FSA celebrates Blue Index victory

The co-directors of spread-betting firm Blue Index, James Sanders and James Swallow, and Sanders’ wife Miranda have been sentenced for their part in an international insider dealing scam. 

The sentencing marks a significant victory for the financial regulator  which had brought insider trading charges against five executives linked to the Blue Index group.

The case, which was listed as one to watch by The Lawyer in January (2 January 2012) was closely followed by the City as it was the first cross-jurisdiction prosecution of insider dealing by the FSA.

The FSA directly instructed 18 Red Lion Court’s Peter Carter QC to lead the case.

James Saunders, who was sentenced to four years and banned  as a director for five years, was represented by Irwin Mitchell partner Kevin Robinson who instructed  2 Hare Court’s Andrew Radcliffe QC. Miranda Saunders, who received a ten month sentence, was represented by Garden Court Chambers’ Henry Blaxland QC, instructed by Irwin Mitchell partner Robyn Walters.

Matrix Chambers’ Matthew Ryder QC was instructed by Corker Binning partner Gemma Tombs for Swallow, who also received a ten-month sentence.

Two further directors Christopher Hossain and Adam Buck were cleared of the charges in May. Bindmans partner Neil O’May instructed Matrix Chambers’ Ken Macdonald QC and Julian Knowles QC for Buck, while Kingsley Napley partner Jill Lorimer instructed 9-12 Bell Yard’s Mukul Chawla for Hossain.

The case was significant as it involved a parallel investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and US Department of Justice (DoJ), together with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

In the US Annabel McClellan, Amanda Saunders’ sister,  whose husband Arnold McClellan was alleged to have been the source behind the deals,  settled a case against her for $1m. She also pleaded guilty to a charge brought by the DoJ and is currently serving an 11 month prison sentence.

The legal lineup:

For the claimants the FSA

18 Red Lion Court’s Peter Carter QC lead 3 Serjeants’ Inn’s Sarah Clarke and 18 Red Lion Court’s Ruby Hamid, instructed directly

For the defendant James Sanders

2 Hare Court’s Andrew Radcliffe QC lead Siobhan Grey of Doughty Street Chambers instructed by Irwin Mitchell partner Kevin Robinson 

For the defendant Miranda Sanders

Garden Court Chambers’ Henry Blaxland QC lead Adrian Eissa of the same set, instructed by Irwin Mitchell partner Robyn Walters

For the defendant Christopher Hossain

9-12 Bell Yard’s Mukul Chawla QC and Alexandra Healey QC instructed by Kingsley Napley partner Stephen Gentle

For the defendant James Swallow

Matrix’s Matthew Ryder QC and Helen Law ­ instructed by Corker Binning partner Gemma Tombs;

For the defendant Adam Buck

Ken Macdonald QC and Julian Knowles QC both of Matrix instructed by Bindmans partner Neil O’May