• An outstanding junior sought out for his devastatingly effective advocacy, effortless grasp of complex cases and meticulous attention to detail; top ranked in Crime by Chambers & Partners, Ben FitzGerald impresses sources across all disciplines.

    Corporate and Financial Crime

    Ben represents professional and corporate clients facing high-profile allegations of corporate and financial crime including: rate manipulation; all types of fraud including tax fraud; tax evasion; bribery and corruption; and corporate health and safety breaches. He is instructed by City firms who demand impeccable tactical planning and precise advocacy. He is instructed in some of the SFO’s most significant prosecutions and investigations.

    Crime

    Ben prosecutes and defends serious general crime cases, notably prosecuting homicide and organised crime for the specialised units of the CPS at the Central Criminal Court in cases of extreme sensitivity and media interest. He is forensically astute, dealing with the most complex evidence and he is adept at dealing with extremely difficult legal issues. Ben is well placed to defend professionals as investigations by regulating agencies move into the criminal sphere. He also has experience of defending private prosecutions. Ben is regarded as one of the foremost advocates in his field, he is a Grade 4 prosecutor for the CPS and is ranked in Band 1 in Crime by Chambers UK. He is regularly instructed both alone and as a led junior in the most serious criminal cases.

    Reviews

    Chambers UK 2020: Crime – Band 1; Financial Crime – Band 2

    Chambers High Net Worth 2019: Financial Crime: High Net Worth Individuals – Band 2

    Legal 500 2020: Business and Regulatory Crime (Including Global investigations) – Tier 2; Fraud Crime – Tier 2

    ‘A very thorough and insightful junior, who is headed for great things.’ Chambers UK Crime (2020)

    ‘He has a very clear, logical legal mind, is really easy to work with and is very bright.’ ‘He has all the qualities you look for - he's cerebral but he also knows how to frame an argument and he's very hard-working. All in all a very able and effective advocate.’ Chambers UK Financial Crime (2020)

    ‘He has the ear of judges, yet is unafraid to stand up to them.’ Legal 500 Business & Regulatory (2020)

    ‘Incredibly clever, great with clients, completely dependable and an extremely good advocate.’ Legal 500 Crime (2020)

    ‘He remains calm under fire.’ Legal 500 Fraud: Crime (2020)

    ‘He has drafting skills ahead of his years and his legal analysis is superb.’ ‘Ben is an extremely intelligent lawyer who is very responsive.’ Chambers UK Crime (2019)

    ‘Really, really bright, very on top of the law and very hard-working.’ ‘He's a fantastic tactician.’ Chambers UK Financial Crime (2019)

    ‘He is a top junior.’ ‘He is a leading name for sure and absolutely excellent.’ Chambers High Net Worth (2019)

    ‘Clearly destined for great things – he analyses problems carefully and is very diplomatic with clients.’ Legal 500 Business & Regulatory (2018)

    ‘He is able to rapidly win the confidence of the court and his client.’ Legal 500 Crime (2018)

    ‘Quite brilliant – he makes oral argument in cases even when several silks are defending.’ Legal 500 Fraud: Crime (2018)

    ‘An outstanding senior junior who is completely dependable even with the most difficult brief or client.’ Chambers UK Financial Crime (2018)

    ‘Obviously a star in the making.’ Chambers UK Financial Crime (2018)

    ‘Fantastic in terms of his advocacy and his ability to control very difficult clients. He’s very commercial and thoughtful in his approach, and never talks down to anyone so he’s good in a team.’ Chambers UK Financial Crime (2017)

    ‘A brilliant advocate well above his years of call.’ Legal 500 Fraud (2015)

    Appointments

    • CPS External Advocates Panel Grade 4
    • Serious Fraud Office Prosecution Counsel Panel A

    Professional Memberships

    • Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers
    • Criminal Bar Association
    • Fraud Lawyers Association
    • Registered with the Bar Council – Public Access Directory
    • Public Access Bar Association
    • Private Prosecutors’ Association

    ​Education

    • Bar Vocational Course – Inns of Court School of Law
    • Postgraduate Diploma in Law – City University
    • BA (Hons) History: First Class – Trinity College, University of Cambridge

    Recent Cases

    • On 31 January 2020, Dame Victoria Sharp PQBD gave final public approval to a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (‘DPA’) between the Serious Fraud Office and Airbus SE, relating to historic failures to prevent bribery and corruption offences in mul...

