Kieran Vaughan QC

Year of Call: 1993  Silk: 2012  


Overview


Ranked in Band 1 for Crime in Chambers and Partners 2019. Ranked in the Legal 500 in Crime (General), Fraud and Business and Regulatory Crime. Kieran was one of six Silks shortlisted for Crime Silk of the year by the Legal 500 2017. He is a highly successful criminal practitioner who is constantly in high demand and much sought after to defend in the most serious and complex of cases. A leading practitioner who practices in crime, fraud and financial /commercial crime he has also advised and continues to advise in relation to criminal and quasi criminal matters both nationally and internationally. Over the years he has successfully represented defendants in many of the country’s highest profile fraud, murder and terrorist trials and been instructed to review the cases of those who have been convicted and to represent these individuals in the Court of Appeal:

  • Represented the main defendant in the HBOS fraud trial.
  • Represented Ched Evans, a professional footballer, in the Court of Appeal (not having represented him at trial); resulting in his rape conviction being successfully quashed (BBC and the Guardian).
  • Represented Jonathon Okigbo who was accused of murdering Harry Uzoka, one of the UK’s most successful male models. Mr Okigbo was acquitted of murder.
  • Represented Mina Dich who was accused of plotting with her two daughters to carry out a terrorist at-tack in Westminster. The three defendants were widely reported as being the first ever female terrorist cell in the UK.
  • Defended Patrick Foster who, along with three others, was accused of raping a fellow student at the Royal Agricultural University. Following legal arguments relating to disclosure the prosecution offered no evidence against all defendants on all counts. The case was widely covered in the national press, including the BBC and the Guardian.
  • Represented Michael Baxter in the Court of Appeal (not having represented him at trial). Mr Baxter and two others (Denis Slade and Richard Pearman) had been convicted in 2010 of conspiracy to murder. The appeal process lasted three years, the original convictions were quashed and Mr Baxter was subsequently acquitted in a re-trial.
  • Represented a defendant in the case involving Terry Adams in relation to a number of allegations of money laundering in what has been described as one of the largest and most detailed cases in British history. It was alleged that Adams was the head of one of the most successful criminal families the country has ever known. This case was reported in The Independent.
  • Represented Loukas Menicou in the recent case involving Tommy Adams.
  • Defended Sean Hoey who was accused of the Omagh Bombing. Hoey was acquitted of all charges (see the BBC reports).

Kieran has co-authored Sweet & Maxwell’s The Confiscation Manual and written the forward for A Guide To Forensic DNA Profiling (Wiley). A book about the use of DNA evidence in the courts.

Fraud


Kieran has extensive experience in dealing with all types of fraud and financial crime and has defended individuals accused of corruption, bribery, VAT, tax fraud, mortgage fraud, fraudulent trading, MTIC fraud, diversion fraud and money laundering. A selection of some of these cases is set out below.

He regularly advises individuals and companies pre-charge on matters connected to fraud and has been involved in and advised on a number of international arbitrations involving companies.

Kieran has co-authored the Sweet & Maxwell textbook The Confiscation Manual and has been defended in many complex confiscation hearings involving multi millions of pounds.

Cases

  • R v Mills: Represented David Mills in the high profile HBOS fraud and corruption trial. Mr Mills owned a turnaround consultancy firm, Quayside Corporate Services (QCS) and was accused of bribing a director of HBOS to place a number of consultants into various firms that were within the Impaired Assets Division of the bank. The companies were then said to have been fraudulently traded enabling QCS to acquire a substantial amount of monies. The losses were said to be in the region of £250.
  • R v J: Represented a chartered surveyor who was accused of a multi million pounds fraud on a bank and involved a large number of commercial properties. The prosecution offered no evidence against the defendant after cross-examination of the prosecution expert.
  • R v Twum: Represented a solicitor who was accused of a multi million pound fraud on the Legal Aid Agency.
  • R v Menicou: Represented a defendant who was accused of laundering the proceeds of Tommy Adams’ criminal activities by setting up a number of off-shore companies through which significant sums of monies passed.
  • R v H: representing the director of a major company who is accused of money laundering.
  • R v Ali: represented a defendant who was accused of cheating the revenue of many millions of pounds in a fraud said to involve the fraudulent importation of gold from outside the European Union to the UK.
  • R v Hardy: Represented a defendant who was accused of a multi million pound fraud on the Revenue over a period of several years. The investigation spanned several jurisdictions and involved a number of different law enforcement agencies.
  • R v Goni: Represented a City trader in confiscation proceedings in which the prosecution sought to relieve him of several million pounds, which he had earned.
  • R v Hanna: Represented Mr Hanna in his confiscation proceedings in which it was said that he and his brother had benefitted to the sum of over £1 billion.

