Barrister Vincent Coughlin

Vincent Coughlin

Year of call: 1980  Silk: 2003

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“A brilliant and tenacious advocate who successfully defended me in a major three-month trial at the Old Bailey…a superb courtroom operator, wise, strategic, fearless and a winner. Simply the best.”

– Fergus Shanahan, Former Deputy Editor/Executive Editor at The Sun, News UK.

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Overview


Singled out by The Lawyer as being “exceptionally good”, Vincent Coughlin has an outstanding track record with a breadth of experience ranging through complex tax and revenue frauds, international terrorism, homicide, corporate corruption, money laundering, gang killings, drugs importations and sexual offences. Vincent has been named three times by the Ministry of Justice as being one of the top ten busiest silks in the country.

In 2015 Vincent triumphed in defending the executive editor of ‘The Sun’ who faced charges with Rebekah Brooks for an alleged conspiracy to pay an MOD official for stories. Since then he has gone from success to success, defending and prosecuting in a number of highly publicised trials.

Vincent is currently instructed to represent a senior Rolls Royce Executive in the well-publicised global investigation by the SFO and the US Department of Justice in respect of alleged multi-million pound corrupt payments for order procurement in multiple foreign jurisdictions. With an established reputation in Human Rights Law, he is increasingly requested to provide advice in complex cases involving wider international issues.

Vincent enjoys a lively and highly successful general criminal practice. He is able to provide high quality advice and representation in serious crime, complex fraud, and a wide range of crime related, regulatory and disciplinary matters. He is on the Bar Council Direct Access Directory of Barristers.

Crime Complex Fraud Regulatory & Professional Discipline Offshore & International

Crime


Vincent enjoys a lively and highly successful general criminal practice. As a defence advocate he has acquired a number of high-profile acquittals across a broad spectrum of serious crime. He has also successfully prosecuted in a number of multi-defendant homicides reported across the national media. He has particular expertise in cases involving joint -enterprise homicide and cases involving medico-legal issues. His tactical approach combined with court-room flair and attention to detail consistently achieves the right result for the party he represents.

Crime Cases


R v JAMES TOBIN Swansea Crown Court 2017. A successful homicide prosecution conducted by Vincent against an amateur boxer whose girlfriend’s death was originally thought to have been caused by misadventure.

R v AARON EVANS Cardiff Crown Court 2016. Following the murder of a British soldier in Brecon, Vincent secured the acquittal of his client, despite the co-accused, who was convicted, heavily implicating his client in the fatal assault.

R v EDGAR, LAINSBURY & WHELAN Cardiff Crown Court 2016. Vincent successfully prosecuted all three defendants who were convicted of the pre-planned and brutal murder of a Cardiff drugs dealer in full view of two child witnesses.

R v JAMES WILLIAMS Cardiff Crown Court 2016. Successfully prosecuting the murder of Russell Peachey, who was hunted down a series of alleys and fatally attacked with a hammer for arguing with his girlfriend after a night out together.

R v TINOFIRIE & SONDHI Birmingham Crown Court 2016. Successfully prosecuting two men for the attempted murder following an early morning shotgun attack upon a bricklayer in a street in Rushden, with a third defendant convicted for attempting to pervert the course of justice. The case was based almost entirely on the interpretation of telecoms data.

R v ROONEY & Others Derby Crown Court 2016. Following a 12 month surveillance operation, Vincent successfully prosecuted the gang leaders of an international organised crime group involved in the wholesale importation and distribution of amphetamine sulphate from Holland to a warehouse in Sheffield.

R v BUCKLEY Cardiff Crown Court 2016. Defending in a case involving the death of an infant in which the greater part of the evidence was based on the competing opinions of medico-legal expert witnesses.

R v SHANAHAN, KAY, WEBSTER & OTHERS Central Criminal Court In March 2015. Vincent secured the acquittal of Fergus Shanahan, the highly-regarded Fleet Street journalist and executive editor of The Sun for approving payments to a public official while serving as the sole deputy editor of The Sun under Rebekah Brooks. The prosecution has subsequently been condemned across a consensus of national media comment as a post Leveson witch-hunt motivated by a desire to rein in the freedoms of the tabloid press. Vincent’s closing speech was widely reported across national media.

