Charles Langley’s practice focuses on serious, complex and high profile cases in general crime and fraud.
Charles’ experience in general crime includes cases involving murder, manslaughter, drug conspiracies, robbery, kidnap and the full spectrum of sexual offences.
Charles’ fraud work encompasses all aspects of financial crime and at all stages: from advising individuals and companies pre-charge, representation at trial through to confiscation and enforcement proceedings.
Charles is approved to undertake public access work, meaning that he can accept instructions directly from members of the public.
Charles is featured in the 2019 Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 directories as a leading junior in General crime and Fraud.
Charles has a strong appellate practice, and is regularly asked to advise on appeals where no grounds have previously been found. In R v Cox, a double murder appeal, he was commended by the Court of Appeal for representing the applicant “admirably”. He has recently been successful in an appeal against conviction involving a solicitor appellant where leave to appeal had been refused. He identified a new ground of appeal which resulted in the convictions being quashed.
Charles can be instructed on a direct access basis to review cases and identify any grounds of appeal against conviction or sentence.
- R v Cox: Asked by solicitors to advise on appeal against a historic double murder conviction. Case taken up on a Pro Bono basis. Two grounds of appeal were identified and a detailed advice and grounds of appeal were drafted. At the first hearing the Court of Appeal were persuaded that there were merits to the case and granted a representation order. The hearing was heard over two days. At the hearing both leading and junior counsel from the original trial were cross-examined. Lord Justice Treacy said that he had represented the “applicant admirably”.
- R v N & M: Solicitor and a family member convicted and imprisoned for a serious assault. Appeals against the convictions refused by the single judge in the Court of Appeal. New grounds identified and convictions quashed by the full court.
- R v Carmona,  1 W.L.R. 2264: The guideline case on when judges should make recommendations for deportations after conviction. In this case the Court of Appeal examined the effect of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European legislation on this delicate issue.
Charles has a detailed knowledge of money laundering and confiscation provisions both under criminal and civil proceedings.
- R v S: A shopkeeper had over £200,000 seized by the police under civil Proceeds of Crime powers. Fully contested hearing in the Magistrates Court.
- R v Reed: Court persuaded not to continue with confiscation proceedings against this defendant in a large scale building fraud.
A first choice for many solicitors for “heavyweight” criminal trials. He is recognised in the Chambers and Partners directory as a leading barrister in general crime. He has considerable experience in representing some of Britain’s most high profile criminals across the country.
- R v Hesketh: Represented one of 22 defendants in a huge drugs conspiracy involving the supply of class A drugs into the Teesside area from gangs operating in Manchester.
- R v Sinclair: Multi-handed drug operation. The case has involved substantial legal involvements concerning the admissibility of covert audio surveillance in South America and Holland.
- R v Carter: The defendant was charged with conspiring to supply firearms and ammunition. He was said to have been the head of an organization which supplied firearms and ammunition to the criminal underworld. The police operation lasted over 16 months. It involved video and human surveillance and probes recording all conversations in his address. Defendant was acquitted on both counts.
- R v Gunn: Represented this head of a crime family who was said to have had a number of police officers under his control.
Charles is an experienced fraud practitioner. He has a wide-ranging fraud practice involving some of the most complex and large-scale deceptions. He has been instructed in cases involving computer hacking, mortgage and building frauds. His most recent cases have involved multi-million pound abuses of the film tax credit and carbon credit trading schemes.
- R v Greenaway: The D whilst working for a large multi-national company in Saudi Arabia was said to have received corrupt “commission” payments from a supplier in the UK in return for ensuring the continued working relationship between them. The defendant was alleged to have overcharged the IK Group by 20 percent on contracts for the supply of goods. Some or all of the overcharged amount was thereafter transferred to the defendant’s Jersey HSBC bank account and was described as “commissions”.
- R v Nicolas: Leading Counsel in nationwide conspiracy to conceal criminal property: it was alleged that 8 of the defendants had been laundering huge sums of cash for a member of the notorious north London Adams’ family (Tommy Adams). A number of companies (including a mortgage company) were alleged to have been used as fronts for this laundering process.
- R v Rooney: MR said to have been involved in the laundering of hundreds of thousands of pounds of money from a criminal gang involved in slavery and fraud. The defendants were also said to have stolen the freehold titles of a number of properties. Such was the scale of the case that it had to be split into 3 trials and there were over 30,000 pages of evidence. MR was one of only two defendants to avoid custody.
