BCL Solicitors LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

BCL Solicitors LLP

Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general Tier 1

Clearly at the top of their game‘, BCL Solicitors LLP acts on the full range of serious crime matters, extending from historic sexual assault accusations to major drug crime. The department’s strong reputation attracts a broad range of clients, including high-profile and high-net worth individuals. The ‘superb’ Ellen Peart leads the team, with an extensive practice area which includes sexual crimes, assault, and firearms offences. Mark Haslam, who is praised for his ‘tactical intelligence‘, has more than 40 years’ experience covering all forms of criminal defence work, and in addition to expertise in drugs cases, murder, and assault, has a notable specialism in motoring matters. ‘Completely brilliant‘ associates David Hardstaff and Daniel Jackson are key members of the team, with Hardstaff covering regulatory law and controlled drug licensing, while Jackson is experienced with sexual, violent, and regulatory offences.

Practice head(s):

Ellen Peart


‘Clearly at the top of their game, combining precise and high-quality advice and representation in a tenacious manner while remaining highly personable and flexible.’

‘David Hardstaff was a brilliant point of contact and supportive advocate throughout a challenging and disruptive period.’

‘As a firm their preparation is outstanding and they have a remarkable strength in depth both in terms of their solicitors and back room staff. Their client care is first class.’

‘Mark Haslam is in large measure responsible for the top drawer reputation of BCL’s criminal department. His sense of humour, experience and hard work amount to a masterful combination.’

‘Simply the best criminal solicitors in the country. Their collective experience in representing defendants at the police station and in preparing cases pays dividends for instructed counsel who are provided with detailed instructions littered with bombs of useful material to deploy during a trial.’

‘Ellen Peart is top of the list of solicitors to recommend for high profile and high net worth defendants. She is discreet and sensitive, but always provides pragmatic and correct advice. Clients trust her to find solutions, and they are never disappointed.’

‘The practice is rightly recognised as one of the top firms in the country for private clients. The service is second to none and the client is fully briefed throughout on tactics and preparation.’

‘Excellent team, highly responsive and leaders in their field. I have referred a number of clients to them, and glowing references are what comes back.’

Work highlights

  • Representing Premier League and Mali international footballer Yves Bissouma, who was accused of serious sexual assault.
  • Represented the Danish professional golfer Thorbjorn Oleson, resulting in his unanimous acquittal on all counts following trial.
  • Represented the grandson of Ringo Starr, Sonny Starkey, on multiple charges.

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

Remaining highly active at the top of the individual white collar criminal defence market, BCL Solicitors LLP deploys an extensive senior team on behalf of senior executives, directors, and high net-worth individuals in the UK and globally, handling SFO, FCA, police, and global enforcement agency investigations into bribery and corruption, revenue frauds, insider dealing, and money laundering, with standout involvements in ongoing issues relating to Russian sanctions and Cum-Ex proceedings. The practice is overseen by Harry Travers, who has particular expertise in tax fraud, multijurisdictional financial crime expert Richard Sallybanks, and Shula de Jersey , who has been active in a number of major SFO investigations into bribery and corruption. Senior partner Ian Burton continues to work on behalf of high-profile clients in complex proceedings, while Shaul Brazil is also highlighted for his work in financial crime. John Binns has been active in the sanctions space, representing a number of individual clients facing UK, US, and EU economic and trade sanctions, and Julian Hayes has continued to burnish his reputation in high-profile crime cases. At senior associate level, Hannah Raphael has standout involvements in cross-border financial crime cases, including relating to LIBOR rate-fixing, and Anoushka Warlow is a key name for SFO investigations and prosecutions.

Practice head(s):

Harry Travers; Richard Sallybanks; Shula de Jersey


‘The English firm to go to in white collar crime matters.’

‘Shaul Brazil: Extremely hard working and responsive. Always on top of a matter. Anoushka Warlow: A rising star. While obsessed with the details, she never looses sight of the bigger picture.’

‘BCL is a market leader in this field. Ian Burton is the number one choice for the rich and famous. His partner team is large and multi-talented. This attractive and hugely successful outfit would rank in everyone’s Top Five white collar firms in London.’

‘Ian Burton – the most experienced high net worth defender in the UK, his reputation for influence and strategic nous is unparalleled. If you are rich and famous you should have his number on speed dial.’

Richard Sallybanks – a calm analyst, an incisive mind, a great academic lawyer, and a hugely likeable presence put him in the Champions League placings.’

David Hardstaff – the senior associate to watch – a classic ‘rising star’ – I have spent much of the last two years working with David and can vouch for his quite exceptional good judgement – his ability to engage with, respond to, and give a perfect opinion about.

