Winner of Crime Silk of the year for Legal 500’s UK awards 2020 and cited as a Leading Silk in 2019 in financial crime, business and regulatory crime (including global investigations), Proceeds of Crime Act and Asset Forfeiture, as well as General Crime by Chambers UK, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal.
Gillian is described as a ‘brilliant’ practitioner who “is fabulous and absolutely faultless – solicitors appreciate her quality of advocacy before juries and her adaptability. She is an extremely bright and extremely hard-working …assiduous, quick-thinking, formidable silk …who is able to navigate the most complex cases and get to the heart of the matter almost instantly. She is a go-to person for those seeking pragmatic, sensible and reliable advice.”
Gillian has developed a high profile practice with a particular specialisation in financial and corporate crime, acting on behalf of individuals, corporate clients and the prosecution – many of her cases are well-known with a global reach. Gillian also acts as independent disclosure counsel; she advises companies on compliance issues, internal investigations, and strategically following commencement of investigations by the SFO, FCA and other regulatory bodies. Her practice is such that she has acquired specialist knowledge of restraint and confiscation, the obtaining of material from foreign jurisdictions, and an understanding and analysis of complex bank movements and off-shore transactions.
Noted for being a tactically astute and persuasive advocate who has a reputation for meticulous preparation, excellent client care skills and commitment to her clients. She is described as having “an incisive legal mind which enables her to cut rapidly to the crux of the issues in the most complex cases.” She is “able to take the client through difficult decisions”, attracting plaudits for both her advocacy and her upbeat attitude – “she stands her ground and holds her own”… “Her advice is pragmatic and rigorous, making her highly sought after.”
Gillian also has considerable experience in relation to allegations involving murder/manslaughter, misconduct in public office (including deaths in custody, fraud, and sexual misconduct), death by dangerous driving and serious sexual offences having developed specialist expertise in trials involving vulnerable witnesses.
Gillian was appointed joint Head of Chambers in 2018.
Serious Complex Fraud, Bribery & Corruption and Business Crime
Ranked as a Leading Silk for Financial Crime and Business and Regulatory Crime (including global investigations). Gillian is described as “an assiduous and quick-thinking, formidable silk whose cases involve allegations of insider dealing, rate rigging and investment fraud. She is experienced in significant bribery and corruption cases. Gillian is able to navigate the most complex cases and get to the heart of a matter almost instantly… She is a go-to person for those seeking pragmatic, sensible and reliable advice.”
Experience of both exchange and over-the-counter traded products, futures, spread betting, FSMA offences and other market-related frauds.
Recent instructions have included the following:
- R v BAJ & Ors (2018 to date) Gillian is currently instructed on behalf of the SFO in a large-scale bribery and corruption case involving the alleged procuring of oil contracts. Multi-jurisdictional.
- PIVOT 3 (2018 to date) Gillian is currently advising on an extensive and complex investigation into a real estate company alleged to have been involved in bribery and associated multi-million pound money laundering scam.
- XX Plc (2018) Advising corporate client on strategy and LPP issues arising from SFO investigation.
- R v GP (2017 to date) Instructed in private prosecution arising from alleged international property fraud and forgery of company documents set against a background of related international civil proceedings.
- Operation N (2018 - 2019) Advising FCA on large-scale global investigation into allegations of misleading the markets and related FSMA offences.
- R v DN & Ors (2018) Prosecuted large-scale international fraud involving the unauthorised manufacture, marketing and sale of unlicensed medicines containing human blood. Sold around the world as a wonder cure for serious illnesses including, cancer, HIV, MS and laundering of the criminal proceeds. Defence sought to argue necessity, defences withdrawn and guilty pleas entered.
- R v RG (2018) Instructed to advise a company on the potential impact of confiscation proceedings arising out of a case involving corruption by the company’s director, in which contracts were secured by the payment of bribes for the payment of military goods for use in Afghanistan. Concerned issues as to whether the corporate veil would be pierced in calculating benefit and available assets, whether gross or net figures would be used and what assets would be deemed ‘available.’
