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Jonathan Lennon’s practice encompasses homicide and other serious crime including allegations of fraud, bribery, corruption and regulatory and corporate wrong-doing.

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 and Production Orders etc.

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

In 2023 Jonathan Lennon KC was recognised as one of the top 10 financial crime barristers in London by Business Today magazine; See here.

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 JB (2023).  Old Bailey.  Instructed to represent JB who as a teenager was alleged to be involved with his father in a fake bomb plot involving the planting of devices at Gray’s Inn. The conspiracy was alleged to have been headed by a millionaire businessman who was under investigation by the NCA – the target was a barrister with Chambers at Gray’s Inn who was instructed by the NCA.  The matter was investigated by anti-terrorism police.  JB was acquitted of all charges after a 4 month trial. See 

  • R v N (2023).  Warwick Crown Court.  Murder.  Jonathan led for the defence in a case of an 18 year old who killed his house mate. The defence was loss of control. See 

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

  • R v A (2021).  Winchester Crown Court.  Leading in an attempted murder allegation before a High Court Judge.  A was 16 years old at the time of the incident – a shooting.  Alleged to have been gang-related.  A was acquitted of attempted murder.

  • 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. Theft.  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)

  • R v Rees (2008-2011). Old Bailey. Murder.  Jonathan was instructed as junior counsel for the 1st defendant in the infamous case of the axe murder of private detective Daniel Morgan in 1987. Jonathan’s client was acquitted. The case is one of the most notorious unsolved murder cases in the UK and led to what was probably the most substantial disclosure exercise of any murder case in the country – in excess of a million pages. The case led to an 8 year long Independent Panel Inquiry which reported in June 2021 and concluded that there was institutional corruption in the Metropolitan Police. The case has led to a number of television documentaries and podcasts etc; see herehere and here.

Fraud/ Money-Laundering/ Bribery and Regulatory Crime
  • R v A (2024).  Southwark Crown Court.  Leading in complex bribery and corruption allegations made against director of an overseas oil corporation accused of being involved in corrupt dealings with overseas Government Minister involving multi million pound deals; (trial in 2026).

  • R v P (2024).  Winchester Crown Court.  Representing director of a construction company accused of Bribery Act offences in relation to major infra-structure construction projects (trial in 2025).

  • R v B (2024).  Leeds Crown Court.  Leading in complex pension liberation fraud allegation.  Acting for trustee and director for 2 companies said to be involved in frauds against investors and HMRC. (trial late 2024).

  • R v M (2023).  Sheffield Crown Court.  Leading for a defendant who was an accountant.  One of his clients was accused of perpetrating a significant VAT/ duty evasion fraud against HMRC.  The accountant had actually reported his suspicions by way of SAR some years earlier.  Abuse of process Skeleton Argument served.  Crown dropped case and client acquitted.

  • SFO v X and Y (2021). 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. Represented 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 money laundering of cryptocurrencies and ‘carding’.

  • R v PC (2021) Oxford Crown Court.  Represented city solicitor charged with fraud by abuse of position regarding family inheritance dispute.  Prosecution dropped case after service of Defence Statement citing significant disclosure issues.  Defendant acquitted.  

  • 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.  Prosecution dropped case after service of submissions on abuse/ disclosure.  Defendant acquitted. 

  • 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 money 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 money 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 and Pre-Charge Challenges
  • National Crime Agency v X Ltd and NK (2023). Southwark Crown Court.  Representing a major international money payments firm. Two banks had made SARS about transcations that the banks were suspicious about leading to the firm’s accounts being effectively frozen under the POCA Pt 7 consent regime. This led to the NCA making applications for extension to the moratorium periods (s336A POCA) and for Disclosure Orders (s357 POCA).  Written and oral submission in relation to the content and timing of the DO’s, and the effect of the freezing of the accounts led to the setting aside of both the Disclosure Orders and the POCA freezing of the accounts. The case is on-going with involvement of the Financial Conduct Agency.

  • Warwickshire Police v T Ltd (2023). Coventry Magistrates’ Court.  Challenges made to POCA Account Freezing Orders against business accounts of T Ltd led to Warwickshire Police setting aside their own AFOs. 

  • 66XXX Ltd (2022). Leeds Magistrates’ Court. Over £1m frozen by way of POCA Account Freezing Order against a business involved in funeral plans.  A number of challenges made both procedural and factual including concerns about non-disclosure to the court in securing the AFO. West Yorkshire police set aside AFO. 

  • X Ltd (2022). Advice on SARS to company with real estate interests in residential property in London and concern on the provenance of certain payments from tenants. 

  • 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.

What the directories say

Jonathan is again ranked as Tier 1 in the Legal 500 2024 for both Fraud: Crime and POCA and Asset Recovery (as he was in 2023) and as a New Silk in Chambers & Partners 2023 in both Financial Crime and POCA & Asset Forfeiture.

"Involved in some of the most complicated POCA cases around, he explains complex positions to clients in a very simple fashion." - Chambers and Partners 2023

"Jonathan is a first-rate criminal defence barrister. He is a thorough, diligent and persuasive advocate." - Legal 500 2023

"A class act – Jonathan is a first rate advocate, who is incredibly incisive, very strategic and exceptionally good at cutting through fine detail quickly and with ease. He has an elegant and captivating style to his advocacy, achieving the right results form a tribunal." - Legal 500 2023

“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” – 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" - Legal 500, 2022. 

“Very good – he fights hard for his clients and is very effective” - Chambers & Partners 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 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 2015

“Brilliant at the complex stuff.” - Legal 500 2015