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.


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.


'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

R - v - MR (21.05.20)

In a judgment given on the 21st May by HHJ Spragg at Newcastle Crown Court, a confiscation...


Alexandra Felix to be appointed Queen's Counsel

We are delighted to announce that the Queen has approved the Lord Chancellor’s...

Jason Mansell acts for Wellesley & Co LTD

Jason Mansell is currently advising Wellesley & Co Limited on a direct access basis in respect...


Confiscation During Covid

Polly Dyer co-authored an article, now featured by the Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association. The article provides a review of confiscation judgments from the first six months of 2020.  It can be read here ....

R v Manning: Sentencing considered during the period of the pandemic

Philip Stott considers R - v -  Manning and the observations of the Lord Chief Justice on sentencing during Covid-19 A recent ‘unduly lenient’ sentencing reference to the Court of Appeal – R v Manning – provided an opportunity...

Criminal Courts: Coping with Covid-19

Edmund Smith  of  Kingsley Napley  and  Kerry Broome  of QEB Hollis Whiteman review how the administration of criminal justice has changed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and what this might mean for the future.  ...

Smaller Juries? David Spens QC's letter is published in The Times

David Spens QC's writes to The Times to address the need for jury trials and to consider how to resurrect them during the pandemic.  It was published in The Times on Wednesday 6th May 2020. SMALLER JURIES Sir, During the Second World...


Sean Larkin QC  and  Polly Dyer  examine the judgment given by the Court of Appeal on 29 April 2020 in the case of  Barton & Booth  [2020] EWCA Crim 575, which confirmed the approach to dishonesty to be applied in the...

A Birds-Eye View of Recent Developments in Non-Conviction Money Laundering and Asset Recovery

In this blog  Sean Larkin QC  reflects upon whether prosecution agencies will seek to use non-conviction resolutions rather than prosecute cases, particularly cases of money laundering.  This approach takes on greater import in light of the...