Former 39 Essex Street silk accused of VAT fraud heads to trial

Former 39 Essex Street silk Rohan Pershad QC will today face allegations of VAT fraud at Blackfriars Crown Court.

Rohan Pershad QC
Rohan Pershad QC

Pershad was charged in July last year with deliberately failing to declare VAT payments to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on services he billed for between 1 June 1999 and 24 September 2011. He is charged with a single offence covering the 12-year period.

The CPS said Pershad was working as a barrister at the time and is charged with “knowingly” not paying a total of £600,000 in tax.

The barrister, who is represented by Kinsgley Napley partner Angus McBride, pleaded not guilty to the charges at a hearing last August.

18 Red Lion Court barrister Andrew Marshall will lead the prosecution for the CPS.

Pershad, a clinical negligence barrister, took silk in 2011 (14 March 2011), having joined 39 Essex Street in 1999 from 2 Crown Office Row (26 July 1999). He was junior to 39 Essex Street’s Edwin Glasgow QC in his representation of oil company Trafigura in a dispute over the dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast (12 May 2010).

The silk withdrew his membership from the set just days after the charges were brought insisting that it was done by “mutual agreement” until the criminal proceedings against him were resolved (31 July 2012).