Year of Call: 1989
Inn of Court: Inner Temple
Neil Hawes QC
WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT HIM
“Extremely bright and very hard-working. Judges love him. He’s great at technical legal arguments in front of the High Court and he’s a good jury advocate.” – “Neil has a phenomenal practice. He’s a very smooth operator and a real details-man; he will take the granular approach.” Chambers & Partners 2020 Leading Silk Financial Crime.
‘His ability to absorb, retain and analyse huge amounts of information is staggering’ – Business and Regulatory Fraud – Leading Silk (Legal 500 – 2019, 2020: Tier 1)
‘Excellent and thorough’ – Business and Regulatory Fraud – Leading Silk (Legal 500 – 2018: Tier 1)
‘He appears in multi-defendant fraud trials’ – Fraud – Leading Silk (Legal 500 – 2018)
“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’.
During 2019 he successfully and sequentially defended two Directors in the SFO prosecutions of Sarclad Ltd (XYZ DPA) and Guralp Systems Ltd (DPA). Chambers & Partners 2019 shortlisted him for Crime QC of the year.
Charter Chambers and its members are regulated by the Bar Standards Board
Presently instructed for:
- 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 company in an ongoing multi million pound tax investigation
- A Director who he is advising in relation to an allegation of bribery and corruption in the building sector
Significant Business & Regulatory Crime Cases
- Sarclad Ltd, R v. AL and Others 2019 – prosecuted by the SFO, this was the XYZ published DPA case.
- Neil Hawes QC also appeared in the important judicial review of The Queen (on the Application of AL) v. SFO  EWHC 856 arising out of preparatory arguments in the Sarclad case. This was an important case in 2018 which led to the SFO 2019 Guidance to corporates seeking to obtain future deferred prosecution agreements (DPA).
- Guralp Systems Ltd, R v. Bell & Others, 2019 – prosecuted by the SFO, this was connected to the Guralp Systems Ltd DPA
- R v. Wikstrom & Others 2018 – One of the Alstom cases prosecuted by the SFO
- Instructed in the Rolls Royce Investigation
- R v. B & Others  – HMRC prosecuted cheat on the HMRC arising out of carbon offset LLPs
- R v. Tom Hayes  – Represented Mr Hayes, who was the first and main Libor defendant in the main SFO case.
- R v. GH  – 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  – Large scale commercial sub prime mortgage fraud in excess of £150m prosecuted by the CPS
- R v. L  – Advising a director on alleged cartel activity.
- R v. C  – Represented a former Morrisons Director on an insider dealing case.
- R v. George & Others  – Represented a British Airways Director in the BA/Virgin price fixing allegation prosecuted by the then OFT.
- R v. Stephens & Others  – The SFO Lord Davenport advanced fee fraud. Fraud & Commercial Crime
- R v. B  – 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  – 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)
- Co-Chair of the Remuneration Committee of the Bar Council (Crime)
- Member of the General Management Committee of the Bar Council
- 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.
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.
For R. v. Tom Hayes :
- ‘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.