      ...
    • Ben FitzGerald successfully defended John Varley, former Chief Executive of Barclays, in the SFO’s prosecution of four individuals for fraud concerning the Bank’s 2008 capital raising from Qatar.

      ...
    • Ben FitzGerald secured the dismissal of the charges against Barclays and Barclays Bank in the SFO’s prosecution concerning the 2008 capital raising from Qatar.

      ...
    • Ben FitzGerald successfully prosecuted the French couple Ouissem Medouni and Sabrina Kouider for the murder of their au pair Sophie Lionnet.

      ...
    • Ben FitzGerald represented a company director indicted for conspiracy to cheat the Revenue, involving an allegation that £109m of tax was placed at risk.

      ...
    • Advising a major UK financial institution on matters relating to LIBOR manipulation and fraud.

      ...
    • Ben Fitzgerald acted as independent counsel dealing with legal professional privilege in a multi-million pound case of bribery and corruption against HBoS (Southwark Crown Court).

      ...
    • Edward Brown QC leading Ben Fitzgerald and Philip Stott acted  for the prosecution in the trial of the murder of six-year-old Ellie Butler by her father Ben Butler.

      ...
    • Ben FitzGerald acted as junior prosecution counsel, together with Mark Ellison QC, in this historic murder case.

      ...
    • Keith Green was charged with fraud by false representation and perverting the course of justice.

      ...
    • Defending the chief operating officer of a London tech company, Ms Davda, was charged with fraud by abuse of position.

      ...
    • Ben FitzGerald acted alone for the defendant in this Health and Safety Executive prosecution arising from a fatal accident.

      ...
    • A tragic case in which a 17 year old Muslim girl was charged with the attempted murder of her newborn baby.

      ...
    • Ben Fitzgerald's  client was an exotic dancer at Stringfellows Nightclub, who admitted to evading income tax over a five-year period of in excess of £100,000.

      ...

    News

    • Ben FitzGerald and Katherine Buckle act in Airbus Deferred Prosecution Agreement (2020)

      On 31 January 2020, Dame Victoria Sharp PQBD gave final public approval to a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (‘DPA’) between the Serious Fraud Office and Airbus SE, relating to historic failures to prevent bribery and corruption offences in mul...

      ...
    • QEB Hollis Whiteman ranked in Chambers High Net Worth Guide

      Chambers & Partners’ High Net Worth publication ranks the top lawyers and law firms for international private wealth.Its 2019 edition launched on Thursday 11th June and marks the first time that Chambers HNW has featured barristers who specialise in...

      ...
    • SFO v Barclays: five members of Chambers in landmark case

      The fraud trial of four former Barclays executives began on 23/01.

      ...
    • Barclays successfully defends SFO application for voluntary bill of indictment

      Crispin Aylett QC and Ben FitzGerald acted for Barclays plc and Barclays Bank plc.

      ...
    • French couple convicted of murdering au pair Sophie Lionnet

      Ben FitzGerald successfully prosecuted a French couple for the murder of their au pair Sophie Lionnet.

      ...
    • Charges dismissed in Barclays fraud case

      Crispin Aylett QC and Ben FitzGerald acted for Barclays PLC and Barclays Bank PLC, together with Richard Lissack QC of Fountain Court Chambers, on a successful application before Mr Justice Jay to dismiss all charges against the corporate defendants, in a...

      ...
    • Ben Fitzgerald prosecutes in Sophie Lionnet death case

      Ben FitzGerald appears for the prosecution against two defendants admitted perverting the course of justice by attempting to burn the body of Sophie Lionnet.

      ...
    • Ben Fitzgerald is ranked as a Leader in his Field in Crime, Financial Crime and Professional Discipline in Chambers UK Bar Directory 2018

       Details of the rankings and commentaries will be published in November 2017 in the Chambers UK Bar Directory 2018.

