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Henry Skudra

Practice summary

Henry has a range of experience across different areas of law with a core practice in complex criminal matters, often with a financial element.

He has significant expertise in high-value confiscation proceedings (P.O.C.A. 2002), fraud, and asset recovery (including civil proceedings) and in cases involving intricate points of law and even international elements.

He has been appointed as joint editor of Millington and Sutherland Williams on the Proceeds of Crime – the leading text on confiscation – and he authors the chapter on enforcement.

As well as being a successful and experienced defence counsel, Henry is a grade 3 prosecutor on the following specialist panels: proceeds of crime / confiscation; fraud; counter terrorism; and serious crime.

He is also a member of the S.F.O.’s panel at level ‘B’ and has appeared both solely and led in several multi-million pound cases. He has also acted in high value cases involving foreign governments and international prosecuting authorities – often with sensitive case features.

He undertakes a significant amount of civil law, quasi-criminal and private prosecution work both litigated and by providing focused advice on strategic and evidential issues.

Practice details

Henry has a detailed expert knowledge of financial crime and confiscation. He also uses his expertise in civil law areas to great effect where issues overlap.

He is also extremely familiar with the detail, case law and intricacies of both P.O.C.A. 2002 and its statutory predecessors as well as appeals and reconsideration applications. He has lectured and written on both those sets of topic areas.

He is the joint-editor of the practitioner’s work in this area: Millington and Sutherland Williams on the Proceeds of Crime. Henry is often sought for his pragmatic, timely and thorough advice on complex factual or legal issues.

Due to his understanding and experience of civil law, Henry is frequently instructed whether for the Defence, Third Parties or the Prosecution to act in matters of notable complexity – in both civil and criminal asset recovery proceedings.

Recent instructions include:

  • Prosecuting a s.22 application in a £36 million confiscation case
  • Acting for and advising several third parties in s.10A P.O.C.A. 2002 applications
  • Acting for a foreign state in relation to £15 million restraint order following a letter of request
  • Operation Amazon (led): £ multi-million confiscation and recovery of assets
  • Contested receivership applications
  • Advising on difficult points of law arising from confiscation proceedings against absent defendants
  • Defending a client convicted of international drugs offences (£50.1 million criminal benefit)
  • Prosecuting restraint order applications in an multi-handed case worth over £50 million
  • Advising on £12 million restraint order and production order applications obtained for a foreign prosecuting authority
  • Acting for a private prosecutor pursuing allegations of insurance fraud
  • Dealing with mutual legal assistance applications / international letters of request (both incoming and outgoing)
  • Acting in high-value account forfeiture applications, both for the applicant and the respondent

Henry has also gained significant experience in Crown Court trial matters, having been instructed in cases including:

  • murders,
  • terrorism,
  • multi-handed frauds and robberies,
  • money laundering conspiracies,
  • drugs offences of all gravity,
  • serious violence, and
  • human trafficking/modern slavery matters.

Many of those cases have involved complex expert evidence, vulnerable witnesses, and young or otherwise vulnerable defendants.

He conducts quasi-criminal proceedings including:

  • contempt of court proceedings,
  • injunctions,
  • other preventative orders such as Criminal Behaviour Orders, Sexual Risk Orders, Domestic Violence Prevention Orders.

He also has a thriving civil law practice including:

  • commercial disputes (including multi-track and High Court matters),
  • judicial review,
  • landlord and tenant,
  • taxi law matters,
  • employment law,
  • probate, and
  • disciplinary matters

as well as advising on day-to-day civil law issues.

Recent instructions include:

  • Advising on and acting in an indirect tax (V.A.T.) case worth over £5 million
  • Acting for respondent taxi firms in multi-handed employment law disputes across a wide-range of different employment law jurisdictions
  • Advising on probate and inheritance matters – including following the homicide of beneficiaries and trustee malfeasance
  • Pursuing contempt of court applications
  • Acting in asset recovery proceedings involving cryptocurrency
  • Advising following the collapse of large contracts due to COVID-19 issues and on the recoverability of losses

Recent instructions include:

  • Large investment fraud worth over £100 million, large-scale money laundering, boiler room fraud, bribery investigations and fraudulent schemes involving organised crime groups.
  • Led by Timothy Hannam Q.C. prosecuting in Operation Amazon in which the criminal benefit secured was in excess of £35 million with the issues including sham trusts, piercing the corporate veil and the use of off-shore company and trust jurisdictions.
  • Expertise in large-scale disclosure, particularly e-disclosure.
  • Advising with regards to the validity of search warrants.
  • Restraint order applications.
  • P.O.C.A. 2002 matters in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
  • 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.

Experienced in defending and prosecuting regulatory matters, 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 been instructed to provide written advice and to represent claimants and defendants in a broad range of matters including those of a sensitive and high value nature.

These have included corporate and personal insolvency matters (drawing on knowledge gained from masters degree research), property/ landlord and tenant, personal injury, consumer disputes, employment law (including TUPE) and has an array of experience in the High Court, County Court, First-tier Tribunal (Tax) and (Property) as well as the Employment Tribunal. 

Recent instructions include:

  • Defending a member of a right-wing proscribed organisation prosecuted under the Terrorism Act 2000.

Recent instructions include:

  • Successfully obtaining an acquittal on a murder charge following a fatal shooting in Wolverhampton.
  • Defending an alleged member of a Coventry gang in a case involving a fatal stabbing and very serious injuries to two others following a group attack.

Further Information

  • C.P.S. specialist panels, each at level 3:
  • Proceeds of crime / confiscation
  • Fraud
  • Counter terrorism
  • Serious crime
  • Serious Fraud Office proceeds of crime and international assistance panel – level B
  • Editor of Millington and Sutherland Williams on the Proceeds of Crime
  • A visiting lecturer at the University of Law.
  • Has carried out pro bono work for the North East Prisoner After-care Society, and for the Kalisher Trust.
  • Governor of a Warwickshire school.
  • In his leisure time enjoys running, travel, languages (fluent in German, conversational Italian).

Publications

  • ‘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 11
  • Editor of Millington and Sutherland Williams on the Proceeds of Crime
  • A member of the Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association (POCLA).
  • Major scholar of the Inner Temple.
  • A member of the Midlands Fraud Forum.
  • Awarded a Kalisher Trust secondment scholarship.
  • A member of the Society for 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.

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