R v FK & OTHERS Birmingham Crown Court 2015. In a ten week trial, representing the first defendant of five charged with attempted murder with a shot-gun, Vincent obtained an acquittal on the main count. An outstanding count awaits re-trial.

R v DWAYNE BLAKE & OTHERS Central Criminal Court 2014. Vincent defended the first of five school-aged defendants tried for the murder of Jamil Palmer who was fatally stabbed in broad daylight in a South West London park. The litigation involved a cut-throat defence against the second defendant. Vincent’s client was found not guilty. The second defendant was convicted. The trial “pushed the boundaries” of secondary liability shortly before the law was reformed in R v Jogee.

R v GARETH WYNN JONES Cardiff Crown Court 2014 Successfully prosecuting in a trial where the jury rejected psychiatrists’ claims of diminished responsibility and convicted the defendant of a calculated killing for gain of a vulnerable musician whose body was found battered and lifeless on the banks of the River Taff.

R v HUSSAIN, MIAH, MIAH & KHAN Luton Crown Court 2014. The successful murder prosecution of four gang members for the street killing of a teenage rap-artist. All four were convicted of murder with two defendants also convicted for the facial mutilation of the deceased’s companion.

R v YOUNIS & LYNAM Luton Crown Court 2014. The successful murder and manslaughter prosecution of two Luton males for the killing of a vulnerable teenager following their campaign of bullying and harassment.

R v K Basildon Crown Court 2013. Successfully defending a mother facing complex allegations relating to unexplained injuries to new born infants that involved a thorough forensic examination of competing opinions from the UK’s leading experts in the fields genetics, radiology, paediatrics and obstetrics.

R v CURTIS Guildford Crown Court 2013. Defending in a medical causation case relating to the death of a child from swine-flu where the medico-legal evidence suggested the true cause to be founded on a previous assault carried out by the defendant two years previously.

R v VENAYAKAMOORTHY & OTHERS Central Criminal Court 2013. Successfully representing one of eight defendants alleged to have participated in a Tamil street gang murder in Lewisham High Street following a two-month trial.

R v ROBINSON & OTHERS Reading Crown Court 2012. After a seven week trial, representing the only one of three defendants to be acquitted of murder and attempted murder following a long running drugs feud in the Newbury area.

R v JACOBS & FRANCOISE Chelmsford Crown Court 2012. The successful prosecution of a Clacton couple, Charlie Jacobs and Elisha François, for the murder and manslaughter respectively of Oliver Smith-Daye on New Year’s morning 2012.

R v MOUNCHER, SEAFORD & OTHERS Swansea Crown Court 2011. Vincent was one of the leading counsel representing a senior detective in the nationally publicised collapse of the ‘Cardiff Three’ police corruption case, the largest prosecution of its kind ever brought. That case focused on an allegation of wholesale evidence manufacturing in order to build a false case against several men for the brutal murder of the Cardiff prostitute, Lynette White. A government backed enquiry into the reasons for the case collapsing is on-going.

R v SZALUS & OTHERS Winchester Crown Court 2011. Defending in a failed manslaughter case coupled to a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice alleged against a group of Polish co-workers blamed for their colleague’s death, where issues relating to medical causation could not sustain the principal charge.

R v KHAMAL HANCHARD-KERR Birmingham Crown Court 2011. A murder trial in which Vincent secured the acquittal of Khamal, jointly charged with his ‘Rambo’ knife- wielding seventeen year old twin brother, convicted for his attack upon three older neighbours following the escalation of earlier street confrontations involving the twins

R v FORSYTH & OTHERS Nottingham Crown Court 2010. Successfully representing the central defendant in a nine-handed ‘Yardie’ gang murder in a case involving extensive vehicle satellite tracking evidence and a cut-throat defence.

R v MOHAMMED KHANI & OTHERS Central Criminal Court 2009. Defending alleged gang leader of West London street gang ‘MDP’ and his participation in a 22 handed revenge attack resulting in the murder of a student. Found not guilty.

