Business Crime

Our barristers have established national and international reputations for their expertise, experience and confidence in Fraud, Financial Services and Business Crime and Compliance – they are consistently ranked as leaders in the field. We advise and represent individuals and entities in relation to financial, regulatory, and fraud investigations in the UK, and overseas. Our clients include financial institutions and corporations, as well as politicians, entrepreneurs, company directors and chief executives, chartered accountants, lawyers, IFAs and medical and other professionals. We therefore have accumulated experience dealing with the Financial Conduct Authority, Serious Fraud Office, National Crime Agency, HMRC, National Trading Standards, FACT, as well as other investigating and prosecuting bodies. Many of our cases have an international dimension and we are accordingly experienced dealing with overseas authorities including the US Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and EU, Indian and Australian authorities. Practitioners specialise in trans-jurisdictional terrorist financing, proscribed wildlife trading, and export control violations. Members of our team have previously worked in the banking and commercial sectors and within their regulatory regimes. Others have had advisory and disciplinary roles regulating the accounting (FRC, ACCA, CIMA) and medical (GMC) sectors.  Some of us prosecute for these agencies as well as defending, and advise on and conduct internal investigations, or act as disclosure counsel. We understand how regulators and prosecution authorities work. Practitioners lecture and advise on corporate responsibility for human rights. We are often involved in an advisory role at the start of regulatory or criminal investigations. Our experience, attention to detail and dedication to our clients assists them in responding appropriately with the object of avoiding prosecution. When proceedings are commenced, we work to ensure that our clients receive the best advice and representation and, most importantly, a fair hearing. Our work covers a wide range of conduct, recently including: Bribery and corruption, including European government officials Cartel Offending Commercial property fraud Corporate compliance with human rights obligations Environmental protection, including carbon credit and land fraud, wildlife trading and international illegal logging EU, National and Devolved Government grant scheme frauds Export Control violations Fraud and cheating in the sports sector (cricket, rugby, horse-racing) Fraudulent trading Insider trading, market manipulation and abuse Insolvency and bankruptcy offending Intellectual property theft Investment (boiler-room) fraud and Ponzi mis-selling Money laundering, restraint, confiscation and asset forfeiture Pension mis-selling and liberation frauds Professional discipline Tax Evasion SPV’s inc. film and insurance schemes MTIC & carousel fraud PAYE, payroll and C.I.S. frauds Duty diversions Terrorist financing Trading Standards prosecutions in clothing, energy switching and ticketing sectors Web-site ghosting and internet advance-fee frauds Whistle-blowing and deferred prosecution agreements We advise and represent well-known corporate clients and individuals in sensitive situations with discretion as well as vigour. Please call our Clerking team on 020 7036 0200 to discuss any particular requirements you may have.

Defence Crime

Libertas Chambers brings together some of the country’s leading criminal defence specialists. Exceptional juniors and renowned Queens Counsel provide quality representation from the Supreme Court, through the Crown Courts across London and the Circuits and in the Magistrates Court. Members of Libertas Chambers also regularly appear in quasi-criminal jurisdictions where their experience in the criminal courts provides a cutting edge service in regulatory and professional disciplinary proceedings. Chambers accept instructions in both publicly and privately funded work and members provide specialist and strategic advice at all stages of a criminal case, from pre-charge investigation through to trial and appeal. Members of Chambers have appeared in some of the most high-profile criminal cases of recent times, including Operation Elveden (selling stories about Prince William and Prince Harry to The Sun), R v H and C [2004] 2 AC 134 (leading case on disclosure), R v Jogee [2016] UKSC 8 (clarifying an error in the law in accessorial liability) and R v Lewis [2017] EWCA Crim 1734 on the approach to joint principalship. Members are regularly instructed in the following key areas of practice: Appellate Homicide Corporate manslaughter Terrorism Drug trafficking Serious and organised crime, including corruption and bribery International crime Human trafficking Modern Slavery Fraud Cyber crime Robbery Serious assaults Kidnaping Serious sexual offences Environmental health offences Trading standards prosecutions RSPCA prosecutions Our barristers offer expert advice to a wide range of external authorities and regularly provide training and lectures on current topics to other members of the legal profession, experts and those who work within the wider criminal justice system.

Regulatory

Our members have substantial experience defending individuals and companies in regulatory matters before professional tribunals or the FTT and above. What distinguishes us from other barristers specialising in regulatory work is that clients will have the benefit of our skills and experience as criminal advocates too. What is often required in contentious regulatory work is a robust defence, strategic advice and preparation, and skilful cross-examination of witnesses. The lack of hard-fought trial experience in some regulatory practitioners means that the witnesses may not be put under the degree of sustained pressure in cross-examination that the client is entitled to and expects. We believe that any individual or corporate entity that is facing a serious regulatory accusation is entitled to the same robust defence as a defendant in a criminal case. The consequence of a false regulatory accusation can be just as damaging and life changing as a false accusation of a criminal offence. Professionals can be vulnerable to malicious complaints. The only way to tackle these successfully is to use the skills honed in the criminal courts to uncover false accusations. We understand that these cases often cross over between criminal, civil, regulatory and disciplinary proceedings. We are also very aware of both the commercial and emotional impact these cases can have on clients and have a lot of experience supporting our clients through the challenges. We are also well-versed working with insurers, unions and defence organisations. The team includes trained mediators and members with experience working within the City and in house with regulators.

