Opus News

Legal 500 Hat-trick for Opus Law

Opus Law has been listed in the prestigious Legal 500 legal guide for the third year running. The 29th edition was published this week and again Opus Law was listed as a leading firm in the field of criminal fraud.

Ben Jones and Sarah Batty are again listed as leading lawyers.

Our Legal 500 listing this year reads as follows:

The “very strong” team at Opus Law is headed by the “extremely talented” Ben Jones and Sarah Batty. 

This gratefully received accolade is testament to the dedication and commitment our team gives to each and every case and our unrivalled client care.

Opus Law instructed in Andre Gray FA Tweet Charge Case

Ben Jones, Partner,  has been instructed by both Andre Gray and Burnley Football Club to represent the striker who has been charged by The FA in relation to alleged breaches of FA Rule E3.

The charges, which have been the subject of intensive media coverage, relate to media comments posted on the stars official twitter account  between 9 January 2012 and 11 March 2012.

We have instructed Mr. Jim Sturman QC of 2 Bedford Row, London, to assist in the preparation of the clients case.

As the case is ongoing no further comment can or will be made at this time.

This instruction further cements Opus Law as leading sports lawyers having previously undertaken, by way of example,  a  successful FA Cup expulsion appeal that concluded with Bradford City Football Club being reinstated to the competition, and taking a player compensation appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Mark Stewart).

As a firm we have also represented a number of high profile sports stars before the criminal courts in relation to many allegations including match fixing.

Instructions Received in Further Modern Slavery Case

Ben Jones, Partner, has been instructed in yet another modern slavery case.

Opus Law now act for one of five defendants in Operation Angelstoke which is listed before the Leeds Crown Court. The case involves additional elements of human trafficking and money laundering offences.

A trial date is yet to be fixed.

Ben Jones Instructed in High Profile Slavery Case.

Ben Jones, Partner, has been instructed in a high profile modern slavery case to be heard in Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester. Following on from a recent acquittal obtained for the same charges in the same court, instructions were received to act in this case. The clients will maintain their not guilty pleas and face trial in February 2017.

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/494573/Man-woman-Rochdale-charged-slavery-offences

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/12156748/Man-and-a-woman-charged-with-slavery-offences.html

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/slavery-charges-against-man-woman-7371947

http://news.sky.com/story/man-and-woman-charged-with-slavery-offences-10167529

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35574470

Not Guilty Verdicts in Modern Day Slavery Case

Ben Jones, Partner, was instructed by I in relation to serious allegations that amounted to modern day slavery. The investigation was known as Operation Retriever. Opus Law were instructed at the start of the case and quickly set about pulling apart the prosecution case. This as well as ensuring the defendants, who had been remanded into custody prior to our involvement, were granted bail.

Proactive defence work was undertaken, which exposed the real issues in the case, and gave our client a strong defence case for the six week trial. Expert London counsel from Carmelite Chambers were instructed and ensured our clients were acquitted. Our client was a businessman with a previously unblemished record. His good character remains intact due to this not guilty verdict.

Please see the link below for a press report on the acquittal.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/four-accused-running-illegal-rochdale-11477936

Opus Law Instructed in Baby Kidnap Plot Case

Ben Jones and Lisa Julian, Partners, were both instructed in this unusual and difficult case. From arrest at the police station to todays final hearing, we advised and assisted K throughout this prosecution involving a highly unusual set of facts.

The case was complex and required careful case management in the representation of our client who was a youth at the time of the offence. All avenues were explored as we built a strong case in mitigation. This case has already attracted national press.

The case shows our dedication to vulnerable youths who find themselves charged with the most serious of crimes.

The case has been reported as below after reporting restrictions were lifted:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-36343640

 

B Avoids Prison Despite £114,000 Benefit Fraud

Sarah Batty, Partner,  represented B who was charged with a large scale benefit fraud. The prosecution alleged her gain to be in  the region of £114,000 following false benefit claims made over some 8 years. Having finally admitted her guilt on the day of trial, defence Counsel was able to successfully obtain a Goodyear Direction such that B would not receive an immediate custodial sentence. Nor did her conviction result in a Confiscation Order being imposed.

NOT GUILTY. M Acquitted of Serious Fraud Charges.

Ben Jones, Partner, was instructed by M when he faced serious fraud charges before the Bradford Crown Court.

The case concerned a fraud carried out upon a firm of conveyancing solicitors, whose computer system was hacked into by some means; as a result a payment in excess of £150,000 which was intended for a client of the firm was in fact sent to a fraudsters account. The money was then layered in accounts across the country.  Our client was charged with 6 others as being an instrumental player in the fraud.

The case was dramatically halted on the fifth day of trial when Ben Jones uncovered vital evidence about an address in the case that was said to be controlled by our client. Following meticulous investigative work in tracing home occupiers, landlords, letting agents and web research, it was discovered that an uncharged convicted fraudster had control of the address at the pertinent time. Also, the prosecution hand writing expert was challenged and this evidence was weakened.  This casting significant doubt over the prosecution allegations and supporting our clients defence.

The prosecution case began to unravel and eventually they were forced to concede that the only option available to the court was to direct the jury to return not guilty verdicts. This was a result that was achieved by proactive defence work that many firms simply would not have undertaken. Our extensive knowledge of defending fraud cases allowed us to attack the pertinent issues in the case as and when they arose, which in this case was on day 5 of the trial.

NOT GUILTY. D Found Not Guilty Of Money Laundering

Ben Jones acted for D who appeared at the Crown Court charged with money laundering.

D was stopped by the police driving a vehicle. The vehicle passenger footwell contained a black bin liner. The contents of which revealed two plastic boxes containing £133,000. The prosecution case was that this sum was criminal property, namely the concealment (the evidence showing it had previously been buried), and thereafter possession when it was moved in the vehicle.They therefore charged the defendant with money laundering. Not guilty pleas were entered and the matter proceeded to trial.

A successful application of no case to answer was made at the conclusion of the prosecution case. Not guilty verdicts were therefore recorded.  The judge did not accept that the circumstances in which the property was handled give rise to the irresistible inference that the money can only be derived from crime.

Following persuasive submissions the Judge agreed that there was nothing suspicious in the way the cash was being transported. The prosecution submission that the sheer quantity of cash led to an inference of guilt was described by the Judge as “a fallacious submission”.

Sarah Barlow of Exchange Chambers was instructed as counsel for D.

Legal 500 Lexcel