Stephen Harvey QC | Barrister
Year of call: 1979
Inn of Court: Gray’s Inn
Stephen Harvey QC has forged an enviable reputation in the years following his call to the Bar in 1979. During this time his practice has evolved from general common law to serious crime and beyond into specialist criminal and quasi-criminal areas. The emphasis of his current caseload is serious criminal and civil fraud (white and blue collar) but he is also retained for terrorist-related cases, serious and organised crime, homicide, military law, firearms and explosives cases and cases involving serious (sometimes historic) sexual allegations.
AREAS OF PRACTICE:
Inquest and Public Inquiries
Direct Access Barristers
All aspects of serious crime
Computer crime (esp. copyright theft)
Fraud (esp. revenue, VAT and MTIC)
Health & safety
Corporate governance (including anti-corruption and bribery)
I have prosecuted and defended in equal measure in all aspects of the criminal law, and particularly over recent years, in allegations serious and non-recent sexual offending and ‘shaken baby’ homicides and assaults. My practice also includes offences involving organised crime, white and blue collar fraud, firearms, drugs, explosives, computer crime, copyright theft, proceeds of crime, money laundering and road traffic.
R v B – Defended in a case in which a 16 year old was charged with serial rape involving teenage girls.
R v H – Represented a high-flying lawyer charged with historical sexual allegations upon his two daughters. The accusations included stupefying them with drugs.
R v X – Represented an Imam charged with sexual offending.
R v B – Prosecuted an osteopath who faced multiple allegations of sexually abusing his patients.
R v H – Prosecuted to conviction a ‘cold case’ stranger rape.
R v B and Others – Advised the prosecution and drafted a 70 + count indictment against 10 defendants accused of being members of a paedophile ring involving some of the defendant’s children, and others, and alleged corruption within Social Services departments of local authorities and outside agencies. The trial is ongoing.
Much of my recent criminal fraud practice has involved advisory work at an early stage of an investigation, when defending, I have sought to influence its course and to negotiate a favourable outcome for the client. In this role I have dealt with the major investigating bodies including the Serious Fraud Office (using its wide-ranging powers) and the Financial Services Authority in its regulation of financial markets as well as large-scale fraud inquiries by the police and the CPS.
R v AB – Represented a bank manager who had spent some years defrauding his bank using ‘ghost’ accounts and other devices to conceal and move monies around.
R v J – Financial Services Authority prosecution of a large insurance brokerage and allegations of misappropriated premiums. Case involved ‘early day’ successful appearances in the Chancery Division in respect of a number of world-wide injunctions granted to the investigators.
R v M – An insurance company fraud involving substantial amounts of monies being syphoned off through a complex trail of bank accounts throughout Europe.
R v W – A substantial VAT ‘carousel’ fraud brought by HMRC involving cross-jurisdictional transactions, money laundering and a ‘supergrass’.
R v G – A fraud involving the creation of a company to act as a vehicle for the sales of vast quantities of stolen specialist building materials from the company employing the defendants.
R v H – A six-figure fraud on an international leasing company by the ‘creation’ of assets against which funds were borrowed.
PROCEEDS OF CRIME AND MONEY LAUNDERING:
R v M – A large conspiracy to steal and distribute prestige cars throughout Europe with the proceeds being passed through a network of bank accounts.
R v C – An international conspiracy to supply drugs and launder the proceeds through bank and building society accounts in the UK and in Spain.
R v B – Successfully retained the clients financial interests in a property in the face of the prosecutions claim that all the property should be the subject of confiscation.
R v A – Represented a senior tax investigator employed by the Inland Revenue who was acquitted upon all allegations of corruption after an inquiry lasting 4 years and a trial lasting 3 months.
R v M – Successful defence of an army major charged with spying.
R v U – Junior counsel in the ‘Stansted Afghan Hijacking’ case.
ABUSE OF PROCESS:
R v H – Successfully argued that the case should be stayed due to errors made by the prosecution during the investigation. The case involved an international drug conspiracy. The legal arguments took three months to advance.
