UK Investigations and Criminal Litigation LITIGATION/CONTROVERSY

Multinational companies, corporate executives, high-ranking public officials and in-house counsel rely on our preeminent practice and depth of experience when facing complex and challenging criminal and regulatory investigations.

Our UK Investigations and Criminal Litigation lawyers advise on all aspects of criminal and regulatory investigations, working across jurisdictions on white-collar crime matters such as fraud, insider dealing, market abuse, bribery and corruption, cartel defence, and corporate investigations. We counsel clients through investigations by a wide range of agencies and prosecution authorities, including the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the National Crime Agency (NCA), the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), as well as overseas agencies such as the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The UK group is headed by Stephen Pollard, a highly experienced practitioner who is widely recognised as one of the leading white-collar defence lawyers in the UK. Mr. Pollard and his team have particular experience in the defence of financial services fraud, multi-jurisdictional white-collar crime allegations, corruption allegations, criminal cartel allegations and sanctions/export control work. The UK team works closely with colleagues in the United States and Europe to provide a seamless global service. The group also has experience in conducting internal corporate investigations on behalf of companies that suspect employee misconduct or where there is a risk of exposure to a formal criminal or regulatory investigation. 

The team's insight and analysis on all aspects of UK white-collar, investigations and regulatory enforcement can be seen on the WilmerHale W.I.R.E. UK blog and on Twitter @WHWhiteCollarUK.


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Jonas, Stephen A.

Stephen A. Jonas

Co-Chair, Investigations and Criminal Litigation Practice Group

+1 617 526 6144 (t)

Pollard, Stephen

Stephen Pollard


+44 (0)20 7872 1006 (t)

Pollard, Stephen

Stephen Pollard


+44 (0)20 7872 1006 (t)

David, Christopher

Christopher David


+44 (0)20 7872 1015 (t)


Alison Geary


+44 (0)20 7872 1036 (t)


David Rundle


+44 (0)20 7872 1607 (t)

Firth, Lloyd

Lloyd Firth

Senior Associate

+44 (0)20 7872 1014 (t)

Gaafar, Leila

Leila Gaafar


+44 (0)20 7872 1053 (t)

Anna Gaudoin

Anna Gaudoin


+44 (0)20 7872 1016 (t)

Saugman, Fred

Frederick Saugman


+44 (0)20 7872 1000 (t)


The team is currently instructed on most of the significant SFO and FCA matters, including the investigations into manipulation of benchmarks (Libor and FX), Barclays (payments to Qatar), Alstom (alleged corruption), Serco (alleged overcharging), ENRC (alleged corruption), Rio Tinto (alleged corruption) and a member of the separate investigations connected to corruption investigation into Unaoil.

Publications & News


March 16, 2018

Lauri Love: The Forum Bar Shows Its Mettle

A blog post by Frederick Saugman, published on the WilmerHale W.I.R.E. UK blog.

March 5, 2018

UK financial regulators respond to the rise of the robots

A blog post by Lloyd Firth, published on the WilmerHale W.I.R.E. UK blog.

February 21, 2018

Case note: Bilta v RBS

A blog post by Leila Gafaar, published on the WilmerHale W.I.R.E. UK blog.

February 7, 2018

Trouble on the horizon: what ENISA’s Report tells us about the threat of data breaches

A blog post by Leila Gaafar, published on the WilmerHale W.I.R.E. UK blog.

February 2, 2018

UK House of Lords rejects public beneficial ownership registers for British Overseas Territories

A blog post by Frederick Saugman and Lloyd Firth, published on the WilmerHale W.I.R.E. UK blog.

January 4, 2018

How UK may be forced out of Europol

An article by Leila Gafaar, published by The Law Society Gazette and on the WilmerHale W.I.R.E. UK blog.

January 2, 2018

Update: Creation of the National Economic Crime Centre

A blog post by David Rundle, published on the WilmerHale W.I.R.E. UK blog.

December 14, 2017

Just a little bit of history repeating: Has the UK reached a familiar juncture in respect of the detection, investigation and prosecution of serious and complex cybercrime?

A blog post by Lloyd Firth, published on the WilmerHale W.I.R.E. UK blog.

November 10, 2017

The failure to prevent tax evasion

A blog post by David Rundle and Chloe Salter, published on the WilmerHale W.I.R.E. UK blog and by Compliance Monitor.

November 8, 2017

A better view of “A Better View”: What Steward's speech tells us about the future of FCA investigations

A blog post by Leila Gaafar, published on the WilmerHale W.I.R.E. UK blog on November 8, 2017.


  • Chambers UK: A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession - WilmerHale is ranked for Financial Crime: Corporates and Financial Crime: Individuals in the 2016-2018 editions of the guide, with clients saying the firm is "renowned" and has "considerable experience [with] white-collar crime matters, including SFO work." Clients say they are "very pleased with the service and relationship" and that WilmerHale has a "strong global white-collar crime practice recognised for its work representing clients in major SFO investigations [and they] counsel an array of corporates and individuals from various sectors including media, technology and banking."
  • The Legal 500 UK - In the 2015 edition, WilmerHale is named a top-tier firm for crime, fraud and licensing - fraud: white-collar crime.
  • Global Investigations Review (GIR) - WilmerHale ranked No. 1 on the 2017 GIR 30 list of the world's leading investigations and compliance practices, and in 2016, we were named GIR's “Most Impressive Investigations Practice of the Year.” WilmerHale ranked second on the 2015 and 2016 GIR 30 lists.
  • Chambers Global - WilmerHale is ranked in the 2016 edition for corporate investigations and corporate investigations: anti-corruption.
  • Law360 - Ranked WilmerHale number six in its 2015 Securities/White Collar Practice Group Partner rankings, which recognize the 100 largest and most powerful securities and white-collar practices.
  • The Lawyer - Ranked WilmerHale among the top 10 litigation practices in the world in the 2013 list of the Global Litigation Top 50.


Sentencing of Corporate Offenders in the UK: A Practical GuideSentencing of Corporate Offenders in the UK

On 1 October 2014, the Sentencing Council's Definitive Guideline for Fraud, Bribery and Money Laundering Offences (the Guideline) came into force, providing for the first time a framework for the sentencing of corporate offenders in the UK. The Guideline, which was created as part of a package to support the introduction in the UK of Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs), contains a 10-step process to be followed by the criminal courts when sentencing corporations for fraud, bribery and money laundering offences.

This publication aims to provide a practical, working guide to that process, linking the reader to relevant material.

View and print a PDF of the guide


Deferred Prosecution Agreements: A Practical GuideDeferred Prosecution Agreements

The introduction of Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPA) in the UK has been hotly anticipated, and on 24 February 2014 the law finally came into force.

Our practical working guide covers the process through which DPAs are offered, arranged and, if breached, terminated. The guide also explores current DPA trends in the United States.

View and print a PDF of the guide