Ed Smyth

Senior Associate

Criminal Litigation

"He is a master of his cases - thoughtful, pragmatic and very client-focused. I am always very impressed with his legal acumen and application of it to the facts in any case."

Chambers UK 2020 - A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

“The best advice my civil lawyers ever gave me was to point me in the direction of Ed Smyth”

A Client

Ed is a Senior Associate in the Criminal Litigation Department and represents individuals and corporates involved across the full spectrum of criminal and quasi-criminal matters including fraud and financial crime, sex offences, extradition and inquests.

Ed’s practice encompasses investigations, prosecutions and other litigation (by a variety of different agencies) concerning complex fraud, financial crime and money laundering. He has considerable experience of confiscation and asset forfeiture proceedings and of challenging the exercise of search and seizure powers. He has acted in cases involving the SFO, the Information Commissioner, the Electoral Commission and various professional disciplinary bodies. 

Befitting the often high profile nature of his cases, Ed is very sensitive to clients’ reputational needs. He is adept at handling the media and devising strategies to minimise publicity. His calm and thorough approach is praised by his clients, as is his enviable success rate.

Ed also specialises in advising clients prior to, or at the earliest stages of, an investigation with a view to preventing further action. Ed has also acted for many clients at the other end of the criminal process: in challenges to police cautions, in appeals against conviction and sentence and in respect of applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).

In 2019, Ed was appointed as a member of the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee (CPRC). The CPRC was established by the Courts Act 2003 to make clear and simply expressed rules of governing the practice and procedure of the criminal courts, with the aim of making the criminal justice system accessible, fair and efficient.

Reported cases


  • “Operation Euripus” (2007-2011); MTIC.
  • “Operation Rosary” (2011-14); MTIC.
  • “Operation Bulkhead” (2013-); film finance fraud.
  • “Operation Hornet” (2013-); fraudulent trading within HBOS.

Confiscation/Money Laundering

  • Crown Prosecution Service v G [2010] EWHC 1117 (Admin).
  • Hindley, R. v [2011] EWCA Crim 2100


  • Mucelli v Government of Albania [2009] UKHL 2
  • Hertel v Government of Canada [2010] EWHC 2305 (Admin)


Professional societies and memberships

  • Member of the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee (CPRC)
  • Defence Extradition Lawyers’ Forum (DELF)
  • London Criminal Courts Solicitors' Association (LCCSA)
  • Liberty
  • Fraud Lawyers Association (FLA)



BBC Radio 4


  • On-air interview regarding Julian Assange extradition

Law Society Gazette


Times Law Section

Wealth Briefing

i paper

BBC Newsbeat


...is a master of his cases; thoughtful, pragmatic and very client focused

Legal 500 UK 2020

a very good advocate who is very attentive to detail."

Chambers and Partners 2019

"quickly gains the trust of clients with his sympathetic yet practical and realistic manner"

Chambers and Partners UK, 2018

Insight from Ed

View all


Unexplained Wealth Orders for prime property

HMRC turns to companies to police tax evasion

Unexplained Wealth Orders: What we know one year on

Diamonds are (not) forever: NCA keeps up pressure on unexplained wealth

Ensuring crime doesn’t pay: confiscation regime under review

The UK’s new National Economic Crime Centre

Global Britain: The Future of UK Sanctions Policy

Unexplained Wealth Orders – can you prove the legitimate provenance of all of your significant assets?

Data Protection Act 2018 and law enforcement: an introduction

The Data Protection Act 2018: new criminal offences for data breaches

Media focus on first 'McMafia law' challenge

Russia 2018: the ugly face of the beautiful game

Sanctions in the spotlight: Treasury Committee inquiry

The Data Protection Bill - New Criminal Offences for Data Protection Breaches On Their Way to the Statute Book

Irish ruling on Polish extradition request has potentially far-reaching consequences for EAW scheme

Time to apply the brakes: do we need a new offence of dangerous cycling?

UK sanctions after Brexit: the future remains unclear

Rape case collapses due to egregious non-disclosure: shocking but not in the least surprising

Holding Corporates to Account: Criminal Liability for Failure to Prevent Facilitation of Tax Evasion

The European Investigation Order – belatedly in force

Criminal Finances Act 2017

Failing to observe the duty of candour – City of London Police production order quashed

The cyber threat to UK businesses – NCSC/NCA publish 2016/17 annual report

Reform of Official Secrets legislation to recognise contemporary challenges to national security

Home Affairs Committee report: can the Proceeds of Crime be made to pay

Corporate manslaughter, health and safety and food safety sentencing guidelines published

High-profile cases: speak or be forever damned

New guidance to prosecutors on “Revenge Porn”

The Psychoactive Substances Bill 2015-16 – legal highs, how low can you go?

Polish judicial Authority v Celinski: the end of Article 8 in extradition?

Private prosecutions for crimes of Universal Jurisdiction

Surveillance and the individual – a move towards greater transparency

HMRC takes on off-shore tax evasion

Will the new corporate offence of failure to prevent tax evasion and enhanced international tax transparency change the landscape for tax investigations?

SRA NOT SFO: Professional obligations and s2 interviews - Law Society says do not compromise

HMRC proposals for tackling off-shore tax evasion seriously flawed

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Contact Ed

+44 (0)20 7814 1242


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