‘Harry Travers – extraordinarily dogged in his painstaking approach to protecting and promoting the interests of his clients. He is like a dog with a bone and simply will not allow clients’ positions to be disadvantaged, even after things seem to be settled. Outstanding!’

‘Greg Mailer – a thorough and strong pair of hands for any client. He ensures that every issue or piece of evidence has been considered from every angle – an excellent person to have representing you.’

Employment > Health and safety Tier 2

Operating as part of the firm’s larger business crime and regulation department, BCL Solicitors LLP‘s health and safety team is instructed on high profile regulatory and criminal cases, as well as matters involving corporate manslaughter, fire safety; food safety and environmental protection. The team’s focus is on contentious criminal and regulatory matters, with the intent to end investigations before they start. Richard Reichman leads the team and is often instructed in cases that require a deep knowledge of corporate crime and regulation. He is supported by senior associate Tom McNeill, who specialises in regulatory investigations, fire safety and environmental investigations.

Practice head(s):

Richard Reichman

Other key lawyers:

Shula De Jersey; Suzanne Gallagher; Tom McNeill


‘BCL have a strong reputation in this field. They are well known for their broad range of regulatory services with a focus on advising corporates including Directors. I would personally recommend clients to instruct BCL in cases where I am conflicted from acting which is always a good litmus test for me as a fellow practitioner.’

‘Richard Reichman is extremely capable. He is calm under pressure has a strategic and commercial way of supporting clients through the challenges of a regulatory investigation.’

‘Tom McNeill brings a restless, forensic eye to the matters he works on.’

‘Tom McNeill Understands his client superbly, extremely affable, absorbs vast amounts of detail quickly, clear concise.’

‘BCL’s HSE department rightly has an excellent reputation representing heavyweight corporate clients in HSE investigations, including corporate manslaughter investigations.’

‘Richard Reichman is phenomenal. He has able to grasp the detail of a case very quickly and can identify tactical and strategic issues likely to arise. His knowledge of the law is excellent. More generally, he has a thoroughbred background in corporate crime meaning that he is adept at advising Boards and working with other regulators..’

‘Tom McNeill is a seasoned practitioner who clearly works hard to look after his clients best interests but at the same time is affable and sensible to reach accommodation with other stakeholders. Unable to comment on the wider team/firm.’

Key clients

Celsa Manufacturing (UK) Limited

Options Energy Resource LLP

Dispute resolution > Tax litigation and investigations Tier 4

The business crime and regulation team at BCL Solicitors LLP acts for a range of clients including high-ranking executives and senior figures. The firm has expertise in tax fraud cases across the financial and legal sectors. Co-head Harry Travers combines experience in tax litigation and tax fraud. Other co-heads Ian Burton and Greg Mailer are involved in tax investigations while John Binns represents individual and corporate clients.

Practice head(s):

Harry Travers; Ian Burton; Greg Mailer

Other key lawyers:


‘Unparalleled expertise in the financial crime space. Consistently delivering outcomes above and beyond those that could be reasonably anticipated.’

‘Harry Travers combines a very powerful analytical mind, with deep technical skills and industry leading experience. Harry works tirelessly to ensure clients benefit from the best possible outcomes in the hazardous environment of serious tax investigations.’

‘Greg Mailer has strong technical skills and is a very skilled negotiator and problem solver. Greg is a very safe pair of hands in the daunting environment of serious tax investigations.’

‘This is a highly capable team with an ability to get up to speed on technical tax points and to handle difficult investigations. It has excellent relations with HMRC and is highly strategic.’

‘Harry Travers is extremely competent, quick and thorough. Umar Azmeh – very thorough, diligent and user friendly.’

‘BCL have an amazing client base which is a testament to the quality of the work they do. They appear to be the firm of choice for high profile clients where there is a lot at stake (criminal and/or civil), which reflects a long standing history of achieving the best results.’

‘Ian Burton is exceptional. He has the ability to build and maintain excellent relationships with both the client and HMRC, inspiring confidence on both sides.’

‘Harry Travers is a comforting and intelligent presence.’

Work highlights

    Risk advisory > Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 4

    Highly praised by clients for its ability to ‘truly combine criminal law and data law expertise’, BCL Solicitors LLP is uniquely positioned to handle enforcement actions, investigations, online harm issues, and cybercrime matters. Leading the practice is former GCHQ legal director Michael Drury, who is especially sought after to advise on cyberattacks, ransomware incidents and potential prosecutions by the ICO. Another key name is Julian Hayes, whose expertise spans data subject rights, compliance matters, data transfers and breach responses.

    Practice head(s):

    Michael Drury

    Other key lawyers:


    ‘Julian Hayes is a creative lawyer with a good instinct for the law, which is absolutely key in this field.’

