BCL top ranked in Chambers and Partners UK Guide 2021

BCL top ranked in Chambers and Partners UK Guide 2021

BCL Solicitors LLP has once more been top tier ranked by Chambers & Partners in the 2021 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.

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

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

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 three top-ranked. Those ranked are as follows:

  • Ian Burton – Senior Statespeople
  • Harry Travers – Band 1
  • Richard Sallybanks – Band 1
  • Jane Glass – Band 2
  • Michael Drury – Band 3
  • Shula de Jersey – Band 3
  • Shaul Brazil – Band 4

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. Boutique firm offering a large team with extensive experience in handling high-profile SFO investigations. Frequently advises on complex commercial fraud, regulatory enforcement and money laundering cases. Adept at dealing with extradition matters related to financial crime investigations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
“They have such a deep bench of talented lawyers.”: “They’re recommended across the board. They’ve always been first-rate.”

“They continue to demonstrate excellence in the market.”

In relation to the ranked partners, Chambers UK states:

Ian Burton is a seasoned financial crime practitioner representing individuals in investigations and proceedings into fraud, money laundering and corruption. He often advises clients on multi-jurisdictional investigations, including international sanctions and extradition matters.
“He is the godfather of criminal law in the UK.” “He is a true titan of the profession with all the presence, wisdom and savvy that it brings, and achieves marvellous results.”

Jane Glass advises clients on allegations of bribery, fraud and money laundering, with significant experience in FCA and SFO investigations.
“Her special skill is her client management. She never stops working for the client.”

Harry Travers has vast experience representing clients in complex investigations brought by the CPS and SFO into alleged bribery, false accounting and corruption.
“He is the top guy for dealing with contentious investigations. He is relentless and leaves no stone unturned.” “He is intensely driven and committed to his clients, finding a way through where others cannot.”

Shula de Jersey often advises individuals on cross-border investigations into allegations of complex fraud, bribery and corruption.
“She is really great – clever and calm.” “She’s very solid and fantastically experienced.”

Richard Sallybanks represents clients in multi-jurisdictional investigations into allegations of fraud, corruption and money laundering, attracting particular attention for his work on high-profile SFO investigations.
“He is absolutely first class. He is careful, considerate and concerned with his cases and likes to see the whole picture.” “He is a calm, reassuring and practical presence.”

Michael Drury demonstrates particular strength advising clients on investigations into bribery and corruption by the SFO.
“He is calm and extremely astute.”

Shaul Brazil represents clients in cross-border investigations into corrupt payments, fraud and money laundering.
“He is very intelligent, has boundless energy and is very experienced.”

Financial Crime: Corporates

BCL is ranked as a leading firm for this practice area.

In relation to the firm, Chambers UK states:

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. Well versed in matters involving bribery and corruption. Draws corporate clients from a wide range of sectors, including life sciences, construction and retail.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
“BCL Solicitors is a hard-working and lateral-thinking firm which makes good use of its contacts in other countries to provide the best possible advice to its clients.”


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

  • Mark Haslam – Band 1
  • Paul Morris – Band 1
  • Ellen Peart – Band 2
  • David Hardstaff – Associates 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 professionals in the medical, business and political spheres. Advice covers a wide range of serious and general criminal charges, including sexual offences, drug trafficking and violent crimes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
A source describes the firm’s lawyers as “impressive individuals with astute legal minds, who are also remarkably approachable and down to earth,”  

“Their level of client care when an individual is going through one of the most stressful experiences of their life is unsurpassed.”,” saying that it can provide a “comprehensive service for serious criminal matters.”

“They are the best in the business,” says another source, adding: “They get results and offer a lot of hands-on partner attention – you know you are being looked after by the best minds at the firm.”

In relation to the ranked partners, Chambers UK states:

Paul Morris is head of the firm’s serious and general crime department. He provides expert representation to high-profile individuals, including those in the entertainment industry, on a range of serious criminal cases.
“He is able to deal with tricky situations, and can provide individuals with comfort alongside the legal advice.” “Paul is very good at handling both the client and the case itself.” “A go-to lawyer for high-profile individuals.”

Mark Haslam is a leading criminal defence practitioner who regularly represents well-known sports professionals along with other prominent individuals. His deep expertise in criminal law extends from driving offences to the most serious allegations of violence and sexual assault.
“Mark was well-equipped to deal with my case and at all times I felt that I was in capable hands.” “A high calibre lawyer who has the ability to inspire confidence in those that seek his opinion.”

Ellen Peart is a criminal defence specialist, with particular expertise in handling serious sexual offence cases. She regularly assists prominent individuals including politicians, bankers and legal professionals.
“She is a bit of a tour de force – you absolutely want Ellen in your corner.” “She has a thorough and analytical approach and her tactics are good.” “She is brilliant and approachable.”

David Hardstaff is an associate who regularly assists with complex criminal cases, with experience in representing clients from the police station all the way up to the Court of Appeal.

Crime: Extradition

BCL is ranked as a leading firm for this practice area with two partners and an associate appearing in the rankings as follows:

  • Shaul Brazil – Band 3
  • Michael Drury – Band 3
  • Kate Chanter – Associates to watch

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. Particularly active representing high net worth individuals and public figures in extradition requests from Russia and Eastern Europe. Considerable experience representing clients caught up in complex investigations into alleged corruption and fraud.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
“The team is good at preparing documents and setting the strategy on a case,” says a source, adding that “they do an excellent job for clients.”

