Criminal Litigation

The leading criminal defence
solicitors in the UK

Our criminal defence lawyers are astute, supportive and highly sophisticated, particularly known for their skills in providing strategic, sensible and practical criminal law advice and for our ability to keep potentially high profile cases out of the public eye.

Find out how we can help

"Multi-disciplinary, multi-jurisdictional, high profile, long established practice, perhaps the most famous firm in the field."

Legal 500 UK 2021

Top-ranked in Chambers UK and Legal 500, Kingsley Napley are the leading criminal defence solicitors in the UK.

We are at the cutting edge of white collar and criminal defence cases, having been involved in many of the most significant cases over the past 50 years. Our experience in this field is second to none. Covering:

Our criminal lawyers are highly sophisticated, astute and supportive. We are particularly well known for our skill in providing strategic advice and for our ability to keep high profile cases out of the public eye.

WHAT CLIENTS AND DIRECTORIES HAVE SAID

Kingsley Napley has real strength and expertise at all levels of the crime group. The team is hard-working, focused on getting results and yet maintains the human touch."

Legal 500 UK 2020

Viewed by some as a 'market leader in this field' Kingsley Napley LLP is notable for its 'wealth of experience in all areas of criminal and regulatory work' while its extradition practice is 'extremely well respected'."

Legal 500 UK 2020

They have a practice which is head and shoulders above the others available in the market,"

Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2020

The ‘first-rate’ team at Kingsley Napley LLP is ‘efficient, strategic, committed and able to handle the most complex of criminal cases as well as more general crime cases’. It advises corporations and individuals on sexual offences, violent crimes, drug offences, firearms offences, extradition and high-profile matters with an international element."

Legal 500 UK 2019

They very much embrace the need to look at the whole situation; they look at the media exposure - for people in the public eye and for a particular type of high net worth individual, that's very important and I've seen them handle that side of things very well. They're one of those few firms that would give clients a genuine round-the-clock service, seven days a week"

Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2018

They have a very sophisticated high net worth practice and a real sensitivity to the kind of issues that high net worth individuals face" 

Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2018

They are determined to do the best for their clients at all times and leave absolutely no stone unturned. It is a brilliant defence firm."      

 Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2016

Stephen Parkinson’s department at Kingsley Napley LLP continues to ‘hold its own against the Magic Circle firms.’"

Legal 500, 2016

It is an excellent firm - the level of preparation for cases is just fantastic."                           

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2016

Kingsley Napley is pre-eminent at what it does: high-end, complex criminal work for high-profile individuals."

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

One of the most highly regarded criminal defence firms, noted for its high-profile mandates from media organisations and sports professionals."

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

 

The KN team are one of the best known, oldest and highly regarded teams in this area of work. They get first rate work and deliver excellent results."

Legal 500 UK 2021

They are able to draw on expertise across the firm to provide a seamless service - if you are facing criminal allegations they can also handle the media, as well as any employment issues or regulatory proceedings that may arise." 

Chambers UK 2020

Latest blogs & news

The CMA’s Annual Report and digital markets - a time of change

This last year has undoubtedly been a busy and challenging one for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). It has seen additional activity arising from its response to the Covid pandemic, the further responsibilities it has taken on post-Brexit (see our related blog: #Brexit, the CMA and competition enforcement), and its work concerning the design and implementation of a pro-competition regime in digital markets. This article looks at its recently published Annual Report and Impact Assessment, calls for change, and the work it has been doing in relation to digital markets.

10 years of the UK Bribery Act: Compliance enough to define law’s success? - Alun Milford quoted in Compliance Week

Alun Milford, Partner in our Criminal Litigation team, has been quoted in Compliance Week in an article reviewing ten years of the UK Bribery Act. Questions are asked about its success with mixed views presented as to how the legislation and its enforcement have fared since it came into force.

Charities and internal investigations

Charities are not immune to financial crime, fraud or other wrong-doing; there are a number of ways in which charities may be exploited by criminals. 

Record fine of £90 million for Southern Water

On 9 July 2021 Southern Water Services Ltd (SWS) was fined £90 million, to be paid out of company operating profits, in what was the largest fine ever imposed on a water company.

Environmental Law Quarterly Update - Q2 2021

This quarterly environmental law update provides a summary of a cross-section of news stories in the period April 2021 - June 2021. 

FCA signals streamlining of its own processes and toughening up of the regulatory gateway

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), in its annual business plan published today, sets out its areas of focus for the year ahead.  It is, as ever, essential reading for all those in the regulated sector. 

The FCA proposes new listing guidance for cannabis-related businesses – a positive step for investors concerned about the Proceeds of Crime Act

In September 2020 the FCA published a statement regarding the listing of cannabis-related businesses (CRBs) in the UK. Since then several CRBs have been admitted to the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and appetite for investments in the medicinal cannabis industry continues to grow.

