Leading Individuals

Firms To Watch: Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals)

In early 2021, Reeds Solicitors significantly bolstered its white-collar crime offering with the appointment of Sundeep Soor, a former fraud and tax practice head at Cartwright King. Soor has significant experience in matters relating to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals) in London

BCL Solicitors LLP

BCL Solicitors LLP houses ‘some of the leading white-collar partners and very committed hardworking associates’ and provides ‘the highest-calibre representation across the board’. The group is adept at handling the full scope of financial crime matters, including issues handled under the auspices of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), among others. The group stands out for its multiple successes at the SFO, where it is equally adept at providing prosecution avoidance advice as well as representing key suspects in fraud investigations. Multi-jurisdictional work is yet another key strength of the practice; the recent work of Richard Sallybanks stands out across Europe, the US and the Middle East, and Shaul Brazil focuses on acting for high-net-worth individuals in cross-border criminal proceedings. Founding partner Ian Burton leads the department and has a wealth of experience spanning over four decades; Burton and Michael Drury are lauded as ‘giants in this field’ by clients and peers alike. Jane Glass is also highly skilled with 25 years of experience in anti-money laundering and financial crime work. Shula de Jersey is a stalwart of London’s fraud community and chairs the Fraud Lawyers Association. Harry Travers is noted for his tax evasion practice; John Binns has notable sanctions expertise; and Julian Hayes has credentials in extradition and mutual legal assistance. Clients also single out senior associate Hannah Raphael and associate Anoushka Warlow. In April 2021, Guy Bastable departed to head up Burges Salmon LLP’s corporate crime team.

Practice head(s):

Ian Burton

Other key lawyers:

Jane Glass; Michael Drury; Shula de Jersey; Harry Travers; Julian Hayes; John Binns; Richard Sallybanks; Shaul Brazil; Ian Burton; Anoushka Warlow; Alex Swan; Hannah Raphael

Testimonials

‘Very deep experience – the leading boutique specialising in individual criminal prosecutions. Massive experience in dealing with the SFO, the NCA, the CMA and the FCA. They have some of the leading white-collar partners and very committed hardworking associates, meaning the firm’s teams provide the highest-calibre representation across the board.’

‘Ian Burton and Michael Drury are giants in this field. Hugely committed and with great experience, they give their all to their clients, and the results show this.’

‘Harry Travers is a very intelligent, thoughtful and reliable adviser and litigator who is very tenacious on behalf of his clients to achieve great results.’

‘Anoushka Warlow was the day-to-day lawyer in charge of documentation and legal strategy. Highly impressive lawyer with amazingly broad experience. Extremely well organised and diligent. Quickly identifies the main pressure points for the other side. Simply a class act.’

‘There are three individuals I would identify as exceptional: Shula de Jersey, Julian Hayes and Alex Swan; they typify the quality of the firm. Shula is a leader, she puts the right team together for the case, ensures everyone is working in the right direction and gets the best of the team. The result is, under her leadership and control the right decisions are made. Julian is exceptionally bright and he will work tirelessly for his clients. Owing to his hard work, every aspect of the client’s case is presented in the best way it can be. Alex is hugely bright; his thoughtful calm analytical approach is a rare commodity; he is a star in the making.’

‘Richard Sallybanks is a very respectful and well experienced senior lawyer. Very good understanding of the case. A very reliable and precious assessment ability on all “grey” matters of a casefile.’

‘Shaul Brazil: Shaul is thorough, extremely responsive and solution-oriented and extremely committed to the client’s cause. He never gives up and always tries to find the best solution to any problem during a long play trial. He is experienced in handling multi-jurisdictional white-collar cases. He evaluates all aspects of the case in a very fair approach, which enables him to be very persuasive when he appears before the judicial and other competent authorities. He has the ability to perceive the constituent elements of criminal provisions of foreign legislature and to adapt to criminal procedures of foreign jurisdictions. Common sense is his powerful point of view and thus very convincing in his argumentation.’

‘These lawyers are as intelligent as they come and have a passion for high quality, insight, and adding value for their client. As to diversity, I worked with a lawyer who was fantastic and dedicated to client service beyond belief – Hannah Raphael.’

Corker Binning

Corker Binning is widely praised as ‘one of the best recognised firms in the UK for white-collar crime’. The firm has been a destination preferred by suspects and defendants for white-collar defence for over two decades, with name partners David Corker and Peter Binning being repeatedly singled out as ‘two of the leading lawyers in this field’ who stand out for their ‘great integrity’. The group has experience in dealing with all UK agencies and provides the full scope of services relating to investigations involving allegations of money laundering, fraud, bribery and corruption, criminal cartels and insider dealing, among other offences. The recent practice of Jessica Parker (who ‘masters detail but retains strategic oversight’) stands out in relation to dealings with the US authorities, which comes in addition to her strength in criminal tax fraud work. Mutual legal assistance and extradition work is another area in which the practice is very active; Edward Grange is a key name to note in this respect. Claire Cross is recommended for her wealth of experience gained in a previous senior position at the FCA. Practice head Andrew Smith ‘brings total focus and professionalism to each case he conducts’ – skills which he brings to bear in multiple high-profile investigations by the SFO. Senior associate Maia Cohen-Lask is a rising star in the team. Consultant Robert Brown retired in June 2020.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Smith

Other key lawyers:

David Corker; Peter Binning; Jessica Parker; Edward Grange; Claire Cross; Maia Cohen-Lask

Testimonials

‘Corker Binning remains one of the best recognised firms in the UK for white-collar crime. With a number of recognised individuals and involvement in many of the leading cases over the past decade, they are acknowledged as a true specialist in this area. A team of partners and associates with heavyweight credentials.’

‘Peter Binning and David Corker, the two founders of the firm, are two of the leading lawyers in this field. David is cerebral and unrivalled on procedural issues that may give rise to challenges that others don’t see. Peter is more of a strategist and instils great confidence in his client. They both have great integrity.’

‘Peter Binning is the consummate defence litigator: in command of the preparation, ultimately smooth in his dealings with clients and counsel, and with the total respect of the team; he guides cases of the greatest seriousness and sensitivity to successful outcomes.’

‘Andrew Smith brings total focus and professionalism to each case he conducts; he has a razor-sharp brain and an acutely tactical approach which, combined with his excellent judgment, engenders complete confidence from his clients.’

‘Jessica Parker is a first-rate communicator and a determined advocate for her client in every case; she is extremely well-prepared and works brilliantly in a team with counsel, with a perfect balance of encouragement and control.’

‘Maia Cohen-Lask is an intellectual powerhouse, utterly committed to her cases and brimming with energy, as a result of which she often has the best grip on the facts of any team member and plays a crucial role in litigation.’

‘All partners at Corker Binning are leading individuals in this area: Peter Binning, David Corker, Jessica Parker, Andrew Smith, Ed Grange and Claire Cross are known either as general white-collar specialists or for their work within sub-sectors (Ed Grange for extradition and Claire Cross for financial services work). They bring, individually and jointly, a very deep understanding of criminal law issues that typically underpin white-collar work. They have extensive experience of prosecutions and cases before the courts.’

‘Jessica Parker is a true leader in the field. Masters detail but retains strategic oversight. Superb team leader. Quite brilliant.’

Work highlights

  • Secured the acquittal of a former CEO of Barclays Bank after a successful submission of no case to answer.
  • Secured a SFO confirmation that it would not be bringing any charges against and individual in connection with its flagship London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) investigation.
  • Secured a win for a former Credit Suisse banker in relation to a defence costs order in UK extradition proceedings following a three-year investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority and the US Department of Justice.

Kingsley Napley LLP

Kingsley Napley LLP is known for its full-service offering and ‘great strength in depth and hugely committed individuals’. The department’s white-collar crime capabilities are also enhanced by its collaboration with the firm’s dispute resolution, regulatory, corporate and public law experts. The team is routinely sought by clients for investigations into serious fraud in the financial services sector, which is among the areas of expertise of practice head Louise Hodges and Jill Lorimer. Senior partner Stephen Parkinson is a former deputy head of the Attorney General’s Office and has notable experience representing high-level executives, including chairs of FTSE 100 companies, in high-profile SFO investigations. In addition, the team is increasingly retained by individuals for investigations into anti-competitive behaviour conducted by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the FCA; the highly regarded trio of Caroline Day, Nicola Finnerty and Jonathan Grimes all handle work in this space. Grimes and recently promoted partner Edmund Smyth also focus on asset forfeiture and money laundering issues arising under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Mutual legal assistance and extradition-related mandates involving multiple jurisdictions are also a forte for the group, which recently handled complex European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issues, among others; Rebecca Niblock is recommended for her extradition defence work; she now co-heads the firm's new international protection practice alongside recent recruit Aaron Watkins, who joined from Cloth Fair Chambers.

Practice head(s):

Louise Hodges

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Parkinson; Jill Lorimer; Caroline Day; Nicola Finnerty; Jonathan Grimes; Edmund Smyth; Rebecca Niblock; David Sleight; Alun Milford; Nicholas Dent; Sophie Wood; Aaron Watkins

Testimonials

‘A market-leading practice with great strength in depth and hugely committed individuals. A great firm for white-collar crime which is exceptional in its promotion and recruitment of female lawyers. The firm has such as visible female line-up.’

‘Kingsley Napley have a collection of partners that any firm would be envious of. As well as longstanding top-tier partners specialising in financial crime for defendants, their knowledge of prosecution know-how is second to none because of some of the recruitment decisions they have made. They also promote from their talented associates to ensure the continued growth of the firm. The range of departments means they are also able to put together teams which cross areas of work easily and with consistent quality across the board. From top to bottom, I have never encountered a practitioner who fell below the standard of excellent.’

‘Louise Hodges is a wise and experienced lawyer who is unflappable in a crisis. Jonathan Grimes is cerebral and hardworking. Rebecca Niblock is energetic and intelligent. All deserve praise for their professionalism, in-depth knowledge, comprehension of the associated issues and timely responses.’

‘Louise Hodges has a real ability to lead a team and to be able to cope with all of the ancillary issues that come up in a case.’

‘Louise Hodges, Jonathan Grime, Alun Milford and Nicola Finnerty. All are so much more than just white-collar specialists; they are true criminal litigators who know the system inside out, are well connected in the industry and government, understand how commercial interests intersect with criminal law, have great judgement and work well alongside those representing corporates.’ 

‘Nicola Finnerty is an exceptionally able lawyer with a great breadth of experience across crime and regulatory. Spiky and determined. A pleasure to work with.’

‘I have worked closely with Jonathan Grimes on numerous issues and have found his advice and guidance invaluable. Jonathan demonstrates a broad depth of knowledge and also has a wide and varied network which has helped support me on both a personal and corporate basis. I would highly recommend Jonathan.’

‘Jonathan Grimes and Rebecca Niblock are both excellent. Rebecca is one of the most respected extradition defence lawyers in London – totally committed to her clients and with an incredible knowledge of the law and great sense of strategy; also a deep interest in her field of law generally, which I think really shows. I know Jonathan’s work mainly in the field of international criminal law, where he is also a leading figure – hugely committed to his clients, and with a deeper interest in the development of this area of law generally.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for the CEO of Cambridge Analytica in a criminal investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s enquiry into “fake news”.
  • Acting for a company director in the reported case of R (on the application of Brook and others) v Preston Crown Court, a case resulting from a large-scale investigation into alleged bribery and corruption in the construction industry.

Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP

Standing out as a pioneer in the white-collar crime world, Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP utilises its ‘sheer strength in depth’ to handle the full scope of issues relating to complex fraud, bribery and corruption, insider dealing, money laundering and cartel issues, among others. The department routinely teams up with the firm’s civil group on contentious civil fraud and asset recovery issues. It frequently represents a varied mix of ultra-high-net-worth individuals and high-level executives in widely reported prosecutions and investigations conducted by the SFO, the FCA, the CMA and the NCA. The ‘very solidNeil Swift is known for his work on some of the most high-profile SFO investigations. Senior partner Michael O’Kane is a go-to adviser for complex cross-border matters of political significance; he is a former senior prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service and sits at the helm of the department. Further, mirroring a wider market demand for experience in overseas collaboration, the team is growing its involvement in multi-jurisdictional proceedings involving allegations of financial crime. Its firmly established strength in mutual legal assistance, extradition and sanctions work is proving advantageous in its cross-border work, with Jasvinder Nakwal and former Head of Extradition at the Crown Prosecution Service Nick Vamos being key contacts in this space. Senior associate Charlotte Tregunna is ‘bright and ferociously hardworking’.

Practice head(s):

Michael O’Kane

Other key lawyers:

Neil Swift; Jasvinder Nakhwal; Nick Vamos; Anna Bradshaw; Maria Cronin; Charlotte Tregunna; Peter Fitzgerald; Andrew Wallis; Rebecca Meads

Testimonials

‘Rightly in the top band for white-collar crime. I consider P&P to be the top firm for serious corporate and white-collar crime.’

‘The most impressive thing about Peters & Peters is the sheer strength in depth of the team. Every associate (and even paralegal) that I have worked with has been impressive. The senior lawyers have incredible knowledge, experience and insight. The partners are genuinely market-leading.  I would say that Peters & Peters are comfortably the most impressive firm I have seen in the last few years.’

‘P&P are in the top class. It’s the combination of size and experience. They have many good people in a smaller team.’

‘Michael O’Kane is at the top of his game. A powerhouse in this space.’

‘Neil Swift has excellent judgment and is very solid.’

‘Nick Vamos is a delight to work with.  Nick is the epitome of unflappable, bringing huge experience and clear tactical and strategic vision to his work. He is also exceptional at client management (including dealing with extremely demanding HNW and corporate clients).’

