four Defendants as part of a conspiracy in which a civilian police employee leaked police intelliigence about cannabis factories to his criminal associates in order for them to steal the drugs. Matthew Garness, a police intelligence analyst in Wood Green, told his cousin David Chitlolie about the locations of cannabis factories and other stores of drugs. Garness narrowed failed to be elected as a Labour Councillor just a few months before his arrest in 2010.

Operation Starfire
Counsel for the Crown in a prosecution leading to the conviction of eight individuals charged in respect of the corrupt relationship between two prisoners at HMP Pentonville and a serving prison officer, Richard Carew. Carew smuggled in drugs and mobile telephones which were then sold by the two prisoners and the profits received into their girlfriends’ bank accounts.

Operation Shuttle: R v Gillman and eight others
Leading counsel for the Crown in the prosecution of the notorious DPM Graffiti Crew, the largest graffiti case prosecuted in Britain. The crew had been responsible for millions of pounds worth of damage over many years throughout the UK and in mainland Europe. All nine defendants were convicted, the sentence appeal of four of them (heard by Lord Judge CJ) is now reported at: R. v. Pease and others [2009] 1 Cr.App.R.(S.) 114. David also prosecuted Operation Cook, involving six Australian graffiti artists.

Operation Conulata
Prosecuted three defendants for £5 million of mortgage fraud. The main defendant was a serving police officer and another defendant an employee of a conveyancing solicitors. The police officer, who was also convicted of a “Day of the Jackal” identity fraud, received 5 years 9 months in prison in 2010.

R v Conrad and another
A series of frauds invovling a total of almost £100 million of mortgages and VAT fraud. The two defendants committed a series of mortgage frauds on over £10 million of residential property in London, almost succeeded in a fraudulent attempt to secure a £70 million mortgage on commerical premises in South Wales and also perpetrated a £13 million VAT fraud. Both Defendants received 7 years imprisonment in March 2011.

Operation Jaguar II
Prosecuted a series of linked prosecutions relating to long running and sophisticated multi-million pound banking frauds. Eight Defendants were convicted of fraud and money laundering over a series of linked prosecutions.

Operation Blantyre: R v Hammad, Mohammed & Krawczyk
Successfully prosecuted alone a SCD7(1) kidnap / false imprisonment trial where the main defendant was a millionaire restaurateur, defended by Queen’s Counsel.

Operation Houlton: R v Ali, Choudhury, Islam & Ali
Represented the Crown in a SCD7 kidnap & false imprisonment trial where the complainant had been perpetrating a “black note” fraud on the Defendants before they held him hostage.

Operation Vehicle: R v Vass
Represented the lead defendant in a £50 million computer chip carousel fraud in a trial which ran for six months at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Operation Springbrook
Instructed in a series of prosecutions arising out of violent disorder in Parliament Square when President George W. Bush visited the UK in June 2008.

Operation Zamza: R v Birmingham and others
Junior counsel for the Crown in the prosecution of a substantial drugs conspiracy.

R v Mottram
Represented the financial director of a listed company who was charged along with the CEO in respect of a serious fraud designed to disguise an unsuccessful share issue

R v Lynn
Defended in a multi-handed money laundering allegation regarding the proceeds of MTIC fraud. All of the Defendants were acquitted as a result of a successful half-time submission made on behalf of Mr. Lynn.

R v Russell
Represented the main defendant in a complex £4 million fraud predicated upon the transfer of legitimate occupational pension funds to front companies, allowing clients to access pension funds before the legal age.

R v Gorecki & others
Prosecuted “Fathers For Justice” protestors who gained access to a signal gantry over the Waterloo mainline dressed as Santas.

R v Ncube, Ndebele & Muller
Prosecuted a conspiracy to defraud where the defendants were part of a devious £1 million conspiracy in which they persuaded people to buy “gemstones” which were in fact worthless lumps of glass.


MA (Hons) Mathematics, Oxon.

  • David Durose
  • Legal 500 Leading Silk

Furnival Chambers