Kevin Dent Q.C.

Year of Call: 1991 | Queen’s Counsel: 2019

A highly persuasive advocate with a calm, measured, yet robust courtroom manner. Kevin took silk in 2019, building upon his heavyweight practice in the fields of financial crime and serious crime. Kevin is ranked in the Legal 500.

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

To contact Kevin Dent Q.C. directly please email kevindent@5sah.co.uk

Overview

A highly persuasive advocate with a calm, measured, yet robust courtroom manner. Since taking silk in 2019, Kevin has built upon his heavyweight practice in the fields of financial and serious crime.

Kevin is ranked in the Legal 500 in Fraud - Crime:

‘His attention to detail and brilliant presentation skills are legendary. His trademark is his ability to simplify very complex law and facts cases such that the Jury are able to grasp the real issues and remain engaged all through out the several weeks of trial. Kevin has well developed legal instincts and ability to work collaboratively with different partners.’

The Legal 500 2021.

Kevin has considerable experience leading in cases of serious and organised crime, terrorist finance, large-scale drugs conspiracies, modern slavery and serious sexual offences including those against children and offences of homicide.

Appointed to the Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) panel of Queen's Counsel, Kevin is often instructed in financial cases involving multiple vulnerable victims and is a sought-after leader in large-scale economic crime including those involving Encrochat encrypted communications evidence, cybercrime, investment fraud, bribery and corruption, revenue evasion and money laundering.

With an established practice within the field of professional regulation and discipline, Kevin deploys in the regulatory field the expertise gained from criminal cases involving medical professionals, particularly where issues of probity/dishonesty are at the fore.

‘ Noted for his expertise in complex financial crime cases. ’

The Legal 500 2020.

‘His diverse practice includes advice on bribery matters.’

The Legal 500 2019.

Equally at home in both big trial settings and advising in conference, Kevin enjoys steering individuals and corporates, local authorities and government departments alike through the legal complexities of diverse matters such as drafting anti-money laundering policies, corporate COVID-loan applications, RIPA authorisations, offences of marching in uniform under the Public Order Act 1936 and issues of freedom of expression, education catchment area fraud, responding to Freedom of Information requests, and GDPR issues.

An adherent of early proactive intervention in proceedings, Kevin is particularly adept in helping those under investigation for serious matters draft detailed and persuasive representations on charge to investigative authorities.

Kevin advises on private prosecutions and accepts Direct Access instructions.

In addition to his heavyweight criminal practice, as a lawyer with a passion for justice and the rule of law, Kevin is involved in Human Rights work for both individuals and NGOs such as PEN International, including ground-breaking international ‘Magnitsky’ sanctions applications on behalf of lawyers subject to human rights violations, evaluation of indictments according to fair rights standards, overseas trial monitoring and drafting Article 36 Third Party submissions for the ECtHR. Kevin regularly publishes articles to raise profile for underrepresented and serious subjects and has, for instance, campaigned for the release of a prominent abducted Bangladeshi lawyer.

Professional Panel Appointments

  • Kevin is appointed to the Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) panel of Queen's Counsel and, prior to taking silk, his experience and expertise were reflected in the following appointments:
  • Level 4 advocate on the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Unified Prosecution List, the specialist Central Fraud Group Panel, Counter-Terrorism panel, Serious Crime Group panel and Proceeds of Crime Panel.
  • Appointed to Band 'C' (10 years call and above) on the General Dental Council’s (GDC) panel of advocates.

Business Crime

For over a decade, Kevin has been leading in cases of serious fraud and money laundering. Reflecting this expertise, he is appointed to the Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) panel of Queen's Counsel and, prior to taking silk, was a specialist advocate on the Serious Fraud Division’s Fraud Panel at Level 4.

He is naturally talented in grappling with financial details, in order to provide incisive strategic advice, then presenting complex cases to juries in a way that is clear and powerful.  

Kevin’s wide experience as a leader in complex financial crime includes ‘boiler room’ investment frauds, revenue evasion, vishing and courier fraud, frauds on institutional pension funds, insider fraud within companies, fraudulent trading, Ponzi investment schemes, multi-jurisdictional money laundering, cybercrime and organised benefit frauds.

Kevin has recently concluded leading in a 4-month trial for fraudulent trading and money laundering relating to £36Million’s worth of VER carbon credits sold as investments, focused both on both large numbers of individual investors and the underlying ‘clearing and settlement’ payment systems.

Kevin is also an experienced leader in bribery and corruption, including cases alleging corrupt sales of government land and procurement fraud.

Advising both individuals under investigation for financial crime and organisations seeking to determine whether wrongdoing has occurred within their domains, Kevin particularly enjoys providing effective early strategic advice.

Kevin is an established leader in criminal cases involving medical professionals including dentists, medical doctors and optometrists. Through this, he is aplomb in calling and cross-examining medical-legal experts, analysing medical records, liaising with parallel regulatory proceedings and navigating NHS regulations and patient confidentiality issues.

