Stephen Pollard


Pollard, Stephen

Stephen Pollard is a seasoned litigator with more than 25 years of experience on the full spectrum of business crime and securities enforcement work. He represents members of the investor community including senior managers, brokers and traders facing allegations of insider trading, market manipulation and market abuse, particularly in proceedings brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). He also has extensive experience in handling high-profile matters requiring press and reputational management.

Mr. Pollard represented the former Barings trader Nick Leeson, as well as a defendant in the FCA's first criminal prosecution for market manipulation. He has particular experience in the defence of financial services fraud, multi-jurisdictional white collar crime allegations, corruption allegations, competition/cartel allegations and internal investigations. Mr. Pollard acted for the former Commercial Director of British Airways in relation to allegations of price fixing, which resulted in an acquittal after the collapse of the trial. He also represented Vincent Tchenguiz in his successful challenge to the SFO investigation relating to the collapse of Kaupthing bank. 

He is currently representing a number of individuals in the SFO/DOJ LIBOR and FX investigations, and in a number of DOJ/SEC investigations into alleged corruption. He also has clients in the current SFO investigations into Alstom (alleged corruption), ENRC (alleged corruption in Africa), Serco and G4S (alleged overcharging), Rolls Royce (alleged corruption), GSK (alleged corruption in China) and various companies connected to the Unaoil investigation (alleged corruption). He is involved in a number of internal investigations for corporate clients.

He is also representing clients before the FCA and the PRA in relation to allegations of market abuse, marked manipulation and issues under the Senior Managers Regime.

Mr. Pollard speaks regularly on criminal and regulatory issues.

Honors & Awards

Chambers 100 UK, a list that identifies the top 100 lawyers in the UK who excel in both technical legal ability and in client service, named Mr. Pollard in its 2013 rankings. Mr. Pollard is also one of only two “Band 1” individuals recommended for white collar crime fraud work in Chambers UK, with sources describing him as an “excellent tactician” and an “exceptional practitioner” with “an excellent track record of acting on behalf of individuals in high profile investigations conducted by regulators.”

The 2018 edition of Chambers UK says Mr. Pollard "has been at the top of his game for 25 years and is one of the best ever," and that "he is hugely likeable and down-to-earth, but equally formidable when representing the interests of his clients. He is one of the characters for whom everyone in the room will stop and listen, his judgement is unbelievably good." The 2017 edition described Mr. Pollard as "a phenomenal tactician" who is "a highly intelligent, very calm man" who can "assess all evidential developments quickly and rationally," and is "a skilled operator" with a "very shrewd, very good understanding of how to deal with cases." Past editions of Chambers UK described Mr. Pollard as "very, very bright and energetic, has the right level of involvement and is very quick to take in information." The guides report he is "highly talented," "'brilliant'" and "is 'very sophisticated in his advice, and he gives a lot of thought to legal and tactical situations.'" He was also commended for his "grasp of the way to deal with individual clients under great stress," and sources reported "he has got marvellous strategic sense, so he can see beyond his own client and the politics of the matter," and is "legendary … He has the perfect combination of commercial litigation skills and a criminal law background, and always fights his client's corner well,” and he “offer[s] a Rolls-Royce criminal fraud service.” He is also listed as a leading practitioner for his financial services work and cartel defence practice.

In the 2013-2016 editions of The Legal 500 UK, Mr. Pollard is described by clients as a "polished and dedicated class-act," "simply the best man to have in a crisis," "excellent at representing individuals," and a "consummate professional" who is "vastly experienced" and "highly tactical." He is recommended as an "elite" individual in the corporate and commercial - financial services and crime, and fraud and licensing - fraud categories, and was also recognized in previous editions.

Mr. Pollard was honored by Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom as the 2012 and 2014 London Fraud Lawyer of the Year, and is consistently recognized in the financial services, litigation and fraud practice areas.

Mr. Pollard was selected by clients and peers as being among the world's most highly regarded investigations lawyers in the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 editions of Global Investigations Review's Who's Who Legal: Investigations, and was also recognized in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 editions of The International Who's Who of Business Crime Defence Lawyers. Sources recently said he has "excellent regulatory expertise," is "simply excellent" and "boasts a brilliant track record."

Publications & News


November 3, 2017

WilmerHale Lawyers, Practices Recognized for Outstanding Work and Reputation by Chambers UK 2018

Chambers UK: A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession 2018 ranked six WilmerHale lawyers and five practices for outstanding work and reputation.

October 12, 2017

The Legal 500 UK Recognizes WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices in 2017 Edition

In the 2017 edition of The Legal 500 UK, WilmerHale is named a top-tier firm for dispute resolution - international arbitration and crime, fraud and licensing - fraud: white-collar crime, and is recommended in four other practice areas. The guide also names five partners to its "Leading lawyers" list, and recognizes a total of 11 of the firm's London-based lawyers.

May 15, 2017

WilmerHale, Waivers and When to Stop Investigating

In this interview with GIR, Boyd Johnson and Stephen Pollard discuss how the WilmerHale's investigations practice has developed over the past five years, and how they foresee the law and practice of investigations taking shape over the next five years. This article was first published on GIR's website.

February 7, 2017

Global Anti-Bribery Year-in-Review: 2016 Developments and Predictions for 2017

The past year was consequential for FCPA enforcement in numerous respects, including blockbuster penalties, new policy initiatives, and the SEC's first DPA with an individual for FCPA violations.

November 4, 2016

WilmerHale Lawyers, Practice Recognized for Outstanding Work and Reputation by Chambers UK 2017

Chambers UK: A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession 2017 ranked five WilmerHale lawyers and one practice for outstanding work and reputation.

September 19, 2016

The Legal 500 UK Recognizes Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP as a Top-Tier Firm

In the 2016 edition of The Legal 500 UK, WilmerHale is named a top-tier firm for dispute resolution - international arbitration and crime, fraud and licensing - fraud: white-collar crime, and is recommended in four other practice areas. The guide also names four partners to its "Leading lawyers" list, and recognizes a total of nine of the firm's London-based lawyers.

July 12, 2016

United Kingdom: handling internal investigations

An extract by Stephen Pollard, Christopher David and Elly Proudlock from "The European, Middle Eastern and African Investigations Review 2016," published by Global Investigations Review.

June 13, 2016

The Global Implications of the EU's New Civil Market Abuse Regime

On 3 July 2016 the EU Market Abuse Regulations will come into force, replacing the previous civil market abuse regime as set out in the Market Abuse Directive. Given its extra-territorial effect, the changes brought in by MAR are likely to have implications for market participants located outside the EU. [Also published on the WilmerHale W.I.R.E. UK blog.]

February 2, 2016

Global Anti-Bribery Year-in-Review: 2015 Developments and Predictions for 2016

Among other significant developments, 2015 saw the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ” or the “Department”) document a policy priority of holding individuals accountable for corporate wrongdoing. This policy was laid out in the “Yates Memorandum”—announced by Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates—and related changes the DOJ made to the U.S. Attorney’s Manual.

December 1, 2015

UK's Serious Fraud Office Secures First Deferred Prosecution Agreement

On 30 November 2015, Lord Justice Leveson formally approved the UK's first deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) since the legislative scheme for such arrangements came into force on 24 February 2014. The introduction of DPAs was seen as a landmark moment in the SFO's capacity to pursue corporate wrongdoing effectively.


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LPC, University of the West of England, 1982

BA, Jurisprudence, Pembroke College, Oxford University, 1980

Bar Admissions

England and Wales, Solicitor





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