Russell-Cooke has secured the acquittal of its client, an employee of Wandsworth Council, against a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud valued at over one million pounds, a prosecution initially brought by the Council and subsequently taken over by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The defendant was accused by Wandsworth Council of making fake and exaggerated invoices to claim for repair work on Wandsworth's roads. The payments were made to a contractor and their manager, who were allegedly part of the conspiracy. The Council alleged the defendant received payments in the form of free home improvements.

Russell-Cooke senior associate Marie Bourke instructed Richard Bentwood and Jeremy Rosenberg of 23ES in the client's defence.

Marie Bourke commented: “We were delighted to obtain such a favourable result for our client. This is yet another illustration of the positive effect of great teamwork. We were able to expose failings in the investigation and disclosure by the Council and the fact that the CPS presented no evidence contributed to the correct decision for our client - that the case should not be carried on. Conspiracy to commit fraud is a very serious allegation that must be backed up with adequate evidence.”