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

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



Joint Head of Chambers.
Described as ‘a fabulous silk’ and as having ‘an outstanding reputation’, Hugo is recognised as one of the legal profession’s leading QC’s. 

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 14 cases before the House of Lords/Supreme Court.  He won the Chambers and Partners award for criminal barrister of the year 2008, and took silk in 2009.

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 The Queen in the Inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Malcolm Calvert in the Cazenove inside dealing case.  He was then 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 and in the Tchenguiz action against the SFO.

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. 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.Notable cases in 2014-2017 include the Gary McKinnon case, the Shrien Dewani extradition (in which he successfully represented the Republic of South Africa), the Inquest into the death of Mark Duggan (Hugo represented the Metropolitan Police Commissioner), the Inquest into the death of Alexander Litvinenko (on behalf of Boris Berezovsky), the Hermitage Capital affair, and the SFO investigations into LIBORAlstom and Swift (Nigeria).  He advised on the UK’s first Deferred Prosecution Agreement (Standard Bank Plc). He successfully defended the former CEO in the Bertling overseas corruption case. He is representing the Metropolitan Police Service in the Inquests relating to the Westminster terrorist attack of 22 March 2017 and is currently advising individuals or corporate bodies in relation to some of the most significant current SFO investigations, including Autonomy/Hewlett PackardRolls Royce, Euribor, Airbus and ENRC/Gertler. He is instructed by the Electoral Commission in relation to its investigation into certain aspects of the EU Referendum.


Called 1989, QC 2009; Joint Head of Chambers 2020; Gray’s Inn; elected member of Bar Council 1995; Treasury B Panel 1995; appointed member of Treasury ‘A’ Panel 2000-08; Bencher Gray’s Inn 2013.


Magdalen College, Oxford (MA Hons Jurisprudence).


Tennis, sailing, climbing.

Lawyer Rankings

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

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

Hugo Keith QCThree Raymond BuildingsA commercially astute silk.

Stellar setThree Raymond Buildings houses ‘top-class counsel at all levels‘, well known for their extensive expertise in sanctions matters, insider trading, SFO investigations and high-profile bribery and corruption cases, to name a few areas. Hugo Keith QC represented Airbus in its investigation by the SFO concerning allegations of bribery and corruption; in January 2020 Airbus entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the SFO and agreed to pay a fine of €1bn.

London Bar > International crime and extradition

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

Hugo Keith QCThree Raymond BuildingsHugo is a superb advocate able to assimilate and present complex legal arguments simply and effectively. He inspires confidence in clients and is very hardworking. A commanding court presence, always eager to get stuck into the detail, charming and persuasive with clients.

A ‘high-quality set‘, Three Raymond Buildings is ‘an excellent chambers for extradition law barristers‘, with ‘good strength in depth‘. In one example instruction, ‘brilliant advocate‘ Hugo Keith QC and the ‘incredibly hard-working‘ Ben Watson defended Zamira Hajiyeva, the recipient of the UK’s first unexplained wealth order (UWO), against an extradition request made by the Government of Azerbaijan following allegations of fraud; on the other side, the ‘immensely experienced‘ Helen Malcolm QC represented the Government of Azerbaijan (via the Crown Prosecution Service). In recent news, the ‘incredibly sharp‘ Matthew Butt QC took silk in 2020, strengthening the set at the senior end.

London Bar > Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police)

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 4

Hugo Keith QCThree Raymond BuildingsHe is a powerful advocate who is not afraid to tell the court exactly like it is but in such a way that given his reputation and background that even trenchant criticism carries considerable weight and is listened to by the tribunal in question.

London Bar > Administrative and public law (including elections)

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 4

Hugo Keith QCThree Raymond BuildingsA class act: Highly intelligent and analytical and a very persuasive advocate.

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

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 2

Hugo Keith QCThree Raymond BuildingsAn excellent silk for POCA-related work.