- R v JR & Ors (2017) Acted on behalf of first defendant in public authority procurement fraud involving allegations of misconduct in public office relating to the collusion and undue influence in the granting of extremely valuable contracts for the upkeep and maintenance of social housing in the London Borough of Southwark and laundering the proceeds. Succeeded in half time submission in respect of related theft counts.
- R v JK & Ors (2016-2017) Defended in large-scale investment fraud - Rare Earth Metals and laundering of the proceeds. Acquitted.
- R v NG & Ors (2015-2017) Lead Prosecution counsel in 13-handed £11m international conspiracy to sell unlicensed and counterfeit medicines over the internet and launder the proceeds. Press Links: [International Business Times]
- LIBOR 2 (R v R & Ors) (2016) Prosecution junior for SFO in international fraud involving the rigging of LIBOR (the London Interbank Offer Rate) allegedly involving interdealer brokers from ICAP (the largest brokerage company in the world), RP Martin and Tullett Prebon. Press Links: [Reuters]
- LIBOR 1 – (R v Hayes) (2015) Instructed by SFO in first international prosecution for LIBOR. Said to be the biggest financial conspiracy in history. Investigation involved a number of banks: UBS, Deutsche Bank, JPMC and Barclays, and was linked to FBI and Department of Justice prosecutions in America. Subject to an interlocutory appeal and an appeal against conviction - successfully upheld (R v Hayes  EWCA Crim 1944). Press Links: [Bloomberg Businessweek]
- R v AM & Ors (2015) FCA’s flagship prosecution of an insider dealing ring involving two international investment banks - JPMC & UBS. Inside information used to spread bet before the market knew of potential takeover & mergers.
- R v M & D (2015) Defence counsel for 'banker' of criminal conspiracy to defraud involving £20m boiler room fraud (US 'penny shares' and carbon credits) and money laundering. Press Links: [Evening Standard]
Serious and Organised Crime
Over the last 23 years, Gillian has developed extensive experience in defending in multi-handed organised crime, murder and manslaughter cases, particularly those involving complex medical and scientific evidence. She is described as “highly experienced in cases of murder and manslaughter, and also undertakes cold case work. She is said to be bright, hard-working and fun; gets on well with people, and carries cases. Her advice is pragmatic and rigorous, making her highly sought after"
- R v LB & Ors (2019) Gillian is currently instructed to represent a prison officer charged with gross negligence manslaughter.
- R v JA & Ors (2019) Prosecuted multi-handed murder arising out of a county lines drug ring in which the victim was stabbed to death in a ferocious attack. Murder set against a background of potential trafficking of young drug runners. No eye witnesses or murder weapons – circumstantial evidence case. All defendants convicted.
- R v PM (2018) Acted on behalf of a senior prison officer charged along with two other prison officers with misconduct in public office following the death of a prisoner. The prosecution followed investigations conducted by HMP Service, Prisons and Probation Ombudsman and two police forces. Successfully excluded critical expert evidence and submission of no case to answer upheld – acquitted.
- R v DW (2018) Obtained acquittals on behalf of DW who was alleged to have caused eight deaths by dangerous driving and the serious injury of four others. Involved UK’s most serious motorway crash. Extensive accident reconstruction and expert evidence.
- R v SG (2018) Defended SG who was charged with murdering his wife, his childhood sweetheart. Alleged to have battered her to death using a saucepan whilst high on drugs. Complex scientific evidence as to causation of injuries, conflicting pathology and neuropathology evidence. Raised issues of self-defence and loss of control. Set against history of alleged violence in the home by wife. Acquitted of murder.
- R v SK (2018) Defended in murder case, in which it was alleged SK whilst drunk beat another man to death. Issues as to diminished responsibility due to chronic alcoholism, loss of control and causation of injuries. Extensive psychiatric and psychological evidence.
- R v KA & Ors (2017) Acted for first defendant in conspiracy to murder “hit-man for hire” drive-by shooting case arising out a feud between two families. Extensive expert evidence - high security trial with protected jury.
