BCL Solicitors LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

BCL Solicitors LLP

Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general Tier 1

BCL Solicitors LLP offers high-profile and high-net worth clients advice on a range of criminal matters, with recent work including advising Kevin Spacey regarding allegations of sexual assault. The team is headed by the ‘exceptionalEllen Peart, who has recently seen an increase in her work defending FCA regulated individuals facing significant criminal charges. Other key team members include Mark Haslam, who is particularly adept at motoring cases, and David Hardstaff, who specialises in criminal litigation and is described as ‘very hard-working‘. Daniel Jackson is a key contact for sports and business professionals and was promoted to partner in October 2022 alongside Hardstaff. Associates Bethan Cowlam and Rishi Joshi are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Ellen Peart

Other key lawyers:


‘BCL are comfortably the best firm I have worked with. Each member of the team is diligent, thorough and clever. Being briefed by BCL is a collaborative experience where ideas about tactics and presentation are discussed, resulting in a much more effective trial strategy. They are the team I would recommend.’

‘BCL have an extremely good reputation in terms of both client care and legal aptitude. That reputation is well deserved, and I have seen repeated examples of how their attention to detail, ability to think creatively and determination to get good results have served their clients well.’

‘Ellen Peart is an exceptional lawyer. Anybody represented by her can rest assured that they will feel both comforted and intimidated by her ability. She achieves that perfect balance which all good criminal representatives should strive for. Daniel Jackson has justifiably progressed quickly in his career. He has an efficient legal mind and his clients reap the rewards. Bethan Cowlam is a lawyer to watch in the future.

‘A top-rate firm that is constantly working on new ways to help their clients. The people I work with are always well-informed on developments in the law which can benefit their clients.’

‘Ellen Peart – huge experience and sensitivity, wins the confidence of clients, always available to consider ideas and legal problems. David Hardstaff – very hard-working, leaves no stone unturned in the pursuit of the client’s interests, imaginative approach to the evidence, technologically very knowledgeable.’

‘David Hardstaff – super-smart, exceptional client handling, big picture vision, a young strategist with a massive future ahead of him.’

‘David Hardstaff – A pleasure to work with. He is bright, thorough and has an understated manner that belies his tenacious determination to succeed on behalf of his client. I cannot recommend him highly enough.’

Key clients

Dawn Ward

Oliver McBurnie

Kevin Spacey

Work highlights

  • Represented actor Kevin Spacey at trial in relation to sexual assault charges.
  • Successfully represented the TV celebrity Dawn Ward resulting in her acquittal on all counts following trial.
  • Successfully represented footballer Oliver McBurnie in relation to allegations of ABH resulting in his being found not guilty.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals) Tier 1

Counting CEOs, politicians, and business leaders among its client base, the ‘incredibly imaginative’ BCL Solicitors LLP team regularly advises on SFO and financial crime investigations. The group routinely acts for individuals across industries ranging from energy to banking, demonstrating in-depth expertise in everything from money laundering, to tax investigations, to Russian sanction issues. Richard Sallybanks leads the business crime and regulation division, deploying a ‘global view’ to international fraud and bribery investigations, while Ian Burton has 40 years’ experience handling corruption and extradition matters for domestic and international clients. Harry Travers has an eye for ‘meticulous detail’, regularly assisting individuals involved in contentious tax proceedings and commercial fraud, while Shula de Jersey is an expert on financial crime. Michael Drury is knowledgeable on data and information law issues, and Julian Hayes supports clients in SFO and FCA actions. Shaul Brazil has specialist knowledge in criminal and civil fraud cases, and John Binns specialises in asset forfeiture and complex sanction matters. Anoushka Warlow, Oliver Schneider-Sikorsky and Hannah Raphael are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Richard Sallybanks


‘Michael Drury is simply excellent. A fantastic lawyer, whose judgement is impeccable. Ian Burton is similarly brilliant and brings unrivalled experience to every case.’

‘Harry Travers has the most zealous approach to his client’s case I have ever seen. Everything is considered in meticulous detail for the best results. His forte is avoiding the client being charged, or if charged, going to trial, or if tried, being convicted.’

