Richard Sutton QC

Call: 1969 | Silk: 1993

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An excellent set with massive strength in fraud and serious crime.

Legal 500, 2022

Personal profile

Owing to his vast experience and consequential deep understanding of the criminal law and its developments, Richard Sutton QC boasts an extremely strong multi-faceted Crime and Business Crime & Fraud practice defending and prosecuting.

His practice includes multi-handed cases of business crime and fraud (including Revenue, VAT and Excise Duty, money laundering and confiscation), Drugs Offences, Murder & Manslaughter, serious Sexual Offences and Serious Violence. He also possesses years’ of experience dealing with evidential and procedural issues encountered in Serious & Organised Crime. The non-exhaustive list includes public interest immunity, legal professional privilege, foreign evidence, Extradition issues, letters of request, covert police operations, s.72 SOCPA 2005 evidence, evidence through UK and international television links, vulnerable witnesses, forensic expert evidence (accountancy, medical, scientific), cell-site evidence and entrapment. His experience also extends to regulatory work, specifically in Bar and solicitor disciplinary action and as an adjunct to fiscal and corporate crime.

With a wide ranging Crime and Business Crime & Fraud practice, complemented by Richard’s extensive knowledge, he provides a comprehensive service to his clients. He is extremely personable with strong advocacy skills.

Fraud

Richard boasts an extremely strong multi-faceted Fraud practice both defending and prosecuting.

Featured cases

  • R v A and others (2018–21) – Instructed for the prosecution. Trial one involved revenue offences and money laundering and trial two involved land banking fraud. There was an electronic presentation. The judge ruled that POCA proceedings could take place in the defendant’s absence in view of his medical condition, which was unlikely to alter in the foreseeable future.
  • R v Q and others (2014) – Instructed for the prosecution of an alleged pension fraud. This case was multi-handed and involving off-shore companies used to channel funds. Arguments surrounded whether the defendants’ scheme amounted to fraud and included electronic and iPad presentation. Appeal on terminating ruling (on the effect of Finance Act 2004).
  • R v H and others (2012–2014) – Instructed for the prosecution in this of multi-handed construction fraud (three consecutive trials). This case involved covert listening devices, VAT and Revenue fraud and an electronic presentation. This was one of the first successful trials using iPads in place of jury bundles.
  • R v A (2012) – This concerned a gold fraud surrounding the import/export of jewellery/gold and the evasion of VAT.
  • R v P & Ors (2012) – Instructed for the prosecution of this multi-handed confidence fraud. The defendants persuaded major media companies to send unused DVDs, CDs, videos etc for destruction and then resold them. There were abuse and fitness to be tried issues.

See our Fraud team.

Proceeds of Crime

Generally as a corollary to his fraud practice Richard undertakes complex confiscation proceedings.

Featured cases

  • R v A and others (2018–21) – Instructed for the prosecution. Trial one involved revenue offences and money laundering and trial two involved land banking fraud. There was an electronic presentation. The judge ruled that POCA proceedings could take place in the defendant’s absence in view of his medical condition, which was unlikely to alter in the foreseeable future.

See our Proceeds of Crime team.

Murder & Manslaughter

Richard has maintained his practice in general Crime. This involves murders, manslaughters and attempted murders.

Featured cases

  • R v H (2022) – Instructed to prosecute a serious knife attack by two defendants on police officers in broad daylight in a town shopping centre.
  • R v P (2019–20) – Instructed to defend. This case involved an issue of causation (whether medical intervention was the cause of death). Following the defendant’s evidence the trial judge ordered that his plea to manslaughter (which had been entered in front of the jury at an earlier stage of the trial) should be vacated, despite objection from defence. The Court of Appeal held that the judge was entitled to do this.
  • R v H (2018) – This case involved cut-throat defences.
  • R v M (2015–2017) – The defendant was convicted at first trial. There was a successful appeal and on retrial the defendant was convicted of manslaughter.

See our Murder & Manslaughter team.

Sexual Offences

Richard undertakes Sexual Offences work, in particular involving rape and kindred offences.

Featured cases

  • R v A (2015) – Instructed to defend in relation to ‘sexsomnia’ (the defendant was asleep). Expert evidence was called and the defendant was acquitted by the jury.

See our Sexual Offences team.

Crime

Richard maintains his practice in all aspects of general Crime.

Featured cases

  • R v S (2018-21) – Instructed to defend a conspiracy to burgle (x2) and a conspiracy to conceal the proceeds of the crime. There was an admission of hearsay and challenging expert evidence was presented (DNA, gait analysis, alarms systems). There were subsequent confiscation, conviction and POCA appeals. The Court of Appeal held that the police seizure and retention of stolen goods did not deprive the defendant of an interest in those goods (under s.9 POCA 2002) even though the defendant himself claimed no interest.

See our Crime team.

Professional Discipline

Richard’s experience extends to regulatory work, specifically at the Bar and solicitor disciplinary action and as an adjunct to fiscal and corporate crime.

Featured cases

  • R v Q and others (2014) – The alleged Pension Fraud had initially been investigated by the FSA and the Pension Regulator. The participation by and responsibilities of financial advisors and pension administrators under the pension legislation were at the heart of the prosecution case. This was a multi-handed case involving an electronic presentation and iPads, with a terminating ruling (on the effect of Finance Act 2004).
  • Re E (Master of the Rolls) (2006) – Instructed to represent a former solicitor on application before the Master of the Rolls, following the refusal of the SDT to re-admit.
  • Re M (2003) – This concerned a barrister wasted costs order, on appeal to the CCA February 2004.
  • Y (Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal) (2002) – Successful response to an application to strike off.

See our Professional Discipline team.

Education

  • BA, Wadham College, University of Oxford

Awards

  • Bencher, Middle Temple (2002)

Professional appointments

  • Recorder (1994–2017)

Memberships

  • Middle Temple
  • CBA
  • South Eastern Circuit

Publications

‘Cross Border Jurisdiction Fraud’, Law, Practice & Procedure, Lexis Nexis, 2004–2007, contributor and editor

Other experience