We are the UK's leading defence team against Encrochat cases.
35 Years of Providing The Best Legal Expertise
Middleweeks Solicitors are leading the defence against the attempt by the NCA to rely on intercept evidence in the UK courts. We are representing the lead defendant in Operation Embossed, the defining Encrochat case in the UK.
Why are we "the leading defence team" against Encrochat cases?
Amongst other cases, Middleweeks Solicitors are representing Ahmed, the lead defendant in Operation Embossed. Operation Embossed is part of of Operation Venetic, described as the largest criminal investigation in the history of Greater Britain.
Our lawyers defending Ahmed, are the first legal team in the UK to identify the legal challenge against the NCA's ability to rely on intercept evidence.
As a result, Operation Embossed is the first case in the UK to be listed for a Preparatory hearing. A Preparatory hearing is a rare procedure only used in exceptional cases to determine ground breaking legal issues before trial. The legal judgement made in our Preparatory hearing will impact Encrochat cases nationwide.
Our Preparatory Hearing
The legal judgement made in our Preparatory hearing in relation to Operation Embossed will impact Encrochat cases nationwide.
The legal challenge has been prepared by a team of experienced defence lawyers headed by
Mr Shahid Choudhry instructing Mr Simon Csoka QC and Mr Imran Shafi QC.
The hearing commenced before Mr Justice Dove (High Court Judge) at Manchester Crown Court on 10/03/2021.
The legal arguments centre around the challenge to the NCA's attempt to rely on intercept evidence "through the backdoor". The NCA are attempting to argue that the Encrochat messages have not been intercepted as they were taken whilst "stored" on the handsets. This theory is not supported by the French, who have refused to provide details in relation to the hack.
We are challenging the NCA's interpretation of the definitions within the Act of Parliament (Investigatory Powers Act 2016). It is important to note that Parliament has reviewed the concept of admissibility of intercept evidence in criminal cases on numerous occasions and have decided clearly, that intercept evidence CANNOT BE RELIED UPON and can only be used as intelligence.
Our team will outline other arguments based on intricate analysis, not previously argued in the public domain. Middleweeks have been instrumental in obtaining critical unused disclosure which casts serious doubts upon the NCA conduct in relying upon the Encrochat evidence.
Unreliable information online regarding Encrochat cases
Despite being the lead case on Operation Venetic, Middleweeks Solicitors took an early decision not to make public our strategy and legal arguments, or any information surrounding Encrochat cases until commencement of the Preparatory hearing.
The highly classified nature of these cases means confidentiality relating to our cases is of upmost importance.
Meanwhile, others up and down the country are publishing advice with no legal standing or official basis, purely to commercialise what is a highly sensitive case.
If you would like to speak with a member of our dedicated team who are acting at the forefront of the defence against these cases, please contact:
Bail granted for high profile Enrochat case client
PF is charged with a large scale importation of Class A drugs, he also has a previous conviction for importation. His charge is solely based on the prosecution relying on Encrochat evidence. His case is listed at Winchester Crown Court.
Despite a previous unsuccessful application for judge in chambers bail by the previous solicitors, Middleweeks Solicitors armed with the intimate legal analysis were able to strategically reapply and obtain bail for our client.
Get access to the leading Encrochat defence in the country.
Shahid Choudhry is heading our Encrochat defence team consisting of:
French and Dutch lawyers
Shahid joined Middleweeks in Sept 1996 and excelled rapidly to become a leading nationwide lawyer. This was recognised by way of a partnership in the firm, only 6 months after qualifying as a solicitor. Shahid has since, successfully defended in the most serious and complex criminal trials over the past 25 years, securing not guilty verdicts in some of the most difficult cases. Shahid now heads the firm.
Shahid Choudhry, LLB (Hons.)
Solicitor-Advocate (Higher Court Criminal)
SIMON CSOKA QC
"I have been instructed by Middleweeks Solicitors for about 25 years both as a junior and Queen's Counsel. These are now usually various serious, complex and high-profile cases. There are few solicitors who are so persistent in pursuing the case for their clients. I have witnessed the outstanding client care that is provided. Cases are prepared with a thoroughness that is hard to come by these days. Any client can be rest assured that his solicitor will know every inch of their case and provide sound strategic advice that they can safely rely upon."