‘Senior associate Charlotte Tregunna should be the first name on any list of rising stars in the white-collar crime world.  She is bright and ferociously hardworking, but with real practical instincts. She is also exceptional at dealing with difficult clients.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a former senior executive of Barclays Investment Bank as a defendant in the SFO’s landmark prosecution based on payments made by Barclays to a Qatari sovereign wealth fund and the Prime Minister of Qatar.
  • Acting for a former director of Serco Geografix Ltd as one of two individuals charged in SFO proceedings involving allegations of fraud by false representation and false accounting.
  • Representing a high-profile entrepreneur based on the Isle of Man in a joint HMRC and NCA tax evasion investigation.

Bivonas Law LLP

Criminal law boutique Bivonas Law LLP has a ‘long-established reputation of high-quality offerings in financial crime for both individuals and companies’. The group stands out for its work on complex FCA, HMRC and SFO investigations, as well as for its longstanding trial experience spanning over 200 white-collar crime cases to date. Its recent work demonstrates its ability to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach and handle contentious matters alongside the firm’s specialists in civil fraud and regulatory litigation. The firm maintains an excellent Eastern Europe-focused practice through its strategic alliance with Russian law firm Pen & Paper; it bolstered its capacity to act for high-net-worth individuals from Russia and the CIS region in November 2020, when senior consultant and fluent Russian speaker Sergei Vladi joined from Monro Wright & Wasbrough LLP. The department is jointly led by the highly regarded trio Stephen Sharp, senior partner Antony Brown and managing partner Cindy Dorrington. George Kampanella and Roland Ellis are also recommended by clients.

Practice head(s):

Antony Brown; Cindy Dorrington; Stephen Sharp

Other key lawyers:

Sergei Vladi; George Kampanella; Roland Ellis

Testimonials

‘Bivonas is truly a boutique international law practice. It deals with very substantial criminal and civil fraud and other regulatory matters, often involving multiple jurisdictions. It has a wealth of experience with its partners collaborating in order to provide the client with the best possible service. The experience that each partner boasts, together with their individual and collective judgements, serve their clients extremely well.’

‘The success of the firm in winning and successfully settling many of its cases is no small part due to the cultural makeup of the team, taken together with their considerable experience in Eastern European jurisdictions.’

‘Cindy Dorrington is a superb lawyer with great judgment in deciding a strategic way forward through difficult problems.’

‘Anthony Brown is dedicated to his clients; he ensures they have permanent access to him so that they are completely confident that their case is being handled effectively and to their needs.’

‘Leading criminal boutique law firm. Long-established reputation of high-quality offering in financial crime for both individuals and companies. Really innovative firm, excellent partners. International reach.’

‘Steve Sharp is an outstanding lawyer who leaves no stone unturned. Great to work with, his cases are always prepared to the highest standard.’

‘I have worked with Roland Ellis and found him to be charming and polite. An exterior that belies a steely determination and considerably tenacious working capacity. He has a very able legal brain and can take any problem and analyse the potential client-focused solutions from all angles and is not afraid to try all of them!’

‘George Kampanella is fully committed to his client’s case. Brilliant at maintaining a constructive relationship with a lay client, notwithstanding the difficulties presented by the pandemic.’

Work highlights

  • Advising an African government in relation to the prosecution of several senior officials involved in wide-scale international corruption whilst in office.
  • Representing a defendant in an insider dealing case prosecuted by the FCA.
  • Representing an individual being investigated by the SFO and the FCA for fraud and mis-selling minibonds to the value of approximately £250m to retail investors.

Hickman & Rose

Hickman & Rose garners praise for its ‘proven track record of advising and defending individuals in the biggest fraud investigations’ and distinguishes itself through its boutique criminal litigation offering. The group’s unrivalled strength in high-profile SFO investigations and prosecutions manifested itself in its recent representations of defendants, suspects and witnesses in closely watched matters relating to G4S’s electronic tagging fraud scandal, Serco’s fraud and Petrofac’s bribery and corruption investigation. Andrew Katzen has recent experience of dealing with the Financial Reporting Council, as well as deep knowledge of extradition procedures. The ‘enormously experiencedRoss Dixon and the ‘hugely knowledgeableBen Rose share leadership of the practice. Reflective of the firm’s continued growth in this space, the practice also deepened its partner-level strength with a recent round of promotions in 2020; standout trio Emily Sheils, Christopher du Boulay and Claire Wallace are now partners.

Practice head(s):

Ross Dixon; Ben Rose

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Katzen; Emily Sheils; Christopher du Boulay; Claire Wallace

Testimonials

‘Absolutely top-level white-collar crime boutique. Excellent team, good size. Rare in that everyone at H&R is a genuine criminal lawyer, with substantial trial experience.’

‘They have some really great lawyers with a strong track record playing prominent roles in the biggest SFO cases. Definitely lawyers you would want standing by your side.’

‘Hickman & Rose are one of a small number of specialist fraud and white-collar defence firms with a proven track record of advising and defending individuals in the biggest fraud investigations. They have truckloads of genuine experience of representing individuals through the entire investigative and trial process and can point to a number of recent successes in high-profile SFO cases as testament to their skill and expertise.’

‘The firm is led by a group of expert and highly experienced partners who are all very hardworking a provide a very high-quality service. The firm is client-focused and provides not just excellent legal services but in a commercial and client friendly manner.’

‘Ross Dixon has really seen it all and therefore has a calm, reassuring presence for his clients, with great tactical acumen. He is enormously experienced and offers clear, practical and commercial advice. He is our go-to person for all white-collar crime work.’

‘Ben Rose is one of the founding partners and provides robust and pragmatic advice on serious criminal matters. Hugely knowledgeable and highly respected by his peers.’

‘Andrew Katzen is a joy to work with. He is vastly experienced in dealing with regulators, investigators and prosecutors across the board.  He is calm, sensible and thoroughly knowledgeable.’

‘Chris du Boulay is a new partner, incredibly hard working and bright. An invaluable asset to any team.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for the former managing director of G4S Care and Justice Services, who is being prosecuted by the SFO on allegations of fraud by false representation to the Ministry of Justice relating to electronic monitoring contracts.
  • Acting for a former finance director at Serco who is being prosecuted by the SFO on allegations of fraud by false representation to the Ministry of Justice.
  • Acting for the former global head of Julius Baer Group’s structured investment business who is being prosecuted for fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering.

Mishcon de Reya LLP

At Mishcon de Reya LLP, the ‘all-star’ team has truly varied expertise, including past experience at the UK Bar and the Crown Prosecution Service. The group has significant firepower when it comes to representing key defendants and suspects in SFO investigations and prosecutions. Despite the wider market downturn in SFO mandates, the department has gained additional ground in matters involving the NCA and the HMRC; this often involves handling unexplained wealth orders (UWOs) and account freezing orders. Of recent note, the team scored a success at the High Court, where it represented the respondents in the first successful challenge to UWOs since their introduction to the UK in 2018 by the Criminal Finances Act 2017; Johanna Walsh led a multi-disciplinary team consisting of white-collar crime and private client specialists. Former barrister Ben Brandon is a key contact for multi-jurisdictional commercial fraud work as well as mutual legal assistance and extradition matters. Managing associate Min Weaving is ‘a future star’.

Other key lawyers:

Johanna Walsh; Ben Brandon; Min Weaving; James Watson; Celia Marr; Christopher Gribbin; Tim Thompson; Mellissa Curzon-Berners

Testimonials

‘The team is an all-star line-up in terms of depth, talent and professionalism.’

‘Mishcon de Reya has been strengthened over the last few years with the hire of Ben Brandon. He is an ex-barrister with a formidable reputation in extradition and international work. Ben has been renowned at the Bar for several decades. His approach and commitment to clients’ causes will result in him rising quickly through the ranks. Christopher Gribbin also has good judgement in terms of case preparation.’

‘An incredibly slick and efficient outfit – innovative, modern and forward-thinking. Formidable opponents, who somehow manage, despite their impressive reputation, to remain approachable and personable for their clients.’ 

‘Joanna Walsh is not only on top of things, but also a genuinely nice and intelligent person. I was also impressed with a number of associates, including Min Weaving, James Watson (in particular in extradition matters), and Mellissa Curzon-Berners.’

‘Ben Brandon has experience form the Bar and as a solicitor; this is a very valuable combination which results in him applying his considerable intellect to identify what will actually work in practice.’

‘Min Weaving is a very good lawyer and a future star.’

Johanna Walsh is superb on money laundering issues. Tim Thompson was formerly with the CPS and has vast experience in white-collar crime.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for the respondents in the first successful challenge to unexplained wealth orders, obtaining a landmark judgement at the High Court on behalf of the ultimate beneficial owners to the properties subject to the UWOs.
  • Acted for an individual in a significant and high-profile investigation by the SFO into British American Tobacco plc, its subsidiaries and associated persons; the investigation centred on alleged corruption in Africa.

PCB Byrne

Litigation boutique PCB Byrne is the result of a merger between Byrne & Partners LLP and PCB Litigation LLP in April 2021. Senior partner Michael Potts and managing partner Sara Teasdale jointly lead the department, which is praised by clients for having ‘a clear vision of the best strategy to adopt in cases’. The team is regularly retained by individuals for bribery and corruption, serious fraud, money laundering and other investigations by the SFO, FCA, HMRC, CMA and other agencies. The practice is well versed in navigating multi-jurisdictional proceedings conducted by prosecution and regulatory authorities across Europe, Africa and the US; Matthew Frankland has over two decades of experience in the field. Emma Brooks is noted for her niche expertise in City-focused fraud matters.

Practice head(s):

Sara Teasdale; Michael Potts

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Frankland; Emma Brooks

Testimonials

‘We have worked with the firm on white-collar crime cases. It has very strong expertise in this field. They are involved in the major cases, which allows them to have a clear vision of the best strategy to adopt in cases.’

‘A great all-round team, with quality in depth.’

‘I have been very highly impressed with the team.  They are extremely skilled solicitors with a deep knowledge of the particularities of SFO investigations and prosecutions. They skilfully guide clients through complex investigations, even when they include some remarkably sticky complications. They are always professional and, more than that, a real pleasure to work with.’

‘Matthew Frankland is the City’s best fraud defence lawyer bar none. He has second sight when it comes to strategy. Frankly, he gets the best results I have ever seen for his clients. He puts himself on the line for each and every one.’

‘Sara Teasdale is excellent; poised, clever, funny, charming. Strategic and clever.’

‘Mike Potts is an astute and dedicated lawyer. His extensive knowledge and experience in this type of case allowed us to benefit from his excellent analytical skills and defence strategies. He has excellent knowledge of the judicial system and the functioning of an SFO investigation, which has been crucial in our case. His good understanding of international legal systems was also of great help, in particular with regard to the investigations conducted by the US Department of Justice.’

‘Sara Teasdale and Matthew Frankland are the standout partners for white collar crime. Both have stellar practices.’

‘Emma Brooks’ legal acuity stands out from that of her competitors. Coupled with a natural charm and ease of working style, she instils complete confidence.’

Key clients

Senior KBR Executive in Unaoil investigation

Packpost International

Soma Oil & Gas

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented a senior executive of KBR in relation to the high-profile SFO investigation into Monaco-based Unaoil in respect of allegations of bribery and corruption.
  • Representing a corporate and individual defendant in the Royal Mail’s largest-ever private prosecution due to take place at Southwark Crown Court.
  • Successfully defended the former chairman and director of Alstom International who was prosecuted alongside the company in the SFO’s corruption investigation.

WilmerHale

WilmerHale has carved out a strong reputation based on its work on high-profile SFO investigations involving allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption. The practice sets itself apart through its ability to defend both senior individuals as well as corporate clients, often in complex cross-border matters; department leader Stephen Pollard garners praise from the market for his work on both sides. Counsel Alison Geary is also a key figure in the department.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Pollard

Other key lawyers:

Alison Geary; David Rundle; Christopher David; Lloyd Firth

Testimonials

‘Stephen Pollard is in the top category of lawyers for work for both white-collar crime defence and investigations. Very adaptive and flexible. I have worked with him closely over the years. He remains very calm while also very savvy at the same time. Strategy-wise, he is outstanding.’

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP represents both companies and individuals in complex fraud investigations, which often raise significant multi-jurisdictional issues. The team is ‘exceptionally able to advise clients who are witnesses’; its recent work demonstrates an excellent ability to represent key witnesses in SFO investigations. The group also places a special emphasis on acting for clients in Section 2 interviews conducted by the SFO and extradition matters. The department can also rely upon the firm’s capabilities in Belfast, where a team specialises in carrying out document reviews. Practice head Eve Giles was a key arrival at the firm in 2018 and remains the firm’s primary specialist in this space; she is recommended for being ‘a very experienced, calm and considerate lawyer’.

Practice head(s):

Eve Giles

Testimonials

‘Exceptionally high levels of knowledge of the current state of anti-bribery and corruption regulation, legislation and enforcement in the UK and US, combined with a high level of understanding of the UK criminal justice system. Exceptionally able to advise clients who are witnesses or involved in investigations in both jurisdictions.’

‘A&O have a top-quality criminal law leader. Eve Giles is excellent.’

‘Eve Giles provided concise, relevant, timely and constructive advice. She did not allow any professional frustrations, or comparable frustrating experience from other cases, in dealing with investigating organisations to affect her advice; rather she built on this to provide a wider view of the situation.’

