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.


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

Environmental Law Quarterly Update - Q2 2022

This quarterly environmental law update provides a summary of a cross-section of news stories in the period April 2022 - June 2022. 

Health and Safety Quarterly Update – Q2 2022

This quarterly update summarises a selection of news stories relating to health and safety investigations and prosecutions published in the period April – June 2022 as well as some of the key corporate manslaughter cases which have been brought in recent months.

Greenwashing: engaging with regulators on ESG concerns

As environmental, social and governance matters have moved further up the agendas of businesses and their stakeholders, regulators and prosecutors both in the UK and abroad have assessed their priorities and powers. Organisations need to consider best practice for engaging with regulators if they find themselves facing the sharp end of an investigation.

FCA Enforcement Half Year Update: H1 2022

This half-year update provides an overview of recent enforcement activity by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) in the period from January to June 2022.

International Criminal Law Quarterly Round-Up: Q2 2022

This quarterly international criminal law update provides a summary of the news stories in the period April – June 2022. The relevance of international criminal law continues to be highlighted by the war in Ukraine. As events have unfolded, we have covered relevant developments below along with a number of other international law news stories.

Disregarding Convictions – a step forward

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 ‘the Act’ has correctly attracted much criticism since it was first introduced as a Bill to the House of Commons in the March of 2021. There are numerous and alarming issues raised for civil liberties raised by this legislation which are beyond the scope of this post (see here for further commentary). Nonetheless, there is one aspect of the Act (which received Royal Assent on 28 April 2022) that can be welcomed: the expansion of the scheme for disregarding convictions or cautions received for historical consensual same-sex sexual activity.

Anti-Money Laundering: Shining a Spotlight on Compliance

Nicola Finnerty and Gemma Tombs discuss the legal framework that underpins the UK’s anti-money laundering regime and consider how businesses can effectively fine-tune their approach to AML compliance.

Julian Assange cleared for Extradition to the US - Rebecca Niblock comments

After the British Government's approved the request by the US to extradite Wikileak's founder Julian Assange, Rebecca Niblock's reaction was reported the international media.

Corporate Criminal Liability: The Law Commission’s ten options for reform

On 10th June, the Law Commission launched its “Options Paper” which presents a number of ways in which the law of corporate criminal liability could be reformed. The detailed paper, accompanied by a 14 page summary document, sets out potential options for reform in this area and rules out other possibilities as not viable.

UK Urged To Toughen Corporate Crime Laws With New Fines - Alun Milford responds

After The Law Commission recommended that the Government introduce new rules holding companies liable, and subject to fines, for crimes committed by senior executives, our Partner Alun Milford gave his reaction.

Outcome 22: is the use of this Outcome a ‘postcode lottery’ for children in the UK criminal justice system?

In this blog, we discuss what new police data reveals about the use of Outcome 22 three years after its introduction and the startling disparity of its use by different forces.

The metaverse: virtual offences, real world penalties?

Magda Zima was recently published in Solicitors Journal discussing The metaverse: virtual offences and real world penalties.

Criminal Law Week

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Criminal Law Week is proud to have launched its bi-annual seminar series. The inaugural event took place on 24 May 2022, hosted by Kingsley Napley LLP and chaired by Matt Hardcastle. 

The FCA – Transformation to Assertive Supervision

There can be little doubt that the failure of London Capital & Finance Plc, and the subsequent report by Dame Elizabeth Gloster, have significantly changed the FCA’s approach to the supervision of regulated firms and protection of consumers in an increasingly complex financial environment. 

Overseas Production Orders: Companies should prepare for new powers to gather electronic data

The Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Act 2019 (COPOA) was enacted three years ago to give law enforcement agencies the power to directly obtain electronic data from service providers based outside the UK for the purpose of preventing, detecting and investigating serious crimes through the use of Overseas Production Orders (OPOs).

Acting to stop harm: the FCA and Appointed Representatives

On 13 May 2022, the FCA published a final refusing Alexander Jon Compliance Consulting Ltd.’s (“AJCC”) application for authorisation to provide regulatory hosting services. There is no specific definition of what a regulatory host is, but the FCA generally regards it as a commercial arrangement whereby an authorised Principal firm appoints and oversees a number of unconnected Appointed Representatives (“ARs”) which operate across a range of markets. 

The rule of law in Ukraine during martial law: Review of changes to the criminal process

We are delighted to present, as a guest blog, the thoughts and views of Dr Valentyn Gvozdiy, managing partner of Golaw in Kyiv. Dr Gvozdiy outlines the significant changes to criminal procedure that have been heralded by the Russian invasion of his country and the subsequent adoption of martial law.

Cross-Border Criminal Law Conference 2022: Individual and Corporate Accountability for International Crimes

On Thursday 5 May, Kingsley Napley hosted the 4th annual Cross-Border Criminal Law Conference, which focused on individual and corporate accountability for international crimes.

Health and Safety Quarterly Update – Q1 2022

This quarterly update provides a summary of a selection number of news stories relating to health and safety investigations and prosecutions, published in the period January - March 2022.

National Security and Investment Act 2021 – an expansive approach to liability

Whilst it is anticipated that prosecutions under the National Security and Investment Act 2021 (‘the Act’) will be exceptionally rare, the criminal sanctions set out in it are explicitly framed to create a “sufficiently robust deterrent to ensure compliance.” The provisions punish corporates and individual officers who connive or consent to commit an offence, as well as individual officers who are negligent (s.36). In addition, they are also extra-territorial (s.52), meaning that the scope of liability is particularly wide-ranging.

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.


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.

Private Prosecutions

Private prosecutions provide a useful legal remedy for companies, regulators and individuals to pursue criminal proceedings.

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.

International Protection

Our International Protection group offers comprehensive multijurisdictional advice from our specialist immigration, criminal and public law teams.

Criminal Litigation Insights

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Greenwashing: engaging with regulators on ESG concerns

UK Urged To Toughen Corporate Crime Laws With New Fines - Alun Milford responds

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

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

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

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

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

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Cross-Border Criminal Law Conference 2022: Individual and Corporate Accountability for International Crimes

A new Economic Crime Bill and the accelerated introduction of a Register of Overseas Entities

Extradition post-Brexit: the Irish questions answered

FCA as gatekeeper of UK crypto AML regime: two years in

Medicinal Cannabis – Where Are We Now?

Extradition post-Brexit: the Irish questions

Environmental Law Quarterly Update - Q3 2021

Vue Cinema Chain fined following death of cinema-goer

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

Charities and internal investigations

Record fine of £90 million for Southern Water

Environmental Law Quarterly Update - Q2 2021

R v Wood Treatment Limited - corporate manslaughter and the challenge of proving causation

Met Police appetite for Account Freezing Orders undimmed by pandemic

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

View all


Youth Justice Online - Episode 3: Turning 18 in the Criminal Justice System

Allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace

Roundtable | Corporate Criminal Liability: Options for reform

Insights into Account Freezing Orders & Account Forfeiture Orders - Episode 2: Account Forfeiture Orders

Deadline approaching for Art Market Participants to register with HMRC

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