Martin Hicks KC

Martin Hicks KC

“A vastly experienced barrister." "He is a standout defence advocate." and "Unbelievably shrewd and very hard-working."

Chambers UK 2022
Year of call: 1977 KC: 2003
For enquiries please call: 020 7353 5324 or email vcard cv save

Business Crime & Financial Services

In the Chambers UK 2024, Martin is described in these terms

“A very calm, laid-back character who gave a masterful performance in court.”

Throughout his career he has specialised in cases involving fraud and these have formed a substantial part of his practice. He has experience of VAT and MTIC fraud, residential and commercial mortgage fraud, banking and boiler room fraud, insurance fraud, advance fee and factoring fraud, Ponzi schemes, bribery and corruption, offshore tax evasion, money laundering, and others. He also has extensive experience of POCA and related proceedings including confiscation, restraint and asset forfeiture.

Recently he has mounted defence arguments involving Hawala banking transactions and various Islamic financial institutions. He secured acquittals for the deputy news editor of the Sun and a Daily Mirror news journalist in separate high profile trials prosecuted under Operation Elveden (misconduct in a public office) concerned with payments to public officials.

He is currently advising a national government on issues of mutual legal assistance and judicial review arising out of cross border corporate fraudulent activity.

Cases of note include:

  • Dr Olivier Reymond –  alleged to have fraudulently procured payments of £110k from a 96 year old French Resistance Heroine
  • Paul Sultana – the largest ever privately prosecuted fraud
  • Van Osselaer (the “Lord of Fraud Plot” to rob the Sumitomo Matsui Bank of £220 million)
  • Austin (appeal related to London City Bond scandal)
  • Mahmood & Oths (an alleged “cash for crash” insurance fraud on a significant scale)
  • Chaudry Ali & Oths (accused of masterminding a £15m gold smuggling operation)
  • Aseef Vaza & Oths (well-known handbag designer charged with involvement in a £80m revenue fraud)
  • Adler & Oths (doctor alleged to have submitted false mediacal reports as part of 20mil insurance fraud
  • Mancini & Oths(alleged family portfolio involving income tax and mortgage fraud)

R v RT

Martin, with Chris Foulkes, advised a former director of Quindell PLC (now Watchstone PLC) in relation to an SFO investigation into the business and accounting practices at the company.

The investigation arose following the acquisition of the company’s Professional Services Division by the personal injury law firm, Slater & Gordon for a reported £637 million. The purchase was later described by the Law Society Gazette as one of the most “contentious acquisition deals in legal history … the most expensive ever by a business in the legal sector of England and Wales”. It led to civil proceedings against Watchstone by Slater & Gordon (ultimately settled) and an FRC fine and reprimand for KPMG as auditor of Quindell during the relevant period.

Martin and Chris advised the former director throughout an extensive and protracted investigation by the SFO, which finally announced that no criminal charges would be brought.

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