‘With the arrival of Eve Giles at the practice, A&O now has a depth of expertise in the representation of individuals to allow it to hold itself out in this area. Eve has been recognised as someone able to provide advice to individuals across a range of white-collar areas, including fraud, bribery and corruption, and competition. She has a deep expertise built up over many years of practice. She is extremely conscientious in ensuring that consideration is given to every aspect of her clients’ cases with the aim of ensuring that the very best outcome possible is achieved.’

‘Eve Giles is a very experienced, calm and considerate lawyer.’

Key clients

Individual in the SFO’s investigation into G4S

Bindmans LLP

Bindmans LLP represents professionals and high-net-worth individuals in prosecutions and investigations into allegations of domestic and international bribery and corruption, money laundering and insider dealing, among other offences. The team traditionally undertakes a large volume of legal aid work, but is also increasingly being instructed on privately funded matters involving highly sensitive or political issues; in addition, department head Katie Wheatley is growing her private prosecution practice. The group also leverages the firm’s human rights law capabilities to handle more complex fraud claims; Tayab Ali was a new hire from ITN Solicitors in April 2020, whose recent work stands out in this respect. Kate Goold is known for her extradition law work, and associate Jessica Skinns is noted for her ability to handle complex issues involving confiscation and conspiracy to defraud.

Practice head(s):

Katie Wheatley

Other key lawyers:

Tayab Ali; Kate Goold; Jessica Skinns; Catherine Jackson; Ella Jefferson; Patrick Ormerod

Testimonials

‘Bindmans offer a genuinely caring and dedicated service whilst fighting hard for their clients. They have an outstanding team of very professional lawyers and support staff.’

‘Bindmans have an infrastructure that has been developed to allow large and complex cases to be litigated efficiently and diligently. Their partners are very experienced and capable lawyers, who lead teams comprising highly talented junior solicitors and very capable paralegals, resulting in a team dynamic (incorporating counsel) that results in cases being dealt with extremely well on a consistent basis.’

‘Bindmans has some of the best white-collar partners in the industry. They are enormously committed to representing individuals and can call on their extensive experience to guide clients through highly complex cases brought by prosecutors, including the SFO and FCA.’

‘Katie Wheatley is one of the shrewdest partners I have worked with in terms of tactical awareness. She also builds very strong relationships with her clients – it is clear they trust her advice and her judgment. As well as being very shrewd, Katie is also very sharp when it comes to knowing the law. She is a first-class partner in this field.’

‘Katie Wheatley is a standout performer and consistently produces excellent results for clients facing difficult FCA probes. Very approachable and well-versed in the law.’

‘Kate Goold is great. Really experienced and incredibly hardworking.’

‘Jessica Skinns shows an excellent command of detail on complicated financial matters and good judgement. A star performer. She combines razor-sharp intelligence with immaculate case preparation. No stone is left unturned. She is truly outstanding in handling complex and serious fraud cases.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a former senior banker at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development who was charged with conspiring to make or receive corrupt payments.
  • Representing an employee in connection with an ongoing SFO investigation into suspected bribery, corruption and money laundering in connection with the procurement of energy engineering projects.
  • Represented an individual under investigation by the FCA for insider dealing.

Blackfords LLP

Blackfords LLP houses ‘an exceptionally talented and polished group of experts in the field of financial crime’. The firm maintains a formidable fraud prosecution practice; its caseload is noted for its complex multi-jurisdictional nature, often involving issues arising in the Middle East, Latin America or Africa. Clients specifically refer to the team’s excellence in matters involving the police, HMRC and the National Crime Agency (NCA). In addition, the group is regularly retained for prosecutions by the SFO. Department co-head Gary Bloxsome ‘fiercely represents his clients in a no-nonsense way’; he has specialist experience as a supervisor authorised in accordance with the Very High Cost (Crime) Cases Arrangements, which is also an area of focus for managing partner Trevor Francis. Practice co-lead Daniel Cundy ‘knows every button to press regarding disclosure by the HMRC and the CPS’ and is also experienced in issues pertaining to the Competition Act. Rachel Wilson is a qualified barrister.

Practice head(s):

Gary Bloxsome; Daniel Cundy

Other key lawyers:

Trevor Francis; Naureen Shariff; Rachel Wilson; Jennifer Richardson

Testimonials

‘The team are an exceptionally talented and polished group of experts in the field of financial crime. They are very well-resourced. Nothing is too much trouble. They are regarded in the community as a top rung firm.’

‘Blackfords is a go-to firm for all manner of individuals needing criminal assistance with investigations and prosecutions brought by the police, HMRC, NCA and HSE. Its team covers a range of different personalities, all of whom bring a different skill set to a case.’

‘Trevor Francis is a superb white-collar tactician. First-class and incredibly committed. Knows his cases inside out and with great judgement. A winner.’

‘An amazing fraud department, including for private work as well as legal aid. They are adept at representing people at all stages of a case. Notable successes come in getting people released from investigation, or not charged, so that no one hears about it. If a case is charged, they leave no stone unturned in representing their clients. They have an amazing client base built upon a reputation for quality.’

‘Daniel Cundy and Rachel Wilson are on top of all the evidence and issues, firing letters off to the prosecution on a weekly basis. The detail they uncover and then deploy against the Crown is astonishing. Whenever I advise that anything be done it is always done immediately, despite their heavy workload. They are clever and insightful. Danny Cundy is charming to work with and knows every button to press regarding disclosure by the HMRC and the CPS. Rachel Wilson is very diligent and a pleasure to work with. She knows the answer before you’ve thought of the question.’

‘Gary Bloxsome is a bulldog in a suit. Fiercely represents his clients in a no-nonsense way and is robust with prosecutors. If there is a chance of getting a case dropped, he will find it.’

‘Jennifer Richardson is a very hardworking and well-organised solicitor. She is able to juggle a large workload and provide an excellent client service.’

‘Naureen Sharif is fantastic lawyer, hardworking, pursuing all avenues for client.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for an individual in relation to an investigation into alleged large-scale fraud and money laundering at the Embassy of Kuwait.
  • Acting for an individual charged with three counts of fraud by abuse of position, who is alleged to have been the de facto chairman of a multinational group of companies which developed and sold investments in properties located abroad.
  • Acting for an individual in relation to a large-scale SFO prosecution involving allegations of fraud and fraudulent trading connected to a series of trade finance deals.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

At Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, Mark Beardsworth and Kevin Roberts jointly lead the white-collar defence and investigations department, which garners praise for its ‘exceptional knowledge’ and ‘creative thinking’. Both practice heads bring over 45 years of combined white-collar defence experience and are among the best-known names when it comes to investigations and prosecutions brought by the SFO, the FCA and the HMRC; this has turned the practice into a top destination for senior executives and high-net-worth individuals following its launch at the beginning of 2020. The team places a special emphasis on complex multi-jurisdictional investigations involving allegations of bribery and corruption, money laundering, as well as complex fraud; its cross-border strength is additionally bolstered by the firm’s reputation in the US. Mutual legal assistance and extradition issues, sanctions matters, and private prosecutions are also among the group’s fortes. The practice is also noted for its firepower at associate level; Shruti Chandhok and former barrister Charlotte Glaser are singled out as rising stars, while Duncan Grieve is also a key team member.

Practice head(s):

Mark Beardsworth; Kevin Roberts

Other key lawyers:

Shruti Chandhok; Charlotte Glaser; Duncan Grieve

Testimonials

‘Exceptional knowledge. Creative thinking. Great expertise in this area.’

‘Very smart and patient lawyers.’

‘Mark Beardsworth is one of the standout white-collar crime practitioners in the UK.’

‘Shruti Chandhok and Charlotte Glaser are excellent lawyers. Focused, smart and experienced.’

‘Kevin and Mark both joined less than two years ago. Mark is a highly pragmatic practitioner and is excellent in representing both companies as well as individuals. He brings a world of experience in relation to serious and complex fraud cases. Kevin Roberts has a strong background in terms of fraud litigation as well as strong pedigree in white-collar crime. He is great for both civil and criminal matters, which is always something to admire.’

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP’s ‘diligent, hardworking and thorough’ group is adept at assisting both individuals and companies. The team handles complex multi-jurisdictional investigations and prosecutions involving allegations of corruption, fraud, money laundering, insider trading and violations of international sanctions regimes. The practice has undergone recent changes: following the retirement of former practice head Neil Gerrard at the end of 2020, Roger Burlingame (who ‘has excellent rapport with clients and is a great strategist’) took over the leadership role. Burlingame is a former prosecutor at the US Department of Justice; clients value his prior work experience and ‘exceptional’ knowledge of the US prosecutorial process. The group’s US authorities-facing work also benefits significantly from the firm’s strength at key locations in New York, Washington DC and Philadelphia. Other standout team members include US-qualified litigator Matthew Mazur and Timothy Bowden.

Practice head(s):

Roger Burlingame

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Mazur; Matthew Banham; Caroline Black; Matthew Cowie; John Bedford; Evan Flowers ; Timothy Bowden; Judith Seddon

Testimonials

‘Exemplary operation in every sense. Diligent, hardworking and thorough. Very well-rounded team from the partners to the junior associates.’

‘Dechert has a large London-based white-collar practice, with US-qualified lawyers able to give advice in cases with a transatlantic angle. It is a very good addition to their offer here.’

‘My experience is with Roger Burlingame who is a London-based US lawyer. He has excellent rapport with clients and is a great strategist. The firm as a whole has an excellent reputation as a go-to firm for corporate crime with vast experience of that area in terms of DPAs etc.’

‘The partner assigned to my case was Roger Burlingame. Throughout the entire duration of an extremely stressful investigation, I found Roger to be a calm, reassuring and with a steady hand. His incredible knowledge, not only of US Law but also of the prosecutorial process was exceptional. He worked tirelessly with me in advance of interviews with the Department of Justice in the US. Despite hours of tough questioning by the DoJ, there were no surprises – he had ensured that I was fully prepared. In addition to that, Roger was completely flexible and accommodating with regard to meeting times/dates/locations and nothing was ever too much trouble. I could not recommend Roger highly enough to anyone looking for legal advice, support or representation.’

‘Judith Seddon is one of the top business crime solicitors in the UK and has a strong reputation. This is all entirely justified as Judith is a very strong technical lawyer with great experience and always gives tenacious support to her clients. Judith is extremely popular and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Judith Seddon is extremely knowledgeable in her field; she is great to work with and very collaborative.’

‘Judith Seddon – a superstar. Handles the biggest cases with aplomb. Hugely respected in the market.’

‘Judith Seddon is an inspiration to other lawyers working in the field of white-collar crime. She is an accomplished lawyer, measured, proactive, determined and strategic. She is equally at home with individual and corporate clients.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a UK-based futures trader in civil enforcement matters conducted by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission and in a criminal action by the US Department of Justice in relation to commodities manipulation, fraud and spoofing.
  • Represented a former London-based Deutsche Bank precious metals trader, charged criminally by the US Department of Justice and civilly by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission for alleged spoofing in the commodities futures markets.

Howard Kennedy LLP

Howard Kennedy LLP ‘commands huge respect in this space, especially following its significant outcomes in the recent Euribor trials for two separate individuals’; the team is known for its high-profile successful representation of two Deutsche Bank employees in criminal proceedings arising out of the SFO’s Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor) investigation. The practice remains active in SFO investigations and money laundering issues, but its recent extradition work is also novel, particularly in US-facing mandates; tax fraud work is another area of focus. For representation of high-net-worth individuals, the department also turns to the firm’s specialists in reputation management, private wealth, family law and commercial litigation. Ian Ryan is singled out for his ‘significant experience in major trials’; he heads up practice, where senior associate Jennifer Harper and associate Melanie Zwennes are also recommended. In addition, the group bolstered its offering at partner level with the hire of Kyle Phillips from Fieldfisher in June 2021; clients note ‘his analytical ability is first-rate and he works tirelessly for his clients’.

Practice head(s):

Ian Ryan

Other key lawyers:

Kyle Phillips; Jennifer Harper; Kevin Robinson; Melanie Zwennes

Testimonials

‘The team is led by Ian Ryan and commands huge respect in this space, especially following its significant outcomes in the recent EURIBOR trials for two separate individuals. Ian Ryan is a shrewd operator. He has significant experience in major trials. His judgement and strategic thinking are much in demand.’

‘Very active and hands-on team. Great communicators and good with counsel. The team has key strengths in business crime and combine a down-to-earth approach with conscientiousness and careful preparation of cases.’

‘Really great expertise across a number of members of the team – they have enough experience to be able to say they genuinely have seen it all before.’

‘The firm attracts an enviable array of corporate clients and high net worth individuals who are seeking a thorough and highly professional service throughout the investigation process. They boast an array of excellent financial crime lawyers who diligently prepare their clients’ cases and provide accurate and realistic advice throughout. They are presently one of the exceptional firms in this sector.’

‘Ian Ryan is approaching the role of statesman of the field – he has been one of the top partners working in this field for over 20 years. He has excellent tactical instincts and the level of experience that reassures clients he knows exactly what approach to take. Melanie Zwennes is unflappable and gaining great experience from being a member of such a strong team. Jen Harper is a very good associate.’

‘Kyle Phillips. His analytical ability is first-rate and he works tirelessly for his clients. Kyle has enormous talent and an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law. He is always two steps ahead of prosecutors and investigators. He has achieved excellent results in high-profile cases.’

Work highlights

  • Representing a Swiss asset manager in his extradition proceedings to the US (New York), where he faces prosecution by the DOJ in the Southern District of New York and Civil Proceedings being brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in respect of a £35m pump-and-dump securities/share fraud.
  • Representing a high-net-worth individual, a director of an international company, in respect of an alleged fraud of over £50m committed by individuals and business entities.
  • Advising a senior professional of a well-known financial services company in relation to a large-scale fraud investigation.

