David Sleight

Partner

Criminal Litigation

"He is wonderful with clients, knowledgeable on the law and a very calming influence. He will immediately put everyone involved in the case at ease."

Chambers and Partners, 2017

"...He is very relaxed in his manner but his approach to work is incredibly diligent and hard-working. He has superb judgement and a great manner with clients..."

Chambers and Partners, 2016

David has an extensive criminal litigation background. Regularly acting for individuals and companies in high profile cases, he specialises in providing advice at the crucial early stages of an investigation. This includes representing clients who are arrested and interviewed under caution, challenging the legality of search warrants and other investigatory powers and making pre-charge representations to the police and prosecuting authorities.

Astute and practical in his approach, David’s early involvement in the case can make the difference between being charged with an offence or not. Should matters progress to court he is meticulous in his preparation and has a high acquittal rate.

General Crime

David acts for defendants, witnesses and victims in a broad range of criminal matters, including: serious assaults, sexual offences, internet and cyber crime, road traffic offences, theft, drugs offences, harassment and murder.

He has significant experience in representing high profile individuals (including sports stars, celebrities and senior executives) who come into contact with the authorities. Whether the client is in the public eye already or wishes to avoid publicity at all costs, David understands the importance of reputation management and adopts a tenacious yet discreet approach, with a view to getting the best possible result for the client.

Financial Crime

David’s ‘white collar’ crime practice includes acting for companies and individuals accused of complex financial investigations involving fraud, overseas corruption and mutual legal assistance (MLA). He specialises in defending tax evasion/fraud allegations brought by HMRC and has developed a specialist expertise in advising in cross border tax litigation involving MLA requests between Member States.

David has experience in defending money laundering allegations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, as well as the associated proceedings relating to restraint, forfeiture and confiscation.

He acts for individuals in investigations and prosecutions brought by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), The National Crime Agency (NCA), The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – see list of notable cases below.

Notable Cases (in the public domain)

  • R v X (2016) – Representing 4 accountants in a high profile investigation relating to allegations of tax evasion.
  • R v Y – Representing a Hedge Fund, following HMRC dawn raid (2016).  Advising on legality of searches and technical aspects of mutual legal assistance between member states.
  • R v CB (2015) – Represented celebrity accused of sexual assault.  Defended the client at his police station interview.  No further action was taken.
  • R v BF (2015) – Represented a former British Airways Pilot in high profile case relating to historic sexual offences.
  • R v AL (2015) – Represented Premiership footballer accused of assault.  Defended the client at his police interview under caution and thereafter made successful representations to the police that no further action should be taken.
  • R v FB and GB (2014) – Acted for two Directors facing allegations of fraudulent trading against the Ministry of Defence. On 3 November 2014 at Southwark Crown Court, following seven years of litigation, not guilty verdicts were officially entered. The Prosecution decision not to proceed with this matter followed substantial representations made to the reviewing lawyer as to why the defendants should not be prosecuted.
  • R v AV (2014) – Acted for a solicitor accused of causing death by careless driving during her trial at Southwark Crown Court. The client was acquitted.
  • R v LR (2013) – Represented Premiership Footballer accused of rape allegations at his police interview and beyond. In January 2014 the case was formally dropped by the CPS with no further action being taken.
  • R v SW (2013) – Represented a Taxidermist accused of fraud and breaches of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Following significant disclosure and abuse of process arguments, the prosecution conceded that the client was unable to have a fair trial.
  • R v JC (2012) – Acted for a property developer in relation to corruption allegations between himself and the Government of the Turks & Caicos Islands. A civil recovery settlement was agreed with no criminal findings.
  • R v AS (2012) – Acted for Premiership Footballer following his arrest for dangerous driving. The client received a financial penalty and avoided a custodial sentence.
  • R v W (2011) – Acted for two directors of a multi-million pound scrap metal business, accused of conspiracy of handling stolen beer kegs. Following written representations to the CPS and abuse of process arguments the Prosecution dropped the case against both clients.
  • R v TT (2010) – Represented the father of England Footballer John Terry for supply of Class A drugs following a News of the World Sting.
  • R v RM (2010) – Acted for an individual in a wide scale Cartel/Competition Act investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) into an automotive component supply company.
  • Baha Mousa Public Inquiry (2009) – Acted for a number of soldiers who were witnesses at this large scale Public Inquiry, which investigated the death in custody of Iraqi Hotel receptionist, Baha Mousa, following interrogation by British troops.
  • R v DJ (2008) – Represented an interpreter in the British Army in relation to misconduct in a public office and Official Secrets Act charges.