Being accused of sexual misconduct when you are a child

As a criminal defence solicitor specialising in defending allegations of sexual misconduct and representing children, the perfect storm that has erupted since the launch of Everyone’s Invited has made me privy to some of the saddest and most distraught children I have ever advised.

The perils of historic sexual abuse allegations - Sandra Paul interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Women's Hour

Sandra Paul, Partner in our Criminal Litigation team, appeared on BBC Radio 4 Women's Hour show on 7 July 2021 to discuss the Lady Nourse case along with providing her views on the law for those who've been accused of historic sexual offences. 

Everyone’s Invited – the devastating backlash begins

It’s the incendiary network exposing the rape culture endemic in our schools — but are innocent teenage boys getting caught in the crossfire? Katie Strick reports on a rising conflict in education

Regressive approaches to sentencing will not help children or society

The head of the Youth Justice Board has rightly criticised the Government’s plans to raise child custodial sentences. At a time when England and Wales falls behind most European countries in protecting children with the lowest age of criminal responsibility (10), it is inexplicable that the Government is taking a further regressive step by seeking to increase the length of time that children must spend in prison.

AML and the Art Market: HMRC publishes its first risk assessment

Many art dealers, galleries and auction houses are now subject to the UK’s anti-money laundering regime and are defined as art market participants (AMPs) - see our related blog The compulsory embrace of the art market by the UK's Anti-Money Laundering regime. On 28 June HMRC published its first assessment of the key areas that AMPs should consider when conducting their own assessments of the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing to which their business is subject.

COVID-19 Fraud: HMRC ramps up its investigations activity

In March 2021 the Chancellor announced the establishment of a taskforce to investigate those who may have fraudulently made use of government schemes set up to protect individuals and businesses against the economic impact of COVID-19 – such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) (widely referred to as the Furlough scheme), the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Scheme.

Keeping the crypto market on its toes? The FCA publishes latest cryptoasset consumer research and takes regulatory action against Binance Markets Limited

For the fourth year the FCA has published research on the changing relationship between consumers and cryptoassets. In spite of the pandemic, the strong upward trend in public engagement and media coverage has continued, with the FCA estimating 2.3 million adults now hold cryptoassets.

Buying property with crypto assets: Can it ever be justified?

A Director at the National Crime Agency recently voiced concern about crypto assets being used to fund property purchases in the UK. The NCA’s Nigel Leary was quoted by The Times as saying: “Anything purchased with crypto assets I’d be slightly sceptical about. I’d like to see why they’re being done in that way and what the requirement is for that anonymity, and why it needed to be done in a crypto transaction.”

AML compliance proving tall hurdle for UK crypto firms - Alun Milford quoted in Compliance Week

Alun Milford, Partner in our Criminal Litigation team, has been quoted in Compliance Week following the second deadline extension requiring cryptocurrency firms to be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under money laundering regulations.

Extradition post-Brexit - Áine Kervick quoted in The Law Society Gazette

Áine Kervick, Associate in our Criminal Litigation team, has been quoted in The Law Society Gazette providing her thoughts on the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and criminal justice co-operation. She comments that the UK's position in respect of post-Brexit extradition means there is now uncertainty, particularly around incoming requests, as a result of numerous Member States exercising a nationality bar.

 

Will the CPS’ decision to update its guidance mean an increase in prosecutions for failure to disclose under section 330 of POCA 2002?

Recent guidance issued by the CPS on the offence of ‘failure to disclose’ under section 330 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA 2002’) states that it is now “possible to charge an individual under section 330 even though there is insufficient evidence to establish that money laundering was planned or has taken place.”

To date, there have seldom been prosecutions for this offence but this guidance – effectively removing a significant element of the offence - suggests that the CPS may be looking to bring more charges in the future.

“A global competition authority” – The future role of the CMA?

As individuals, businesses and government departments alike begin to plan their recovery from the disruption caused by the pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) is examining its role in respect of pandemic and post-pandemic market abuse.

Select Committees and your right to silence

Dominic Cummings’ headline-grabbing appearance before the Covid select committee last week was in stark contrast to his 2018 refusal to appear when summonsed by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee investigating “Disinformation and ‘fake news’”.

Choose a specialist area:

White Collar and Financial Crime

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

Criminal Defence and Police Investigations

From police station representation and advice to restraint and confiscation proceedings, we are proactive in achieving the best outcomes.

FCA Investigations

Our team of expert lawyers has an impressive track record of successfully defending both individuals and institutions facing regulatory misconduct, disciplinary breach and criminal investigations conducted by the FCA.