Jenner & Block LLP

The investigations, compliance and defence department at Jenner & Block LLP combines strong investigations expertise with multiple team members’ former trial experience at the Bar. The team stands out for its high-profile work at the SFO; Paul Feldberg is a key contact in this space due to his background as a former SFO prosecutor. Further, the group is well-equipped to represent senior management individuals in investigations conducted by agencies across Europe, Asia and the US; its strengths lie in handling allegations of bribery and corruption, money laundering, and trade and financial sanctions violations. Dual-qualified in both the Netherlands and the UK, Christine Braamskamp co-chairs the firm’s global practice and is a key contact for multi-jurisdictional enforcement mandates; she is also recommended for her engagements on behalf of clients providing witness testimony. The team has also been focusing on growth across all levels, as evidenced in Robert Dalling's partner promotion at the beginning of 2020, and associate Karam Jardaneh's arrival from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP later in the year.

Practice head(s):

Christine Braamskamp

Other key lawyers:

Paul Feldberg; Robert Dalling; Matthew Worby; Karam Jardaneh

Testimonials

‘Christine Braamskamp was engaged to represent me in giving evidence. She had been outstanding. During my career, I have worked with some of the brightest and most distinguished brains in the business – Christine would certainly rank amongst them. I have enjoyed working with her enormously, it’s been very much a team effort and a great luxury to be able to argue the toss with each other and try out different approaches without once feeling we weren’t on the same side. I feel I have been very fortunate that she was engaged on my behalf.’

‘The team is highly experienced; their former experience at the Bar and the SFO makes them a perfect choice for more challenging prosecutions.’

‘Paul Feldberg is very smart and articulates clearly.’

Macfarlanes LLP

Macfarlanes LLP continues to grow its varied client roster which spans high-net-worth individuals, senior executives and high-profile entrepreneurs; the group also teams up with the firm's private wealth and corporate specialists. The group is well versed in investigations conducted by the SFO, the HMRC, and authorities across Europe and overseas. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the practice has also been advising individuals in relation to ransomware attacks as well as investments in fraudulent schemes. Department head Neill Blundell is a Higher Court Advocate and ‘a first-rate expert who can explain things very clearly and can cut through to the essential points’. In addition to her strong background in civil litigation, Lorna Emson (who is ‘very approachable and tenacious in her conduct of her cases’) is also a go-to adviser for financial crime mandates and was promoted to partner in May 2021. Multiple other team members also have experience of civil fraud proceedings, as well as private prosecution and extradition issues. Senior solicitor Helen Harvey is recommended for ‘her ability to write clearly and concisely about complex matters’.

Practice head(s):

Neill Blundell

Other key lawyers:

Lorna Emson; Helen Harvey; Max Hobbs; Francis Bond

Testimonials

‘They are a team of high-quality experts who can grapple with cases of great complexity and difficulty. Yet, they wear their expertise lightly in that they maintain a high degree of humanity and empathy in steering their clients through the challenges of a potentially life-changing case which for most people happens only once in a lifetime.’ 

‘Neill Blundell has vast experience and knowledge of criminal and regulatory practice and is a natural when it comes to handling the clients and taking a strategic view of the case. He seems to run a happy ship.’

‘Lorna Emson has a background in civil litigation which is a great advantage for the type of criminal work the team encounters. She is very approachable and tenacious in her conduct of her cases.’

‘The white-collar crime team benefits from its links to the wider Macfarlanes civil practice, giving them access to criminal and regulatory crossover work for private clients. It’s a small team, but has substantial experience dealing with HNW individuals who are looking for a truly bespoke service.’

‘Neill Blundell is a first-rate expert who can explain things very clearly and can cut through to the essential points.’ 

‘Neill Blundell has a well-earned reputation for excellence in advising high-net-worth clients. Neil confidently takes charge of case strategy, and brings a deeply knowledgeable, agile and effective approach.’

‘Helen Harvey’s grasp of detail and ability to marshal huge quantities of material are breathtaking. As is her ability to write clearly and concisely about complex matters. She is definitely one to watch for the future.’

‘Francis Bond is an incredibly impressive solicitor in the white-collar space. He has a strong commercial sense, and considered, pragmatic approach.’

Work highlights

  • Advised the sister of a cameraman who tragically died filming the television show “Black Earth Rising”; represented the client at the high-profile coroner’s inquest into his death in October 2020, which involved an investigation into potential failures in the policies and procedures of prominent corporate entities.

Norton Rose Fulbright

The corporate and white-collar crime team at Norton Rose Fulbright sits within the wider dispute resolution department led by Michael Godden. Neil O’May (who is praised as ‘one of the big beasts in the market’) heads up the criminal law practice, which is able to handle all stages of investigations and prosecutions involving allegations of bribery and corruption, and money laundering. Instructions by senior executives in relation to all aspects of high-profile SFO investigations account for a sizeable proportion of the team’s work, but the team is also adept at advising individuals in relation to large-scale investigations conducted by the FCA, the HMRC, and authorities overseas; Pamela Reddy (who is ‘meticulous, organised and engaged at every point of the case’) is noted for her wide-ranging international experience. For multi-jurisdictional work, the practice draws on the firm’s capabilities worldwide; in one example, the team’s network worldwide allowed it to advise on the global implications of the high-profile acquittal of a Canadian businessman formerly charged by the SFO with corruption offences. In addition, complex mutual legal assistance issues and cutting-edge market abuse matters are other strengths of the practice.

Practice head(s):

Neil O’May; Michael Godden

Other key lawyers:

Pamela Reddy; Claudia Culley

Testimonials

‘There is a good balance in the team between Neil O’May who is an extremely experienced lawyer held in high repute who has seen it all, and Pamela Reddy, a highly personable, immensely competent communicator with a calm manner and a good handle on complex cases. Both exercise astute judgement.’

‘The level of client care is outstanding. Clients feel that they are listened to and the team put their all into obtaining the best result possible. An excellent, focused team.’

‘The small team advising me worked well together and provided me with all the advice I required. Communication was clear, concise and always provided on a very timely basis. I am very happy with everything provided by the NRF white collar crime team, and would not hesitate to work with them again.’

‘Pam Reddy is very talented and efficient, and is a gutsy character who fights for her clients.’

‘Neil O’May is becoming one of the big beasts in the market.’

‘Pamela Reddy is the lawyer I have had most dealings with. She is meticulous, organised and engaged at every point of the case. Clients feel that their interests are being well cared for; I get an excellent and very prompt response to all my queries.’

‘Neil O’May is a skilful and intelligent leader of a very tight team. The entire team were a delight to work with, but particular thanks to Pam Reddy for her proactive attitude, personable demeanour and quality of advice.’

Work highlights

  • Represented the former financial director of Tesco in the high-profile prosecution into accounting practices at Tesco.
  • Represented and secured the acquittal of a Canadian businessman on all charges brought by the SFO in a prosecution for alleged corruption in connection with contracts worth billions of dollars for the supply of alumina to a Bahraini company, Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C.
  • Representing a former senior executive of Petrofac in relation to the SFO’s criminal investigation.

Paul Hastings LLP

Recognised by clients and peers alike, Paul Hastings LLP has recently prioritised its white-collar crime offering and significantly enhanced its reputation in this space with multiple partner-level arrivals from White & Case LLP in February and April 2021. The new hires include current practice head Jonathan Pickworth, Joanna Dimmock and Rebecca Copcutt, all of whom are highly regarded professionals in the market. The team is particularly recommended for its ability to act in multi-jurisdictional investigations, an area in which it draws on the expertise of the firm’s global network. Another forte for the team is representing suspects and defendants in high-profile cases involving allegations of corruption, money laundering and tax evasion; this strength comes in addition to its focus on mutual legal assistance, extraditions and sanctions. Simon Airey departed to McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP in April 2021.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Pickworth

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Dimmock; Rebecca Copcutt; Fred Kelly

Testimonials

‘By recruiting a team, Paul Hastings has catapulted itself into the top in the UK. In any event, the firm had a global reach before but the team is now vastly experienced with a team that is driven to succeed.’

‘A team with trial experience, conversant with the arena. The team is particularly well placed to deal with multi-jurisdictional international investigations because of its international footprint of experienced practitioners. Now that they have expanded they will be a real force in the sector.’

‘Jonathan Pickworth has deep experience of all aspects of white-collar crime work; he is also calm in a crisis.’

‘Jo Dimmock is hardworking and sensible. A fiercely brilliant solicitor who gives 110% for her clients, she is incredibly persuasive.’

‘Jonathan Pickworth has authoritative and calm judgement, highly regarded as lead of multi-jurisdictional teams.’

‘The team is headed by Jonathan Pickworth who has an excellent international command of the market with resources that can be called upon when dealing with multi-jurisdictional investigations.’

‘Jo Dimmock is superlative. Quite simply the best. Clients love her and she is totally committed to their cause. Razor sharp, a complete mastery of the detail, relentless in her pursuit of her client’s case and charming to work with.’

‘Jo Dimmock and Rebecca Copcutt are both great acquisitions and add to the strength in depth of the team. Fred Kelly is an emerging star; careful attention to detail.’

‘Jonathan is very well known and regarded for this type of work. He leads a great team of other lawyers. Jo Dimmock is very committed and really pays attention to the detail of a case.’

Work highlights

  • Representing a client in the continuation of the global investigation into the alleged rigging of the global foreign exchange market.
  • Represented the lead defendant in the Unaoil trial and the SFO’s largest bribery trial to date.
  • Representing an individual in relation to the SFO’s prosecution of individuals employed by G4S.

Rahman Ravelli

Regulatory enforcement and white-collar crime boutique Rahman Ravelli is regularly sought out for SFO and FCA investigations into bribery and corruption, money laundering and cryptocurrency fraud, among other offences. Lauded as ‘a shrewd tactician’, founding partner Aziz Rahman heads up the practice. Another name to note is Joshua Ray, a US and UK-qualified lawyer who is ‘very knowledgeable and dynamic’; Ray joined from Dechert LLP in July 2020 – a move that bolstered the firm’s US-facing offering. Seeking to gain additional ground in Europe and collaborate more on cross-border mandates, the firm expanded its reach in the spring of 2021 with the hire of French-qualified litigator Salomé Lemasson. In addition to its presence in London, the firm also has offices in Halifax and Birmingham.

Practice head(s):

Aziz Rahman

Other key lawyers:

Joshua Ray; Niall Hearty; Josie Welland; Salomé Lemasson

Testimonials

‘Joshua Ray is very knowledgeable and dynamic. His experience practising in the US gives him an extra advantage. He discusses things in a clear, straightforward manner and is aware of the international dimension to cases.’

‘Aziz Rahman is the standout individual. He is so enthusiastic and committed to the cause of the client. He takes a very calm and logical approach to any legal problem in this field. He is a dynamic leader in the field and inspires the confidence and trust of clients and counsel.’ 

‘Very strong in civil litigation. We have worked with them over the last few years. Very good legal team.’

‘This is very hands on firm that provides the 5* star treatment to the client.’

‘Niall Hearty is one of the most diligent and able solicitors around. His client care is second to none, his integrity and understanding of the environment of white-collar crime is impressive. Having known him previously in his general criminal practice, the opportunity to work in a more focused environment has seen him come on exponentially over the last three years.’

‘Aziz Rahman is exceptionally good for business crime in the North of England and in London. Knowledgeable, good with clients, a shrewd tactician.’

‘Josie Welland is a brilliant fraud practitioner, fantastic with client care and astute in her case strategy.’

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray LLP utilises its ‘calm and personable approach’ to handle all stages of cross-border fraud investigations. The practice benefits significantly from its collaboration with colleagues in the US; in one particularly high-profile highlight, a transatlantic team is representing a Credit Suisse banker as a key figure in Mozambique’s $2bn debt scandal. Also on the cross-border side, the team is experienced in the extradition space, where its work includes representing individuals in relation to Interpol’s red notices for fugitives wanted for prosecution or sentencing reasons. The department is equally well versed in representing suspects and witnesses in investigations led by the UK authorities, particularly the FCA and the SFO. The dual-qualified Amanda Raad, who splits her time between New York and London, is a key name.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Raad

Other key lawyers:

Paige Berges; Sean Seelinger; Sarah Lambert-Porter; Matthew Burn; Zaneta Wykowska; Jessica Dunk; Michael Harris

Testimonials

‘In the times when I have worked with the wider team, they have always been excellent.’

‘Subject expertise; great teamwork; calm and personable approach.’

Work highlights

  • Representing a former Credit Suisse banker indicted in the Eastern District of New York in connection with an alleged $2bn fraud against the Mozambique government that destabilised the country’s economy.
  • Representing two Malaysian businessmen with respect to Indian criminal proceedings and consequential representation to Interpol.
  • Advising three employees of a global financial institution in relation to a compelled interview by the Financial Conduct Authority in connection with its investigation into concerns regarding the financial institution’s anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing, and financial crime compliance systems and controls.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons is highly skilled at representing suspects and witnesses in investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption, money laundering and sanctions violations, among others. The practice is often involved in cross-border matters; it has a particularly strong reputation with respect to managing parallel proceedings, an area in which it often collaborates with the wider dispute resolution group, as well as with the firm’s tax, financial services, employment and competition specialists. The team is highly regarded for its work at the SFO, having bolstered this key area of focus with the recruitment of Camilla de Silva in May 2020; de Silva has extensive policy experience gained in the course of her previous work as a co-head of fraud and corruption at the SFO. Stephen Gentle (who is ‘widely liked and admired across the profession’) shares leadership of the department with Nick Benwell, who ‘mixes gravitas with deep-subject matter expertise’. Of counsel Cherie Spinks and managing associate Emily Agnoli are also singled out by clients.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Gentle; Nick Benwell

Other key lawyers:

Emily Agnoli; Cherie Spinks; Camilla de Silva; Alexandra Webster

Testimonials

‘The financial crime team at Simmons is first-class and has some very strong associates as well as great leadership.’