- R v KA & Ors (2017) Leading defence counsel for first defendant in organised crime group tie-up aggravated burglary case in which occupants were tortured. Described by Court of Appeal as of one of the most serious examples of the type of case it had seen.
- R v GD & Ors (2016) Defence Counsel in Operation Samba, involved the infiltration and covert surveillance of two major organised crime groups in the receipt, repressing and onward sale of high quality cocaine, MDMA, amphetamine and cannabis. Press Link: [BBC]
- R v SB (2015) Defended in manslaughter cold case review. Father of deceased ran a large-scale media campaign alleging murder. Inquest reopened found death by unlawful killing. IPCC subsequently found numerous failings and investigation re-opened. Defendant charged with gross negligence manslaughter 12 years after the event. Extensive abuse of process argument - defendant acquitted of manslaughter. Press Link: [BBC]
- R v MI & Ors (2015) Defended in the "body in the basement murder” - said to be a motiveless joint enterprise murder. Case involved extensive CCTV reconstruction, disputed expert evidence including blood spatter and DNA. Press Link: [BBC]
- R v DE & Ors (2014-2015) Leading defence counsel for the first of 7 defendants and alleged mastermind in an international drug gang trial, involving a sophisticated covert distribution network to import huge quantities of cocaine in consignments of fruit from Costa Rica using corrupt dockworkers: 26kgs of cocaine worth £10m seized, and two earlier runs identified. Press Link: [The Portsmouth News]
Serious Sexual Offences
Gillian is a Leading Silk with a wealth of experience in this specialised area of advocacy involving the cross-examination of the very young and vulnerable. Gillian is a contributing editor to Archbold – Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice – sexual offences chapter. She is also a Course Director/lead advocacy trainer for the Inns of Court College of Advocacy for vulnerable witnesses. She is a contributor to the Advocates Gateway (“TAG”), a contributor to Rook & Ward: ‘Sexual Offences, Law & Practice’ and a contributing author to Case Management and Ground Rules Hearings toolkits on the Advocates Gateway.
- R v B (2019) Gillian is currently instructed to represent the Appellant in an appeal against conviction raising two novel points of law, the first challenging the way the accused is prosecuted in trial for alleged false allegations of rape and jury directions and secondly, as to when and in what circumstances anonymity should be lost.
- R v I (Operation Silk) (2019) Obtained the dismissal of the charges on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence of conspiracy to rape/indecently assault or if there was a conspiracy, that there was sufficient evidence that he was party to it.
- R v H (2018) Historical allegations of sexual abuse by Uncle on Niece. Related allegations against grandfather (father of D). Acquitted.
- R v AD & Ors (Operation Sabaton) (2017) Defended in 3-month, multi-handed child exploitation case alleging historical systematic serious sexual abuse of young girls in care through incremental grooming steps.
- R v S (2017) Defended historic familial sexual allegations dating back from 1960s to present day: youngest of 3 complainants 6 years old at time of trial. Acquitted.
- R v T (2016) Defended historic allegations of both violent and sexual offences by stepfather dating back to 1970s and 1980s. Complaint arose following counselling and in part recovered memory syndrome. Acquitted.
- R v D-S (2016) Defended alleged stranger rape with prior convictions for similar offending. Acquitted.
- R v D & Ors (2016) Defended multi-handed historical systematic rape and indecent assaults of young girls in care by Asian men, through incremental grooming steps including alcohol and drugs. Complex legal arguments in respect of previous convictions (Operation Bullfinch), contamination and credibility.
- R v C (2015) Defended a known Kurdish Mafia gang member, alleged to have conducted a reign of terror over his wife and her family, including marital rape, threats with firearms and various offences of assault and harassment with fear of violence. Acquitted on all counts.
- R v B (2015) Defended historic (5 years) rape and serious sexual assault by a stepbrother against his two stepsisters. The youngest complainant was five at the time of the alleged offences and ten at trial. She suffered from severe learning disabilities: cross-examination was conducted via an intermediary. The second complainant was twelve at the time of trial. Defendant was 19 at trial - acquitted on all counts.
