Benjamin Burge

Year of Call: 2011

Ben is a criminal practitioner, who is regularly instructed as junior counsel in serious fraud, financial and general crime matters.

Our specialist clerks can be contacted by email on clerks@5sah.co.uk or phone on 020 7332 5400. To contact our Chambers Director directly in relation to a specific members’ practice, please email dscothern@5sah.co.uk

Overview

Ben is a criminal practitioner. In recent years, he has developed a practice in the areas of serious and complex fraud, money laundering and business crime. He is frequently instructed as led junior counsel in lengthy, multi-defendant cases in the Crown Court including homicide.

He is currently acting as disclosure counsel in a large money-laundering investigation.

In 2018 he acted as part of an international team representing a former London based foreign exchange trader who was charged, by the US Department of Justice, with conspiring to manipulate the global foreign exchange markets. The trader was acquitted following a trial in the Southern District of New York.

Ben was seconded to the National Crime Agency in 2016 to act as part of an independent panel of counsel reviewing the processes, procedures and compliance of search warrants and production orders obtained in their ongoing investigations.

Professional Panel Appointments

  • CPS General Crime Panel – Level 3.
  • CPS Specialist Fraud Panel – Level 2.
  • CPS Specialist Serious Crime Panel – Level 2.
  • GDC list.

Additional information

Prior to joining Chambers, Ben worked as a paralegal for Corker Binning Solicitors.

For several years, he was appointed as an Independent Custody Visitor for the Avon and Somerset Police Authority.

Education and Training

  • City Law School, BPTC (Very Competent)
  • King’s College London, LLB (First Class Hons.)

Prizes

  • Sir Francis Jacobs Prize.
  • Inner Temple Exhibition.

Professional Memberships

  • Criminal Bar Association.
  • Young Fraud Lawyers Association.
  • Kent Bar Mess.

Asset Recovery, Civil Fraud & Confiscation + View All Specialist Areas

Alongside his criminal practice, Ben is also familiar with proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. He receives instructions in cash forfeiture proceedings and is regularly instructed by the CPS, local authorities and private individuals to deal specifically with high value confiscation matters.

He has also acted for s.10A clients, including the wife of an international haulier who was convicted of being concerned in duty evasion.

Ben has appeared for HMRC and private clients in a range of condemnation hearings, relating to the seizure of both goods and vehicles at the UK borders.  

Cases of Note

Criminal Prosecutions

R v. OO and Others (Southwark Crown Court)

Conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and money laundering. Led junior in the five month follow-on prosecution of five members of a serious organised crime group for their involvement in an internet-based diversion fraud. http://news.met.police.uk/news/five-online-fraudsters-sent-to-prison-for-ps10m-fraud-395705

R v. DT and IA (Kingston Crown Court)

Led junior in a trial of conspiracy to commit armed robbery on banks and building societies in South West London, with the stolen cash being laundered through betting shops.

R v. BC and Others (Blackfriars Crown Court)

Led junior in a six-month ten-handed conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and money laundering of over £10m. The case centred around cybercrime technologies, such as malware and phishing techniques, which were being widely used alongside various forms of digital communication. The six-month trial attracted media attention due to the nature and value of the fraud, and the scale of the group’s offending. https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/chukwuka-and-others.pdf

R v. AB and Others (Harrow Crown Court)

Led junior in a high-value money laundering operation on the streets of North London.

Criminal Defence:

R v. TN (Blackfriars Crown Court)

Ben’s client was unanimously acquitted of ABH and possession of an offensive weapon following an allegation that he had repeatedly attacked the complainant with a hammer causing head injuries. As a result of subsequent submissions, the Crown decided not proceed with allegations of perverting the course of justice and witness interference.

R v. DA (Harrow Crown Court)

Ben persuaded the Crown to offer no evidence on two counts of theft and possession of an offensive weapon.

R v. UZ (Sheffield Crown Court)

Client charged with threats to kill and ABH alongside co-defendants facing charged of attempted murder. After a successful half-time submission, Mrs. Justice Andrews directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict on the threats to kill. The Crown subsequently offered no evidence on the remaining ABH count.

R v. GL (Canterbury Crown Court)

Client charged with causing bodily harm with wanton or furious driving. Ben persuaded the Crown to offer no evidence against his client after highlighting inconsistencies between the witnesses’ evidence and CCTV footage as to which motorbike had hit the groundsman on the golf course.

R v. LM (Maidstone Crown Court)

Client charged with a knife point robbery and bladed article. After numerous disclosure requests the Crown decided not to proceed with the robbery count.

R v. PS (Lincoln Crown Court)

Client charged with aggravated arson in relation to a care home. Ben persuaded the court to impose a conditional discharge due to his client’s health conditions.

R v. B (Maidstone Crown Court)

Ben acted for a client charged with numerous counts of PWITS (Class A). After discussions with the Crown, the trial proceeded on one count and they were acquitted.

R v. G (Croydon Crown Court)

After pleading guilty to fraud on the day of trial, the client received a sentence of 4 months’ imprisonment, suspended. This was despite obtaining a significant sum of money through a fake telephone agency and having previous convictions for dishonesty, the most recent being for a like offence.

R v. B (Birmingham Crown Court)

Crown offered no evidence after a trial in which the co-accused was unanimously convicted of several counts of benefit fraud. The case involved the use of an interpreter and a cut-throat defence requiring the cross-examination of family members.

R v. B (Kingston Crown Court)

Client acquitted of possession of a bladed article amid knife crime publicity.

Driving cases of note:

R v. D (Greenwich Magistrates’ Court)(2015)

Ben secured the acquittal of an individual charged with being Drunk in Charge. The police officers had discovered him sat in the driver’s seat of a car, with others, parked on a main road in the early hours of the morning with the keys on the dashboard.

R v. K (Brent Magistrates’ Court)(2014)

The defendant, a foreign national, was acquitted of being Drunk in Charge. Officers had arrested him in the driver’s seat, with the keys, after noticing the rear brake lights.

Youth Court cases of note:

R v. D (Basildon Youth Court)(2015)

A 17 year old defendant was acquitted of four charges of Aggravated Arson said to have been committed at her home address. The case involved the cross-examination of an eight year old via video-link, and his mother, over who had started the fires.