‘Richard Sallybanks and Shula de Jersey are both superb. Richard’s ability to see the bigger points in cases and to be pragmatic about the next step is impressive. Shula’s client management skills and eye for detail are fantastic.’

‘Stand out people include: Shaul Brazil, Julian Hayes, Shula de Jersey, Richard Sallybanks, Anoushka Warlow.’

‘Shula de Jersey is a partner at the very top of her game, she has all the attributes necessary to conduct the biggest and most complex litigation. I have been exceedingly impressed by her handling of an SFO wide-ranging international corruption case which is going to trial. she really is first class.’

‘Julian Hayes has been making a huge impression in the field of GDPR data protection, he is becoming the go-to man in that field. An enormous work ethic and attention to detail, coupled with accurate and clear advice.’

‘The team is incredibly imaginative and always in anticipation rather than in mere reaction.’

‘Richard Sallybanks does not leave any detail unclarified; he has a global view of a line of defence.’

Work highlights

Employment > Health and safety Tier 2

Business, crime and regulation-focused firm BCL Solicitors LLP‘s practice is experienced handling both domestic and cross-jurisdictional matters. The team's caseload includes advising its clients on cases involving fatal or serious injury, the outcomes of which have the ability to cause significant reputational harm to the corporations involved. ‘First-rate lawyer’ Richard Reichman and Tom McNeill co-lead the offering as part of the firm’s wider business crime and regulation team. McNeill was promoted to partner in October 2022 and is noted as ‘exceptional’. Described by clients as ‘outstanding, knowledgeable and personable’, associate Suzanne Gallagher is a key name within the practice.

Practice head(s):

Richard Reichman; Tom McNeill

Other key lawyers:


‘BCL’s team offers an exceptional breadth and depth of knowledge in the field of health and safety law, extending beyond the more traditional sectors. Their specialism in corporate and business crime sets them apart from many.’

‘Tom McNeill and Richard Reichman are both exceptional individuals to work with. They offer real knowledge and insight into the work they do with a fantastic eye for detail and incredible work ethic.’

‘Tom McNeil has exceptional client relationship skills and great empathy. He is available to speak to at any time. He delivers concise, quality advice, his legal expertise in health and safety is exceptional and he goes above and beyond other legal professionals – he’s someone I want on my team.’

‘A partner-led, highly skilled team that doesn’t apply a conveyor belt mentality. They act for very large organisations, SMEs and individuals which gives them a valuable breadth of experience.’

‘Richard Reichman and Tom McNeill are emerging stars in the field of health and safety, applying a lot of intelligence, energy and commitment to their work.’

‘The team principally represents big corporate clients in complex investigations involving fatal accidents. Its teams are well-resourced, with very talented partners, senior associates and associates. The partners are tactically astute and hands-on.’

‘Richard Reichman and Tom McNeill are the partners that stand-out for praise. Both know their cases inside out and work really well as part of a team, bringing their dry sense of humour to cases. Richard considers all options and is realistic in strategy and approach – his insight is invaluable. Tom is tremendously experienced in HSE investigations.’

‘Associate Suzanne Gallagher is outstanding. She is knowledgeable and precise with her analysis and very personable.’

Dispute resolution > Tax litigation and investigations Tier 4

BCL Solicitors LLP has key strength at the intersection of fraud law and tax law, with a record of acting on complex and high-stakes matters. Lead partner Harry Travers, ‘one of the smartest lawyers in his field’, has a sophisticated fraud practice in addition to a long record in tax avoidance litigation. Firm founder Ian Burton and ‘expert in financial and tax crime’ John Binns are core team members. Senior associate Greg Mailer is also a name to note.

Practice head(s):

Harry Travers

Other key lawyers:

Ian Burton; Greg Mailer; John Binns; Anoushka Warlow


‘John Binns – expert in financial and tax crime matters. Good with clients.’

‘Powerful team across the whole spectrum of tax and investigations.’

‘Harry Travers has a real depth of interest and expertise in tax fraud investigations. He is a creative thinker and stoic defender of his client’s position. Harry is ably assisted by Greg Mailer who is developing his own standing as a tax investigation specialist.’

