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Jonathan Lennon’s practice encompasses serious and complex fraud, bribery and corruption cases, financial, regulatory and corporate wrong-doing and serious criminal cases.  In addition Jonathan has a substantial experience in POCA/asset recovery litigation in the High Court as well as challenges to investigative orders such as search warrants, Production Orders etc.

Jonathan is particularly in demand for criminal cases involving a cross-over with civil litigation.

What Others Say

Ranked as a leading junior in both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 for Financial Crime and POCA and Asset Recovery. 

“A robust and punchy advocate who is amazingly bright”; Chambers & Partners 2022

“Jonathan is a meticulous barrister, whose emphasis on detailed preparation enhances a measured and unflappable approach in court” – Fraud Legal 500, 2022

"Jonathan is a first-rate lawyer with an outstanding legal mind. He is a seriously accomplished counsel who glides through hugely demanding cases with ease";  POCA and Asset Forfeiture, Legal 500, 2022. 

“Very good – he fights hard for his clients and is very effective” (Chambers & Partners, Financial Crime, 2021)

“A great all-rounder with an eye for detail. He is approachable, takes a common-sense attitude and is an exceptional advocate.” - Chambers & Partners (2020)

"He is capable of grasping issues at short notice despite voluminous and complex obstacles." "His easy-going manner makes him popular with clients and juries. This is backed up with real determination” - Chambers and Partners (2019)

“A popular choice of junior for those seeking expertise in property, tax and carbon credit fraud. He undertakes both prosecution and defence work and frequently lectures on corporate crime issues.“ "He is a forceful advocate in court and his technical knowledge is second to none." - Chambers & Partners (Financial Crime, 2015)

“A renowned fraud practitioner who regularly prosecutes and defends in confiscation and asset recovery proceedings. He has experience of acting with regard to international mutual assistance requests, multi-jurisdictional recovery claims and contempt of court cases." - Chambers & Partners (POCA, 2015).

“Brilliant at the complex stuff.” - Legal 500 (Fraud, 2015)

Jonathan is experienced in handling the most complex briefs and is in demand for a range of cases including heavy duty fraud work as well as murder and terrorism cases. He has acted for the SFO in a number of cases. His criminal practice involves a significant amount of defence work in corporate and financial crime. Jonathan’s multi-disciplinary practice means he can bring expertise from one area to another. His civil practice includes, Financial Conduct Authority High Court actions, POCA High Court civil recovery, challenges to; Restraint Orders, Property Freezing Orders, Search Warrants and Disclosure Orders etc. He is regularly instructed in cash forfeiture and Account Freezing Order cases and has appeared at all levels up to the Supreme Court. He has been instructed by Government departments, regulatory bodies, companies and individuals. He is on the CPS Specialist Lists for Fraud and for Proceeds of Crime. Jonathan was junior counsel in the first POCA civil recovery case to reach the Supreme Court (SOCA v Gale) and in the seminal case on disclosure and PII (R v H & C). He was counsel in the leading cash forfeiture case of UKBA v Angus.

Serious Crime
  • R v M (2022) Nottingham Crown Court. Instructed to defend in case involving theft of £3.5m ‘national treasure’ Portland Tiara. 

  • R v H (2021) Woolwich Crown Court.  EncroChat case involving allegations of conspiracy to supply drugs and money laundering. (Read here)

  • R v Worrie (2019) Old Bailey.  Led acting for first defendant in gang knife murder case. (Read here)

  • R v T (2019); Old Bailey.  Led in case where client accused of membership of proscribed organisation National Action; hung jury leading to acquittal. (Read here)

  • R v D (2019); Birmingham Crown Court.  Acting as junior counsel for the main defendant in two significant drug trafficking cases.  The Crown sought to implicate D in a number of offences where the criminal litigation had long concluded.  Sought and secured the appointment of Special Counsel to deal with prosecution claims of PII in disclosure.  Prosecution subsequently offered no evidence.

  • R v Singh (2017) Kingston Crown Court.  Acting for Loomis employee involved in staged robbery of £7m from cash in transit vehicle. (Read here)

  • R v SH (2016) Old Bailey.  Led in re-trial allegation of murder allegation; acquitted. (Read here)

Financial and Regulatory Crime
  • SFO v X and Y (2021).  Currently instructed to represent an investment company and its director under criminal investigation for fraud (on going civil claim).