R v BELL Harrow Crown Court 2008. Defending in a ‘baby-shaking’ allegation on an infant aged 6 months with numerous expert witnesses called on issues of causation and related medical topics.

R v DANA ALI Winchester Crown Court 2008. Defending an alleged participant in a Kurdish gang killing which took place at open air culture festival. Verdict – Not Guilty

R v ASIF MOHAMMED Reading Crown Court 2008. Defending the alleged accomplice to the daylight murder and robbery of a taxi-driver who was stabbed in the neck as he sat in his car. Verdict – Not guilty.

R v GERMAINE MORRIS Central Criminal Court 2008. Defending an alleged gang participant in a six-handed South London revenge attack gang murder. The only one to be found not guilty following a lengthy and complex cut-throat trial.

R v LULZIM BICI Central Criminal Court 2007. Successfully defending the alleged getaway driver and gang member of an Albanian parking-meter turf war leaving one dead and three wounded in a night-club fire fight.

R v SIMPSON & OTHERS Reading Crown Court 2005. Defending a company secretary for her participation in a long term corporate corruption case involving the Mars Corporation.

R v RASHID & OTHERS Birmingham Crown Court 2005. A three-month trial in which Vincent defended a solicitor charged with perverting the course of justice following his destruction and manipulation of evidence while purporting to represent gang members being investigated for the attempted murder of a rival.

Complex Fraud


Vincent’s experience of fraud has been amassed over more than 30 years. His areas of practice have included tax investigations, international business crime and corporate corruption, money-laundering, ‘spot-price’ fixing and commercial and investor fraud. Due to the nature of his work at the advisory stages, many cases remain confidential. He has recently acted for a building contractor in an alleged £50 million building P.A.Y.E. fraud. He has also acted for an Independent Financial Advisor who, whilst acting as a trustee for a pension fund when ineligible to do so, had devised an off-shore vehicle to fraudulently liberate capital sums from Occupational Pension Schemes.

Vincent is presently retained to advise a senior Rolls-Royce executive under investigation by the SFO and the U.S. Department of Justice into allegations of corrupt practices to procure multi-million pound contracts for Rolls Royce PLC’s Marine, Energy, Aero and Defence divisions through the use of intermediaries across a number of high-risk jurisdictions. Rolls-Royce PLC have been subjected to a £500 million financial penalty as part of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement by the SFO whilst the investigation continues into the wrong-doing of individual employees.

 

Complex Fraud Cases


R v FOLWELL Bristol Crown Court 2012. Vincent represented an Accountant charged with laundering £14 million of criminal funds through the books of 20 different businesses.

R v ADIL MOHAMMED & OTHER Birmingham Crown Court 2012. Successfully representing a businessman facing charges arising from a multi-million £ mortgage valuation fraud carried out across the West Midlands;

R v ANANT PATEL & OTHERS Southwark Crown Court 2009. Successfully defending a high-profile businessman against S.O.C.A. Middle Markets Team led accusations into money laundering and drug trafficking following the seizure of cash and lignocaine recovered his business premises.

R v JASPAL SANDHU Birmingham Crown Court 2010 Vincent obtained not guilty verdicts for the company secretary of a key trader in a £50 million MTIC Vat fraud following a 4 month trial.

R v BIRRING & OTHERS Birmingham Crown Court 2008. Defending in a complex trial focusing on the alleged laundering of the multi-million pound proceeds of an M-TIC fraud through high value gaming across national Casino networks. The central accusation against Birring foundered after Vincent’s cross-examination of the Casino accountants and staff.

R v JOHNSON & OTHERS Wolverhampton Crown Court 2007. Vincent acted for the director of an international freight forwarding company that was at the centre a .£70 million Euro- carousel fraud whose agency had facilitated almost every deal across the conspiracy.

R v LEE & OTHERS Stafford Crown Court 2005. Public corruption charges against an ex-Army Officer arising from the unlawful removal and export of tank equipment from M.O.D. base at A.B.R.O. Donnington.