‘This is a very strong litigation team. It is extremely strong in tax fraud and regulatory litigation and it transfers its knowledge from these areas of practice into the civil side of tax litigation. This makes it stand out in terms of strategy and in terms of evidence and factual presentation.’

‘Harry Travers is extremely strategic, thinks about all aspects and consequences of action, is outstandingly quick to learn about areas of law which are relevant to his litigation and is very client sensitive. Greg Mailer is very efficient, quick, savvy and to the point.’

‘BCL are thought leaders and explore every avenue to achieve the best possible results for their clients.’

‘Harry Travers is one of the smartest lawyers in his field. He applies a great deal of tactical thought to his cases and is very technically strong as well as being tactically astute.’

‘John Binns – excellent knowledge of the law, easy to work with. Harry Travers – very experienced and knowledgeable in tax fraud matters. Greg Mailer – hardworking associate who really goes the extra mile for clients.’

Work highlights

Risk advisory > Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 4

Boutique firm BCL Solicitors LLP specialises in cybercrime, investigatory and enforcement powers, and general data protection work, acting for individuals and large tech corporations on their engagement with regulators, state authorities, and law enforcement agencies. Former legal director of GCHQ Michael Drury heads the team and is ‘thorough, hard-working, incredibly responsive and always able to anticipate the needs of his clients.’ Julian Hayes‘ expertise spans both contentious and non-contentious matters, handling compliance, policy drafting, incident response, and regulatory investigations, while Richard Reichman advises corporate clients on data breaches and freedom of information act requests.

Practice head(s):

Michael Drury

Other key lawyers:


‘BCL is uniquely placed in data protection matters because of their combined expertise in criminal law and matters relating to national security.’

‘Julian Hayes stands out in this area. He knows all that needs to be known and combines his great charisma with fierce intellect.’

‘The team’s unique location at the overlap between crime, investigatory powers and data privacy puts them at the forefront of cyber work that intersects these fields.’

‘Michael Drury is the ultimate solicitor for any knotty case involving a national security or privacy issue. Thorough, hard-working, incredibly responsive and always able to anticipate the needs of his clients, he is trusted, respected and admired by all and with good reason. Richard Reichman is also starting to make waves – just the sort of solicitor you want on your team.’

‘Michael Drury: clever, tenacious and supremely measured in everything he does.’

‘I have worked with Julian Hayes several times and he is a brilliant lawyer as well as a great team player. He always listens attentively and finds the best way to proceed in the interest of the client.’

‘Julian Hayes is a first-rate lawyer, who works incredibly hard for his clients, taking every proper point on their behalf to achieve the best possible outcome.’

Risk advisory > Regulatory investigations and corporate crime (advice to corporates) Tier 4

Being long-standing and renowned specialists in corporate crime and regulation, the BCL Solicitors LLP team - steered by Richard Sallybanks - is routinely instructed in many significant financial crime investigations conducted by the SFO, HMRC, and the FCA. The firm also has considerable expertise in AML and ESG compliance, with the ‘thoughtful and incisive’ John Binns being a specialist in money laundering matters and corporate criminal offences. Shaul Brazil focuses on sanctions-related compliance issues, while the ‘standout’ Richard Reichman handles regulatory investigations. Julian Hayes concentrates on financial crime affairs, and Anoushka Warlow is noted for her knowledge of serious and commercial fraud.

Practice head(s):

Richard Sallybanks


‘Tom McNeill and Richard Reichman are both experienced in pre-charge advice and the tactics on how best to approach a potential prosecution.’

‘John Binns is the star. Hugely thoughtful and incisive, but tactically brilliant. If you’re in trouble he gets you out. Great public speaker and a massive asset for the firm. Rightly regarded as top 3 in the UK in proceeds of crime and corporate crime.’

‘John Binns – we worked together advising the same client. John was very knowledgeable and professional. He always worked co-operatively and in the best interests of the client. He always responded promptly. His technical knowledge was impressive.’

