Rachel Barnes > Chambers of James Lewis QC & Hugo Keith QC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

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


A dual-qualified US attorney and English barrister, Rachel has a niche fraud, corruption and sanctions practice at the juncture of civil and criminal litigation, in both domestic and international cases. Appointed to various government panels of counsel (see below),  Rachel is also known for her strategic approach in dealing with regulators and other third parties. Clients value her US background and knowledge of US sanctions, as well as her wider practice in cross-border criminal and asset restraint investigations, extradition and MLA, public law and commercial cases. She is well versed in issues of jurisdiction and state immunities and human rights. Rachel advises and represents corporations, governments, individuals and NGOs. She prosecutes and defends in all criminal courts and acts in judicial review and civil cases, appearing in the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Rachel is a co-editor of The Guide to Sanctions (GIR 2020, 2021) and has taught law at the London School of Economics and Cambridge University. She holds a PhD (Cantab) in public international law and an LL.M (Harv. Law School).


Call 2004

Attorney General’s Public International Law Counsel to the Crown (B Panel)

SFO Prosecution Counsel and PoCA Counsel (A Panels)

CPS specialist panels of POCA and Extradition Counsel (Grade 4)


The Fair Trials International Legal Experts Advisory Panel.


Cambridge University (MA Hons Law); Harvard (LLM); Cambridge University (PhD International Criminal Law: ‘The UN Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Programme: Addressing Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues’).

Lawyer Rankings

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

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 2

Rachel BarnesThree Raymond BuildingsAn amazing ability to digest and analyse complex facts into a clear narrative summary. Rachel is an expert in issues of admissibility of evidence; she keeps her eye on how best to present a large quantity of technical financial evidence to the court.

Three Raymond Buildings ‘boasts a breadth and depth of business crime lawyers’, who have a wealth of experience of investigations and prosecutions involving allegations of bribery and corruption, corporate fraud, and anti-competitive conduct, among other offences. Chambers’ notable workload includes some of the most closely-watched SFO investigations over the years in sectors such as manufacturing and mining; Hugo Keith QC is highly regarded in this space, while Jonathan Ashley-Norman QC and James Hines QC are also appointed to the SFO’s panel of silks. The set is also routinely instructed with respect to significant multi-jurisdictional issues, such as violations of international economic sanctions regimes, an area in which Rachel Barnes has niche expertise. In addition to their advocacy skills, multiple members, including Patrick Gibbs QC and Ben Summers, are also well-versed in advisory and compliance work for both companies and individuals relating to potential exposure to risk or criminal liability. Summers returned from a 17-month secondment at Hogan Lovells International LLP in August 2021. Alexander Cameron QC retired in November 2020.

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

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 2

Rachel BarnesThree Raymond BuildingsShe provides very high-level written work and advice on strategy and is extremely hard working and accessible. She has encyclopaedic knowledge of this area, delivers focused cross-examination and has good negotiating skills.

A strong set with great quality at all levels of seniority’, the barristers at Three Raymond Buildings act for agencies in the exercise of their powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and defend corporates and individuals throughout restraint, confiscation, and civil recovery proceedings. Hugo Keith QC, who specialises in high-profile international matters currently represents the son of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in forfeiture proceedings. Jonathan Ashley-Norman QC recently acted for a director of a company whose principal shareholder was suspected of large-scale theft of company assets. Rachel Barnes is acting for the defendant bank account holders against freezing and forfeiture orders in a series of ongoing cases involving the alleged illegal transfer of funds to the UK by Iranian citizens through Iranian-registered money service businesses. In addition, in the High Court case CPS v O’Keeffe, Nicholas Yeo is currently acting for the sister of an alleged money launderer in receivership proceedings brought by the CPS in relation to drugs and fraud allegations.

London Bar > International crime and extradition

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 3

Rachel BarnesThree Raymond BuildingsAn exceptional talent in which there is not a single weakness. Every interaction is a master class in the intricacies of extradition.