  • R v I (2022) Inner London Crown Court.  Representing accountant charged with offences under the Charities Act 2011 (breach of trustee duties not to mislead the Charity Commissioners).

  • R v N (2022).  Southwark Crown Court.  Substantial and complex prosecution of allegations of mass laundering of cryptocurrencies and ‘carding’.

  • Financial Conduct Authority v X (2021) High Court. Representing company and Director against civil claim by the FCA alleging breach of Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 in relation to FOREX investments.

  • R v PC (2021) Oxford Crown Court.  Representing city solicitor charged with fraud by abuse of position regarding family inheritance dispute.

  • R v JA (2021) Bristol Crown Court.  Allegation of fraud involving FOREX spread betting and further allegation of fraud by abuse of position in relation to Power of Attorney.

  • R v M (2021) St. Albans Crown Court.  Money laundering allegations – multi-handed case, leading for main defendant accused of owning and operating Bureaux De Change outlets as multi-million pound money laundering operations.

  • R v TJ (2020) Southwark Crown Court.  Diamond fraud conspiracy.

  • K v C (2019) Southwark Crown Court.  Defending in private prosecution.  Principal allegation was of fraud involving an overseas firm complaining that it was the victim of fraud by a Northern Irish firm – acquitted of fraud.

  • R v Trivedi (2018) Southwark Crown Court.  Led junior acting for accountant on 8 month PAYE and immigration fraud.  (Read here)

  • R v JI (2018) Cardiff Crown Court.  This case involved a British senior accountancy executive who worked in Bermuda for their government’s finance department and stole significant sums from the government to invest in UK property.  JI accused of laundering.  JI was the only defendant to be acquitted.  (Read here)

  • R v S (2016-2017) Southwark Crown Court.  Junior, representing an eminent academic in the field of conservation; said to have been involved in a complex carbon credit investment scheme which was designed to cause loss to the Revenue via mis-use of the sideways relief scheme.  Acquitted of principal count of cheating the public revenue.  

  • R v R (2016) Southwark Crown Court; instructed in two money laundering cases linked to allegations of bribery by a Royal Household employee; acquitted in first trial, suspended sentence second trial. (Read here)

  • R v C (2016) Sheffield Crown Court.  C acquitted when the prosecution offered no evidence.  This followed defence demands which ultimately the Crown could not meet.  C had been accused of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime through a number of solicitor firms and a private bank which he was said to be involved in managing and operating. 

  • R v Purdie (2015) Teesside Crown Court.  Junior counsel for the main defendant in what is likely to have been the biggest mortgage fraud case in Britain with claimed losses of £111m.  (Read here)

  • R v B (2014) Birmingham Crown Court.  SIPP pension fraud allegation; Represented director of a pensions administration company – acquitted following half-time submission. 

  • R v R (2014) Leeds Crown Court.  Represented a legal professional said to have been involved in laundering the proceeds of drugs trafficking.  From a total of 20 defendants tried over a series of trials.  R was the only one to be acquitted following a successful half-time submission.  (Read here)

POCA/ Civil Claims/ Pre-Charge Challenges
  • R v JK (2021) Birmingham Crown Court.  Prosecution application under s22 of POCA to increase confiscation order to include value of defendant’s home.  The home had not been included in the original confiscation claim as it was said to have been in negative equity.  Six years later the prosecution pursued it as it had gone up in value. Claim defeated.

  • Re X Corp (2021).  Advising international investment bank on a DAML SAR and potential personal and corporate liabilities including under the 2017 Money Laundering Regulations.   

  • CPS v L and W (2021), Chelmsford Crown Court.  Two POCA Restraint Orders against company Directors discharged following challenges based on risk of dissipation, breaches of duty of disclosure and other arguments. 

  • Financial Conduct Authority v X (2021) High Court. Representing company and Director against civil claim by the FCA alleging breach of Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 in relation to FOREX investments.

  • R (ota Director of Legal Aid Casework) v Southwark CC and Professor Swingland (2021) High Court; Judicial Review. Acting for interested party against Legal Aid Agency’s claim for recovery of defence costs following criminal litigation in the Crown Court; challenge to 2013 Legal Aid Regulations.