‘Harry Travers and Richard Sallybanks are outstanding practitioners who have a very sophisticated approach to corporate crime investigations and have had great success. Anoushka Warlow is an up and coming next generation partner.’

‘Julian Hayes is a superb solicitor, the range and depth of his knowledge is exceptional and works tirelessly on behalf of his clients. He consistently thinks outside the box and is a genuine problem solver. To top it all off, he’s a thoroughly decent guy and a gentleman to work with.’

‘BCL’s team principally represents large corporate clients in complex regulatory investigations and corporate criminal allegations. Its teams are well-resourced, with very talented partners, senior associates and associates throughout its ranks available to call upon if needed. The partners are tactically astute and hands-on; they proactively lead case preparation and the client’s response to any investigation.’

‘Richard Reichman and Tom McNeill are the partners that stand out for praise. Both know their cases inside out and work really well as part of a team, bringing their dry sense of humour to the case. Richard considers all options in any case and is realistic with his strategy and approach, meaning his insight is invaluable. Tom is a relatively new partner but tremendously experienced in corporate investigations. Shula de Jersey (partner) is tenacious and pugnacious in regulatory investigations. Anoushka Warlow (new partner) is fantastic, combining empathy with great tactical acumen and knowledge. Suzanne Gallagher (associate), is outstanding; she is knowledgeable and precise with her analysis and very personable.’

‘Shaul Brazil: always available, always on top of all aspects of the case Anoushka Warlow: hard working, she knows every detail of the matter.’

Work highlights

The firm: BCL Solicitors is a market leading firm specialising in domestic and international corporate and financial crime, tax investigations and litigation, financial regulatory enforcement, corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences, disciplinary proceedings, serious and general crime, as well as the associated areas of anti-money laundering and anti-corruption compliance and risk management. BCL provides discreet, effective and expert advice to senior executives, corporations, public bodies, public figures and high profile/high net worth individuals affected by criminal or regulatory investigations and prosecutions. Its lawyers are drawn from specialist criminal law firms and barristers’ chambers, commercial law firms, the main prosecuting authorities and the Government Legal Service.

Principal areas of work
Corporate and financial crime: Advising corporate clients, senior executives, entrepreneurs and HNW individuals in relation to the full range of corporate and financial crime investigations including fraud, false accounting, corruption and sanctions offences, both domestic (SFO, HMRC, FCA and NCA) and multi-jurisdictional (including defending extradition, often in high profile cases with a political backdrop, and challenging Interpol red notices). Experienced in navigating clients through complex multi-faceted business and reputation-threatening investigations and proceedings, drawing on the experience and know-how of some of the leading recognised lawyers in this area, and working closely with and project managing teams including other lawyers in the UK and overseas, forensic accountants and reputation management advisors. With an established reputation for achieving results, BCL is an expert in its field, focussed on solving problems and determined to achieve the best possible outcomes for its clients.

Tax investigations and litigation: BCL acts in investigations, prosecutions and civil litigation involving HMRC, regularly working alongside eminent tax and accountancy practices. BCL has substantial expertise in litigating allegations of ineffective tax avoidance and tax evasion, negotiating settlements, and monitoring/challenging the use by HMRC of its wide-ranging powers.

Financial regulatory enforcement: BCL acts in regulatory investigations and proceedings brought by the FCA in the areas of insider dealing, market abuse, market manipulation and generally in relation to individuals’ regulatory approval.

Regulatory investigations, Coroner’s Inquests and Public Inquiries: Advising corporate clients, and their boards and directors, in relation to business-critical issues concerning corporate manslaughter, health and safety, fire safety, food safety and hygiene, environmental protection, consumer protection and trading standards. Advising on crisis management, corporate and director liability, conducting corporate internal investigations, managing corporate engagement with regulators, and responding to investigations and prosecutions by the Police, the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency, the Food Standards Agency, local authorities, fire brigades, and others (such as Ofwat and the Office of Rail and Road), as well as in relation to attendance at Coroner’s inquests and public inquiries.

Money laundering and proceeds of crime: Advising in relation to money laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) issues, including restraint, freezing, receivership, confiscation, cash seizure, unexplained wealth and civil recovery.

