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Hannah Willcocks

Hannah Willcocks

Call: 2001

Hannah Willcocks is a specialist advocate in serious, financial and regulatory crime, cited as being ‘a first-class advocate and excellent lawyer, whose attention to detail is of the highest order’, ‘incredibly bright’, ‘very strong’ and ‘highly efficient’. Recommended now for 5 years in Chambers UK, as well as in  Legal 500 2016 and 2017 for her work in criminal fraud / financial crime, Hannah has significant experience of exceedingly large, multi-handed and complex cases, which often involve an extra-jurisdictional dimension.

Acknowledged as having ‘a remarkable capacity for mastering volumes of material’, Hannah is also extremely adept at addressing intricate issues of fact and law, often under immense pressure of time. Highly organised and efficient, she is recognised for her ‘methodical’ thinking and diligence.


Crime

Fraud & Business CrimeOrganised & Violent Crime

Recommended as a leading junior in criminal fraud/financial crime in Chambers UK since 2013 and in  Legal 500 2016 and 2017, Hannah has an established reputation as a prosecution junior in large scale cases involving the most serious and complex white-collar crimes. She has recently been appointed to the Serious Fraud Office’s Prosecution Panel A list and has been a Grade 3 Advocate for the CPS Specialist Fraud Panel since 2013.

In 2005 Hannah was seconded to the Asset Forfeiture at the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office where she gained a significant grounding in asset forfeiture work. Since then she has sought to develop her expertise in both this area and that of confiscation.  In 2013, Hannah was appointed to the CPS Specialist Proceeds of Crime Panel (Grade 2 Advocate).

  • Op. Hornet : R v David Mills and others (2013 – 2017) High profile multi-handed prosecution involving conspiracy to corrupt, fraudulent trading and conspiracy to launder criminal property with an estimated loss of approximately £245m. One of the largest investigations ever undertaken by Thames Valley Police with over 195,000 pages of evidence.   Led jnr. and first disclosure counsel.                                     Press Links: BBCThe Guardian, TelegraphThe SunThe Times
  • Op. Susumo (2015 – 2016) Money laundering prosecution involving 7 defendants and the alleged laundering of over £6m (led jnr.).
  • R v Richard Joseph (2013) Advised and drafted legal argument for the FCA regarding choses in action obtained from spread betting and whether associated costs should be deducted from the defendant’s benefit figure.  Some of the submissions were novel but accepted by the Court:  none were appealed.         Press Links: FCA
  • R v Ali Mustafa and Others (2012) Junior prosecution counsel in the FSA’s longest and most complex prosecution of insider dealing to date tried over four months.   Press Links:  The Guardian 
  • R v Bharat Odedra and others: Op. Ghast (2011) 6-handed £22m VAT (MTIC) fraud and money laundering.  (Led jnr. and one of two disclosure counsel in the overall operation).
  • Op. Stirling (2008-2011) Disclosure counsel in a large-scale tax fraud directing and supervising 16 police officers in an extensive review of probe material. Hannah’s disclosure strategy has since become the framework for all Northumbrian Police operations involving the deployment and use of probes
  • R v Islam and others (2008-2010) Junior prosecution counsel in an 11 handed banking fraud.
  • Op. Thankful (2007-2010) Prosecution counsel in complex, lengthy confiscation proceedings in a drugs importation case.  A hidden assets finding and confiscation order of £238,304.87 was made.
  • In the Matter of Janak Patel and in the Matter of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 [2007/2008] Advised on the appropriateness of seeking a restraint order and receivership post confiscation order in circumstances where new assets had been discovered by R.C.P.O. Also subsequently instructed to appear and advise in the confiscation enforcement proceedings following the granting of the restraint order.
  • In the matter of Christopher Barcroft and in the matter of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 [2007] Successful High Court application for restraint order under the CJA 1988 for Thameside Metropolitan Council prior to the defendant being summonsed to the Magistrates’ Court for benefit fraud offences.

Hannah is a Grade 3 Advocate for the CPS Specialist Serious Crime Panel and is also now a Grade 4 Advocate on the CPS General Crime Panel.  She has significant experience of cases involving violent crime having both prosecuted and defended a very large number of such cases during the early years of her practice.

  • Op. Nutant (2007-2008) Junior prosecution counsel in case involving the importation of 36.72 kilos of heroin.
  • R v X (2008) Prosecution counsel in GBH case concerning a complainant who had suffered serious burns as well as a head injury caused by a hammer.
  • R v Y (2008) Defence counsel in GBH (later reduced to ABH) case in which the Defendant had run over another person with his car.
  • R v Baljit Bhandal and others (2006) Junior counsel for the prosecution in 6 handed case involving two conspiracies to kidnap. The case involved one defendant giving Queen’s Evidence for the Crown. In addition, there was a significant amount of cell site evidence, which Hannah called and cross-examined the experts upon.