  • NCA v S (2021) Westminster Magistrates’ Court.  Acted for relative of overseas PEP. NCA Account Freezing Orders seeking forfeiture.  NCA agree to discharge the Freezing orders, money returned to S. 

  • NCA v N (2021) High Court. Acting for individual in Part 6 POCA – tax proceedings; NCA seeking charging order over 3rd party’s property.  Successful resisted summary order. 

  • Lincolnshire Police v X Ltd (2020).  Lincoln Crown Court.  Acting for firm of criminal solicitors faced with Production Order applications from police re details of payments from privately paying clients.  Applications redacted by police.  PII hearing; Court ordered full disclosure.
  • Metropolitan Police v X and Y (2020) Wimbledon Magistrates Court. Represented company and director resisting claims to extend Account Freezing Order. AFO set aside.

  • R v AJ (December 2020) Birmingham Crown Court. Acting for s10A POCA 3rd party wife in complex confiscation proceedings against convicted husband drug dealer.  Prosecution sought in include all of wife’s 6 properties in ‘available amount’ – 9 day hearing; AJ 100% successful,  retained all her properties. 

  • NCA v CW (2020-21) High Court.  Acting for Respondent in NCA involving alleged extensive payroll fraud.

  • K v Met Police (2017-2018) Woolwich, Southwark and Inner London Crown Courts.  Representing Bureau de Change.  Challenge Metropolitan Police’s securing of multiple Production Orders against client and others, one order quashed with costs, police did not contest remaining challenges leading to end of the criminal investigation.

  • R (Virdee and Trustchler) v National; Crime Agency (2018) High Court.  Judicial Review against NCA on proper procedure for planned searches of premises – use of warrants over summary PACE powers and levels of disclosure required at without notice hearing; (see [2018] 1 WLR 5073).

  • National Crime Agency v G, joined with NCA v J (2016).  Two separate civil recovery cases joined.  Successfully argued that the NCA – and High Court’s practice - of withholding from the Respondents witness statements used by the NCA in ex parte proceedings to secure orders such as Disclosure Orders and Property Freezing Orders was unlawful  Such evidence must now be disclosed (judgment 19/2/16; [2016] EWHC 255 (Admin)). 

  • NCA v S (2016) High Court civil recovery claim. Acting for the for principal Defendant accused of involvement in drug trafficking. 

  • NCA v D (2016) High Court civil recovery claim.  Acted for second Defendant accused of involvement in drug trafficking following acquittal in the Crown Court of mortgage fraud.  Settled.    

  • NCA v A (2015) Acted for second Defendant on High Court civil recovery claim involving expert evidence – settled.

  • Serious Fraud Office v Saleh (2015).  Acting for the US Government through the SFO.  S was a spouse of an African diplomat based in the USA and was suspected of being in receipt of the proceeds of bribery by a Canadian firm that had secured oil exploration rights in Chad.  The proceeds included shares in the bribing company – those shares were sold on the London Stock Exchange, establishing SFO jurisdiction to freeze the assets and then seek a civil recovery order (Southwark for criminal restraint followed by High Court for freezing injunction).  S claimed that a Canadian court ruling about the property was in rem and thus prevented the SFO from making any claim against the money. SFO successful in High Court ([2015] EWHC 2119 (QB)).

  • SOCA v Gale (2011) Supreme Court.  This was the first POCA civil recovery case to reach the highest court in the land. Junior counsel in a 2 day appeal before a 9 panel court. The case concerned the applicability of Art 6 of ECHR - specifically the standard of proof, in cases where a Defendant has been acquitted in previous criminal proceedings. The appeal also dealt with the proper recoverability of the costs of an Interim Receiver appointed by SOCA. (Read here)

  • Angus v UKBA (2011) High Court.  Case changed the law on what applicant for cash forfeiture had to prove in civil POCA proceedings following seizure and detention of cash.  Angus v UKBA [2011] Lloyds Rep FC 329


Jonathan has been a prolific article writer for many years. He has particular experience with intelligence and covert policing and is a contributing author to 'Covert Human Intelligence Sources. The 'Unlovely' Face of Police Work.’ Waterside Press. Jonathan is frequently asked to lecture to his own and other professions, including to the British Bankers Association as well as writing for the Journal of International Banking and Financial Law and the Proceeds of Crime Review.