The Business and regulatory crime (including global investigations) rankings includes instructions relating to bribery, sanctions, interest-rate rigging, criminal cartel offences, trade union redundancy offences, and similar. It does not cover fraud cases such as land-banking scams and VAT fraud (please see the Fraud: crime section for coverage of this specialism). International crime and extradition and POCA and asset forfeiture are also covered separately. That said, many barristers are likely to have practices that do not neatly fit within these boxes and so may be ranked in more than one practice area.
Business and regulatory crime (including global investigations) in London Bar
In the words of one client, 2 Bedford Row is a 'first choice for white-collar crime'. The set houses a team with an established track record acting in prominent cases involving multi-jurisdictional bribery and corruption, and are also instructed in Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigations. In the junior ranks, Thomas Daniel is acting for the SFO in the long-running investigation concerning Serco’s electronic monitoring contract with the Ministry of Justice; in December 2019, two former directors of Serco were charged with fraud by false representation and false accounting.
Business crime forms a core area of Cloth Fair Chambers' expertise; the set houses a team adept at handling cases involving bribery, corruption, and SFO investigations. Members of the set continue to act in the longrunning Barclays trial concerning its 2008 fundraising from Qatari investors. In February 2020, John Kelsey-Fry QC and new silk Jonathan Barnard QC represented Roger Jenkins, the former Head of Investment Banking in the Middle East, while Ian Winter QC acted for Tom Kalaris, the former Head of Wealth and Investment Management, in the SFO investigation concerning alleged bribery and corruption offences; both defendants were acquitted of all charges.
Viewed as 'a stellar set' with 'a depth of talent' by instructing solicitors, Matrix Chambers' members have been kept busy handling corruption and bribery cases, and are also active in SFO investigations. The set is noted for its particular strength in representing high-net-worth individuals in business crime matters. Recent highlights include the 'very responsive and strategic' Alex Bailin QC acting in the high-profile Credit Suisse "tuna bonds" bribery case worth $2bn. In 2020, Jamas Hodivala QC was elevated to silk.
'Stellar set' Three Raymond Buildings houses 'top-class counsel at all levels', well known for their extensive expertise in sanctions matters, insider trading, SFO investigations and high-profile bribery and corruption cases, to name a few areas. Hugo Keith QC represented Airbus in its investigation by the SFO concerning allegations of bribery and corruption; in January 2020 Airbus entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the SFO and agreed to pay a fine of €1bn.
2 Hare Court is 'a quality set' with 'very good strength in depth' and 'a lot of talented people at all levels'. Financial crime cases form the backbone of the team's workload. Recent highlights include Jonathan Kinnear QC successfully representing the SFO in the prosecution of David Lufkin, a former senior executive of Petrofrac, as part of its ongoing investigation into Petrofrac; Lufkin was convicted of paying bribes in order to win contracts worth over $730m in Saudi Arabia and $3.5bn in Iraq.
6KBW College Hill's members are adept at prosecuting and defending cases involving SFO investigations, corruption, and international bribery cases. Duncan Penny QC and Simon Ray are acting for Paul Careless, the former executive of Surge Financial, in an SFO investigation following the insolvency of London Capital & Finance in February 2019; Surge Financial marketed bonds for the company, which owed £237m to over 11,000 investors at the time of its collapse.
The 'excellent' QEB Hollis Whiteman has 'great strength in depth', with a team of 'bright and dedicated lawyers'. Recent highlights for the set include the 'tenacious' Adrian Darbishire QC successfully defending Rapid Engineering against allegations of bribery and failure to prevent bribery under section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010; this marked the first acquittal of a corporate defendant for a section 7 offence. Elsewhere, the 'very smooth' Sean Larkin QC and new silk Paul Raudnitz QC acted for the SFO in R v Sorby, Leek and Justice, concerning the prosecution of three directors following allegations of historic bribery via agents abroad in order to secure contracts.
Red Lion Chambers' members defend and prosecute across a spectrum of business crime matters, with recent instructions involving SFO investigations, bribery, and corruption cases. Michael Goodwin QC appeared in SFO v Serco Geografix Ltd, regarding the SFO's investigation into the company concerning alleged corporate fraud; in July 2019 Serco Geografix entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and received a £22m fine. In March 2020 Allison Clare QC took silk strengthening chambers at the senior end.
25 Bedford Row has established strength in financial crime cases, and in this space, Nicola Howard QC continues to act in a case concerning the alleged defrauding of $180m from a Russian banking group via fraudulent trades in emerging markets warrants, which spans over 20 jurisdictions. In another example, Nathaniel Rudolf is instructed as leading junior counsel in R v Pagliara, a case concerning allegations of bribery regarding the taking of 'bungs' in professional football.
Viewed as 'a go-to set for cases with a strong proceeds of crime element', 33 Chancery Lane is also 'extremely strong on business crime'; members act for companies and individuals in SFO investigations and corruption cases. The 'superb' Amanda Pinto QC, recently appointed Chair of the Bar, is 'an impressive, strategic, and focused leader' who 'oozes charm and gravitas'; 'nothing escapes her notice or her consideration'.
At Fountain Court Chambers, Richard Lissack QC is representing the CFO of software company Autonomy in the ongoing case concerning allegations of corporate fraud brought against the company by the SFO and the FRC in the UK, as well as the Department of Justice in the USA, relating to the $8bn sale of Autonomy to Hewlett-Packard. Strengthening the team on the senior end, 2020 saw Robin Barclay QC (described as 'very proactive and hardworking') and Tamara Oppenheimer QC (who 'expresses opinions succinctly and with clarity') be elevated silk.