Corporate & Financial Crime

The go-to set for Corporate & Financial Crime, QEB Hollis Whiteman has been and continues to be involved in almost every high-profile case within this field; we are frequently at the forefront of groundbreaking decisions and changes in the law.

Overview

QEB Hollis Whiteman is a widely-acknowledged leader in Corporate & Financial Crime, ranked in Tier 1 in Chambers UK for Financial Crime and with a proven track record both home and abroad for prosecuting and defending individuals and corporates. We act from a case’s inception, pre-charge, through to the top tier of our legal system, in appeal. Members of all levels of seniority are consistently ranked as leaders in the field.

Our Experience

Chambers is equipped with a group of highly talented barristers whose experience of corporate offending, financial regulation, and bribery & corruption ensures that they are astute to every argument and responsive to every requirement of their clients. Counsel regularly act for agencies such as the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in high-profile cases. They also work with top-tier national and international law firms representing individuals and multinationals. This breadth of experience means they are always attuned to the tactics of their opponents.

Members of Chambers are adept at managing complex cases (often from the investigation stage) overlapping with civil and commercial law. All counsel practising in this field have considerable experience in cross-jurisdictional investigations and presenting evidence from multiple jurisdictions. Members also have extensive experience of disclosure.

Members of Chambers have acted in many of the most significant Corporate & Financial Crime cases of recent years, examples include: successfully defending Ryan Reich in the US dollar LIBOR rigging trial; being instructed to defend in the investigation into EURIBOR rate manipulation; being instructed to defend various individuals and a global corporation in an investigation into whether dealings between the corporation and a sovereign wealth fund involved bribery & corruption at the highest level; being instructed for various senior parties in the investigation into corruption at Rolls-Royce; being instructed to defend Tesco directors accused of fraud in relation to the supermarket's £263m accounting scandal; successfully prosecuting the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA's) largest-ever market abuse trial, Operation Tabernula; prosecuted in the first (Standard Bank plc) and second (XYZ Ltd) Deferred Prosecution Agreement in the UK; advising firms and individuals in relation to more than 120 FCA enforcement investigations and associated proceedings in the Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC), Upper Tribunal and High Court; being instructed in the first successful prosecution by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) of a company involved in overseas corruption and breaches of sanctions relating to the Iraq "Oil for Food" programme in Mabey & Johnson; successfully defending two individuals prosecuted by the OFT in the first trial of a cartel offence under the s188 Enterprise Act in the Virgin/BA price-fixing trial; successfully defending in a sanctions case involving the alleged trade of high-tech arms to Iraq.

Barristers at QEB Hollis Whiteman are experienced in the full range of Health and Safety-related issues and cases. We regularly advise and act on behalf of major corporate clients, both prior to potential proceedings and thereafter in Court, as well as acting for individuals faced with prohibition notices or potential criminal prosecution. We often appear in criminal proceedings in respect of alleged Health and Safety breaches, in particular those which are alleged to have caused death or serious injury.

There is not an area in this field that the Corporate & Financial Crime team have not explored; we have unrivalled expertise and talent.

Reviews 

'Delivering quality at every level' Chambers UK 2018

'It has the benefit of a fantastic Corporate City premises and represents an impressive set-up that is perfect for Blue-chip, White-collar Crime Clients' Chambers UK 2018

'The very talented Barristers here are known for their superior advocacy skills and their approachability' Chambers UK 2017

'Highly respected set that has considerable understanding of the interplay between crime and Regulatory Work.  It is regularly sought out to handle high-profile matters' Chambers UK 2017

'An exceptional, "top-end" set with a long-standing reputation for professionalism and efficiency' Chambers UK 2017

'A very fine set of Chambers with high-calibre Counsel, who clearly know what they are doing and don’t waste your time' Chambers UK 2016

'Offers an impressive breadth of expertise in Financial Crime' Chambers UK 2016

'The set has a very impressive depth of Counsel; it is ahead of the curve in terms of identifying new Legal areas and developments in the market, and continues to attract leading names' Legal 500 2016

'Members continue to appear in groundbreaking Trials including LIBOR Fixing and Money Laundering Cases' Legal 500 2016

Notable Cases 

SFO v XYZ (2016)
Zoe Johnson QC led Paul Raudnitz in the second ever Deferred Prosecution Agreement which set the bench mark for such agreements and was approved by the Court in June 2016.