Compliance and risk management: Advising corporations, financial institutions, professional service providers and individuals in relation to anti-money laundering compliance, anti-bribery and corruption compliance and the recovery of the proceeds of crime (restraint, freezing, receivership, confiscation, cash seizure, unexplained wealth and civil recovery), as well as advising on corporate liability and risk management in the context of the ever-widening range of criminal offences that apply to corporate bodies. Conducting, on behalf of corporate clients, internal reviews and internal investigations concerning such matters.

Disciplinary proceedings: BCL acts for individuals facing professional disciplinary action by bodies such as the Bar Council, the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the General Medical Council, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, and the British Horseracing Authority.

Serious and general crime/motoring: BCL has a long-established reputation as a market leader in the largest and most high-profile serious criminal cases. It offers specialist and discreet advice across the whole spectrum, from homicide to road traffic offences, whether in the police station, the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court. Many of its clients are high-profile individuals in the fields of business, industry, entertainment, sport and the media, where discretion and reputation management are crucial.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Richard Sallybanks
Corporate and financial crime Ian Burton
Corporate and financial crime Harry Travers
Corporate and financial crime Richard Sallybanks
Tax investigations and litigation Harry Travers
Financial regulatory enforcement Richard Sallybanks
Regulatory Investigations, Coroner’s Inquests & Public Inquiries Richard Reichman
Disciplinary proceedings Ian Burton
Money laundering and proceeds of crime John Binns
Compliance and risk management John Binns
Serious and general crime/motoring Mark Haslam
Serious and general crime/motoring Ellen Peart
Photo Name Position Profile
John Binns photo John Binns John advises corporate and individual clients on business crime and corporate regulatory…
Shaul Brazil photo Shaul Brazil Shaul Brazil is a partner at BCL specialising in business crime and…
Ian Burton photo Ian Burton Ian Burton is a senior partner and founder of BCL Solicitors. Having…
Michael Drury CMG photo Michael Drury CMG Michael Drury joined BCL in September 2010.  Formerly Director for Legal Affairs…
David Hardstaff photo David Hardstaff David Hardstaff is a partner in BCL’s serious and general crime department,…
Mark Haslam photo Mark Haslam Partner specialising in all forms of criminal defence work from the police…
Julian Hayes photo Julian Hayes Julian is an experienced partner in BCL’s white collar crime and regulatory…
Daniel  Jackson photo Daniel Jackson Daniel is a partner specialising in serious and general criminal litigation. He…
Greg Mailer photo Greg Mailer Solicitor specialising in corporate crime, financial crime and regulatory investigations. Has expertise…
Tom McNeill photo Tom McNeill Tom McNeill is a partner at BCL specialising in defending companies and…
Ellen Peart photo Ellen Peart Ellen Peart is a partner at BCL and is recognised as a…
Richard Reichman photo Richard Reichman Richard is a partner specialising in corporate crime, regulatory investigations (including ESG…
Richard Sallybanks photo Richard Sallybanks Richard Sallybanks, a partner in BCL for over 20 years, specialises in…
Harry Travers photo Harry Travers Harry Travers, a partner at BCL, specialises in business crime and regulation.…
Shula de Jersey photo Shula de Jersey She is an expert in all areas of white-collar crime including high…
Number of UK partners : 16
Number of other UK fee-earners : 17

BCL is committed to equality of opportunity, respect for diversity, and fostering inclusion for its staff, its clients, and its professional community.

We recognise that an inclusive workplace is one where staff can fulfil their career potential whilst feeling free to be who they are; we appreciate and celebrate the differences that exist among our colleagues; and we provide opportunities and promotions based solely on ability, experience, and merit.

We are committed to ensuring that our workplace environment is free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or bullying. We believe that every member of BCL bears the responsibility of achieving this goal.

We value the physical and mental well-being of our team. We take pride in how we interact with each other at work at all levels and in all situations.  As an employer, we strive to promote a healthy work life balance through flexibility and to support our employees with reasonable and practical adjustments as required.

Our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) enhances our workplace and the services that we are able to provide to our clients.