Barrister Pavlos Panayi

Pavlos Panayi QC

Year of call: 1995  Silk: 2014

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“He is in his element when dealing with legally and factually challenging litigation.”

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Overview


From a mixed prosecution and defence background, Pavlos appears predominately in frauds of all varieties, financial investigations, terrorism, homicide and organised crime.

Recent fraud instructions include tax fraud, mis-selling, market manipulation/boiler room, banking and mortgage fraud. He advises international clients in multi-jurisdictional matters, including those involving UK, Greek, Turkish and Cypriot law.

Pavlos has particular experience in Health and Safety matters, including those resulting in fatal accidents.

Corporate crime and fraud work has included dozens of leading cases. He acts for companies and private individuals including board members, company officers, accountants, solicitors, mortgage brokers and property developers. He focuses on advising pre-charge and during emerging criminal investigations, with a view to avoiding the risk of prosecution.

He is currently instructed by a large financial institution to direct an internal investigation into a series of linked frauds. Forthcoming cases also include acting for the principal partner in a firm of solicitors charged with a multi-million pound fraud on the Legal Aid Fund.

Recent fraud instructions have included appearing for the lead director of a group of British and Spanish companies charged with conspiracy to defraud in England and in Spain, arising out of a Trading Standards investigation. The case involved issues of FCA authorisation requirements for warranty services and public-interest winding up proceedings in the Chancery Division and Companies Court.

In the appellate field, Pavlos has a successful record in private-client work, challenging convictions and sentences in difficult cases.

In the field of serious and violent crime, he has appeared in dozens of notable trials: contract killings; gang-related homicide; arsons; poisonings; and shootings. These include the Mahmod murder trial which became a cause celebre for the victims of so-called “honour” crimes and was the subject matter of an award-winning film based on the case; the Chatham arson triple-murder trial; acting for an alleged hit-man and defending a would-be serial killer after the murder of a prostitute. Each of these cases generated considerable media interest.

In 2016 he appeared for the lead defendant in Operation Wick, a joint police/Sun newspaper sting operation into illegal human trafficking. Novel legal issues arose out of the interplay between prosecution disclosure obligations and the protection of newspaper sources.

In the field of cyber-crime, Pavlos has appeared in several leading cases in the UK with international dimensions.

Terrorism work includes: advising pre-charge in a case involving schoolboys travelling to Syria to fight for ISIS; representing an alleged Al Qaeda banker charged with terrorist facilitation offences; the successful challenge of an anti-terror Control Order in the High Court and the July 2005 London Bombings case.

Professional associations and memberships

  • Co-founded the Cypriot Lawyers Society, which has an international membership of Cypriot lawyers and other professionals with an interest in and connection to Cyprus.

Other memberships:

  • Fraud Lawyers Association; Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association; Criminal Bar Association.
  • Elected to Bar Council of England and Wales, serving 2007-2010.
  • Goodwill Ambassador for the UK Cyprus Enterprise Council.
Crime

Crime


In the field of serious and violent crime, Pavlos has appeared in dozens of notable trials involving an organised crime background: contract killings; gang-related homicide; arsons; poisonings; and shootings. These include the Mahmod murder trial which became a cause celebre for the victims of so-called “honour” crimes and was the subject matter of an award-winning film based on the case. He defended the Chatham arson murder case where fire took the lives of three generations of the same family.  Recent instructions include: acting for an alleged hit-man; defending a would-be serial killer after the murder of a prostitute; and a notorious drug-related murder in Hounslow in April 2016. Each of these cases generated considerable media interest.

Corporate crime and fraud work has included dozens of leading cases. Pavlos acts for companies and private individuals including board members, company officers, accountants, solicitors, mortgage brokers and property developers. He focuses on advising pre-charge and during emerging criminal investigations, with a view to avoiding the risk of prosecution.

In the appellate field, he has a successful record in private-client work, challenging convictions and sentences in difficult cases.

He is currently instructed by a large financial institution to direct an internal investigation into a series of linked frauds.

In 2016, fraud instructions included appearing for the lead director of a group of British and Spanish companies charged with conspiracy to defraud in England and in Spain, arising out of a Trading Standards investigation. The case involved issues of FSA authorisation requirements for warranty services and public-interest winding up proceedings in the Chancery Division and Companies Court.

In general crime, also in 2016, acted in Operation Wick, a joint police/Sun newspaper sting operation into illegal human trafficking. Novel legal issues arose out of the interplay between prosecution disclosure obligations and the protection of newspaper sources.

