Insider dealing charges for head trader at Blue Index successfully defended by Jill Lorimer and Stephen Gentle

31 May 2012

Amongst a growing number of insider dealing prosecutions being instigated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the Blue Index case saw the Authority work in parallel with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

Our client, Christopher Hossain, former Head of Trading at Blue Index faced three charges of insider dealing.  It was alleged that he had traded personally and encouraged Blue Index clients to trade in derivatives in US stocks prior to takeovers.  The total profits generated by these trades were alleged to exceed £12m.  This was a particularly complex cross-border case, involving a substantial amount of evidence requiring exceptionally diligent analysis of evidence gathered in the UK and the US.

While three of the co-defendants, including two directors of Blue Index, pleaded guilty prior to the commencement of the trial, Mr Hossain and a co-defendant contested the charges.

After a five week trial at Southwark Crown Court, the jury acquitted our client Mr Hossain along with his co-defendant on 28 May 2012.  Mr Hossain said in a statement that he “never had the slightest doubt [he] would be fully exonerated” and expressed regret that the FSA has brought a case against him which was “fundamentally flawed”.

Mr Hossain was expertly defended in court by Mukul Chawla QC and Alexandra Healy QC of 9-12 Bell Yard Chambers, both highly regarded for their specialism in financial services defence work.  

Jill Lorimer along with supervising partner Stephen Gentle of Kingsley Napley LLP advised Mr Hossain throughout the investigation and subsequent proceedings. Jill and Stephen also successfully represented a defendant in the 2010 case R v McFall, King and Rimmington, the only other insider dealing prosecution to date in which the FSA has been defeated after a full trial.

Also reported on Bloomberg, FT.com and Reuters

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