Gary Pons

Year of Call: 1995

An experienced and highly proficient barrister who specialises in complex financial cases often with a multi-jurisdictional element. Ranked in Chambers & Partners and Legal 500.

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Overview

Gary is a talented and dedicated barrister. His approach to cases is distinguished by its careful preparation and measured execution.

Gary is ranked in both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 for his work in the field of POCA and Asset Forfeiture work (all circuits).

His experience in complex financial crime and asset forfeiture has allowed Gary to develop his practice over the years.

Gary has experience of foreign criminal proceedings having been involved with two high profile cases in Costa Rica. He frequently advises on multi-jurisdictional asset recovery cases.

His practice includes areas such as business crime, asset recovery and civil fraud, insolvency, and licensing.

Chambers & Partners - Proceeds of Crime & Asset Forfeiture:

"Measured, careful and very good with clients," "he knows this area of law (POCA & Asset Forfeiture) inside out."

Chambers and Partners 2020.

 "He's very detail-oriented and his level of commitment is great."                                                                           

Chambers and Partners 2019.

"In court there is no doubt the judge understands what his position is - he is very good on his feet." "A very approachable person who has the capacity to analyse complicated facts and simplify them."

Chambers and Partners 2018.

The Legal 500 - Proceeds of Crime & Asset Forfeiture:

‘Very direct, which helps focus clients’ minds in multi-handed cases.

Legal 500 2019.

Client Testimonials

"Gary is technically excellent and has a great feel for both tactics and the mood of the court. He also provides excellent client care. I would not hesitate to instruct him again."

"Mr. Pons was an outstanding selection to represent our case. He was professional, sympathetic to our cause, quickly grasped the critical facts of our case, and clearly explained to us our legal strategy."

Professional panel appointments

  • Gary is a Grade 3 Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecutor.
  • Gary is on the approved CPS List of Proceeds of Crime advocates.
  • Sits as Legal Advisor to Royal Borough of Greenwich Licensing Sub-Committee.
  • Band C (10 years' call and above) appointed advocate for the General Dental Council (GDC).

Additional Information

Lectures, seminars and articles

  • Editor of Mitchell Taylor and Talbot on Confiscation and the Proceeds of Crime.
  • Gary regularly writes in Practical Law and for Lexis Nexis.
  • His article on the case of NCA v Baker was published in The Accountant magazine.

Gary provides lectures and seminars on a variety of subjects. He has recently covered the following subjects:

  • Account Freezing Orders.
  • A Webinar on Asset Tracing and Recovery with Jonathan Benton of Intelligent Sanctuary.
  • Podcasts with Get Legally Speaking on Financial Crime, Account Forfeiture & Freezing Orders.
  • Unexplained Wealth Orders.
  • Tainted Gifts
  • Criminal Aspects of Corporate Insolvency.

Gary is a member of the POCLA committee and appeared on the panel of experts at the 2019 POCLA summer forum.

Languages

  • Fluent in Spanish.

Education

  • Inns of Court Law School, Bar Vocational Course.
  • University of Kent at Canterbury: English and Spanish Law.
  • Year at Complutense University in Madrid: Diploma in Spanish Law.

Professional Memberships

  • Grays Inn.
  • Criminal Bar Association (CBA).
  • South Eastern Circuit (SEC).
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association (POCLA).
  • Fraud Lawyers Association (FLA).

Asset Recovery, Civil Fraud & Confiscation

Gary is a specialist in the field of asset forfeiture and confiscation. He is one of the leading experts on the enforcement of confiscation orders. In the modern world where assets are held worldwide, this is an area which regularly crosses the border. Gary advises in relation to international enforcement of confiscation order. He appeared in the case of Moss, which is the leading authority on the recognition of confiscation order in the European Union.

He regularly advises and represents enforcement receivers appointed both under POCA and previous legislation.

Gary appears on behalf of both applicants and respondents in cash forfeiture proceedings under POCA. He advises and appears for both the applicants and the respondents in relation to account freezing order. His approach in responding to these applications has secured the setting aside of the account freezing order.

He represented the Claimant, Superior Composite Structures in a contested three-day High Court hearing to recognise a $2 million US Judgment.

Business Crime

Gary has significant experience acting for clients, both prosecution and defence, in relation to large scale fraud, white-collar crime and a variety of financial crime cases.

Gary's business crime work dovetails with his asset recovery, confiscation and civil fraud work, which often involves technical points of law and financial detail.

Chancery & Commercial

Insolvency

Gary regularly advises on the interaction between Crime, Proceeds of Crime and Insolvency. He has lectured on both the criminal aspects of Corporate Insolvency and on “POCA and Insolvency”.

