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John Ojakovoh

Year of Call: 2008

Education:

MA Mathematics (Oxford University)

MBA (INSEAD, France)

Dip. Law (City University)

BVC (Inns of Court School of Law)

 

Lord Denning Scholarship (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, and in the Court of Appeal, specialising in Fraud such as White-collar and Financial Crime/Regulatory Criminal Enforcement, Cybercrime, Organised Crime, and Serious Violence Cases.

Whether prosecuting or defending John often acts as Leading Counsel or led by Queen’s Counsel. He has also prosecuted as Junior Alone where the defendant is represented by Queen's Counsel.

John is commended for his leadership, strategic sense, and quality of preparation, which it has been said “commands respect” and makes him a highly effective advocate. John has been described as a “go-to person for fraud and cybercrime”.

As well as defending, John is on the CPS prosecution counsel list at Grade 4 (the highest grade), and has also been appointed to the CPS Specialist Lists for Fraud and Serious Crime and the Serious Fraud Office Prosecution Panel of Counsel, as well as prosecuting for other agencies such as the Insolvency Service and HMRC cases. 

John has a particular specialism in prosecuting and defending charges arising from companies finding themselves in financial difficulty and from related commercial disputes or civil action and the interface between criminal law and company law.

John also undertakes private instructions to represent companies, company directors, shareholders, and consortiums, whether defending or pursuing private prosecutions. 

Whether prosecuting or defending, John brings a keen understanding of the world of corporate and white-collar defendants from his previous city career in strategy consulting, and expertise in finance, accounting, IT, and Excel, which enable him to master complex financial, technical, and voluminous 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 whether instructed by the prosecution or by the defence.

 

Current / Recent Instructions: 

Company, White-collar, and Regulatory

R v L – Financial Services. De facto Director of seven companies, 11 offences under Insolvency Act 1986, Companies Act 2006 and Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986: Prosecuting for The Insolvency Service Criminal Enforcement Team. 

R v C – Healthcare Business: Instructed as Leading Counsel defending Company Director against £1/3 million fraud allegation arising from company insolvency. 

R v F – Sports & Leisure Sector. Prosecuted to conviction and sentence for CPS in £1 million fraud by CEO.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7609295/Woman-jailed-six-years-embezzling-1m-BA-staff-club.html

https://metro.co.uk/2019/10/24/ba-secretary-lied-steal-1000000-co-workers-elite-club-10976935/

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ba-club-official-carole-farr-stole-1m-from-staff-fund-nc237wx23

R v W – Construction Sector Company: Prosecuted for The Insolvency Service Criminal Enforcement Team in a case of breach of disqualification undertaking.

R v M – Estate Agency. Privately instructed, defended Company Director: Disclosure and abuse of process issues, successful application for judge’s recusal.

R (Provident Personal Credit) v W – Financial Services: Instructed to prosecute in Private Prosecution for Fraud and Theft.

R (Provident Personal Credit) v F – Financial Services: Prosecuted to conviction and sentence in Private Prosecution for Fraud and Theft.

Re X – Mayfair Property Holding Company: Privately instructed, advised on potential criminal offences arising from civil dispute.

 

Cybercrime

R v A, Operation Subtlety – Blackmail of Apple Inc., Computer Misuse Act offences, demands for Bitcoin, 300 million iCloud accounts threatened: Prosecuting for CPS International Justice and Organised Crime Division (led by Queen’s Counsel).

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6289963/IT-analyst-tried-blackmail-Apple-130-000-Bitcoin.html

R v EE – International fraud on US pension company, US-UK investigation, FBI liaison, contested expert evidence, legal argument on admissibility of US Virtual Private Network provider evidence from absent witness: Prosecuted trial to conviction and sentence.

https://www.newburytoday.co.uk/news/home/25935/west-berkshire-man-jailed-for-us-pension-fraud.html

R v GE – Software supplier disguising viruses for computer hackers, Bitcoin money laundering: Instructed as Leading Counsel, prosecuted to conviction and sentence for CPS International Justice and Organised Crime Division.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/02/15/refud_cryptex_kingpin_goncalo_esteves_jailed/

http://www.computerweekly.com/news/252435156/Briton-jailed-for-two-years-for-product-testing-for-hackers

R v O & Another – Tax fraud and money laundering. Complex cyber, banking and international evidence: Defended, First on indictment.

 

Other Fraud and Money Laundering

R v TJ – Gift Aid Tax Fraud. Complex financial evidence, forensic expert, extensive digital disclosure: Instructed as Leading Counsel, prosecuted trial to conviction and sentence for CPS Specialist Fraud Division, followed by successful confiscation proceedings.

https://www.accountancydaily.co/church-leader-jailed-ps150k-gift-aid-fraud

https://www.lutontoday.co.uk/news/luton-church-leader-jailed-after-150k-gift-aid-fraud-1-8437741

R v CW & Others – Money laundering associated for c. £1/2 million boiler room diamond and binary options fraud. Suspended sentence on Guilty plea. Defended.

For background see:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6414297/Towie-star-Mike-Hassini-spared-jail-money-laundering-boiler-room-diamond-investment-scam.html

R v O & 3 Others – Five fraud and money laundering conspiracies. Southwark Crown Court: Prosecuted to conviction and sentence.

