CHARLOTTE DRAYCOTT SC
England and Wales 1990
Hong Kong 1990
AREAS OF SPECIALTY
Civil and Criminal
Administrative and Public Law
Charlotte Draycott SC was a founder member of Central Chambers when it was established in 1990 and has been Head since 2007.
She specialises in criminal law and has the distinction of being the only female Senior Counsel to do so. She is the first European woman in Silk.
Ms Draycott has a wealth of experience working in all aspects of criminal work but particularly in the areas of commercial fraud, financial crime, bribery, corruption, money laundering, insider trading and the confiscation and forfeiture of assets.
She also has extensive experience in cases involving expert evidence and in conducting sensitive cases involving children and crimes of a sexual nature.
Her experience in financial crime and cases involving children have led her to work in the Family Courts.
She has conducted a number of cases in involving issues of Legal Professional Privilege for both prosecution and defence and has become a specialist in this field.
Recent cases in which she has been instructed have included murder, rape, triad related matters, drugs offences, robbery, offences against the person, theft, bookmaking, forgery, public disorder and road traffic as well as the areas mentioned above.
She has wide experience of appeal work at all levels.
She has been an Advisory Editor of Hong Kong Archbold since its inception.
A panel member of the Higher Rights Assessment Board
Member of the Criminal Legal Aid Review Committee
HKSAR v Shum Chiu (HKSAR v Wong Hung Ki & Another)
After a long battle through all levels of the courts in Hong Kong, the proceedings in this case were successfully stayed as a result breach of Legal Professional Privilege by the ICAC. The ICAC had covertly recorded a defendant in consultation with his solicitor. The Court of Appeal held that on the facts the ICAC were guilty of failure on a fundamental issue which could not be countenanced in the case of a law enforcement authority operating in a society governed by the rule of law. Further that there had been an abuse of the process whoich was an affront to the conscience of the court to which the court should not lend itself by permitting the case to continue.
Luk Thiet Thuan v R (1997) AC 131
In this case, the Privy Council was asked to consider the test for provocation and the relationship between that defence and diminished responsibility in cases of murder. Ms Draycott proposed that where a person suffered from an abnormality of mind that fact should be taken into account when judging whether he had been provoked into killing the deceased. This interpretation is now the law in the UK although not in Hong Kong. As a result of this judgment the provocative words that incensed the accused no longer need to be directed at a particular characteristic of the accused for that characteristic to be considered in his favour.
HKSAR v Lee Fung Yee
Ms Draycott conducted a successful appeal against sentence for a woman who had killed two of her children whilst under the influence of a Temple Master who claimed to be able to speak to the Goddess of Mercy. As a young girl she had been duped into believing that relations with the Temple Master were necessary for her good health. When she became pregnant she ran away from home. She bore the Temple Master three children, one of whom he took from her to be raised by another woman. When she discovered that he was a fraudster who preyed on vulnerable women, she attempted suicide with her remaining children by burning charcoal. When she awoke in the morning her children were dead. Her sentence was reduced from 7 years to 4 years.
HKSAR v Yung Ka Tim
Ms Draycott conducted a successful appeal against conviction. The defendant was prosecuted by the ICAC as a coconspirator of Mr Derek Wong Chong Kwong. The case led to the prosecution of barrister Mr Kevin Egan and solicitor Mr Andrew Lam for conspiring to prevent a witness from co-operating with the investigating authority. The conviction was overturned and Mr Yung was released from custody.
HKSAR v Li Man Tak
This case concerned covert listening to the defendant’s telephone calls by the ICAC. The invasion of the defendant’s right to privacy exposed by the defence team was a factor in prompting the enactment of the Interception of Communication and Surveillance Ordinance CAP 589.
HKSAR v Jocelyn-rivera
The successful defence of a woman accused of masterminding the chopping of a bystander at the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens.
CITIC Pacific Ltd v Secretary for Justice and the Commissioner of Police
Involving the assertion of Legal Professional Privilege by the company over documents seized by the SFC and handed to the Secretary for Justice.
PP v Y.A.M.P.I.W. Pg. Dr. Hj. Ismail
In 2010 Ms Draycott was admitted to the Bar of Brunei to act as Senior Counsel for the Government of Brunei in a high profile appeal. The Minister of Development had been convicted of accepting bribes over many years from a construction company and had favoured the company in assigning contracts for the provision of public housing. The Minster’s appeal was dismissed.
HKSAR v Ng Sik Kei
The successful prosecution of two senior ranking members of the 14K for ordering a fatal attack on Ho Wai Ha, a newspaper vendor when she refused to take extra newspapers from their company. The two defendants had summoned lower ranking members of the triad, treated them to a night out with massage and a meal and then ordered them to attack her with beef knives when she arrived for work alone at 5am.
HKSAR v Lee Wan Kong
The successful prosecution of members of the Wo Shing Wo triad society responsible for the murder of “Tai Lung” a prominent member and Red Pole fighter of the Sun Yee On triad society at the Shangri La Kowloon Hotel forecourt. The defendants drove a seven seater vehicle into Lee Tai Lung as he alighted from his Mercedes with his body guard and two women friends, in the small hours of 4th August 2009. They leapt from their vehicle and chopped his unconscious body so that he bled to death.
HKSAR v Du Jun
The successful prosecution of a former Managing Director of Morgan Stanley for insider trading in the shares of CITIC Resources Holdings Ltd to the tune of HK$42,000,000.
HKSAR v Hui Yat Sing
The successful prosecution of the largest money laundering case in Hong Kong history involving HK$6,000,000,000 stolen from the Bank of China in Kaiping. One of the bank managers who had stolen the money from their bank, was in custody in the PRC and could give relevant evidence. Miss Draycott instigated the collection of that evidence on a Letter of Request in the PRC which had never been attempted before. This case has since been used as a precedent and such evidence is now routinely made available.
HKSAR v Park Inhwan
Prosecution of the Korean farmers protesting against globalization at the World Trade Organisation conference.
HKSAR v Philip Wong Chi Wai
The successful prosecution of a practising Member of the Bar for attempting to pervert the course of justice. The case involved refuting the assertion of complex claims to Legal Professional Privilege. The conviction was upheld on appeal.