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Henry Skudra

Practice summary

Instructed in a wide variety of complex criminal matters by both prosecution and defence with very significant expertise in confiscation proceedings (P.O.C.A. 2002), fraud, and asset recovery. He is a grade 3 prosecutor in those specialist areas. Henry also 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.

Career background

Between graduation and pupillage, Henry 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

Henry has gained significant experience in Crown Court trial matters, having been instructed in cases including murders, terrorism, multi-handed frauds and robberies, drugs offences of all gravity, conspiracy to convert criminal property, assaults (up to and including s.18 matters), weapons offences and human trafficking/modern slavery matters. Many of those cases have involved complex expert evidence, vulnerable witnesses, and young or otherwise vulnerable defendants.

He also conducts quasi-criminal proceedings, including contempt of court proceedings, injunctions and other preventative orders. Recent such instructions include a contempt of court committal application, a complex criminal costs application, and advising on the merits of appeal to the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).

Henry has a particular interest in and knowledge of 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.

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 is on the C.P.S. specialist prosecutor panel for P.O.C.A. matters (grade 3).

He has lectured and written on both those sets of topic areas. In addition to courtroom work, he 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 to act in matters of notable complexity – in both civil and criminal asset recovery proceedings.

He also has a thriving civil law practice including commercial disputes (including multi-track and High Court matters), judicial review, landlord and tenant and disciplinary matters as well as advising on day-to-day civil law issues particularly relating to sports.

Henry is experienced in dealing with licensing matters including taxis and premises licences.

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

  • 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).
  • 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.
  • ‘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

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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