*Peter Griffiths QC

Call 1970 Silk 1995

 *Peter Griffiths QC

Practice Overview

Peter is a working door tenant.

Peter Griffiths QC acts in some of the highest profile fraud and criminal cases in the UK.

Notable and Reported cases

  • Crime

    "Body-on-the-Towpath” The historical 1981 Windsor murder trial heard at Reading Crown Court which concluded in December 2013.

    “Cobham body-in-the-wheelie-bin”: Murder trial in which the victim’s body had been locked in a freezer for three years; this was again heard at the Central Criminal Court.

    R v R & Others: A major flying squad prosecution of a South London gang of armed robbers. Surveillance had been on-going for a period of at least 18 months. The Defendant was shot in the eye by police marksmen during the penultimate armed robbery in Exeter.

    R v J: The notorious PC Sharon Beshenivsky murder trial.

    R v L & Others: A double murder “Triad” case.

    R v T: London terrorist trial before Mrs Justice Rafferty.

  • Fraud

    Listed for many years by Chambers & Partners in Fraud. Is a corporate fraud specialist and is regularly instructed to defend in complex and multi-handed fraud and money-laundering cases, frequently with a multi-jurisdictional aspect. High profile cases include successfully defending in what is acknowledged to be the SFO’s costliest failure – “Operation Holbein” in which the SFO alleged that certain leading international pharmaceutical companies and their chief executives had formed a criminal cartel and had conspired to defraud the NHS by fixing the price and restricting the supply of antibiotics used by millions of people in this country.

    The case ran for three years during its complex interlocutory stages including going to the Court of Appeal on two occasions and also the House of Lords. Has conducted a number of MTIC-VAT fraud trials. Instructed to defend the head of what was said to be an eastern European criminal organisation who removed millions of pounds from online customers of Barclays, HSBC, RBS and Lloyds using an extremely sophisticated “Trojan” virus described by the FBI as “arguably the most dangerous yet”. Instructed in 2012/13 in two of the largest Bureau de Change money laundering/fraud cases at Southwark Crown Court (£131 million and the other £180 million.) Currently instructed in a “high-profile” fraud referred to the Welsh Financial Crime Unit by the Welsh Assembly Government.

    Cases

    R v P & Others: This was a multi-million pound construction fraud which commenced in October 2002. When the jury finally returned their verdicts in late February 2004, after some two weeks deliberation (client was one of two defendants acquitted), it became the longest trial in British legal history. The case, with its complexity of issues and vast detail, is already being regarded and quoted as one of the finest examples of how a jury can, and should continue, to try serious fraud cases.

    R v S & Others: A former Superintendent of the West Yorkshire Police was alleged to have been the principal in a substantial music industry counterfeiting/copyright fraud. The defence case included allegations of gross impropriety against many of his former colleagues in the police force and gross misuse of the court’s procedure by the police and prosecution counsel originally instructed. During the protracted preliminary abuse of process hearing the defence managed to secure and almost unprecedented amount of confidential internal police memoranda and telephone data.

    R v C & Others: Known as the “Martimex” fraud. It was the successor fraud to the Ashcroft Conservatories/Marque One case and had similar features. More than one of the fraudulent companies involved in the former were put forward fraudulently as creditors of Martimex in the company’s fraudulent liquidation.

    R v M & Others: The “Ashcroft Conservatories Ltd and Marque One” fraud. This was another Watchdog expose of fraudulent trading on a very substantial scale. The case involved serial deception on the part of the defendants who used “front” companies which were fraudulently liquidated successively.

    R v C & Others: A massive and protracted £30m VAT/Anti Dumping fraud trial. Aspects of the case included (a) a complex web of inter-trading companies in the EEC, Hong Kong and mainland China, and (b) money laundering to Swiss banks, the Far East, and elsewhere.

    R v O & Others: The country-wide Fireguard (UK) Ltd/European Environmental Controls Ltd fraudulent trading case which was “exposed” by Watchdog and also by a number of other similar investigative-type television programmes in different parts of the UK. The case was stopped prior to the jury being sworn after ten weeks of legal argument.

