BCL dominates rankings in Chambers UK, 2017

On 1 November 2016, Chambers & Partners published the 2017 edition of Chambers UK - a Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession.  This is one of the leading independent directories of UK legal services, identifying the leading firms and lawyers in the UK.

In the 2017 edition, BCL has been ranked as a top tier / leading firm in the following practice areas:

  • Financial Crime: Individuals (London)
  • Financial Crime: Individuals: Cartel Investigations (UK-wide)
  • Financial Crime: Corporates (London)
  • Crime (London)
  • Crime: Extradition (London)
  • POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture (UK-wide)
  • Tax: Contentious: Fraud (UK-wide)
  • Health & Safety (UK-wide)

In addition, all of BCL's partners* have been individually ranked as Leaders in their Field.

BCL stands out from its competitors by being the only firm to be ranked in all eight of these practice areas and top-ranked in five of them.  Additionally, within these eight practice areas all twelve of BCL's partners* are individually ranked as leading individuals, more than any other firm.

Chambers UK's rankings and editorial for each practice area are set out below.


Financial Crime: Individuals

BCL is ranked as a top tier firm in Financial Crime: Individuals.  We have seven partners ranked in this practice area, including four top-ranked - more than any other firm.  Those ranked are as follows:

Ian Burton - Band 1
Jane Glass - Band 1
Brian Spiro - Band 1
Harry Travers - Band 1
Richard Sallybanks – Band 2
Michael Drury - Band 3
Shaul Brazil - Up and Coming

In relation to the firm's position, Chambers UK states:

What the team is known for:
A premier outfit with an excellent reputation for its representation of individuals including company directors, officers and employees. Frequently advises on complex commercial fraud, regulatory enforcement and money laundering cases. Also has a highly active cartel investigations practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
"They are an excellent team. They have a reputation for legal excellence which is richly deserved and one that we fully support."

"Superb - THE boutique criminal corporate and Proceeds of Crime Act outfit to go to."

In relation to the ranked partners, Chambers UK states:

Ian Burton founded the firm, and currently serves as its senior partner. He is lauded as "a star player and the grandfather of this area," by admiring sources.

Sources say Jane Glass is "brilliant, extremely tenacious, fiercely loyal to her clients, and very level-headed."

Corporate crime and regulatory work forms a cornerstone of partner Brian Spiro's practice. Sources say: "He has a terrific way with clients, and is very good at thinking through the implications of different complicated actions. He is a terrific strategic adviser to his client."

Contentious tax and financial crime partner Harry Travers is engaged by individuals on an array of matters, including suspected cartel activity and allegations of exchange rate manipulation. Sources say: "He is extremely intelligent, a great strategist, and tenacious in looking after the legal interests of his client. He is pragmatic and has genuine empathy for the situation."

Richard Sallybanks is acclaimed for his great insight into the commercial ramifications of business crime, with one source commenting: "He has an unusual background in both commercial law and serious crime, so if you need a solicitor to act in an SFO corporate crime raid, he is your man: he knows everything about companies and everything about criminal cases."

Michael Drury initially qualified as a barrister and previously worked at the SFO. Now a solicitor, his mandates include multi-jurisdictional financial criminal matters. Sources describe him as a highly skilled and effective adviser.

Shaul Brazil is an employed barrister with experience in investigations conducted by foreign and domestic regulatory agencies. Sources say he offers "a very vigorous defence of clients" and "a work rate second to none."


Financial Crime: Individuals: Cartel Investigations

Additionally, both the firm and Richard Sallybanks are top-ranked in relation to Financial Crime: Individuals: Cartel Investigations.


Financial Crime: Corporates

BCL is ranked as a leading firm for this practice area, with partner Shaul Brazil ranked as a leading individual.

In relation to the firm, Chambers UK states:

What the team is known for:
Well-established practice that provides deep expertise in the business crime area. Offers tailored specialist advice to corporates affected by search warrants, allegations of money laundering and SFO investigations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
"We are extremely pleased with the level of their knowledge and their efficiency in the turnaround of legal opinions."

"The people are great - very committed lawyers who fight your corner and give good advice."

In relation to Shaul Brazil, Chambers UK states:

Shaul Brazil practised as an independent fraud and regulatory barrister before joining the firm. Sources deem him to be "extremely knowledgeable and efficient in the criminal corporate realm," adding that he is "always available for clarification or further details."


BCL is top-ranked for this practice area with five partners and one associate appearing in the rankings as follows:

Mark Haslam - Band 1
Paul Morris - Band 1
Jane Glass - Band 2
Rachel Hubbard - Band 2
Ellen Peart - Band 2
Omar Khan - Associate to Watch

In relation to the firm, Chambers UK states:

What the team is known for:
Outstanding firm specialising in the defence of high-profile private clients. Strong bench of top-flight individuals experienced in handling highly complex cases, including those involving notable personalities from the sports and entertainment worlds. Also offers expert representation to corporate entities.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
"They're absolutely at the top of their game and would be my first port of call for general crime work."

"They are phenomenally impressive. If I were in need of a criminal solicitor, I wouldn't go anywhere else."