R v E – At the time of trial the case involved the largest UK tobacco smuggling allegation that Customs & Excise had prosecuted. Successfully argued that case should be stayed due to significant non-disclosure by the prosecution of material it had acquired during the investigation and which was helpful to the defence.
R v J and Others – This was the largest gangland trial that had been brought to court in the North of England. It involved Moss Side gangsters (‘The Gooch Street Gang’ and ‘The Longsight Crew’) gun-related violence, homicide, attempted homicides and drug dealing over a number of years. The trial took in excess of 6 months.
R v G and Others – Successfully defended a 17 year old charged with murder and grievous bodily harm following allegations that he had set fire to a block of flats when he was just 14 years of age. The case was brought to trial after a ‘cold-case review’, a Crime Watch appeal and following two major police investigations. The client was acquitted following detailed submissions as to the unreliability of the prosecution evidence.
R v W – Successfully defended a young man charged with conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to dispose of the body.
R v N – Prosecuted to conviction a Zimbabwean ex-policeman who attacked his wife with an axe.
R v A – Successfully defended a 17 year old who was accused of being part of a group of youths who broke into the deceased’s home twice and on the second occasion attacked him leaving him for dead. The client was acquitted after an 8 week trial.
R v B – Prosecuted to conviction a rare case of infanticide where a young mother having delivered her own baby killed it.
R v S – Defended an escaped prisoner who murdered his wife in the presence of their very young (5 to 12 years of age) children by repeatedly stabbing her. The defence was provocation and a great deal of sensitive advocacy was required in dealing with the children who were witnesses in the case.
R v M – Prosecuted to conviction a difficult and sensitive ‘shaken baby homicide’ case involving medical evidence from a total of 17 distinguished experts from a variety of medical disciplines.
KIDNAPPING AND BLACKMAIL:
R v L – Defended in a trial involving the targeting, kidnapping and blackmailing of family members of lottery millionaires.
R v S – Defended a Turkish client charged with armed kidnapping and blackmail in a ‘Kebab wars’ trial.
R v C – A substantial cannabis smuggling operation involving over 100 armed police officers in a midnight raid at a quiet east coast location.
COMPUTER CRIME AND COPYRIGHT THEFT:
R v V – Successfully defended in a private prosecution brought by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT). This was the first case that has come to trial involving accusations against the operators of a ‘linking’ website. The prosecution originally claimed that the losses of copyright revenues were in the region of £18 billion. The case, at the time, represented the highest value criminal prosecution brought in a UK court. The site was one of the most popular on the world wide web which, at its peak, was the 500th most visited site out of the 40 billion sites there are on the web. Complex cross-jurisdictional issues and a number of internationally renowned computer experts were called during the case. The client was charged with two conspiracies to defraud. Successfully argued that the first of the conspiracies should not proceed beyond close prosecution’s case and the jury acquitted the client of the second conspiracy. The trial lasted 8 weeks.
R v S – Another private prosecution by FACT. It involved the importation and distribution of illegal set top boxes which facilitated the illegal downloading of copy written material. A significant six-figure loss was alleged. The client was acquitted.
EXPLOSIVES AND FIREARMS:
R v K – A case involving the manufacture of two bombs one of which exploded destroying a solicitor’s office. The second was a ‘video tape’ designed to explode and kill the recipient when it was inserted into a video player.
R v E – A case involving the petrol-bombings of two senior police officers homes.
I have spent some time over the past five years advising on the ever-increasing volume of regulation affecting the financial sectors.
I am shortly to be instructed by an overseas investment bank in relation to its obligations under the European Market Infrastructure Regulations (MMIR), the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), the obligations that the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) imposes (introduced by the American government with effect from July 2013) and of its responsibilities under the Dodd-Frank Act.
The economic situation has also seen a growth in the number of small to medium sized businesses enter the ‘Peer to Peer’ lending market. I am currently advising a small British PLC wishing to create a peer to peer lending operation on the regulatory framework attaching to such an operation and I have commenced the drafting of the documentation required for use in this new venture.
