Fraud

Fraud

What our fraud barristers offer

Barristers at 39 Essex Chambers are at the forefront of insurance fraud law and have been instructed in many of the leading cases in this area, including the landmark case of Summers v Fairclough [2012] UKSC 26 which secured a significant change in the law on dealing with fraudulent claims when the Supreme Court Justices acknowledged that a fraudulent claim could be struck out in its entirety as an abuse of process. Many see that judgment as the forerunner of section 57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 which creates the presumption that the personal injury claim of a claimant who has been fundamentally dishonest will be struck out.   Barristers at 39 Essex Chambers are highly skilled in advising on and preparing fraud cases and recognise the need for instructions to be dealt with expeditiously to achieve the best results. Members of Chambers have acted in many of the leading fraud cases which have followed Summers including Fari, Admans and Sikand.

Our barristers regularly deal with the whole range of personal injury fraud cases from high value exaggeration fraud through to fabricated accident claims involving fraud rings. We operate a ‘cradle to grave’ service with Members of Chambers frequently being introduced to a case at an early stage to evaluate the evidence on fraud and steer the claim to a successful conclusion. Members take a robust approach with regard to such cases and are alive to the need to consider further action, such as committal or the involvement of IFED to ensure that proven cases of fraud have the maximum deterrent effect possible to would-be fraudsters.

Members of Chambers are regularly instructed to advise on committal proceedings and members of Chambers achieved the first committal proceedings brought by an NHS Trust in the case of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust v Sandip Atwal [2018] EWHC 961 (QB), which was widely reported in light of its significance.  See the BBC coverage of the case here.

Finally, members of the specialist costs team in Chambers are often brought in to ensure that the maximum costs recovery can be sought against fraudsters and those who support their claims.  To see what the Chambers’ costs team has to offer click here.

Members of Chambers regularly act in fraud cases involving:

  • Findings of fundamental dishonesty
  • The use of Section 57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015
  • Abuse of process applications
  • Exaggeration fraud
  • Fraud rings
  • Use of telematics to prove fraud
  • Late discontinuance in the face of allegations of fraud
  • Recovery of interim payments from fraudulent claimants
  • Committal proceedings
  • CRU appeals in light of evidence of fraud
  • Costs issues relating to fraudulent claims

Representative cases include:

  • Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust v Sandip Atwal [2018] EWHC 961 (QB), the first committal proceedings brought by an NHS Trust. See the BBC coverage of the case here.
  • AS v M Ltd, Sheffield County Court in 2017-2018.  Sadie Crapper was instructed on behalf of Zurich concerning of a fraudulent claim involving exaggeration fraud in which the Claimant claimed over £1million for lifelong disability and loss of earnings.  Claim was discontinued after the Defendant’s evidence of fraud was served.
  • DL v DXG, 2017-2018.  The case concerned a claimant who alleged he had suffered an eye injury causing impairment of the sight in one eye with lifelong disability and earnings loss.  A combination of surveillance and expert evidence proved the lie.  Sadie Crapper was instructed before proceedings commenced to give early advice on how best to manage the claim to a successful, low-cost conclusion.
  • Paul Pierce v D Foster Building Services, 15th February 2018, DJ Shakespeare in Newcastle CC, claim dismissed entirely, not under s.57.  QOCS disapplied because C in EL case had been fundamentally dishonest as to the mechanism of his fall with the intention of creating an employer’s liability.  Para 212 of Razumus specifically referred to in line with CA guidance in Howlett as to meaning of ‘fundamental’.
  • Osman v Gouria, 11 October 2017, District Judge Nicholson in Brentford County Court. Argued successfully that a liability admitted claim should be dismissed under Section 57 of the CJCA 2015. Although some elements of the claim were established by the Claimant, the Judge found that there had been a significant exaggeration in respect of the extent of the injuries sustained. Successfully argued that the extent of the exaggeration was sufficient to be considered fundamentally dishonest and persuaded the Court to dismiss the entire claim under s.57.
  • Ryan v Prescott-Thomas Ltd [2016] EWHC 3136 (QB), which dealt with the distinction between exaggerated and wholly concocted claims in respect of fundamental dishonesty and costs
  • Sikand v CS Lounge Suite, 11 July 2016, DJ Avent in MCLC, exaggeration fraud case where claim was struck out as the claimant’s untruths were so serious that they had contaminated the whole case and he had forfeited his right to a trial
  • Admans v Two Saints Ltd., 24 June 2016, Recorder James Watson QC in Swindon CC, claimant had dishonesty exaggerated her disability over an extended period for material gain and the claim was struck out as an abuse of process
  • Homes for Haringey v Fari, [2013] EWHC 757 (QB), successful contempt proceedings following the first Summers v Fairclough Homes strike out application
  • Hogwood v Sunderland County Council, one of over 100 linked PL claims arising from a dishonest claims management company operating in the North West. Claim discontinued following the use of a Covert Human Intelligence Source and in the face of disclosure of the Defendant’s case on fraud.
  • Summers v Fairclough Homes Limited, 27 June 2012, [2012] UKSC 26 landmark case which declared the jurisdiction to strike out fraudulent exaggeration claims as an abuse of process
  • Fari v Homes for Haringey, 9 October 2012, HHJ Mitchell QC in CCLC, first known case of strike out for fraudulent exaggeration following the principles in Summers v Fairclough Homes
  • Barnes v Seabrook, Hill v Gough, South West Fire & Rescue v Smith, [2010] EWHC 1849 (Admin), an appeal dealing with contempt proceedings and the correct procedure to be used

Who to contact

Ben Sundborg

Ben Sundborg is the Senior Practice Manager for the Fraud team and will, along with the clerking team below, be able to help you with any questions.


Ben SundborgEmail


Call: +44 (0)20 7832 1179


Mobile: +44 (0)7921 880 668


Tom Gibbons

Tom Gibbons is the Senior Practice Manager for the Fraud team and will, along with the clerking team below, be able to help you with any questions.


Tom GibbonsEmail


Call: +44 (0)20 7634 9080


Mobile: +44 (0)771 101 6602


View clerk's team

Neil Block QC

Neil Block QC

Call: 1980 Silk: 2002

William Norris QC

William Norris QC

Call: 1974 Silk: 1997

Susan Rodway QC

Susan Rodway QC

Call: 1981 Silk: 2002

Derek O'Sullivan QC

Derek O'Sullivan QC

Call: 1990 Silk: 2016

Michael McParland QC

Michael McParland QC

Call: 1983 Silk: 2017

James Todd QC

James Todd QC

Call: 1990 Silk: 2019

Emily Formby

Emily Formby

Call: 1993

Judith Ayling

Judith Ayling

Call: 1998

Romilly Cummerson

Romilly Cummerson

Call: 1998

Nicola Greaney

Nicola Greaney

Call: 1999

Sadie Crapper

Sadie Crapper

Call: 2004

Robert Lazarus

Robert Lazarus

Call: 2004

Quintin Fraser

Quintin Fraser

Call: 2006

Edmund Townsend

Edmund Townsend

Call: 2006

Vaughan Jacob

Vaughan Jacob

Call: 2009

Angela Rainey

Angela Rainey

Call: 2010

Emma Corkill

Emma Corkill

Call: 2010

Nicola Kohn

Nicola Kohn

Call: 2012

Rosie Eleanor Scott

Rosie Eleanor Scott

Call: 2013

Michael Standing

Michael Standing

Call: 2013

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

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