Neil Hawes QC

Neil Hawes QC

Year of Call: 1989
Inn of Court: Inner Temple

Neil Hawes QC

“A quality advocate who is sought out to advise on leading cases involving rate rigging, corruption and mortgage fraud. His wide-ranging experience includes the defence of cases prosecuted by HMRC, the FCA and the SFO” – Chambers and Partners 2018.

He is Joint Head of Charter Chambers, a Queen’s Counsel since 2010 and has over 20 years’ experience in advising on matters that concern serious business criminal and regulatory offences. Renowned for his exhaustive preparation and strategic foresight, he specialises in cartel investigations, insider dealing, bribery, and corruption cases. As a Legal 500 Leading Silk for both Fraud and Business & Regulatory Crime, he is regularly involved in high profile cases and as such is consistently sought after and instructed by large corporations and national firms of solicitors.

Highly experienced in defending large scale prosecutions brought by the SFO, FCA, CPS and CMA, he remains down-to-earth and well known for his team approach. He has been consistently recommended in Chambers & Partners Directory since 2012 for his Fraud practice and was recently described as a ‘quality advocate who is sought out to advise on leading cases involving rate rigging, corruption and mortgage fraud’.

Neil Hawes QC’s Privacy Policy can be read here NHQC Privacy Policy & Notice 25.2.18.



Significant Cases

Presently instructed for:

  • A director charged with bribery & corruption connected to the XYZ Ltd Deferred Prosecution Agreement
  • A director charged with bribery & corruption connected to Alstom
  • An individual charged with a fraud on the Welsh Assembly
  • An executive who is being advised in relation to the Tata Steel SFO investigation
  • A Board and Executives who is advising in relation to a CMA investigation into alleged cartel activity in a specific market sector
  • A Director who he is advising in relation to an allegation of bribery and corruption in the building sector

Significant Business & Regulatory Crime Cases

  • R v. B & Others [2017] – HMRC prosecuted cheat on the HMRC arising out of carbon offset LLPs
  • R v. Tom Hayes [2016] – Represented Mr Hayes, who was the first and main Libor defendant in the main SFO case.
  • R v. GH [2016] – A defendant in Operation Tabernula, the largest FCA insider dealing case to date. In 2016 advised Kaupthing Bank on its composition process in Iceland, following the Tchenguiz cases.
  • R v. P & Others [2015] – Large scale commercial sub prime mortgage fraud in excess of £150m prosecuted by the CPS
  • R v. L [2015] – Advising a director on alleged cartel activity.
  • R v. C [2015] – Represented a former Morrisons Director on an insider dealing case.
  • R v. George & Others [2014] – Represented a British Airways Director in the BA/Virgin price fixing allegation prosecuted by the then OFT.
  • R v. Stephens & Others [2012] – The SFO Lord Davenport advanced fee fraud. Fraud & Commercial Crime
  • R v. B [2012] – Represented a Director in a large scale MTIC fraud, prosecuted by HMRC/CPS
  • R v. Goldshield & Others [2009/10] – The largest SFO case ever, concerning alleged NHS pharmaceutical price fixing allegation. Fraud & Commercial Crime.
  • R v. B [2009] – Represented a Director in a bribery & corruption
  • R v. Hauxwell-Smith & Others [2008/9] – A large scale fraud on IKEA, prosecuted by the SFO.
  • R v. H became a leading disclosure case, leading to the House of Lords judgment.


  • QC (2010)
  • LL.B (Hons)
  • South East Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Cybercrime Practitioners Association

Areas of Specialism

Fraud & Commercial Crime

Highly experienced at advising on pre-charge issues and defending large scale prosecutions brought by the SFO, FCA, CPS and CMA.

He is known for his down-to-earth approach with his defence team and client which he combines with a reputation for exhaustive preparation and strategic foresight. These are essential qualities for complex, long running and often very involved cases.

Consistently instructed by large corporations and national firms of solicitors, he represents corporates and individuals. These have ranged from PLCs to Board Directors and employees alleged to have been involved in offences that include; fraud, cartel activity, bribery, corruption, money laundering, insider dealing, cheating the Inland Revenue or company offences.



Corporate Regulation & Investigation

Experienced conducting or leading teams in internal corporate investigations or advising corporates on their own investigations. Engagements have included advising on warrants, documentation retention & production, privilege and strategic outcomes, including money laundering and market reporting obligations.



Regulatory Crime

Experienced in and regularly advises on regulatory infractions, in particular regulatory and criminal offences connected to the FCA and CMA.




He has represented many individuals in murder and serious organised crime cases. Recent work has included representing an appellant on a CCRC fresh evidence reference to the Court of Appeal in a bid to overturn his 20 year old murder conviction.



Other Details


For R. v. Tom Hayes [2016]:

  • ‘Former City trader Tom Hayes given 14-year sentence for Libor rigging’ – The Guardian (2015)
  • ‘Tom Hayes Libor trial: the top quotes’ – The Telegraph (2015)
  • ‘First trader to face trial in Libor case heads to court’ – Financial Times (2015)


He was the keynote speaker at the London City Solicitors Association Annual Conference in Amsterdam in 2012, lecturing on ‘The Internationalisation of the Criminal Law’, looking at corruption, bribery and cartel internal investigations and offences.

He has lectured on a number of subjects including cartels, immunity applications, deferred prosecution agreements (DPA’s), corruption & bribery and financial crime.


He has been a contributor author to the Practical Law Company Practice Notes in the area of commercial fraud.

He is a member of the VHCC Fees Committee, Bar Council.

He is Chair of Governors at a local Church Primary School.