Edmund Burge

Year of Call: 1997

"A star in the making." "He's tough but fair, and always knows the case inside-out. He has a good jury manner and is not intimidated by anybody or anything."

Chambers and Partners 2017 for Financial Crime.

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Overview

Edmund is a leading junior, ranked in Chambers and Partners as a leader in financial crime at the London Bar.  He specialises in serious financial, commercial and organised crime, with particular expertise in complex tax and commercial fraud, corruption, arms-trafficking and brokering, money laundering, large-scale drug-importations and other organised criminal matters.  In addition to advocacy in substantive offences, he provides advice and representation in proceedings for ancillary matters such as asset forfeiture and confiscation. 

He is regularly instructed to lead in document heavy and multi-handed cases, frequently involving complex issues of jurisdiction, disclosure, and public interest immunity.  Since 2007 he has been a member of the Attorney General’s Panel of Special Advocates in cases involving matters of terrorism and National Security and is DV cleared until 2021.  Since January 2017 he has been First Junior Counsel to the Metropolitan Police, advising on its involvement in the Public Inquiry into the long-term deployment of undercover police officers over the last 50 years.  

In March 2018 he was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court.

Additional Information

Between 2005 and 2007 Edmund was the Kent Bar Mess representative to the Committee of the South Eastern Circuit. Between 2007 and 2010 he was Junior to the Kent Bar Mess, and was the Mess’ Diversity Mentor between 2010-2015.

Prior to coming to the Bar Edmund was a civil servant at the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), where he was involved in investigating and prosecuting cartels, price-fixing and other anti-competitive practices.

Professional Panel Appointments

  • Appointed Recorder - March 2018.
  • Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Grade 4 lists for Fraud, Serious Crime, Proceeds of Crime, Rape and other Sexual Offences, and General Crime.
  • Attorney-General’s Panel of Special Advocates for cases involving allegations of terrorism and matters of national security, and is thus vetted by the Security Services at DV (Developed Vetting) level.
  • General Dental Council’s Fitness to Practice Panel member 2013-2017.
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Awards

  • Thomas More Awards 1996 & 1997.
  • Ede & Ravenscroft Prize 1997.
  • Buchanan Prize (Lincoln’s Inn Student of the Year) 1997.

Professional Memberships

  • Criminal Bar Association.
  • South East Circuit.
  • Kent Bar Mess.

Asset Recovery, Civil Fraud & Confiscation

Edmund is an experienced advocate in proceedings brought under the Drug Trafficking Act (the DTA), the Criminal Justice Act (the CJA) and the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). His in-depth understanding of the various restraint, forfeiture and confiscation regimes ensures the provision of experienced and practical advice and representation. For example, his successful application for the Metropolitan Police for the forfeiture of cash suspected to have been intended to fund terrorism in East Africa, during which he was asked to advise on the deployment in evidence of covertly obtained material.

Business Crime

Edmund is regularly instructed to lead in cases of heavy fraud and related offences such as bribery, corruption, and cross-border crime. For example Op Barbados (£30m MTIC fraud), R v. George & others (trafficking & brokering to Iran), R v. Ahmed & others (£7m tax fraud) and R v. Louca & others (£15m money laundering. He has also provides advice on the cross-over between civil and criminal matters, eg advising on potential criminal liability arising from the $5bn sale of a global company, and on corruption in the London re-insurance market.  A comprehensive and practical understanding of the UK financial markets enables the provision of practical analysis and advice in cases of complex fraud and other financial crime.  

Professional Discipline & Regulatory

Edmund is regularly instructed in cases brought under the Insolvency Act 1986, the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, and related legislation e.g. The Companies Act. Such cases have involved allegations of fraudulent trading, the illegal use of ‘phoenix companies’ to protect company assets from creditors, and the involvement of undischarged bankrupts/disqualified directors in the illegal management of companies. He has a thorough knowledge of the complex company directors’ regulatory regime and the related criminal jurisdiction.

Between 2013 and 2017 Edmund sat for the General Dental Council on their Fitness to Practice Panel in matters relating to professional discipline and professional misconduct.

Cases of Note

CURRENT & RECENT CASES

R v. Alexander George & 3 others (Op Algebra - 2018)

Leading in a four-handed trafficking & brokering prosecution at Southwark Crown Court involving the unlicensed supply of fighter jet and other aircraft parts to Iran

R v. David Hughes (Op Modcons II - 2018)

Leading in the prosecution at Southwark Crown Court of an ex-Tax Officer for a £7m Conspiracy to Cheat the Revenue and money laundering.

Op Barbados (2018)

Advising HMRC & CPS on the pre-charge investigation and preparation of a 30 suspect £30m MTIC fraud involving tangible and intangible contra-deal chains using fraudulent off-shore banking platforms.

R v. Z & 3 others (2018)

Advising HMRC and the Insolvency Service on the pre-charge investigation of a four-handed £5m VAT & PAYE fraud involving pre-pack insolvencies and phoenix companies.

Public Inquiry into Undercover Policing (2017 - anticipated to end 2023)

Instructed as First Junior Counsel to the Met Police, preparing its evidential contribution to the Public Inquiry into the long-term deployment of undercover police officers since 1968. Leading a team of 10 junior Counsel.

