Jonathan Underhill

Year of Call: 2008
Email Address:
Telephone: 01202 292 102 / 020 7583 8055

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Fraud, Business and Financial Crime

Jonathan is regularly instructed to act for the Specialist Fraud Division of the Crown Prosecution Service, as well as HMRC most often in relation to Social Security and computer-based frauds. He has also undertaken disclosure and review work for both the Serious Fraud Office and National Crime Agency. Jonathan has also been sought out to advise on other less common frauds pertaining to local authorities and business regulation; notably “airport parking” and “blue badge” fraud.

He has particular expertise in handling the restraint, confiscation and asset recovery aspect of cases centring on financial misconduct.

Notable Cases

  • Operation ‘Barren’ (2019) – Instructed for the Defence in a multi-handed fraud prosecuted by HMRC valued at £3.4 million.
  • Operation ‘Z’ (2018) – Instructed as Led Junior Counsel in a multi handed money laundering case.
  • R v. C (2018) – HMRC, failure to declare self-assessment Income tax and NOI contributions; circa £170,000.
  • R v. S (2018) – Successfully Defended in “failing to declare case” brought by HMRC, concerning income from multiple properties on the South Coast.
  • R v. C (2017) – Instructed for the Defence solely to deal with contested POCA proceedings arising from large scale drug dealing.
  • R v PE and Ors (2016) – Instructed to advise pre-charge on large scale multi-company, multi-site airport parking fraud valued at several hundred thousand pounds.
  • R(S) v. Q and Others – Led Junior for the prosecution in four handed 6-week conspiracy to defraud case involving council tax, housing benefit and identity fraud.
  • R v. B and Ors – Instructed on behalf of third-party insurance company to provide detailed legal advice on arguments pertaining to the Defendants having “obtained” property; detailed noting brief required of multi day contested hearing.
  • R(S) v. Q and Others – POCA confiscation. Lifestyle assumptions, multiple properties, bank accounts, hidden asserts, assertion of third-party rights and assets outside of the jurisdiction.
  • WSS v. D – Trading Standards confiscation, legal argument as to the effect of proportionality and R v Waya as relating to tainted gifts and third-party property rights.
  • R v. S – Prosecution of complex case involving fraudulent “shopping vouchers”.
  • HCC v. C – Multi-handed prosecution regarding fraudulent business and roofing fraud.
  • PCC v. A and Ors – Multi-handed prosecution of local Police employees for secondary selling of parking vouchers and fraud.
  • R v. N – Benefit Fraud valued at £50,000.
  • R v. I – Benefit Fraud valued at £28,000.


“I would not hesitate in instructing Mr Jonathan Underhill in all manner of Regulatory matters. He has an almost encyclopaedic knowledge in all key regulatory areas, including Environmental, Licensing, Housing and Planning offences.  His preparation is meticulous with close attention to detail. He is extremely approachable and is great at communicating to a wide range of clients, which has always led to positive feedback and requests to instruct him in future matters. He has an amazing ability to advocate complex issues in law, in a way that is easy to understand for Magistrates, Jurors and Judges. His Advocacy is simply exceptional. He is and will continue to be my first choice of Counsel.”
C Smith – Criminal Litigation Lawyer (London Local Authority)

“I am indebted to Mr Jonathan Underhill…for his realistic and concise submissions… Mr Underhill was utterly realistic in his submissions to this court, which he advanced with commendable brevity and good sense”.
HHJ Jeremy Richardson QC – In the High Court

“I was very impressed with Jonathan Underhill – and he had a glowing report from our environmental health manager for his advocacy at the recent noise trial he did for us”.
Local Authority Solicitor

“I would not hesitate in instructing Mr Underhill – cases are always thoroughly prepared, time and care taken with clients and outcomes reported back promptly. The client feedback has been excellent and often accompanies with a request that he represent them again. The quality of his representation is first class.”
Lindsey Taylor (Solicitor) - Watkins and Gunn Solicitors

“I have found Mr Underhill to be an excellent advocate who is always well prepared and courteous to all. I have had positive feedback from clients in cases he had conducted on my firm’s behalf. I would not hesitate to instruct him.”
Paul Lewis (Partner) - Quality Solicitors HPJV

"Very clearly presented - a dry subject made interesting. Very useful info. Excellent trainer".
Nikki Hutt, West Sussex County Council

"Very informative, clear, concise but with a level of relaxed delivery and humour. I enjoyed Jonathan's 'style'."
Dee Plum, West Sussex County Council

“I was very impressed with Jonathan Underhill and he had a glowing report from our environmental health manager for his advocacy at the recent noise trial he did for us.”
Local Authority Solicitor

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Academic qualifications

  • BVC (Graded Outstanding) – Cardiff University Law School
  • Inner Temple Prize Winner – Outstanding Achievement
  • LLB (Hons) Law & Politics – Cardiff University Law School

Professional qualifications & appointments

  • Level 3 – CPS Panel Advocate
  • Level 2 – CPS Specialist Panel Advocate – Proceeds of Crime Panel
  • Serious Fraud Office Review Panel

Professional bodies

  • Western Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Young Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association
  • Private Prosecutors Association