Edmund Burge Q.C.

Year of Call: 1997 | Queen’s Counsel: 2019 | Recorder: 2018

‘Incredibly user-friendly. He is able to make very complex facts appear simple and straightforward. Juries like him; judges trust him.’

The Legal 500 2021

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

"He has a lovely manner with the jury and is a master of the details." "A superb legal brain."  

Chambers & Partners 2021

"Unshakeable under pressure." 

The Legal 500 2020

"An extremely good advocate, rated for his ability to handle the more complex cases.”  

Chambers & Partners 2020 

"A star in the making.  He is firm but fair, and always knows the case inside out."  

Chambers & Partners 2019 

Edmund is a specialist in crime, and is ranked in both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500.  He was called by Lincoln’s Inn in 1997, took Silk in 2019, and sits as a Recorder in the Crown Court and the County Court.

He both prosecutes and defends the full range of serious criminal cases, from complex tax and commercial fraud to allegations of murder, serious violence and other complex organised crime.  His cases frequently involve multi-defendant trials with an international dimension, for example cross-border arms trafficking and brokering, and often raise complex issues of jurisdiction, disclosure, and public interest immunity.   Examples of Edmund's leading work include R v. George and others, prosecuting a three-handed conspiracy to supply fighter jet parts to Iran (6-week trial at Southwark CC), R v. Katabarwa and others, prosecuting a six-handed conspiracy to commit multiple armed robberies (9-week trial at the Old Bailey), and R v. Palazu, defending a Romanian national with two previous manslaughter convictions who was charged with murder following a mass fight at a farm-workers' caravan site (3-week trial at Maidstone CC).  He is on the Attorney General’s Panel of Special Advocates for cases involving matters of terrorism and National Security, and has been DV cleared since 2007.  Prior to taking Silk Edmund was First Junior Counsel to the Met Police, co-ordinating its contributions to the Undercover Policing Public Inquiry.

For further information about the cases Edmund is currently engaged on, please see the ‘Current and Recent Cases’ section below.  Earlier examples of his work can be found under ‘Older Cases’.

Additional Information

Edmund was on the committee of the Kent Bar Mess from 2004 to 2016, was the Mess Junior between 2007 and 2010, and is currently one of the Mess' representatives to the South-Eastern Circuit.  Before coming to the Bar, between 1991 and 1995 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.
  • Prior to taking Silk, on the CPS’s Grade 4 lists for Serious Crime, Rape & Serious Sexual Offences, Fraud, and Proceeds of Crime, and both of the SFO’s A-panels of junior counsel.
  • Attorney-General’s Panel of Special Advocates for cases involving allegations of terrorism and matters of national security.  DV clearance since 2007.
  • General Dental Council’s Fitness to Practice Panel member 2013-2017.

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-Eastern Circuit.
  • Kent Bar Mess.
  • Fraud Lawyers Association.
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association.
  • Cybercrime Practitioners Association.

Asset Recovery, Civil Fraud & Confiscation

Edmund provides experienced and practical advice to clients in confiscation proceedings, and in applications for Restraint, Freezing, Forfeiture or other Civil Recovery (eg Part 5 of PoCA etc).  Please see his present and past cases (below) for further details.

Business Crime

Edmund is a specialist in financial and business crime cases. Please see his present and past cases (below) for examples of his work and experience. 

Cases of Note

CURRENT & RECENT CASES OF NOTE

R v. JG (2020)

Instructed to lead for the Crown in the Court of Appeal, concerning an 18-year extended sentence imposed following a finding of dangerousness. The appeal raises issues of general importance, including the ambit of Crown Court judges' powers under s.66 of the Courts Act 2003, the relationship between autrefois convict and abuse of process, and their application where more serious charges are brought after a defendant has pleaded guilty to lesser charges and been committed to the Crown Court for sentence.

Re: S (2020)

Advising a HNW individual on the merits of bringing a potential private prosecution, and on other suitable remedies for the recovery of over £1m, following their investment in a suspected 'Ponzi' fraud.

Re: A Charitable Trust (2020)

Instructed by a leading firm of off-shore attorneys to advise on the recovery of a charitable trust's internal records that were seized by police pursuant to a search warrant executed at the home of a former trustee/director.

R v. Palazu (2019)

Defending a Romanian national charged with murder, who had two previous convictions for manslaughter in his home country.

Re: B (2019)

Instructed to advise on the merits of bringing a private prosecution against public officials for their suspected criminal acts committed in the course of legal proceedings.

Re: P (2019)

Advising a HNW individual on potential criminal liability arising from business dealings in the UK with a foreign PEP currently under investigation abroad for corruption.

Filat v. The NCA (2019)

Representing an overseas PEP in their appeal against an Account Forfeiture Order obtained by the NCA over nearly £500,000 cash held in their UK bank accounts.

Re: A (2019)

Advising a senior company executive on allegations of involvement in large-scale bribery in return for substantial overseas contracts.

R v. Onions and 3 others (2019)

Prosecuting the joint investigation by HMRC and the Insolvency Service into a four-handed £5m VAT & PAYE fraud involving pre-pack insolvencies and phoenix companies. Leading Nick Jones.

Op A (2019)

Advising on an investigation into the bribery of company officers and public officials arising from the unlicensed sale abroad of gunboats, funded by the proceeds of large-scale government fraud.

Op Bash (2019)

Advising the CPS pre-charge on a 24-handed £100 million cross-border money-laundering operation. Leading Ini Udom.

R v. X (2019)

Advising a High Net Worth foreign national on the lawfulness of a Restraint Order and other measures taken against property held in the UK and elsewhere.

Op Barbados (2019)

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

Op Afterburner (2019)

Advising the CPS’ Strategic Exports Division on HMRC’s investigation into the unlicenced supply of fighter jets, Surface to Air missiles (SAMs), helicopter gunships, battle tanks and other weaponry to Syria, Libya, Iran, Uganda and South Sudan.

Law Officers of the Crown (Guernsey) v. MS (2018)

Advising the MLRO of a Guernsey-based investment bank on the merits of the prosecution’s case, brought under Guernsey law, relating to offences of Money Laundering and Failing to Disclose. All charges were dropped in 2019.

R v. VWR International Ltd (Op Athenian - 2018)

Prosecution counsel in a case brought against a corporate defendant charged with the unlicenced export of controlled chemical compounds to Pakistan, Jordan, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

R v. Witham Specialist Vehicles Ltd (Op Ashby - 2018)

Prosecution counsel against a corporate defendant accused of illegally exporting ammunition carriers (DROPS vehicles) to Mali and Guyana.

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

Leading Don Ramble 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 Serena Gates in the prosecution at Southwark Crown Court of an ex-Tax Officer for a £7 millon conspiracy to cheat the revenue and money laundering operation.

OLDER CASES

Public Inquiry into Undercover Policing (Jan 2017-April 2019)

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. Led a team of 7 junior Counsel preparing evidence and submissions on all undercover deployments between 1983 and 1992.

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 John Warrington 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 John Keal 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 David McNeill in 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 Faras Baloch (18 RLC) in the prosecution at Southwark Crown Court of 5 defendants charged 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.

R v. Akinluyi and 3 others (2014)

Leading John Keal 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 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.

R v Sarig & Freckleton (2010)

The 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.

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.