PCB Byrne > London, England > Firm Profile

PCB Byrne

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: civil Tier 1

PCB Byrne is ‘one of the leading civil fraud outfits in the London market‘, and is ‘easily capable of going toe-to-toe with the largest firms‘. A particular strength of the practice lies in asset recovery, with niche specialisms including advice to international companies and institutions in relation to the impact of sanctions on asset recovery, as well as recovering assets in ultra-high net worth matrimonial cases. The team is headed by ‘great strategistAnthony Riem and ‘one of the best solicitors in London‘, Nicola Boulton; it also includes Trevor Mascarenhas, who has ‘a huge intellect with unrivalled knowledge of the law in this area‘. Nick Ractliff ‘is most adept at dealing with highly complex and valuable international litigation involving serious allegations of dishonesty and corporate wrongdoing‘ and Elizabeth Seborg is noted for her asset recovery and interim injunctions work. Charlotte Bhania was promoted to partner in April 2022, while Catherine Eason and Tom McKernan both made partner in July 2023. Neil Micklethwaite and Olga Bischof joined the firm in mid-2023.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Riem; Nicola Boulton


‘One of the leading civil fraud outfits in the London market. Easily capable of going toe-to-toe with the largest firms in the market.’

‘Excellent team of litigators with an impressive track record in cross border commercial disputes and at the top of their game for international fraud and asset recovery. Anthony Riem, Trevor Mascharenas, and Nick Ractliff, are all absolutely brilliant, committed, creative, and commercially savvy.’

‘The quality and reputation of the practitioners at PCB Byrne is second to none. They are regularly sought after on a wide range of matters. Their reputation has only been enhanced by the combination between PCB and Byrne, with their joined up offering difficult to beat.’

‘Nicola Boulton – brightest solicitor I have ever encountered, incredibly articulate and always spots the best points. Anthony Reim – great strategist, great with clients, and great sense of humour, which is invaluable. Nick Ractliff – just a huge amount of common and commercial sense, which is a much underrated quality, particularly in this area. Catherine Eason – just been made a partner: Bright, unflappable, pragmatic and clients really rate her. She is clearly seen by clients and colleagues as a key member of the team.’

‘PCB Byrne is well-established as a leader in fraud litigation. The team has excellent experience and depth of knowledge of the area. The firm regularly goes up against much bigger firms and wins.’

‘Trevor Mascarenhas – a huge intellect with unrivalled knowledge of the law in this area.  Anthony Riem – a dynamic force who knows how to lead a team and get results.’

‘Nick Ratcliff is another excellent partner. Nick is most adept at dealing with highly complex and valuable international litigation involving serious allegations of dishonesty and corporate wrongdoing.’

‘Outstanding boutique law firm. By specialising in high level civil fraud work it has developed experience and expertise ahead of many major magic circle firms. Its way of working – with strong partner-lead teams, where fee earners at both partner and associate level have genuine expertise and work closely with the bar, it is very effective and instructed in many of the top cases.’

Key clients

Balda Foundation & Nysco Management Corp

United Company Rusal

Republic of Cuba & Banco Nacional de Cuba

ABFA Commodities Trading Ltd (formerly VTB Commodities Trading Designated Activity Company)

Nikolai and Vera Kazakov

Lopag Trust Reg and others

Invest Bank PSC

Muna Al Wazzan

His Excellency Saeed Alqebaisi and Mr Khaleefa Almuhairi

Mr Abdulrida

Darren Lui, Ace City Holdings

South Bank Hotel Management Lt.

PJSC PhosAgro

Cheong Choo Young and others

Hangzhou Jiudang Asset Management Co. Limited and Hangzhou Biaoba Trading Co. Limited

Dmitry Tsvetkov

Banco de Sabadell SA

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Balda Foundation and Nysco Management in their court victory against a $2.3 billion claim by Vale, a metals and mining multinational.
  • Acted for Rusal in USD 3-5 billion claim against Vladimir Potanin which included allegations of asset stripping, self-dealing and environmental negligence.
  • Successfully challenged jurisdiction on behalf of the major shareholders in NMC Healthcare, in a $1 billion Commercial Court claim concerning allegations of deceit involving Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals) Tier 2

