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 Herbert & Or's (2020)

Paul Raudnitz and Tom Doble acted for Kevin Herbert, former Supply Chain Manager at Williams...

SFO v Airbus (2020)

On 31 January 2020, Dame Victoria Sharp PQBD gave final public approval to a Deferred Prosecution...

Tom Broomfield: FCA v Abdel-Malek & Choucair

On Thursday 27th June, former UBS compliance officer, Fabiana Abdel-Malek, and trader Walid...

SFO v B & Others (2018)

William Boyce QC and Karen Robinson are instructed to defend one of the Senior Executives of...

SFO v A Global Corporation (2018)

Crispin Aylett QC has been instructed by a Global Corporation who are being investigated by...

Operation Amazon (2017)

Sean Larkin QC and Jocelyn Ledward successfully represented the former Chief Executive Officer...


Barclays bankers acquitted after trial

William Boyce QC and Karen Robinson represented Richard Boath, former head of Barclays...

FCA case team abandon case after RDC oral hearing

Jason Mansell acted for a claims management company that had been issued with a Warning Notice...


French DPAs - considering the first guidelines

This article was first published on Lexis®PSL Corporate Crime on 24 July 2019.    Corporate Crime analysis: Kathryn Hughes takes a closer look at the first guidelines on the convention judiciaire d'intérêt public...

The Equaliser: challenging cash forfeiture under POCA

Levelling the Balance of Probabilities in cash forfeiture The MPC v X, City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court Introduction How do you prevent over £110,000 of cash hidden under the floorboards from being forfeited to the police? Criminal...

Using impact statements for business in corporate and financial criminal cases

Nicholas Griffin QC and Kyan Pucks outline the benefits of corporate crime practitioners utilising ISBs in the interest of their clients. The article which was published by LexisNexis can be viewed here .   ...

High hurdle in challenging no case to answer rulings (R v Bush and Scouler)

Jocelyn Ledward considers the learning points from the case of R v Bush and Scouler, in which the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) sought, unsuccessfully, to challenge the ruling of no case to answer in the high-profile fraud trial involving the ex-Tesco Stores...

Briefing Note: A Prosecutor's Duty of Candour

On 23 May, the High Court (Lord Justice Gross and Mr Justice Sweeney) allowed an application for judicial review against the refusal of Leeds Magistrates' Court to dismiss summonses that had been issued upon the application of a private...

Italian VAT fraud case sparks debate and divided opinion (MAS and MB (Taricco II))

Corporate Crime analysis: Discussing the Court of Justice’s judgment in MAS and MB (Taricco II), Kathryn Hughes says that by failing to address significant issues, the court has merely fuelled the ongoing debate about the primacy of EU law vis à...