Kevin accepts instructions in Direct Access cases involving financial crime and also in private prosecutions.

Criminal Prosecutions - Private & Public

Prior to taking silk, Kevin’s wealth of experience prosecuting serious and organised crime was reflected in appointments as a specialist Level 4 advocate on both the CPS specialist Counter-Terrorism and Serious and Organised Crime Panels. 

Recent and ongoing prosecution cases include those of modern slavery, conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to possess firearms, conspiracy to import drugs into prisons, unauthorised use of communications devices within prisons, internal fraud within a local authority and cases where Encrochat encrypted communications devices play a central role.

Kevin’s wide expertise in serious crime also includes terrorist financing, trading in firearms, drugs importations, serious sexual offences, serious violence and homicide. 

With a wide experience of private prosecutions, Kevin enjoys steering both corporate clients and individuals at an early stage through the complex requirements of private prosecutions, including issues of LPP, disclosure obligations and the requirements of code for private prosecutors.

Criminal Defence

Kevin has a wealth of experience in serious and organised crime. He is ranked in the Legal 500 in Fraud, Crime.

He has wide experience defending in a wide variety of fields, including sexual offences, investment frauds, Ponzi frauds, fraud by medical professionals, procurement fraud, COVID-loan fraud, offences of serious violence and appeals cases.

With experience representing high net worth individuals with complex legal needs, Kevin has a particular reputation for guiding seemingly difficult cases of serious crime to successful conclusions through fine strategic judgement and unwavering determination.

In the field of sexual offending, Kevin has extensive experience of historic offences, particularly those involving children.

Asset Recovery, Civil Fraud & Confiscation

Ensuring financial recovery is embedded within case strategy, Kevin draws upon his considerable expertise in all aspects of restraint and confiscation, including cases involving assets held in Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies, corporate veil cases, 3rd-party interests, enforcement receivers, hidden and multiple jurisdiction assets, inadequacy, reconsideration of assets, intervening in matrimonial proceedings and applications under POCA to extend moratorium periods.

Kevin also has experience in First Tier Tribunal VAT MTIC cases.

Professional Discipline & Regulatory

Kevin has an established practice within the field of professional discipline, with particular emphasis on cases involving probity and fraud, drawing upon his ample experience of criminal cases involving medical professionals.

His wide experience includes cases involving; where a patient subsequently died, serious allegations where erasure is likely, parallel criminal and regulatory cases, serious dishonesty, want of integrity and where there are investigations with multiple regulators.

Notwithstanding a calm and positive approach, Kevin has a reputation within the field of professional discipline for forensic, and when required, rigorous cross-examination of both lay and expert witnesses.

Inquests & Inquiries

Kevin accepts instructions in relation to Public inquiries and inquests.

Professional Memberships

  • Fraud Lawyers Association (FLA).
  • Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers (ARDL).
  • Bar Human Rights Committee (BHRC).

Cases of Note

Recent and ongoing criminal cases include:

10-handed modern slavery and money laundering

Leading in a 10-handed modern slavery and money laundering case arising from an OCN running a network of brothels alongside a drugs supply operation

Fraudulent trading and money laundering (£36M’s sales of VER carbon credits)

Leading in a 4-month trial for fraudulent trading and money laundering, arising from the sales of £36M’s sales of VER carbon credits, focussed both on individuals frauds and the laundering of the proceeds through underlying payment platforms.

Conspiracy to supply into prisons

Leading in a 9-handed conspiracy to supply drugs into the prison system

Conspiracy to murder

Leading in a conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to possess firearms case, centred around encrypted device Encrochat evidence

8-handed £3.5M cross-border laundering

Leading in an 8-handed £3.5M cross-border laundering, a 7-handed £1M+ short and long-firm conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to launder.

£1M+ Fraud by employee - Westminster Council's pension fund

Leading in a £1M+ fraud by employee on Westminster Council’s pension fund and a 4-handed company fraud targeting a Director’s Loan Account.

Historic sex abuse

Defending in a case of complex historic sex abuse

Serious Violence

Defending in a case of serious violence arising from an incident outside a prominent Manchester nightclub

Advice re: murder appeal

Advising a client convicted of murder in relation to appeal

Drafting a ground-breaking Magnitsky sanctions application

Advising an advocacy group and helping draft a ground-breaking Magnitsky sanctions application.

PEN International - ECHR & Human Rights

Drafting reports on behalf of freedom of expression group PEN International, evaluating indictments on the basis of ECHR and international fair rights standards.

Art, 36 submission to ECtHR

Drafting Article 36 submissions to the ECtHR on behalf an interested Third Party NGO.

Notable cases

R v W and W (2017-19)

Leading counsel in £1M+ fraud on Westminster City Council’s pension fund by its former fund manager. Monies laundered internally. 5-day fitness to plead hearing involving 4 eminent psychiatrists after D1 claimed selective amnesia disorder.

