Former Burges Salmon partner found not guilty in £245m fraud case

Former Burges Salmon partner Roger Hawes has been found not guilty of a money laundering offence, following a trial at Southwark Crown Court relating to his alleged role in a £245m fraud at HBOS in Reading.

The jury cleared Hawes earlier today, after a trial that started on 27 November.

Corporate finance lawyer Hawes, who left Burges Salmon in 2011 after 20 years with the firm, had been charged with conspiracy to conceal criminal property contrary to Section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977. The alleged offences took place between 2003 and 2008, when he was still a partner at the Bristol firm.

Hawes’ trial came after six people, including two former HBOS staff, were sentenced in relation to the high-profile fraud case earlier this year.

These included the former lead director of HBOS’s impaired assets division, Lynden Scourfield, and David Mills of turnaround consultancy Quayside Corporate Services.

A Burges Salmon spokesperson said in response to the verdict: “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.”

According to his LinkedIn profile, Hawes is now the managing director of Ilexia Limited and is a non-executive director in several businesses

Lloyds Banking Group acquired HBOS in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis.