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03/03/2017 UPDATE - FARRINGDON CHAMBERS FULL RESPONSE TO THE AGFS CONSULTATION

Farringdon Chambers  has now responded to the MOJ's AGFS consultation.

Click here to download the full response.

New MembersJoins:

Farringdon chambers are delighted to announce that Mr John Lucas 1998 call has accepted an invitation to join chambers.

Miss Maya Chopra has accepted an offer of Tenancy.

PUBLICATION OF COMPARATIVE DATA – AGFS CONSULTATION

Farringdon Chambers has today (23/02/2017) released comprehensive fee comparison data that shows an overall cut of 24.5% to fee income as a result of the proposed changes to AGFS.

The data represents a full year examination of granular billing data, looking at the original AF1, PPE, specifics of the case type to decide micro-banding, PTPHs, sentences and SAFs, and special preparation. Every exercise of this nature may be prone to some error; but we believe that this level of detail is more than the LAA can and did provide for modelling of the new system, and our figures are as robust and accurate as possible.

The data is derived from 8 representative Counsel at Farringdon Chambers, ranging from newly qualified barristers having just completed pupillage, right up to 20+ years call. The case mix ranges from predominantly PTPH, standard appearance and Magistrates’ Court appeals, right through to sex cases, paper-heavy frauds and drugs cases.

Farringdon, like many others, are concerned about the effects the proposals will have on the very junior end of the bar. We have therefore also compiled a comparison table of the types of offences that may usually be covered by very junior barristers at guilty pleas and cracks. The table shows that the very junior bar are clearly worse off when covering these guilty pleas and cracked trials, especially where (as with many offences), current higher-level offences are re-classified as “standard” and paid at very low rates, and the definition of a “crack” is re-defined. We also note that the original proposals by the Bar Council[1] to have two levels of “standard” case (basic and enhanced, based on PPE) appear to have been abandoned in the current proposals.

Please click below to download a copy of our fee analysis

  1. http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/media/393156/bc_agfs_working_group_summary_150110.pdf - paragraphs 31.6 to 31.9 and 34.

 

Elizabeth Lambert succeeds on a point of law in the Court of Appeal

Elizabeth Lambert representing the third applicant in R v AB, CD and EF [2017] EWCA Crim 534 successfully argued along with applicants 1 and 2 that the prosecution was invalid in this case, because it was brought by the respondent Local Authority acting outside of its section 222 powers (s.222 Local Government Act 1972).

The Court of Appeal agreed, and held that the Local Authority could not reasonably have thought that it was expedient for the promotion or protection of the interests of the inhabitants of the area to prosecute the appellants. This case should have been brought by the CPS bearing in mind the public interest considerations. The case involved an alleged £4m fraud on the Legal Aid Agency by a firm of immigration solicitors.

The court made it clear that, for the requirements of section 222 to be met, the alleged criminality must have an actual or potential impact on the inhabitants of the Local Authority’s particular area (above and beyond their interests as citizens of the UK).

The Court of Appeal also deprecated the use of a private financial memorandum of understanding between the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) and the Local Authority as to the funding of the prosecution by the LAA, and the distribution of any confiscation proceeds as “incentivisation payments” (part of which would have benefitted the Local Authority as the prosecuting agency in the event of convictions).

This is the first reported case in modern times where a successful section 222 point has been taken.

https://www.crimeline.info/case/r-v-ab-and-others

Ann Cotcher QC and Chris Whitehouse get hung jury in "Panorama" expose of Student Visa Scandal case at Southwark Crown Court - case lasted 8 weeks - re-trial May 2017 everyone else convicted.

Ann Cotcher QC and Martin McCarthy secure acquittal in "Operation Aquamarine" at Southwark Crown Court. Extremely complex fraud investigation spanning 6 years.

Martin McCarthy and Fiona Lamb secure acquittal in ‘boiler room’ fraud at Southwark Crown Court.

Martin McCarthy, leading Fiona Lamb, instructed by Faradays Solicitors, secured an acquittal on a single count of Conspiracy to defraud after seven weeks in trial. The case concerned the overpricing and selling of coloured diamonds to vulnerable investors amounting to profits for the fraudsters in the region of £1.5m.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2979670/Boiler-room-fraud-gang-1-5million-duping-investors-buying-coloured-diamonds-TWENTY-times-real-value-spent-Selfridges-Louis-Vuitton-Harrods.html

http://www.capitalbay.com/news/784897-diamond-fraudster-who-travelled-the-world-buying-designer-clothes-faces-jail.html

MURDER ACQUITTAL

Claire Davies led by QC secured acquittal in Murder trial at the Old Bailey.

 

Claire Davies instructed by Imran Khan and Partners represented the second defendant in an alleged joint enterprise murder, he was acquitted of murder and conspiracy to do GBH and convicted of conspiracy to do ABH. The defendants had been said to be acting in revenge for the robbery of one of their drug runners the day before.

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1471465/inmate-ordered-fatal-attack-from-phone-in-cell

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-33007081

 
New Member

Farringdon Chambers are delighted to announce that Mr James Elvidge has accepted the offer of Tenancy.

 
Conspiracy

Martin McCarthy and Greg Krieger secure acquittal in Conspiracy case.

Martin McCarthy leading Greg Krieger, instructed by Powell Spencer and Partners, achieve the acquittal of the defendant in a seven week trial of conspiracy to supply vast quantities of cocaine across Southern England. The case, heard in the Crown court at Winchester, involved the complex presentation of covert observation and cell site evidence through which it was suggested the defendant was the right hand man to the conspiracy’s organiser who had already entered a guilty plea.

http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/topic/cocaine/