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.

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"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

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.

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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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

Crime agency gets record reports of suspicious financial activity - Nicola Finnerty quoted in Financial Times

Ed Smyth appointed as member of the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee

International Criminal Law Roundup - Q3 2019

Sex, lies and legal consent: Can deceit turn sex into rape? - Sandra Paul comments in BBC News

Jason Lawrance appeals against vasectomy lie rape convictions - Sandra Paul comments in BBC News

When justice takes a holiday - Alun Milford quoted in Law360

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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

The Holiday is Over: Will the FCA’s efforts to support homeowners after the mortgage payment holiday be enough?

Non-financial misconduct is misconduct, plain and simple

Civil or criminal proceedings for serious fraud?

Account freezing and forfeiture powers widely used by law enforcement agencies

Deferred Prosecution Agreements - New SFO Guidance

GOWISELY: Time to stop and think about stop and search

Cannabis and the UK investor – two years on

Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Act 2020 – Bill receives Royal Assent

Crown Censure for the MoD after health and safety failings

The SFO's confirmation of a DPA in principle with Airline Services Ltd illustrates the balance between confidentiality and transparency in the DPA process

Furlough Fraud - what about the other £2bn?

Coronavirus business loan scheme fraud

Serious Injury by Careless Driving: How Competent Are You?

Three years on and still no prosecutions for HMRC’s Corporate Criminal Offence

Directors disqualified following history of health and safety and waste law breaches

The NCA finally obtains the benefit of Unexplained Wealth Orders

Environmental permits and confiscation implications

FCA issues new guidance on fitness and propriety assessments in the financial services sector

Companies in hot water: environmental performance deteriorates further

Tackling Illicit Finance: SFO uses Listed Asset Order for first time

Law regarding consent is not confused, wrong or unfair - Sandra Paul writes for The Law Society Gazette

I May Destroy You, Part 3: A study of sexual assault - Voyeurism, Revenge Porn, Youth Justice and False Allegations

Tax advisers beware - avoidance is the new evasion

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