R v SIMPSON & OTHERS Reading Crown Court 2005. Defending a company secretary for her participation in a long term corporate corruption case involving the Mars Corporation.

R v VASS & OTHERS Snaresbrook Crown Court 2004. Missing trader intra-community fraud – representing the main defendant in £80 million VAT fraud which had provided a life-style for the defendant that would have put an investment banker to shame.

R v KARAGOZLU & OTHERS Central Criminal Court 2001. Defending the main defendant of a London/Cyprus organised crime group charged with the corruption of a junior Customs & Excise employee who had subverted a multi-million pound Customs investigation through the destruction of surveillance evidence and the deletion of computer data on their behalf.

 

Regulatory & Professional Discipline


In 2008 Vincent advised the Financial Services Authority (now the Financial Conduct Authority) as a consultant to the Enforcement Division, advising upon their first major insider dealing ring investigation (Operation Saturn – successfully prosecuted at Southwark Crown Court), as well as building and steering a $27.5 million boiler room investigation which subsequently resulted in record sentences. Vincent also advised on a complex investigation into unauthorised FX trading by a major investment bank.

Vincent was instructed in the Coroner’s Inquest in the fatal shooting of Barrister Mark Saunders, where he advised and represented ex Met Police Commander Ali Dizaei, (before Dizaei was imprisoned for unrelated matters). Dizaei was at risk of criticism for his role as ‘Gold Commander’ of the incident, and Vincent, having obtained independent ‘interested party’ status, thereafter provided written submissions to the Coroner on the scope of the Inquest which in due course rendered the ‘Gold’ command role unblemished.

Regulatory & Professional Discipline Cases


R V S Cardiff Crown Court – 2013. Vincent successfully represented the Chief Executive Officer of a Care Home facing prosecution of numerous offences under The Care Standards Act 2000 arising from alleged breaches of duty regarding the Protection of Vulnerable Persons and their deaths in a South Wales Care Home.

In 2011 Vincent advised Cardiff City Council Trading Standards Authority regarding a potential fraud and breach of regulations arising from the endorsement by ex-Cardiff City FC Chairman, Peter Ridsdale, of an attempt to boost Cardiff City season ticket sales by suggesting the proceeds would be spent on the acquisition of new players at a time when the club was under a transfer embargo.

Offshore & International


Vincent’s involvement in a number of multi-jurisdictional cases involving issues of international law and human rights makes him well equipped to both advise and represent clients in this field.

Vincent is presently retained to advise a senior Rolls-Royce executive under investigation by the SFO and the U.S. Department of Justice into allegations of corrupt practices to procure multi-million pound contracts for Rolls Royce PLC’s Marine, Energy, Aero and Defence divisions through the use of intermediaries across a number of high-risk jurisdictions. Rolls-Royce PLC have been subjected to a £500 million financial penalty as part of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement by the SFO whilst the investigation continues into the wrong-doing of individual employees.

Offshore & International Cases


R v ROONEY & Others Derby Crown Court 2016. Vincent successfully prosecuted the gang leaders of an international organised crime group involved in the wholesale importation and distribution of prohibited drugs from Holland to a warehouse in Sheffield for onward distribution across the UK. EAWs and cross-border co-operation between a number of jurisdictions underpinned the operation.

R v JEGATHEESWARAN & OTHERS Operation Osmium Central Criminal Court 2009. Following a three-month trial, Vincent secured the acquittal of an alleged Tamil Tiger said to have been responsible for shipping electronic and components for improvised explosive devices and military hardware to the LTTE controlled areas in Sri Lanka. The defence involved complex issues of Human Rights and public international law.

R v ULLAH & OTHERS Stansted Hi-Jacking. In February 2000, an Afghan airliner, carrying more than 150 passengers, was hijacked during an internal flight on 6 February and flown to Stansted Airport, near London. After four days of tense negotiations, all the hostages were finally released. Vincent was one of the first counsel instructed to represent one of the main defendants.

 

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How to get in touch


For more information please contact our clerks by calling +44 (0) 20 7242 3555 or email: clerks@7br.co.uk.

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