 

What clients say

“Thank you for all your help during the interview, it was such a stressful day, and although not something that I enjoyed, so great to have you advising me.” 

“My son and I were arrested in March 2010 and charged with fraud to the value of £2.1 million in June 2011. It is difficult to express the trauma that we and our families endured over four years until the case against us was dismissed..…. If I had not met David and we had remained with the previous solicitors I believe that we could be serving a prison sentence now as a result of the sheer amount of mud thrown and the unfairness of the investigation. I cannot speak highly enough of David and his team. He undertook the task of defending us with the disadvantage of being at least two years behind the prosecution. The team worked tirelessly to understand and manage the heavy, complex prosecution case against a background of procrastination and a lack of openness by the police.”

“From every aspect of the litigation together with all the practical things…..You will never know how much you have helped us get through this period in our lives, but from the bottom of both our hearts thank you.”

 

Professional societies and memberships

 

Publications and articles

 

Related Services

General Crime

Our reputation is based on over 75 years providing the highest quality of advice and representation to our clients: protecting their rights and interests, holding the police to account, and striving to get the best result.

Business and Financial Crime

Our experienced lawyers provide strategic and pragmatic advice in complex business crime cases and circumstances.

Tax Investigations

A tax investigation by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) could have serious implications for you and your business.

Sexual Offences

We deal with the highest profile and most sensitive cases, providing expert advice and support to both individuals and companies.

Sports, Media and High Profile Personalities

For over 75 years, our lawyers have discreetly advised public figures in some of the highest profile cases of the last century. Our lawyers understand the pressures of being in the public eye and seek to shield our clients from the often intrusive media glare.

Police Station Representation and Advice

Our team includes specialist police station advisers. We are proactive in achieving the best outcomes for our clients.

Dawn Raids, Search and Seizure

When subject to a “Dawn Raid”, search and seizure operation and search order you require timely advice. Our specialist lawyers can provide the assistance you require.

Money Laundering

Whether you have been accused or under investigation, we have advised and defended in a wide range of money laundering related cases.

Mutual Legal Assistance

Robustly defending requests from foreign jurisdictions is not for the faint-hearted, nor for the inexperienced. Our lawyers have unparalleled experience and are recognised leaders in the field.

Defending an Allegation

Someone has made an allegation against you. What is the first thing you do?

Comment from David

View all

Blogs

"Relentless in pursuit of tax evasion and avoidance”: HMRC sets out plan to 2020

Public Account Committee hauls Google and HMRC over the coals

Global Business Risks: Davos debates Cybercrime

Sexual offences on the increase whilst police budgets shrink

HMRC proposals for tackling off-shore tax evasion seriously flawed

CPS and police struggle under the load of sex abuse investigations

Metropolitan Police steps up investigations into historic abuse cases

Cecil's tragic death demands action - but mistakes can be devastating

No place to hide: HMRC shines a light on tax havens

Chris Grayling’s plans to scrap police cautions could have unintended consequences

HMRC increasingly takes criminal prosecution route

Trial by Google: the right to be forgotten - what could the 'Google Spain' judgement mean for you?

Violence Against Women and Girls (‘VAWG’) – Is the CPS Strategy Working?

What the Autumn Statement means for tax evasion and avoidance

Tackling Tax Evasion – Finance Act 2016 establishes new criminal offences

Criminal Finance Bill: legislative action to back up political commitments

Tackling Tax Evasion – Finance Bill establishes new criminal offence

What the Budget means for tax avoidance

MPs question HMRC’s response to tax evasion, the hidden economy and criminal attacks

Close Load more

Contact David

+44 (0)20 7369 3840

dsleight@kingsleynapley.co.uk

Skip to content Home About Us Comment Services Contact Accessibility