Jonathan is a criminal lawyer specialising in serious and complex criminal cases. He represents individuals and organisations in all areas of financial services and business crime as well as health and safety and related areas. He also continues to advise in a wide variety of other criminal law matters with a particular emphasis on cases with an international aspect, including war crimes and related work. He provides advice during investigations, attending hundreds of interviews of many different kinds in the course of his career, and is experienced in defending prosecutions brought by a range of law enforcement agencies.
White collar crime
Jonathan has acted in numerous cases involving allegations of financial wrongdoing and has experience of investigations by SFO, FCA, HMRC, CMA, NCA and the police as well as a number of foreign investigative authorities.
He has particular expertise dealing with law enforcement applications that seek to freeze or seize assets, including Account Freezing Orders and other applications made under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). He frequently gives advice on money laundering issues including on the making of suspicious activity reports (SARs). Jonathan is the firm’s Money Laundering Nominated Officer (MLNO).
Jonathan is frequently appointed to act as Independent Legal Advisor (ILA) to individuals interviewed in the course of investigations by their employers or regulators. He also acts for organisations in conducting such investigations.
Health and Safety and Corporate Manslaughter
Jonathan represents companies and individuals during the initial police and Health and Safety Executive investigation, through to the conclusion of cases at inquests or in the criminal courts. He has acted in cases investigated by the Environment Agency, Fire and Rescue Authorities, the Marine and Coastguard Agency, the Civil Aviation Authority and Air Accident Investigation Branch.
Jonathan provides advice and representation in respect of war crimes and related allegations, including universal jurisdiction matters - allegations which can be investigated and prosecuted in the UK even if neither the alleged offence nor those involved have any connection with the UK. He is past Co-Chair and Advisory Board Member of the IBA War Crimes Committee.
Jonathan joined Kingsley Napley in 2002 and became a partner in 2010.
White collar crime
- Representation of individuals in NCA cash seizure and Account Freezing Order matters
- Representing finance director in SFO investigation into government contracts
- Representing former MD of oil company in relation to Brazilian corruption investigation
- Advising company wishing to deal with frozen asset
- Representation of foreign politician in NCA corruption investigation
- Representation of employee of company in compelled interview conducted by the SFO
- Representation of company chairman in SFO fraud investigation
- Advising auction company in relation to AML and POCA matters
- Representation of bank employee in overseas investigation into market manipulation
- Representation of bank employee in internal investigation into information supplied to regulators
- Representation of in-house lawyer in offences against public justice matter
- Representation of bank employee in HMRC investigation of historic film scheme
- Representation of fund manager in overseas investigation into market manipulation
- Representation of employee in SFO compelled interview (using POCA powers)
- Representation of in-house lawyer in SFO corruption investigation
- Representation of accountant in FCA investigation into market abuse
- Representation of bank employees in compelled interviews conducted by the SFO
- Representation of judge in offences against public justice matter
- Representation of fund managers in compelled interviews conducted by the FCA
- Representation of bank employees in investigation into allegations of anti-competitive behaviour
- Representation of newspaper in relation to criminal allegation
- Representation of bank employee in Mutual Legal Assistance request from overseas jurisdiction
- Representation of employees of large multi-national in compelled interviews conducted by the SFO
- Representation of employee of insurance company in investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
- Advising a company on its AML and other reporting obligations upon discovery of suspected employee wrongdoing
- Advising businesses and individuals on their reporting and other obligations under UK AML law
Health and Safety and other Regulators
- Representation of prison officer in police investigation following prison death
- Representation of international construction vehicle manufacturing company following serious accident
- Representation of business owner in large Trading Standards prosecution (including successful challenge to the imposition of a restraint order)
- Representation of farmer in animal welfare case
- Representation of international engineering company following accident in which four people died
- Representation of numerous employees in various HSE investigations into fatal and non-fatal accidents
- Representing the “Responsible Person” (under fire regulations) following large fire in retail premises
- Representation of Chairman and FD of recycling company facing allegations of breaches of environmental law (includes financial restraint proceedings)
- Representing owner of a hotel in investigation into alleged breaches of fire safety regulations following a fire
International Criminal Law
- Representation of Colonel Kumar Lama, a Colonel in the Nepalese army on charges of torture, following his arrest in the UK
- Advising various individuals on risk of prosecution in UK for war crimes and related allegations
- Representation of numerous individuals facing general criminal allegations including sexual offences and violence (including murder)
- Advising a school in relation to allegations made against head master
- Representation of soldiers facing allegations arising from various historic fatal incidents
What Clients and directories say
He has a good ability to think through legal issues in a broad and international way. He doesn't go for the most obvious and domestic point, he looks at the bigger picture and he is very analytical."
Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2020
Jonathan Grimes careful and passionate attention to his clients has made him, slowly but surely, one of the most admired operators in the field. His particular interest in international crime has inspired a huge growth in this area of work within the firm. This requires an usually keen legal mind and a great deal of patience: he has both, and in large measure."
Legal 500 UK 2020
He's very pragmatic and down to earth, but he also has a good grasp of the technical issues that you need to have when dealing with the criminal side of health and safety."
