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"A brilliant fraud lawyer, has unrivalled knowledge of procedure"

Chambers & Partners

Overview

Specialising in white-collar criminal defence, crisis management and the co-head of the firm’s dispute resolution department, Daniel advises company directors and officers and private individuals. He represents those facing serious and often highly sensitive enquiries and investigations. Daniel is regularly instructed to advise and to defend in large and complex cases, which involve allegations of corporate wrongdoing, corruption, bribery, sanctions breaches, corporate and personal tax evasion, VAT and duty evasion and allegations of frauds involving investments, pensions, property, mortgages and insurance, banking and insider dealing, brought by and involving authorities including the Serious Fraud Office, National Crime Agency, HMRC, Financial Conduct Authority, US Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Office of Public Prosecution (Germany), the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate (India) and the police.

Daniel provides discreet advice and assistance to high profile, high net and very high net worth individuals and to a number of national organisations. In recent years Daniel has acted for a client in what was the highest profile case on the world stage in the last century. Daniel is experienced and adept at dealing with multi-media, multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional working groups. He works with a network of lawyers internationally and is praised for tactical and strategic acumen, clear and comprehensive advice, strong guidance and client support and fearless dogged tenacity.

Daniel advises and assists in relation to a range of regulatory matters involving various specialist bodies, which have included the Electoral Commission, the Charity Commission, the Financial Conduct Authority, the England and Wales Cricket Board and National Trading Standards.

Daniel is highly experienced at providing effective representation for persons being interviewed by investigative bodies and dealing with the realities and aftermath of raids and search warrants – including judicial challenges to them, as well as legal professional privilege matters. He has brought about high profile stays of prosecution in a number of large cases, for reasons of successful abuse of process arguments and he has brought about a change to the BBC Trust policy and protocol for film crews attending raids, as a result of a successful application for a stay of prosecution for reason of a rare, ‘limb two’, abuse of process argument, resulting from the conduct of the police and the BBC in the course and conduct of a criminal investigation.

Daniel acted for the first defendant in what is said to have been the largest and most complex tax fraud case ever prosecuted by HMRC and he continues to represent general counsel from a large mining company which is subject to very long-running SFO multi-jurisdictional investigation. He has acted for senior journalists, politicians, well-known personalities, sportsmen and senior royalty.

Daniel deals with proceeds of crime and money laundering matters, including cash detention and forfeiture, account freezing orders, restraint orders, freezing orders and confiscation proceedings.

