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John Ojakovoh

Year of Call: 2008

Education:

  • MA Mathematics (Oxford University)
  • MBA (INSEAD, France)
  • Dip.Law (City University)
  • BVC (ICSL)
  • Lord Denning Scholarship (Major BVC Award, Lincoln’s Inn)
  • Shelford Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)

Areas of Work:

John has a thriving criminal practice appearing in Crown Courts in London and the South East including the Old Bailey, and in the Court of Appeal, specialising in Fraud, White Collar Crime, Money Laundering, Cybercrime, Serious Violence, Weapons, Drugs, and General Crime. He also undertakes Asset Recovery cases including Confiscation, Restraint, and Cash Forfeiture work. John has particular expertise in case strategy and identifying less obvious but ultimately decisive points to achieve the best outcome no matter how unpromising the circumstances.

As well as defending, John has been appointed to the Serious Fraud Office Prosecution Panel of Counsel, he is a Grade 3 prosecutor for the CPS, and also prosecutes in CPS International Justice and Organised Crime Division, CPS Specialist Fraud Division, Department for Work and Pensions, HMRC, and CPS Proceeds of Crime Unit matters. John acts as both Leading and Junior Counsel and has prosecuted at trial (alone) where the defendant is represented by Queen's Counsel.

Whether prosecuting or defending, John brings a keen understanding of the world of corporate and white-collar defendants from his first career in business strategy consulting, and expertise in finance, accounting, IT, and Excel, which enable him to master complex financial and other evidence quickly.

In addition to being a persuasive advocate, John is involved in an advisory capacity, for example advising on difficult areas of disclosure and sensitive material and at an early stage in complex fraud cases.

 

Current Instructions and Recent Notable Cases include:

Fraud, White Collar, Money Laundering, Cybercrime, Asset Recovery

R v E (2017: ongoing) – Cybercrime, online supply of software which computer hackers can use to disguise viruses and other malware to avoid detection by antivirus software; bitcoin use in money laundering. Blackfriars Crown Court: Instructed as Leading Counsel Prosecuting for CPS International Justice and Organised Crime Division.

R v O & 3 Others (2017: ongoing) – Fraud and money laundering involving four defendants in five conspiracies. Southwark Crown Court: Prosecuting.

R v J (2017: ongoing) – Enforcement stage of confiscation matter. Southwark Crown Court: Representing wife of defendant as Interested Party to establish and protect her interest in jointly held property.

R v TJ (2017: ongoing) – Gift Aid Tax Fraud, Cheating the Public Revenue, Money Laundering. Luton Crown Court: Prosecuting for CPS Specialist Fraud Division.

R v W & 2 Others (2017: ongoing) – Money laundering allegation associated with alleged c. £1/2 million diamond and binary options fraud. Basildon Crown Court: Defending.

R v AJ (2017) – Fraudulent Evasion of Duty (Operation Squash). Snaresbrook Crown Court: Successfully defended, client was the only one of six accused of joint evasion of £100,000 duty not to be convicted.

R v DO (2017) – Fraud and money laundering, recent and resurrected case against defendant who absconded seven years earlier. Southwark Crown Court: Prosecuted to conviction.

R v A (2017) – Fraud, historic offences under old and current legislation. Harrow Crown Court. Complimented by judge for ‘extremely well prepared case, extremely well presented in court’: Prosecuted trial to conviction and sentence for CPS Specialist Fraud Division.

R v O & Another (2017) – Confiscation, fraud. Snaresbrook Crown Court. Contested hearing; achieved more than 70% reduction in client’s confiscation order: Defending.

R v K (2017) – Misconduct in Public Office prosecuted to conviction and sentence. Harrow Crown Court and in the Court of Appeal regarding the proper approach to sentencing where illegitimately accessed confidential information is disseminated for personal motives: Prosecuting for CPS Specialist Fraud Division/HMRC.

R v A & H (2017) – Fraud and money laundering. Complex and extensive sensitive and non-sensitive disclosure issues. Southwark Crown Court: Prosecuting (with leader).

R v D (2016) – Money laundering prosecuted to conviction and sentence. Canterbury Crown Court: Prosecuting for CPS Specialist Fraud Division/HMRC.

http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/hm-revenue-customs-hmrc/pressreleases/cash-in-a-bag-money-launderer-jailed-1530045

R v M & Others (2016) – Cheating the Revenue alleged £5-6 million VAT on smuggled cigarettes. Chelmsford Crown Court: Successfully defended.

http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/14844558.Jokes_and_applause_as_four_men_cleared_of___6m_customs_duty_cigarette_fraud/

Re B (2016) – Cash forfeiture £126,000 initially seized as alleged to represent proceeds of Hatton Garden Safety Deposit burglary. Complex advisory and written submissions. Trusts, tax, and accountant issues. Successfully defended: All £126,000 cash returned to client.