      ...
    • Edward Brown QC, Ben Fitzgerald and Philip Stott represent prosecution in Ben Butler murder trial

      Edward Brown QC, Ben Fitzgerald and Philip Stott were instructed by the CPS in the trial of Butler for the murder of his six-year-old daughter Ellie.

      ...
    • Prosecution offer no evidence after complainant's evidence discredited in fraud and money laundering trial

      QEB Hollis Whiteman member Ben FitzGerald represented a former Chief Operating Officer and fellow member Polly Dyer represented her partner, who were charged with fraud and money laundering respectively. The case concerned the payment of recruitment fees ...

      ...
    • Acted on behalf of GMC in case against Doctor alleged to have carried out multiple unhygienic and substandard circumcisions. Mr Siddiqui was erased by the MPTS.

      The misconduct hearing of Dr Mohammed Siddiqui started this week. Dr Siddiqui is charged with carrying out multiple unhygienic and substandard circumcisions.  Dr Siddiqui, who denies the allegations, was the subject of a BBC Radio 5 documentary in 2013.Fo...

      ...
    • Mid Staffordshire report

      The Francis report into the failure of NHS managers and regulators at Mid Staffordshire hospital trust was published on the 6th February 2013.

      ...
    • Mid-Staffs NHS Public Inquiry

      Tom Kark QC has been questioning ex-Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham and ex-Health Minister Ben Bradshaw at the Mid Staffordshire Public Inquiry.

      ...
  • Corporate and Financial Crime

    A go-to junior in corporate and financial crime, Ben FitzGerald is technically and tactically astute, mastering the complex detail and translating it effortlessly for both client and court room; he is a star of the junior bar.

    Overview

    Ben represents professional and corporate clients facing high-profile allegations of corporate and financial crime including: rate manipulation; all types of fraud including tax fraud; tax evasion; bribery and corruption; money laundering; and corporate health and safety breaches. He is instructed by City firms who demand impeccable tactical planning and precise advocacy. He is instructed in some of the SFO’s most significant prosecutions and investigations. 

    Experience 

    In 2019-20, Ben acted for Airbus in securing the UK’s largest ever Deferred Prosecution Agreement as part of a co-ordinated global settlement with authorities in the UK, France and the US. 

    Ben also recently represented Barclays in its dismissal of charges arising from the bank's capital raising from Qatar during the financial crisis and its successful resistance to the SFO’s application for a voluntary bill of indictment in 2018. He was subsequently part of the team which secured the acquittal of Barclays’ ex-Chief Executive, John Varley, on the same charges at trial and before the Court of Appeal in 2019. 

    He currently advises a senior manager within the oil industry in a multi-jurisdictional investigation into bribery and money laundering. He represented a major UK bank in relation to alleged LIBOR manipulation and fraud, as well as an individual banker in connection with the SFO's EURIBOR investigation. He has successfully defended the UK's largest retailer against private criminal prosecution. He has secured the acquittal of a chartered accountant on charges of fraud. 

    Ben recently represented a company director charged in connection with an alleged £109 million tax fraud and the laundering of the proceeds of the offending in Operation Amazon, reportedly HM Revenue & Customs' largest ever prosecution. He has also represented a company director based in Spain on charges of tax fraud and multi-million pound money laundering using electronic banking and companies in numerous jurisdictions. He has extensive experience of advising on Legal Professional Privilege, investigatory powers and judicial review proceedings.

    Ben acts regularly in Health and Safety cases for both the prosecution and for corporate or individual defendants. He recently represented a contractor charged over a death whilst working at height (R v Bakewell). He secured convictions against corporates and individuals arising from a workplace death on an industrial estate (R v Babamiri & Others). 

    Ben brings tactical insight, intellectual ability and expert advocacy to bear in cases frequently involving complex and voluminous evidence and legal issues. He defends corporate clients and professionals who require impeccable preparation and case presentation in respect of financial crime and regulatory allegations; he also prosecutes in complex fraud and has extensive experience as Independent Counsel dealing with matters of LPP. He is regularly instructed by specialist fraud and City firms to advise on alleged financial offending of the highest sensitivity for the individuals and companies concerned. He is often engaged from the earliest stage of an investigation, throughout, until conclusion.

