Jason Sugarman QC
“A first-class strategic thinker”
Legal 500 (2020)
YEAR OF CALL 1995. APPOINTED QC 2017
Governing Bencher of Inner Temple (elected 2019)
QC List for SFO Prosecution Panel (2017)
Criminal Bar Association
South Eastern Circuit
Honorary Fellow in Law Durham University
Authorised to act as facilitator in specialized advocacy training for cases concerning vulnerable witnesses
Overview of Practice
Jason Sugarman QC has been a practising Barrister specialising in white-collar commercial fraud cases for some 21 years. Jason’s expertise extends to corporate criminal matters such as Intra-Community Carousel fraud, Serious Fraud Office Prosecution and defending commercial wrongdoing cases, Financial Service Regulation and corruption cases.
Jason has over 20 years’ experience of dealing with government departments including: SFO (A List since 2013-17) BIS (formerly DTI), Customs and Revenue and Department of Work and Pensions. He has also been instructed a grade 4 specialist CPS prosecutor with specialisms in fraud and serious sexual offences including rape.
For many years he was on the CPS panel of specialist rape and serious sexual offences and successfully prosecuted a number of cases.
Jason is recognised as a leading criminal specialist, listed in The Legal 500. His appointment as Queen’s Counsel is a recognition of excellence in written and oral advocacy in the higher courts.
“He is a forceful, concise, clear and effective advocate“
R V K:
In 2019 Jason Sugarman QC represented a client charged with tax evasion utilising an off-shore account in Cyprus. The funds in the account were not declared to HMRC. The client had been acquitted in a tax scheme case concerning selling and marketing environmental and HIV research tax schemes that potentially would have cost the revenue over £100 million after a 6 month trial in 2017. The client pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court and was sentenced to an exceptional 18 month suspended sentence. No confiscation or costs orders were to be pursued. The case was prosecuted by Julian Christopher QC and Michael Attenborough for HMRC and the CPS.
Expert witness in international case concerning major multi-national energy company:
In 2019: Jason has acted as a legal expert on UK compliance law and procedures in proceedings concerning corruption and involving a major multi-national energy company and a Sovereign state. The case is on-going and the case is being heard in a European jurisdiction. It is one of the largest corruption cases ever to be tried in Europe.
University disciplinary proceedings:
In 2018 and 2019 Jason has also been instructed by University undergraduates facing disciplinary proceedings. Most recently his cases have involved Durham and Oxford Universities. These cases are very distressing as they can lead to expulsion and the end of a student’s career at a University. This is potentially very damaging to a student’s long term future. Jason has been able to draw on his experience from complex cases to ensure that there is an urgent strategy and approach that hopefully can prevent a devastating end to a student’s career options.
Tax scheme case prosecuted by HMRC and Crown Prosecution Service (2016-17)
R v. AB & Ors [Southwark Crown Court, Trial listed 2016] Led junior representing the sales and Marketing Director in a multi-handed tax fraud. The defendant is alleged to have concerned in promoting fraudulent investment schemes, dishonestly sheltering approximately £175million from tax and accruing millions of pounds of fees. The case concerns the sophisticated and extensive network of international financial and corporate entities to disguise other defendant’s beneficial interests and to give the impression of legitimate loan funding to increase the tax relief apparently applicable to investors. Initial disclosure in the case amounts to over 1 million pages.
Money laundering case defending against SFO prosecution concluded 2016:
Successfully defended Hong Kong businessman James Sutherland, chairman of a large group of fiduciary companies, securing his acquittal as the main defendant in a criminal trial on money laundering charges concerning $120m proceeds of a boiler room fraud (Southwark Crown Court 2016)
Strategic advice after police raid on City Forex company (ongoing) 2015:
Representing the former CEO of a foreign exchange company, providing pre-charge advice in relation to an ongoing investigation concerning suspected large scale investor fraud.
Corruption case defending against SFO Prosecution concluded June 2014:
Jason Sugarman represented Robert Manning, former senior partner of Fox Hayes LLP, has been acquitted of a major corruption charge arising from the UK’s biggest ever boiler room fraud. Around 1,000 investors were defrauded of £70m. Nine other defendants were convicted of conspiracy to defraud. It was alleged Mr Manning, aged 63 of Leeds, received a bribe of $869,000 for persuading Fox Hayes Solicitors partners to take on high risk work, resulting in the collapse of the firm and the consequent loss of 300 jobs at the firm. The defence team, led by Mark Rainsford QC, consisted of Jason Sugarman, Stephen Fox –senior partner Ralli Solicitors, Manchester, and Lynn Mahon, associate solicitor. During the trial the SFO’s case was comprehensively undermined in a number of respects. The defendant, who did not give evidence, averred that:
- He did not improperly influence his partners;
- The prosecution incorrectly alleged he kept payments made to him secret
from his partners;
- By reason of custom and practice he had implied authority to receive
separate payment for work introduced by him to the firm;
- Severe criticism levelled at Mr Manning and his partners by the Court of
Appeal was unjustified and unfair and Fox Hayes LLP collapsed because it overreached itself financially prior to the recession and it was nothing to do with Mr Manning’s conduct.
The trial lasted for three – four months. Mr Manning was the only defendant to be acquitted
Further fraud and corruption cases:
Defended as leading counsel in a complex mobile phone VAT carousel fraud worth £120 million. Complex confiscation which was contested and pursued by CPS.
Successfully defended Hong Kong businessman James Sutherland, chairman of a large group of fiduciary companies, securing his acquittal as the main defendant in a criminal trial on money laundering charges concerning $120m proceeds of a boiler room fraud (2016)
Prosecuted the largest fraud ever brought to court by H.M. Customs and Revenue. I was the first Counsel instructed in the case and advised the then Attorney General Lord Goldsmith as to whether the case should be Prosecuted. It involved a VAT fraud of £250 million. 16 defendants have now been prosecuted and convicted. Evidence was immense and was obtained from Dubai, Hong Kong, Spain and Germany. (2003-2009)
Defended a large mining fraud case involving production of gold from soil deposits. The case lasted for two years and involved forensic accountants and financial issues involving the funding of the factory from the profits of the gold production. This business was based in the USA with special emphasis on mining/engineering valuations in Bute, Montana USA. (2007-2009)
Defended the largest insider dealing case ever investigated. I was led by Edmund Lawson QC and the case was dropped by the FSA after three years of investigation. (2004)
Advised the Nigerian government on the confiscation and repatriation of funds stolen by elected Nigerian State governors. (Instructed by D.J. Freeman). This case meant over £10 million was restored to the Nigerian Government.
Advised the leading property entrepreneur Vincent Tchenguiz from 2009 on a commercial fraud matter involved in a take-over opportunity. Appeared in the High Court on this matter. Has also advised Mr. Tchenguiz periodically from his arrest to the case being withdrawn by the Serious Fraud Office investigation from 20011-2013. Mr. Tchenguiz was awarded substantial damages by the SFO. Jason Sugarman has been regularly instructed by Consensus Group and Mr. Tchenguiz on a number of issues on a direct access basis and also via Solicitors acting for Mr. Tchenguiz.