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Antony Shaw QC

Antony Shaw QC

Call: 1975     Silk: 1994

Tony Shaw QC is an unflappable and highly convincing jury advocate who advises on high-stakes criminal matters, including alleged rate manipulation and tax fraud. ‘Scholarly and someone with an incredible work ethic, he has a nice touch with judges and juries.’ ‘He has a great presence in court, is bright and works very hard.Chambers UK (2017).

Described in an earlier edition as having a reputation as one of the country’s pre-eminent fraud practitioners and a brilliant lawyer, who puts his life and soul into his cases, he has been mentioned or ranked every year in the field of fraud by annual directories since 1989.

His practice in serious fraud, business, corporate and financial crime is extensive. It pre-dates the creation of the SFO and the FSA/FCA and he was instructed as a junior to represent the principal defendant in the SFO’s first major trial (Guinness).   Tony principally defends, although he has also prosecuted for the SFO and the FCA.

His legal expertise is wide. He is said to be scholarly and intellectual. For many years he has written for some of the leading publications in corporate crime, serious fraud and conspiracy including Archbold, OUP’s Fraud loose-leaf and Practical Law’s Business Crime and Investigations.

Tony strongly believes in the benefits of working as part of a team. He is very good at using new technology to aid case management and is technologically savvy. He is analytical, commercially focused, attentive to business and client objectives, and extremely user friendly.

He advises corporate clients on internal investigations into financial crime and corruption issues arising both at home and abroad.

Fraud, Corruption & Corporate Crime

Tony Shaw has appeared or advised in many notable cases or investigations as a junior and, since 1994, as a silk.

Advisory WorkTrial Work

Tony is a purveyor of robust and extremely practical advice and formulates very helpful strategies. He has advised companies and individuals for many years, the largest cases being:

  • MWK (2009-2010) (UK arm of international joint venture of US (KBR), Japanese, Dutch and French companies involved in $182m of bribes to secure $6B Nigerian Bonny Island development contract: SFO and foreign agencies involved).
  • Sumitomo (1996 – 2000) (advising UK metal brokers subject to SFO investigation of into broking with Hamanaka who lost Sumitomo $2.6B  in unauthorised copper trading).

More recent advisory work includes:

  • Advising an international UK quoted company in respect of possible corruption of a foreign government by an overseas agent (2016 and ongoing).
  • Advising an international company in respect of an SFO investigation into extensive corruption overseas (2016 and ongoing).
  • Advising an international company in relation to possible offences, including corruption and imports in breach of EU anti-dumping provisions (2016).
  • Advising and drafting submissions for a major UK Bank facing a private prosecution for conspiracy to defraud. The matter was abandoned with a wasted costs order made against the complainant and his counsel. (2016)
  • Advising a UK firm on issues including LPP arising out of an SFO investigation.
  • Advising foreign directors in respect of English confiscation proceedings arising out of foreign fraud and corruption. (2015-2016)

Tony is said to have an easy and engaging style and a nice touch with judges and juries, and is an unflappable and highly convincing jury advocate.

His trial work runs the gamut of fraud and corporate crime as well as the staple diet of money laundering, VAT, MTIC, tax evasion and other forms of white collar fraud, corporate fraud and financial crime and confiscation proceedings. He has also appeared in many significant fraud trials during the last 30 years, the most notable of which also illustrate the breadth of work undertaken:

  • LIBOR 2 (alleged conspiracy to manipulate the YEN Libor rate).
  • Amazon (advising and appearing on extensive disclosure issues in tax evasion case at first instance and in the Court of Appeal).
  • Innospec 2 (multi-million dollar bribes to Indonesian Government officials to secure sales of lead additives and other chemicals).
  • Operation Saturn (FCA insider trading – largest to that date).
  • Copeland School (alleged £1.6m local authority educational fraud).
  • Tangelo (online banking used for money laundering).
  • Tangelo 2 (one of the largest HMRC duty diversions: successful abuse of process arguments after fundamental HMRC disclosure flaws exposed).
  • Operation Holbein / Pharmaceuticals (alleged £150m cartel conspiracy to defraud the NHS abandoned after successful interlocutory argument which went to the House of Lords on whether and how far cartels fell within the ambit of conspiracy to defraud).
  • Vintage Wines (SFO high yield international wines and spirit fraud, followed by a phoenix fraud –Vintage Wines of St Albans).
  • Simetal (letters of credit/banking/shipping fraud).
  • Centrex (NVQ certificates fraud).
  • Paulssen (high yield investment fraud).
  • Alliance Resources (oil prospectus fraud).
  • Anchor Butter (largest ever alleged EU duty evasion).
  • Butte Mining (share prospectus fraud).
  • BCCI -Virani (false information to auditors).
  • Eagle Trust (use of company funds underwriting its own shares).
  • Polly Peck (Asil Nadir: false accounting/theft).
  • Guinness (Ernest Saunders: takeover share manipulation).
  • Cancer with Children (charity fraud).
  • William Press (alleged LOSC – Labour only subcontracting fraud).



