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Richard Beynon

Richard Beynon

Call: 1990

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

Richard Beynon has a wide experience of criminal litigation, specialising over a number of years in the prosecution of large and complex cases involving serious and organised crime; fraud; tax and duty evasion along with ancillary confiscation proceedings following conviction. Both as Leader and Junior, he has prosecuted a number of large multi-handed cases where investigations have been measured in years. He has a keen interest in equally complicated prosecutions for the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive. A conscientious advocate with a workman-like approach he has the ability to handle vast amounts of material, used and unused alike.

He serves on the CPS Advocate Panel at the highest level and also serves on the Regulatory Panel.

Fraud & Corporate CrimeProceeds of Crime (POCA)Organised Crime

  • Op Spirit (2013 – 2017) Successfully prosecuted for the CPS Complex Casework.  A large number of vulnerable victims were significantly overcharged for necessary work, resulting in charges of cheating the Revenue of VAT and Corporation Tax; fraud; and money laundering.
  • Op Youthful (2013-2015) Led by QC. CPS Complex Casework Unit. Immigration fraud and money laundering by directors. Wholesale abuse of sponsorship licence scheme.
  • Op Vex (2008 – 2013) Prosecution. Leading Disclosure Counsel. £80m MTIC fraud.  11 Defendants spread over two trials. No abuse of process applications, otherwise common in such cases. Role involved liaison with the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) and Scottish Law enforcement authorities.
  • Op Baygood (2011-2013) Leading Prosecution Junior. 8 defendants involved. Large scale manufacture of counterfeit vodka.  Press Link: BBC
  • Jersey Financial Crimes Unit (2013-2014). Instructed by AG of Jersey to assist States of Jersey FCU in suspected fraud: extensive liaison with Jersey Financial Services Commission.
  • Ops Domic and Dedans (2007 -2012) Led prosecution junior: 10 Defendants: cheating the Revenue of £16m in the manufacture of counterfeit vodka. Confiscation hearing lasted 3 weeks.
  • Op Bruise and Beckon (2007-2010) Led prosecution Junior in two trials (each with 12 defendants) of duty evasion / money laundering and numerous linked cases including Op Hosel (2009 -2012) (money laundering with 17 files of material).  Advised strategically across the range of linked prosecutions and dealt with disclosure.
  • Op Reactive (2006 -2009 and 2013) Led prosecution Junior in 4 defendant hydrocarbon oils fraud. As Junior alone, later prosecuted a further defendant arrested under European Arrest Warrant. Responsibilities throughout included Disclosure.

Richard has extensive experience of prosecuting under POCA and its predecessors across a broad and diverse spectrum of offences including:

  • Environment Agency (2016 and on-going) advising Environment Agency in POCA investigation against a director with complicated background / corporate structure
  • Fraud on the benefits system (e.g. involving both CJA 1988 and POCA)
  • Ticket Touting (test case for Op Podium)
  • Insolvency Offences.
  • Immigration offences e.g. Operation Irate (2012 – 2014) conspiracy involving organised crime group facilitating the entry of Ukrainian Nationals by sea and air.

Many fraud / Revenue prosecutions have involved organised crime groups (OCG). Examples include:

  • Op Heifer 1-4 (2012-2015) Leading Prosecution Junior for CPS Organised Crime Division. 10 defendants over a number of cases. 6 in main trial. NCA investigation of Serious and Organised Crime Group. Controlled Drugs.  Complex disclosure related issues.
  • Op Raison (2014) CPS Organised Crime Division.  Conspiracy to import opium from Iran.
  • Op Diamondback (2012 -2013) Leading prosecution Junior. 6 Defendants and over 40 offences committed over a 3 month period. One of the largest metal theft cases: Press Link: BBC
  • Op Dervish (2009) Prosecuted 7 Defendants:  deployment of undercover police in Class A drugs test purchase operation.

See also Fraud and Corporate Crime.

Regulatory & Professional Discipline

Environment AgencyHealth & Safety

  • Op Durable (2017) Junior and Disclosure counsel. Environment Agency prosecution of company and directors for the unlawful treatment and handling of 60k tonnes of hazardous waste: experts called on whether the material was a product or waste. Described as the biggest ever hazardous waste raid conducted in the United Kingdom: 5 year investigation involving numerous agencies and vast of amounts of evidential material.
  • R v Bairstow (2016) Environment Agency prosecution which included a breach of an ASBO previously obtained by the Local Authority against a person dubbed by the press as the UK’s worst fly tipper: Press Link: BBC
  • R v Millen (2016 – 2017) Unlawful deposit of c.39,500 tonnes of controlled waste: Press Link: BBC
  • Op Sword (2016) Prosecuted directors for environmental offences arising out of the deposit, treatment and storage of waste at several sites in and around Swindon where there were serious fires. One fire closed the main railway line nearby; another lasting 57 days had a significant impact on residents and businesses. Press Link: BBC

Recent examples include:

  • R v Thanet District Council (2016) The District Council (between 2005 and 2014) had failed to protect its employees against Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) resulting in 41 employees referred to occupational health for surveillance following discovery in 2014 and a further 15 exhibiting symptoms. 19 referred needed ongoing monitoring. Press Link: BBC
  • R v GEA Mechanical Equipment (UK) Ltd (2016) Employee trapped for 2 hours under large piece of equipment weighing 900kg during complex lifting operations and resulting in major crush injuries.
  • R v GMA Warehousing and Transport Ltd (2016) Major crush injuries arising from fork lift truck operations within a container.
  • R v Selig UK Ltd (2016) Worker drawn into a laminating machine and trapped during its operation causing serious injuries.
  • R v Race Interiors Ltd (2015) Fall from height leading to catastrophic life changing injuries (severe brain injury and traumatic fracture to the spine).

Examples of work between 2004 -2012:

  • R v MM Contracting Ltd Employee fatally injured by crushing. [2012] EWCA Crim 2215 (Sentence appeal)
  • R v Wyndeham Peterborough Ltd (Part of the Wyndeham Press group). Maintenance engineer fatally injured whilst working on printing machinery.
  • R v Flowserve GB Ltd. (UK subsidiary of large multinational).  Young employee fatally injured during the pressure testing of deep sea valve.
  • R v Rhodia Eco Ltd. Loss of containment of liquid chlorine resulting in a major incident which in less favourable atmospheric conditions could have led to multiple fatalities. Joint prosecution with the Environment Agency.
  • R v Parkins Fee Construction Ltd. Employee fatally injured during trench excavation.
  • R v Balfour Beatty and MRS. Student and part time agency railway worker fatally injured after series of company failures led him to walk a track between Vauxhall and Waterloo. His death led to a revision in the Railway Industry’s rule book explicitly requiring track workers to be supervised.
  • R v Lafarge Cement UK Plc.  Extensive burns following electrical explosion.
  • R v Kubota UK Ltd.  Amputations caused by defective agricultural equipment.

Publications, Lectures and Training


Financial Services and Markets Act 2000; Corporate Liability; Interlocutory Hearings; Prosecution Appeals; Non-Jury Trials in Fraud: Law, Practice and Procedure (LexisNexis (2004)


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LLB (Hons)


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South Eastern Circuit

Criminal Bar Association

Health and Safety Lawyers’ Association (HSLA)



Professional Appointments

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CPS: Grade 4 (Highest Level)  Specialist Advocate  Panels (2013)

  • Fraud;
  • Serious and Organised Crime;
  • Proceeds of Crime;

Regulatory Panel (HSE/ORR/EA)  A Panel (2012)

Former Serious Fraud Office A Panel (2013-2017)