A London silk has appeared in court charged with a £600,000 VAT fraud.

Rohan Anthony Pershad QC, who practised from Thirty Nine Essex Street, was summoned to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Pershad faces an allegation that between 1 June 1999 and 24 September 2011 he cheated the public revenue of approximately £600,000. Crown Prosecution Service central fraud division prosecutor Keri Ashworth-Beaumont said: ‘The evidence suggests that he charged and received VAT payments on services he provided whilst practising as a barrister but which he knowingly failed to declare or pay to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.’

Pershad is represented by Kingsley Napley partner Angus McBride.

Last week Pershad issued a statement denying ‘any dishonest activity’ in relation to his tax affairs and said he would defend himself ‘vigorously’. Thirty Nine Essex Street said that Pershad had withdrawn his membership of chambers by ‘mutual agreement’ until the resolution of the criminal proceedings.

A statement from the set said: ‘It is not for Thirty Nine Essex Street chambers to comment on the criminal proceedings which are entirely a matter between Mr Pershad and HMRC and will be for the trial process to determine.’

It said the set is ‘fully co-operating’ with HMRC as and when requested to do so. Pershad was called to the bar in 1991 and made a QC in 2011. His practice includes commercial, professional liability and personal injury work.

He will appear before Blackfriars Crown Court on 28 August.