A practice encompassing a wide range
of allegations of corporate wrongdoing.
YEAR OF CALL 1999
Education: MA (Cantab)
Overview of Practice
Stuart Biggs advises and acts in matters involving allegations of fraud, money laundering, financial misconduct and bribery & corruption. His practice focuses on allegations of financial crime but encompasses related aspects of civil and public law.
Most recently the predominance of Stuart’s criminal practice has been defence work, representing defendants in cases brought by the SFO, FCA and CPS Fraud Division. He has the advantage of a wealth of prosecution experience, having acted for prosecution agencies including the SFO, BIS/DTI and the Specialist Divisions of the CPS in challenging and complex white collar and organised crime cases. He maintains a specialist prosecution practice including advice and representation in private prosecutions and acts for companies that are victims of fraud.
Stuart acts for businesses in a range of regulatory matters including consumer protection, health and safety, advertising regulation and nuisance and has expertise in respect of Intellectual Property Crime and copyright/brand protection.
Stuart has appeared in criminal cases involving a great range of criminal offences including homicide, serious organised crime and trafficking in firearms, but the predominance of his work in recent times has been in respect of allegations of fraud, money-laundering, FSMA offences and bribery & corruption. He principally acts for defendants in cases brought by the SFO, FCA and by the CPS although he maintains some prosecution work including private prosecutions. Recent matters include:
- Defence of a director of a Hong Kong fiduciary services company in respect of allegations of money laundering put at $120m.
- Defence of sales director in £160m financing fraud
- Defence of Director of Corporate Finance and Investment Firm charged with FSMA offences
- Defence of Director of hospitality industry companies accused of multi-million pound tax fraud
- Prosecution of international bribery case
Stuart has a longstanding specialism in Intellectual Property Crime. He is instructed by the BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) and IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) as well as by other rightsholders and law enforcement and provides detailed advice on the substantive law and on investigations and procedure. He has regularly been instructed to work in this field with eminent Queen’s Counsel from both civil and criminal jurisdictions. In particular, he has expertise in the law in respect of internet piracy and its development worldwide. Stuart has spoken on this subject at the Cambridge Symposium on Economic Crime.
In addition to his extensive financial crime practice and his work in the Tax Tribunals, see above and below, Stuart is experienced in providing advice for commercial clients where companies and other organisations are confronted by fraud and/or come into contact with regulators or with the Criminal Justice System. This includes acting in the civil jurisdiction for victim companies, as well as advising them on the mechanics of the criminal jurisdiction. He has spoken at seminars with City firms, banks and commercial clients on the Bribery Act and drafted anti-bribery and corruption policies.
Stuart has complementary experience of advising and acting in respect of individual and company insolvency and has acted for a director in contested company director disqualification proceedings.
He has been instructed by the Home Office in respect of Mutual Legal Assistance requests from a foreign state conducting a fraud investigation.
Since co-authoring the Butterworths’ Guide to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 Stuart has maintained a keen interest in this area, conducting many confiscation, restraint and enforcement hearings; acting for prosecution, defendants and third parties. He has also appeared several times in the Court of Appeal on confiscation matters, most recently in:
R v. Darren Thompson  EWCA Crim 1820 – wife’s interest in property where couple unable to have children.
R v. Aston Shim  EWCA Crim 576 – Court of Appeal endorsed approach to confiscation in Security Industry Authority cases.
He has provided training on the area for the Security Industry Authority and the CPS Proceeds of Crime Unit. Stuart has experience of judicially reviewing the decision to commit for non-payment.
Stuart has considerable experience in cash forfeiture cases and recently acted for an individual in a matter that saw the return of circa £150,000.
Stuart is on a panel of counsel used by a leading national retailer for its non-financial regulatory work.
He is currently instructed to defend prosecutions for consumer protection offences and fraud in respect of a services company. Previous cases include defence of a Soho production company for alleged breaches of advertising regulations.
Stuart has been on the List of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law for several years and has acted for many London local authorities in criminal courts and in the High Court (QBD) in applications for injunctions to prevent nuisance. He has also acted and advised in many cases brought by the Security Industry Authority.
Stuart provides advice on intellectual property crime to diverse rights-holders with a particular expertise in on-line sales and distribution.
Stuart has conducted Judicial Review proceedings in respect of a range of topics relating to criminal practice:
R (on the application of S) v. Chief Constable of Thames Valley  EWHC 1561 (Admin) – acted for the claimant in judicial review proceedings successfully challenging a simple caution.
R v. Dover Justices, ex parte Ilyas – successful judicial review of a decision to impose default sentence for non-payment of a confiscation order.
R (on application of Harper and Johncox) v. Aldershot Magistrates’ Court  EWHC 1319 Admin – relating to the disclosure of the identity of serving police officer defendants.
Stuart advises and acts for HMRC in cases before the Upper Tier and First Tier Tribunals, Tax Chamber as leading junior, led junior and alone.
He has had success as leading junior in recent contested indirect tax appeals which have turned to a significant extent upon his cross-examination of the Appellants’ directors.
Most recently he appeared in the Upper Tribunal in AC Wholesale v HM Revenue and Customs  UKUT 191 and he is currently instructed in respect of a £15m appeal.
AC (Wholesale) Ltd v. Revenue & Customs Commissioners  UKUT 191 (TCC)
R v. Anthony France  4 WLR 175 :  1 Cr App R 19
R v. Aston Shim  EWCA Crim 576
R v. Chapman & Others; R v Sabey & Brunt  3 WLR 726
R v. Darren Thompson  EWCA Crim 1820
R v. Matthew Ames (unreported 2014, Isleworth Crown Court and Court of Appeal – £1.6m carbon credit investment scheme fraud)
R v. Sevket (unreported 2013, Central Criminal Court and Court of Appeal – £1.5m film loan fraud)
R (on the application of S) v. Chief Constable of Thames Valley  EWHC 1561 (Admin)
R (Virgin Media Ltd) v. Zinga  1 Cr.App.R 2
MBG Associates v. Revenue & Customs Commissioners  UKFTT 723 (TC)
R v. H  EWCA Crim 1113 – arms trafficking
R v. Maye  UKPC 36 – successful Privy Council appeal
R v. Golizadeh & Others  2 Cr.App.R.(S) 47
Secretary of State for Trade and industry v. Swan and Others  BCC 596
Peat/Lawson inquiry into various aspects of the conduct of members of the household of St James’s Palace; junior counsel to Edmund Lawson QC