Barrister Nicholas Cropp

Nicholas Cropp

Year of call: 1999  

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“Thorough, excellent client care skills, always well prepared”

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Overview


Nicholas has extensive advocacy and advisory experience in both the United Kingdom and the United States, and has regularly appeared in courtrooms in complex, contested cases in several UK, US and offshore jurisdictions, focusing primarily on fraud, financial services and regulatory matters, constitutional and human rights law, and serious criminal allegations including financial services offences, political, environmental and other serious crimes. Nicholas is widely published in multiple jurisdictions in the fields of bribery and corruption, fraud and financial services litigation, constitutional and administrative law, regulatory compliance, land use planning and human rights.

Nicholas is a member of the Bar of England and Wales, the New York and Oregon State Bars, the Federal Bar of the District of Oregon and the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Nicholas is able to accept instructions on a direct access basis in appropriate cases, including in regulatory and financial services, corporate crime/fraud, commercial litigation and human rights/civil liberties matters.

  • LLB, University College London (First Class Honours), 1998
  • Grays Inn Junior Scholar, 1998
  • Bar Vocational Qualification (Very Competent), 1999
  • British Academy Scholar, 1999-2000
  • BCL, Pembroke College Oxford, 2000
  • A “Rising Star”, Superlawyers 2008
Commercial Complex Fraud Crime Offshore & International Personal Injury Public Law Regulatory & Professional Discipline

Commercial


Nicholas is part of the 7BR Commercial Team and has experience representing individual and corporate clients in fast- and multi-track commercial and civil litigation involving civil fraud allegations, the interpretation of solicitors retainer agreements and other contractual disputes (including credit hire, unfair terms, sale of goods, agency and misrepresentation) and Company Law disputes.

Nicholas was formerly a tutor in Company Law for undergraduate law students at University College London.

Commercial Cases


  • Re DH Trust (2012): Second chair/led junior in offshore commercial trust litigation worth approximately £30 million dealing with entities/assets in Jersey, the Caymans, Panama and the UK, involving allegations of negligence and fraud in an internationally reputable accountancy firm.

Complex Fraud


Nicholas has considerable experience representing individual, corporate and government clients in multiple jurisdictions in relation to a variety of regulatory, financial and other fraud-related criminal matters, including advisory work on internal investigations and potential early disclosures to regulatory and prosecuting agencies. Nicholas is principally instructed by the defence, though he has undertaken significant instructions on behalf of the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Conduct Authority. Nicholas is equally comfortable taking the lead on a project or working as part of a team of lawyers to achieve his client’s objectives.

Nicholas frequently provides advisory and advocacy services in proceedings arising from the Bribery Act 2010 and from the UK’s complex and draconian confiscation regime under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and related legislation, including on behalf of corporate and professional clients who have been subjected to production orders, and on behalf of corporate victims of fraud seeking recovery in related POCA proceedings.

Memberships


  • Fraud Lawyers Association

Bribery & Corruption Criminal Fraud Litigation

Bribery & Corruption


Nicholas regularly advises clients on the implications of the Bribery Act 2010, the pre-2010 regime in the UK, and certain foreign anti-bribery and anti-corruption statutory schemes including the FCPA in the United States.

Nicholas is widely published in the field of Bribery and Corruption generally:

  • Bribery Act Compliance – The Saga Continues, Jersey Evening Post Finance and Regulatory Supplement, February 2012.  Discusses the impact of the Bribery Act 2010 on offshore jurisdictions
  • The Bribery Act vs The FCPA: Nuance vs. Nous [2011] Criminal LR, Issue 2 at 122. Compares the UK’s new Bribery Act regime with the post-1997 OECD Convention enforcement of the FCPA by the US Department of Justice. Part of the 2011 Bribery Act Symposium
  • Commercial Sensibility in Corruption Cases [2010] Commercial Litigation Journal 34 (Nov/Dec) at 16. Compares the approach taken to bribery and corruption in the UK and the US, reviews US law on “honest services” fraud, and outlines the key provisions of the Bribery Act 2010 and their application to commercial organisations

Criminal Fraud Litigation


Nicholas is widely published in the field of general criminal fraud litigation.

  • A Serious Cause For Worry, Solicitors Journal, March 2013.  Discusses the Tchenguiz v SFO litigation.
  • Recent Patriot Act Developments, Presentation to Priestleys with 7 Bedford Row, Cayman Islands, October 2010.