In relation to our individuals, Chambers UK states:

Shaul Brazil frequently represents high-profile individuals facing extradition in relation to serious criminal charges, including fraud, money laundering and drugs trafficking.
“He is energetic and sharp-minded, with great experience.” “I can’t recommend Shaul enough – he got straight to the point on the matter and got us the solution we needed.”

Michael Drury ‘s extradition expertise extends across multiple jurisdictions including those in Africa, South America and Eastern Europe. He has notable experience defending clients facing charges of corruption, fraud and other serious crimes, particularly in cases where such charges may be politically motivated.
“He is very responsive and gives you confidence in his abilities.”

Kate Chanter is noted for her work in extradition litigation. She demonstrates particular expertise handling Part 1 European Arrest Warrants.

POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture

BCL is ranked as a top-tier firm with three partners appearing in the rankings as follows:

  • Richard Sallybanks – Band 1
  • John Binns – Band 2
  • Shaul Brazil – Band 3

In relation to the firm, Chambers UK states:

What the team is known for:
Market-leading defence practice that handles 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. Strong expertise in regard to Unexplained Wealth Orders. The POCA practice benefits from the firm’s complementary specialisms in general crime, financial crime and tax fraud cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
A source praises the “knowledge and focus they have on POCA and money laundering,” and notes that “they’ve got people there who are thought leaders.”

“They are excellent lawyers with notable expertise, and they are highly communicative with their clients.”

In relation to the ranked partners, Chambers UK states:

Richard Sallybanks  is highlighted for the depth of his POCA experience. He frequently acts on complex multi-jurisdictional matters relating to financial crime.
“His experience and knowhow are extraordinarily valuable and he has a good strategic, approach to cases.” “He knows everything there is to know about everything.”

Shaul Brazil represents both individuals and companies on POCA matters relating to financial crime. He undertakes a range of work but stands out for his advice on money laundering.
“He is an intelligent, hard-working lawyer with great commerciality.” “He is knowledgeable, experienced and confident, and he instils confidence in you that you are in a safe pair of hands.”

John Binns is highly experienced in POCA with notable expertise on cross-border matters. He has a wide-ranging practice that includes advising on money laundering and UWOs. Also of note is his work on the POCA issues relating to the legal sale of cannabis in the US.
“He understands POCA backwards and is hugely practical.” “He is an excellent lawyer who is easy to work with. He is creative in his approach to find the best solution for his clients.”

Tax: Contentious: Fraud

BCL is ranked as a top-tier firm with two partners and an associate appearing in the rankings as follows:

  • Harry Travers – Band 1
  • John Binns – Band 2
  • Greg Mailer – Associate to watch

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. Represents senior executives in the banking and asset management industries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
An interviewee says: “BCL are a terrific firm to work with; they are solutions-driven and experts in the field.”

Another praises the lawyers for their “great experience negotiating with authorities.”

In relation to the ranked partners, Chambers UK states:

Harry Travers has extensive experience representing high net worth individuals and senior executives facing high-stakes tax fraud investigations. He also guides clients through Code of Practice 9 investigations and allegations of serious tax evasion.
“He has tremendous in-depth knowledge of fraud and the procedures adopted by prosecuting authorities.” “He is supremely experienced and confident.”

John Binns frequently advises clients in relation to tax fraud and tax evasion cases. He is recognised as a highly skilled practitioner who is able to assist with sensitive and complex matters.
“He knows his way around an HMRC criminal investigation, and appreciates the differences of HMRC’s approach to other law enforcement agencies.” “He has sound judgement and he’s both technical and easy to get on with.”

Greg Mailer represents clients in civil and criminal fraud investigations. He is notable for his work on Code of Practice 9 cases.
“He is experienced, clever, hard-working and charming.”

Health & Safety

BCL is ranked as a leading firm for this practice area with two partners and an associate appearing in the rankings as follows:

  • Guy Bastable – Band 1
  • Richard Reichman – Up and Coming
  • Tom McNeill – Associate to watch

What the team is known for:

Respected practice that regularly provides counsel to corporates and directors. Particularly adept at handling matters for clients in the utilities, construction and entertainment sectors. Experienced at advising clients on corporate manslaughter cases, fire safety issues and environmental protection issues. Defends clients in HSE prosecutions and criminal investigations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
Commentators state: “They are a good outfit for health and safety and they bring good knowledge of regulatory matters, but they also have the big-hitting power of white-collar firms.”

“They’re fantastic,” states a client. “They are open, fair, honest and solutions-driven. They listen and they support.”

In relation to the ranked partners, Chambers UK states:

Guy Bastable is renowned for his substantial experience of handling fatal accident and corporate manslaughter issues. He provides counsel on investigations and prosecutions from a range of regulatory bodies, including the Environment Agency and the HSE. He advises local authorities as well as organisations in the energy, entertainment and food and beverage sectors.
“He knows the case inside and out and back to front. He is very well respected and he is the ‘go-to’ man. He will fight terrifically for clients.” “I think he is brilliant and he gets to the heart of a problem very quickly.” “He won’t leave any stone unturned to explore positive outcomes for the client.”

Richard Reichman is regularly called upon to advise clients within the entertainment and food and beverage sector. He represents both corporate organisations and private individuals in investigations by local authorities and other regulatory bodies.
“He knows the detail inside out and will work tirelessly on cases.”

Tom McNeill focuses his practice on defending clients in regulatory investigations and prosecutions following fatal accidents. He regularly provides counsel on ORR, HSE and British Transport Police investigations.
“He gets on very well with clients and he’s a superb lawyer.”

If you wish to read the full BCL Solicitors’ profile please visit the Chambers and Partners website here.