Edmund Burge

Year of Call: 1997

Edmund specialises in the prosecution and defence of serious financial, commercial and organised crime, with a focus on tax and other serious fraud, corruption, arms-trafficking and brokering, money laundering, large-scale drug-importations and other serious organised criminal matters.

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Overview

Edmund is a specialist criminal advocate who prosecutes and defends the full range of offences.

Edmund Burge has been appointed Counsel to the Metropolitan Police in respect of its participation in the Pitchford Inquiry, the public inquiry into the use of undercover police officers over the last 50 years.  Edmund is being led by Jonathan Hall QC of 6 King’s Bench Walk, and the Inquiry is expected to last up to three years.

Ranked in Chambers and Partners (2017) as a leader in the field of financial crime (London Bar).

"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.

He has particular expertise in matters of organised and financial crime, such as large-scale drugs importations, money laundering, arms trafficking and brokering, corruption and fraud, and in cases that raise complex issues of jurisdiction, disclosure, and public interest immunity.

He is regularly instructed in ‘document heavy’ cases such as serious fraud and other commercial crime, and in matters involving specialist and technical evidence. In addition to advocacy in substantive offences, he provides advice and representation in proceedings for ancillary matters such as asset forfeiture and confiscation.

Edmund also has substantial experience in cases of murder, rape and other serious violent and sexual offences, and of handling difficult and vulnerable witnesses such as children and the mentally unwell. He is trained in the use of witness intermediaries, and has considerable experience both of calling and cross-examining experts across the full spectrum of forensic sciences.

Additional Information

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.

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 since 2010 has been the Mess’ Diversity Mentor.

Professional Panel Appointments

  • Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Grade 4 lists for General Crime, Serious Crime, Rape and Sexual Offences, and Proceeds of Crime.
  • Serious Fraud Office (SFO) A-lists for Prosecutions and Proceeds of Crime.
  • Attorney-General’s 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 (GDC) Fitness to Practice Panel (since August 2013).

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, he was recently instructed by the Metropolitan Police in an application 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 in cases of heavy fraud and related offences such as bribery, corruption, and cross-border crime. For example R v. Messent [2010] – a $2 million corruption and conspiracy to defraud prosecution brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) against the former director of a London-based reinsurance broker involved in corrupting foreign government officials. He is currently instructed to prosecute a three-handed £6 million tax fraud for the CPS’ Central Fraud Division, a case estimated to last 10 weeks and in which there are over 20,000 pages of served evidence. 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.

Crime

Edmund specialises in the prosecution and defence of serious criminal offences, particularly serious violence and organised crime (e.g. murder, drug importations, money laundering, arms trafficking & brokering). He has considerable experience in dealing with expert evidence e.g. blood splatter patterning, mobile telephone cell-site data, tachograph analysis, firearms and other weaponry. He is an acknowledged expert on the practical application of the disclosure regime under the CPIA, the AG’s guidelines and protocols, and has considerable experience in both making and responding to applications for Public Interest Immunity.

Sexual Offences

His substantial and wide-ranging experience in prosecuting and defending proceedings for all types of sexual offences (particularly rape, offences against children and child pornography) means Edmund is a highly regarded advocate in such cases. His sensitive handling of young and other vulnerable witnesses enables searching cross-examination without eliciting adverse jury reaction. Edmund is on the CPS’s panel of approved Specialist Advocates in rape cases, and has undergone training in the use of intermediaries for vulnerable witnesses.

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.

Edmund also sits for the General Dental Council on their Fitness to Practice Panel in matters relating to professional discipline and professional misconduct.

Cases of Note

RECENT AND CURRENT CASES

R v. Ahmed, Shearer & Azzopardi (2013-14)

Prosecuting a number of accountants and businessmen on charges of conspiracy to defraud the UK Revenue of over £6 million and money laundering. The prosecution case alleges the use of numerous companies in various jurisdictions including Gibraltar and Belize to effect the fraud and to launder the proceeds. The evidence consists of over 20,000 pages and the trial is estimated to last 10 weeks.

R v. Baxendale-Walker (2013-14)

Prosecuting a former solicitor, specialist tax advisor and media owner accused of forgery and fraudulently obtaining material for use in a £240 million civil action he brought against various public bodies and individuals.

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 international terrorism. The case involved advising on the use in evidence of recordings of the Respondent discussing the transfer of funds abroad to purchase weaponry and explosives.

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. Akinluyi and others (2013)

Leading junior 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. Ahmed, Shearer & Azzopardi (2013-14)

Prosecuting a number of accountants and businessmen on charges of conspiracy to defraud the UK Revenue of over £6 million and money laundering. The prosecution case alleges the use of numerous companies in various jurisdictions including Gibraltar and Belize to effect the fraud and to launder the proceeds. The evidence consists of over 20,000 pages and the trial is estimated to last 10 weeks.

R v. Baxendale-Walker (2013-14)

Prosecuting a former solicitor, specialist tax advisor and media owner accused of forgery and fraudulently obtaining material for use in a £240 million civil action he brought against various public bodies and individuals.

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 international terrorism. The case involved advising on the use in evidence of recordings of the Respondent discussing the transfer of funds abroad to purchase weaponry and explosives.

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. Akinluyi and others (2013)

Leading junior 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. 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.

OLDER CASES

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.