Complex Fraud Cases


  • Re C (2013-2014): Instructed by the FCA, along with Andrew Wheeler and James Robottom, to undertake a comprehensive privilege review of materials seized from solicitor defendant in long-running UK-based land bank fraud.
  • Re I (2013): Advisory work re: third party intervention in significant POCA proceedings concerning, inter alia, frauds in the UK and Nigeria.
  • Re T (2013): Advising on internal investigations and disclosures on behalf of a major international plc considering historic bribery and corruption concerns in several jurisdictions including Jersey, Kenya, Switzerland and the UK.
  • Re H (2011): Representation of central London solicitors firm from whom extensive conveyancing materials were improperly sought pursuant to overbroad POCA production orders.
  • United States v Staren (2011): Representation of London-based witnesses from the financial services industry subpoenaed to give evidence in US criminal proceedings in California concerning a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.
  • R v Nadir (2011): Led team of disclosure counsel at the Serious Fraud Office dealing with various aspects of the ultimately successful prosecution of Asil Nadir.
  • Re Ogbolu-Okonji (2011): Intervention in POCA proceedings on behalf of corporate victim of Defendant’s fraud.

Crime


A determined and successful jury advocate who appears principally for the defence, Nicholas is regularly instructed to appear in Crown Courts around the UK (principally in London and the South East of England), and has appeared in a number of jurisdictions in the United States, in both trials and pre-trial hearings in a variety of serious criminal matters ranging from money laundering to tax fraud, market abuse and insider trading allegations, serious drug allegations, property, political and violent crimes. Nicholas also has extensive criminal appellate experience in both the UK and the United States.

Crime Cases


  • R v Mansaram & Ors (2013): Led by Maryam Syed in major multi-handed drug conspiracy case at Wood Green Crown Court. Case involved unusually large quantity of telephonic intercept evidence.
  • R v Thompson & Ors (2013): Counsel for second defendant in multi-handed drug conspiracy case. Police raid on premises filmed as part of reality TV show.
  • R v Sandhu & Ors (2011): Counsel for third defendant in multi-handed complex assault case involving armed conflict/near-riot in hall of residence resulting in several significant injuries and dozens of witnesses.
  • R v Robinson [2010] EWCA Crim 1132: Court of Appeal (Pitchford LJ, Rafferty J and HHJ Goldstone QC). Secured significant reduction in sentence for car-ringing offences prosecuted under the money laundering provisions of POCA but improperly sentenced under pre-POCA car-ringing sentencing authorities.
  • R v Button [2010] EWCA Crim 9: Court of Appeal (Pitchford LJ, Owen J. and the Recorder of London). Secured significant reduction in sentence for second domestic burglary in circumstances where the sentencing judge had wrongly determined that a burglary was committed in breach of trust.

Offshore & International


Nicholas practiced in the United States from 2002-2008, frequently appearing in federal and state courts in a variety of regulatory, constitutional and criminal matters, including securities fraud, tax fraud, forfeiture of assets, land use planning, free speech, regulatory litigation against the Securities and Exchange Commission, and serious criminal matters including political, environmental, drug and violent crimes. Nicholas has considerable experience with international corruption allegations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Bribery Act 2010. Nicholas also has extensive state and federal appellate experience in the United States.

In 2012 Nicholas undertook a six month secondment at Baker & Partners in Jersey, working principally as a led junior in the In re DH Trust litigation, a factually complex commercial trust dispute involving allegations of fraud and misapplication of trust assets amounting to over £30 million in value, involving corporations and trust assets in Jersey, the BVI, Panama and the United Kingdom.

Since returning to practice in the UK in 2009 and in particular since 2012 Nicholas has dealt with a number of matters with a significant international/offshore dimension, involving analyses, inter alia, of the positions in Kenya, Switzerland, Mozambique, South Africa, Jersey, Spain, Panama, the BVI and the United States.