    R v M: A high profile trial of a well known Cardiff solicitor who was charged, with others, with conspiracy to defraud. The Defendant suffered what the defence contended was a nervous breakdown some months into the trial whereupon the Criminal Procedure Insanity and Unfitness to Plead Act 1991 was invoked. The prosecution who, in 1996 and again in 1997, disputed Defendant’s disability attempted to re-list the trial in 1997; this was successfully resisted by the defence. A permanent stay was ordered.

    R v W & Another: The lengthy trial of two solicitors charged with conspiracy to defraud. The nature of the defence case necessitated a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the Law Society’s Rules and Regulations relating to the financial management of a solicitor’s practice and to a solicitor’s duties and professional responsibilities; when acting for property developers. Both the prosecution and defence had expert witnesses. The Defendant was acquitted at the conclusion of the prosecution case and also successfully fought the subsequent disciplinary proceedings before the Law Society obtaining costs against that body.

  • Murder / Manslaughter

    R v D & Another: In this case the prosecution sought to have one omnibus trial embracing a a series of armed robberies of commercial premises and a murder committed in residential premises.

    R v W & Others: A nine week multi-handed murder/kidnapping case involving, amongst other things, gangland “enforcement” vis-à-vis the supply of crack cocaine in Essex.

    R v T & Another: The Defendant’s co-accused had, during the course of a joint robbery, suddenly produced, and fatally used, a knife which the successful submission was advanced at the conclusion of the prosecution case that the prosecution had failed to prove that the Defendant had had the requisite knowledge relating to the knife or similar weapon.

    R v Brand: A murder trial in which the issues were again accident or, alternatively, cumulative provocation. In order to rebut these defences the prosecution sought, unsuccessfully, to introduce into evidence by way of similar fact the Defendant’s three previous relationships which had been violent in the extreme.

    R v P: Another unusual Welsh murder case in which the issue of suicide was raised. Two “bodies” were discovered in a stable alongside a live ferret in a metal cage. One “body” that of the defendant was “revived” by the ambulance crew; the other the defendant’s estranged wife was very definitely dead; a ligature was found around her neck. The defences run were accident, suicide, or, if she died at the hand of the defendant, cumulative provocation. Expert evidence was adduced by the defence during the trial as to the relative ease in which strangulation could occur accidentally particularly when considering the nature and binding characteristics of baling twine.

    R v F: A high profile Welsh murder trial lasting some two months. The defence was quite extraordinary. The issues for the jury as refined by the trial Judge were, in order (a) were they sure that the deceased did not die as a result of the violent act of a named third party a prosecution witness suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the material time, (b) were they satisfied on the balance of probability that the deceased died as a result of a suicide pact with the Defendant, (c) if they were satisfied that the deceased died at the hand of the defendant other than in the course of a suicide pact, should the verdict be guilty of murder, or guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of provocation.

  • Serious Sexual Offences

    R v E: The Defendant who faced numerous charged of a sexual nature, was one of the principal defendants in the “Operation Care” series of trials; consequently his prosecution was a matter of considerable importance to the “Operation Care” prosecution team. The abuse of process argument upon which the defence embarked was detailed, issue focused, and backed by evidence. Ultimately all charges were either dropped or stayed.

    R v M: In terms of number of counts and number of complainants, the largest case ever to have come out of “Operation Care”. The Defendant initially faced an indictment containing 73 counts. At the conclusion of lengthy severance and abuse of process submissions during which a considerable amount of evidence was called all charges were either dropped or stayed.

    R v T & Others: The prosecution alleged that the Defendant was the prime mover in the abduction and false imprisonment of a young woman who was allegedly repeatedly raped while being held for ransom.

    R v R: A former scoutmaster charged with numerous sexual offences. The case was stayed following successful abuse of process arguments advanced on the back of neurological and psychiatric evidence called by the defence disputed by the prosecution.

    R v S: The elderly former co-owner of a private care home was charged jointly with her deceased husband with numerous sexual offences on children resident at the home in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The case was stayed following abuse of process submissions during which expert evidence was called by both the defence and prosecution.

  • Sports Law

    Peter advised and represented solicitors investigated and/or charged with misconduct including Re: D, a solicitor who acted in the multi-million pound transfer of an English international between two Premier League clubs who was alleged to have breached his professional regulations.

 *Peter Griffiths QC