    Notable Cases

    SFO v Airbus SE (2020)
    Ben FitzGerald acted for Airbus in securing the UK’s largest ever Deferred Prosecution Agreement, as part of a co-ordinated global settlement with the UK, French and US authorities.

    SFO v Varley & Others (2019)
    Ben FitzGerald represented Barclays, assisting the team acting for John Varley the former chief executive of Barclays. Ben was led by Nicholas Purnell QC.

    SFO v Barclays PLC & Others (2018) 
    Ben FitzGerald acted for Barclays and Barclays Bank in the SFO’s prosecution concerning the 2008 capital raising from Qatar. In May 2018, acting for the corporate defendants together with Richard Lissack QC and Crispin Aylett QC, Ben FitzGerald successfully applied before Mr Justice Jay to dismiss the charges.

    SFO investigation into LIBOR manipulation (2018)
    Ben FitzGerald advises a major UK financial institution in relation to the SFO’s investigation relating to LIBOR manipulation and fraud.

    R v Demetriou (2017-18)
    Representing a company director in a trial for conspiracy to cheat the Revenue, involving an allegation that £109m of tax was placed at risk and the laundering of millions of pounds of investors’ money through series of companies across multiple jurisdictions.

    R v Panitzke (2013-16)
    Representing a company director (Kingston Crown Court) on charges of tax fraud and money laundering in connection with multi-million pound transactions using cross-jurisdictional electronic banking.

    R v Babamiri & Others (2014)
    Ben Fitzgerald acted as junior counsel in the successful prosecution of a company and individuals for Health and Safety offences and a charge of gross negligence manslaughter arising from a workplace death.

    BTP v B (Stonegate fare evasion) (2014)
    Representing the police on an application for special procedure material concerning the identity of the “Stonegate fare evader”, and in subsequent judicial review proceedings (Blackfriars Crown Court and Administrative Court).

    Reviews

    Chambers UK 2020: Crime – Band 1; Financial Crime – Band 2

    Chambers High Net Worth 2019: Financial Crime: High Net Worth Individuals – Band 2

    Legal 500 2020: Business and Regulatory Crime (Including Global investigations) – Tier 2; Fraud Crime – Tier 2

    ‘A very thorough and insightful junior, who is headed for great things.’ Chambers UK Crime (2020)

    ‘He has a very clear, logical legal mind, is really easy to work with and is very bright.’ ‘He has all the qualities you look  for - he's cerebral but he also knows how to frame an argument and he's very hard-working. All in all a very able and effective advocate.’ Chambers UK Financial Crime (2020)

    ‘He has the ear of judges, yet is unafraid to stand up to them.’ Legal 500 Business & Regulatory (2020)

    ‘He remains calm under fire.’ Legal 500 Fraud: Crime (2020)

    ‘He has drafting skills ahead of his years and his legal analysis is superb.’ ‘Ben is an extremely intelligent lawyer who is very responsive.’ Chambers UK Crime (2019)

    ‘Really, really bright, very on top of the law and very hard-working.’ ‘He's a fantastic tactician.’ Chambers UK Financial Crime (2019)

    ‘He is a top junior.’ ‘He is a leading name for sure and absolutely excellent.’ Chambers High Net Worth (2019)

    ‘Clearly destined for great things – he analyses problems carefully and is very diplomatic with clients.’ Legal 500 Business & Regulatory (2018)

    ‘Quite brilliant – he makes oral argument in cases even when several silks are defending.’ Legal 500 Fraud: Crime (2018)

    ‘An outstanding senior junior who is completely dependable even with the most difficult brief or client.’ Chambers UK Financial Crime (2018)

    ‘Obviously a star in the making.’ Chambers UK Financial Crime (2018)

    ‘Fantastic in terms of his advocacy and his ability to control very difficult clients. He’s very commercial and thoughtful in his approach, and never talks down to anyone so he’s good in a team.’ Chambers UK Financial Crime (2017)

    ‘A brilliant advocate well above his years of call.’ Legal 500 Fraud (2015)

    Recent Cases

    • On 31 January 2020, Dame Victoria Sharp PQBD gave final public approval to a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (‘DPA’) between the Serious Fraud Office and Airbus SE, relating to historic failures to prevent bribery and corruption offences in mul...