In relation to the ranked partners, Chambers UK states:

Mark Haslam is particularly noted for his expert representation of high-profile individuals facing a range of serious charges, as well as his top-level motoring offence practice. One source states: "In relation to crime, he would be at the top of the list I go to in that sphere. He has great tactical nous and a great ability to communicate with the other side."
Jane Glass maintains a broad criminal practice, acting across an impressive range of high-profile cases. Interviewees label her an "outstanding" lawyer who is "incredibly good at what she does."

Rachel Hubbard is well versed in defending against serious and complex charges, including sexual offences and grievous bodily harm. One impressed source states: "She is, in my view, the best solicitor for general crime out there," adding: "Her client management skills are second to none and her knowledge of law is exceptional."

"Class act" Paul Morris is highly praised for his extensive criminal defence knowledge. He frequently represents high-profile individuals, including those charged with historic and current sexual abuse offences. According to interviewees, he "provides a first-class quality service to his clients with no stone left unturned in the preparation of their case. Every client is made to feel that they are his only client."

Ellen Peart is described as a "secret weapon" who "inspires total confidence from her clients" and is a "phenomenal team player." She comes highly recommended for her expert representation of high-profile clients, particularly those facing serious sexual and violent offence charges.

In relation to Omar Khan Chambers UK states:

Omar Khan is increasingly recognised for his expert defence of those charged with serious criminal offences, offering particular experience in high-profile sexual abuse cases. Market observers state that he is "fantastic with clients," and describe him as "realistic, strategically switched-on and wonderfully organised."


Crime: Extradition

BCL is ranked as a leading firm for this practice area, with partners Ian Burton and Shaul Brazil ranked as leading individuals.

In relation to the firm, Chambers UK states:

What the team is known for:
Highly experienced team noted for its representation of high-profile individuals in complex cases. Specialist expertise in politically sensitive matters, frequently acting on proceedings involving multiple jurisdictions, asset freezing and Interpol red notices.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
"[BCL] provides a first-class service. They are at the forefront of firms in the financial crime market and have a particularly strong international presence. Their lawyers match the firm's reputation."

"They have a very clear understanding of differences in systems of law. They're great at adjusting their strategy for local contexts and environments."

In relation to Shaul Brazil, Chambers UK states:

Shaul Brazil frequently acts on complex extradition cases, including recent experience in major proceedings emanating from Italy. Commentators describe him as "extremely hands-on and immersed in the detail," adding: "He has a very good strategic grasp and is excellent with clients."


POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture

BCL is ranked as a top-tier firm with partner Richard Sallybanks top-ranked and partner Shaul Brazil ranked as a leading individual.

In relation to the firm, Chambers UK states:

What the team is known for:
Market-leading defence practice handling the full spectrum of POCA and asset forfeiture matters. Frequently assists high-profile individuals and corporate clients with anti-money laundering compliance as well as representing them in investigations and pre- and post-conviction litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
"BCL is the top firm in this area with a huge wealth of experience and expertise - they are second to none."

"They're at the top of their game - they know the areas exceptionally well, have immaculate presentation, are hard-working, have the highest levels of competency and attract the best clients."

"They've got some excellent lawyers - very energetic, very knowledgeable, and very good with clients."

In relation to the ranked partners, Chambers UK states:

Richard Sallybanks has extensive experience handling money laundering, confiscation and restraint matters at both a domestic and international level. Interviewees describe him as "very wise, with a cool head, an enormous ability to master the detail of a case and a great tactical brain." They add: "He is an invaluable asset to any defence team."

Sources agree that Shaul Brazil is "an extremely dynamic young partner who is a real fighter with a proven track record." He has experience handling serious fraud, money laundering and cash seizures. He acts for both companies and high-profile individuals.

Tax: Contentious: Fraud

BCL is again top-ranked for this practice area with partner Harry Travers also top-ranked.

In relation to the firm, Chambers UK states:

What the team is known for:
Pre-eminent business crime practice well known for defending clients against significant tax fraud allegations. Possesses an outstanding track record of defending clients facing HMRC investigations.

In relation to Harry Travers, Chambers UK states:

Sources describe Harry Travers as a "tenacious fraud lawyer" who is "expert and capable." As well as tax fraud, he is also well known for advising clients on the defence of white-collar crime investigations.


Health & Safety

BCL is ranked as a leading firm for this practice area with partner Guy Bastable top-ranked.

In relation to the firm, Chambers UK states:

What the team is known for:
Specialises in contentious matters on behalf of clients, with a particular focus on fatal accident cases and corporate liability matters. Adept at providing assistance throughout investigations, prosecutions and inquests.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
"An exceptionally professional and highly competent team that always left us knowing we were in very capable hands."

In relation to Guy Bastable, Chambers UK states:

Guy Bastable is a highly regarded solicitor and qualified barrister with a wealth of expertise advocating on behalf of clients in health and safety matters. An impressed client comments: "He had an exceptional understanding of the strategic management of our case from start to finish," adding: "His tactical judgement at key moments of the case was a masterclass."


*excluding non-lawyers

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