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Faras Baloch

Faras Baloch

Call: 2003

T: 0207 520 6000    E: chambers@18rlc.co.uk

Faras is a specialist in the most serious cases of financial crime. He acts for and against companies and senior professionals accused of serious financial misconduct. He lectures nationally and internationally on topics including the Bribery Act, Common Reporting Standard and the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Recent work has included: acting for the SFO in the Unaoil international corruption trial and as lead counsel in a multimillion-pound private equity fraud in the energy sector. He is currently instructed in a number of international corruption investigations involving multinational corporates, an international trade finance fraud and an investigation into tax evasion by a high net worth individual. He represented a company director accused of laundering the proceeds of international diversion frauds and a compliance officer accused of laundering £10 million of terrorist funds. Faras has advised in internal investigations relating to financial misconduct by major financial institutions and breaches of international sanctions.

Fraud and Business Crime
  • Advising the SFO in relation to an international trade finance fraud (current).
  • Advising the SFO in connection with its investigation into the Ministry of Justice electronic monitoring contract for tagging offenders (current).
  • R v E & F (2018) – Lead prosecution counsel in £7m private equity fraud in the renewable energy industry. False claims were made in the company’s private placing memorandum and secondary shares were marketed as primary shares. Over 300 mainly elderly victim investors. 10 week trial. [PRESS LINKS [FT]]
  • Operation Twilight (2018) – Conspiracy to cheat the revenue, defendants included an IFA and the former CEO of Kuoni. (First pros. Jnr)
  • Operation Octopod (2018) – Land banking, money laundering & FSMA offences. (First pros. Jnr)
  • BAJ & Ors (2017 to date) – International corruption involving the procurement of oil contracts in post war Iraq. (First pros. Jnr)
  • R v P (2017) – Defence of company director charged with laundering of proceeds of international diversion frauds (Jnr alone)
  • R v W & A (2016) – prosecution of film director and producer for inflating costs in relation to a dishonest tax scheme. (First pros Jnr) [PRESS LINKS[TIMES]]
  • Operation Closeknit (2015-2016) – 2 month trial of company directors charged with laundering the proceeds of alcohol diversion fraud. (First pros. Jnr) |
  • Operations Chainmail & Crystallite (2016) – 14 defendants prosecuted across 3 trials over 12 months charged with conspiracy to cheat the Revenue by manipulating film schemes. Defendants included a former EY partner and 8 former senior investment bankers from RBS and Bear Stearns. (First pros. Jnr)  [PRESS LINKS[FT]]
  • Operation Kyrenia (2016) – 3 month trial of cardiothoracic clinicians charged with defrauding an NHS Trust over four years. Followed by complex confiscation proceedings (First pros. Jnr) [PRESS LINKS[TELEGRAPH]]
  • R v O and Ors (2013) – Defending in a £6 million security industry fraud (Jnr alone) |
  • R v S (2012) – Conspiracy to defraud the Home Office (Def. Jnr)
  • R v K (2011) – Defence counsel for first defendant in international £11m money laundering conspiracy where funds were alleged to have been laundered from the Taliban (Jnr alone)
  • R v B (2011) – SFO prosecution of boiler rooms company director under FSMA (First pros. Jnr). |
  • R v S (2011) – SFO prosecution of company director deploying boiler rooms to sell shares in his company (First pros. Jnr)

Regulatory & Professional Discipline

  • R v BSG Ltd (2012) Defence of company and its officers charged with destruction of 13 acres of protected woodland (Jnr alone). [PRESS LINKS[News Hopper]]
  • R v Z (2012) Defence of company director charged with multi million pound jewellery counterfeiting and breach of EU REACH enforcement regulations (Jnr alone).

International Representation

Faras has advised major international organisations and foreign courts on AML, sanctions, enforcement and discrete matters of UK law.

  • Acting in a regulatory investigation into the activities of a global bank, examining issues of corporate governance, advising on the applicability of international sanctions legislation and AML.
  • Advising US court on history of terrorism legislation in UK.
  • Advising a multi billion dollar construction company in relation to the enforcement of an arbitral award.
  • Advising a European company on technology assisted review.

Publications, Lectures and Training

Lectures to JP Morgan, HMRC Fraud Investigation Service, City law firms, BEIS and the Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Task Force on the OECD Common Reporting Standards and the offence of ‘Failing to prevent’ tax offences under the Criminal Finances Act 2017.

Lectures to Slaughter and May and K&L Gates on the anticipated new offence of Failing to Prevent Economic Crime.

Recommendations

  • “A very astute lawyer with an impressive grasp of the tactics as well as the law.” – Chambers UK (2021)
  • “Fantastically fair, clever and sensible.” – Chambers UK (2021)
  • “He can hold his own against silks.” – Legal 500 (2021)
  • “His cross-examination is calm, courteous and difficult to resist.” – Legal 500 (2020)



Education

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LLB Nottingham

Memberships

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Criminal Bar Association

Middle temple

South Eastern Circuit

Professional Appointments

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SFO A Panel

SFO Proceeds of Crime A Panel

Grade 4 (Highest Level) CPS Prosecutor

Grade 4 CPS Specialist Fraud Panel

Awards

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College of Law Mooting Prize

Leading individual in the Legal 500 and Chambers UK Bar directories (see Recommendations)

Languages

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Urdu (native)

German (basic)