Consumer and Restraint Law

Copycat website alleged fraudster acquitted

October 2017

Operation Cleo 2.

Stephen Oliver was represented by Ben, led by Graham Trembath QC.  He faced allegations of creating and operating copycat government websites to defraud the public.  The case was complex and substantial.  After a trial the defendants were acquitted of copycat website fraud and the prosecution abandoned further proceedings concerning consumer protection offences.  A second case has been discontinued.

Operation Albatross [2013-2014] Ben, instructed by Ayo Awoyungbo and Bryony Dean of the MHRA Unit of the Welfare, Rural and Health Division of CPS HQ, is currently prosecuting the directors of a company for illegally importing counterfeit Durex condoms. The operation has been the subject of a BBC Fake Britain documentary due to the public health implications of counterfeit contraceptives.


DBIS v Rees [2010-2012] Leading Defence Counsel in criminal proceedings involving the alleged breaches of a director’s disqualification order in the context of two separate companies.


Merton, LBC v Sinclair Collis Ltd [2010] EWHC 3089 (Admin); [2010] WLR (D) 286; [2010] All ER (D) 68 (Nov); [2011] 1 W.L.R. 1570; (2010) 175 J.P. 11. Ben and Edward Jenkins QC appeared for London Borough of Merton (instructed by Head of Civic and Legal Services, Merton London Borough Council). They successfully argued that, notwithstanding the civil complaint procedure embodied in s 7(2) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (as amended) a sale of tobacco to a person under the age of 18 through a cigarette vending machine was capable of being an offence contrary to s 7(1) of the 1933 Act. Click here for judgment.


Operation Citrus / Bedford County Council v M [2011-2012] Restraint and Management Receivership Counsel in multimillion pound advance fee / consumer fraud.


Operation Cantonese [2007-2012] Counsel for Merton LBC and the Central Fraud Group in successful prosecution of three men for conspiracy to defraud through betting tipster and advance fee frauds relating to bloodstock.  Confiscation involves tracing assets in the middle East and Cyprus.


Merton, LBC v Tesco Counsel for Local Authority in food safety case against Tesco, concerning its flagship store in New Malden, resulting in its highest fine ever for a food-safety offence.


Asset Recovery Agency v Green [2005] EWHC 3168 (Admin); 2005 WL 3719494; Times, February 27, 2006 Counsel for Respondent in largest civil recovery case of all time. Leading case defining “criminal property” in restraint (Part 5 of POCA).