Investigations

When an individual or company is faced with a criminal or regulatory investigation we manage every step of the process.

International Crime and Extradition

Criminal law is increasingly an international concept with cross-border implications. Knowing your rights and options is essential.

Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering

Recent years have seen considerable growth in this practice area, following the introduction of new measures designed to tackle illicit finance and the increased attention of enforcement agencies.

Victims and Witnesses of Crime

Being a witness or victim of crime can be a challenging experience. We guide victims and witnesses through the criminal justice system.

Financial Services Investigations

We provide intelligent and tactical representation to those involved in an investigation by defending accusations and mitigating risks.

Sexual Misconduct in the Workplace

We advise organisations and individuals dealing with sexual misconduct in the workplace.

Political Affairs

Our international work includes dealing with the suite of issues that may arise from politically motivated persecutions.

Criminal Litigation Insights

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News

10 years of the UK Bribery Act: Compliance enough to define law’s success? - Alun Milford quoted in Compliance Week

The perils of historic sexual abuse allegations - Sandra Paul interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Women's Hour

AML compliance proving tall hurdle for UK crypto firms - Alun Milford quoted in Compliance Week

Extradition post-Brexit - Áine Kervick quoted in The Law Society Gazette

Students accused of sexual misconduct barred from finishing courses - Sandra Paul & Shannett Thompson quoted in The Telegraph

Jill Lorimer and Mary Young write for International Business Law Journal on Developments in the UK Crypto Asset Landscape

Am I affected by money laundering rules? - Sophie Wood writes for the Financial Times

"How to prevent Monet Laundering" - Nicola Finnerty features in The Times

FCA launches criminal proceedings against NatWest for failure to comply with AML rules - Nicola Finnerty quoted in GIR

Odey verdict shows challenges of decades-old assault cases - Sandra Paul quoted in various sources

Press Release: Is the art world AMLD5 ready? New programme announced to support the UK art market with its anti-money laundering obligations as registration deadline looms

Alun Milford quoted in various sources following the UK Supreme Court limiting the territorial reach of the SFO

COVID-19 Fraud: An Emerging Risk For Companies - Will Hayes, Nicola Finnerty, Will Christopher & Eugenie Freeman write for PLC Magazine

Brexit deal: UK takes step back in cross-border enforcement - Louise Hodges quoted in GIR

Alun Milford, Caroline Day, Áine Kervick & Phil Salvesen contribute to the International Comparative Legal Guide: Corporate Crime 2021

Reform of corporate liability: two ways about it - Louise Hodges & Alun Milford write for PLC Magazine

Getting The Deal Through: Alun Milford & Áine Kervick discuss Anti-Corruption in the UK

Jill Lorimer quoted in various sources following FCA decision to ban three financial professionals for non-financial misconduct

Corporate criminal liability review could yield “radical and seismic” changes - Louise Hodges quoted in GIR

Alun Milford quoted following UK Governments "fence sitting" approach to reforms of corporate criminal liability laws

Kingsley Napley commended in eight categories in The Times Best Law Firms 2021

Criminal gangs steal £2bn through furlough fraud - Nicola Finnerty quoted in City AM

Tackling Illicit Finance - Ed Smyth writes for STEP Journal

Is the grass always greener? The legalities of investing in cannabis for UK Investors - Nicola Finnerty writes for Investment Week

City may face flurry of litigation after ‘FinCEN’ dirty money revelations - Nicola Finnerty quoted in The Times

Companies House powers boosted to tackle £137bn dirty money deficit - Alun Milford quoted in Accountancy Daily

Should there be a right to banking? Mary Young and Rebecca Niblock write for The Law Society Gazette

Clothing fibres can transfer without contact, study finds, posing issues for future criminal investigations - Nicola Finnerty quoted in The Telegraph

Tax Schemes back in the hot seat - David Sleight quoted in The Times

Serious Fraud Office under fire over big investigation failures and lack of convictions - Nicola Finnerty quoted in The Times

Lawyers in Lockdown: Sandra Paul and Nikola Southern write for The Law Society Gazette

SFO struggles to process evidence during pandemic - Louise Hodges quoted in the Financial Times

Consultation on the revisions to the Attorney General’s Disclosure Guidelines and the CPIA Code of Practice

COVID-19 Slows Pace of Existing UK Investigations - Caroline Day quoted in Law360

Business and Government should brace for wave of fraud: Alun Milford quoted in The Telegraph

Worth of the Bribery Act under scrutiny: Louise Hodges quoted in The Times

COVID-19: 'Remote' justice update - Louise Hodges quoted in New Law Journal

Pace Odyssey - Matthew Hardcastle quoted in The Law Society Gazette

Alun Milford quoted extensively following Government's announced proposals to introduce an economic crime levy

