Business and Specialist Crime

“Instructing solicitors… praise the set’s forward drive in terms of professionalism, modernity and commerciality”
Chambers and Partners


Our Business and Specialist Crime Team stands apart from the market: members appear exclusively in properly funded and well-resourced cases, allowing them to dedicate the time and commitment which every single one of our instructing solicitors and lay clients requires. This is crucial given the life-changing and long-lasting repercussions these cases so often involve.

The team is made up of KCs and juniors with vast experience in the most serious, high profile business and specialist criminal cases. Members act for public figures, high-net-worth individuals, companies, government agencies and professionals.

With strength in depth, the team prosecutes and defends all forms of criminal and regulatory proceedings, including the most difficult and complex cases before the appeal courts.

Our team takes a committed approach to client care, case preparation and advocacy, reflecting the life-changing personal and financial consequences, which can result from a criminal prosecution, and the public interest which is often at stake.

Members of the team are recommended in leading directories for Fraud, Crime, Financial Services, Business and Regulatory Crime. A number are graded at the highest possible level by the prosecution authorities, including Crown Prosecution Service Grade 4 and the SFO “A” list.

Our barristers are the authors of key texts in the field, including Insider Dealing: Law and Practice, and they write regularly for leading legal and professional journals.

We have acted in cases involving almost every criminal offence known to English Law, but the focus of chambers is on several key areas:

  • Business Crime and Fraud, including all forms of investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority, the Serious Fraud Office, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and many other government departments and agencies
  • Specialist Crime on behalf of high-net-worth individuals, ranging from sexual offences to assault, blackmail and perverting the course of justice
  • Medical Crime of all kinds, up to and including offences of gross negligence manslaughter by doctors
  • Police Crime, including perverting the course of justice and misconduct in public office, by police officers occupying the most senior ranks in the service
  • Health & Safety Offences, including those involving fatalities or serious injury
  • Prosecution, including on behalf of government agencies and private prosecutions; intended to right a personal wrong or to seek financial remedies for the victims of fraudulent conduct

Further details on each of these specialist areas are set out below.

The team acts at every stage of a criminal case:

Interview – we represent and advise clients who are interviewed under caution by prosecution agencies of every kind. In many cases we provide advice and support to solicitors, including the tactical approach to interviews and statements. We also have an accredited advanced police station advisor as a member of the team.

Pre-investigation and investigation before charge – whether in serious personal criminal cases or the most complex national and international commercial regulatory investigations, members assist with pro-active strategy and preparing statements, evidence and representations against charge to the prosecution authorities.

Preliminary and ancillary applications in criminal courts – ranging from Restraint Order variations to applications to dismiss charges or stay proceedings altogether. Many of our team members draw on complementary expertise in police law: their knowledge of police procedure is particularly useful in challenge of charges and exclusion of evidence.

Criminal trials – although the team’s focus is on complex Crown Court trials, sometimes lasting many months, members also regularly appear in short trials, and in magistrates’ courts, for both individual and corporate clients.

Criminal appeals – the team has appeared in some of the most important and ground-breaking criminal appeals of recent years, for example the authorities for the “double jeopardy” rule; the content of a judge’s summing up; and the scope of criminal prosecutions for extradited defendants.

Related inquests and professional disciplinary tribunals – given the specialist skills available at Serjeants’ Inn, Chambers is particularly well equipped to handle cases which overlap between the criminal, regulatory and disciplinary arenas. We regularly act where there are both criminal and related proceedings: our approach is informed by our experience as market-leaders for inquests, professional discipline and regulatory law and civil claims in the healthcare and police sectors.

Our cases are often high-profile, for example, the defence of the criminal and disciplinary proceedings relating to former England football captain John Terry’s alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand and the recent prosecution of a Schroders Investment Management trader for insider dealing. Our barristers frequently appear on national TV news and in other media as commentators in the field.

In many of our specialist criminal cases there is a real risk of a long prison sentence, draconian financial orders and restrictions of licence or other orders, which may continue many years into the future.

Our approach to every criminal instruction is to get into the detail from the beginning – to find every possible legal and factual angle in order to assist our clients. This detailed forensic approach is coupled with a reassuring, personal and accessible attitude to client care, from the moment we are instructed.

24 Hour Urgent Advice

Our Business and Specialist Crime  team provides a 24 hour service, 365 days a year to arrange for urgent advice and representation on applications including injunctions. For more details about our emergency service please click here.

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