‘Nice people. Good knowledge. Friendly manner. Most importantly for me, deep experience of the area I needed help with.’  

‘Nick Benwell is a board-level performer who mixes gravitas with deep-subject matter expertise.’

‘I opted to work with Emily Agnoli. She was thorough, well prepared but never fussy. She felt in control of my process without ever irritating the individuals that were interviewing me or ever making me feel confused or uncomfortable. Great combination of friendly personality that made me feel at ease in a strange environment.’

‘Stephen Gentle remains one of the leading white-collar and financial crime solicitors in London for very good reason. He is a terrific lawyer with great experience over many years, having acted on many high-profile investigations and prosecutions. He is widely liked and admired across the profession and now leads a great team which is in high demand.’

‘The team deliver a timely product and obtain fantastic results with relatively minimal fuss. They make complicated pieces of work seem relatively straightforward. They are able to provide to individuals advice rooted in their deep knowledge of the law enforcement and internal investigation process. They’re also really pleasant people to work with.’

‘Emily Agnoli is tremendously dedicated. Cherie Spinks is very strong on compliance advice and on advising individuals. Alexandra Webster has encyclopaedic knowledge with regard to parallel proceedings issues.’

‘With Stephen Gentle, you know you are instructing a star performer. His approach engenders confidence in very difficult situations.’

Work highlights

  • Defending a former chief operating officer of Afren plc against two counts of fraud and two counts of money laundering in a significant prosecution by the Serious Fraud Office.
  • Acting for the former chief financial officer of Autonomy plc, who was charged in the US with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and multiple counts of wire fraud.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s ‘client-friendly lawyers’ have extensive experience of handling all stages of financial services investigations relating to allegations of bribery and corruption, market abuse, insider dealing and tax offences. The group is known for its work at the SFO in particular. It also prides itself on its well-rounded offering and ability to advise clients on parallel issues arising at the junction of criminal, regulatory and civil law. Drawing on his prior experience as a prosecutor, consultant Tony Woodcock sits at the helm of the department. Justin McClelland is also a former prosecutor and recommended for being ‘diligent, deeply experienced and a thorough gentleman’.

Practice head(s):

Tony Woodcock

Other key lawyers:

Justin McClelland; Sean Jeffrey; Alan Ward

Testimonials

‘Client-friendly lawyers who give sensible legal and commercial advice. Wide experience and thoughtful analysis.’

‘The depth of experience in the team is fantastic but more than that the appreciation of the non-legal fall out of litigation meant that the focus on the business and its day-to-day requirements were never lost sight of (in fact, Sean Jeffrey was the first to point out that the day-to-day must continue!). Every area expert that was bought in was fully briefed in advance and shared the same vision for the case. The case management was seamless.’

‘Real legal experts. An excellent inter-generational mix of practitioners bring a broad swath of experience to the practice. One of the preeminent sanctions and financial crimes practices in the City.’ 

‘Tony Woodcock is a senior dean of the white-collar bar in the UK and has a “seen it, done it, got the t-shirt” attitude even when it comes to stickiest white-collar cases. Unflappable.’

‘Sean Jeffrey is a veteran of big financial, regulatory and disciplinary investigations.’

‘Tony Woodcock is the standout partner. Measured and experienced.’

‘Justin McClelland is a truly fantastic solicitor; he is the sort of lawyer that I would call upon if I ever needed serious help. Justin is diligent, deeply experienced and a thorough gentleman.’

‘Mr Sean Jeffrey’s manner and method were reflected in his team and how the entire case was managed (and it was extremely complex matter with a lot riding on the outcome). He took all necessary time to discuss, educate and debate the strategy and was prepared to follow the client’s strategy as well. Sean really understands both the business and the human impact side of things which meant he really understands exactly where the client’s sensitivities are and why. This enables the litigation strategy to consider the many different angles and the wider impacts that reaches beyond just winning in court.’

Work highlights

  • Represented Tesco’s whistleblower in relation to a high-profile SFO prosecution which commenced its 12-week trial in September 2017.

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter’s team is ‘approachable, intellectually formidable, extremely hardworking and client-friendly’. Clients also recommend the group for its expertise in regulatory investigations and prosecutions conducted by the SFO and the FCA; this is a space in which practice head Kathleen Harris is a particularly prominent practitioner. As 'an exceptional tactician who consistently secures outstanding results for her clients', Harris is also highly experienced in cross-border matters involving the US authorities; the team often collaborates with its US-based colleagues in this realm, particularly with respect to UK and EU law issues. Another key strength of the practice lies in advising clients on issues arising at the junction of civil and criminal law; Sean Curran is a key contact in this regard.

Practice head(s):

Kathleen Harris

Other key lawyers:

Sean Curran

Testimonials

‘A blue riband firm operating in the highest levels of the white-collar market. Equally at home in the corporate and private client market. The firm’s reputation is reflected in the fact that they are instructed in major SFO and FCA investigations. Also one of the select group of go-to firms used by corporates for large-scale internal investigations. Across-the-board criminal fraud expertise and a really joined up approach with other teams within the practice both in the UK and in their international offices.’

‘The team is approachable, intellectually formidable, extremely hardworking and client-friendly.’

‘A significant international firm with a sound standing in white-collar and corporate crime. They are a superb team. They have the SFO prosecution experience and the lateral thinking. They are a creative, yet safe pair of hands.’

‘Kathleen Harris is highly respected, approachable and technically gifted.’

‘Sean Curran continues to grow in stature in the white-collar market. A master tactician who always makes the right call. It is difficult to think of a partner with better client skills. Having come from a private client background in a relatively short time, he has built an enviable corporate practice that continues to grow.’

‘Kathleen Harris is an exceptional tactician who consistently secures outstanding results for her clients. She is extremely hardworking and has a planet-sized brain.’

‘I would single out Sean Curran as a phenomenally bright lawyer, who is commercially astute and a smooth operator. A great choice for cross-border international investigations where he excels. Absolutely top notch without hesitation.’

‘Kathleen Harris is a complete class act. She works incredibly hard, always with a clear-sighted and long-term strategic plan as well as intense attention to detail. She has the respect of those who work with her, and those on the other side (from whom she never takes any nonsense!).’

Work highlights

  • Advised an individual seeking an extradition request from France in an investigation concerning matters of alleged fraud and corruption.

Cohen & Gresser (UK) LLP

Cohen & Gresser LLP's white-collar group has only been in the London market since 2018 but is known for housing 'a very strong team of white-collar crime specialists'. It gained additional heft at the end of 2020, when Richard Kovalevsky QC joined from Stewarts Law LLP. Kovalevsky now heads up the firm’s criminal defence practice, while John Gibson, a former senior SFO prosecutor, leads the white-collar and investigations department. The team is well-versed in representing senior executives and high-net-worth individuals in investigations and cases involving claims of money laundering, bribery and corruption, market abuse and manipulation, among other offences. The practice regularly deals with the SFO, the FCA and other UK agencies, but also has a wide international reach due to its seamless collaboration with its counterparts in Paris, Washington DC and New York. Senior associate Tim Harris is also singled out by clients.

Practice head(s):

Richard Kovalevsky QC; John Gibson

Other key lawyers:

Tim Harris

Testimonials

‘This team is diverse in respect of disciplines – it has City lawyers, ex-SFO lawyers, solicitors from crime boutiques, and barristers.’

‘John Gibson has had terrific experience in the most high-profile and difficult cases from the other side of the fence, having previously had good experience in private practice. Since joining from the SFO, he has been developing an excellent practice.’

‘Richard Kovalevsky QC is a major addition for the firm. Clever and experienced.’

‘John Gibson is excellent. A first-rate lawyer, he is immensely practical and always looking for ways to drive the matter forward in a way that is beneficial to his clients.’

‘Cohen & Gresser have entered the UK market with a bang, recruiting a very strong team of white-collar crime specialists. In particular, Richard Kovalevsky QC and Tim Harris bring real strength, experience and leadership to a strong associate team. Richard Kovalevsky QC brings immense experience of serious fraud investigations, and has the strategic insight that comes from having spent years as an advocate doing such cases at the highest level married to his more recent leadership roles. Tim Harris is a very bright and hardworking senior associate who gets right to the heart of a case and provides practical and realistic advice, and enjoys the complete trust of individual and corporate clients.’

‘Cohen & Gresser is a relatively new addition to the London market, and I know the firm through the excellent John Gibson. I have worked with him on a case with clear and helpful input from his NY-based partners.’

‘John Gibson is client-friendly, charming and collegiate.’

Cooley (UK) LLP

Cooley (UK) LLP is known for representing senior-level company managers and employees as both suspects and witnesses at all stages of high-profile fraud investigations and prosecutions. The group’s recent workload reveals its strength in advising witnesses with respect to compelled interviews conducted by the SFO in accordance with Section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987. The team is also able to rely upon the firm’s presence in the US for cross-border issues in the financial and energy industries, as well as mandates in the firm’s traditional sectors of strength including the life sciences and technology industries. Department head Tom Epps is ‘a very experienced and resourceful lawyer with a particularly amiable and calm approach to complex issues’. Following her arrival from Brown Rudnick LLP in the spring of 2020, senior associate Marie Kavanagh has quickly gained clients' praise due to her ‘excellent’ client care skills.

Practice head(s):

Tom Epps 

Other key lawyers:

Marie Kavanagh; Ben Sharrock; Oliver McGlashan

Testimonials

‘Very amiable staff that is more focused on efficiency rather than office grandeur. The white-collar team led by Tom Epps is excellent in providing appropriate advice. Cooley has a stated aim of being the go-to firm for complex high-profile cases involving senior individuals at global organisations. They have a track record in representing clients in exposed industries like financial services, energy and others.’

‘Absolutely first-class, highly experienced, incredibly detailed and easy to work with.’

‘I liked the preparation, as well as the meticulous and in-depth as well as overall empathetic (it was a fairly stressful situation) but yet assertive approach.’

‘Tom Epps is a very experienced and resourceful lawyer with a particularly amiable and calm approach to complex issues. He is well-versed in the workings of the law. Tom is ably assisted by associate Ben Sharrock who is an excellent researcher and supporting aid to Tom.’

‘Tom is a standout star in this field. He considers every angle and ensures the very best results for his clients. His commitment is total.’

‘Tom Epps and Marie Kavanagh stand out. Superb guidance. Their responsiveness, meticulousness, ability to quickly zero-in on the facts and calmness under pressure all proved essential.’

‘Marie Kavanagh is an associate who is hardworking, clever, sensible, and has great judgement. Her client care skills are also excellent.’

Edmonds Marshall McMahon

Edmonds Marshall McMahon is a key name for private prosecution work, with a client noting that ‘from the time the client walks through the door, the service received is of a particularly high standard’. The group’s strength lies in the unique combination of the varied backgrounds of the practitioners under one roof; its team members range from solicitors and barristers to former prosecutors at the SFO, the Specialist Fraud Division and the Proceeds of Crime Division at the CPS, to specialists with special police experience overseas. Due to its reputation in this space, the team’s representation of high-net-worth individuals in multi-jurisdictional investigations and criminal prosecutions benefits from its referral network comprising law firms in jurisdictions such as Russia, Switzerland and Italy. The team is led by name partners Tamlyn Edmonds, Andrew Marshall and Kate McMahon. Sofie Hoffman departed to Harbottle & Lewis LLP at the beginning of 2020, and Charles Fleury retired in September 2020.

Practice head(s):

Tamlyn Edmonds; Andrew Marshall; Kate McMahon

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Edwards; Ashley Fairbrother; Jane Guthrie

Testimonials

‘Andrew Marshall leads a strong team. From the time the client walks through the door, the service received is of a particularly high standard. Technology is high on the list and there is a diverse body of personnel and solicitors involved in the practice.’

‘An imaginative team which works well together and provide imaginative solutions for its clients.’

‘Andrew Marshall is a strong, competent and efficient solicitor. He works extremely hard on all his cases, taking every point in what is often highly contentious litigation. His client care is second to none. Always available and always on top pf the case – ready to discuss the next steps. He allows the client freedom to decide how to continue with the litigation in hand, setting out all the options and possibilities.’

‘Andrew Marshall is an outstanding lawyer and has a shrewd tactical sense. He is an inspiring solicitor and his clients are well served by his professionalism and skill.’

Key clients

Macmillan Cancer Support

Work highlights

  • Advising an overseas politician on multi-jurisdictional investigations and anticipated criminal prosecutions arising out of an international fraud committed against the politician.
  • Advising a group of investors on investigating and recovering multi-million-pound sums invested in the technology sector as a result of series of fraudulent misrepresentations.
  • Advising the founder of an overseas billion-dollar asset management company on the investigation and criminal prosecution arising out of a fraudulent multi-million-pound investment.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP has developed a notable reputation in the UK and internationally, partially due to its collaboration with colleagues overseas. The London white collar crime and investigations group is now led by Jo Rickards, who joined from Mishcon de Reya LLP in late 2021. The practice also leverages strong working relationships with enforcement agencies. The team is highly experienced in assisting clients with issues relating to corruption, tax evasion, account freezing and money laundering, among others.

Practice head(s):

Jo Rickards

Testimonials

‘They treats individuals with the same professional, effective and efficient response that practices normally reserve for large scale corporate clients. Individuals, when clients, are not assigned a response based on potential billing value and this shines through.’