 

Professional Disciplinary & Regulatory

Having been instructed by both DEFRA (now CPS) and the FSA (now FCA) in two of their most complex cases to date, as well as having undertaken work for the Marine Management Organisation and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, Hannah has extensive experience of regulatory work.

From her work with both DEFRA (now CPS) and the Marine Management Organisation, Hannah possesses specialist knowledge and experience of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations and the regulatory Fishing Regime.

Also recognised for her expertise in prosecuting serious financial crime, Hannah was instructed in the FSA’s (now FCA) flagship prosecution of insider dealing.

  • R v Richard Joseph (2013) Advised and drafted legal argument for the FCA regarding the choses in action obtained from spread betting and whether associated costs should be deducted from the defendant’s benefit figure in confiscation proceedings.  Some of the submissions were novel but accepted by the Court: none were appealed.    Press Links: FCA
  • R v Ali Mustafa and Others (2012) Junior prosecution counsel in the FSA’s longest and most complex prosecution of insider dealing to date tried over four months.    Press Links: The Guardian
  • R v X (2011-2012) Instructed to advise pre-charge as sole prosecution counsel in a Marine Management Organisation investigation of nine suspects.
  • R v Ronald Meddes and others (2009-2011) Led jnr. and disclosure counsel in case concerning illegal importation and supply of approximately £6m of unauthorised and prescription–only veterinary medicines. One of the largest DEFRA prosecutions of its kind involving extradition proceedings, the obtaining of extensive evidence from abroad, contested expert evidence and issues arising from restraint proceedings.

  • R v Bharat Odedra and others [2011] 6-handed trial arising out of a £22million VAT (Missing Trader Intra Community) Fraud and money laundering case: Op. Ghast. The case was due to be prosecuted by Queen’s Counsel and Standing Counsel to the Attorney-General however, due to Queen Counsel’s unforeseen unavailability, Hannah stood in as junior counsel for the Crown. She called various witnesses including a VAT assurance officer whose statements ran to over 30 pages and cross-examined two out of the three defendants who gave evidence. Hannah also acted as one of two-disclosure counsel in the overall operation (Op. Ghast).
Publications, Lectures and Training

PublicationsLectures

The Encyclopedia of Road Traffic Law and Practice, (Sweet and Maxwell), co-editor 2003 to date.

Lloyd’s Law Reports: Financial Crime: case reporter.

South Eastern Circuit’s written response to the Lord Chancellor’s speech ‘What does a One Nation Justice Policy look like?’ (2015) contributor.

Teaching Fellow (part-time) at University College London: 2017 – 2018.

Co-presented Lexis Nexis webinar on Market Abuse and FCA Enforcement: 2015

Associate Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University: 2013- 2015.

Discussion group member of the review of sanctions for disclosure failures organised by Lord Justice Gross: 2012.

Recommendations

  • “A first-class advocate and excellent lawyer, whose attention to detail is of the highest order”Legal 500 2017
  • “She has a remarkable capacity for mastering volumes of material”Legal 500 2016
  • “Incredibly calm under fire.” “She is so on top of things, and her mastery of an inordinate amount of material is very impressive”Chambers & Partners 2017
  • “A very methodical thinker and will do her damnedest to get the job done”Chambers & Partners 2016
  • Hannah is “very dedicated and very much into the detail, she’s a very methodical thinker and works so hard”.  “She’s incredibly bright”Chambers & Partners 2014
  • “Very strong, extremely hard-working and highly efficient”Chambers & Partners 2013


Education

MA Law by Research, Distinction (Dissertation on ‘The Fraud Act 2006 – Ten Years Later’ 80%), Queen Mary, University of London 2017.

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BPP Law School, Bar Vocational Course 2001.

BPP Law School, Postgraduate Diploma in Law, Distinction (top of year) 2000.

B.A. Joint Honours, Modern Languages:  French and German Second Class Honours (First Division), Bristol 1998.

Memberships

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Fraud Lawyers Association

South Eastern Circuit

Criminal Bar Association

Middle Temple

Advisory Board of UCL Faculty of Law’s Centre for Criminal Law

 

 

Professional Appointments

SFO Prosecution Panel – A list 2017

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CPS General Crime Panel Grade 4 (highest grade) 2016

Recorder 2016

CPS Specialist Fraud Panel Grade 3 2013

CPS Specialist Serious Crime Panel Grade 3 2013

CPS Specialist Proceeds of Crime Panel Grade 2 2013

Attorney General’s C List 2005