Acting on behalf of CEOs, HNW individuals, and suspects in sanction breaches, the ‘outstanding individuals’ at PCB Byrne  handle ongoing SFO criminal investigations, spanning from money laundering to corruption and fraud. The group is highly recommended for its tax and financial services offering, consistently advising individual clients in high-profile FCA and HMRC investigations, alongside complex confiscation and asset forfeiture proceedings. The criminal team is jointly led by Sara Teasdale and Michael Potts, with the former boasting vast experience in regulatory and criminal investigations, whilst the latter concentrates on alleged sanction breaches and anti-money laundering compliance measures. Matthew Frankland has expertise defending in major criminal fraud trials and investigations, while Emma Brooks regularly assists individuals facing allegations of corruption and serious fraud across many jurisdictions.

Practice head(s):

Sara Teasdale; Michael Potts

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Frankland; Emma Brooks


‘PCB Byrne has  a standout reputation in white collar crime. One of the ‘go to’ firms for investigation/pre-charge advice.’

‘Matthew Frankland – hugely experienced partner who provides outstanding tactical and legal advice.’

‘Emma Brooks is a very clever, incredibly hard-working expert in this field. She approaches every case, from the earliest stages, like a chess game – one she intends to win and usually does. She is steeped in the complexities of high-level fraud, knows everything and everyone and gives her all to her clients. Hannah Redwood is a rising star, who quietly masters the facts of the heaviest frauds then plots the route through them with a sophistication way beyond her years.’

‘I know Michael Potts well and he is an excellent and reliable specialist in white collar crime and FCA regulatory matters.’

‘PCB Byrne is the premier boutique business crime firm. No other firm has their experience, in both depth and breadth, of white-collar crime.’

‘The team and individuals at PCB Byrne LLP are involved in the majority of the major complex criminal cases in the UK. As a result, they have a great deal of experience and knowledge of many different types of criminal cases and are therefore leading figures in this area of law in the UK.’

‘We worked with Michael Potts’ experience and precision were indispensable and greatly appreciated. He provided invaluable input on the function of the UK prosecution authorities.’

‘Outstanding individuals I have come across are Matthew Franklin and Mike Potts, both of whom have a wealth of experience in fraud and related matters and very strong client skills.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for Rodney Whiston-Dew in complex confiscation proceedings for the former solicitor convicted of £107m fraud.
  • Representing a corporate and individual defendant in the Royal Mail’s largest ever private prosecution due to take place at Southwark Crown Court. Royal Mail alleges an £81 million conspiracy to defraud.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 2

One of the strongest commercial litigation firms in London‘, PCB Byrne has a strong track record in large Commercial Court cases, with the practice’s recent workload ranging from joint venture/shareholder disputes, to contractual conflicts involving the supply of IT services and commodities. Trevor Mascarenhas specialises in complex, high-value, cross-border disputes; Nicola Boulton‘s disputes practice focuses on fraud, dishonesty and corruption; senior partner Anthony Riem has ‘outstanding strategic judgement‘; and Nick Ractliff‘s expertise covers contractual, banking, shareholder and director disputes. The next line of active practitioners features Middle-East disputes expert Charlotte Bhania, and fraud and commercial claims litigator Catherine Eason, who were made partners in April 2022 and July 2023, respectively. Tom McKernan was also promoted to the partnership in mid-2023 and specialises in complex, multi-jurisdictional fraud claims in the Commercial Court. The team was recently boosted by the addition of two consulting partners from Brown Rudnick – Neil Micklethwaite and Olga Bischoff.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Riem; Nicola Boulton


‘Very good value for money. Works harder than most teams. The partners are on the ball, both in terms of the law and client management.’

‘Nick Ractliff is a calm pair of hands and great with clients; and Trevor Mascarenhas has a brain the size of London, often spotting the answer to the knottiest points.’

‘Trevor Mascarenhas is one of the cleverest, and most tactically astute litigators in the London market.’

‘Anthony Riem – outstanding strategic judgement and almost unrivalled experience in the field of civil fraud – he is a standout lawyer.’

‘They are a hardworking team with deep knowledge of clients’ needs. Consistently knowledgeable, very responsive and open minded.’

