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Tony McDaid

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Rizwan Ashiq - Crime

Rizwan Ashiq has earned a reputation as one of the country’s leading and most sought after barristers. For over a decade, he has battled the state prosecuting authorities on behalf of the accused, winning acquittals after acquittals in numerous trials and appeals. Criminal litigation is adversarial in nature and traces its root to medieval trial by conflict. Notwithstanding the new and somewhat debatable emphasis on civility, the system pits advocates against one another in a contest to advocate the merits of their case and to win for their client. In order to win cases, when he steps into the courtroom, Rizwan relies on his superior knowledge, advocacy, skill, training, preparation and experience to win on behalf of his clients. Although this quote is far removed in time (1821) “An advocate, in discharge of his duty, knows but one person in all the world, and that person is his client”, the advocate’s loyalty to client remains.

Rizwan believes that there are no impossible or hopeless cases and winning is not everything, it’s the only thing. He has a fearsome and unparalleled record of wins in seemingly hopeless cases. He believes winning trials takes more than just knowing and reciting the law, great tactics, great advocacy, great preparation, and absolute fearlessness in court is required. A winning strategy, and a winner’s mindset is of utmost important. As Sun Tzu said Every battle is won before it is ever fought. Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”

Rizwan Ashiq has dealt with virtually every type of criminal case from murder to money laundering, from theft to terrorism, from drug importations to drink drive, from speeding to sexual offences. He has extensive experience in fraud, tax, duty and VAT evasion cases. He has acted on some of the largest and most complex national and international money laundering and fraud cases in recent times. He has unrivalled expertise in relation to restraint and management receivership orders, cash forfeiture, civil recovery and confiscation orders. He is an expert in using abuse of process procedure and dismissal applications to stop or dismiss cases before they get to trial.

Rizwan particularly specialises in cases where there is crossover between criminal, civil and regulatory liabilities and remedies/sanctions which have become such crucial element of business in the modern era. He possesses the unique agility, ability and dexterity to advise and act in Commercial Court, Chancery Division proceedings and Crown Court jury trials as and when these cases require it.  There is a significant gap in the offering of the commercial bar and the criminal bar at the point at which commercial litigation, criminal proceedings, regulation and enforcement collide. Rizwan Ashiq uniquely plugs that gap.

Rizwan acts and advises in complex financial, corporate and commercial disputes and criminal/regulatory investigations. He has acted in complex national and international fraud and commercial disputes and investigations over the last few years and he acts for companies, shareholders, senior executives, directors and other individuals. He routinely advises high net worth individuals and companies resident and based overseas.

He has acted for clients based or with interests in the US, India, Africa, Middle East and Europe on a range of civil, criminal and commercial matters including the Bribery Act, directors’ duties, Proceeds of Crime Act and tax evasion.

He specialises in individual and corporate criminal liability with particular expertise in financial crimes under the Fraud Act, Proceeds of Crime Act, conspiracies to defraud, breach of trust, bribery, money laundering, sanctions abuse, insider trading and other forms of market abuse and deception.

His practice spans the criminal, regulatory and subsequent civil actions that ensue from national and global investigations for example into money laundering, fraud, tax evasion, Libor and Forex.

He is a specialist in the field of challenging and quashing search warrants. He has derailed and stopped a number of investigations of serious fraud and money laundering by challenging and quashing search warrants and obtaining injunctions against the investigatory authorities. It is important to design a road map that considers each twist and turn in the case that may be presented. The experience and intellectual brainpower of the client’s barrister often accounts for the outcome of litigation by crafting each strategic move on the battlefield along the way. Rizwan take the fight for every client as if it were his own battle. Above all, his passion for excellence and responsive client service has earned him a reputation for securing extraordinary results for his clients.

Rizwan Ashiq has worked with/or has been led by some of the finest Queens Counsel in the country in particular Orlando Pownall QC, James Pickup QC, Jim Sturman QC, Alun Jones QC, Andrew Mitchell QC, David Berkley QC Ben Emmerson QC, Jonathan Caplan QC, Ian Macdonald QC, Geoffrey Cox QC, Geraint Jones QC, Jerome Lynch QC, Tony Shaw QC, Charles Miskin QC and Andrew Caldecott QC.

Please see an independent article printed by Mr. Jonathan Fisher Q.C “Analysis Eastenders Cash & Carry: Lessons Learnt" 10 June 2011 in the tax journalRizwan Ashiq was the counsel (for the suspects) in the Eastender cash & carry litigation and Jonathan Fisher QC best describes the stance and approach taken ” In this case an aggressive stance adopted at the outset has paid dividends for the suspected offenders” . A sample of the precedent setting cases below demonstrate the breadth and the range of his practice and expertise.

  • Karbhari v Ahmed ([2013] EWHC 4042 (QB))
  • Eastenders, Hare Windsor & Ors v Crown Prosecution Service [2011] EWCA Crim 143
  • Cheema & Ors v Nottingham and Newark Magistrates' Court & Anor [2013] EWHC 4022 (Admin)
  • Eastenders, Hare, Windsor v Bristol Crown Court & Anor [2011] EWHC 1899 (Admin)
  • Hare and Ors, R (On the Application Of) v The Crown Prosecution Service [2011] EWHC 842 (Admin)
  • Gojra & Anor, R v [2010] EWCA Crim 1939
  • Hare & Ors v HM Revenue and Customs [2014] EWCA Civ 1613
  • Cheema & Ors v Nottingham and Newark Magistrates Court & Anor [2013] EWHC 3790 (Admin)
  • Revenue & Customs v SED Essex Ltd [2013] EWHC 1583 (Ch)
  • Glenn & Co (Essex) Ltd & Ors v HM Commissioners for Revenue and Customs & Anor [2011] EWHC 2998 (Admin)
  • Lithuanian Beer Ltd v Revenue & Customs [2015] UKFTT 441 (TC)
  • Aabsolute Bond Ltd v Revenue & Customs [2012] UKFTT 603 (TC)  
  • R v Parradine (Aaron) [2011] EWCA Crim 656
  • R v Avery (Richard Sean) [2007] EWCA Crim 1830