Press Release: Kingsley Napley launches International Protection practice

10 January 2022

Law firm Kingsley Napley LLP is pleased to announce that Aaron Watkins has joined the firm with effect from today to co-head its new International Protection practice.

Aaron is highly regarded in the fields of extradition, mutual legal assistance, connected areas including asylum and public law and also in financial and business crime. His career to date has been at the bar; as a member of Matrix until 2019 and then Cloth Fair Chambers from 2019 until now. He has appeared in leading cases, both in the High Court and Supreme Court, defending individuals and representing companies and governments in numerous complex matters. Aaron also has a significant advisory practice and extensive experience of investigations in both UK and multi-jurisdictional cases.

At Kingsley Napley, Aaron will join the Criminal Litigation team headed by Louise Hodges. His brief is to develop and co-lead the new International Protection practice alongside partner Rebecca Niblock drawing on expertise from across the firm not only in Criminal Litigation, but also Immigration, Reputation Management and other areas. The focus will be on helping high net worth and high-profile individuals who are under scrutiny and face the risk of prosecution by authorities, whether the likes of the SFO, NCA, HMRC or FCA based here or equivalent agencies overseas.

Louise Hodges, Head of Kingsley Napley’s criminal litigation team, comments:

Aaron is a fantastic addition to the criminal litigation team and I am delighted that he will be working alongside Rebecca Niblock to launch our International Protection practice. This team will provide specialist support and advice to individuals facing complex situations across multiple jurisdictions including extradition or Interpol notices, asset denial (including Asset Forfeiture orders or Unexplained Wealth Orders), immigration and asylum issues or international family or financial arrangements.   In addition Aaron has the expertise to advise on a range of financial crime and public law matters.”

Aaron Watkins comments:

This is an exciting new chapter for me professionally. There is a real opportunity to cement Kingsley Napley’s reputation as the go-to firm for International Protection assistance and I am looking forward to working with excellent lawyers like Jonathan Grimes, Katherine Tyler, Katie Newbury, Elspeth Guild and Nick Rollason to deliver on this as well as Kingsley Napley’s wider Criminal Litigation practice.”


Press Enquiries

For press enquiries, please contact Louise Beeson, Bell Yard Communications: 07768 956997 /


Notes to Editors

About Kingsley Napley

Kingsley Napley LLP is a leading UK based law firm providing expertise for our clients’ business and private lives, when it matters most. We advise in the following areas: employment law, private client advisory, public law, criminal defence litigation, corporate and commercial, dispute resolution, family law, medical negligence & personal injury, regulatory, real estate, construction and immigration.

The firm has long had top ranked lawyers in Business and Financial Crime, Extradition and Immigration and has an impressive track record of assisting where an individual is wanted by another state, subject to politically motivated litigation and/or seeks safety in the UK on humanitarian grounds.  Criminal Litigation partner Rebecca Niblock, ranked as a Star Individual in Chambers & Partners, recently co-authored the new edition of Extradition Law: A Practitioner’s Guide, published in September 2021. 

Aaron Watkins’ recent case load has included SFO, HMRC and FCA investigations and defence work, confiscation proceedings, and matters involving allegations of money laundering, fraud, bribery and corruption as well as market abuse cases. He is experienced in dealing with requests for assistance by overseas investigators, and cross-border criminal matters including multi-jurisdictional investigations, sanctions and Interpol notices. He has been involved in criminal cases spanning diverse jurisdictions including the USA, Russia, Ukraine, France, Monaco, the Middle East and a number of Caribbean countries.

Kingsley Napley is ranked as the number one UK law firm to work for in the Best Companies to Work List 2021 list as cited here.

For more information about Kingsley Napley, please visit


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