‘Jo Rickards is a real heavyweight in white-collar crime, you cannot go wrong by turning to her.’

‘Jo Rickards has a wonderful feel for the art of the possible and gives well-considered, insightful and strategic advice.’

‘Jo Rickards is excellent in this area of law. She has a great ability to pick up on nuances to help guide clients to a correct resolution. She also stands firm when she believes that other lawyers are wrong in their position. She is a great choice if someone needs an attorney in the UK.’

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented a client who was subject to an account freezing order which had been obtained by a regional UK police force under part 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
  • Successfully represented a high-profile client who was the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation into suspected fraud.
  • Represented a senior politician from a Middle Eastern country as a subject of corruption allegations; ensured no action was taken by the law enforcement agency.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is preferred by senior managers and high-net-worth individuals due to its ‘very good experience and knowledge of dealing with the SFO’ and its team, which is ‘packed full of bright lawyers, whose work ethic and can-do attitude is indefatigable’. The practice is highly experienced in SFO matters, including investigations and compelled interviews; its recent standout work also includes engagements with the HMRC and the NCA, as well as mutual legal assistance and extradition advice. Susannah Cogman leads the department, where Brian Spiro stands out for his criminal law experience. Recently promoted partner Kate Meakin is highly regarded as ‘a sleek and intelligent strategist’.

Practice head(s):

Susannah Cogman

Other key lawyers:

Brian Spiro; Kate Meakin; Daniel Hudson; Hannah Lau

Testimonials

‘I was very impressed with the service I received. Key strengths would include: extremely meticulous in information gathering, very challenging in checking information, very good experience and knowledge of dealing with the SFO, and overall, very comforting alongside the strength of challenge.’

‘The HSF team is the Rolls Royce of the white-collar crime. It is packed full of bright lawyers, whose work ethic and can-do attitude is indefatigable.’  

‘Brian Spiro and Daniel Hudson are both wonderful.’

‘Kate Meakin is a sleek and intelligent strategist.’

‘Associate Hannah Lau is very clever. She will go very far indeed.’

IBB Law

IBB Law has discernible strengths across an impressive range of fraud issues, including insider dealing, bribery and corruption, tax evasion and conspiracy to commit fraud matters, among others. The team benefits from regular streams of referral work, particularly in the area of SFO investigations; in addition, it is also well-versed in matters involving the FCA and the HMRC. Department head John Milner in Uxbridge is the key practitioner in the team and is highly praised as ‘a vastly experienced criminal litigator who has seen it all’.

Practice head(s):

John Milner

Testimonials

‘IBB has a dedicated white-collar crime department with expertise in high-profile serious fraud.’

‘Collegiate system where all levels combine and work hard together.’

‘John Milner is an outstanding experienced white-collar crime lawyer offering a bespoke service within IBB.’

‘John Milner is an extremely experienced and very highly regarded lawyer. He has been instructed in many of the principal high-profile fraud and bribery prosecutions. He brings to his clients not only his phenomenal experience of this work, but his many years’ experience of general crime that makes him a down-to-earth and pragmatic tactician when advising his clients.’

‘John Milner – a standout performer who had London standards and clients at a provincial firm. He is extremely well known in the market and highly effective. A top-drawer performer, even when compared with the best firms in the country. He is of that ilk.’

‘As ever John’s calm approach to his client and his vast experience acting for individuals under investigation for serious criminal offences, and at trial after charge, makes him a sought-after solicitor in many cases. And always a pleasure to work with as well.’

‘The team is headed up by John Milner, a vastly experienced criminal litigator who has seen it all. He has an amazing way with clients, trusted and pragmatic. He’s always prepared to go that extra mile.’ 

‘John Milner is the standout star in this firm and would be in any firm. He is one of the most experienced solicitors in this field and uses that experience with great skill and intelligence. The results he achieves are outstanding. A truly exceptional talent.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a former UBS compliance manager convicted by a majority verdict after two lengthy trials before the Southwark Crown Court.
  • Advising a former Unaoil manager in Iraq prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office in relation to the corruption of high-ranking public officials.

Kobre & Kim LLP

Setting itself apart through its ‘no-conflict and commercial approach’, Kobre & Kim LLP focuses on representing high-net-worth individuals in relation to allegations of fraud and money laundering; it has a particular specialism in government asset forfeiture and confiscation work. The group is well-placed to handle multi-jurisdictional enforcement work and related cross-border litigation, thanks in part to the firm’s global footprint. In particular, the practice often collaborates with colleagues in the US; clients single it out as ‘the go-to firm in cases where there is a US criminal angle’. Department head Robin Rathmell is qualified in both the UK and the US; he also splits his time between the firm’s offices in Washington DC and London.

Practice head(s):

Robin Rathmell

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Surmacz

Testimonials

‘Kobre & Kim has developed a very particular niche in complex investigations and disputes. Their no-conflict and commercial approach sets them apart from typical Magic or Silver Circle firms. They tend to provide solutions that are different and often more practical.’

‘Kobre & Kim is the go-to firm in cases where there is a US criminal angle.’

‘The team is very responsive and is happy to act against large banks and institutions. Unlike many in the sector, they aren’t just looking for the best settlement – if the client wants to fight, then they are willing and capable to do that. Equally, if settlement is the best course of action, then they are well-placed to get the best settlement. The team is very commercial and objective-focused; the goal is always to get the best outcome for the client. They recognise that as central and crucial as these types of issues are, clients always have other concerns and broader interests that need to be protected.’

‘Excellent firm, with a first-class grasp of commercial fraud litigation. Able to offer hands-on support and excellent response times. Very friendly and easy to work with. available at all times.’

‘Rob Rathmell is very commercially focused and provides excellent client service. Understands clients’ needs.’

‘Nicholas Surmacz: I have known Nick for over a decade and have always been impressed by his hard work, his focus on the law, and his sharp intelligence.’

‘Rob Rathmell is an excellent lawyer. He is among the very best practitioners in the world.’

Work highlights

  • Successfully negotiated one of the largest settlements of civil asset forfeiture claims ever, relating to nearly $1bn worth of assets, with the US Department of Justice.
  • Advised Princess Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein on an effective strategy to dismantle the aggressive campaign of harassment, defamation and misuse of private information against her.
  • Assisted multiple Unaoil executives in securing a court order in an offshore jurisdiction permitting the replacement of the trustee at the trust settlor’s request and the distribution of funds to pay for legal expenses.

Sidley Austin LLP

The ‘dedicated, informed and tenacious’ team at Sidley Austin LLP forms part of the firm’s global white-collar and government enforcement group operating across 20 offices worldwide; this geographic strength presents an advantage for high-profile mandates with a US angle in particular. The group's recent experience stands out in the money laundering realm, though it is also well-equipped to advise on market abuse, insider dealing, and bribery and corruption issues. In addition to her barrister credentials, department co-head Sara George has notable past prosecutorial experience at the FCA’s predecessor, the Financial Services Authority. George is recommended for her ‘real criminal law skills’ and is a key contact for matters requiring advocacy experience before UK courts and agencies, including the SFO and the FCA.

Practice head(s):

Sara George

Testimonials

‘Empathy and kindness in difficult situations.’

‘Great people with dedication to their clients.’

‘Sara George makes this team – real criminal law skills (know-how included) but applied to complex white-collar work. She is the epitome of calm and has a steely nerve. Able to tame any client and pick apart legal problems. A real class act and an absolute pleasure to work with. She is the human face of a very large corporate organisation/team. Always looking out for others in the profession, particularly women and those from diverse backgrounds. Shares her enormous knowledge and contacts willingly.’

‘Dedicated, informed and tenacious.’

Work highlights

  • Representing the former head of International Banking of Danske Bank in connection with the largest-ever cross-border money laundering case by value.
  • Successfully represented the former UBS and Citigroup trader convicted of interest-rate rigging, who will be set free after serving almost half of his 11-year sentence for manipulating Libor.

Bark&co

Bark&co’s ‘smart, dedicated and professional lawyers’ maintain a busy criminal defence practice and are often involved in complex cross-border cases involving allegations of bribery and corruption, pension fraud, insider dealing and money laundering, among other offences. The group’s recent work also stands out in the tax fraud space, with department head and founding principal Giles Bark-Jones being particularly experienced in prosecutions by the HMRC. Asset confiscation engagements also account for a significant portion of the group’s workload. The team was recently strengthened by the addition of hugely experienced senior consultant David Byrne, one of the founding partners of Byrne and Partners.

Practice head(s):

Giles Bark-Jones

Other key lawyers:

Pat Wilson; Paul Lennon; Peter Finbow; Rajvinder Dayal; Maria Stalbow; David Byrne

Testimonials

‘Niche practice with smart, dedicated and professional lawyers. If you require tenacity, then this is the outfit of choice.’

‘Top-notch defence lawyers, hard-fighting but realistic. Don’t leave a stone unturned. Efficient and flexible throughout the pandemic.’

‘With great skill and insight, Giles Bark-Jones is able to understand quickly the critical aspects of an engagement, and from this devise and implement a winning strategy.’

‘The size of this firm and their resources mean that they are perfectly placed to deal with complex fraud cases. They have been involved in a number of high-profile frauds over the last 10 years and clients know they will get a firm who are experienced with these types of cases. Giles Bark-Jones is a real figure head in this area and leads his team admirably.’

‘Maria Stalbow: very good case preparation and client skills. We worked together on an environmental case and her ability to deal with a demanding and difficult client and the Environment Agency was very impressive.’

‘Pat Wilson – excellent client care and tactically very astute.’

‘Paul Lennon has always impressed me with his professionalism and ability to grasp the issues in the most serious of cases.’

‘I would wish to single out Giles Bark-Jones who remains the backbone of the firm and very much in control of the whole show. He is an excellent lawyer and very much the powerhouse that drives the firm forward and ensures that it provides the excellent quality of service that it does. Pat Wilson also has great experience in both fields and has a marvellous manner with clients and goes the extra mile for them, putting in a huge amount of effort.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Prime Minister of Northern Cyprus in relation to a discontinued SFO investigation.
  • Acted for an individual in investigations by the National Crime Agency and SKAT (the Danish tax authority) into fraud and money-laundering offences amounting to over £1.5bn, committed against the tax authorities in a number of countries, including the UK, Denmark, the US and Belgium.
  • Represented an individual in relation to his prosecution for various counts of tax fraud arising out of his takeover of BHS from Sir Philip Green.

DLA Piper

As ‘a very easy firm to deal with’, DLA Piper has a strong track record in contentious regulatory matters and investigations into alleged bribery and corruption, money laundering and market manipulation, among others. The group is also able to draw on the experience of its civil fraud colleagues. The team is equally comfortable acting for potential suspects and witnesses; it has a particular strength in SFO matters, as reflected in the expertise of Patrick Rappo, a former head of the bribery and corruption divisions at the SFO. Tony Katz and Sam Millar share leadership of the department.

Practice head(s):

Tony Katz; Sam Millar

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Rappo; Will White

Testimonials

‘DLA is a very easy firm to deal with. There are no displays of arrogance or pretension, and you feel that the lawyers are truly focused on the matter in hand, rather than drawing things out. This is refreshing. DLA is a truly global firm. The London office is welcoming, well-located and comfortable and there is a general sense of level-headedness and having both feet on the ground.’

‘I have been working with Sam Millar and Will White at DLA. Both have impressed me. They are extremely knowledgeable and patient and very keen to put their client’s interest first. They do not speak just to be heard and only intervene or communicate when appropriate. Sam is well-connected within the industry.’

Fox Williams LLP

Fox Williams LLP uses its ‘in-depth knowledge of white-collar and contentious financial regulatory work’ to advise clients on investigations and prosecutions brought by the SFO and the FCA; the team has additional experience in dealing with the US authorities. Bribery and corruption, as well as complex money laundering claims, form the bedrock of the team’s practice. James Carlton ‘commands respect throughout the market, in particular from prosecutors’, and leads the department alongside ‘top performer’ and financial services practice head Peter Wright.

Practice head(s):

James Carlton; Peter Wright

Other key lawyers:

Sona Ganatra; Chris Tanoh

Testimonials

‘A very strong team with in-depth knowledge of white-collar and contentious financial regulatory work.’

‘Fox Williams is very strong on teamwork. There is no gap in their high-quality service.’

‘James Carlton is an outstanding star. He commands respect throughout the market, in particular from prosecutors, which puts any client in a highly advantageous position. He is extremely hardworking and fiercely intelligent, always going the extra mile and then some for his client, for whom he cares passionately.’

‘Peter Wright remains a top performer and one of the big names in the sector.’

‘The team is led by James Carlton. He is very knowledgeable and straightforward. He wants what is best for the client.’

Hodge Jones & Allen

Hodge Jones & Allen is recommended for ‘combining a comprehensive legal aid service with the capabilities to meet the expectations of private client work’. The team places an emphasis on investigations conducted by the SFO, the FCA, the NCA and the HMRC, often into allegations of bribery and corruption, conspiracy to defraud and money laundering, among others. Financial crime and regulatory department head Ruth Harris has ‘an immense capacity for recalling detail’. Raj Chada is also recommended by clients. Leo Martin departed to Freemans Solicitors in March 2021.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Harris

Other key lawyers:

Raj Chada

Testimonials

‘HJA are a great all-round criminal firm, combining a comprehensive legal aid service with the capabilities to meet the expectations of private client work. Their strength is in their constant ability to recruit very talented trainees who blossom quickly into highly effective litigators, and those partners who have been at the firm for a long period possess a depth of legal knowledge and experience of dealing with serious cases that enables them to offer the highest level of service to clients.’