    ‘BCL is the only firm that is truly able to combine criminal law and data law expertise. Many other firms specialise in one or the other and are not competent to advise on both but BCL is uniquely placed to do so.’

    ‘Julian Hayes is a very driven and hardworking partner who manages to combine his fierce intellect with charm and a friendly persona. He is excellent with clients and knows how to get to the root of a problem.’

    ‘Michael Drury is the doyenne of national security law and this provides him with real expertise when it comes to cyber security issues.’

    ‘Julian Hayes and Michael Drury are both experts in their field and have the advantage over many competitors that they have a proven track record of acting in contentious investigations and litigation over many years.’

    ‘Julian Hayes has a deep understanding of data protection, privacy and cybersecurity. He also has a global awareness and perspective of how current issues are dealt with in other countries. He is the first person I phone when I need to discuss issues or bounce ideas around. He has an intuitive feel for the subject, backed up by sound knowledge and judgement.’

    ‘Michael Drury is a phenomenal lawyer with decades of experience with data protection and national security issues. He consistently provides strong legal and strategic advice.’

    ‘Julian is our go-to lawyer on UK law matters. He is an expert on data protection matters. He is always approachable, efficient, and practical.’

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

    The ‘excellent team‘ at BCL Solicitors LLP is increasingly active on behalf of corporate clients facing financial crime investigations and charges, with areas of focus including money laundering, account freezing orders, and Unexplained Wealth Orders. The firm acts for a diverse client base, including high-profile names in professional services as well as trustees and charities, and also has a strong record in complex compliance advice alongside its criminal representations. Senior partner Ian Burton oversees the team alongside John Binns , a key name for Proceeds of Crime Act work and cross-border investigations, as well as compliance advice on complex issues such as cannabis. Richard Reichman  has notable expertise in health and safety issues and internal investigations, while senior associate Anoushka Warlow is noted for her work on challenging search warrants and unlawful retention of evidence during complex corruption proceedings.

    Practice head(s):

    Ian Burton; John Binns

    Other key lawyers:

    Richard Reichman; Anoushka Warlow; Tom McNeill; Suzanne Gallagher


    ‘This is an excellent team which has a deep understanding of the law. It offers practical and sensible advice.’

    ‘Shaul Brazil is an excellent lawyer, who is tactically astute and focused on the client. He deliver great outcomes.

    ‘Anoushka Warlow will be a star of the future.’

    ‘A very strong team with a fantastic reputation. Very personable and responsive’

    ‘BCL’s Corporate Crime and Investigations department rightly has an excellent reputation representing heavyweight corporate clients in Corporate Crime investigations, including investigations by the MPS, FSA, HSE and EA.’

    ‘Richard Reichman is phenomenal. He has able to grasp the detail of a case very quickly and can identify tactical and strategic issues likely to arise. His knowledge of the law is excellent. He has a thoroughbred background in corporate crime meaning that he is adept at advising Boards and working with a range of regulators and investigators.’

    ‘Tom McNeill is also very bright and a huge benefit to any team. He rolls his sleeves up and gets stuck into the most complex problems.’

    ‘Suzanne Gallagher is diligent and personable – a huge asset to any team.’

    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.

      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
      John Binns photo John BinnsJohn advises corporate and individual clients on business crime and corporate regulatory…
      Shaul Brazil photo Shaul BrazilShaul Brazil is a partner at BCL specialising in business crime and…
      Ian Burton photo Ian BurtonIan Burton is a senior partner and founder of BCL Solicitors. Having…
      Michael Drury CMG photo Michael Drury CMGMichael Drury joined BCL in September 2010.  Formerly Director for Legal Affairs…
      David Hardstaff photo David HardstaffDavid Hardstaff is a partner in BCL’s serious and general crime department,…
      Mark Haslam photo Mark HaslamPartner specialising in all forms of criminal defence work from the police…
      Julian Hayes photo Julian HayesJulian is an experienced partner in BCL’s white collar crime and regulatory…
      Daniel  Jackson photo Daniel JacksonDaniel is a partner specialising in serious and general criminal litigation. He…
      Greg Mailer photo Greg MailerSolicitor specialising in corporate crime, financial crime and regulatory investigations. Has expertise…
      Tom McNeill photo Tom McNeillTom McNeill is a partner at BCL specialising in defending companies and…
      Ellen Peart photo Ellen PeartEllen Peart is a partner at BCL and is recognised as a…
      Richard Reichman photo Richard ReichmanRichard is a partner specialising in corporate crime, regulatory investigations (including ESG…
      Richard Sallybanks photo Richard SallybanksRichard Sallybanks, a partner in BCL for over 20 years, specialises in…
      Harry Travers photo Harry TraversHarry Travers, a partner at BCL, specialises in business crime and regulation.…
      Shula de Jersey photo Shula de JerseyShe 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.