Public Law & Human Rights

Judicial Review proceedings enable challenges to decisions made by Courts and Tribunals, by regulators and by bodies whose public functions impact upon individuals and companies. This jurisdiction is an important protection of the rights of the individual against administrative irrationality or excess. We have specialist experience seeking Judicial Review in cases flowing from our other practise areas, challenging decisions in criminal and quasi-criminal investigations. Members have acted for claimants seeking to challenge decisions made by the police, the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the Information Commissioner, the Asset Recovery Agency, the Legal Services Commission, the Magistracy, Judges and various Tribunals. These cases have included challenges to the lawfulness of pre-charge search warrants, decisions to prosecute children, actions by solicitors resisting Special Procedure search warrants, challenges to the lawfulness of the application of the sending procedure by Magistrates Courts, preserving the anonymity of young offenders in extreme cases, applicability of the reasonable time requirements in Article 6 to enforcement of Confiscation Proceedings, decisions on appellate referral by the CCRC, treatment of prisoners and the review of Parole Board decisions. Within the criminal trial process, our members have expertise at first instance, on domestic appeal and applications in the European Court of Human Rights and the OHCHR, challenging a range of human rights violations, as well as the compatibility of primary and secondary legislation with the European Convention for the Protection of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms (ECHR) such as the hearsay provisions in CJA 2003, the reverse burden in s.90 Financial Services Act 2012, and the Attorney -General’s exercise of the right of nolle prosequi. We act nationally and internationally for people whose human rights are in issue in other forums including actions against the police, extradition, international law, in Prisoners’ Rights, and at Coronial Inquests. Members have advised and acted on behalf of individuals, governmental organisations and major NGO’s in providing international human rights expertise. Our members provide advice and representation in cases concerning Prison Law, including issues relating to the welfare of prisoners, to Parole Board hearings, and the release and recall of prisoners. Coronial Inquests engage the rights of many groups; members have experience representing interested parties, insurers and the families of the deceased. We offer particular expertise where there is a potential engagement of criminal or regulatory proceedings, acting for insurers and their policy holders.

Private Prosecutions

The prosecution of alleged criminals for wrongdoing is generally the domain of the Crown and its specialist agencies. But increasing budgetary constraints on investigating and prosecution agencies mean that a significant number of miscreants are able to avoid being held to account in the Criminal Courts for their actions. When State prosecutors decide that they cannot or will not prosecute, the law allows private individuals to prosecute allegations of wrong-doing. Initiating a private prosecution puts you in court as the prosecutor, adopting the mantle of the prosecution agency. Private prosecutions are a specialist area of the law. The right to prosecute, and seek punishment of offenders, brings with it the responsibility of ensuring a fair trial and the obligation to conform to all the rules applicable to any prosecuting agency. Those rules are often complex and diffuse. At Libertas Chambers, our barristers are experienced at liaising with potential prosecuting authorities and advising how to assemble the best case for the prosecution, taking the case to court and seeking justice, even where the Crown Prosecution Service or other prosecution agencies cannot or will not act. Importantly, this includes continuing advice on the recovery of compensation and some or all of the costs of litigation from defendants or from Central Funds. We start by helping you assess your evidence, advising you on the right forum in which to litigate, and on the merits of your case, then working with the best private prosecution solicitors to put together and finally to present your case at trial, ensuring continuity of representation and consistency of approach.

International Law

Libertas Chambers can field a range of quality advocates who are able to undertake advisory, consultancy and adversarial work in International Criminal Law including Genocide, Torture, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes, including several members who are experienced in military tribunals. Members of Libertas Chambers have significant experience in international criminal law at International Criminal Courts and Tribunals, including appeals in cases concerning genocide, crimes against humanity and joint criminal enterprise in an international context. Members experience extends to issues of universal and extra territorial jurisdiction, transnational human trafficking, statelessness and citizenship stripping. Members of Libertas Chambers are available to advise on issues of complementarity arising in International Criminal Law investigations and the application of domestic criminal law in the context of war crimes, torture and other international crimes, to include where there are overlaps with International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights, Terrorism as an international crime, Extradition and Asset freezing regimes. We are particularly proud to have a number of members with expertise in international terrorism law who have acted in the UK and overseas in high profile cases at trial and on appeal. Our members are also experts in extradition law, particularly in the context of multinational financial crime. Members of Libertas Chambers also have recent experience across the Commonwealth and in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and have experience in death penalty cases overseas We have members on the lists and the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) in the Hague and who have appeared in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)> Members provide teaching and training in a wealth of international criminal law spheres.