‘Hodge Jones & Allen simply makes life easier. The way in which the cases are approached from the outset mean that each client is treated as though they are the only client, regardless of the funding provisions. The preparation that goes into each case is above and beyond the call of duty. The work product they produce is always of an impressive quality as is their ability to manage relationships both with clients and all other parties involved in the case.’

‘Ruth Harris is an excellent person to work with an immense capacity for recalling detail.’

‘Ruth Harris is a safe a pair of hands as you could find when it comes to dealing with large cases, and works very long hours to ensure that a case continues to progress at the rate it needs to.’

‘Raj Chada is a charismatic and imaginative solicitor who can make a real difference in difficult cases through his ability to think creatively about issues that arise.’

‘Ruth is a pleasure to work with. Her hard-working nature and forensic mind make her ideally suited to undertaking this kind of work. She has an ability to deal with heavy workloads with a such ease that despite the pressures of the tasks at hand, it does not feel pressurised.’

‘Raj Chada is a brilliant legal strategist, advocate and leader. He is extremely passionate about defending his clients. He is an out-of-the-box thinker and is tactically astute. He is hugely respected across the profession.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a client on appeal against a conviction before the Court of Appeal.
  • Advising a client charged and facing trial on an indictment containing ten counts, including conspiracy to be concerned in money laundering, conspiracy to commit fraud, acquiring criminal property and attempting to convert criminal property.
  • Advising a client in a SFO prosecution concerning alleged market abuse of Euribor.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

According to clients, Hogan Lovells International LLP's 'superbly resourced outfit' stands out for its combination of civil, criminal and regulatory expertise. The team’s recent work demonstrates its strength in handling bribery and corruption allegations for senior executives and employees; it often deals with the SFO, the FCA and the NCA, as well as foreign authorities. Formerly a chief criminal counsel at the FCA, Claire Lipworth is a vital resource to clients in the investigations space, particularly garnering praise for being ‘enormously experienced, with a really rounded ability to advise, having been both a prosecutor and defence lawyer’. Practice head Crispin Rapinet and Philip Parish are also key figures in the team.

Practice head(s):

Crispin Rapinet

Other key lawyers:

Claire Lipworth; Philip Parish

Testimonials

‘A huge team with global reach and clout. All those corporate resources are now available to individuals facing investigation from a superbly resourced outfit led by an exceptional individual in the face of Claire Lipworth.’

‘Interesting team made up of civil, criminal and regulatory lawyers.’

‘The strong commercial background give weight to their individual white-collar work.’

‘Claire Lipworth is enormously experienced, with a really rounded ability to advise, having been both a prosecutor and defence lawyer. She is excellent at leading a team and working with other lawyers and has an enviable ability to explain difficult concepts clearly to clients.’

‘Claire Lipworth has prosecuted and defended at the highest level in every sort of white-collar investigation – she knows everyone who matters on both sides of the game and is universally respected. When Claire speaks, everyone listens. If any lawyer can avoid charge for their client, it is Claire.’

‘Claire Lipworth is unflappable, incisive and sheer quality. Everyone respects her in the industry and clients love her.’

‘Claire Lipworth is outstandingly talented.’

Work highlights

  • Achieved a victory for a senior Swiss lawyer and former head of the Geneva bar, who was one of multiple defendants in $836.8m proceedings commenced in the English Court by the Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) in Kuwait.

Janes Solicitors

Agile, imaginative and very adept in fashioning a winning strategy’, Janes Solicitors is a destination for clients facing allegations of bribery and corruption, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud and tax evasion, among other matters. The group has particularly extensive experience of dealing with the SFO and the HMRC. Founding partner David Janes ( who is ‘a man to have beside you in the trenches’) heads up the department, where the 'technically brilliant' Simon Barker, Fiona Gavriel ('her grasp of the law is excellent') and James Mullion (who 'handles very complex cases with aplomb') are also singled out by clients.

Practice head(s):

David Janes

Other key lawyers:

Simon Barker; Fiona Gavriel; James Mullion

Testimonials

‘One of the most experienced and expert fraud, money laundering, financial crime teams in London. Agile, imaginative and very adept in fashioning a winning strategy.’

‘Janes have long standing expertise in defending in serious and heavyweight fraud.’

‘Simon Barker is technically brilliant and with it a sense of humour.’

‘David Janes has a fine legal mind, and is keen to express his views and have them presented in every case in which he is involved.’

‘Fiona Gavriel is very client-focused. Outstanding. She goes well beyond the call of duty and is always available to speak with counsel and clients out of hours and at weekends. She is very good with the clients putting them at ease. Her grasp of the law is excellent.’

‘David Janes is a man to have beside you in the trenches. Unbelievably committed.’

‘David Janes is really easy to work with. Detailed and meticulous work. Clever and a good tactician. Very thoughtful – never misses a point. He is well-respected and always goes the extra mile for his clients.’

‘James Mullion handles very complex cases with aplomb.’

Work highlights

  • Advised an individual on a £260m money laundering matter linked to FCA investigation of Natwest and applied for variation of all asset restraint order with value over £100m.

K&L Gates LLP

K&L Gates LLP assists senior individuals during all stages of SFO investigations, including section 2 interviews; it has additional strength in FCA and FRC matters. The practice stands out for its cross-border work, for which it also draws on the capabilities of its colleagues in the US, Asia and Europe. Department head Dylan Moses has varied expertise, including past experience at the UK Bar; he is ‘great at drilling down and marshalling the facts in document-heavy cases’. Additionally, the team strengthened its criminal defence offering with the arrival of Michael Ruck, who joined from TLT in March 2021.

Practice head(s):

Dylan Moses

Other key lawyers:

Michael Ruck; Rosie Naylor

Testimonials

‘A strong multi-disciplinary team offering. A broad range of services all around the world. Able to draw on expertise in every field – in particular from the USA – in defence of corporate and individual exposure to UK investigation.’

‘Impressive team which knows what it takes to get the best results for its clients.’

‘The team at K&L Gates stands apart from its competitors for blending three important qualities. First, the team comprises of individuals with significant experience in the financial and regulatory sectors, with experience acting from within, for and against major regulators. Secondly, the team Michael Ruck works within has significant experience in criminal defence generally. This experience provides an invaluable edge when dealing with prosecutions, where tactical calls require a firm understanding of dealing with jury trials generally. Thirdly, the London team at K&L Gates is able to offer a unique, global perspective in its advice to clients in defending against increasingly common cross-border enforcement actions.’

‘Dylan Moses is one of the brightest partners in the field. Impeccable understanding of corporate vulnerability and commercial sensitivity. Adaptable and endlessly hardworking, with a keen understanding of the emotional pressures faced by his clients. Much admired for his quiet confidence and sound judgement.’

‘Dylan Moses provides great client care. Approachable and understanding. Great at drilling down and marshalling the facts in document-heavy cases.’

‘Michael Ruck is a recent hire and brings strong experience in contentious financial services matters with his background at the FCA.’

‘Excellent reputation with global reach. A very well-regarded offshoot of the US firm of great renown.’

Key clients

Former CEO of Balli Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Representing the former CEO of Balli Group in connection with the SFO’s investigation of UK registered companies Balli Group plc, Balli Steel and Balli Trading Ltd.

Russell-Cooke LLP

Russell-Cooke LLP houses ‘some very talented individuals’, who are experienced in representing a mix of witnesses, defendants and victims of fraud. The team is recommended for its private prosecution work, and is often engaged in tax fraud prosecutions by the HMRC – a key area of focus supplemented by expertise in bribery, corruption and money laundering. Standing out for her 25 years of experience, practice head Jae Carwardine has ‘a sharp eye for detail’ and is ‘an exceptional leader’.

Practice head(s):

Jae Carwardine

Other key lawyers:

Martin Rackstraw; Marie Bourke; Jenny Boyden

Testimonials

‘Russell-Cooke LLP are an excellent outfit, with some very talented individuals.’

‘Russell Cooke has a history and reputation of quality defence work in white-collar crime.’

’24-hour response, 365 days a year for clients all over the world, many of whom are famous and high profile HNW individuals (including nobility and governments), yet the firm doesn’t brag about it! Clients love the firm’s discretion, tough and no-nonsense approach, and practical advice. This is a firm that solves problems quickly if they can be solved.’

‘The fraud team are top of their game and very well placed to deal with serious, complex allegations. They are brilliant at meeting private prosecutions and have a reputation for robustly defending their clients.’

‘Jae Carwardine is a truly impressive operator. She takes client care to another level. She is ideally suited to this field because of her sharp eye for detail and her photographic memory. She is hugely experienced and has done it and seen it all before. Yet she remains motivated. An exceptional leader in this field.’

‘Martin Rackstraw is superb and a heavyweight in the fraud arena. Gutsy and unflappable. Extremely clever, wise and tactically astute; able to navigate complex cases with ease.’

‘I work with Jenny Boyden. Jenny’s background is in the defence of large-scale serious crime. She brings that experience and tactical intelligence in her representation of all of her clients. Her specific strength is her ability to get the best out of her clients, by understanding what each of them require in a solicitor, and adapting her approach accordingly. She is particularly strong with anxious clients who are navigating the criminal justice system for the first time.’

‘Marie Bourke is without doubt a star performer at the firm. She is very result-focused and has a great strategic brain. She does not leave any part of the case to chance and has a unique ability to process large volumes of dense information and yet understand what points work best in front of a jury. She cares about her clients and ensures no stone is left unturned in the preparation of their cases. She works extremely hard and gets the most out of her instructed advocates and experts. Ultimately, she is a terrific blend of an exceptional bright lawyer with a human touch.’

Shearman Bowen & Co

Shearman Bowen & Co ‘punches well above its weight with a particular aptitude in Proceeds of Crime Act litigation’; the team’s recent work testifies to its strong track record in confiscation matters. Led by Mark Bowen, who is ‘a lawyer with real legal knowledge as well as tactical insight in progressing the case’, the practice has another particular strength in SFO proceedings, often involving allegations of money laundering, bribery and corruption. Glen Henry joined as a consultant from Cartwright King in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Mark Bowen

Other key lawyers:

Glen Henry; Rebecca Cooke

Testimonials

‘This is a firm that punches well above their weight with a particular aptitude in Proceeds of Crime Act litigation.’

‘Works across private clients and public funded work pretty seamlessly.’

‘Medium-sized firm with down-to-earth approach and staff that are a very close-knit team with similar values. Really accessible, professional, close relationship with clients, much of the work on recommendation. Hardworking committed team. Widely liked and respected.’

‘Mark Bowen is extremely experienced and has a diverse portfolio of clients. He is calm and assured and gives excellent advice to his clients.’

‘They prepare their cases with great skill, diligence and tactical awareness and work exceptionally hard to achieve the best outcome for their clients.’

‘Mark Bowen totally gets clients – of all sorts. He is an old-school criminal lawyer who gets that his role is to make things clearer and simpler. He has a great quiet confidence about how he goes about his work which makes clients love and trust him.’

‘Mark Bowen has a broad practice including fraud, general crime and private advisory work. He is hardworking, personable and effective.’

‘Mark Bowen is a senior partner who has a great many years of experience. The result is a lawyer with real legal knowledge as well as tactical insight in progressing the case. His rapport with clients is excellent and instils confidence in the client. He works well with counsel to prepare the case.’

Simons Muirhead Burton

Quality boutique firmSimons Muirhead Burton undertakes work on both complex cross-border investigations as well as prosecutions by UK authorities including the SFO, the FCA and the HMRC. The team combines civil and criminal expertise and adopts a multi-disciplinary approach to assisting clients facing allegations of money laundering, market abuse and corruption, among others. Highly regarded for his ‘exceptional feel for a case’, Philip Smith leads the crime and regulatory department, where senior associate Henrietta Ronson is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Phillip Smith

Other key lawyers:

Henrietta Ronson

Testimonials

‘SMB is a quality boutique firm specialising in high-profile work, which is conducted in a very discreet manner. The lawyers there are very experienced and very effective.’

‘Phil Smith is a huge figure in the field. He has an exceptional feel for a case, is terrific at handling clients, and is a pleasure to work with. You get the sense that he thinks, really thinks, about each aspect of the case, from general strategy to critical key decisions.’

‘Henrietta Ronson is an extremely able and clever solicitor.’

‘Phil Smith is responsive and practical, good understanding of the criminal law landscape.’

‘The criminal/fraud/regulatory team at SMB, headed up by Phil Smith is a superb outfit for high-end white-collar crime and fraud. They are a powerhouse.’

‘Phil Smith and Henrietta Ronson in the white-collar team are first-rate. I have known them for over seven years and think that they are absolutely excellent. Phil, as a partner, is down to earth, intelligent, personable and absolutely committed to his clients. Henrietta, an associate, is very hardworking, gets the point very quickly and is well liked by clients.’

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of two residents of China who are facing allegations of money laundering.
  • Acting for a former private banker at Credit Suisse investigated over an alleged £600m property fraud targeting investors, including the Candy brothers and a Middle Eastern senior diplomat.
  • Advising an ex-CEO turned whistleblower at the centre of allegations involving the misappropriation of approximately £1.3m as part of a £24m investment scheme.

Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP

Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP ‘packs a punch far above its weight’, especially in the areas of money laundering and bribery, often in investigations conducted by the SFO and authorities overseas. Clients benefit from the firm’s wider geographical presence, which allows a closer collaboration between the white-collar defence teams in the UK and the US. In particular, Zoe Osborne is noted for her leadership on complex multi-jurisdictional mandates, with clients appreciating this cross-border teamwork for ‘unpicking the most challenging knots’. Department head John Rupp is noted for his recent work involving Interpol.