Memberships


  • Oregon State Bar, 2003
  • Federal Bar of the District of Oregon, 2006
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2007
  • New York State Bar, 2012

Overseas Jurisdictions

Overseas Jurisdictions


Significant Cases:

  • United States v Lee (2007): Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Concerned criminal forfeiture of real property belonging to a Vietnamese-American husband, where forfeiture failed to properly account for the customary interests of his wife.
  • United States v Wooh (2007): Federal Ninth Circuit (District of Oregon). Whistle-blower case involving allegations of Foreign Corrupt Practice Act violations in the international scrap steel shipping industry, particularly in Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and China.
  • State of Oregon v Johnson (2007): Novel constitutional challenge to application of mandatory minimum sentencing provisions to mentally disabled client.
  • United States v Kornman (2007): Federal Fifth Circuit (Northern District of Texas). Complex motions to suppress illegally obtained evidence in securities fraud/insider trading prosecution.
  • State of Oregon v Moyer, Tune & Sturgeon (2006): Oregon Court of Appeals. Constitutional challenge, on free speech grounds, to unlawful charging instrument criminalising, inter alia, provision of anonymous donations to political candidates.
  • United States v Stringer (2006-2008): Federal Ninth Circuit (District of Oregon). Third chair/led junior in landmark case involving the dismissal of an indictment against a CEO due to improper, secret collusion between the SEC and the US Department of Justice.
  • Just v City of Lebanon (2004): Oregon Supreme Court. Amicus brief concerning extent of citizen involvement & standing in Oregon’s land use planning system.
  • Albuquerque Commons Partnership v City of Albuquerque (2003-2008): New Mexico Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. Amicus briefs in landmark case concerning the importance of urban master plans in New Mexico’s land use planning system.
  • Utsey v Coos County (2003): Oregon Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. Amicus brief concerning extent of citizen involvement & standing in Oregon’s land use planning system.

Offshore & International Cases


  • Re X (2013-2014): Sole counsel in disciplinary proceedings brought against legal professional in the UK accused of facilitating the commission of a £3m land banking fraud in Mozambique. Fraud had implications in the UK, Spain, South Africa and Mozambique. Secured significant dismissals of client account mismanagement and money laundering compliance allegations, comparatively minor penalty for proved infractions and major reduction in prosecution costs sought against client.
  • Re T (2013): Advisory work on behalf of international plc considering historic bribery and corruption concerns in several jurisdictions including Jersey, Kenya, Switzerland and the UK. Considered the implications of the Bribery Act 2010, the pre-2010 anti-bribery regime in the UK, and the FCPA in the United States.
  • Re DH Trust (2012): Second chair/led junior in offshore commercial trust litigation worth approximately £30 million dealing with entities/assets in Jersey, the Caymans, Panama and the UK, involving allegations of negligence and fraud in an internationally reputable accountancy firm.

Personal Injury


Nicholas is part of the 7BR Personal Injury / Clinical Negligence Team and accepts instructions in fast- and multi-track personal injury and clinical negligence matters, including on a CFA basis in appropriate cases.

Fraudulent Claims

Fraudulent Claims


Nicholas has recently developed considerable experience representing claimants responding to fraudulent claim allegations in the personal injury context, including the costs consequences of making such allegations.

Personal Injury Cases


  • Dittrich v Patel (2014): Multi-track RTA claim involving a complex loss of employment opportunities claim in excess of £300,000 and an early application of Denton v TH White, essentially confirming that the Mitchell v. News Group Newspapers fact pattern still constitutes a “serious or significant” (as opposed to non-”trivial“) breach of the CPR
  • Malik & Din v Equity Red Star (2012): Represented two claimants in multi-track RTA case where insurer co-Defendant tacitly alleged fraud. Claims succeeded, and secured significant indemnity costs award against Defendants for failing to demonstrate any fraud

Public Law


Nicholas has extensive experience with constitutional, administrative and human rights litigation in multiple jurisdictions, on behalf of individual, corporate and government clients in a variety of fields including financial services regulation, land use planning, property, health care and criminal matters. Recent experience includes advising on prospective claims against the Legal Services Commission under section 7 of the Human Rights Act 1998 for funds lost through improper mortgage repossessions, a judicial review of the FSA, advisory work relating to VOSA’s guidance on exemptions from UK and European tachograph regulations, and advising the ACLU on a prospective free speech/due process challenge to a novel Oregon statutory scheme criminalising the provision of “sexually explicit” materials to minors.

Nicholas’s publications in the field of constitutional law and land use planning appear on several prominent law school syllabuses in the United States and have been cited to the US Supreme Court.

Nicholas was formerly a tutor in Public Law for undergraduate and postgraduate law students at the University of Westminster.