For background see:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/man-held-hatton-garden-cops-7679790

R v O & Another (2016) – Tax fraud and money laundering. Complex computer, banking and international evidence. First on indictment. Snaresbrook Crown Court: Defending.

R v P (2016) – Fraud by abuse of position. Complex accounts analysis, accountant. Judge praised ‘meticulous preparation’. Isleworth Crown Court: Prosecution.

R v R (2016) – Confiscation s23 application during enforcement. Westminster Magistrates’ /Blackfriars Crown Court: Defending: Agreed inadequacy and discharge of order.

R v T (2015) – Proceeds of Crime application. Tainted gift. Southwark Crown Court: Prosecuting for the CPS Proceeds of Crime Unit: Successfully resisted s23 application by defendant to vary the available amount.

For background see:

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/396712/VAT-Cheat-builder-is-ordered-to-pay-1-3m

R v O (2015) – Tax Credit and Benefit fraud £400,000+ using false IDs. Handwriting and fingerprint expert evidence: Wood Green Crown Court: Prosecuted for Specialist Fraud Division/DWP through trial to conviction and sentence.

R v M (2015) – Cash Forfeiture application (Operation Solway), City of London Corporation: Represented applicant City of London: agreed forfeiture of £230,000 plus order for applicant’s costs.

R v L (2015) – Confiscation. Croydon Crown Court: Defending: Achieved 58% reduction in benefit figure for client.

R v T & S (2015) – Large-scale corporate expenses fraud: Central Criminal Court: Prosecuted to conviction and sentence.

R v Q & Others (2015) – Seven-handed insurance sector conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. Central Criminal Court: Prosecuting (with leader): several Guilty pleas, trial of two defendants.

R v T (2015) – Bank fraud. Expert telephone evidence, Section 98/non-conviction bad character arguments: Central Criminal Court: Prosecuting.

R v Chadha (2015) – Money laundering cross-jurisdiction involving expert evidence on Hawala transfer: Central Criminal Court: Prosecuted alone, defendant represented by QC and Junior.

R v Stratford (2015) – Confidence fraud. Joinder, bad character and hearsay arguments, vulnerable victim ABE: Isleworth Crown Court:

Prosecuted to conviction and sentence. See link:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2967198/Cowboy-builder-conned-two-elderly-couples-42-000-work-failed-left-one-pensioner-shocked-died-heart-attack-jailed-four-half-years.html

R v M (2015) – Fraudulent evasion of duty, 1.2 million cigarettes. CPS Specialist Fraud Division: Maidstone Crown Court: Prosecuted to conviction and sentence.

R v K (2013-ongoing) – Tax and General Fraud: Defence Counsel for Manager of Solicitors’ firm facing £6m tax fraud allegation: Isleworth Crown Court: Legal argument on jurisdiction led to Crown dropping general fraud charge and client’s release on bail.

R v G (2013) – Cheating the Public Revenue: Defence Counsel in 7-week trial of alleged c.£¼ million VAT fraud involving 4 firms’ inter-company transactions; disclosure, PII and forensic accounting issues; legal arguments excluding previous similar civil penalty and email evidence; persuasive presentation of a complex defence case: Canterbury Crown Court: Successfully defended.

R v RG (2013) – Defence Counsel, c.£2 million confiscation proceedings. Instructions of forensic accountants. Overseas assets, equitable charges, planning, and restraint order issues: Wood Green Crown Court: Complex negotiation achieved 80% reduction in client's confiscation order.

R v M (2013) – Mortgage Fraud: Defence Counsel in c.£400K mortgage fraud: Court of Appeal: arguments re unfair trial and wrongful admittance of hearsay evidence.

R v A (2011) – Article for Use in Fraud (Operation Scarp): Client allegedly involved in £3 million “Crash for cash” fraud. Legal arguments excluded extensive telephone evidence: Southwark Crown Court: Successfully defended, client was the only one of the suspects not convicted.

 

Other Serious Crime

R v M (2017) – Possession with intent to supply cocaine and heroin. Sensitive disclosure and PII issues. Blackfriars Crown Court: Prosecuted to conviction and sentence for CPS International Justice and Organised Crime Division.

R v H (2016) – Armed robbery, firearms offences. Defendant’s face on CCTV entirely obscured. Expert CCTV analysis. Commended by judge as ‘a model trial’. Prosecuted to conviction at trial and sentence: Wolverhampton Crown Court.

