Luke Ponte

Call: 2003

"He prosecutes high-profile criminal cases."

Legal 500 2020: Crime

"An incisive advocate."

Legal 500 2020: Fraud - Crime

"Recommended for a wide range of POCA matters."

Legal 500 2020: Proceeds of Crime & Asset Forfeiture

"An elegant advocate - judges really like him."

Legal 500 2019: Crime

"As comfortable doing heavyweight fraud as he is dirty crime."

Legal 500 2019: Fraud - Crime

Instructing Luke

To instruct Luke please contact our Clerks on +44 (0)20 7400 6400 or email

Luke Ponte is a much sought after junior criminal barrister, who has appeared in some of the most high profile trials in recent years.

He was sole prosecution counsel in the successful prosecution of Arthur Collins – who threw acid in a packed nightclub causing serious injury to 14 victims.

He acted for Christian Bittar, a Deutsche Bank derivatives trader who was the first defendant in the Euribor rate manipulation trial.

He was instructed for the prosecution of Stephen Port- the Grindr serial killer who murdered four young men.

He was junior defence counsel for Constance Briscoe, a barrister accused of perverting the course of justice.

He was nominated as the Legal 500 Criminal Junior of the Year 2018.

Legal Expertise

Crime overview

Luke is instructed across the spectrum of serious crime including murder, organised crime, firearms offences and sexual offences.

Luke has particular expertise in cybercrime, having been instructed in a series of hacking/dark web trials, and is familiar with the challenges of presenting complex computer evidence at trial. He prosecuted LulzSec, the notorious group of computer hackers whose victims included the FBI, the NHS, News International and the Sony Corporation. Instructions last year included prosecution of the dark web forum, and representing the Metropolitan Police concerning production of material relating to Bitcoin.

He was seconded to the Organised Crime Division of the CPS, which provided valuable insight into how such cases are investigated and prepared, and the particular issues that arise (SOCPA agreements; CHIS; PII).

Notable Crime cases

R v Bittar

Junior defence counsel for the first defendant in the Euribor manipulation allegations; representing a world renowned Deutsche Bank trader accused of manipulating the benchmark rate.

R v Collins & Phoenix

Sole prosecution advocate in the successful prosecution of the notorious acid attack when Arthur Collins threw acid in a packed nightclub causing very serious injury to 18 victims.

R v Campeanu

Defence counsel in the murder of a heavily pregnant woman.

Operation Pulex

Prosecution in a series of trials of a highly sophisticated conspiracy to import cocaine through the use of corrupt Heathrow baggage handlers.

Financial Crime overview

Luke specialises in white-collar and financial crime. He was instructed for the first defendant in the trial concerning the alleged manipulation of the Euribor benchmark rate. He has considerable experience defending and prosecuting in proceedings brought by the SFO and HMRC, including MTIC fraud, mortgage and commercial fraud.

He represented the sole defendant in Levene, an SFO prosecution in relation to a £250 million Ponzi scheme.

He has particular expertise in matters concerning alternative remittance systems such as hawallah and hundi banking, such as Pishevarz & Others – an NCA investigation into a money-laundering scheme conducted through Anglo-Iranian money exchange bureaux.

In respect of MTIC fraud Luke represents individuals and companies both in the criminal courts and before the Tax Tribunal.

Luke is instructed in matters of bribery and corruption.

Notable Financial Crime cases

R v Bittar

Junior defence counsel for the first defendant in the Euribor manipulation allegations; representing a world renowned Deutsche Bank trader accused of manipulating the benchmark rate.

Proceeds of Crime overview

Luke has expertise across the range of proceeds of crime, including: restraint, confiscation (and enforcement), cash forfeiture and civil recovery.

He has acted for the NCA/SOCA in a number of civil recovery claims and cash forfeiture claims.

Luke has considerable experience in post-confiscation proceedings, including applications for reconsideration in the High Court and the Crown Court.

He has been instructed in a number of challenges to confiscation enforcement proceedings as a breach of the reasonable time requirement under Art 6 ECtHR.

Notable Proceeds of Crime cases


Reconsideration of Ponzi scheme confiscation.

SOCA v Robb

Civil recovery order in relation to North Cyprus property fraud.

Professional Discipline overview

Luke is regularly instructed in matters of police discipline. He has represented numerous police officers, both at criminal trial and at disciplinary proceedings.

Notable Professional Discipline cases

Re JP (2019)

Unlawful police pursuit of moped.

Re DS (2019)

Mistreatment of vulnerable detainee in custody.

Re BP (2019)

Excessive use of force by custody sergeant.

Regulatory Crime & Inquests overview

Luke appears regularly in Coronial proceedings. He has particular experience representing prison officers and police officers in inquests concerning deaths in custody.

Luke prosecutes and defends in matters of health and safety, environmental health, consumer protection, product safety and trading standards.

Licensing overview

Luke appears regularly in matters under the Licensing Act 2003, both in front of local authorities and on appeal to the Magistrates’ Court. He has lectured on the Licensing Act 2003 to the Directorate of Legal Services at the Metropolitan Police.

He is instructed in matters of taxi licensing.