‘Talented and experienced lawyers with good judgement and creative problem solving.’

‘PCB Byrne has an extremely strong team – genuine experts in international fraud and asset recovery, who take a strategic approach and know all the angles. They are the go-to firm for difficult cases.’

‘One of the strongest commercial litigation firms in London. Able to go toe-to-toe with any firm in the market.’

Key clients


PJSC PhosAgro

ABFA Commodities Trading (formerly VTB Commodities Trading Designated Activity Company


South Band Hotel Management

Banco de Sabadell

Work highlights

  • Acting for Rusal in a $3-5bn claim against Vladimir Potanin, which includes allegations of asset stripping, self-dealing, and environmental negligence.
  • Acting for PJSC PhosAgro, which is alleged to have been party to an agreement with the claimants to pay sums of money and shares worth in excess of $200m.
  • Acting for South Bank Hotel Management in a claim over ownership of a Central London building.

Dispute resolution > Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 5

PCB Byrne is ‘an excellent firm for banking disputes’ with experience defending claims brought by leading banks. Asset recovery is a strength of the team, as are banking transaction-related cases, and shareholder liability claims. The head of the team Anthony Riem  is a ‘dynamic force’, having acted for major financial institutions for thirty years. Trevor Mascarenhas is a ‘go-to for highly complex banking litigation’ and is integral to the team, as is Nick Ractliff, who has ‘great ability and experience’.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Riem

Other key lawyers:


‘PCB Byrne is an excellent firm for banking disputes. They think of innovative solutions to client problems.’

‘Anthony Riem is a dynamic force who knows how to get results for his clients.’

‘Ben Davies assists the client in identifying the crucial aspects to prepare the relevant ammunition to handle the case.’

‘Trevor Mascarenhas is our go-to for highly complex banking litigation. His client service is exemplary and he will go above and beyond to achieve the client’s result.’

‘Anthony Riem is a powerhouse in banking disputes with a fraud angle – enormously experienced and with unrivalled experience, his tactical and commercial judgment is invaluable.’

‘Trevor Mascarenhas possesses the full suite of talents of an outstanding litigator: commanding knowledge of the law, excellent judgement and a strategic brain. Having him on the team is like having a silk and a top-quality partner rolled into one.’

Nick Ractliff is a lawyer with great ability and experience when it comes to litigating banking disputes involving allegations of breaches of duty.’

Key clients

His Excellency Saeed Alqebaisi and Mr Khaleefa Almuhairi

Banco Sabadell

Invest Bank PSC

Deposit Guarantee Fund of Ukraine, as liquidator of National Credit Bank

Canara Bank

Victims of push payment frauds (including Biesterfeld Specialchemie GmbH, DB Cargo France, Newpoint Capital Limited and Sachsenwald Energy Group Gmbh)

Banco Nacional de Cuba

Work highlights

  • Acting for Banco de Sabadell SA in a c.€350m commercial court action to in connection with the sale of the bank’s non-performing mortgage portfolio.
  • Acting for Invest Bank PSC in the global enforcement of UAE judgments worth approximately $39m.
  • Acting for the Banco Nacional de Cuba (as borrower) and the Republic of Cuba (as guarantor) in a c.€70m sovereign debt enforcement claim, brought in the Commercial Court.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: premium

This leading firm specialises in high value and complex commercial disputes across multiple jurisdictions. We have particular expertise in civil fraud and asset recovery, insolvency, white collar crime and investigations. PCB Byrne has won numerous landmark decisions and has a stellar track record of winning difficult cases.

Clients seek us out for our (i) creativity in solving problems, (ii) expertise and strategic oversight in managing global disputes, (iii) hands-on involvement by partners from start to finish, (iv) strong-minded, commercial approach, (v) complete dedication in fighting their corner, and (vi) legal financing solutions.

The types of work undertaken by the firm include the following:

Banking and financial services litigation: PCB Byrne is a conflict-free firm, which, unlike the majority of prominent City dispute resolution departments, is able to act against all of the major UK banks. At the same time, we are able to draw upon our experience of acting for large foreign banks, for whom we have acted extensively in fraud and global asset recovery cases, leading to us being described by The Times as “solicitors to the banking community”.

