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Ben Holt

‘A consummate professional and a ferocious cross-examiner when necessary. He has a great eye for detail – nothing gets past him.’Legal 500 2022, Ranked as a Leading Junior in Fraud

Call 2006

Practice Profile

Ben Holt is a specialist criminal barrister. He has been instructed as leading and led junior for the prosecution and defence in a wide range of criminal cases. Ben was appointed as Treasury Counsel monitoree in August 2021.

Ben is a Grade-4 CPS advocate on the general crime, special crime and fraud panels as well as Grade-3 on the counter-terrorism panel. He is appointed to Panel B of the SFO’s panel of advocates.

Recently, he has been instructed in a number of substantial cases involving fraud and international money laundering; both for the prosecution and defence. He is currently instructed to prosecute (alone and as a leading junior) in significant class A drug conspiracies where the evidence comes from data obtained from Operation Venetic. Ben has prosecuted a number of cases of violence involving multiple defendants (including as leading counsel).

He regularly receives instructions from Specialist Units within the CPS – he has recently been instructed by the Homicide Unit, Special Casework Unit (both London and Thames Valley), Specialist Fraud Division, International Justice and Organised Crime Unit and the Counter Terrorism Division.

Ben has specific experience in dealing with complicated disclosure issues; these have included the handling of particularly sensitive material and reviewing cases which have involved evidence from Covert Human Intelligence Sources and RIPA warrants. He has been instructed by the CPS to review disclosure on various matters and has worked together with the NCA and specialist units of the Metropolitan Police in this regard. For example, he was instructed to review the sensitive disclosure as part of Op Melrose (the investigation into the 39 Vietnamese migrants who died). Ben is instructed as trial counsel in the second trial relating to these offences.

Ben has also advised on large-scale fraud investigations at the pre-charge stage including matters relating to LPP material.

Ben has spent a 9-month period of secondment with HSBC conducting a past-business review into mis-sold interest rate hedging products.

Ben's Privacy Policy can be downloaded here.

Upcoming cases:

Operation Tambov [Isleworth CC] 2021-2

Led junior for the prosecution in a three-handed murder [Instructed by CPS, Homicide Unit].  Deceased stabbed to death in Parsons Green.

Operation Kithara [Snaresbrook CC] 2022

Instructed to prosecute six-handed case involving allegations of handling stolen goods and possessing criminal property. [Instructed by CPS, SCU].

Operation Northleigh [Isleworth CC] 2022

Three upcoming cases; single and multi-handed cases. They involve allegations of fraud arising from the Grenfell Tower disaster. One of the defendants was a genuine resident of the Tower at the time of the tragedy. [Instructed by CPS, SCU].

Operation Hanover [Southwark CC] 2022

Lead counsel for the prosecution of two defendants alleged to have committed fraud by abuse of position in relation to investments made on behalf of clients. [Instructed by CPS, SFD].

Operation Venetic [Southwark CC] 2022

Leading junior. Five-handed conspiracy to supply cocaine trial. Evidence obtained as part of Operation Venetic. Defendants alleged to be involved in conspiracy to supply £10m of cocaine. [Instructed by CPS, SCU].

Operation Afara [CCC] 2022

Prosecution counsel in attempted murder trial. 14 year-old victim stabbed 27 times. [Instructed by CPS London].

Operation Melrose [CCC] 2022

Junior counsel in the prosecution for immigration offences; linked to the deaths of 39 Vietnamese nationals in Purfleet.

Operation Pearland [Kingston CC] 2022

Two-handed ‘Ponzi fraud’. Defendants are alleged to have defrauded their investors of £8m. Instructed by CPS SFD London as led-junior [Instructed by CPS, SFD].

R v A & Others [Birmingham CC] 2022

Prosecution of five defendants charged with importing over 400kgs of cannabis into the UK [Instructed by CPS, IJOC].

Operation Ananke [Southwark CC] 2022

Leading Junior for the Crown. Twenty-one handed indictment alleging a loan fraud carried out against NatWest Bank [Instructed by CPS, SFD].

Operation Reconverge [Croydon CC] 2023

Thirteen-handed conspiracies to launder money and assist unlawful immigration. Defendants split into two trials. [Instructed by CPS, IJOC].



  • Monitoree Treasury Counsel

Panel Appointments:

  • SFO – Panel B
  • CPS General Crime – Level 4
  • CPS Special Crime – Level 4
  • CPS Fraud – Level 4
  • CPS Counter Terrorism – Level 3


International fraudsters prosecuted

30 December 2021

Ben Holt & Olivia Haggar led by Cameron Brown QC of Red Lion... Read More

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