Richard Sallybanks

“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.”

Chambers UK

Richard has been a partner at BCL since 1999 and specialises in complex business crime and regulatory defence work, acting for individuals and companies who are either targets of the investigation or who are providing assistance to investigating authorities, whether through the provision of documentation or in interviews.

Richard has been involved in numerous SFO, FCA, HMRC & CMA investigations and prosecutions, together with associated restraint and confiscation proceedings. His recent SFO experience includes the Alstom, Barclays Qatar, and Tesco investigations (acting for senior individuals under suspicion, including the UK Commercial Director of Tesco who was acquitted at trial of fraud and false accounting charges), as well as acting for Robert Tchenguiz (and his associated companies) in the SFO’s Kaupthing Bank investigation (including the successful Judicial Review challenge to SFO search warrants).

Richard has acted in a number of FCA criminal and regulatory investigations for brokers, traders and senior executives, including in relation to allegations of insider dealing and market abuse. He has also defended in HMRC criminal investigations, as well as advising high-net worth individuals in HMRC CoP 9 investigations. He is experienced in cartel investigations, both domestic investigations conducted by the CMA and cross-border anti-trust investigations (including those conducted by the US DoJ). Richard is also experienced in the international mutual legal assistance regime, and in leading and co-ordinating teams of lawyers in multi-jurisdictional investigations.

Following an LLB (1st class Hons) at the University of Exeter, Richard qualified as a solicitor at CMS Cameron McKenna in 1992 and spent three years in their commercial litigation department before joining BCL in 1995.


  • International Comparative Legal Guide to Business Crime: England & Wales chapter
  • Chambers & Partners Guide to UK solicitors: Practice area overviews for Financial Crime: Individuals and Financial Crime: Cartel Investigations

Professional Memberships:

  • Fraud Lawyers Association
  • International Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • British-Russian Lawyers Association
  • Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers
  • The Law Society


“He is outstanding: he is very intelligent, very commercial and hands-on.”

Chambers UK 2019

“He’s very calm. I think people get a real sense that everything is under control and they can stop panicking….he has an unusual mix of experience, first as a commercial litigator, then as a criminal litigator, which gives him a very valuable package of skills and knowledge for high net worth clients…he’s a very good analyst; he sees all the evidence at once and sees the wood for the trees…he’s also very good with numbers – lots of people pretend they can read a set of accounts but he actually can.”

Chambers HNW 2018

“In-depth, real and proper knowledge and experience with regulatory bodies…..He can anticipate their actions.”

Chambers HNW 2017

“…he is extremely thorough, his judgement is excellent and his client handling is superlative.”

Chambers HNW 2017

“Very wise, with a cool head, an enormous ability to master the detail of a case and a great tactical brain…an invaluable asset to any defence team.”

Chambers UK 2017

“‘He is really super – he is responsive, clients really like him and he has gravitas’… highly sought after by senior figures at top-tier companies for his expertise in handling major investigations… ‘very strategic in his thinking. He has a really good feel for how state agencies function’.”

Chambers UK 2015

“With a focus on complex corporate and regulatory defence work, ‘leading light’ Richard Sallybanks continues to provide clients with ‘comprehensive and insightful legal advice’. He possesses vast experience handling matters in relation to SFO, FCA and HMRC investigations.”

Who’s Who Legal, Business Crime Defence, 2016

“The ‘analytical and highly intelligent’ Richard Sallybanks is a pre-eminent business crime expert … Commentators say: ‘He has a very good strategic sense and knows when to intervene and when to take proactive action on behalf of a client.’… ‘a first-rate lawyer who gets involved in top proceeds of crime work’.”

Chambers UK 2016

“Richard Sallybanks ‘inspires confidence, providing calm and measured explanations’… a ‘great analyst’… ‘cerebral’… ‘major talent’… is ‘able to use public law remedies with judgement to achieve remarkable results for his clients’.”

The Legal 500, 2015

“…combines ‘criminal nous with commercial acumen’…”

The Legal 500, 2014

“Richard Sallybanks is regularly called upon to handle SFO and OFT investigations. Sources report that he is a ‘very intelligent and insightful’ lawyer, who ‘brings positive enjoyment to plotting strategy’ and whose ‘commercial background gives him a breadth of knowledge that’s very useful to any client.’… identified as an ‘understated’ practitioner who is ‘cool in a crisis’ and ‘can handle the media and give savvy business advice’.”

Chambers UK 2014

“Richard Sallybanks, ‘a very effective solicitor’ with ‘a real eye for detail,’ is noted for his strategic ability. He has decades of fraud experience and is currently acting in a number of the firm’s marquee cases, including acting for Robert Tchenguiz, and for Alstom’s UK president and UK finance director in relation to an SFO investigation into allegations of corruption.”

Chambers UK 2013

Articles by Richard Sallybanks

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