In the field of cyber-crime, has appeared in several leading cases in the UK with international dimensions.

Terrorism work includes: the July 2005 London Bombings case; representing the alleged Al Qaeda banker charged with terrorist facilitation offences; and the successful challenge of an anti-terror Control Order in the High Court.

Current instructions for 2017 include: defending the principal partner of an immigration solicitors firm alleged to have committed a £4m fraud on the legal aid fund; acting for a company director charged with conspiracy to defraud; and the retrial of a prosecution arising out of a newspaper sting operation.

Expertise in allegations of sexual offences. Appeared successfully for the defence in a case where a mother was alleged to have conspired to offer underage girls including her grand-daughter to wealthy businessmen for sex. Has defended historic rape allegations and appeared for the defence in the leading appellate case dealing with the role of the victims of crime in the sentencing process R. v Robert Perkins and others [2013] 2 Cr.App.R.(S)72.

Professional associations and memberships

  • Co-founded the Cypriot Lawyers Society, which has an international membership of Cypriot lawyers and other professionals with an interest in and connection to Cyprus.
  • Fraud Lawyers Association;
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association;
  • Criminal Bar Association.
  • Elected to Bar Council of England and Wales, serving 2007-2010.
  • Goodwill Ambassador for the UK Cyprus Enterprise Council.

Homicide & Corporate Manslaughter Fraud & Financial Crime Organised Crime General Crime Terrorism

Homicide & Corporate Manslaughter


  • R v I – Central Criminal Court (2016): Murder in a west London estate of a drug-dealer by one of his close associates. Case involved extensive cross-examination of the deceased’s associates and other eye-witnesses and analysis of CCTV and mobile phone data. For media attention, click here.
  • R v M – Central Criminal Court (2016): Manslaughter arising from defective building work and breaches of Health and Safety legislation on a building site in Wandsworth resulting in carbon-monoxide poisoning of a business-owner. For media attention, click here and here.
  • R v W – Reading CC (2015): Murder of a prostitute killed in a carefully planned attack by a middle- aged man of previous good character. Prosecution alleged that the defendant was a would-be serial killer. Defence of diminished responsibility raised novel medico-legal issues of paraphilic disorder and the symptoms of withdrawal from SSRI anti-depressants.
  • R v C – Lewes CC (2014): Contract killing where a wealthy husband and businessman paid for his wife to be killed. Acted for the alleged hitman who was alleged to have been recruited (via an intermediary) to carry out the murder. For media attention, click here.
  • R v Z – Central Criminal Court (2014): The Southgate shooting case where a man was killed on Southgate High Street as part of ongoing drug wars between rival criminal empires in north London. Defendant was himself the victim of an attempted murder by his former accomplices, four days after the murder. For media attention, click here.
  • R v L – Guildford CC (2014): Instructed to defend a pub landlord charged with manslaughter following the death of a customer after alleged unlawful restraint and removal of the man from the pub. Death resulted from sudden death during restraint. For media attention, click here.
  • R v J – Central Criminal Court (2013): Four-handed kidnap, ransom, murder trial. Victim alleged to have owed debts to drug-dealers in the Polish community and was kidnapped, kept hostage in London for three days before being murdered and dumped in a field in Northamptonshire. Deceased’s remains were discovered by a dog-walker 6 months later. For media attention, click here.
  • R v B – Central Criminal Court (2013): Dubbed by the press the “Peacemaker” murder trial. Death resulted from a street-battle between two large opposing groups in Poplar, London. Acted for wife of the main defendant who was alleged to have swung a large ornamental dagger indiscriminately into a crowd. The incident resulted in one death and serious injuries to three others. For media attention, click here.
  • R v C – Harrow CC (2013): Attempted murder against the background of criminal activity in the Chinese underworld in London.
  • R v M – Maidstone CC (2012): Acted for principal defendant in widely reported triple murder of three generations of the same family by arson on a residential home in Chatham, Kent. For media attention, click here.
  • R v S – Isleworth CC (2012): Attempted murder where alleged victim left in a permanent vegetative state.
  • R v S – Central Criminal Court (2009): Murder of a mother and attempted murder of the deceased’s 18 months old child by drugging, beating and arson. Defendant was the deceased’s former partner and father of the child. For media attention, click here and here.
  • R v Mahmod – Central Criminal Court (2007): Honour killing in the Kurdish community in south London. Deceased was abducted by her father and uncle, killed and buried under the foundations of a house in the Midlands. The trial was widely reported and became a leading case of so-called ‘honour’ crimes when the deceased’s boyfriend and sister gave evidence against her uncle. Heavy use of cell-site evidence and RIPA recordings during the 4 months trial. The film based on this case won numerous awards. For media attention, click here and here.
  • R v T & Ors – Central Criminal Court (2004): 2 months trial into a ‘honey-trap’ conspiracy to murder. Acted for 17 year old girl of previous good character in cut-throat defence with major gangland criminal. For media attention, click here.

