Hardwicke boosts criminal dept with Serious Fraud Office recruit

Hardwicke Building has boosted its criminal group by recruiting the assistant director of the Serious Fraud Office.

Fred Coford is joining the chambers of Walter Aylen QC after 11 years at the SFO.

Coford led one of four casework divisions at the SFO and was responsible for the conduct of investigations and prosecutions. He also spent two years on secondment to the Corporation of Lloyd’s.

Coford says he is moving because he wants to do more advocacy work and get involved in defence work rather than just prosecuting.

He says: “I hope that I would be involved in fraud, regulation and general crime work. And I want to do more defence work – I imagine knowing the ins and outs of the prosecution mindset would be useful.”

Hardwicke Building’s chief executive Hilary Mundella says: “We are a developing chambers and we are intent on increasing the number of barristers we have. We want to attract the people who have the really specialist practices, and Fred brings with him very good experience in fraud.”

The appointment follows the recruitment of a new head of criminal earlier this year. Patrick Upward QC joined the chambers in January from 9 Gough Square, quashing rumours of discontent in the practice after head Zoe Smith left to become a High Court judge.

The set has also taken on a tenant from the dissolving New Court Chambers. David Pliener is an expert in contract and commercial, employment and landlord and tenant law.