R v. Mario Te (Op Mangerton - 2017)

Junior to Alan Kent QC prosecuting murder at the Old Bailey.

R v. Katabarwa & 5 others (Op Yena II - 2016-2017)

Leading in the prosecution at the Old Bailey of 6 defendants for 10 conspiracies to rob banks & post offices, using loaded handguns and significant violence to staff.

R v. Hamer (2016)

Court-appointed advocate (Canterbury Crown Court) to cross-examine witnesses in appeal against conviction of mentally ill transgender woman convicted of posting untrue allegations of rape and child abuse against ex-partner and others.

R v. Ahmed & 2 others (Op Modcons - 2016)

Leading in the prosecution at Maidstone Crown Court of a number of accountants and businessmen on charges of conspiracy to defraud the UK Revenue of £7 million and money laundering.

R v. Baxendale-Walker (Op Celadon - 2016)

Leading the prosecution at Guildford Crown Court of a former solicitor, specialist tax advisor and media owner accused of forgery and fraudulently obtaining material for use in a £240 million civil action.

R v. Texieira (2016)

Trial at the Old Bailey of conspiracies to import and supply 300kg of cannabis worth £1.5m.

R v. Louca & 4 others (Op Closeknit - 2016)

Leading in prosecution at Southwark Crown Court of 5 defendants charges with laundering £15m from large-scale cross-border alcohol diversion fraud.

R v Katabarwa & 4 others (Op Yena - 2015)

5-handed armed robbery at the Old Bailey, using loaded hand-guns.

R v. Gex (Op Creolize - 2015)

Prosecution at the Old Bailey of grooming of children via internet chat rooms and possession of indecent images of children.

R v. Springett & 3 others (Op Acapulco - 2015)

Joint prosecution by HMRC and Police Canterbury Crown Court of £800,000 fraud on gov’t agency providing funding for adult education courses.

OLDER CASES

R v. Akinluyi and 3 others (2014)

Leading in the prosecution of a 5-handed conspiracy to import class A drugs worth several million pounds concealed in the on-flight catering equipment of international airlines, using corrupt ‘air-side’ staff both in the UK and abroad.

R v. BC & DE (2013)

Acting for the Metropolitan Police in the application for forfeiture of money seized at the house of a man suspected to have been involved in funding Islamic terrorism in East Africa.

R v. Levy (a.k.a. Michaels) (2013)

Leading junior in the prosecution of a series of frauds which netted money, goods and services worth £1 million.

R v. Roe (2013)

The prosecution of a driver for a world superbike racing team for the importation into the UK of £2 million consignment of Class A and B drugs, a semi-automatic hand-gun and live ammunition.

R v. B (2012)

The prosecution of allegations of sexual assault and internet chat-room grooming of girls under 15 by a middle-aged man.

R v. Birch (2012)

The prosecution of the organiser of an importation of class A drugs worth over £3 million. The case relied on cell-site, ANPR, and international travel data to prove the defendant’s involvement. He pleaded guilty at the close of the prosecution case.

R v. Castle (2012)

The successful defence of man accused of being involved in the smuggling into the UK of £5 million of Class A and B drugs. His two co-defendants were convicted and received sentences of 20 and 17 years respectively.

R v. Sidime (2012)

The prosecution of a serial sex-offender and rapist for repeated attacks on young women at a back-packers’ hostel in West London. Victims and witnesses were flown back from New Zealand, France and Germany to give evidence that secured the convictions on all counts on the indictment.

R v. Rossiter (2011)

Successfully quashing the conviction of a young man for GBH, following his trial for attempted murder, by satisfying the Court of Appeal that the prosecution’s approach to disclosure had been fundamentally flawed leading to material non-disclosure at the trial.

R v. Messent (2010)

The prosecution of the former director of a City reinsurance brokers guilty of paying over $2 million in bribes to foreign officials in return for government reinsurance contracts. This was one of the first cases to implement the Attorney General’s Guidelines on Plea Discussions in Cases of Serious or Complex Fraud.

R v Sarig & Freckleton (2010)

The successful prosecution of UK citizens for repeated and illegal supplies of heavy weaponry (eg automatic guns, aircraft ammunition and 500lb flare bombs) from Eastern Europe to Asia, Africa and South America. The defendants had sought to evade domestic arms controls by operating through Panamanian-registered companies, and by the payment of commissions etc through Swiss banks. Those attempts proved unsuccessful.

R v Johnson & Owolabi

Laundering the proceeds of over £500,000 in Tax Credit fraud, involving over 75 false identities and 80 bank accounts.

R v Claydon and Muffet

The importation of 150 kg of cocaine.

R v Teal and Jones

The illegal export of para-military equipment from the UK to Iraq and elsewhere in the middle-east.

R v Osman and others

Conspiracy to facilitate the international movement of illegal immigrants.

R v H

Historic allegations of the serious and repeated sexual abuse of a 14 year old with cerebral palsy.

R v Smith

The prosecution of the principal financier of an importation of over 60kg of amphetamine.