Professional Disciplinary & Regulatory
Gillian, as a result of her work for the FCA, the SFO and her experience in both defending and prosecuting cases involving Tax/VAT evasion, as well as appearing before the First Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber), has developed a specialism in Financial Services Regulation.
As part of her advisory work, Gillian advises City law firms in respect of corporate compliance and governance issues. She currently acts as legal advisor to a large international energy company on anti-corruption and regulatory issues.
Please refer to Fraud and Corporate crime for cases.
Gillian is regularly instructed on behalf of the MHRA (Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority) in respect of breaches of the regime for the regulation of the manufacture, distribution and supply of medicines for human use. She was instructed in the first MHRA prosecution in respect of counterfeit life-saving medicines (e.g. cancer drugs) introduced into the UK supply chain. It required detailed knowledge of the Medicines Regime in the UK and in Europe. Over 20 international experts and over 200 live witnesses were called.
She is currently instructed in an international investigation into the manufacture and distribution of unlicensed medicines.
Gillian also represents public officials charged with misconduct in public office. The cases often involve concurrent internal/disciplinary investigations and complex issues as to disclosure. Gillian has acted on behalf of:
- Senior Employee of London Borough of Southwark who was alleged to have abused his position to award work for the maintenance of social housing to companies to which he was connected.
- Head of Procurement for an NHS Trust who was alleged to have accepted corrupt payments in return for the award of contracts.
- Governor of HMP Downview who was alleged to have authorised regime enhancements, weekend release and other benefits to women prisoners in return for sex.
- A paramedic charged with misconduct for failing to resuscitate a patient: successfully argued that a paramedic does not hold public office.
Gillian has unique experience in the field of Mutual Legal Assistance. She was instructed in the case of Silvio Berlusconi and David Mills as prosecution counsel in the UK MLA proceedings: taking of evidence from key witnesses; issues as to legal professional privilege both in the UK and Italy; jurisdictional legal arguments and issues over the transmission of material via UKCA.
Gillian is also experienced in advising on, as well as drafting, European Arrest Warrants leading to the extradition of defendants to the UK.
Publications, Lectures and Training
Archbold – Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice, contributing editor (2019)
Fraud Law, Practice and Procedure – LexisNexis, chapter contributor.
Corporate and Financial Crime – Conspiracy, Practical Law, (2016 to date), co-author.
Legal Professional Privilege and the right against self-incrimination, Practical Law, (2016 to date), co-author.
Vulnerable Witness Advocacy Training Course – Course Director, Inns of Court College of Advocacy (2017 - 2019) and a lead facilitator on behalf of Lincoln's Inn.
Sexual Offences, Law & Practice - Rook & Ward, Sweet & Maxwell (Current edition), contributor (2018).
Case Management and Ground Rules Hearing Toolkits, Advocate's Gateway, (2017 – to date), contributor.
Webinar - Market Abuse and FCA Enforcement, Lexis Nexis, (2015), contributor.
Archbold Magistrates Court: Criminal Practice, Sweet & Maxwell, (2005-2010), contributing editor.
Forensic Gynaecology: Towards better care of the female victim of sexual assault – The Law of Rape, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, (2004), contributor.
Legal Network TV (College of Law) training DVDs on developments in Criminal Law (varied), contributor.
Government Consultation Papers - Expert evidence, VHCC and Legal Aid reform, reform of sexual offences and sentencing, juveniles, vulnerable witnesses and the Homicide Act 2008, on behalf of Bar Council and CBA, (varied), contributor.
Gillian lectures in the UK and overseas on a range of topics from financial crime to advocacy training. Acts pro bono for the Centre for Women's Justice and is on the developmental board of the charity Clean Break. She also acts as a mentor to give students from non-professional backgrounds assistance with applications/interview technique to promote their careers.
Winner of Crime Silk of the year for Legal 500’s UK awards 2020 and cited as a Leading Silk in 2019 in financial crime, business and regulatory crime (including global investigations), Proceeds of Crime Act and Asset Forfeiture, as well as General Crime by Chambers UK 2019, Legal 500 2019 and Who's Who Legal 2019.
