Former Burges Salmon partner Roger Hawes has been cleared from charges of conspiring to conceal criminal property.

The jury’s verdict of not guilty, which was made public yesterday, puts an end to a four year ordeal for Hawes, who was first accused in 2013 of ““facilitating the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property”.

Hawes faced a three week trial at Southwark Crown Court after he was charged with conspiracy to conceal criminal property.

The trial related to charges brought by Reading Magistrates’ Court in 2013, when nine people were charged in connection with business loans of up to £35m made through a high street bank.

A firm spokesperson said:“Today, a former partner of this firm, Roger Hawes, has been found not guilty of a money laundering offence. We welcome the fact that this brings to an end a long, drawn-out process.

“Out of consideration for all those involved, now that the process is at an end, we do not propose to make any further public statements about it.”