Sean Hammond

Year of Call: 1991  


Overview


Sean Hammond is a highly recommended barrister with over 20 years experience.

He is consistently ranked as a leader in his field in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500.

Crime


Sean has considerable experience defending individuals charged with allegations of murder, drug smuggling, firearms offences and people trafficking. He has particular expertise in dealing with issues of disclosure and public interest immunity.

Cases

  • R v C: Defended Mr C who was charged with conspiracy to import cocaine through Portsmouth docks. The prosecution arose out of a covert police operation involving the use of probe evidence.
  • R v Bakir: Defended Mr Bakir who was charged with murder.
  • R v Martinez: Defended Mr Martinez, a Columbian national charged with conspiracy to import large quantities of cocaine. This was a multi-national investigation involving the use of covert surveillance.
  • R v Huntley: Defended Mr Huntley who was charged with conspiracy to import large quantities of cocaine through Sheerness docks.
  • R v Webb: Defended Mr Webb, a freelance journalist working for the News of the World newspaper charged with improperly obtaining confidential information from the police (misconduct in a public office). The case involved European law arguments in relation to the protection of journalistic sources. The case was stayed as an abuse of process.
  • R v Oztas: Defended Mr Oztas who was charged with facilitating the entry of illegal immigrants to the UK by light aircraft to private airfields in Kent. The case attracted national media coverage.
  • R v Baskaya: Defended Mr Baskaya in a conspiracy to import class A drugs trial. The principal prosecution witness was a “super-grass” who was said by the police to have been responsible for a third of the heroin in the UK at the time.
  • R v Dimitrov: Defended Mr Dimitrov in the first ever prosecution under the Sexual Offences Act involving the exploitation of young girls from Eastern Europe in the sex trade. The case attracted national media coverage.

Fraud


In recent years Sean has specialised in advising and defending individuals, directors and companies facing allegations of fraud, money laundering, corruption, and offences under the Companies Act.

He is often asked to provide advice to individuals and companies in pre-charge and ancillary matters such as compliance, financial services regulation, restraint proceedings, seizure, and issues of disclosure and privilege.

Much of Sean’s work involves parallel civil and criminal proceedings and he has gained considerable experience in this area. He also accepts instructions to appear before the First-tier tribunal in cases arising out of alleged MTIC frauds.

In recent years, Sean has defended as both a leading junior and led junior in a number of very high profile, complex cases brought by the Serious Fraud Office, Financial Services Authority, HM Revenue and Customs and the Serious Organised Crime Agency. These included allegations of MTIC carousel fraud, VAT and tax fraud, diversion fraud, fraudulent trading, corruption of local government officials, money laundering, advance fee fraud, boiler room fraud, and various offences under the Companies Act.

Cases

  • R v Bell (Operation Troy): Defended a company director charged with 2 conspiracies to defraud consumers and associated money laundering offences. Mr Bell was alleged to have been involved in 2 complex advance fee frauds resulting in a loss of £5.7 million. The trial lasted 3 months and case is one of the largest cases ever prosecuted by Trading Standards.
  • R v S (Operation Undivided): Defended Mr S, who was charged with conspiracy to import vast quantities of tobacco thereby resulting in a £5 million loss of duty to HMRC.
  • R v F (Operation Rosary): Defended Mr F, the managing director of a telecoms company charged with cheating the Revenue of tax due to involvement in an alleged MTIC carousel VAT fraud.
  • R v Chahal (Operation Tulipbox): Defended Mr Chahal, a trader who was alleged with others to have manipulated the EU Carbon Emissions Trade Scheme (set up pursuant to the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) resulting in a United Kingdom VAT loss of £38 million.
  • R v Fisher: Appeared on behalf of Mr Fisher in a section 20 POCA application arising out of his inability to satisfy a confiscation order.
  • R v N: Defended Mr N who was charged with tax evasion and money laundering.
  • R v M: Defended Mr M in an advance fee fraud arsing out of a failed international property development scheme.
  • R v Ford: Defended Mr Ford, a chartered accountant and CFO of a subsidiary of a public company on charges of conspiracy to defraud the shareholders and misleading the company auditors. The case was brought by the SFO following the collapse of Torex PLC.
  • R v Dingley: Defended Mr Dingley, in a £27.5 million boiler room fraud prosecuted by the FSA, City of London Police and Eurojust. Mr Dingley, a qualified accountant, was director and company secretary of a number of the off-shore companies alleged to have been involved in the fraud. This was a high profile 4 month trial involving evidence gathered from 6 jurisdictions.
  • R v Ali: Defended Mr Ali on charges of conspiracy to defraud Virgin Media PLC out of £6million. This was a private prosecution brought by Virgin Media.
  • R v Alyas (Operation Tangelo): Defended Mr Alyas in a 17 defendant excise duty fraud described by HMRC as the biggest such prosecution for years. The case collapsed as a result of the disclosure arguments made relying in part upon the case of
  • R v Mahmood below.
  • R v Fisher: Defended Mr Fisher an Independent Financial Advisor charged in a £14 million mortgage fraud conspiracy. One of the co-defendants pleaded guilty and gave Queen’s evidence. This case required careful cross-examination to discredit his evidence.
  • R v Mahmood (Operation Bedel): Defended Mr Mahmood who was the first defendant on the indictment. He was charged with conspiracy to cheat the revenue (alcohol diversion fraud) of £12 million and accompanying money laundering offences. As a result of focused requests for disclosure we were able to demonstrate the there were fundamental problems with the disclosure process leading to the case collapsing.
  • R v Wharam (Opreation Capri): I was junior defence counsel instructed post conviction to represent Mr Wharam in the complex confiscation proceedings. The prosecution were seeking a confiscation order in the sum of £27million, after submission of skeleton arguments and negotiations with the prosecution, the matter was settled at £400,000.
  • R v Chung: Defended Mr. Chung, a Hong Kong national and qualified accountant charged with conspiracy to defraud the Bank of England. The prosecution alleged that Mr. Chung was part of an audacious plan to present a vast quantity of old banknotes (and associated items to confirm their bona fides), to the Bank of England with the intention that they be redeemed for their current face value, approximately £197 million.

Military Law


Sean has a keen interest in military law. Over the years he has defended in numerous courts-martial trials in military courts in the UK and overseas. He also defends civilians prosecuted in the Service Civilian Courts.

Cases

  • R v X: Defended X, a member of HM Special Forces who was charged with causing grievous bodily harm to a member of the Parachute Regiment. As this incident occurred in a non-service context, it was tried in the civilian courts. Due to the sensitivity of the situation, parts of the hearing took place in camera.
  • Soldier A: Defended Soldier A, who was charged with indecently assaulting a German national. The case attracted widespread publicity in the local German press as the case was tried in a British military court as opposed to a German civilian court.
  • Soldier B: Defended Soldier B, who was charged with wounding another soldier whilst on duty in the Falkland Islands.

Regulatory


Regulatory work also forms a significant part of Sean’s practice. He has appeared before various regulatory bodies including the General Medical Council, the General Dental Council and the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal.

He sits as a Chairman and Panel Member of the Inn’s of Court Conduct Committee and has been appointed as a Legal Assessor to the Nursing and Midwifery Council. He was also a Legal Adviser to the General Social Care Council prior to its abolition.

Cases

  • Dentist X: Represented Dentist X in relation to an allegation that he had performed unnecessary dental work on patients.
  • Solicitor Y: Represented Solicitor Y before the SDT in relation to allegations that she had misused funds held in the firm’s client account.

Qualifications


  • Postgraduate Diploma, in Competition Law
  • LLB Hons