Explore our legal services here

For media enquiries please contact Daniel via media@blackfords.com

  • What the directories say

    Leading Individual – The Legal 500, 2023

    Leading Individual – Chambers and Partners, 2023

    • “Has an encyclopaedic knowledge of fraud and is a fearless defender.” (Chambers & Partners, 2023)
    • “He is very on the ball and has very good instincts.” (Chambers & Partners, 2023)
    • “Hard nosed and tough.” (Legal 500, 2023)
    • I have worked alongside Danny Cundy for over 20 years. He is exceptional within this field. He is both tireless and committed. He is tenacious and there is no hill too steep to climb. His comprehension of the subject matter leaves the lay client with absolute confidence.” (Legal 500, 2023)
    • “Daniel has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and his approach to litigation and trial strategy often demonstrates an unrivalled ability to plan far in advance of anyone else in the room and to predict dangers and possibilities in the most challenging of circumstances.” (Legal 500, 2022)
    • “Knows every button to press regarding disclosure by the HMRC and the CPS’ and is also experienced in issues pertaining to the Competition Act.” (Legal 500, 2022)
    • “Daniel Cundy is a joy to work with. He is very hands on, very tactical and good with nervous of difficult clients. An iron fist in a velvet glove.” (Legal 500, 2022)
    • “Thorough and innovative.” (Legal 500, 2022)
    • “He is great: very clear and thorough in his advice.” (Chambers & Partners, 2022)
    • “He is incredibly knowledgeable.” “He is a very good criminal lawyer.” “He’s very practical and understands his clients’ needs.” (Chambers and Partners, 2021)
    • “Leading light in white-collar fraud, is a uniquely talented litigator” (Legal 500, 2021)
    • “Very on top of his cases, an intelligent guy and he works very hard. He’s very down to earth, extraordinarily bright and very nice with clients” (Chambers and Partners 2020)
    • “A first rate tactician, highly experienced and very bright” (Legal 500 – 2020)
    • “A stand-out star and constant thorn in the side of prosecutors” (Legal 500 – 2020)
    • “Recognised for his expertise in corruption, fraud and tax cases” (Chambers and Partners 2019)
    • “He has a fantastic manner with clients and is extremely hard-working” (Chambers and Partners 2019)
    • “His approach has often led to cases succeeding before they even get to trial”(Chambers and Partners 2019)
    • “An exceptionally intelligent lawyer who has the ability to quickly understand extremely complex issues and fearlessly fights his clients’ cases.” (Legal 500 – 2019)
    • “A hardworking, personable and tactical lawyer and one of the first names to be called in any complex fraud” (Legal 500 – 2019)
    • “His knowledge of the way financial markets and crime work is really quite exceptional” (Chambers and Partners 2018)
    • “He is particularly good at pre-trial abuse and disclosure” – (Chambers and Partners 2018)
    • “Bribery and corruption expert” (Legal 500 – 2017)
    • “An excellent tactician” (Legal 500 – 2017)
    • “Tenacious, hard-working and utterly committed” (Chambers and Partners 2017)
    • “He has a very versatile approach to problems” (Chambers and Partners 2017)
    • “He has built a strong reputation advising on a range of white-collar criminal matters, including allegations of tax fraud and bribery” (Chambers and Partners 2017)
    • “Just phenomenal” (Chambers and Partners 2016)
    • “Fights ferociously and has an astute tactical awareness” (Chambers and Partners 2016)
    • “A constant thorn in the side of prosecutors.” (The Legal 500, 2015)
    • “An excellent fraud litigator with a wide range of experience of large cases and a very good track record.” (The Legal 500, 2015)
    • “Brilliant lawyer”, “unrivalled knowledge of procedure”, “a skilled negotiator.” (Chambers and Partners, 2015)
    • “Highly sought after criminal fraud defence solicitor with particular expertise in tax cases.” (Chambers and Partners, 2015)
    • “Excellent tactician”. (Legal 500, 2014)
    • “Streetwise and savvy” operator with a “wealth of experience” and “remarkable knowledge of his cases.” (Chambers and Partners, 2014)
    • “concentrates on the important issues of the case” (Legal 500, 2013)
    • “Proactive, astute, hard-working and committed” – (Chambers & Partners, 2013)
    • ‘Tenacious’, an ‘excellent tactician’ – (The Legal 500, 2012)
    • Leading Individual – Chambers & Partners 2013 / Recommended Lawyer – The Legal 500 2013
    • Selected as a ‘Rising Star’ specialising in fraud – Super Lawyers 2013
  • Notable cases
    • Operation Kempston (2024) Insider Dealing prosecution, previously highlighted as one of the FCA’s key enforcement cases. The case began with arrests in 2017, the result represented a significant victory on behalf of the client, a former Clifford Chance solicitor, who was completely exonerated following half-time submissions after two-months of the prosecution’s case at trial. The prosecution offered no-evidence for three counts on the indictment and the judge then ruled no case to answer for the remaining six counts – instructing the jury to return not guilty verdicts.

