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Senghin Kong

“He has a phenomenal legal brain and very quickly gets to grips with the facts of a case. His preparation is unparalleled.”Chambers UK 2020

Call 2008

Practice Profile

Senghin specialises in privately funded criminal and regulatory litigation and civil litigation with a criminal aspect to it. He defends and prosecutes. He has appeared in both divisions of the Court of Appeal and has conducted trials in the Crown Court and the High Court. He has been ranked as a leading barrister by Chambers and Partners.

Senghin takes pride in giving each client his very best. He understands the demands of litigation where the stakes are at their highest. He prioritises quality of service over quantity in his select caseload. He is renowned for his work ethic and responsiveness.

Clients particularly value his ability to manage, analyse and assimilate the information generated by the largest investigations. He successfully defended the solicitor accused of perverting the course of justice in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. The Hillsborough criminal investigations were said to have cost more than £100 million and were described by the CPS as “the largest in English criminal history”. The case required four years of painstaking work reviewing millions of pages of material and arguing important legal issues including the definition of a course of justice, the existence of an alleged duty of candour on public authorities and the admissibility of expert evidence on the professional duties of solicitors. Senghin reduced the evidence, which was otherwise so vast as to be unmanageable for a jury trial, to a series of agreed schedules which demonstrated cogently why his client was not guilty. The trial judge ruled that there was no case to answer.

Senghin is a barrister to whom other barristers turn in cases involving novel and complex points of law. He is instructed by clients wishing to challenge their conviction or sentence. He represented former Royal Marine Sergeant Alexander Blackman in his widely reported successful application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission and landmark second appeal against conviction for murder. This followed a two-year campaign for justice spearheaded by the author Frederick Forsyth and funded by donations collected by a national newspaper. Senghin appeared for the prosecution in a successful expedited interlocutory appeal against a half-time ruling by an experienced judge at the Central Criminal Court in a six-handed attempted murder.

He has defended in and prosecuted serious and complex multi-handed fraud trials and associated confiscation and restraint proceedings. He is currently instructed to defend in a multi-million pound fraud prosecution brought by The Pensions Regulator. He has advised in relation to individuals and corporates suspected of international bribery and corruption, fraud and money laundering. He has advised on financial regulation and the difficulties facing clients involved in parallel proceedings in multiple jurisdictions. Alongside his court practice, he spent four years working on the criminal investigation into manipulation of interbank lending rates, which was one of the largest ever conducted by the SFO.

Senghin is instructed on behalf of professionals and high net worth individuals facing criminal proceedings from technical road traffic matters to complex fraud and serious sexual offences. He understands the pressures of acting in cases where the reputational and financial consequences of a conviction outweigh any potential sentence. He is often instructed at an early stage to advise pre-charge, both for the defence and for the prosecution. He has acted for and advised private prosecutors.

Clients involved in civil and regulatory litigation instruct Senghin for the expertise in advocacy he has earned at the criminal Bar. He acts for defendant insurers where dishonesty is alleged against the claimant in personal injury proceedings and in related contempt proceedings. He represented a doctor in the first contempt proceedings brought against a medical expert, in relation to an exaggerated claim for personal injuries. The judgment on appeal is now the leading authority on the proper approach to sentencing for contempt arising from the making of false witness statements.

Senghin has acted in and advised on many other diverse matters including judicial review, extradition, inquests, non-party costs applications, tribunal proceedings (including employment and tax), and broadcast regulation by Ofcom.

He is sought out for his IT proficiency in cases involving cybercrime, digital forensic experts and extensive evidence accessed through specialist review software. He has experience of conducting and managing large-scale document review, including where LPP is in issue.

Prosecution Panel Appointments

Senghin may accept instructions from public prosecution authorities and has been appointed to the following advocate panels:

  • SFO Prosecution B Panel
  • CPS Specialist Fraud Panel Level 3
  • CPS Serious Crime Panel Level 3
  • CPS General Crime Panel Level 3