Chambers UK 2020 – A Client’s Guide to the UK Legal Profession
Receives praise for his 'great attention to detail and extremely savvy approach'; he regularly acts for clients in police and HSE investigations, inquests and in the criminal courts."
Legal 500 UK 2019
Internationally recognised as a leading name in the field of corporate investigations, and focuses his impressive practice on financial and white-collar crime matters."
Who's Who Legal, Investigations 2018
The "very impressive" Jonathan Grimes of Kingsley Napley LLP is a criminal lawyer with extensive experience representing clients under investigation and facing prosecution by a number of regulatory authorities with regard to serious and fatal incidents."
Chambers and Partners, 2018
Receives widespread plaudits from peers who praise his expert handling of investigations from a range of regulatory bodies including the SFO, HMRC and FCA."
Who's Who Legal: Business Crime Defence 2018
Jonathan is a diligent and careful lawyer."
Chambers UK, 2018
A sound knowledge’ of health and safety matters, including corporate manslaughter."
Legal 500, 2017
The “terrific” Jonathan Grimes is well known for his strong expertise handling investigations of authorities from the SFO to the FCA and HMRC""
Who's Who Legal, Business Crime Defence 2017
An "extensive knowledge of POCA," and is "a delight to work with." "
Chambers UK, 2017
Incredibly committed." "You would feel very reassured if you were a client and Jonathan was supervising."
Chambers and Partners, 2017
...Determined and very hard-working" Jonathan Grimes has experience in universal jurisdiction disputes. Commentators report: "He is fiercely intelligent, and has a concise thought process and impressive knowledge of the law..."
Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2016
The "excellent"Jonathan Grimes continues to be a "formidable" figure in the proceeds of crime and asset forfeiture space...'"
Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2016
Jonathan Grimes has much experience in acting for major corporate clients in relation to accidental death cases. Clients say he provides "first-class, tactical advice"
Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2015
...'Sensational' on matters relating to financial services crime and receives widespread praise for his 'impressive depth of expertise' and 'international mindset'."
Who's Who Legal, Business Crime Defence 2015
Jonathan Grimes is "formidably skilful and effective"
Who's Who Legal, Investigations, 2015
...Brings a level of gravitas to cases...’'
Legal 500 UK, 2015
Is held in high esteem by peers, and represents clients in high-profile criminal matters"
Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2014
Jonathan Grimes is widely admired as a 'feisty, sensible,careful and effective solicitor'. Clients include leading companies in the construction sector”
Legal 500 UK, 2014
Professional societies and memberships
Publications, PRess Highlights, Speaking Engagements & Blogs
- Suspicious Activity Report guidance updated in light of anticipated COVID-19 related crime, May 2020
- Account Freezing Orders - Court makes €1.9 million Forfeiture Order, April 2020
- Kingsley Napley's third International Criminal Law Conference taking place on 28 January 2020: Justice and Rights, January 2020
- Writes for Financial Director - Enhanced threat of director disqualification for breaches of competition law, January 2020
- A change of direction in director disqualification for breaches of competition law?, December 2019
- Torture charges dismissed against Agnes Reeves Taylor, December 2019
- Overhaul of SARS regime to be welcomed, June 2019
- SRA AML audits: be prepared, April 2019
- SRA to undertake AML audits as enforcers keep focus on “professional enablers”, March 2019
- Fighting financial crime post Brexit: what next?, March 2019
- No deal Brexit and financial crime: proposed regulations published, January 2019
- Working in partnership: a new public/private approach to tackle economic crime, January 2019
- AML: targeting the professional enablers – action not just talk, January 2019
- Tackling illicit finance: lawyers under the spotlight, January 2019
- New sentencing regime for gross negligence manslaughter now in force, November 2018
- Tougher sentences to come for Gross Negligence Manslaughter, August 2018
- Why the International Criminal Court should be supported, The Times, 19 July 2018
- New anti-money laundering regulations: as risk-based, Louise Hodges and Jonathan Grimes write for PLC Magazine, 1 August 2017
- Quoted in Accountancy Online, 14 July 2017, Doing time: How judges decide criminal sentences in tax fraud cases
- Quoted in The Brief, 26 June 2017, Law firms await advice over beefed up money laundering rules
- Essentials: Criminal Finances Act 2017 and corporate offence for tax evasion, Accountancy magazine, June 2017
- 'Unexplained wealth orders', Tax Journal, 26 May 2017
- 'Corporate manslaughter case offers lessons for other SMEs', Real Business, 12 Nov, 2014
- 'Autoclave specialist convicted of corporate manslaughter', H&S Matters, 10 Nov, 2014
- '£500,000 fine in corporate manslaughter decision, Solicitors Journal, 10 Nov, 2014
- 'Remove juries from fraud trials? Bad idea', The Law Society Gazette, 5 August 2014
- 'Importance of Trial by Jury', The Huffington Post UK, 18 March 2014
- People Management Magazine - Corporate manslaughter cases increase 16.04.13
- Tomorrow's Health & Safety Magazine - the risks of further cost cutting
- Health & Safety Matters - The Corporate Manslaughter Act: why only 2 prosecutions after 4 years? (1 May 2012)