Henry Skudra

Year Of Call: 
2012

Career background

Between graduation and pupillage, worked in various legal roles :

  • assistant editor of Banks on Sentence
  • worked at the Law Commission in the criminal law team resolving detailed legal and practical problems and assisting in the publication of reports: areas of work included sentencing, contempt of court, unfitness to plead and firearms
  • paralegal at a firm of solicitors dealing with several different fields of practice, including attending on clients arrested and detained at police stations

 

Practice details

General crime

Significant experience in Crown Court trial matters, having been instructed in cases including murder, terrorism, multi-handed robberies and paper-heavy frauds, drugs offences of all gravity, conspiracy to convert criminal property, assaults (up to and including s.18 matters) and weapons offences.

Adept at dealing with complex expert evidence, vulnerable witnesses, and young or otherwise vulnerable defendants.

Has a particular interest in and knowledge of complex financial crime, fraud, bribery and money laundering, developed during research for an academic thesis and a 6-month secondment to the City of London Police, Economic Crime Directorate – the U.K. policing lead for economic crime.

Experience of such cases includes : large investment frauds worth over £100 million, large-scale money laundering matters, boiler room fraud, bribery investigations and fraudulent schemes involving organised crime groups.

Prosecutes general crime for the C.P.S. at grade 2 level and also for the Home Office, H.M.R.C., the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, West Midlands Police and the Probation Service.

Instructed on behalf of private prosecutors, including companies, providing both preliminary advice as well as representation in court.

Also conducts quasi-criminal proceedings, including : contempt of court proceedings, injunctions and other preventative orders.  Recent such instructions include : contempt of court committal application, complex criminal costs application, and advising on appealing matters to the Court of Appeal.

 

Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (P.O.C.A.) and asset recovery

Has considerable experience and in-depth knowledge of confiscation and asset recovery matters, with an ability to cut seamlessly across traditional distinctions between criminal law and civil law work.

Given an extensive complementary understanding and experience of civil law, frequently instructed to act in matters of notable legal and factual complexity – in both civil and criminal asset recovery proceedings.

Skilled in adopting new approaches and technical arguments to secure successful outcomes.

Is familiar with the detail and intricacies of both P.O.C.A. and its statutory predecessors as well as appeal and reconsideration applications.

Also experienced in matters dealt with in the Court of Appeal and the High Court.

On the C.P.S. specialist prosecutor panel for P.O.C.A. matters and presently being led in the confiscation proceedings emanating from a £110 million H.M.R.C./C.P.S. flagship direct tax case - Operation Amazon.

 

Criminal law and P.O.C.A. 2002 advisory work

In addition to advocacy in court, provides pragmatic, timely and thorough advice on complex practical or legal issues.  Recent examples include :

  • large-scale disclosure, particularly e-disclosure
  • the validity of search warrants
  • restraint order applications
  • P.O.C.A. 2002 matters in the Court of Appeal
  • P.O.C.A. 2002 enforcement proceedings in both the Crown Court  and the High Court
  • advising H.M.R.C., Border Force, City of London Police and the N.C.A. in a difficult investigation           involving alleged multinational currency fraud and money laundering, potential counterfeiting and bills of sale fraud
  • whether damaged notes are ‘cash’ or ‘goods’ under C.E.M.A. 1979, P.A.C.E. 1984, P.O.C.A. 2002 and taxation legislation in relation to bills of sale

 

Civil law

Instructed to provide written advice, including at the preliminary stages of a case, and to represent claimants and defendants in a broad range of matters – including those of a sensitive and high value nature.

These matters have included the following areas :

  • property / landlord and tenant – including boundary disputes, trusts issues and injunctions
  • personal injury – matters on all tracks
  • judicial review
  • employment law, including T.U.P.E. and discrimination issues
  • corporate and personal insolvency – drawing on knowledge gained from Masters degree research
  • an array of experience in the High Court, County Court, First-tier Tribunal (Tax) and (Property) as well as the Employment Tribunal.

 

Regulatory and sports law

Experienced in defending and prosecuting regulatory proceedings, including contraventions of planning law, insolvency law, customs and excise legislation, food hygiene law, and trade marks/copyright legislation.  This also extends to dealing with any consequential P.O.C.A. 2002 matters.

Has a thriving sports law practice including disciplinary matters as well as advising on day-to-day civil law issues particularly relating to sports.

Experienced in dealing with licensing matters including taxis and premises licences.

 

Publications

Consultant editor of Lloyd’s Law Reports: Financial Crime

Drug-Driving : Bringing the Law up to Speed’ (2015) 179 Criminal Law & Justice Weekly 27

R v Yasain – delineating the re-opening of appeals’ [2015] 9 Archbold Review 4

Contempt of court – criminal court reporting’ [2014] 4 Archbold Review 4

Fraudulent trading as a creditor’s remedy – Time for a rethink?’ (2013) 94 Amicus Curiae - the journal of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

 

Direct access

Authorised by the Bar Council under the Direct Access scheme, and in suitable cases welcomes instructions directly from members of the public.  Please see the Direct Access section of the website for further details.

 

Other information

  • a member of the Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association (POCLA)
  • has carried out pro bono work for the North East Prisoner After-care Society, and for the Kalisher Trust
  • major scholar of the Inner Temple
  • awarded a Kalisher Trust secondment scholarship
  • a member of the Selden Society
  • governor of a Warwickshire school
  • in his leisure time enjoys running, travel, languages (fluent in German, conversational Italian)