Selected Cases

R v Metcalf & Others, 2021, Manchester Crown Court: Senghin represented Peter Metcalf, the solicitor for South Yorkshire Police who was tried with two senior police officers on charges of perverting the course of justice in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. Mr Metcalf’s defence was that he was faithfully doing his job, giving honest legal advice to his clients. The trial judge Mr Justice William Davis ruled that there was no case to answer. A central plank of the prosecution case was their argument that the non-statutory Taylor Inquiry was a course of justice capable of being perverted by Mr Metcalf’s advice. Senghin conceived the submission that this was wrong in law. When the court upheld this submission, the prosecution attempted to proceed with the case on the basis that the advice tended to pervert later court proceedings. Ultimately the judge accepted the defence submissions that there was no sufficient evidence to prove such a tendency. The prosecution also alleged on the basis of expert evidence that there existed a duty of candour on public authorities to inquiries and inquests. Sir Robert Francis QC was called on behalf of Mr Metcalf to give evidence rebutting the existence of such a duty. Whilst the judge was not prepared at half time to resolve the dispute between the two experts in relation to the existence of the alleged duty of candour to inquiries, he found that no reasonable jury could conclude that this duty existed in relation to inquests. The judge concluded that in reality the prosecution expert’s opinion on this aspect did not even amount to expert evidence. (Led by Jonathan Goldberg QC and with Timothy Kendal, instructed by Ian McCombie of Ward Hadaway.)

R v Blackman [2017] EWCA Crim 190: Senghin represented former Marine Sergeant Blackman at his second appeal against conviction for murder based on fresh evidence of diminished responsibility. This followed a successful application to the CCRC to refer the case for a second appeal. Exceptionally, the case was heard by a special 5-judge constitution of the Court Martial Appeal Court, including the Lord Chief Justice, the President of the Queen’s Bench Division and the Vice President of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division. The court allowed the appeal, substituting manslaughter for murder and imposing a reduced sentence which ensured Blackman’s speedy release. (Led by Jonathan Goldberg QC and with Jeffrey Israel on direct access.)

R v Anwar & Others [2016] EWCA Crim 551; [2016] 4 WLR 127: Senghin represented the Crown in this successful prosecution interlocutory appeal against a ruling by an experienced judge at the Central Criminal Court that there was no case to answer on counts of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent. Leveson P gave important guidance on the effect of Jogee on half-time submissions. The trial continued following the expedited appeal and resulted in the conviction of all six defendants for possession of a firearm with intent to commit robbery. (Led by Catherine Farrelly and instructed by the CPS.)

R v S [2016] EWCA Crim 1908; [2018] 4 WLR 24: Senghin represented S at his successful appeal against conviction for rape as a result of an inadequate hearsay direction. This was the first reported case where the Crown’s case depended on hearsay evidence from an absent complainant who had retracted her original account to the police. (Led by Jonathan Goldberg QC and instructed by David Sonn of Sonn MacMillan Walker.)

LVI v Zafar [2019] EWCA Civ 392; [2019] 1 WLR 3833: Senghin represented Dr Zafar at trial and on appeal, where the sentence was found to be unduly lenient, but was not increased because the Court of Appeal agreed with the submission on behalf of Dr Zafar that it would be unfair to increase his sentence as a result of the new guidance being given. This was the first contempt case brought against a doctor in relation to his preparation of an expert medical report. The judgment of Etherton MR, Hamblen and Holroyde LJJ is the leading authority on the proper approach to sentencing for contempt arising from the making of false witness statements. (Led by Jonathan Goldberg QC and instructed by Geoffrey Goldkorn of Goldkorns.)

Zurich v Falkingham, 2019, High Court QBD: Senghin represented Zurich Insurance in the first case where the trial judge, HHJ Harrison sitting as a judge of the High Court, ruled that providing false information on a Claim Notification Form was capable of amounting to contempt. This had previously been doubted by Warby J in Yavuz [2017] EWHC 3088 (QB). All three defendants were found to have committed contempt on the basis that they had instructed their then solicitors to bring false ‘phantom passenger’ personal injuries claims, even though no claims were ever issued. Two of the defendants were also found to have committed contempt on the basis that they had provided false information on their Claim Notification Forms. (Instructed by Ben Parker of Horwich Farrelly.)

Education

BVC; CPE; Philosophy, Politics and Economics, M.A. (Oxon), Balliol College.

Regulatory

Senghin is a barrister regulated by the Bar Standards Board. In appropriate cases, he may accept instructions directly from members of the public, without the need for a solicitor. His Privacy Policy may be downloaded here.

News

Hillsborough Disaster Acquittal

26 May 2021

Senghin Kong today achieved complete... Read More