- 'She is always approachable and quickly gets to the heart of the issues in a case.' - Chambers UK (2020)
- 'A fantastic silk.' - Chambers UK (2020)
- 'The quality of her work is fabulous and she inspires confidence in judges and juries.' - Chambers UK (2020)
- ‘An assiduous and quick-thinking, formidable silk whose cases involve allegations of insider dealing, rate rigging and investment fraud. She is experienced in significant bribery and corruption cases.’ - Chambers UK (2019)
- ‘An experienced advocate and deft prosecutor who is able to navigate the most complex cases and get to the heart of a matter almost instantly. She is a go-to person for those seeking pragmatic, sensible and reliable advice.’ - Chambers UK (2019)
- ‘She has an incisive legal mind which enables her to cut rapidly to the crux of the issues in the most complex cases.’ - Legal 500 (2019)
- ‘Her advice is pragmatic and rigorous, making her highly sought after.’ - Legal 500 (2019)
- ‘Her quick wit and approachability make her a valuable addition to cases.’ - Legal 500 (2019)
- ‘She is first-rate and recognised as so by everyone that comes across her, whether they be judges, juries or other advocates.’ - Chambers UK (2018)
- ‘A very sound prosecutor with good judgement and a very good presence in court.’ - Chambers UK (2018)
- ‘She absorbs instructions quickly and delivers useful advice clearly.’ - Chambers UK (2018)
- ‘Fabulous and absolutely faultless – solicitors appreciate her quality of advocacy before juries and her adaptability.’ - Legal 500 (2017)
- ‘A ‘brilliant’ practitioner who is described by market sources as ‘bright, hard-working and fun’ ...highly experienced in cases of murder and manslaughter and also undertakes cold case work. She attracts plaudits for both her advocacy and upbeat attitude.’ - Chambers UK (2017)
- ‘Highly reputable for sensitive sexual offences cases’ - Legal 500 (2017)
- ‘She can always be relied upon to get to grips with detail and complexity.’ - Legal 500 (2017)
- ‘Hard-working, intelligent, highly capable’ - Chambers UK (2017)
- ‘..a quick-thinking aggressive advocate, whose cases involve allegations of insider dealing, rate rigging and investment fraud ...outstanding ..very good judgment..very hard-working, intelligent and capable.’ - Chambers UK (2017)
- ‘Very approachable and happy to explore different ideas’ - Legal 500 (2016)
- ‘She stands her ground and holds her own.’ - Legal 500 (2016)
- Gillian is ‘extremely dedicated and extremely bright,’… ‘she’s an absolutely first-class worker, with bubbling enthusiasm and common sense. She’s able to take the client through difficult decisions.’ – Chambers UK (2016)
- ‘Has a strong track record defending and prosecuting sophisticated financial crime cases. She regularly deals with investment fraud, anti-competitive trading and FSMA offences.' –Chambers UK (2016)
- ‘She’s really top-drawer but doesn’t blow her own trumpet.’ – Chambers UK (2016)
- ‘She is very hard-working, thorough and efficient. She is good with the client too.’ - Legal 500 (2016)
- ‘Extremely bright and extremely hard-working.’ – Chambers UK (2016)
Criminal Bar Association (Secretary 2012 -2013, Treasurer 2017-2018)
Fraud Lawyers Association
Health and Safety Lawyers' Association (HSLA)
Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers (ARDL)
International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law
South Eastern Circuit
Joint Head of Chambers (2018)
SFO Queen’s Counsel Panel (2017)
CPS Specialist Panels: Fraud, Organised Crime, Confiscation/Asset Recovery
Recorder (2012) - authorised to sit in serious sexual offence cases (2017), appointed to sit at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) (2018)
Developmental List: General Medical Council (2012 to date)
Treasurer of the Criminal Bar Association (2017)
Management Committee of the Advocate's Gateway (2015 to date)
Course Director for Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA) and Rook Groups ‘Advocacy and the Vulnerable’ (2015 to date)
Public Access (Direct Access) Qualified (2011)