Attorney General's rule of law record could hinder EU extradition deal - Rebecca Niblock comments in Free Movement

Kingsley Napley team are contributing editors to Lexology Getting the Deal Through - Asset Recovery 2020

Louise Hodges & Caroline Day contribute to The Practitioner's Guide to Global Investigations, Fourth Edition

Questions raised over attorney-general's independence - Stephen Parkinson quoted in Financial Times

EU Data Privacy Laws Pose Disclosure Risks In Fraud Probes - Louise Hodges quoted in Law360

Ed Smyth quoted extensively on the UK court's recent decision to dismiss an appeal against the first UWO issued

The collateral consequences of the Criminal Finances Act - Ed Smyth writes for TheWealthNet

One minute with... - David Sleight featured in Tax Journal

Is the McMafia law working? - Ed Smyth quoted in ICAEW

Kingsley Napley's third International Criminal Law Conference taking place on 28 January 2020: Justice and Rights

International Criminal Law Roundup - Q4 2019

Kingsley Napley recognised in six categories in The Times Best Law Firms 2020

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Blogs

Environmental Law Quarterly Update - Q2 2021

FCA signals streamlining of its own processes and toughening up of the regulatory gateway

The FCA proposes new listing guidance for cannabis-related businesses – a positive step for investors concerned about the Proceeds of Crime Act

Being accused of sexual misconduct when you are a child

Regressive approaches to sentencing will not help children or society

AML and the Art Market: HMRC publishes its first risk assessment

COVID-19 Fraud: HMRC ramps up its investigations activity

Keeping the crypto market on its toes? The FCA publishes latest cryptoasset consumer research and takes regulatory action against Binance Markets Limited

Buying property with crypto assets: Can it ever be justified?

Will the CPS’ decision to update its guidance mean an increase in prosecutions for failure to disclose under section 330 of POCA 2002?

“A global competition authority” – The future role of the CMA?

Select Committees and your right to silence

Domestic Abuse Act 2021: An Overview

What do universities need to know about the UK’s Anti-Money Laundering regime?

Safeguarding - 5 golden principles for school leaders

Controlling and Coercive Behaviour: Widening the Net

Sexsomnia and the Criminal Law

EU Member States’ reluctance to extradite their own nationals to the UK

Recent changes to the law relating to Antique Firearms

How immune are COVID-19 relief scheme fraudsters from law enforcement action?

Breach of 2002 banking undertakings - the CMA writes to Danske Bank

Environmental Law Quarterly Update - Q1 2021

Arrests of care home workers following COVID-19 outbreaks: a review of criminal liability

Sentencing environmental offences: Reflections on the Thames Water £2.3m fine

Youth Justice: Is reform on the way for young people who turn 18 while in the criminal justice system?

The risks and penalties of money laundering for charities and how to guard against it

COVID-19 Fraud: New Taxpayer Protection Taskforce

Thames Water fined for “entirely foreseeable” pollution

Tackling Racial Injustice: Children and the Youth Justice System

National Grid fined £4 million for incomplete records

The Territorial Reach of the SFO - The Supreme Court Decides

Swift condemnation of Labour’s jury proposal is unwarranted - Jonathan Grimes writes for The Law Society Gazette

Extradition post-Brexit: the TCA at a glance

Challenging INTERPOL Red Notices: what do the CCF’s decisions tell us? Part Four - Unfunded Or Bounced Cheques

Challenging INTERPOL Red Notices: what do the CCF's decisions tell us? Part Three - Decisions Not To Extradite

Time’s up: Deadline passes for crypto firms to register with the FCA

Corporate criminal liability reform – the pressure is on the Law Commission as MPs express their frustration at delay

FCA sets expectations for firms to record communications when working from home

Challenging INTERPOL Red Notices: what do the CCF’s decisions tell us? Part Two - Politically Motivated Cases

HMRC’s record fine for money laundering breaches

Challenging INTERPOL Red Notices: what do the CCF's decisions tell us? Part One - Merits Of The Case

The UK assumes responsibility for its sanctions policy

Return to sender: Illegal waste exports are returned to the UK

Care home ordered to pay £167,670 for health and safety breaches

The new Sentencing Code - what is it?

Pension Fraud: first confiscation order secured by The Pension Regulator

Rise in Cum-Ex investigations across Europe: Cum-Ex trades explained

Another Civil Recovery Settlement: SFO v Julio Faerman

Outcome 22: are the police utilising this important diversionary tool or leaving it on the shelf?

Justice delayed is justice denied for clients in lockdown limbo

A consistent approach to extensions of moratorium periods for Suspicious Activity Reports

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