Practice head(s):

John Rupp

Other key lawyers:

Zoe Osborne

Testimonials

‘In our experience, Zoe Osborne’s leadership of the practice in the UK is defined by her collaborative efforts with partners globally. This collaborative effort makes resolution of cross-border questions and challenges far more effective and efficient than working at other firms with less global reach or less collaborative partnerships. They are the go-to team for us when we need help unpicking the most challenging knots!  Whilst the practice remains small by comparison to other UK-centric firms, it packs a punch far above its weight through Zoe’s mastery of her network internally coupled with deep sector expertise.’

‘Zoe Osborne brings with her excellent UK experience and has plugged that into a US law firm.’

‘In our experience, Zoe Osborne’s focus on the individuals involved in a case and what is holistically important to them, whilst delivering pin-point accuracy and wise judgement on matters of law, is unique. The sector is full of practitioners unwilling to take the time to empathise with the wider issues – Zoe does just that. She also has a disarming charm about her which explains why she is so respected by her peers and counterparts.’ 

‘Worked with Zoe Osborne for many years on large-scale investigations and prosecutions. Very hardworking and committed to her client.’

Stokoe Partnership Solicitors

Stokoe Partnership Solicitors utilises its ‘commercially minded pragmatic approach’ to defend individuals against allegations of bribery and corruption, money laundering and tax fraud. Confiscation and extradition mandates are also areas of focus for the team, as reflected in the expertise of founding partner and practice head Bambos Tsiattalou. The practice expanded its cross-border financial crime offering in April 2021, when Richard Cannon joined from gunnercooke LLP; Cannon has notable experience in international matters involving the US. Paul Oliver departed at the end of 2020.

Practice head(s):

Bambos Tsiattalou

Other key lawyers:

Maria Theodoulou; Amjid Jabbar; Brian Swan; Richard Cannon

Testimonials

‘A very switched-on and commercially minded pragmatic approach.’

‘A standout firm for criminal law, proceeds of crime and fraud litigation, Stokoe Partnership is an excellent boutique firm.’

‘Well-resourced and effective firm which goes above and beyond for their clients.’

‘Bambos Tsiattalou is a leading figure in the fields of criminal law and fraud and responsible for the firm’s excellent reputation. A tough opponent and a delight to work alongside.’

‘Maria Theodoulou is an excellent tactician and adviser to clients, always knows the best strategy.’

‘Amjid Jabbar is brilliant on challenging search warrants. An innovative legal thinker committed to securing results for his clients.’

‘Brian Swan has been very supportive, easy to access and knowledgeable about his profession. He has been very approachable.’

‘Bambos Tsiattalou’s criminal background gives him humility and toughness that means no stone is left unturned. A real leader who deserves huge credit for his development of the firm into new areas. A trail blazer.’

Taylor Wessing LLP

Taylor Wessing LLP’s ‘solid and reliable team’ is known for its work on money laundering, bribery and corruption investigations, often of a multi-jurisdictional nature. The group brings together specialists in both civil and criminal fraud. David De Ferrars and Tim Strong jointly lead the department, where consulting partner David McCluskey and senior associate Michelle George are also singled out by clients.

Practice head(s):

David De Ferrars; Tim Strong

Other key lawyers:

David McCluskey; Laurence Lieberman; Michelle George

Testimonials

‘The team at Taylor Wessing is efficient and client-focused. They have a practical, no-nonsense approach and react very well in a crisis. A solid and reliable team that impress with their calm and measured approach.’

‘David McCluskey is straightforward, clever, pragmatic, efficient – an all-round excellent lawyer with enormous experience in this field. A very steady and safe pair of hands.’

‘Michelle George is very bright – robust, unflappable and great in a crisis.’

‘David McCluskey is a class act. He is one of the cleverest lawyers on the scene. Whether corporate or individual, he has the best instincts for where the mischief is in a case and goes straight to it, good or bad, to manage it. He is warm, interesting and interested. Not someone to blow his own trumpet but he could legitimately do so. He attracts interesting clients with weird problems that need a number of disciplines to solve.’

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP is adept at advising clients with respect to investigations conducted by the SFO and the FCA. The team’s recent workload demonstrates a strength in handling allegations of corruption, market manipulation and insider dealing. The firm also maintains a very active practice representing high-net-worth individuals in matters regarding the source of their wealth. Jonah Andersonfights his client’s corner in a persuasive way’ and jointly heads up the practice with Anneka Randhawa. Jonathan Pickworth and Joanna Dimmock departed to Paul Hastings LLP in February 2021.

Practice head(s):

Jonah Anderson; Anneka Randhawa

Testimonials

‘White & Case have an impressive track record in white collar crime.’

‘A superb team with the ability to draw on the resources of a major law firm.’

‘Jonah Anderson is a standout partner. Technically very able, thoughtful and responsive, his judgement is always clear and thought-through. He is a real pleasure to work with. He has impressive leadership qualities and fights his client’s corner in a persuasive way.’

‘Jonah Anderson is a superb lawyer and practical thinker. He provides sure footed advice to individuals and corporates. The ethos among the team is to strive for the best possible outcome.’

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP is adept at representing senior executives and high-net-worth individuals in relation to allegations of bribery and corruption, money laundering and conspiracy to defraud, among others; its investigations work often involves agencies including the SFO, the FCA and HMRC. The practice has additional expertise in confiscation and asset forfeiture matters. Recently promoted partner Mark Jones is the key white-collar crime practitioner in the team, which sits within the wider commercial litigation department led by Sarah Rees.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Rees

Other key lawyers:

Mark Jones

Testimonials

‘Mark Jones is an impressive individual. He is always thoughtful and measured in his responses to clients facing a crisis. He is very emotionally intelligent, essential for dealing with individuals at the very worst times in their life. He has a wealth of experience dealing with regulators and law enforcement and is a very safe pair of hands.’

‘The team have a growing reputation in representation of individuals who are suspects or defendants.’

‘Mark Jones leads a niche practice within Blake Morgan which brings strength and depth to the firm’s strong reputation in disciplinary and financial services matters. Mark has a strong white-collar fraud background and has taken Blake Morgan’s team forward into this field. He has some impressive instructions including a high-profile anti-competition investigation.’

‘This team is relatively new to the market with Mark Jones really setting it up.  It has been able to draw on its internal commercial clients but as a result of Mark attracted individual clients outside of this sphere. They have really stepped up in this area; Mark Jones is a real feather in their cap.’

‘Synergy of legal expertise. Creative thinking. Commitment to client.’

‘Sarah Rees is a leader in field. True expert. First-class client care. Makes a difference.’

‘Mark Jones was outstanding. Mark was highly knowledgeable, able to advise on difficult matters where disappointing news had to be delivered, and empathetic to my needs and challenges.’

‘Mark Jones is a very experienced white-collar crime practitioner, with a calm manner, great judgment and tactical nous, and top-level client care skills.’

Brown Rudnick LLP

Brown Rudnick LLP’s department is spearheaded by London-based duo Anupreet Amole and Peter Bibby as well as Stephen Best in Washington DC. This geographic coverage is reflected in the team’s ‘excellent capabilities’ and strong transatlantic reputation, as well as its work on joint US-UK investigations. In addition, the team’s recent work also stands out at the SFO and the FCA, particularly in relation to allegations of bribery, corruption and money laundering.

Practice head(s):

Anupreet Amole; Stephen Best; Peter Bibby

Testimonials

‘I have found Brown Rudnick to be very easy to work with, sensible, pragmatic and experienced. They manage the relationship between their individual client and that person’s employer very well.’

‘I have dealt with several individuals in BR and I have been impressed by their knowledge and professionalism. The team is very diverse, and has excellent capabilities in the UK and US.’

‘Anupreet Amole is top-quality, pragmatic and focused.’

‘I thought Anupreet Amole is the standout lawyer in the team – he is a great man, and we have worked together closely over the last six months. His entrepreneurial mindset is superb and he sees white-collar fraud and crime in the way a true investigator should. We have collaborated on many projects and I enjoy his wisdom and innovative approach.’

Cartwright King

Cartwright King represents senior executives and managers in investigations conducted by UK agencies, including the SFO, the FCA and HMRC. The team’s recent standout experience spans money laundering offences, tax evasion, confiscation issues and conspiracy to commit fraud. Although it is active nationwide, the department is led out of Manchester by Michael Balmer, who also heads up the firm’s cybersecurity practice. Former department head Sundeep Soor left the firm in September 2020 to start his own consultancy; directors Glen Henry, Gemma Redfern and Anthony Harris also left in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Michael Balmer

Other key lawyers:

Laura Smith; Richard Cornthwaite

Fieldfisher

Fieldfisher is well versed in SFO and HMRC investigations into bribery and corruption, fraud and tax evasion. Tony Lewis heads up the practice, where senior associate Elliott Kenton remains a key contact in this space. Kyle Phillips departed to Howard Kennedy LLP in June 2021.

Practice head(s):

Tony Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Elliott Kenton

Kangs Solicitors

Kangs Solicitors is rated for the ‘proactive, expert defence’ it provides to executives and high-net-worth individuals. The team has deep expertise in tax fraud and is known for its work on HMRC cases; in addition, it also has experience of engaging with the SFO and the FCA, among other domestic authorities. The group is led by Hamraj Kang, who splits his time between London and Birmingham and is praised for being ‘technically gifted, exceptionally bright and a formidable opponent’.

Practice head(s):

Hamraj Kang

Other key lawyers:

John Veale; Timothy Thompson

Testimonials

‘Client care and expert knowledge of their areas of practice. A close-knit team that are always available to clients.’

‘Kangs is a first-class firm with quality from top to bottom. When you instruct Kangs, you will get a proactive, expert defence where every point that properly be taken will be.’

‘Hamraj Kang is an amazing white-collar crime lawyer. He is technically gifted, exceptionally bright and a formidable opponent. He is popular with big name clients who value his no-nonsense advice and sound judgement. As an effective leader of teams in high profile cases, he fights for the win and gets results.’

‘Kangs Solicitors have a nationwide practice with offices in Birmingham, Manchester and London which service UK based and international clients. The firm has solicitors who cover work across a wide range of areas in addition to crime, fraud and licensing. The expertise they have in regulatory and commercial law is invaluable in advising on the often wide ramifications of a fraud investigation. Confiscation, restraint and seizure of assets is a frequent problem faced by those under investigation which the firm is well placed to address with the assistance of its commercial team.’

‘Hamraj Kang is a formidable leader who demonstrates complete commitment to his staff and clients. His knowledge of the law is without parallel and he ensures close oversight over cases, such that clients are extremely well represented.’

‘Hamraj Kang remains totally dedicated to his clients and to winning cases. He has created a boutique litigation firm that is the envy of many and he continues to work exceptionally hard. Clients admire his simple-to-understand advice and brilliant tactics. A true master of litigation.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a company director in relation to a HMRC investigation alleging VAT and NIC fraud and money laundering of over £80m.
  • Represented a company director in a HMRC investigation into numerous offshore tax structures and the use of employee benefit trusts valued over £15m.
  • Represented a company chairman in an IP fraud investigation by the SFO valued at over £200m.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke LLP benefits from stable flows of referral work and is often involved in SFO investigations, with its recent track record standing out in relation to witness representations. Apart from its bribery and corruption expertise, the team has additional extradition experience. ‘Excellent’ department head Jeremy Summers is a dual-qualified solicitor in England and Hong Kong, which makes him particularly well-placed for multi-jurisdictional fraud allegations.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Summers

Testimonials

‘Jeremy Summers – calm, practical approach, balanced advice, practical solutions.’ 

‘Jeremy Summers is excellent; he is clear and experienced.’

Stewarts Law LLP

Stewarts Law LLP’s team has seen notable change, following the departure of former practice head Richard Kovalevsky QC to Cohen & Gresser (UK) LLP in November 2020. ‘Brilliant attorneyDavid Savage now leads the department; he is well-versed in financial crime matters, drawing on a wealth of experience gained as a sanctions officer in a private bank. The team represents senior executives and high-net-worth individuals in complex fraud, sanctions and asset recovery matters. It also acts on a multi-disciplinary basis alongside the firm’s civil fraud, tax litigation, media disputes and employment specialists.

Practice head(s):

David Savage

Other key lawyers:

Pia Mithani; Karen Hutchinson

Testimonials

‘David Savage is a brilliant attorney. We worked with him on a complicated foreign exchange matter involving the US Department of Justice, and he provided extremely good advice about international exposure for our client and was an extremely pleasant person to work with.’  

‘Stewarts provide specialist legal advice in the area of complex crime and fraud so they are specialist by nature. You need that on complex litigation cases which are multi-jurisdictional and multi-faceted.’

‘A very friendly and highly skilled team, well led by David Savage. The team is well resourced to handle SFO, FCA, CMA and HMRC investigations. They have a wealth of experience in AML and ABC matters, as well as internal investigations. The team is very collegial when working with counsel.’

‘The team at Stewarts, although relatively new to the market, have quickly established themselves and their reputation in order to compete with longstanding firms in this area. They are dynamic and approachable. Due to the extent of the wider firm’s practice, they are able to offer a multi-specialism service to clients.’

‘David Savage is the main person that I have direct experience of in this area. He is a vibrant lawyer with a great energy which clients like. He is always willing to discuss matters and try alternative approaches to legal problems.’

Tuckers Solicitors

A well-known name at domestic level, Tuckers Solicitors is a destination preferred by individuals for complex fraud and very high-cost cases. Money laundering is another area of focus for the team. Senior partners Richard Egan and Jim Meyer are the key contacts.

Other key lawyers:

Richard Egan; Jim Meyer