R v S (2016) – Possession with intent to supply cocaine. Expert subjective DNA evaluation where statistical analysis not possible. Prosecuted to conviction at trial and sentence. Seven-and-a-half-year sentence: Oxford Crown Court.

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/NEWS/14694904.Cocaine_dealer_sentenced_to_seven_and_a_half_years_in_prison/

R v AB (2015) – Prosecuted to conviction at trial and sentence in Section 18 GBH with Intent of man who bit off part of victim’s ear. Six-year sentence: Blackfriars Crown Court.

R v F (2015) – Prosecuted to conviction at trial witness intimidation, vulnerable witness over live link: Kingston Crown Court.

R v I (2014) – Defence Counsel in 9-day Section 18 wounding with intent trial: part of victim's forehead sliced off with meat cleaver; evidence said to be overwhelming. Snaresbrook Crown Court: Successfully defended.

R v L & Others (2014) – Defence Counsel in five-handed Conspiracy to Supply Class A drugs (20-25kg cocaine): Four-week trial involved covert surveillance, cell-site analysis, ANPR evidence: Croydon Crown Court.

R v M (2014) – Prosecuted to conviction in series of robberies of brothel-type premises: Fingerprint and DNA evidence, CCTV and graphical presentation: Isleworth Crown Court.

R v AB (2014) – Prosecuted to conviction and sentence in Section 18 GBH with Intent by sustained attack with golf club to skull and body: Blackfriars Crown Court.

R v O & Others (2014) – Prosecuted to conviction and sentence in Aggravated Burglary: Blackfriars Crown Court.

R v S (2014) – Prosecuted to conviction and sentence in homophobic robbery trial: Isleworth Crown Court.

R v IM (2014) – Defence Counsel in actus reus hearing in ABH for client found unfit to plead: Blackfriars Crown Court.

R v B (2013) – Defence Counsel in Car Ringing and Conspiracy to Burgle high-value motor vehicles: Overwhelming evidence. Psychiatric issues: Snaresbrook Crown Court and Maidstone Crown Court: Persuaded Crown to offer no evidence on both matters.

R v J (2012) – Cannabis Production and Sexual Assault: Client with previous cannabis production convictions and fingerprints inside cannabis factory. Disclosure, PII and cross-examination of vulnerable complainant by video link: Isleworth Crown Court: Successfully defended.

R v CD (2012) – Possession with Intent to Supply: Man seen by police fleeing his van filled with cannabis: Basildon Crown Court: Successfully defended.

R v C (2012) – Section 18, Wounding with Intent: Client on 999 tape said he stabbed and wanted to kill the complainant: psychiatric expert and self-defence issues; cross-examination of colluding witnesses: Woolwich Crown Court: Successfully defended.

R v G (2011) – Offensive weapon, Criminal Damage: Man seen demolishing a front door with a sword: Legal argument on whether the scene was a public place and whether the door of an abandoned building was property belonging to another: Isleworth Crown Court: Successfully defended.

 

Additional Responsibilities:

John Ojakovoh is a member of Chambers’ Tenancy and Pupillage Committee.

Background:

Before qualifying as a barrister John had a successful first career in business and finance as a strategy consultant working on strategic reviews, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and other projects, with Banking, Insurance, Private Equity, Government, Telecommunications, and Consumer Goods and Services clients in the UK, Europe, the US and Australia. He thus has hands-on experience of managing large, complex projects, leading and carrying out financial analysis and presenting complex material simply and persuasively to engage board members, investors, and staff at all levels.

Memberships:

Criminal Bar Association; INSEAD Alumni Association.

Interests:

Piano (Performer’s Diploma), violin, walking, literature and family.

Mr John Ojakovoh is regulated by the Bar Standards Board, holds a current practising certificate and his details can be found on the BSB’s Barrister Register https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/regulatory-requirements/the-barristers'-register/

Mr John Ojakovoh holds insurance cover for all legal services supplied through professional indemnity insurance with the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund (BMIF) The coverage is worldwide subject to their terms which are available on their website https://www.barmutual.co.uk/

Mr John Ojakovoh is registered with the Information Commissioners office under the Data Protection Act https://ico.org.uk/

If you are not satisfied with the service that Mr John Ojakovoh provides you can make a complaint to Chambers. Information on Chambers Complaints Procedure is available on Chambers website www.9kbw.com/about-us/complaints-procedure

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from Chambers you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman (This must be done within the time limits set out) The contact details can be found on the Legal Ombudsman’s website  http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/    

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