David joined Sonn Macmillan Walker in February 2017. He specialises in serious and complex criminal cases and associated PoCA litigation.
David qualified as a solicitor in 2010 after gaining considerable experience as a paralegal assistant at a busy London firm. He has extensive experience and expertise in defending high-profile allegations brought by the CPS, NCA, SFO, FCA and HMRC, often involving multiple defendants and voluminous pages of prosecution material.
David is regularly instructed by individuals and companies at the initial stages of criminal investigations to respond to cash seizures, and restraint and freezing orders. He also represents professionals accused of sensitive offences, including of a sexual nature, and ensures that effective representations are made from the outset.
David’s efforts ‘upstream’ often lead to charging decisions being reversed and, ‘downstream’, to dramatic decreases in confiscation orders. Throughout the process, David makes sure each client is fully supported.
David is an accomplished advocate, with Higher Rights of Audience, able to represent clients in the senior courts.
In addition to his ‘recent successes’, David has written the chapter on criminal investigations and prosecutions in the forthcoming publication, ‘Law and Regulation of Tax Professionals’
David represents both privately-funded and legally-aided clients.
Areas of expertise
Sexual offences including of a historic nature
Serious violent offences
David's recent successes
Metropolitan Police v T (a company) (2019)
Represented a money service business following the police seizure and application for forfeiture of £690k. Able to show cash not ‘recoverable’ because it had been purchased wholesale in good faith during the course of the company’s usual business activities and with no knowledge of its tainted origins.
FCA v M & Ors (2019), “Operation Alfreton” and “Operation Gault”
Represented a former company director involved in operating a multi-million-pound investment scheme in confiscation proceedings. The FCA alleged M had ‘available’ just under £300k as he had made ‘tainted’ gifts to family members. Able to demonstrate that most of these transfers were bona fide loans or else not ‘gifts’ at all leading to FCA agreement for an order of just under £30k and payable as compensation. See this article.
R v S  EWCA Crim 569,  All ER (D) 44 (Apr)
Represented the appellant in lead authority on the reconsideration of confiscation orders made pursuant to PoCA, s22. The Court of Appeal approved for the first time a percentage reduction to an available amount based, at least in part, on the length of time that had elapsed since the original order was made. See this news article
R v H & Ors (2019), “Operation Wessex”
Represented in confiscation proceedings, a lead member of an Organised Crime Group convicted of the distribution of class A and B drugs. The Crown alleged a benefit figure of £3.3m and unquantifiable ‘hidden assets’, meaning this total could be ordered to be paid or a prison sentence of up to 10 years imposed in default. Successful challenge to the drug valuation and presentation of cogent evidence of H’s finances resulted in a benefit figure of £719k and £61k available under the confiscation order.
R v X (a company) & C (2019)
Represented a company and its director charged with failing to pay a £44k VAT security bond. A comprehensive abuse of process argument was served, and the allegation was discontinued less than week before the trial.
R v Y (2018)
Instructed after the client’s previous solicitors went into administration. The case attracted some notoriety as Y was alleged to have disguised a substantial luxury mansion as a farm shed. The Insolvency Services claimed a benefit and available amount figure of £8m. After complex proceedings, £650,000 agreed as being available with no ‘hidden assets’ pursued. See this news article.
R v P (2019)
Represented P charged with distribution of a single Cat A indecent image when he was 18. [This young man had instructed different solicitors during the police investigation when he had made ‘full and frank’ admissions]. Submitted extensive written representations to the CPS challenging their application of the Code for Crown Prosecutors. As the decision to prosecute was so unreasonable as to be unlawful, Judicial Review claim filed. Lawyers instructed by the Director of Public Prosecutions requested a stay to the High Court proceedings so that a fresh review could take place. Further compelling evidence presented which led to the criminal proceeding being discontinued in their entirety, without even a caution being administered.
R v S (2019)
Represented S in his successful appeal against conviction for sexual touching. This young man was represented by a court-appointed lawyer in the magistrates’ court. His original conviction had resulted in a lengthy community sentence and him being placed on sex offenders’ register.
R v H & Anor (2018), “Operation Westview”
Represented a client acquitted of three offences of rape but convicted of other historic sexual offences. The case followed a large-scale investigation, charges having been authorised by the Director of Public Prosecutions and generated national press coverage. See here.
R v C (2017)
Represented a client who pleaded guilty to downloading over 1,000 (including Cat A) indecent sexual images. Persuaded the Court to impose a short, suspended sentence that allowed C to receive specialist addiction treatment in the community.
R v T (2017)
Represented T charged with s18 GBH captured on hotel CCTV repeatedly striking another with a wine bottle causing significant injuries. At his first Crown Court hearing, T was warned to expect 12 years after trial. The defence of non-insane automatism was advanced. Expert defence medical evidence suggested our client had been concussed by an unknown assailant shortly before the index assault. After trial, the Court was persuaded to depart to an almost unprecedented degree from the sentencing guidelines and imposed a sentence of less than 4 years.
‘Criminal investigations and prosecutions’ in Law and Regulation of Tax Professionals, Bloomsbury Professional, Spring 2020
‘Global guide is bang on the money’, Law Society Gazette, 04/11/2019 (review)
‘“Urgent need for central co-ordination” in tackling serious and organised crime’, LexisNexis Current Awareness, 28/06/2019 (comment)
‘Unexplained wealth orders. Explained’, New Law Journal, N.L.J. 2018, 168(7784), 13-14 [cover story]
‘Piercing the corporate veil in confiscation proceedings’, Solicitor’s Journal, S.J. 2017, 161(25), 30-31
What David's clients say
“I found this firm very professional and responsive to any questions and concerns I raised. I found David Bloom to be supportive and helpful. The advice given was honest, clear, and in my best interests”, Client, 2019.
“Whilst I’ve been in custody and seen how poor some of my friends’ solicitors have been, the service by David to me has been brilliant and can’t be faulted. Thank you”, Client, 2019.
“Thank you for your help in dealing so successfully with X’s recent difficulty. I was impressed by your skilled, sympathetic and professional management of your advice to X, and the subtlety of your dealings with and representations to the investigating officer. You have jelled to rescue X from serious adverse consequences he may have caused to himself by his stupidity. He was fortunate to have your advice and help.” Retired Circuit Judge, whose son was represented by David in 2017 and criminal charges withdrawn.
“I write to convey my sincerest thanks for your work in my case. Without you, I suspect things may have gone very differently for me. Throughout the process you have both been excellent, and kept me well informed. I had to ask very few questions of yourselves, and of [Counsel], as I was well briefed. Without you I would not be sat here typing this email… With my freedom I am now able to look to the future, and rebuild my life.” Client, 2017.