    • Ben FitzGerald successfully defended John Varley, former Chief Executive of Barclays, in the SFO’s prosecution of four individuals for fraud concerning the Bank’s 2008 capital raising from Qatar.

    • Ben FitzGerald secured the dismissal of the charges against Barclays and Barclays Bank in the SFO’s prosecution concerning the 2008 capital raising from Qatar.

    • Ben FitzGerald represented a company director indicted for conspiracy to cheat the Revenue, involving an allegation that £109m of tax was placed at risk.

    • Advising a major UK financial institution on matters relating to LIBOR manipulation and fraud.

    • Ben Fitzgerald acted as independent counsel dealing with legal professional privilege in a multi-million pound case of bribery and corruption against HBoS (Southwark Crown Court).

    • Defending the chief operating officer of a London tech company, Ms Davda, was charged with fraud by abuse of position.

    • Ben Fitzgerald's  client was an exotic dancer at Stringfellows Nightclub, who admitted to evading income tax over a five-year period of in excess of £100,000.

    News

    • Ben FitzGerald and Katherine Buckle act in Airbus Deferred Prosecution Agreement (2020)

      On 31 January 2020, Dame Victoria Sharp PQBD gave final public approval to a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (‘DPA’) between the Serious Fraud Office and Airbus SE, relating to historic failures to prevent bribery and corruption offences in mul...

    • QEB Hollis Whiteman ranked in Chambers High Net Worth Guide

      Chambers & Partners’ High Net Worth publication ranks the top lawyers and law firms for international private wealth.Its 2019 edition launched on Thursday 11th June and marks the first time that Chambers HNW has featured barristers who specialise in...

    • SFO v Barclays: five members of Chambers in landmark case

      The fraud trial of four former Barclays executives began on 23/01.

    • Barclays successfully defends SFO application for voluntary bill of indictment

      Crispin Aylett QC and Ben FitzGerald acted for Barclays plc and Barclays Bank plc.

    • Charges dismissed in Barclays fraud case

      Crispin Aylett QC and Ben FitzGerald acted for Barclays PLC and Barclays Bank PLC, together with Richard Lissack QC of Fountain Court Chambers, on a successful application before Mr Justice Jay to dismiss all charges against the corporate defendants, in a...

    • Ben Fitzgerald prosecutes in Sophie Lionnet death case

      Ben FitzGerald appears for the prosecution against two defendants admitted perverting the course of justice by attempting to burn the body of Sophie Lionnet.

    • Prosecution offer no evidence after complainant's evidence discredited in fraud and money laundering trial

      QEB Hollis Whiteman member Ben FitzGerald represented a former Chief Operating Officer and fellow member Polly Dyer represented her partner, who were charged with fraud and money laundering respectively. The case concerned the payment of recruitment fees ...

  • One of the most outstanding senior juniors at the criminal bar, Ben FitzGerald impresses with his sharp intellect, calm leadership and compelling advocacy; his skills make him first choice in the most high-profile and sensitive cases.

    Overview

    Ben prosecutes and defends serious general crime cases, notably prosecuting homicide and organised crime for the specialised units of the CPS at the Central Criminal Court in cases of extreme sensitivity and media interest. He is forensically astute, dealing with the most complex evidence and he is adept at dealing with extremely difficult legal issues.  Ben is well placed to defend professionals as investigations by regulating agencies move into the criminal sphere. He also has experience of defending private prosecutions.  Ben is regarded as one of the foremost advocates in his field, he is a Grade 4 prosecutor for the CPS and is ranked in Band 1 in Crime by Chambers UK. He is regularly instructed both alone and as a led junior in the most serious criminal cases.

    Experience 

    Ben FitzGerald prosecutes and defends high-profile cases of serious and organised crime. He prosecutes cases of homicide at the Central Criminal Court and defends individuals faced with serious criminal allegations who require impeccable preparation and persuasive advocacy.