R v Z and others (2018-19)

Leading counsel in £3.5M 8-handed laundering. OCN laundered proceeds through major UK retail banks, using 500+ bank accounts.

R v P and others (2018)

Leading counsel in 4-handed company fraud targeting Directors Loan Account and involving unauthorised self-awarded pay increases and bonuses. 4-week trial. Expert evidence called regarding vulnerable defendant.

R v C and others (2018-19)

Leading counsel in 7-handed £1M+ conspiracy to defraud involving proceeds laundered through export of high value vehicles and bulk used clothing. 5-week trial.

R v L & N (2017-19)

Leading counsel in 2-handed £2M cross-border laundering dubbed ‘The Tangled Web’ by City of London Police because of dauntingly complex movements through online payment platforms. 3-week trial.

Operation Miching (2015-18)

Leading counsel in series of fraud and laundering cases investigated by Met Counter Terrorism Command. Courier/vishing frauds targeted large number of elderly and vulnerable victims (average age 83) and proceeds laundered through complex network and cover businesses. 4 trials at the Central Criminal Court and 18 convictions.

R v B and others (2016-17)

Leading counsel in £1.5M cross-border laundering operation. Evidence gathered from 4 jurisdictions. Expert accountancy evidence.

R v W (2016-7)

Leading counsel in fraud by highly-respected dentist on NHS through making £460,000 in false claims over 6-year period.

R v M (2017)

Fraud by dentist on NHS making £700,000 in false claims.

R v M & M (2015-6)

Leading counsel in fraud by NHS treasurer abusing labyrinthine payment systems to steal monies intended for Appointee patients lacking mental capacity. 6-week trial.

R v H and others (2013-7)

Leading counsel in 8-handed £2M cross-border revenue evasion involving fleet of vehicles operated behind various shell companies. 6-week trial.

Operation Easton (2013)

Conspiracy to make false representation in respect of prolific ‘courier’ frauds involving the targeting of the elderly and vulnerable, persuading victims to part with bank cards by pretending to be from the fraud department of their banks. 8 defendants.

R v M & A (2012)

Instructed as leading counsel in a 6-week NHS dental fraud trial where dentists had fraudulently claimed Units of Dental Activity for private work in order to avoid monies being clawed-back for under-achievement of the contracted target.

R v K and others (2012)

7-handed case of fraud on a Housing Association, involving diverting fraudulent compensation claims into the bank accounts of accomplices. The 4-week trial involved cross-examining a defence witness in Uganda via live-link about the details of the various transactions in order to expose a false ‘confession’ which potentially exonerated all of the defendants.

R v G and others (2011)

Leading counsel in a 5-week multiple identity Housing Benefit fraud case brought by a Local Authority. The trial lead to a landmark ruling by the Court of Appeal concerning the trial judge’s decision to bring in verdicts under S.46 of the CJA 2003 after the jury had been discharged following jury tampering.

R v A and others (2012)

Fraudulent evasion. 4-week trial involving 13 million cigarettes and evasion of £2.8 million in Revenue.

R v B and others (2011)

Procurement fraud. Instructed as leading counsel in a case brought by NHS Protect alleging that contracts worth £600,000 had been procured to a firm of contractors on a corrupt basis.

R v G (2009)

Acted as leading counsel in a 12-week trial in a NHS Protect prosecution alleging that a GP had fraudulently obtained bonuses under the Quality and Outcomes Framework, and had falsified patient records. This was the first prosecution brought in respect of QOF.

R v M (2009)

Importation of a £13million consignment of ecstasy, said to be the largest ever single haul.

R v D and others (2008)

Leading counsel in a 7-handed identity fraud and benefit fraud brought by the DWP focusing on members of a Chinese community.

R v P and H (2008)

Bribery and corruption. Lead counsel in a 5-week 2 handed trial alleging that an NHS Director had corruptly conspired to defraud an NHS Trust in the sale of a derelict hospital site to a favoured developer causing around £6 million in lost profit.

R v O and others (2008)

Lead counsel in a 6-handed 8-week trial brought by the DWP alleging that a number of staff members at Harlesden Jobcentre were creating fictitious benefit claims and fraudulently diverting payments into bank accounts.

R v F (2007)

Fraud by a student midwife had altered computer records to show her to be of sufficient experience in deliveries to qualify as a midwife.

R v P (2007)

Fraud involving falsely claiming to be an optometrist in order to make fraudulent claims to the NHS for conducting thousands of eye-tests.

R v L and others (2007)

Instructed as leading counsel in a 5-handed conspiracy to defraud case brought by the DWP in respect of a large-scale giro cheque fraud involving corruption within London sorting offices.

R v T and T (2006)

Instructed as leading counsel in an 8-week 2-handed DWP trial of an ageing rock star and his wife for multiple benefit frauds.

R v S and M (2006)

Drugs importation. £1.3 million’s worth of heroin concealed within a horse box.

R v T and others (2005-10)

Counsel in a series of RCPO surveillance-led multiple-handed money laundering cases targeting drugs-related crime.