Hugo Keith KC > Chambers of James Lewis KC & Hugo Keith KC > London, England > Barrister Profile

Chambers of James Lewis KC & Hugo Keith KC
Three Raymond Buildings


Hugo Keith KC is recognised as one of the legal profession’s leading Silks and is described as ‘a fabulous silk’ and as having ‘an outstanding reputation’.

He is lead Counsel to the UK public inquiry into the Covid-19 pandemic.

He was a member of the ‘A’ Panel of civil Treasury Counsel for 8 years, during which time he regularly appeared on matters of public and criminal law both on behalf of Government departments and as amicus curiae before the High Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords. He has appeared in 15 cases before the House of Lords/Supreme Court.

As well as his regular appearances in the High Court and Supreme Court, he has been instructed in some of the most high profile cases of recent years. He represented Princess Anne when she was prosecuted, and represented The Queen in the Inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. He appeared on behalf of Malcolm Calvert in the Cazenove inside dealing case. He was appointed leading Counsel to the Inquests into the London Bombings of 7 July 2005 and, subsequently, appeared in the Leveson Inquiry on behalf of Rebekah Brooks. He appeared in the Mark Duggan, Alexander Litvinenko and Westminster inquests, and represented the Home Secretary in the El-Gizouli judicial review (concerning MLA relating to one of the ‘Jihadi Beatles‘) and the Electoral Commission in its proceedings against Leave.EU. He appeared on behalf of Airbus in the largest Deferred Prosecution Agreement yet concluded.

Hugo is instructed by companies, high net-worth individuals, and politically exposed persons relating to all aspects of extradition (including advising on Interpol and on international restraint), international criminal/corporate liability, sanctions and criminal judicial review. His extradition and MLA cases include the leading and high profile cases of Berezovsky, US v Bermingham (the Natwest Three), Abu Hamza, Gary McKinnon, Shrien Dewani, David Kezerashvili and Hamdi Ipek.

In the field of financial and international crime, he advised on the UK’s first Deferred Prosecution Agreement (Standard Bank Plc) and appeared in the two of the most recent DPAs (Guralp Systems Limited and Airbus). He has been involved on behalf of individuals or corporate bodies in a large number of the SFO’s highest profile investigations of recent years: LIBOR, EURIBOR, FOREX, Alstom, Autonomy, Rolls Royce, Tesco, Unaoil and ENRC.

He is an expert on search and seizure, restraint and confiscation, and appeared in the leading cases of Rawlinson & Hunter Trustees and Others (search warrants), Golfrate (search warrant), Malabu Oil and Gas (international MLA restraint) and SFO v Zlochevsky (restraint against overseas Minister). He has represented and/or advised a significant number of overseas politically exposed persons, and/or their family members, including Berlusconi (Italy), Sharif (Pakistan), Patarkatsishvili (Georgia), Bakiev (Kyrgyzstan), Mubarak (Egypt), Firtash (Ukraine), and Karimov (Uzbekistan).

He is a renowned appellate advocate, and has appeared in a significant number of leading criminal cases in the UK higher courts. He has appeared twice in the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal, most recently in the appeal concerning the former Chief Secretary of Hong Kong.


Call 1989;  Silk 2009

Joint Head of Chambers 2020 –



Magdalen College, Oxford (MA Hons Jurisprudence).


Tennis, sailing, climbing.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Proceeds of crime (POCA) and asset forfeiture

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Hugo Keith KCThree Raymond Buildings

Hailed as a ‘go-to London set for all matters relating to criminal and regulatory law‘ with significant experience in restraint, confiscation and civil recovery proceedings, members of Three Raymond Buildings regularly act in leading cases. In Supreme Court case R v Andrewes, Jonathan Ashley-Norman KC acted for the respondent – both parties sought to amend a confiscation order in a CV fraud case; the person convicted arguing that if the employee performed satisfactory the benefit figure should be set at zero, while the CPS argued that the salary should be confiscated in full. The set continues to show strong activity in the area of account freezing orders and forfeitures; Hugo Keith KC acted for a high-profile Russian oligarch regarding sanctions-related account freezing orders in NCA v Westminster Magistrates Court, and in Fresh View Ltd v Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Nicholas Yeo acted for a company which had been ordered to forfeit its bank balance as it had been paid through an unregistered money service bureau.

London Bar > International crime and extradition

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Hugo Keith KCThree Raymond Buildings ‘Hugo has dealt with many of the seminal extradition cases and has a length of experience that is very hard to match.

London Bar > Administrative law and human rights

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Hugo Keith KCThree Raymond BuildingsHugo is fiercely bright and extremely hard working. His advice focuses on the nub of the issue. Impressive in the court room.’

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

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Hugo Keith KCThree Raymond Buildings

Three Raymond Buildings is a ‘very strong set known for quality work‘ regarding the prosecution and defence of high-profile matters in cases involving allegations of insider-dealing and serious corruption. Members of the set regularly act for government bodies and agencies, such as corruption and fraud specialist Patrick Gibbs KC, who frequently prosecutes for the SFO, while other members of the set, such as Hugo Keith KC, are regularly instructed by the respondents in SFO investigations.

London Bar > Inquests and inquiries

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Hugo Keith KCThree Raymond Buildings ‘Hugo knows the law inside out. He carries out his work with commitment and verve.’ 

Three Raymond Buildings is ‘a great set with a number of hugely impressive KCs and juniors‘ with key strengths in coronial law, with many members of the set regularly appearing in cases for police forces and officers. Hugh Davies OBE KC draws on his expertise in police law to represent police authorities and officers in inquests; his recent caseload includes acting as lead counsel to West Yorkshire Police Inquest relating to the death of a suspected leader of an organized crime group who was found to have been lawfully killed by armed officers. In other major matters, Hugo Keith KC continues to act as lead counsel to the Covid-19 Public Inquiry. Within the junior pool, Kevin Baumber has an extensive practice in Article 2 inquests, and Ailsa Williamson is representing the officers who detained a man who died following cocaine use and police restraint in the inquest into his death.