India v Loop Ltd / Essar Ltd 2G Mobile Phone Market Abuse Trial (2014)
2G Mobile Phone Market Abuse Trial.

Luton Airport Operations Ltd
Mark Ellison QC was instructed to defend London Luton Airport Operations Ltd in a Prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive related to a death outside the terminal.

British Airways/Virgin Price-Fixing Trial (2010)
William Boyce QC was Instructed by British Airways plc in the first Trial of a Charge under the Cartel Offence (section 188, Enterprise Act).  The Prosecution offered no evidence and all Defendants were acquitted.

SFO Saudi Corruption Investigation
Mark Ellison QC has been instructed to advise the Director of an Airbus Industries Subsidiary in relation to an SFO Corruption Investigation related to Saudi National Guard contract payments.

Recent Cases

The SFO offered no evidence and accepted liability for defence costs today in the trial against ex-Serco executives. Adrian Darbishire QC, Tom Doble and Zara Brawley were for Simon Marshall and Karen Robinson and Katherine Lloyd were for Nicholas Woods.

The SFO offered no evidence and accepted liability for defence costs today in the trial...

Payment Services Regulator v Y Ltd (2020 - 2021)

Selva Ramasamy QC is advising a company in relation to a major investigation by...

News

Tom Phillips awarded Pegasus Scholarship to Uganda

Tom Phillips has recently commenced his placement as a Pegasus Scholar in Uganda having been...

Articles

"A Trojan Horse? The FCA's Proposals on Reforming the RDC" by Jason Mansell

Jason Mansell is a barrister specialising in FCA litigation.  He has advised firms and individuals in relation to more than 100 FCA enforcement investigations and associated proceedings in the RDC, Upper Tribunal and High Court.  In this...

A Briefing Note: R v Plaku and others (Credit for Guilty Pleas)

  Last Friday, the Court of Appeal handed down an important judgment on the interpretation of the Sentencing Guidelines on credit for an early guilty plea – R v Plaku and others.  In this Briefing Note,  Philip Stott  takes a look...

William Boyce QC speaks about Private Prosecutions on RPC's 'Taxing Matters' podcast

William Boyce QC speaks about Private Prosecutions on RPC's 'Taxing Matters' podcast William Boyce QC was invited by RPC to be their guest speaker in the latest (19 Feb. 2021) episode of their regular ’Taxing Matters’ podcast. ...

The not so long arm of the law - the Supreme Court's decision in R (on the application of KBR, Inc) v Serious Fraud Office [2021] UKSC 2

A Briefing Note by Jason Mansell and Kathryn Hughes . In a long-awaited judgment, the Supreme Court has unanimously rejected the Serious Fraud Office’s (“ SFO ”) claim that its powers under s.2(3) of the Criminal Justice Act 1987...

The Lawyer & Deripaska v Chernukhin: William Boyce QC and Karen Robinson write about their recent experience of a private prosecution for Briefings in The Lawyer

William Boyce QC and Karen Robinson have written in The Lawyer about their recent experience of private prosecution in the case of  Deripaska v Chernukhin and R (on the application of Deripaska) v DPP [2020]. Bill and Karen consider the...

10th Mar 2021

A Podcast: The Mechanics, Advantages and Potential Pitfalls of Private Prosecutions Nick Corsellis QC and Ari Alibhai , senior members of QEB’s private prosecution practice group, discuss the mechanics, advantages and potential pitfalls of private...