Claimant fraud and asset recovery: PCB Byrne provides a world-class team of lawyers with decades of expertise working together in substantial and complex international fraud and asset recovery cases. We come up with creative solutions, and work at the great speed that is required for these cases. Our experience in building cases, and in tackling structures and other hurdles put in the way of enforcement, enables us to obtain recoveries for our clients. We regularly act for financial institutions, state-owned banks, state bodies, multi-national corporations and high-net-worth individuals in tackling some of the most challenging cases. We provide insight, strategy and a seamless cross-border approach.

Commercial litigation: We have a wealth of experience in dealing with high-value, complex and heavily contested commercial litigation cases. A number of our cases have been selected over the years by The Lawyer as being in their top 20. Most of our cases are international in scope, where main or ancillary proceedings may be taking place in other jurisdictions. There may be also issues of jurisdiction or the application of foreign law. Types of claim vary from supply chain disputes, to shareholder and joint venture disputes, and professional negligence claims.

Fraud defence: PCB Byrne is renowned for its expertise in defending clients faced with allegations of deceit, conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty and other allegations of dishonesty, unjust conduct and unconscionability. We have also acted for numerous defendants faced with allegations of fraud, and who are often also faced with freezing orders and other interim relief and committal proceedings. Those defendants may have been put “on the back foot” early in the process, and often feel that the court is against them in making various, sometimes draconian, orders. We look at how to put the client “on the front foot”.

Insolvency and restructuring: We have dealt with some of the largest insolvency cases in the English courts of recent years. Our experience includes, (i) advising creditors on options available to them in respect of distressed debt, (ii) advising directors and stakeholders on their options in the twilight of an insolvency, (iii) advising insolvency practitioners, directors, creditors and stakeholders in relation to all insolvency processes, (iv) receiverships, (v) mediation in relation to insolvency disputes, and (vi) restoration of dissolved companies.

International arbitration: We act for clients in large-scale arbitrations governed under various arbitration rules and ad hoc commercial arbitrations. Our clients benefit from our in-depth legal analysis, industry knowledge and strategy in building and presenting the facts. We are recognised for our expertise in obtaining interim relief from Courts in support of the arbitrations. PCB Byrne has been instructed in relation to a number of domestic and international arbitrations, both ad hoc arbitrations and arbitrations under various institutional rules. In 2019, one of the firm’s partners received the Client Choice Award for arbitration and ADR.

White-collar crime and investigations: Lawyers to multinational companies, international organisations, financial institutions, senior officers and directors, sovereign states and high-ranking public officials, and in-house counsel, we work across jurisdictions advising on all areas connected with bribery and corruption, economic sanctions, money laundering, terrorist financing and fraud. Our extensive disputes experience allows us to provide clients with strategic advice to address the legal, procedural, operational and reputational aspects of regulatory issues and investigations. We offer services in all areas of financial crime: anti-bribery and corruption, anti-money laundering, sanctions, investigations and fraud.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Anthony Riem ariem@pcb-byrne.com 020 7842 1616
Managing partner Sara Teasdale steasdale@pcb-byrne.com 020 7842 1616
Photo Name Position Profile
Nicola Boulton photo Nicola Boulton One of the founding partners and the senior partner of Byrne and…
Emma Brooks photo Emma Brooks Partner specialising in the defence of corporate fraud, business crime and regulatory…
Ben Davies photo Ben Davies Ben Davies is a commercial litigation partner at PCB Byrne LLP – a specialist disputes…
Matthew Frankland photo Matthew Frankland Founding partner at Byrne and Partners specialising in the defence of national…
Michael Potts photo Michael Potts Michael specialises in the defence of business crime and regulatory investigations and prosecutions.…
Elizabeth Seborg photo Elizabeth Seborg Elizabeth Seborg is a partner in the commercial litigation department at Byrne and…
Sara Teasdale photo Sara Teasdale Sara Teasdale has consistently been involved in some of the most high…
Number of UK partners : 13
Number of other UK fee-earners : 33
English (fluent)
Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese)
Sign Language
ICC Fraudnet