    • Operation Quest (2013 – 2023) SFO investigation into Kazakhstan mining giant Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC). Representing a key individual throughout the decade and interacting with various branches of the litigation against the SFO and ENRC’s former lawyers Dechert. Serious and thoroughly abusive flaws in the SFO’s case were identified at an early stage and assertions of impropriety were maintained and pursued, culminating in the highly publicised High Court civil proceedings (where our client – still a suspect in the criminal investigation – gave evidence) and ultimate, highly critical judgment, the SFO eventually conceding that the case was untenable and closing the investigation against the company and individual suspects.
    • Operation Larkshot (2022) Leeds Crown Court. Successful defence of a client in R v James Stunt and Others, the largest money laundering case in UK legal history. NatWest bank, prosecuted by the FCA, had already pleaded guilty to money laundering offences arising out of the facts of the case prior to the trial of eight individuals. The cash deposited into the NatWest bank was approximately £264m over five years. The client was acquitted by a unanimous jury verdict following an eight month trial.
    • Operation Jasmine (2018) Southwark Crown Court. Representing the first defendant in the SFO prosecution involving FH Bertling an international freight forwarding company in the oil and gas sector where the allegations were that our client was the prime mover in the obtaining of a contract, ultimately valued at £20m, by corruption. Acquitted of the Jasmine conspiracy after a jury trial, along with the other three defendants who fought the trial.
    • Operation Amazon (concluded Autumn 2017) Southwark Crown Court. Representing the first defendant in this decade long HMRC investigation and prosecution, held to be the most complex ever of its kind, into allegations of tax evasion in connection with large scale investments into Carbon Credit producing forestry schemes. The case went to the High Court three times, with a successful challenge to the imposition of Restraint Orders and the upholding of a later Crown Court ruling not to reinstate the Restraint Orders previously discharged. The case was initially stayed as an abuse of process but that stay was reversed by the Court of Appeal creating the authority of R v R (2016) 1 WLR 1872. The case involved unprecedented scrutiny of the computer forensics used by HMRC and their considerable shortcomings.
    • R v L (March 2016) Kingston Crown Court. Prosecution of accusations of multiple fraud stayed as a, rare, ‘limb two’ (Bennett) abuse of process. The Met police, Kingston Borough Council and the BBC all heavily criticised for improperly motivated and seriously inappropriate conduct relating to the involvement of a BBC film crew when executing two search warrants against a private individual. Owing to the conduct amounting to an affront to the integrity of the criminal justice system, the case was struck out. As a result of this case the BBC Trust changed its guidelines for film crews accompanying police raids.
    • R v R and OTHERS Blackfriars Crown Court (2016). Representing the first defendant, a businessman, in a multi-handed high value alleged Money Laundering conspiracy. The trial, which was expected to take six weeks, collapsed on the third day as a result of successful legal arguments run by the first defendant and persistent disclosure requests which caused the prosecution to offer no evidence. All defendants acquitted.
    • Chatwanis v NCA (2015). Advising the corporate entities and their owners. High profile judicial review case where the Divisional Court quashed warrants obtained by the NCA amid trenchant criticism of the NCA and where the agency were not permitted to retain any material for the purposes of making a fresh application to retain the material under section 59 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001.
    • Operation Elveden Representing a well-known and high profile journalist/editor, investigated and interviewed in relation to allegations of Conspiring to Corrupt Public Officials. Ultimately avoided charge.
    • Operation Centrum/Windsor and Others (Eastenders Case) Divisional Court, Court of Appeal and Central Criminal Court (2011 – 2014) Representing three claimants in a multi-handed high profile case where judicial review proceedings led to the quashing of illegal search warrants obtained by HMRC and the quashing of POCA restraint orders.
    • R v Mervyn Westfield (2012)  Representing the first sportsman to be accused of corruption- ‘spot fixing’ – in UK domestic cricket. The original Indictment was stayed as a result of representations.
    • Representing Mervyn Westfield before the disciplinary tribunal of the English Cricket Board in June 2012.
    • R v W, M & UMBS (Operation Tangelo 1) (2011). Representing the first defendant, a director of a large credit union and international banking platform. The client was acquitted, after trial, of all 10 counts – which had alleged fraudulent trading and money laundering.
    • R v R & Others (Operation Tangelo 2) (2010). One of the largest ever HMRC duty diversion prosecutions, involving seventeen defendants. Abuse of Process arguments led on behalf of our client resulted in the Prosecution offering no evidence against all defendants after systematic and fundamental flaws in HMRC’s ability to ever discharge its statutory disclosure obligations were exposed.
    • R v Dennard & White – Court of Appeal (2010)– What has become the leading authority in relation to establishing liability for payment of Duty & VAT in tobacco importation. This complex case involved in depth analysis of European Law and domestic provisions.
    • R v M & Others (Operation Bedel) (2009). Alcohol diversion fraud and money laundering trial (£12m) – representations on behalf of client exposed HMRC’s failures to meet their disclosure obligations. HMRC eventually offered no evidence and all defendants were acquitted.
    • R v C & Others (2008). A highly publicised allegation of an attempt to defraud the Bank of England of £180m. The case involved the largest ever seizure of counterfeit notes part of an ancient multi-billion fortune which a consortium of Chinese businessmen had claimed to have been hidden for decades in China and which had come from the UK government as part of a secret agreement with Chinese warlords. Legal argument successfully led to the jury being directed to return not guilty verdicts.
    • R v W & Others (Operation Carina) (2006). An HMRC ‘inward duty diversion’ prosecution which it was alleged involved the evasion of £53m of excise duty –  seven years in preparation – representing the first defendant and leading abuse of process arguments which led to the proceedings being stayed and all six defendants being acquitted. Prosecutorial misconduct was the primary reason for the stay.
    • R v U & Others (Operation Venison) (2005) One of the largest and most expensive cases prosecuted by HMRC. Allegations of VAT fraud £110m in value – Trial collapsed amid serious misconduct allegations and proceedings were stayed against all defendants.

     

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