Fraud & Financial Crime


  • R v L – Norwich CC (2016): Defended Director of a group of businesses based in England and Spain in linked fraud conspiracies. Prosecution brought by Trading Standards after a background of civil litigation against the companies in the Companies Court and the Chancery Division of the High Court brought by various government agencies.
  • R v H – Guildford CC (2016): Appeared at the trial and retrial of a man charged with defrauding an elderly family friend out of her fortune after she gave him powers of attorney while allegedly suffering from dementia. Third trial stopped after successful abuse of process submissions.
  • R v L – Teesside CC (2015): Prosecution arising from Operation Bamburgh, a 5 year conspiracy by more than 20 mortgage brokers, solicitors and bridging-finance companies to defraud property vendors and lenders. Police investigation was the biggest financial crime investigation ever conducted in the north-east of England. Acted for a mortgage-broker who worked for three of the mortgage broking firms at the heart of the fraud, who also operated a bridging-finance company. Largest prosecution ever to rely on electronic presentation and the jury bundles were provided on iPads. Pre-trial strategy resulted in no evidence being offered against the defendant in all three trials. For media attention, click here.
  • R v R – Manchester CC (2014): Property fraud involving corrupt solicitors, financiers and property developers who sold and re-mortgaged a large number of residential and commercial properties unbeknown to the registered title-holders (using forged conveyancing and Land Registry documentation).
  • R v M – Southwark CC (2013): International money laundering conspiracy linked to a multi-million pound property fraud involving the use of corrupt solicitors, bankers and an insider at the Land Registry. Represented the finance director of a project finance investment firm based in London. The allegations involved the use of complex construction project financing deals as vehicles for money laundering.
  • R v A – Southwark CC (2013): Led for the defence in a large “cash for crash” insurance fraud. Pre-trial strategy and legal argument resulted in the prosecution offering no evidence.
  • R v S – Ipswich CC (2012): Led for the defendant, who was alleged to have laundered money for a network of drug dealers based in East Anglia. Pre-trial strategy, legal argument and protracted negotiations resulted in prosecution offering no evidence five days after the jury were sworn.
  • R v M – Kingston CC (2012): Acted for director of a major construction industry contractor alleged to have committed false accounting during huge construction projects in the City of London.
  • R v T – Canterbury CC (2011): Acted for director of an import/export company alleged to have been involved in a complex duty evasion case involving over £50 million in lost revenue.
  • R v S – Southwark CC (2011): Acted for principle defendant in a multi-million pound international revenue-sharing fraud on a mobile phone network provider by a criminal organisation in England, the Middle-East and Africa. For media attention, click here and here.
  • R v C – Croydon CC (2011): MTIC fraud involving over £100 million in lost revenue. The defendants who were the alleged missing traders, but did not in fact go missing and were prosecuted after a 4-year HMRC investigation.
  • R v A – Southwark CC (2009): Successful submission of abuse of process avoided POCA proceedings following the trial of a £16million fraud on Royal Bank of Scotland and linked international money laundering.
  • R v Q – Southwark CC (2007): Acted for a separate defendant in earlier trial involving the above-named fraud on the Royal Bank of Scotland plc.
  • R v R Kingston CC (2006): Multi-million pound MTIC computer-chip carousel fraud in EIRE and UK. Kingston CC.

