Charles J W Benson Q.C.

Called:1990 Middle Temple

Silk Date:2010

Specialisms:Commercial, Crime, Financial & Regulatory Crime, Courts Martial, Property, Public & Human Rights

Education and professional background and associations

  • B Admin (Hons); MA (Tripos); LLM (Cambs)
  • Called to the Bar by the Middle Temple 1990
  • Elevated to Queen’s Counsel 2010
  • Member of Amnesty International
  • Member of Liberty
  • Member of the Bar Pro Bono Unit
  • Co author of Marine Environmental Law published by Lloyds Shipping Library 

 

Charles Benson QC honed his skills at the cutting edge of very serious crime from pupillage to the present day.  He has an appetite for hard work which has kept him in constant demand over 25 years of practise.  Charles is able to rationalise large amounts of complex material and to brings practical clarity to difficult cases.  Charles is not just a lawyer able to deal imaginatively with difficult legal points but he is an extremely effective advocate with keen forensic and tactical skills as well as a quirky charm.  Charles involves his clients as part of a team and is uncomplicated, patient and frank in his dealing persons entrusted to his care.  He is not pompous and expects his clients and all members of the team to dedicate the same degree of effort to the case as he does.  Charles is a dedicated ‘client' man and his focus is intense and unwavering in his defence of those whom he represents.

Proficient Greek speaker.

Computer literate and IT efficient

 

Cases of interest:


(i) The Millennium Dome robbery – the failed attempt to steal the diamonds from within the secure vault of the Millennium Dome during the exhibition year.


(ii) The Ostrich Farming Corporation fraud, then one of the biggest SFO prosecutions. I represented the principal financier. The case achieved public notoriety and involved the exploitation of 2200 separate purchasers netting the fraudsters £21 million.


(iii) The Operation Norfolk prosecutions involved allegations of money laundering involving solicitors and professional persons whom it was said had direct collaboration with apex criminals.


(iv) Operation Draft concerning prosecutions into international drugs trade and money laundering on a commercial scale and punctuated by the use of major underworld informants and corrupt policemen;

 

High profile HMCE and other trials including:

  • R v White and others (Operation Stealer)
  • R v Doran and Togher and others (Operation Stealer);
  • R v Williams and others (the "Foxtrot 5" case involving the importation of 1.4 tonnes of cocaine);
  • R v Ronald O'Sullivan, which involved massive amounts of obscene material –so called – and where the defendant was the father of a well-known snooker player serving a life sentence for murder.  I also appeared in the conviction appeal on the murder;  
  • R v John Haase involving gun running for an underworld figure who had been released from a 25 year sentence after only 11 months as a result of the Royal Prerogative;  
  • R v England  carousel fraud avoiding VAT);
  • R v Whitehead, an SFO fraud using a complex matrix of interrelated foreign and UK based companies.  
  • R v Meghrabi involving £50million of laundered money passing through a currency exchange and involving a high ranking Lebanese family who had become intertwined with corrupt lawyers and developers and used their profile and cunning in setting up a network of businesses using family members to cover their dishonesty.  
  • R v Danny Land, a CPS officer accused of perverting the course of justice and misfeasance in public office.  
  • R v Adams where I represented first R Adams, latterly T Adams on his appeal against sentence and against the Financial Reporting Order and in the judicial review challenging the imposition of a Recovery of Defence Costs Order.
  • R v Royal in CA on appeal against his conviction for the largest cash robbery in UK history
  • R v Brian Regan (“Tommy” from Brookside) charged with conspiracy to murder involving allegations of drug running, professional crime and contract murder.
  • Crash for Cash mortgage fraud allegation
  • R v Chaggar and others mortgage fraud and corruption of professionals involved in land transactions
  • R v Fury drugs and mortgage fraud allegations involving high profile professional criminals
  • R v Dark robbery
  • R v Harris robbery
  • R v Bolden Robbery
  • R v Mitchell conspiracies involving money laundering and mortgage fraud
  • R v Bridges cannabis factory
  • R v Austin money laundering involving complex international transactions
  • Innumerable POCA and Confiscation case
  • Some 50 odd murder allegations over the course of my career. 


Reported cases include:

  • R v Fadden (confiscation);
  • R v McNamara (receipt of new evidence' following close of evidence);
  • R v Chenia (drugs and company fraud, silence in interview);
  • R v Veysi (determinate sentence when no future danger likely to exist following plea to manslaughter.);
  • R v Malik (manslaughter by arson);
  • R v Smith and Others (informant disclosure and handling issues);
  • R v El Delby (money laundering, character and status of foreign convictions);
  • R Whiteway-Wilkinson and others (massive co-ordinated drug supply and confiscation involving allegations of "hidden assets" – guideline case). 
  • R v Adams which is a guideline case for FRO and RDCO.