Adrian Darbishire KC > Chambers of Adrian Darbishire KC and Selva Ramasamy KC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Adrian Darbishire KC and Selva Ramasamy KC
QEB Hollis Whiteman
Adrian Darbishire photo


Adrian Darbishire’s defence practice focuses on workplace crime in many forms, but particularly in relation to (a) health and safety matters, including manslaughter (b) financial matters, especially sanctions breaches, cartels, corruption and money laundering issues and (c) professional misconduct, especially in relation to medical and legal professionals. He has long experience of the specific issues that arise in these cases, such as in relation to disclosure, LPP, confidentiality and the nature (and misuse) of investigatory powers. He is well-versed in the interplay between prosecutors and regulators, and has appeared in or advised in relation to many tribunals, from professional bodies (GMC, GDC, SRA etc.) to the Competition Appeal Tribunal. His practice focuses on professionals charged in criminal and disciplinary proceedings arising in connection with their work, especially anti-competitive behaviour; fraud; corruption; market abuse; serious professional misconduct and negligence; and health and safety breaches. He is also engaged in advising and defending companies in other criminal matters, such as those relating to dangerous or environmentally damaging products and workplaces. He has considerable experience of defending doctors in criminal and General Medical Council matters, including gross negligence; offences concerning the conduct of clinical research; sexual offences; verbal/physical abuse of patients; misuse of alcohol/drugs; and claims frauds. He has a particular interest in criminal cases with technical aspects such as accounting, engineering and medicine. Through cartel, corruption and sanctions work in particular, he has significant experience in and knowledge of the international dimension to domestic criminal law, for example where parallel domestic and foreign investigations are in place. He has been involved in challenges to domestic legislation based upon European directives (see R v B(I) [2010] 1 Cr App R 16), UN Security Council Resolutions (see R v PD & EB (Iraq Sanctions) [2011] EWCA Crim 2082) and ECtHR. He has Administrative Court experience for applicants and respondents on judicial review, case stated and habeas corpus. He has experience of inquests for implicated parties and families of the deceased, as well as substantial appellate experience in criminal matters, particularly in relation to sentencing. Notable cases include: acting for defendant in the first cartel prosecution (Marine Hose); acting for defendant in first cartel trial (BA/Virgin allegations); acting for prosecution in first statutory corporate manslaughter prosecution.


Called Lincoln’s Inn 1993; QC 2012. Although usually acting for the defence, as a former Treasury Counsel at the CCC (2007-2012), he also brings with him long experience as a prosecutor of the most serious and complex cases.


Competition Law Association; Health and Safety Lawyers’ Association; Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers; CBA; ECBA; registered with the Bar Council Public Access Directory; Public Access Bar Association (PABA).


King’s College, London (1993-94 LLM in administrative and criminal law); City University, London (1991-92 diploma in law); Balliol College, Oxford (1985-88 BA Hons English literature).

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Business and regulatory crime (including global investigations)

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Adrian Darbishire KCQEB Hollis WhitemanStrategic, super-smart, hard working, and a thoughtful, incisive and persuasive advocate. Rightly at the very top of the financial crime Bar, with the intellect, experience and gravitas to handle and win even the most complex and difficult cases. He is also a pleasure to work with, collaborative, calm and very personable.

Focused heavily on business crime and regulatory matters, QEB Hollis Whiteman includes a number of senior members regularly instructed by the SFO, FCA, and NCA, as well as by high-profile defendants, in complex and heavily-scrutinised cases. The set is regularly involved in cross-border cases, with instructions from Magic Circle and major US firms, including international bribery and corruption, trade and sanctions, and corporate fraud proceedings. Former First Senior Treasury Counsel Mark Ellison KC primarily bases his practice around private financial crime defence, primarily internationally, including currently representing an ex-global head of compliance at Alstom relating alleged bribery in Hungary, as well as continuing to represent ENRC in its SFO bribery investigation. Adrian Darbishire KC handles high-profile frauds, bribery and corruption and serious financial misconduct cases, including a standout involvement on behalf of a former Unaoil executive, appealing their conviction for bribery, a case which also saw a major role for Mark Aldred . ‘First rate juniorRhys Meggy continues to establish himself in the financial crime space, regularly defending clients against SFO prosecutions.

London Bar > Health and safety

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Adrian Darbishire KCQEB Hollis WhitemanHe brings his experience and expertise across the whole range of criminal justice to health and safety. This makes him stand out.