William Boyce QC


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QEB News: QEB Hollis Whiteman members involved in Operation Tabernula trial
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QEB News: Private Prosecutor secures £38 million in confiscation and compensation against “formidable and serial fraudsman” Ketan Somaia
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QEB News: Supreme Court judgement in VAT in confiscation proceedings appeal - Bill Boyce QC represents Appellant
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QEB News: Bill Boyce QC to speak at EY Private Prosecutions Seminar on Thursday 20th November
18.11.2014 More >

QEB News: William Boyce QC and Rachna Gokani feature on Private Prosecutions in Law Society Gazette
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QEB News: Ranked as Leader in Financial Crime and Crime by Chambers UK
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QEB News: Ketan Somaia convicted by a jury at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) in largest ever private prosecution brought by an individual in the UK. William Boyce QC and Rachna Gokani were instructed on behalf of the prosecution by Peters & Peters.
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QEB News: William Boyce QC interviewed for The Law Society Gazette ‘My legal life’ series.
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QEB News: William Boyce QC and Fraser Coxhill represent family at Inquest into the death of a soilder in Iraq
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QEB News: Review of OFT Consultation - Proposed Changes to Guidance Note on Applications for Leniency and No-action in Cartel Cases
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William Boyce QC

Call 1976
Silk 2001
BA (Kent) 

Practice: Business crime, Fraud and Crime

"His meticulous preparation, attention to detail and lethal intellect make him a very fine advocate." Chambers UK (2015) Financial Crime

“William Boyce has got great judgment. He’s one of those people who can understand his audience very quickly and is fantastic at saying the right thing to the right person. He’s measured, but also creative and innovative.”  Chambers UK (2014) Fraud: Criminal

“He is super-intelligent, and a brilliant orator.”  Chambers UK (2014) Crime

“Fights every case with tremendous passion.”   Legal 500 (2013) Fraud: Crime

“William Boyce QC is singled out for his ‘effortless performance in court’, and his ‘minute attention to detail, unsurpassed levels of preparation, and superb intellect.’”  Legal 500 (2013) Crime

“William Boyce QC is an ‘excellent’ criminal fraud silk, who recently acted for the defence in R  v  Darmoo and Brown, the ‘Arms to Iraq’ sanction busting and money laundering case which received widespread media coverage.”  Chambers UK (2013) Fraud: Criminal

“William Boyce QC is ‘calm, lethal, but fair’, and ‘absolutely superb in court, whether handling complex fraud or serious sexual allegations.’ He was Treasury Counsel for ten years and is held in high regard by many sources, who particularly applaud his cross-examination skills. Recent significant work for him has included R  v  Smith, Oppong, Powell and three others, a much-publicised Trident case concerning a multiple shooting.”  Chambers UK (2013) Crime 


Throughout his career, William Boyce QC has been instructed in the most grave, complex and high-profile cases of the day, including:

•    many and various frauds – banking, mortgage, market making, insider dealing, false announcements to the market, including prosecuting the first FSA prosecution of its kind (R  v  Rigby and others), LIBOR, arms to Iraq, international bribery and corruption, cartel, and fraud relating to mergers and acquisitions;

•    the appeals of ‘the Birmingham Six’, Judith Ward and Stefan Kizsko;

•    the trials of the police officers who investigated ‘the Birmingham Six’ and Winston Silcott;

•    the proceedings against: Paul Burrell; Powell and Daniels (all courts to the House of Lords);

•    World War II war crimes investigations;

•    many murders (including the Jamie Robe killing, about which a TV film was made).

Business and White Collar Crime

William is currently instructed to act for a high profile trader in relation to international investigations regarding alleged LIBOR manipulation.

Recent work includes:

•    representing a defendant in the largest ‘insider dealing’ case brought by the FCA (formerly the FSA);

•    advising a technology company regarding discussions with the Ministry of Justice regarding the admissibility of data from new technology;

•    instructed as leading counsel in the Chancery Division in a Chancery action based on alleged oral contracts between very high net worth individuals;

•    instructed on behalf of the Gambling Commission in relation to criminal prosecutions arising out of a misuse of relevant licences etc;

•    instructed to act in appellate proceedings regarding confiscation procedures and the impact of the ECHR thereon;

•    instructed to act on behalf of the prosecution in the highest value private prosecution in the Crown Court (regarding alleged fraud, in the context of international business dealings between high net worth individuals);

•    instructed in a number of high profile money laundering cases both for the prosecution and defence.

