Defending individuals and companies in serious and complex fraud, regulatory and corporate crime. Most notably R v Hendy-Freegard, which has been described as one of the most elaborate and audacious frauds in British criminal history. Often advises pre-charge. Acted in cases involving allegations of banking, VAT including MTIC, corporation tax, duty evasion, boiler room, invoice factoring, long firm, hallmarking and benefit fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering, prosecuted by SFO, HMRC, DTI, CPS, local authorities and trading standards. Experienced in restraint, confiscation and enforcement receiverships acting on behalf of defendants and interested third parties. Extensive experience in VAT fraud and civil background has resulted in expanding practice in the VAT and Duties Tribunal. Other regulatory work includes health and safety, food safety, trading standards and environmental crime with particular expertise in waste management and statutory nuisance appearing in both the Crown Court and Divisional Court.

Samantha, who is methodical in the preparation of cases with an eye for detail, is accustomed to taking a pro-active approach from the start of proceedings vigorously pursuing pre-trial applications, for example, on disclosure.

Listed in Chambers & Partners 2014 as a leader in fraud: Is a well-regarded fraud defence junior who focuses on white-collar and corporate crime. She recently acted on behalf of a defendant in a multi-handed £110 million invoice factoring fraud involving fictional nylon extrusion machinery. According to solicitors, Riggs is "a fierce and fearless barrister whom it is good to have on your side."

Samantha Riggs is associated with the following areas of expertise:

General Fraud
Fraud & Financial Litigation
Regulatory and Disciplinary
Restraint, Confiscation & Asset Recovery

Samantha is also available for direct access work.


Recommended as a leading junior in fraud in Chambers and Partners UK 2015 and The Legal 500 2014.

"She is extremely dedicated and hard-working. She hates to lose an argument and puts clients at ease."

"Noted for defending individuals and companies in complex regulatory and corporate crime."

"A great tactical player in court, and superb with clients."

"Very good and very tough."

"very thorough"

“a fierce and fearless barrister whom it is good to have on your side”

"A fine forensic mind"

"another established name at the set"


Fraud and Financial Regulation

  • R v MB & Others (Operation Vaulter) Multi handed, multi-jurisdictional MTIC fraud involving 19 defendants alleging cheat & money laundering with estimated VAT losses of at least £20 million. The substantial and far reaching investigation, which took over 4 1/2 years, stretched to a number of companies and revealed money movements through Far East, Middle East and Europe. Alleged monies were later transferred to the First Curacao International Bank (FCIB) and subsequently laundered. Representing first on the Indictment said to be an investor and recipient of funds in the fraud. Led junior.
  • R -v- AB & Others (Operation Barber) Representing wife of main defendant, in a “Long Firm Fraud” involving nearly 10 years worth of dishonesty and deception on a number of wholesale building merchants based in the Midlands and North East of England. Husband is said to have masterminded the creation of a series of companies, of which wife is an office holder, to secure long lines of credit without paying back any of it before each company liquidates. Losses of millions, most of which, is said have benefitted husband and wife.
  • R v SH & Others (Operation Tulipbox) Multi handed, multi-jurisdictional MTIC fraud alleging conspiracy to cheat the Revenue of £38 million of VAT by manipulation of the EU Emissions Trade Scheme (EUETS), which regulates trade in Carbon Credits. The scheme was set up pursuant to the Kyoto Protocol as part of the process to help reduce “Green House Gases”. Alleged substantial profits from the trading was removed from the jurisdiction and transferred to ”trading platforms”/bank accounts in Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia.  Led junior. Acquitted following three month trial.
  • R v IE A successful football agent in the North East of England, was charged with four counts of fraud. All of the counts related to his business dealings as football agent for the then Middlesborough (subsequently Aston Villa and Liverpool) and England international footballer Stewart Downing over a number of years. IE was accused of acting dishonestly in breach of trust and the FA Regulation. Following legal argument, two counts stayed as an abuse of process. Following plea negotiations, the Crown accepted a plea to the regulatory offence of failing to keeping accounting records under the Companies Act 1985.
  • R v AL & Others (Operation Ernest) AL was charged together with her husband of £110 million invoice factoring fraud said to be the biggest ever in the UK. The fraud was described as being of staggering proportions involving over 900 false invoices and dozens of victims. It caused the collapse of both of the companies involved and put other related companies and one major bank department out of business. The fraud involved the drawing down of monies through complex preference share transactions.  AC was acquitted of the main conspiracy but found guilty of false accounting. Junior alone prosecuted by silk & junior.
  • Darren Lietch T/A London Mobile Communications v- HMRC –  Instructed on behalf of appellant in the First Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) appealing against a decision to disallow VAT reclaim on the ground of constructive knowledge of the fraud. The appeal concerned 121 supply chains (including allegations of contra trading) involving input tax of £20,512,931. All 94 of the buffer and defaulting traders in the Appellant’s supply chains were assessed for unpaid output tax and./or have had input tax denied. The total loss to the public revenue is over £1.1 billion. Led junior.
  • R v J-AH & Others (Operation Euripus) Multi handed, multi-jurisdictional MTIC fraud described as systemic involving the arrest of 43 suspects, the search of 96 premises and 526 dealing chains with the largest ever losses to HM Revenue & Customs, currently estimated at £250 million with money being siphoned off to various countries including the UAE, Hong Kong and Pakistan. Extremely complex money laundering operation associated with the fraud. Confiscation with hidden assets. Led junior.
  • R v JC & Another Acting on behalf of Company Director of Cross Country Cars Ltd, which carries on the business of importing and selling 4 wheel drive vehicles sourced from Cyprus and imported into the EU via Belgium who was charged with failing to account for VAT in excess of £900k and Corporation Tax of approximately £1million.
  • R v Robert Hendy-Freegard [2007] EWCA Crim 1236, (2007) 3 WLR 488, (2007) 2 Cr App R 27 (2007) Crim LR 986 Appeal against conviction of two counts of kidnapping by fraud and sentence of other financial counts before the Lord Chief Justice who held that the Crown’s attempt to search for an offence which would encapsulate all aspects of the appellant’s conduct and in particular the deprivation as a result of the appellant’s malign influence of deception of his victims to pursue their own lives could not be found in a single count of kidnapping as there was no deprivation of liberty. Conviction quashed life sentences overturned.
  • DTI v L £1.1m fraudulent trading in relation to high performance cars. DTI destroyed a bulk of L’s business documents belonging to alleged phoenix company. It was argued on behalf of the accused he could not receive a fair trial nor would it be fair to try him based upon the destruction. Following a lengthy abuse of process argument, which involved the calling of witnesses, the indictment was stayed. The argument was also extended to the second indictment charging L with acting as a company director whilst disqualified. This indictment was also stayed. Led junior.
  • Trading Standards v LW(J) Ltd & MM Acting on behalf of company and company director who were acquitted of an alleged £1.4 million jewellery hallmarking fraud. The allegation against the accused involved 60 counts relating to the casting in of counterfeit hallmarks into genuine 9ct gold items to save the assay charges and obtaining by deception. It was alleged that 1.9 tons of jewellery supplied to Littlewoods and Argos contained counterfeit marks. The case turned on scientific and accountancy evidence. Led junior
  • R v M & Others Acting on behalf of the Chief Executive of West Yorkshire Metropolitan Air Ambulance (WYMAS) charged with conspiracy to defraud the NHS out of £250k by using his position at WYMAS to fund a failing business aimed at housing 1,000 Filipino nurses. Led junior.


