A financial market trader’s convictions have been referred to the Court of Appeal after a wide-ranging and complex review by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).
Tom Hayes was found guilty in 2015 of multiple charges of conspiracy to defraud by “rigging” the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR). He served five and a half years in a UK prison and was released in January 2021.
Mr Hayes applied to the CCRC in 2017. His representatives provided CCRC with extensive submissions and several thousand pages of information, which were subject to detailed examination by CCRC staff. Further submissions were provided subsequently.
In January 2022, a US Court judgment overturned the convictions of two other former traders convicted in similar circumstances. As a consequence, all charges against Mr Hayes in the USA were dropped.
In light of these developments, the CCRC invited Mr Hayes’ legal representatives to make additional submissions with regard to his convictions in the UK.
The CCRC has concluded that there is a real possibility that the Court of Appeal will prefer the legal approach to the definition and operation of the LIBOR rules taken by the US Court and overturn Mr Hayes’ conviction.
CCRC Chairman Helen Pitcher OBE said:
“We have concluded after a lengthy and complex investigation that the Court of Appeal should clarify whether the right legal approach was taken in Mr Hayes’ case.
“We are committed to leaving no stone unturned in our comprehensive reviews of potential miscarriages of justice.”
The CCRC aims to complete a minimum of 85% of cases within 12 months of receiving the first application – and in the last reporting year, 84.2% of cases hit that target. The average case takes 34 weeks to complete.
A proportion of reviews are complex, especially those that consider expert reports, and a review is classified as a ‘long running case’ if it has been ongoing for more than two years. These cases are paid close attention by a sub-committee to ensure they are not taking longer than necessary.
This press release was issued by the Communications Team, Criminal Cases Review Commission. Tel: 0121 232 0900, email: email@example.com.
Notes to Editors
- The CCRC is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for independently reviewing suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is based in Birmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.
- There are currently 11 Commissioners who bring to the CCRC considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.
- The CCRC usually receives around 1,400 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Since starting work in 1997, the CCRC has referred around 3% of applications to the appeal courts.
- The CCRC considers whether, as a result of new evidence or argument, there is a real possibility that the conviction would not be upheld were a reference to be made. New evidence or argument is argument or evidence which has not been raised during the trial or on appeal. Applicants should usually have appealed first. A case can be referred in the absence of new evidence or argument or an earlier appeal only if there are “exceptional circumstances”.
- If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.
- The CCRC can and will change its view if the statutory test for a referral is met after a Provisional Statement of Reasons (PSoR) has been issued.
- The London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) was an interest rate average calculated from figures submitted by leading banks in London. Each bank reported what it would be charged were it to borrow from other banks. It was a primary benchmark for short-term interest rates around the world.
- More details about the role and work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be found at www.ccrc.gov.uk. The CCRC can be found on Twitter @ccrcupdate and Instagram the_ccrc
- The CCRC does not publicise operational detail about investigations and is bound by legal limitations on what we can share publicly from our case reviews (see section 23 of Criminal Appeal Act 1995).
- The US Court judgment in January 2022 that overturned the convictions of two other former traders who had been convicted in similar circumstances to Mr Hayes was USA v Matthew Connolly and Gavin Campbell Black 19-3806 (L) (dated 27/01/2022).
- Mr Hayes was represented in his application to the CCRC by Karen Todner, Solicitor.