    Ben has defended all forms of serious crime and homicide and its various defences. In 2018, he successfully prosecuted French couple Ouissem Medouni and Sabrina Kouider for the murder of their nanny Sophie Lionnet, whose body they burned in the back garden of their home in Wimbledon. It was a trial involving intense international media interest. His vast experience also includes the high profile, sensitive and forensically challenging case of R v Ben Butler & Jennie Gray (Central Criminal Court, 2016). Ben successfully prosecuted offences of murder and child cruelty concerning six-year old Ellie Butler, following the return of the child to the care of her parents by the Family Division of the High Court, in a trial under intense press and public scrutiny. Later that year, he secured the conviction of Foyzur Rahman for the historic murder of a rival in an organised hit in a residential street in Islington some 20 years earlier. 

    Ben also regularly defends private individuals, often professional or high net worth individuals, who find themselves accused of crime. He provides calm and assured advice in an alien and stressful situation, as well as astute tactical decision-making and persuasive advocacy. Clients who have been successfully defended include a London-based fund manager and the ex-wife of an international oil trader. Similarly, Ben provides clear advice to figures in the public eye for reputation management purposes.

    Ben has prosecuted and defended numerous health and safety cases including: the defence of a self-employed man of good character for health and safety offending following the death of a friend working at height; and the prosecution of a company director for gross negligence manslaughter as well as the company managing the industrial estate for health and safety offences following death of an employee through crushing (Snaresbrook Crown Court and Court of Appeal).

    Ben has vast experience of all forms of fraud and money laundering. He defended the chief operating officer of a London tech company from allegations of fraud.

    Notable Cases

    R v Medouni & Koudier (2018)
    Ben FitzGerald acted for the Crown in the successful prosecution of French couple Ouissem Medouni and Sabrina Kouider for the murder of their au pair Sophie Lionnet.

    R v Butler & Gray (2016)
    Edward Brown QC leading Ben Fitzgerald and Philip Stott acted for the prosecution in the trial of the murder of six-year-old Ellie Butler by her father Ben Butler.

    R v Babamiri and Hastingwood (2014-15)
    Prosecuted company director for gross negligence manslaughter and the company managing an industrial estate for health and safety offences following death of an employee through crushing (Snaresbrook Crown Court and Court of Appeal).

    R v Burton and Campbell (2014)
    Prosecuted a murder by stabbing. The murder was carried out by a group of youths in a market.

    R v Malinovskij (2014)
    Prosecuted the abduction and murder of a Lithuanian in a planned operation by his business rival.

    R v Forgie (2013)
    Ben FitzGerald successfully prosecuted (as junior alone) Simon Forgie for the murder of his mother. He was convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. 

    Reviews

    Chambers UK 2020: Crime – Band 1

    Legal 500 2020: Crime – Tier 3

    ‘A very thorough and insightful junior, who is headed for great things.’ Chambers UK Crime (2020)

    ‘Incredibly clever, great with clients, completely dependable and an extremely good advocate.’ Legal 500 Crime (2020)

    ‘He has drafting skills ahead of his years and his legal analysis is superb.’ ‘Ben is an extremely intelligent lawyer who is very responsive.’ Chambers UK Crime (2019)

    ‘He is able to rapidly win the confidence of the court and his client.’ Legal 500 Crime (2018)

    ‘One of the most outstanding juniors at the Criminal Bar, with an exceptionally sharp legal mind and a really effective style of advocacy. He really stands head and shoulders above others of his call.’ Chambers UK (2018)

    ‘His presentation of arguments in court is measured and extremely effective.’ Chambers UK (2018)

    ‘He has an outstanding ability to explain complex issues in a readily understanding way. There is a real sophistication to his advocacy.’ ‘He handled a client who could have been tricky extremely well, and had a very nice courtroom manner.’ Chambers UK (2017)

    ‘Brilliant.’ Legal 500 (2017)

    ‘An outstanding senior junior who is completely dependable even with the most difficult brief or client.’ Chambers UK (2016)

    ‘An understated junior with an excellent manner in court.’ Legal 500 (2016)

    ‘Hardworking and unflappable at all times.’ Legal 500 (2015)

    Recent Cases

    News