Crime


Over many years Kieran has gained vast experience in representing those accused of the most serious of crimes including murder, terrorism, armed robbery and the importation of drugs. He has defended in some of the most high profile, complex and grave cases in the UK and N Ireland, see a selection of those below.

In addition to representing individuals at trial he regularly reviews the convictions and sentence of those who have been convicted and represents such individuals in the Court of Appeal, Ched Evans is but one such example.

Throughout his career Kieran has developed extensive experience in dealing with many areas of expert evidence and was asked to write the forward for the only comprehensive text on DNA evidence in criminal courts (A Guide to DNA Forensic Profiling)

Cases

  • R v Ched Evans: At the time of his original trial (at which he was not represented by Kieran Vaughan QC) Mr Evans was a professional footballer. Subsequent to his conviction Kieran Vaughan led the case for Mr Evans in the Court of Appeal. Having heard legal argument for two days the Court quashed Mr Evans’ conviction. The case has and continues to receive significant national press coverage, including in the BBC and the Guardian.
  • R v Okigbo: Represented Jonathon Okigbo who was accused of murdering Harry Uzoka, one of the UK’s most successful male models. Mr Okigbo was acquitted of murder.
  • R v Foster: Successfully defended Patrick Foster who, along with three others, was accused of raping a fellow student at the Royal Agricultural University. Following legal arguments relating to disclosure the prosecution offered no evidence against all defendants on all counts. The case was widely covered in the national press, including the BBC and the Guardian.
  • R v Dich: Represented Mina Dich who was accused of plotting with her two daughters to carry out a terrorist attack in Westminster. The three defendants were widely reported as being the first ever female terrorist cell in the UK
  • R v B: Successfully represented Mr B in the Court of Appeal. Mr B and two others (DS and RP) had been convicted in 2010 of conspiracy to murder. A covert police operation apparently recorded the three men plotting to shoot a local business rival involved in the supply of drugs. The appeal lasted three days and largely concerned the attempt to introduce fresh expert voice analysis evidence (Bat Vox system) that has never been used before in this jurisdiction. The original convictions were quashed and Mr Baxter was subsequently acquitted in a re-trial.
  • R v Adams: Represented a defendant in the case involving Terry Adams in relation to a number of allegations of money laundering in what has been described as one of the largest and most detailed cases in British history. It was alleged that Adams was the head of one of the most successful criminal families the country has ever known. This case was reported in The Independent.
  • R v Nicolas: Successfully defended a defendant who was accused of being party to steal £1,000,000 worth of gold bullion in Belgium. The case involved, amongst other matters, the use of foreign intercept telephone evidence.
  • R v Hoey: (Omagh Bombing) Kieran successfully defended Sean Hoey who was accused, amongst other offences, of 29 murders following the Omagh Bombing. This case was reported by the BBC.
  • R v Iqbal: Defending in a case that achieved enormous national media attention due to the lurid details of the plot to kidnap and behead a British soldier. This case was reported by the Guardian.
  • R v Naseer: According to the prosecution opening, the planned bombing campaign would have been more devastating than 7/7. This case was reported by the BBC.
  • R v Burns: Successfully represented Leigh Burns who was accused of murder. The victim was stabbed 14 times in the middle of High Wycombe High Street. The case was covered in The Daily Mirror.
  • R v Monteith: Successfully represented Samuel Monteith who was accused of murder. Three men broke into the victim’s house and fatally stabbed him with samurai swords in what was alleged to be a gang revenge attack.
  • R v Allen: Successfully represented Gavin Allen who was accused of murder. The victim was shot five times when he was in a nightclub in Leicester Square on Christmas Day.
  • R v Hansen: Successfully represented Ata Hansen who was accused of murder. The prosecution’s case was that he was a part of a gang of youths who murdered a young man at a party.
  • R v Ta: Successfully represented Peter Ta who was accused of murder. Mr Ta had supposedly orches-trated the murder of a man in south-east London. The victim was shot to death with a sawn off shotgun.
  • R v Gutierez Cortez: Successfully represented Felix Gutierez Cortez who was accused of murdering his landlady by strangling her to death. Mr Guteriez Cortez was acquitted of murder and convicted of man-slaughter.
  • R v Wellington: Successfully represented a defendant accused of organising the murder of a drugs rival. The case involved audio surveillance and complex scientific evidence such as cell site and firearms evidence.
  • R v Russell: Successfully defended one of tw0 twins charged with a double murder. The two victims were shot in the head with a shotgun in their flat. Following legal argument, the identification evidence was excluded. The prosecution appealed to the Court of Appeal failed and all four defendants were acquitted of all counts. This case was reported by the London Evening Standard.
