Commercial Crime

"An excellent set for all types of disputes and investigations, including corporate crime investigations."


The Legal 500

Uniquely within the Bar’s ‘Magic Circle’, Fountain Court is a leader in corporate and individual commercial crime.

We specialise in the crossover between criminal, civil and regulatory liabilities and remedies / sanctions that are now such an important feature of business.

Complementing our strength in Banking and Finance, Financial Services and Civil Fraud, we act for organisations and individuals in domestic and cross-border financial crime investigations and prosecutions. Members act both for and against the SFO, HMRC, NCA, FRC and FCA in jury trials and freestanding and ancillary court proceedings.

Fountain Court has been instructed in almost every major recent corporate crime investigation in the UK. We are routinely instructed in FTSE100/250 corporate investigations and self-reports and have worked on the probes into Barclays (Qatar), ENRC and Serco; insider trading and market abuse probes such as Wirecard, Operations Tabernula and Saturn and the JP Morgan ‘London Whale’ matter; landmark civil proceedings such as ENRC v SFO, N v RBS and Sports Direct v FRC; and high profile judicial review challenges to search warrants relating to the Mueller Investigation in the USA, Unaoil and Newcastle United FC.

Our members understand the unique pressure of criminal investigations and the risk of collateral damage to reputation and commercial interests. We help clients devise the appropriate strategic response and crisis management tools and are often asked to advise corporate boards and disclosure committees.

The nature and subject matter of these cases means that much of our work is advisory. Many matters remain out of the public domain.

Our work includes cases relating to:

  • Fraud
  • Bribery
  • Sanctions
  • Money laundering
  • Confiscation
  • Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA)
  • Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs)
  • Market abuse including insider trading
  • Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs)
  • Mutual legal assistance
  • Extradition
  • Judicial review
  • Freezing injunctions and search orders / warrants
  • Production orders / notices
  • Cyber crime
  • Data protection
  • Legal professional privilege
  • Confidentiality
  • Privacy
  • Public interest immunity

  • Terra Services Limited v NCA & Secretary of State for Home Department [2019] EWHC 3165 (Admin); [2020] EWHC 130 (Admin); [2020] EWHC 1640 (Admin): Acting for the claimant challenging a search warrant linked to the USA Mueller Investigation into Russian interference in the US 2016 Presidential Election. The case involved landmark MLA proceedings including covert searches and public interest immunity; letters of request and confidentiality; powers and duties of the UKCA; confidentiality rings, closed material procedures and special advocates; data protection; legal professional privilege; Investigatory Powers Tribunal proceedings; and privacy.
  • Sports Direct International Plc v Financial Reporting Council [2020] EWCA Civ 177: Acting for both sides in the high-profile dispute concerning the law of privilege in connection with a statutory investigation into Sport Direct’s former auditors Grant Thornton.
  • ENRC v SFO, Dechert & Others: Acting for a major extractive industries entity in a wide range of very high-profile litigation, including in a landmark decision in law on privilege which caused international repercussions for the legal profession.
  • CFO of Autonomy Corporation in various matters: Acting in relation to several allegations of corporate fraud, made by both the SFO and the FRC in the UK and the Department of Justice in the USA.
  • The Dame Linda Dobbs Review: Acting as specialist financial crime and financial services counsel to the review into whether the issues relating to HBOS Reading were investigated and appropriately reported to authorities at the time by Lloyds Banking Group.
  • Barclays Bank Qatar capital raising: Acting in Barclays' success in multiple proceedings arising out of the $11 billion investment by Qatar in the bank in 2008, including investigations run by the FCA and other regulatory bodies in the UK, and the SEC and Federal Reserve in New York, and criminal proceedings.
  • Oleg Deripaska v Vladamir Chernukhin: Acting for Vladamir Chernukhin, the former Finance Minister in Russia, in the defence of a private prosecution brought by the Russian aluminium magnate, Mr Deripaska, who alleged acts intending to pervert the course of public justice.
  • Kuwait Pension Fund v The Man Group & Ors: Acting for various parties in this claim against 38 corporations and individual defendants regarding allegations of bribery and corruption over 30 years, an action which was part of newly implemented measures ordered by Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak al-Hamad Al-Sabah to combat corruption.
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Commercial Crime Barristers

Richard Lissack QC

Richard Lissack QC

Call 1978 | Silk 1994

Michael McLaren QC

Michael McLaren QC

Call 1981 | Silk 2002

Jeffrey Chapman QC

Jeffrey Chapman QC

Call 1989 | Silk 2010

Derrick Dale QC

Derrick Dale QC

Call 1990 | Silk 2010

Nicholas Medcroft QC

Nicholas Medcroft QC

Call 1998 | Silk 2019

Robin Barclay QC

Robin Barclay QC

Call 1999 | Silk 2020

Tamara Oppenheimer QC

Tamara Oppenheimer QC

Call 2002 | Silk 2020

Eleanor Davison

Eleanor Davison

Call 2003

Alex Barden

Alex Barden

Call 2005

Robin Lööf

Robin Lööf

Call 2009

Deborah Horowitz

Deborah Horowitz

Call 2010

Giles Robertson

Giles Robertson

Call 2012

Leonora Sagan

Leonora Sagan

Call 2012

Simon Paul

Simon Paul

Call 2013

Nick Daly

Nick Daly

Call 2014

Alexandra Whelan

Alexandra Whelan

Call 2016

Jacob Turner

Jacob Turner

Call 2016

Aaron Taylor

Aaron Taylor

Call 2017

Laurentia de Bruyn

Laurentia de Bruyn

Call 2018

Orestis Sherman

Orestis Sherman

Call 2019

Joseph Leech

Joseph Leech

Call 2020

Hannah Bernstein

Hannah Bernstein

Call 2020

Michael Brindle QC

Michael Brindle QC

Call 1975 | Silk 1992

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Contact our clerks

For more information on our experience or to discuss a particular case, please contact us.

Call:    +44 (0)207 583 3335
Email: clerks@fountaincourt.co.uk

"An excellent, top set."


The Legal 500

"Very good depth of knowledge and experience and availability of counsel. Open to training and development programmes and keen to know and learn about the solicitors they are working with."


The Legal 500

"Fountain Court is superbly strong for criminal issues arising in financial services and banking disputes."


The Legal 500

"Fountain Court Chambers houses a strong bench of barristers who are experienced in the handling of a wide range of financial crime cases."


Chambers & Partners

"The set is a top choice for for both domestic and international banks seeking advice or representation, and its members are also routinely instructed by individual clients and prosecutors such as the SFO and the FCA."


Chambers & Partners

"Areas of expertise for the team include high-value cases involving allegations of money laundering, bribery and fraud."


Chambers & Partners

"Fountain Court houses members with an established track record of defending in high-profile SFO cases."


The Legal 500

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