Memberships


  • Administrative Law Bar Association
  • Lawyers for Liberty
  • Bar Pro Bono Unit

Judicial Review Public Inquiries

Judicial Review


Nicholas is widely published in the field of judicial review, constitutional challenges to land use decisions in the United States and general jurisprudence.

  • Sources of ‘Public Use’ Requirements – Takings or Due Process? [2004] 27 Zoning & Planning L. Rep 1. Article cited to the United States Supreme Court in Kelo v. City of New London [2005], one of the most significant land use planning decisions in modern Supreme Court history.
  • “Legislative vs. Quasi-Judicial – Deference or Defense?” [2004] 27 Zoning & Planning L. Rep 20. [2004].
  • “Making It Up – Original Intent and Federal Takings Jurisprudence” [2003] Urban Lawyer, Vol. 35, No. 2, 203.
  • “How Useful is Rawls’ Theory of Justice? Does It Help Us to Avoid Unjust Systems?” [1998] UCL Jurisprudence Review 188.

In addition Nicholas has undertaken significant pro bono work in the field of judicial review on behalf of several organisations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Thousand Friends of Oregon (amicus briefs to the Oregon Court of Appeals and Supreme Courts arguing for greater citizen involvement in the land use planning process), the American Planning Association (amicus briefs to the Oregon and New Mexico Courts of Appeal and Supreme Courts arguing for greater prominence for urban master plans), the League of Conservation Voters (advocacy on a wide variety of economic, environmental, social and political topics for the non-partisan environmental group’s 2004 presidential campaign, in support of John Kerry) and the Bar Pro Bono Unit (Public Law and Human Rights and related Commercial and Regulatory/Criminal Proceedings and Advisory Work).

Public Inquiries


Nicholas has recently begun developing his expertise in advising on the relationship between public inquiries and ongoing criminal investigations. See e.g. Nicholas’s discussion of the Leveson inquiry: How to Handle Public Inquiries, The Guardian, November 2011.

Public Law Cases


  • Ex Parte N (2012): Advisory work relating to long-running litigation concerning prospective claims against the Legal Services Commission under section 7 of the Human Rights Act 1998 for funds lost through improper mortgage repossessions.
  • FSA v. W (a firm); FSA v. G (a firm) (2009-2010): Judicial review proceedings against the FSA for its improper exercise of draconian powers against a number of firms in the small cap stockbroking industry.

Regulatory & Professional Discipline


Nicholas has considerable experience providing advisory and advocacy services to professional clients facing regulatory and professional misconduct allegations in a variety of contexts. Nicholas has undertaken regulatory litigation at the Regulatory Decisions Committee of the Financial Services Authority, the Upper Tribunal, the High Court and the Court of Faculties. Nicholas also represents individuals and corporations in related criminal proceedings, including market abuse and insider trading allegations.

Financial Services Regulation & Enforcement

Financial Services Regulation & Enforcement


Nicholas is widely published in the fields of Financial Services Regulation and Enforcement:

  • Corporate Transparency and Fraud: People in Glass Houses? Journal of International Banking and Finance Law, November 2013. Discusses the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills’ recent discussion paper on enhancing transparency of ownership in UK corporations.
  • Banksters can sleep easy again, The Lawyer, 24 June 2013. Discusses the June 2013 report of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards.
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes, Solicitors Journal, June 2013. Discusses the proposed new law criminalising reckless endangerment of the public by senior bankers.
  • Contributor to Advertising Law and Regulation (Tottel, 2nd Ed. 2010); specifically Chapter 22: Regulation of Financial Services Advertising.

Regulatory & Professional Discipline Cases


  • Re X (2013-2014): Sole counsel in disciplinary proceedings brought against legal professional in the UK accused of facilitating the commission of a £3m land banking fraud in Mozambique. Fraud had implications in the UK, Spain, South Africa and Mozambique. Secured significant dismissals of client account mismanagement and money laundering compliance allegations, comparatively minor penalty for proved infractions and major reduction in prosecution costs sought against client.
  • Re A (2012-2013): Worked with team of counsel dealing with prohibition proceedings in the Upper Tribunal based on findings and judicial commentary made in parallel civil proceedings.
  • FSA v W (a firm); FSA v G (a firm) (2009-2010): Representation of several small-cap stockbroking corporations before the Regulatory Decisions Committee of the Financial Services Authority, the Financial Services & Markets Tribunal, and in the High Court in judicial review proceedings.
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