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 undertaken disclosure and review work for both the Serious Fraud Office and National Crime Agency. In 2017 he was part of the team representing a former FOREX trader who was prosecuted by the US Department of Justice for conspiracy to fix prices in the FOREX market. The trial ended in an acquittal in the Southern District of New York in 2018; building upon his experience in White Collar and commercial frauds.
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.
He is a Level 3 CPS specialist Fraud Prosecutor and a Level 2 specialist Proceeds of Crime Prosecutor.
- R v GM and JB (2021)
Instructed for the Defence case involving fraudulent insurance claim and allegations of perverting the course of justice
- R v W, W and S (2021)
Instructed for the Crown in multi-handed fraud and theft case, involving the fraudulent abuse of power of attorney over a vulnerable complainant
- Operation Aboon (2020)
Instructed for the Defence in fraudulent VAT evasion. Successful submission of there being no case to answer at the close of the prosecution case.
- R v B (2020)
Instructed for the Defence in Multi-Defendant case of involving money laundering stemming from a 1.2-Million-dollar payment diversion fraud
- R v H (2019/2020)
Instructed for the Defence for 1st Defendant in multiple allegations of defrauding the DWP by alleged fabrication of the education and social care needs of 6 children over a period of 8 years and fraudulently claiming Tax credits
- R v M (2019/2020)
Instructed to advise for the Defence on multi-defendant fraudulent evasion of VAT
- R v N (2019)
Instructed for the Defence – 7-year failure to declare taxable income to HMRC
- R v S (2019)
Instructed to Prosecute failure to declare inheritance of circa £200,000 resulting in significant benefit overpayment and subsequent contested PoCA application to seek full recovery
- 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.
“Not having been in court before, I found myself in a situation that was very unfamiliar. However, I was instantly put at ease straight away from the approach of my barrister, Jonathan Underhill. He was extremely professional, understanding and took on board everything I wanted to get across in the court room. The attention to detail and the communication filled me with confidence that Jonathan was the right person to get the desired result for myself.
I would highly recommend Jonathan’s services, I couldn’t have asked for a better representation, he kept me calm and positive throughout my trial, and we ended up getting the correct outcome, not guilty! Thank you again”
JS – Defence Client
“You have been nothing short of brilliant… thank you…”
R Cassidy – Levales Solicitors
“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
- 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
- Level 3 – Specialist Panel Advocate – Fraud
- Serious Fraud Office Review Panel
- Western Circuit
- Criminal Bar Association
- Fraud Lawyers Association
- Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association
- Private Prosecutors Association
Jonathan Underhill is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.More Information