Gary now uses that experience in the commercial field and both advises and appears in insolvency proceedings.

He has experience of appearing for and advising the Trustee in Bankruptcy. He also has experience of advising companies and directors in corporate insolvency.

Criminal Defence

Gary has represented defendants throughout his career at the Bar. He has acted in the most serious of criminal cases including sexual offences, violence and the supply of drugs. Gary has also been led on cases involving allegations of murder, conspiracy to murder and appearing alone in relation to an attempted murder.

Criminal Prosecutions

Gary is an experienced criminal barrister.  He is a Grade 3 Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecutor and is on the approved CPS List of Proceeds of Crime advocates.

Extradition & International

Gary has experience in international criminal cases having acted in a high profile case at the Tribunal of the First Judicial Circuit, South, in Costa Rica. He was part of an international defence team that successfully represented Ann Patton in relation to an allegation that she murdered her husband, the successful Wall Street trader John Bender. Gary is fluent in Spanish which enabled him to play an active part in the preparation as well as assisting the legal teams with interpreting legal documentation that formed the basis of the case. Click here to read the Daily Mail news article.

Gary continues to advise in relation to these complex proceedings and regularly travels to Costa Rica to provide assistance.

Gary is an experienced extradition practitioner. He was junior counsel for the third appellant Rozanski in the Supreme Court case of Pomiechowski and others.

Professional Discipline & Regulatory

Gary has experience in regulatory work in the Magistrates Court. He has appeared for local authorities in matters as wide-ranging as applications for closure orders, environmental prosecutions, trademark and copyright, and consumer protection.

He has represented defendants in relation to offences under the consumer protection from unfair trading regulations, fire safety prosecutions and in tree preservation cases.

Gary has acted for both the police and the licensee in Sub-Committee Licensing Hearings. He regularly sits as a legal advisor to the Royal Borough of Greenwich Sub-Committee in respect of their more high profile licensing hearings. Gary has conducted both licensing appeals and prosecutions under the Licensing Act in the Magistrates Court.

Gary frequently provides detailed lectures to the London Borough Legal Alliance on various aspects of Licensing.

Cases of Note

ASSET RECOVERY, CIVIL FRAUD AND CONFISCATION

R v Benos [2019] EWCA Crim 1093

Complicated appeal against a confiscation order concerning the law of Wills and Gifts. Whether property was a conditional gift and if it is whether the failure to discharge the outstanding mortgage means the gift is void.

R v Moss [2019] 1 W.L.R. 6033

Junior Counsel in an appeal against a decision to issue a certificate allowing for the mutual recognition in Spain of the confiscation order.

R v Soni [2019] [2019] 4 W.L.R. 103

Gary acted for the Crown in an appeal against a wasted costs order made against a firm of solicitors acting in restraint proceedings and then committal proceedings for contempt of the restraint order. The appeal concerned important principle of law and was heard by the Lord Chief Justice.

Account Forfeiture Orders

Gary has successfully acted for high profile respondents to AFOs. Including the Managing Director of FMDQ Securities Exchange. Gary’s approach to the case prevented the grant of an AFO. A Deutsche Bank trader, where Gary designed a tactical approach to the case which persuaded the Applicant to set aside the AFO.

Superior Composite Structures LLC v Parrish [2015] EWHC 3688 (QB)

Acted for the Claimant, a US company in a trial of a claim for enforcement of a judgment worth over US$2m obtained in South Dakota. This case involved issues of fraud, principles of natural justice, public policy and Article 6 of the ECHR.

BUSINESS CRIME

R v Chavda

Prosecution Counsel in a complex pharmaceutical drug case involving significant money laundering and complex confiscation proceedings.

R v Hargreaves and Others

Represented one of the main defendant in a substantial trademark fraud

EXTRADITION AND INTERNATIONAL

Costa Rican Public Prosecutor v Ann Maxine Patton

Part of the Defence team successfully acting for the Defendant who was facing a charge of murder. The proceedings took place in Costa Rican and were conducted entirely in Spanish.

Rozanski v Regional Court 3 Penal Department Poland [2012] UKSC 20; (2012) 162 N.L.J. 749

Junior Counsel for the Third Appellant in a case involving consideration of the nature of the time limits in relation to extradition appeals.

CRIME

R v Yong Hong Lu

Represented the Defendant in relation to an allegation of laundering the proceeds of a vat fraud.

R v Scott

Junior Counsel for the defendant charged with unlawful act manslaughter by trapping the deceased in a loft.