Criminal Fraud

Serious fraud in England & Wales is at a crossroads. It is no longer obvious that the state will continue to fund the painstaking investigations and lengthy criminal trials that have been the raison d’être of the SFO since its creation in 1987. Three of its last four directors, including the current incumbent, have been the subject of trenchant, occasionally vitriolic, criticism, some of it from within Government itself. That this was, and is, largely unfair is beside the point. Whitehall seems to have lost faith that the system can deliver. Whereas the large corporation continues to co-operate (in return for a deferred prosecution agreement and the payment of swingeing fines and costs, ultimately met by shareholders and customers), its executives show no such inclination – hardly surprising since the consequences of conviction will inevitably include imprisonment and ruinous POCA proceedings. When faced with the determined defendant, the SFO’s recent success rate is less than impressive.

What is the alternative? The amendments to the POCA consequent upon the Criminal Finances Act 2017 furnish the state with extensive powers of civil recovery. We anticipate seeing a substantial increase in their deployment, not as at present alongside the criminal prosecution but rather in its place. If this is correct, it will be no more than the SEC has done for decades. And the SEC is feared in a way the SFO is not.

‌Whatever the fate of the SFO, it will have no effect upon cases of minor fraud. These will continue to be brought by the CPS, trading standards departments and private prosecutors across England and Wales.

For more information please contact our clerks on 020 7404 1881 or via email to We will discuss your case with you and then arrange the right representation for your matter.

Criminal Fraud Barristers

Andrew Campbell-Tiech KC

Call 1978     Silk 2003

Karim Khalil KC

Call 1984     Silk 2003

Christopher Wing

Call 1985

Sean Minihan

Sean Minihan

Call 1988

Simon Kitchen

Call 1988

William Carter

Call 1989

Duncan O’Donnell

Call 1992

Robert Bryan

Call 1992

Jonathan Green

Call 1993

Zarif Khan

Call 1996

Barnaby Shaw

Call 1996

John McNally

Call 1996

Stephen Mather

Call 1997

Benedict Peers

Call 1998

Ryan Thompson

Call 1999

Stephen Donnelly

Stephen Donnelly

Call 2001

Lynne Shirley

Call 2002

Adam Norris

Call 2002

Jo Morris

Call 2003

Andrew Price

Call 2003

Claire Howell

Claire Howell

Call 2003

Christopher Jeyes

Call 2005

Unyime Davies

Unyime Davies

Call 2006

Simon Walters

Call 2010

Helen Easterbrook

Call 2011

Giles Fleming

Call 2016

Georgia Luscombe

Call 2017

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