  • He willingly rolls up his sleeves and rapidly grasps areas of law outside his normal practice.Legal 500 (2017)
  • He is very easy to deal with and a genuine team player.Legal 500 (2017)
  • Band 1 London (Bar), Financial Crime Chambers UK (2017) – An unflappable and highly convincing jury advocate who advises on high-stakes criminal matters, including alleged rate manipulation and tax fraud. “Scholarly and someone with an incredible work ethic, he has a nice touch with judges and juries.” “He has a great presence in court, is bright and works very hard.”
  • ‘highly effective’-  Who’s Who Legal (2017)
  • Band 2 POCA – Chambers UK (2017)“Handles high-value confiscation matters as part of a specialised serious fraud practice that sees him tackling money laundering, white-collar crime and corruption litigation.” “He is an excellent silk to work with, not least because of his ability to give incisive written opinions. He also has excellent advocacy skills, and is very good at using new technology to aid case management.”
  • “One of the most technologically savvy members of the Bar” “A brilliant lawyer, who puts his life and soul into his cases.”Legal 500 (2016)
  • “He is very experienced and extremely user-friendly.” “He is extremely intelligent and has a clarity of thought which marks him out from other people.”Chambers UK (2016)
  • an ‘astute legal mind’, ‘extremely effective’, ‘strong grasp of the details’, ‘diligent manner’ –   Who’s Who Legal (2016)
  • A leader in the field of fraud. “He’s an absolute star. He is extremely intelligent, he is a great lawyer and his real skill lies in being able to get to grips with complex issues and explain them in very simple terms. He has a clarity of thought which distinguishes him from other people” “He receives glowing praise from peers and solicitors, who value his sharp intellect.  He’s top-drawer and a consummate professional.” “He takes time to familiarise himself with the nitty gritty matters in a case.”Chambers UK (2015)
  • a ‘doyen of the legal market’ and an ‘authority’ on white collar crime – Who’s Who Legal (2015)
  • An excellent lawyer and a pleasure to work withLegal 500 (2015).
  • He has an excellent reputation for defending major fraud and corruption cases. Solicitors praise him for his assured approach and extensive expertiseChambers UK (2014).
  • An absolutely no-nonsense barrister who gives extremely practical advice and formulates very helpful strategies.”  “He’s a hard-working and dedicated QC and a fantastic advocate – the full package’”  Re POCA: Since he was around for all stages of POCA development he is able to contextualise the current case law.Chambers UK (2014)
  • ‘Excellent’ … tackles cases covering all the various sins prosecuted by the SFO.  Noted for his ability to handle complex, fact-heavy cases. – Chambers UK (2013) 
  • Wins considerable market praise for being an intellectually powerful and highly effective jury advocate who is ‘experienced, thorough and fair’; ‘absolutely brilliant’ and ‘properly intellectual’ . . . his ‘easy and engaging style’ makes him a hit with juries Chambers UK (2012).
  • A purveyor of ‘robust advice’ on all manner of fraud offences.   A sage and experienced hand when it comes to serious fraud work. His involvement in the long-running Pharmaceuticals case further confirmed his reputation as one of the country’s pre-eminent fraud practitioners, and he has continued to build on this momentumChambers UK (2011).

Publications, Lectures and Training

Current and Recent Publications:

Archbold: Criminal Pleadings Evidence and Practice (Sweet & Maxwell) contributing editor (1989 to date)

Ormerod & Montgomery on Fraud: Criminal Law and Procedure (OUP) contributor and Deputy Editor (2008 to date)

Conspiracy to Defraud: Practical Law (co-author)

Legal professional privilege: the crime-fraud exception and its application in criminal proceedings: Practical Law (co-author)

Statutory conspiracies: Practical Law (co-author)

Conspiracy: the agreement: Practical Law (co-author)

Right of silence at investigation and trial: overview Practical Law (co-author)

Parties to a conspiracy: Practical Law (co-author)

Money Laundering and High Value Dealers: seminar 2017 18 RLC

When is Financial Market Trading Criminal? seminar 2016: 18RLC and TV Edwards

R. v. R: Disclosure and Case Management: 2016 FLA and FFF

Complex and Lengthy Trials: (2015) Justice Sub-Committee member


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BA (Jurisp) Oxford


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Criminal Bar Association (CBA)

Fraud Lawyers Association (FLA)

Middle Temple

South Eastern Circuit


Professional Appointments

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Consultation Board member of Practical Law’s Business Crime and Investigations (2016 ongoing)

Recorder 2000-2007

Bar Council (co-opted) Fees and Legal Aid Committee, member (1994-7), Vice Chairman (1995-7; 2008-9) and Chairman (2010-11).


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Bencher, Middle Temple 2003

Astbury Scholar, Middle Temple 1976

History Scholar, Trinity Oxford