  • R v Shamlian: Successfully represented Zareh Shamlian who was accused of money laundering the proceeds of a sophisticated fraud.
  • R v Mohammed: The defendant pleaded guilty to killing his partner by stabbing her over 57 times.
  • R v Barbatovci: A large group of youths chased the victim through the streets of Pimlico and stabbed him to death with a number of weapons.
  • R v A: Represented a defendant who was Britain’s “most wanted” fugitive, having escaped from lawful custody he was returned to the UK from Northern Cyprus.
  • R v Mitchell: Represented a defendant accused of a gang related revenge murder.
  • R v Johnston: The police stopped a van in Sunningdale and found a body in the back buried in a bag of sand. The man had been beaten to death with three lump hammers. This case was reported by the BBC.
  • R v Kanu: Represented a defendant accused of conspiracy to murder. The victim was shot several times in Birmingham City centre with a Mach 10 machine gun.
  • R v Iqbal: This case achieved significant media attention due to the fact that the defendants were alleged to have murdered two people in Blackburn by setting fire to the wrong house in the course of a so called “honour killing.” This case was reported by the BBC.
  • R v McInerney: The defendant was accused of two attempted murders, one of a policeman, and a large number of aggravated burglaries.
  • R v O’D: Successfully represented a defendant accused of murder. The victim had been shot in the head in what the prosecution said was a business dispute over who controlled the doors in nightclubs around the country.
  • R v G: Successfully represented a defendant accused of murdering a male who was said to be the partner of a female who was having an affair with the defendant’s accomplice. The accomplice was convict-ed.
  • R v Green: Represented a defendant accused of shooting an associate in his kitchen and burying him in his back garden were he was found some time later.
  • R v Horgan: Represented a defendant with psychiatric issues who killed his girlfriend with a samurai sword.
  • R v Zaman: Defended a young man with psychiatric issues who killed his mother.
  • R v Singh: An international conspiracy to export over £2 million worth of high-value stolen vehicles out of the UK.
  • R v Thomas: A £40 million VAT fraud. The case was part Operation of Fajita which involved the Customs and Excise activities surrounding the London City Bond. Mr Thomas’s conviction was overturned in the Court of Appeal on the basis of material non-disclosure of important evidence by Customs and Excise.
  • R v Hikmet: The defendant was acquitted of being involved in the importation of hundreds of kilograms of heroin. The main evidence against all defendants emanated from a “supergrass.”
  • R v Khan Khan: Was one of the defendants who pleaded guilty to being involved in a plot to establish a terrorist training school in Pakistan. Some of his co-defendants pleaded guilty to conspiring to cause an explosion at the London Stock Exchange. This case was reported by the BBC.
  • R v BF: BF was subject to a control order and was charged with numerous breaches.
  • R v Taj: The defendant was accused of attempting to firebomb a publishing house. The publishing house in question had published a book called “The Jewel Of Medina,” which was heavily criticised by sections of the Muslim community.
  • R v Rahaman-Allan: The defendant flew into Gatwick Airport with a hand grenade in his luggage causing a massive security alert.
  • R v Kearns: In June 2010 Kieran represented Desmond Kearns. This case involved MI5 mounting a sting operation in Eastern Europe against the Real IRA who were attempting to procure an arsenal of weapons. This was the first criminal case in Northern Ireland in which MI5 gave evidence. Mr Kearns was acquitted following a successful abuse of process application on the grounds of entrapment. This case was re-ported by the BBC.
  • R v Crawley: PIRA conspiracy to cause explosions. This case was tried in the Old Bailey. The prosecu-tion’s case was that the defendants intended to blow up the electricity power stations around the south east of England. Had the plan been successful it would have caused incalculable financial loss to the UK. This case was reported in The Independent.
  • R v Murphy: PIRA conspiracy to cause explosions in London. The case was tried in the Old Bailey and achieved national media attention due to the fact that a significant amount of explosive material was re-covered and one of the defendants was shot and killed in the course of the arrests. This case was re-ported in The Independent.
  • R v McGeough: The defendant was accused of being a member of the PIRA and attempting to murder a soldier in 1981 by shooting him. This case was reported by the BBC.
  • R v O’Connor: The defendant was acquitted of membership of the Real IRA and causing an explosion, which resulted in the destruction of a police station.
  • R v Fillingham: The case involved the importation of £90 million worth of cocaine from the Caribbean to the UK. At the time it was said to be the single ever largest seizure of cocaine in the UK. This case was reported by the BBC
  • Breslin v McKevitt: In addition to the above criminal matters Kieran defended Michael McKevitt in the Omagh civil action in Belfast High Court and Court of Appeal. Mr McKevitt was alleged to be the leader of the Real IRA. The main evidence against him came from an FBI/MI5 agent named David Rupert. The original trial lasted for 12 months and finished in June 2009. This case was reported by the BBC.

