Fraud & Money Laundering

Our prominence in the field of Corporate and Financial Crime has developed from our impressive foundations in Fraud and Money Laundering; our continued involvement in the most important cases of the day sets us apart from our competitors.


QEB Hollis Whiteman has an established reputation as a leading set for fraud. It is ranked Tier 1 in Fraud by the Legal 500, as well as Tier 1 in Financial Crime by Chambers UK. Its members are consistently ranked as leaders in these fields.

Counsel regularly defend in high-profile cases and undertake work on behalf of the Prosecuting and Regulatory Authorities. Many Members of Chambers have been appointed to the Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) list of Panel Counsel, many are regularly instructed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as well as for companies and individuals working in the financial services industry.

Members advise and represent individuals and corporate clients at every stage of the criminal process including: the provision of advice at the investigation or pre-charge stages (often resulting in the avoidance of criminal proceedings altogether); the provision of advice and advocacy before every Court; and the provision of advice and advocacy in Ancillary Proceedings including restraint, confiscation and directors’ disqualification.

Chambers has broad experience of dealing with cases involving international or cross-jurisdictional complexities.

Our Experience

QEB Hollis Whiteman has long been at the forefront of this area of law; our involvement in the most notable cases in legal history, as well as of the present-day has placed us at the very top of the field.

Members have acted in many of the most significant fraud cases of recent years, for example: in Operation Amazon we defended a company director and chief executive officer in an alleged tax cheat worth more than £100m; in SFO v Barclays we have been advising both the SFO and suspects since before charge in the probe into alleged fraud arising from the bank’s capital raising from Qatar in the financial crisis; in the SFO’s EURIBOR and LIBOR investigations we have acted and continue to act for individuals and corporates, securing, at Trial, acquittals for all the defendants we have acted for; we have successfully prosecuted the FCA’s largest-ever market abuse case in Operation Tabernula; in Operation Cotton, we secured convictions of eight defendants in one of the FCA’s largest-ever prosecutions for Conspiracy to Defraud, involving 110 investors losing more than £4.3m; and in R v Ketan Somaia we successfully conducted the largest-ever private prosecution, concerning a systematic series of frauds to a value of US$19.5m.

Our team also has vast experience of advising, prosecuting and defending Money Laundering at all levels of seniority and all levels of the Court system, across various jurisdictions. Our defence work in this area has led to great successes, including instances where cases have been dropped upon our involvement and the assertion of powerful arguments in favour of our client’s acquittal. Our experience prosecuting in the field has seen us sought out by specialised units to progress matters from investigation stage through to Trial in the most effective way; a Silk and a Junior from within the team have recently been engaged by the FCA to strategise and lead a complex operation from pre-charge, advising on how to proceed under the new Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations.


Recent Cases

NCA v M (2019)

Successfully resisted a £500,000 account freezing order application brought against a...

West Yorkshire Police v Y (2019)

Challenging an account forfeiture order brought against a Chinese...

R v O (2019)

Kathryn represented a company director charged with several offences related to the fraudulent...

R v Stanley & Brenya

A fraudster who spent over £100,000 in 20 days and then attempted to resist arrest by using...

SFO v Varley & Others (2019)

Ben FitzGerald successfully defended John Varley, former Chief Executive of Barclays, in the...



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...

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...

French Court authorises first-ever French deferred prosecution agreement

Corporate Crime analysis: Kathryn Hughes takes a closer look at the circumstances surrounding the first French deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) and considers how the French DPA process compares with that of the UK. This article was first published on...