R v C Z – Successfully argued for a low-level penalty having analysed in microscopic detail the way in which the breaches of the regulations had come about. The fines imposed were 1/5th of those expected.
HEALTH AND SAFETY:
R v M – Advised upon the non-prosecution of a nursery school where a 3 year old child died in an accident whilst at school. The case eventually went to judicial review where my original advice as to what course the case should take was approved and upheld by the Queen’s Bench Division.
R v S – Alleged breaches of workplace regulations concerning welding equipment. Employee died in an explosion and the HSE investigated. Advised from the outset and before the client was interviewed. As a result the HSE were persuaded not to prosecute the client although others were.
R v BP – Alleged breaches of planning regulations over a 10 year period. Successfully argued technical failures in the prosecution case leading to acquittals on all matters and a full indemnity of costs.
R v SL – Successfully argued highly technical issues regarding planning enforcement proceedings taken by a local authority against a person with no legal or equitable interest in the property. Client obtained a full indemnity of the costs incurred.
R v P – A planning enforcement case involving technical submissions regarding the local authority’s litigation procedures. Case resulted in an acquittal after three days of legal argument. The client was awarded all of his costs.
R v AB – Represented the family of a deceased who died as a result of alleged medical negligence whilst in hospital. Key witnesses were cross-examined at this critical stage to facilitate the progress of the civil action in clinical negligence against the doctors and the health authority.
R v GH – Client involved in a fatal road traffic accident and was facing a criminal prosecution for causing the death and a civil action for damages. Successfully cross-examined key witnesses at this key stage of the matter resulting in no prosecution taking place.
I have successfully represented police officers before Police Disciplinary Tribunals.
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND BRIBERY:
To date, much of the corporate governance and Bribery Act 2010 work has been in the form of advising organisations as to protocols, procedures and processes. The Act came into force on 1st July 2010 and the results of the investigations under it are now beginning to see the light of day.
I have written and lectured to a number of audiences on the Bribery Act 2010.
F v K and L – Advising on a civil claim to recover tens of thousands of pounds involving accusations of fraud, forgery and an attempt to pervert the course of justice allegedly occurring during the course of earlier civil litigation.
J v JB – A case involving the identification of hidden assets here and abroad and the recovery thereof.
R v G is a civil fraud case presently before the Companies Court. The client is alleged to have defrauded two British banks of a total of £1.68 million using a BVI company (now in administration) to acquire properties in the UK. The case involves a number of issues arising under BVI company law.
AB – I am presently instructed on behalf of an American finance investment company in relation to a ‘Ponzi’ type scheme in which it is seeking to trace and recover £2.7 million.
R v G – Successful defence of an army major charged with two counts of negligent manslaughter at a live firing range in Canada where he was the Range Safety Officer.
I have appeared before a variety of tribunals during the course of my career.
I have appeared in inquiries and public meetings concerning, inter alia, the retention of medical services (a doctors surgery) in a community during health service restructuring, and the inadequate provision of sewage plant by a water company resulting in environmental pollution in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
I am currently representing an auction house in relation to a public inquiry regarding an application to reinstate an ancient and historically significant public right of way. If the inquiry finds in favour of the application the valuable commercial buildings and business the client owns will be rendered virtually worthless.
MISCELLANEOUS AND UNUSUAL CASES:
R v H – Defended a mortician charged with theft of body parts from a number of different hospital mortuaries over a number of years. A non-custodial sentence was secured.
R v S – Defence of a fisherman in which the legitimacy of the entire European fishing quota system was in issue. Issues such as the legislation being unlawful due to reasons of anti-competativeness were advanced as well as other constitiutional issues involving the interaction between UK and European legislation.
AA v A School – Successful defence of the Board of School Governors and three of its teachers against an accusation of racial discrimination.
I have also recently been instructed on behalf of a Deputy Head teacher from a different school who has been suspended pending accusations which amount to accusations of gross misconduct and potential summary dismissal.