Death in police custody

Inquest re M1 expansion
Death of construction worker

Police involvement in domestic violence victim

R v K & Others
Prosecuted multi-handed Trident operation

R v EW
Attempted murder – 80 year old defendant

R v DY
Rape of 10 year old by school teacher

R v MC
Fraud by company director

R v FP
Large scale cocaine conspiracy

R v ZB
Grime artist accused of county lines drug offending

Operation Minionship
Heroin importation from Pakistan

R v C
Murder of pregnant woman

R v TG
HMRC officer accused of benefit fraud

R v KG
GBH on 2 year old

R v D
Large scale excise fraud

R v B
Manipulation of Euribor

Operation Pulex
Importation of 100kg cocaine through Heathrow

R v C & P
Acid attack in nightclub

Inquest re YOI
Represented Prison Governor

R v K-B
Shooting at police officers

R v R
Child sex offences – 14 complainants

Re B
Inquest into death in YOI

R v O & Ors
HMRC prosecution of multi-handed VAT fraud

R v W
Historic (1982) murder of 17 year old girl

R v P
Grindr multiple murderer

R v L
Attempted contract killing

R v M
Dark web forum which hacked Yahoo

Re B
Production order concerning Bitcoin

R v B
VT fraud

R v J & J
Allegation of “honour” rape

R v D
Multi-million pound conspiracy to supply cocaine

Operation Decrease
ECHR challenge to bail brought by suspected members of proscribed terrorist organisation

R v B
Barrister accused of perverting the course of justice

R v P & Ors
Money service bureau money laundering

R v D
Marine captain accused of corruption and money laundering

R v M
Stabbing of pregnant 16 year old girl

R v B & S
Prosecution of robbery of “Ashley Cole” jewellers

R v GC
£750,000 multinational “Hundi” banking fraud

Civil recovery claim for £1.5m from an alleged fraudulent property empire in North Cyprus

R v C & Ors
LulzSec computer hacking conspiracy

R v L
Sole defendant in £250 million “Ponzi” scheme

Multi-million pound confiscation proceedings before Divisional Court

R v B
MTIC fraud/money laundering

Stay of £2 million confiscation order as an abuse due to breach of Article 6 ECtHR

Instructing Luke

To instruct Luke please contact our Clerks on +44 (0)20 7400 6400 or email

“He prosecutes high-profile criminal cases.” Legal 500 2020: Crime

“An incisive advocate.” Legal 500 2020: Fraud – Crime

“Recommended for a wide range of POCA matters.” Legal 500 2020: Proceeds of Crime & Asset Forfeiture

“An elegant advocate – judges really like him.” Legal 500 2019: Crime

“As comfortable doing heavyweight fraud as he is dirty crime.” Legal 500 2019: Fraud – Crime

  • Jules Thorn Scholar, Middle Temple
  • Campbell Foster Prize, Middle Temple
  • Everard van Heyden Foundation Prize
  • Bar Vocational Course
  • Harvard University Special Student Programme
  • BA (Hons) History – London School of Economics
  • SFO Prosecution Counsel (A Panel)
  • CPS level 4 prosecutor
  • CPS specialist panellist for serious crime, fraud and proceeds of crime
  • RASSO panellist

Luke is an award-winning screen writer. He has written two Bafta nominated short films. His debut feature film, Old Boys, was released in cinemas in 2019.

I, Luke Ponte, am a data controller and can be contacted at 3 Raymond Buildings, Gray’s Inn, London WC1R 5BH or by telephone on 020 7400 6400 or by email at My Data Protection Policy can be found below.

All personal data that I process is for the purposes of providing legal services, conducting conflict-checks, marketing, defending potential complaints, legal proceedings or fee disputes, keeping anti-money laundering records, training other barristers and pupils and when providing work-shadowing opportunities, and/or exercising a right to a lien. The types of data that I process vary upon the nature of the legal matter in relation to which I am engaged to advise, but can include names, contact details, biographic details and ‘special category personal data’ (such as details of racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, health, sex life and criminal convictions and proceedings).

Depending upon the circumstances of the case, the legal bases upon which I process personal data are (i) the performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract, (ii) the processing is necessary to comply with legal obligations to which I am subject, or (iii) the processing is necessary for the legitimate interests set out above, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subjects which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child. When I rely on (iii) legitimate interests, my ‘Legitimate Interests Assessment’ can be found here. When I process data which has not be obtained directly from the data subject (e.g. personal data contained in evidential materials), it will have been supplied to me as part of my instructions in circumstances covered by legal professional privilege.

Depending upon the circumstances of the case, I may share the personal data with:

  1. my Chambers, which supplies professional and administrative support to my practice;
  2. Courts and other tribunals to whom documents are presented;
  3. my lay and professional clients;
  4. potential witnesses, in particular experts, and friends or family of the data subject;
  5. solicitors, barristers, pupils, mini pupils and other legal representatives;
  6. ombudsmen and regulatory authorities;
  7. current, past or prospective employers;
  8. education and examining bodies;
  9. business associates, professional advisers and trade bodies.

I retain personal data for no longer than 7 years after the case has come to an end or as otherwise required by law.

I do not intend to transfer data to any country which is not either within the European Union, ‘white listed’ by the EU or otherwise permitted by EU law (e.g. to the USA under the provisions of the ‘Privacy Shield’).

Under the GDPR, data subjects whose personal data I process have the right to request from me access to, and rectification or erasure of, their personal data, the right to the restriction of processing concerning them, the right to object to processing as well as the right to data portability. Data subjects also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (

In cases where there is a contract between me and the data subject, the provision of personal data is a contractual requirement and the data subject is obliged to provide the personal data in order that I can supply legal services. A failure to provide such data may mean that I will not be able to provide the legal services.

Rev 1.1 – 25.05.2018

Data Protection Policy

Legitimate Interests Assessment