Directory Quotes


“A top silk and criminal heavyweight who comes highly regarded due to his exceptional legal mind and effective jury advocacy… he is frequently instructed in matters of significant public interest.” Chambers and Partners 2019 – Ranked in Band 1

“A very skillful and deliberate man who is a brilliant jury advocate.” Chambers and Partners UK 2019

Kieran is ranked highly in the Crime section in the recent editions of both Chambers and Partners UK 2018 and the Legal 500 2017. He is also ranked for both Crime, Business and Regulatory Crime and Fraud in the Legal 500 2017.

““A top silk and criminal heavyweight who comes highly regarded due to his exceptional legal mind and effective jury advocacy. He’s calm, unflappable and great in front of the judiciary.” Chambers and Partners UK 2018

‘His cross-examination is first rate, his submissions concise and his speeches excellent.’ Legal 500 2018 (Business and Regulatory Crime)

‘He has a lovely manner which is as effective on difficult clients as it is on a jury.’ Legal 500 2018 (Fraud)

‘Very calm and a good advocate, with good judgement.’ Legal 500 2018 (Crime)

“Exceptionally bright, very sharp, and someone who combines intellectual talent with a very approachable manner.” “Kieran is constantly working. He never stops thinking about the case and has an eye for detail which is second to none.” Chambers and Partners UK 2017

“A standout defence silk” Legal 500 2017 (Crime)

“He commands complete respect for his handling of cases and is fantastic at dealing with difficult clients.” Legal 500 2017 (Fraud: Crime)

“A great speech-maker, who is exceptional in difficult cases.” Legal 500 2017 (Business and Regulatory Crime)

“He combines advocacy in rate-rigging cases with a strong fraud and violence practice.” Legal 500 2016 (Business and Regulatory Crime)

“A real class act in court.” Legal 500 2016 (Crime)

“One of the hardest working silks solicitors know.” Legal 500 2016 (Fraud: Crime)

“He is enthusiastic and applies himself with vigour.” Chambers UK 2016

“A joy to watch in court.” “He has a grasp of cases long before they get to court.” Legal 500 2015

Nominated for Crime Silk of the year 2017 by the Legal 500.

Kieran was ranked in Chambers UK 2014 and was recommended as one of the top New Silks in Crime in Chambers UK 2013, which says: “New silk Kieran Vaughan QC has a fantastic way with both juries and clients.”

Kieran was also recommended as one of the top new Silks in the Legal 500 2013

Memberships


Criminal Bar Association

Specialisms