  • Environment Agency v S Instructed on behalf of a company director who operated a regulated facility for end of life vehicles and export business. The director faced charged as a result of a number of alleged breaches of the Environmental Permit by the company. Successful arguments were advanced on the interpretation of the permit conditions and inconsistencies between working plan and original waste management licence.
  • London Borough of Barking and Dagenham v Ethos Recycling Ltd Instructed on behalf of the defendant company who was served by the local authority environmental health department with a dust abatement notice. The civil proceedings in the magistrates court are currently subject to a stay whilst the matter is litigated in the High Court as to the right of the local authority to issue abatement notice without the consent of the Secretary of State pursuant to Section 79(10) of the Environment Protection Act 1990.
  • Environment Agency v LSH Ltd Instructed on behalf of the defendant company charged on a 24 count indictment with breaches of Waste Management Licence and keeping controlled waste namely soils without a licence. The defence revolved around the exemption regime and the definition of waste which is a complex area of law involving UK and European case law and legislation. This matter was listed for legal argument and a detailed skeleton argument had been served but before the matter was litigated the Environment Agency offered no evidence.
  • Environment Agency v T R Ltd Instructed on behalf of the defendant company charged with breaches of Waste Management Licence. Case revolved around the definition of “manufacture” and the interpretation of exemptions under the regulatory regime. Expert instructed on both sides. Eventually defence interpretation favoured by Environment Agency who offered no evidence.
  • Environment Agency v SEL Ltd & S Instructed on behalf company and company director in a case of breaching a waste management licence.  It was argued on behalf of the accused that it was not fair to continue with the proceedings because the prosecution was in breach of the Environment Agency’s prosecution policy. Following an abuse of process argument, the indictment was stayed.

Health and Safety

  • Asda Stores v Wandsworth BC [2007] EWHC 433 (Admin) Prosecuted Asda for offences under the Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995 relating to a rodent infestation at the store. Asda sought to challenge the validity of the charges by way of Case Stated arguing they were bad for duplicity.  The Divisional Court held on the true construction of the Regulations, Schedule 1 paragraph 3 created more than one offence and differentiated between the need to protect against the contamination of the food and need to have adequate measures in place to ensure pests were controlled.
  • London Borough of Wandsworth v Asda Stores Prosecuted Asda for offences under HSWA and various regulations for a series of accidents (57 in total) that occurred on a travelator at the store resulting in personal injury to a number of victims. Successfully opposed an abuse of process application in respect of the fairness of the proceedings given the number of charges.

Reported Cases

  • Leitch (t/a London Mobile Communications) v Revenue & Customs [2012] UKFTT 229
  • Olu & Ors. R. v [2010] EWCA Crim 2975
  • Ethos Recycling v Barking and Dagenham Magistrates’ Court & London Borough of Barking and Dagenham [2009] EWHC 2885 (Admin) (Under appeal)
  • Robert Hendy-Freegard [2007] EWCA Crim 1236, (2007) 3 WLR 488, (2007) 2 Cr App R 27 (2007) Crim LR 986
  • Asda Stores v Wandsworth BC [2007] EWHC 433 (Admin)

Associated Work

Professional Memberships

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Female Fraud Forum (Chair)
  • Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association (POCLA)
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers (ARDL)
  • United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA)


T. 020 7067 1500


Legal 500