Henry Hughes

Henry specializes in complex commercial fraud, financial crime and confiscation.

His particular expertise, and practice over the past years, is in defending those accused of involvement in large and complex cases of fraud and financial misconduct. In addition Henry conducts private prosecutions in complex fraud cases.

The cases he defends have been brought by the Serious Fraud Office and National Crime Agency as well as the Crown Prosecution Service and typically involve jurisdictional issues as well as the legal arguments that arise in such cases including Judicial Review, Dismissal arguments, Application to stay prosecutions, arguments as to the admissibility of evidence, privilege and expert evidence. He is experienced in meeting the issues and large volumes of documents that inevitably arise in such prosecutions.

His practice incorporates all proceedings linked with such prosecutions including: Restraint Proceedings, Asset Forfeiture, Confiscation, Regulatory Litigation, High Court Actions, 3rd Party Claims and proceedings before the Tax and Chancery Division of the Upper Tier Tribunal.

Henry is also instructed across the board and has diverse experience in all elements of proceedings from trial to appeals and Judicial Review.

Beyond his practice in White Collar allegations he also regularly appears in cases involving allegations of Conspiracy to Defraud, Supply/Production of Drugs, Professional Burglary, Firearms Offences, Public Disorder and the range of violent offences.

Recent and Notable Cases


  • Operation Inertia - The largest VAT MTIC (Missing Trader Intra-Community) fraud recorded to date with a value of between £600 million to £1 billion pounds. A complex and long running fraud investigation spanning many jurisdictions and involving hundreds of thousands of pages of evidence which resulted in a five month contested trial. Led by Owen Davies QC.
  • R v J and J - Instructed to contest ownership of high value assets in the High Court on behalf of a third party. Henry successfully secured the Third Party’s interests and discharged the order against the assets.
  • R v J - An accusation of sizeable fraud within one of the country’s largest religious organisations. Henry was instructed alone and the defendant was acquitted following lengthy cross-examination on the character and integrity of those behind the allegations.
  • R v G - Complex allegations of financial mismanagement of a company made by respective parties within the organisation against each other. The case involved multiple contested disclosure applications over 6 months which finally resulted in the prosecution being forced to disclose material leading and leading to the Crown being obliged to withdraw significant elements of the allegations.
  • R v G - Instructed on behalf of a professional in proceedings brought by the Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. Instituted Judicial Review proceedings to challenge the refusal of the initial court to state a case to the High Court. The proceedings arose from an earlier finding under the Insolvency Act, which would have prevented any further commercial activity by G. As a result of the application the conviction was subsequently quashed by the High Court. Led by Andrew Trollope QC.
  • R v G and others - A case involving a man with a long and exemplary professional history whose company had been drawn into a complex Conspiracy to Defraud through exceptional circumstances. Despite the high value and sophisticated nature of the fraud, imprisonment was avoided and only minimal punishment passed.
  • R v C - A long running contested Confiscation Hearing involving the assets of an individual previously convicted of financial offences. The client had multiple companies in many jurisdictions around the world and his business related to sophisticated inter-jurisdictional trading. The dispute involved complex issues relating to the legitimacy of all the defendant’s business transactions over a lengthy period.
  • R v R - A case in which the authorities obtained a Restraint Order over the assets of a private individual whilst conducting protracted investigations into his affairs. Despite their opposition, the continuation of the Restraint Order was refused and the assets released

Violence and Drugs

  • R v H - Instructed alone in a case alleging the establishment and running of a network of drug production factories and involvement in/running the organisation for the dissemination and sale of drugs.
  • R v D - Representing an individual accused of involvement in the importation/dissemination of a large quantity of cocaine at near 100% purity.
  • R v R - Two long-running trials, with many defendants accused of large scale public disorder. At the conclusion of the matter the client, alone, secured an acquittal.



Radley College

Edinburgh University                    MA History

Nottingham Law School               Post Graduate Diploma in Law

London School of Law                  Bar Vocational Course