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28/01/2015

The end for ‘lawful means’ conspiracy?

The limits of conspiracy to defraud defined as SFO case dismissed in mining rights case.

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Philip Hackett QC and David Hassall acted for the senior partner of a firm of solicitors in successfully applying to Hickinbottom J. for the dismissal of the Serious Fraud Office case alleging conspiracy to defraud in respect of the transfer of mining restoration obligations to BVI companies.Co defendants included the chancery silk that advised on the matter. The Judge rejected the concept of a conspiracy to defraud based on a lawful object achieved by lawful means.

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They subsequently represented the client when the Serious Fraud Office unsuccessfully applied to Fulford LJ for a Voluntary Bill of Indictment in an application contending that the dismissal judgment was based on an error of law in a ruling that is likely to become the benchmark case limiting the exercise of this ‘exceptional’ jurisdiction.

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