Bribery and Corruption

- Currently instructed by a leading London firm of solicitors (together with US lawyers) to advise a global corporation into concerns regarding suspected bribery and corruption in the lead-up period to an international Merger and Acquisition contract involving colossal sums of money (names of parties withheld);

- In very recent years, the following represent examples of instructions received regarding ‘bribery and corruption’:

- To advise a client facing 2 sets of criminal proceedings and linked civil proceedings within the UK arising out of alleged corrupt practices in a West African state, and using banks in a central European state to process the alleged proceeds (names of parties withheld);

- To advise a client facing confiscation proceedings in Jersey (under Jersey law), following his conviction (when differently represented in Jersey) in relation to corrupt practices in West Africa and the Balkans;

- To advise and represent at trial, a client accused of ‘sanctions busting and money-laundering’ in relation to the alleged illegal export of equipment to Iraq in breach of national and international arms control legislation, and by (allegedly) entering into corrupt agreements with Iraqi nationals;

- To advise an international company in the process of final-stage Merger and Acquisition negotiations with their market-leading international competitor, after the SFO commenced an investigation into the former company regarding suspected corrupt practices by that company both in the UK and abroad in the context of trade with Iraq;

- At a much less rigorous level, co-authored and co-presented a short web-based, inter-active, introduction to The Bribery Act. 


“’hero of the Bar’ William Boyce QC.”  Legal 500 (2012) Crime

"William Boyce QC is a barrister who 'prepares meticulously' and has 'an extraordinary gift for persuasive, dogged advocacy.'"  Chambers UK (2012)

"'One of the best prosecutors around thanks to his incredibly meticulous preparation', Boyce is a regular in important cases of the day."  Chambers UK (2010)

William Boyce is "extremely bright and brilliant to deal with."  Chambers UK (2011)

William Boyce's "overall strategic thinking is unsurpassed."  Legal 500 (2010)

William Boyce "scores highly on judgement, ability and determination."  Legal 500 (2010)

Recommended in Crime and Fraud - Chambers UK (2010)

"Praised for being 'a highly methodical and strategic thinker', as well as an 'outstanding advocate.'"  Chambers UK (2010)

"William Boyce QC remains 'a master of cross-examination and mitigation… meticulous in case preparation, who produces exceptional written work.'  He impressed in his defence of Bellfield, the bus-stop killer."  Legal 500 (2009)

"A barrister who takes 'a wonderfully measured approach', Boyce has a practice that features both heavy general crime and serious fraud matters." 
Chambers UK (2009)


1997 - 2001 Senior Treasury Counsel at the Central Criminal Court
1993 Recorder
1991 - 1997 Junior Treasury Counsel at the Central Criminal Court

Additional Information

Accepts instructions on direct public access cases.

Bencher of Grays Inn

Member of Bar Council
Member of Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
Member of Competition Law Association
Member of Criminal Bar Association
Member of European Criminal Bar Association
Member of Fraud Advisory Panel
Member of International Bar Association
Member of Justice

Notable cases:

Operation Tabernula (Andrew Hind) 2016
Two convicted and three acquitted in the ‘biggest ever insider trading trial’; William Boyce QC instructed on behalf of accountant Andrew Hind who is sentenced to just 3 years and six months.

R -v- Somaia (Ketan) (2014)
Successful private prosecution, Ketan Somaia was convicted by a jury of 9 counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception.

William Boyce QC and Fraser Coxhill represent family at Inquest into the death of a soilder in Iraq (2013)
Death of Soldier

R v Rose (2013)
Blackmail of Tamara Ecclestone

R v Martin (2013)
V Festival after party

R v Oppong (2012)
"Accused and accuser tried at the same time..

R v PD & EB (2012)
Major sanctions busting case collapses

British Airways / Virgin Price-Fixing Trial (2010)
First trial of cartel offence under Enterprise Act

Operation Eaglewood (2010)
Money laundering and drug trafficking. Prosecuting the largest case currently brought by the Crown Prosecution Service.

R v Calvert (2008)
Insider-dealing trial on behalf of the Financial Services Authority

R v Ikilat & others (2008)
Huge series of interlinked allegations of money-laundering


William Boyce QC and Rachna Gokani feature on Private Prosecutions in Law Society Gazette
Download (PDF) >

OFT Consultation Analysis
OFT's supplementary consultation on proposed changes to its existing guidance note on the handling of applications for lenien 5.11.2012
Download (PDF) >