- R v AI: The first HMRC prosecution for Film Tax Credit fraud. The case involved millions of pounds of tax evasion and VAT relief. AI, the main defendant in this multi-handed fraud, in which it was alleged that he and his co-conspirators created bogus film companies and a sham film in order to claim Film Tax Credit from the UK Film Council. Once the companies were created they set about claiming back VAT to which they were not entitled.
- R v Patel: The Prosecution were persuaded to drop charges against a defendant said to have been involved in a huge carbon trading fraud. The perpetrators hacked into the computers of the Romanian and Polish Carbon Credit Registers and stole millions of Euros worth of carbon credits. These were then laundered and sold on to legitimate multi-national companies before the fraud was discovered. The fraud had a multi-jurisdictional aspect with evidence coming from Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, Lichtenstein and the UK.
- R v Crittenden: Multi-handed fraud involving allegedly fraudulent builders charging inflated prices for building work which was either unnecessary or carried out to a poor standard. The Crown relied on expert surveyors to prove their case. Mr Crittenden was the only one of the 7 defendants who was acquitted after a 5 week trial.
Murder & Manslaughter
Charles has been instructed as a junior counsel in numerous murder cases, from those involving complex medical issues such as sudden death syndrome and “baby shaking” to gangland shootings. He also has undertaken a number of attempted murder cases on his own.
- R v Webster: First ever death by acid culpable homicide case. The D was charged with murder after a bottle of ammonia brought to the scene by the D was kicked across a town square and killed a innocent bystander sitting on a park bench. After 7 days of trial, the prosecution accepted a plea to manslaughter.
- R v McDonald: Defendant charged with murdering his girlfriend by strangulation. Case centred on the evidence of pathologists. Defendant acquitted of murder.
- R v Rooney: Case of “Shaken Baby Syndrome”. Successfully defended a mother charged with the murder of her 8 month old son by shaking him to death. Mother acquitted of both murder and manslaughter.
- R v Blair: Nine-handed murder which lasted for 3 ½ months at the Central Criminal Court and resulted in the client being acquitted of both the murder and manslaughter charges. At the retrial on a charge of violent disorder it was argued successfully that it would be unfair for the Prosecution to continue on the violent disorder charge relying on the same evidence as from the murder case.
Charles is a Grade 3 prosecutor. He is instructed by the CPS across London and the South East to prosecute serious criminal cases.
Charles is a specialist in road traffic and driving cases, he has exceptional knowledge of the full range of road traffic offences.
Charles often defends high-profile of clients. He also frequently instructed by insurers in cases involving fatalities.
Serious Sexual Offences
Charles has specialist knowledge of sexual offences, both as stand alone charges and within organised crime gangs (involving the trafficking of women into this country for the purpose of prostitution). He has conducted numerous rape and sexual assault trials.
- R v F: Two young defendants charged with conspiring to rape a young complainant set against a background of a house party in which there were numerous witnesses to the sexual activity. Matters complicated by the fact that one defendant was below the age of consent and the complainant may have committed an offence against him. CPS dropped charges after representations
- R v Wooller: Defendant charged with 10 counts of serious sexual assaults and rape of 6 different children aged between 5 and 13 between 2004 and 2009. The defendant had been previously convicted of child cruelty charges against 2 of the complainants. There were issues relating to bad character, severance and abuse of process as the Crown had previously dropped some of the charges against the defendant.
- R v Maule: The defendants were charged with a conspiracy to traffic women from eastern Europe into the UK and a conspiracy to commit immigration offences. Women were forced into prostitution and once in the country they were forced into sham marriages. One of the defendants was a solicitor who used his legal knowledge to assist with the fake marriages. It was also alleged that the women were raped.
- R v Watson: A multi-handed Thai prostitution ring in London and the Home Counties, which made front page news, both in London and nationally, as a result of its sheer size and the notoriety of some of the alleged clients.
Quotes from Legal 500 2019:
‘An excellent advocate who instantly puts a client at ease.’ (Legal 500 – Crime)
‘He has a natural way with clients and judges alike.’ (Legal 500 – Fraud)
Quotes from Legal 500 2018:
‘Clients are immediately reassured by his manner and court presence.’
‘He works well as part of a defence team and values his solicitor’s input’
- Bar of Northern Ireland
- Criminal Bar Association
- South Eastern Circuit
- Fraud Lawyers Association