Organised Crime


  • R v C – Lewes CC (2014): Contract killing (see above under “Homicide”)
  • R v C – Southwark CC (2014): Acting for one of the main conspirators in an alleged prostitution trafficking conspiracy with links to Romania.
  • R v S – Maidstone CC (2014): Acted for first of eight defendants running an organised crime group, trafficking heroin and cocaine across London and Kent.
  • R v Z – Central Criminal Court (2014): Murder arising out of turf-war between heroin trafficking gangs in north London (see above under “Homicide”).
  • R v S – Reading CC (2012): 12-handed conspiracy to import heroin from Pakistan. Case involved over 50 kilos of high-purity heroin worth over £15m. Acted for a young woman in a cut-throat defence with two of her co-defendants including the principal conspirator who was first on the indictment. Client was acquitted and both cut-throat co-defendants were convicted.
  • R v M – Woolwich CC (2012): Acted for main defendant charged with kidnap and torture following one criminal gang defrauding another criminal gang in an alleged fake diamond scam.
  • R v R – Kingston CC (2011): Appeared for the main defendant in an allegation of importation of 1.5 tonnes of high-grade cocaine. Defendant alleged to have been part of a gangland dynasty stretching back to the Richardson gang. Case involved complex international jurisdictional issues. Wholesale price of drugs was £375 million with an estimated street value of £2 billion. For media attention, click here and here.
  • R v B Worcester CC (2011): Gunpoint kidnap case involving the targeting of a family in their home over drugs debts owed by another family member.
  • R v F – Woolwich CC (2010): Represented a banker alleged to have laundered money for a criminal network trafficking enormous quantities of drugs throughout UK. Client alleged to have laundered over £100 million in a 12-month period via a series of allegedly corrupt directors of various Bureau de Changes. For media attention, click here.
  • R v L – Southwark CC (2010): Acted for only defendant acquitted out of 5 charged with conspiracy to supply 23 kilos of high-purity cocaine in Highgate, north London. Case hinged in part on disputed observation evidence. After cross-examination of the principal observation officer, the prosecution abandoned the observation evidence element of the case and conceded that the officer could not have been telling the truth.
  • R v L – Exeter CC (2010): Allegation of extreme violence arising out of a feud between drug dealers.

General Crime


Cyber Crime


  • R v A-B – Southwark CC (2013): Acted for alleged 15-year old member of Anonymous and Lulszec internet hacking groups. Client and his co-conspirators hacked the CIA, FBI, SOCA, Fox News, News Corp, Sony Corps, 20th Century Fox, Nintendo, the NHS and the Arizona State Police. He was alleged to be a leading member of an international collective of hackers. Defendant was the only defendant to avoid an immediate custodial sentence. For media attention, click here.

 

Newspaper Investigations


  • R v M – Isleworth CC (2016): Operation Wick, a joint police/Sun newspaper sting operation into illegal human trafficking. Extensive pre-trial legal argument as to the disclosure of newspaper sources and parallel prosecution obligations of disclosure and the protection of sensitive material.

Identity Offences


  • R v W – Wood Green CC (2011): Multi-handed conspiracy to defraud and forgery trial. Acted for the only defendant acquitted. The case was noteworthy for being the first and only case ever to begin with a jury but conclude with the Judge delivering the verdicts as a result of jury tampering during the trial. For media attention, click here.

Other notable cases in General Crime


  • R v S – Chelmsford CC (2009-2010): Acted for principal defendant in a conspiracy to commit armed robberies. Defendant was a published author and television broadcaster and a former most wanted man in Britain. He was alleged to have committed a string of robberies of security vans while leading a double-life as a TV personality. Case involved the shooting of a member of the public who intervened during one of the robberies. Lengthy police investigation and trial received widespread national publicity. For media attention, click here and here.
  • R v S – Maidstone Crown Court (2008): HMRC duty evasion trial resulting from covert police investigation.
  • R v J – Croydon Crown Court (2005): Harmondsworth Detention Centre Riot case; Case involved 19 defendants who were the ringleaders in a riot which followed the death of an inmate in custody. For media attention, click here.

Terrorism


  • Re: A (2015): Advised pre-charge in an ongoing police investigation as to trafficking schoolboys to Iraq and Syria to fight for ISIS.
  • R v G – Central Criminal Court (2008-2009): 21/7 bombings trial. Represented the wife of the Shepherds Bush tube train bomber for her alleged role in assisting him in the preparation and aftermath of the London bombings attacks. Trial lasted 4 months and involved expert evidence on the meaning of “jihad” and the boundaries between religious freedom and extremism. For media attention, click here.
  • Secretary of State v AJ – High Court (2007): Acted successfully in challenging the lawfulness of a Control Order made under the controversial provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005. Client was a man with mental health issues, wrongly suspected of involvement in terrorism.
  • R v AG – Southwark Crown Court (2004): Prosecution of alleged principal Al Qaeda banker for terrorism offences.

How to get in touch


For more information please contact our clerks by calling +44 (0) 20 7242 3555 or by email.

Steven Wright, Senior Clerk: Swright@7br.co.uk

Alex Coomber, Crime Clerk: Acoomber@7br.co.uk

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