• 'For financial crime, the set assures first-class representation.' Chambers UK 2023
  • '‘Good clerks and strong chambers for business crime.‘ Legal 500 2023
  • '‘QEB has some fantastic junior counsel making it one of the strongest all round sets for financial crime.‘  Legal 500 2023

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.

Legal 500 Bar Awards 2023: Winner of Financial Crime and Corporate Crime Set of the Year.

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: 

  • Success in the Court of Appeal in overturning the conviction of Ziad Akle (Unaoil) and the subsequent ground-breaking repercussions for the SFO;
  • Acted for Airbus in the UK’s largest DPA, and represents Airbus subsidiary GPT Special Project Management in the SFO’s ongoing prosecution for alleged corruption in Saudi Arabia.
  • successfully defended individuals in a 2021 trial arising from Serco’s manipulation of profit data concerning its electronic monitoring contract with the Ministry of Justice.
  • successfully defending Ryan Reich in the US dollar LIBOR rigging trial;
  • seing 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 

Legal 500 Awards 2023: Nominated for Chambers of the Year for Financial Crime and Corporate Crime in the Legal 500 Awards 2023

'For financial crime, the set assures first-class representation.' Chambers UK (2023)

'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 

R v Rivera (2022)
Sean Larkin KC was instructed by the SFO to prosecute an oil trader accused of defrauding his employer.

PSR v Sulion LTD (2021)
Selva Ramasamy KC and Tom Broomfield represented Sulion Limited in an investigation conducted by the Payment Systems Regulator (“PSR”) into cartel activity in the UK pre-paid cards market. The investigation was opened in October 2017. Following searches in February 2018, the PSR announced its provisional findings in March 2021. All parties settled during the course of the investigation.

Serious Fraud Office & G4S (2020)
Instructed by the SFO to lead the investigation and subsequent DPA negotiations with G4S. 

SFO v Airbus (2020)
Ben FitzGerald KC acted for Airbus in the UK’s largest DPA, and represents Airbus subsidiary GPT Special Project Management in the SFO’s ongoing prosecution for alleged corruption in Saudi Arabia.

Airline Services Limited (2020)
Crispin Aylett KC and Rachna Gokani acted for the Serious Fraud Office in respect of its Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with Airline Services Limited (ASL), before Mrs Justice May.

FCA v X Limited (2019)
Jason Mansell acted for a financial services company in respect of a large multi-jurisdictional DoJ/FCA investigation concerning market manipulation by traders through allegedly fictitious trading.

SFO v XYZ (2016)
Zoe Johnson KC 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 KC 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.

 

Recent Cases

News

Articles

Nicholas Griffin KC writes about modern slavery and supply chain transparency in the current issue of the I.C.C.L.R

The article,  The Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the evolution of supply chain transparency in the UK (I.C.C.L.R. 2024, 35(1), 4-16), was written with Sian Lea, who is the Business and Human Rights Manager at Anti-Slavery...

When is the right time to be 'called to the Bar'? Fallon Alexis joins the debate in this article, co-authored with the Chair of the Bar 2023.

Fallon Alexis and Nick Vineall KC co-author the article ‘The Timing of Call’ Fallon Alexis and Nick Vineall KC, Chair of the Bar 2023, have written an article published in the December 2023 issue of Counsel Magazine, wherein they express their...

The GIR Guide to Compliance - Edition 2 is published. Fallon Alexis co-authors chapter on UK Compliance Enforcement

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Ari Alibhai Presents a Webinar on the Landmark Private Prosecution Case: Supremacy

On 30 November 2021, Stephen Millington was sentenced to a total of 30 months’ imprisonment following his guilty plea to a number of fraud and copyright offences relating to his creation and supply of software and add-ons which enabled thousands of his...

"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...