R v A – Fraud, historic offences, old and current legislation. 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 P – Fraud by abuse of position. Complex accounts analysis, accountant. Judge praised ‘meticulous preparation’. Isleworth Crown Court: Prosecution.

Re X: Alleged Misconduct in a Public Office: Instructed by CPS Specialist Fraud Division to advise pre-charge on allegations against a police officer.

R v K – Misconduct in Public Office prosecuted to conviction and sentence, and in Court of Appeal for CPS Specialist Fraud Division/HMRC. 

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

R v C – Money laundering cross-jurisdiction involving expert evidence on Hawala transfer: Central Criminal Court: Prosecuted alone, defendant represented by Queen’s Counsel and Junior.

R v S – Confidence fraud. Vulnerable victims: Prosecuted to conviction and sentence:

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 K – Tax and General Fraud: Defence Counsel for Manager of Solicitors’ firm facing £6m tax fraud allegation: Isleworth Crown Court: Successful legal argument on jurisdiction.

R v G – Cheating the Public Revenue: Defence Counsel representing Managing Director, 7-week trial, c.£¼ million alleged missing trader VAT fraud; PII, forensic accounting, successfully excluded previous civil penalty: Canterbury Crown Court: Successfully defended.

R v M – 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– Article for Use in Fraud (Operation Scarp): Client implicated in £3 million “Crash for cash” fraud. Legal arguments excluded telephone evidence: Southwark Crown Court: Successfully defended, client the only suspect not convicted.

 

Drugs and Other Organised Crime

R v M & U (Operation Soundness) – Drugs supply, 34 kilos cocaine: Prosecuted to conviction and sentence for CPS International Justice & Organised Crime Division.

R v M & B (Operation Boutade) – Drugs conspiracy, 33 kilos cocaine, complimented for case “immaculately presented” in court: Prosecuted trial to conviction and sentence for CPS International Justice & Organised Crime Division:

https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/32-years-in-prison-for-duo-caught-supplying-cocaine

R v D – 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 – Cheating the Revenue alleged £5-6 million VAT fraud 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/

R v K – Money laundering, some £1/2 million concealed in packages. Woolwich Crown Court: Prosecuted to conviction and sentencing for CPS International Justice and Organised Crime Division.

R v M – Drug supply. Sensitive disclosure and PII issues. Blackfriars Crown Court: Prosecuted to conviction and sentence for CPS International Justice and Organised Crime Division.

R v AJ – 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 L & Others – 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.

 

Confiscation and Cash Forfeiture

R v J – Enforcement stage of confiscation matter. Southwark Crown Court: Privately instructed to represent wife of defendant as Interested Party to establish and protect her interest in jointly held property.

Re B– Cash forfeiture £126,000 cash alleged proceeds from Hatton Garden Safety Deposit burglary. Complex advisory and written submissions. Trusts, tax, and accounting 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 T – Confiscation, tainted gift. Southwark Crown Court: Prosecuting for the CPS Proceeds of Crime Unit: Successfully resisted defence application to vary 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 & Another – Confiscation. Contested hearing, achieved more than 70% reduction in client’s confiscation order: Defending.

R v M – 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 – Confiscation. Croydon Crown Court: Defending: Achieved 58% reduction in benefit figure for client.

R v RG – c.£2 million confiscation proceedings, forensic accountants, overseas assets, equitable charges, planning, and restraint order issues: Wood Green Crown Court: Defence Counsel, achieving 80% reduction in client's confiscation order after complex negotiation. 

 

Other Serious Crime

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

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

 

Additional Responsibilities:

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

 

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, Fraud Advisory Panel.

 

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/    

A copy of Mr John Ojackovoh's Privacy Notice with details of his Privacy Policy can be found by Clicking Here

News

John Ojakovoh prosecutes former chief executive to conviction and sentence in £1 million fraud at Reading Crown Court
John Ojakovoh prosecuted to conviction and sentence a former chief executive who falsely claimed to be a qualified accountant and who defrauded her company of more than £1 million over a period of more than five years

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Maria Buckingham appointed to the CPS London and South Eastern Advocates Panel.
9 KBW is delighted to announce that Maria Buckingham has been successful in her application to join the Crown Prosecution Service Advocates Panel at Level 1.

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9 KBW is delighted to announce success by four members in their applications to join the Regulatory Panel, Level C, for Health and Safety and Environmental Law.
It is with enormous pleasure that we announce that Counsel Ben Edwards, Sophie Quinton-Carter, Claire Stevenson and Charles Drinnan have been successful in their applications to join the Regulatory Panel for Health and Safety and Environmental Law.

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9KBW welcomes new tenant, Maria Buckingham
Maria Buckingham, following the successful completion of her pupillage at 9 KBW, has joined us as a tenant from March 2019

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Sophie Kay explores the landmark appeal by Sally Challen of her murder conviction in a two-part series of articles.
Sophie Kay explores the landmark appeal by Sally Challen of her murder conviction in a two-part series of articles. This case highlights the potential for further development of homicide defences. Read more: https://www.9kbw.com/about-us/9kbw-law

Read more