Details of practice

“Neil Saunders is ‘without doubt the leading junior’ – ‘absolutely incredible’” (The Legal 500)

Specialist criminal and serious fraud advocate in all criminal courts.

Represents professional individuals and companies being investigated or accused of crime.

Regularly instructed as leader or junior by large city and specialist white collar fraud firms providing strategic advice during all stages of investigation, including pre charge.

Previous Grade 4 prosecutor.

Inquests – advising individuals or institutions re potential verdicts and procedure.

He has advised and appeared in a number of very high profile cases that received considerable media and press attention including cases which involved highly reputable families where children or relations became involved in either violence in night clubs or allegations of rape at house parties.

Neil has defended in numerous police discipline cases including allegations against an experienced officer of abuse of power when arresting an off duty colleague; matters of sexual impropriety by police officers whilst on duty; also in cases directed by IPCC. Police disciplinary proceedings both before Metropolitan and Provincial forces.

Appears on behalf of respondents to special procedure hearings and in sports disciplinary hearings.

Appeared in Divisional court cases involving drink driving legislation and custody time limits.


  • Serious crime including murder, human and drug trafficking and serious sexual allegations
  • Money laundering/complex commercial fraud
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Banking/advance fee/derivative frauds
  • Share dealing allegations
  • Tax and VAT fraud
  • Bribery/corruption
  • Cartels and price fixing/computer misuse

Professional Discipline:

  • Police misconduct in disciplinary hearings and PATs
  • Misfeasance in a public office
  • Regulatory crime/health and safety

Asset Recovery:

  • Criminal confiscation; search and seizure orders
  • Restraint, third party rights and contempt; civil recovery under Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Directory recommendations

Regularly ranked as a Star individual in Crime and Fraud in the Chambers UK Guide

“praised for his extremely persuasive advocacy which is “plainly silk standard.””  Chambers UK 2018: Crime

“Offers gravitas and efficacy in equal measure.” “In terms of his client care and the way he prepares the case, you can’t fault him.”  Chambers UK 2018: Crime

“He has an unequalled practice as a leading junior and his knowledge of the law and presentation of legal arguments is universally respected by judges and fellow counsel alike. His breadth of practice attests to his versatility.”  Chambers UK 2018: Financial Crime

‘One of life’s eternal geniuses’ ‘Masterful and very well respected by judges and prosecutors alike, as well as co-defending counsel’. ‘Neil Saunders has an unequalled practice as a leading junior and his knowledge of the law and presentation of legal arguments is universally respected. His breadth of practice attests to his versatility.’ Chambers UK 2017: Crime

‘He has tremendous client care skills and makes the client feel safe.’ ‘He’s a very eloquent advocate and you know if you instruct him on a case he’s as good as many silks.’ ‘He is incredibly client-friendly and good at conveying unwelcome advice when he has to.’ Chambers UK 2017: Financial Crime

‘Regarded as the leading junior of the Criminal Bar, he has “unequalled and highly versatile practice.”  “He is tremendous – he’s very astute, very easy to get on with, very good with clients, and respected by judges. His strategic acumen is second to none among juniors.”  Chambers UK 2016: Crime

“A very powerful court presence – he really takes control of the court.” “Very good on detail and has an excellent jury manner.”  Chambers UK 2016: Financial Crime

“He is a cheerful and personable man which is important in these difficult cases.”  “His advocacy is admirable, and judges and juries love him.”  Chambers UK 2016: Inquests

Down to earth, client-friendly and personable.’ The Legal 500 2015: Crime

An excellent junior.’ The Legal 500 2015: Fraud

 ‘A highly experienced and highly skillful advocate.’ The Legal 500 2015: Business and  Regulatory Crime

‘He has an unequalled practice and his knowledge of the law and presentation of legal arguments is universally respected by judges and fellow counsel alike.’ ‘His breadth of practice attests to his versatility.’ ‘He is a great diplomat and a calming and reassuring presence when things get difficult.’ Chambers UK 2015: Crime

‘He is someone who is immensely reassuring because of his presence in court and his command of the case.’ Chambers UK 2015: Professional Discipline

‘He is a very astute advocate, excellent with experts and tricky witnesses, who commands the confidence of the client.’ ‘He’s at once very approachable and able to give difficult advice when needed.’ Chambers UK 2015: Financial Crime

‘A consummate professional and a highly able advocate.’ ‘He is conscientious, hard-working and realistic in the way in which he approaches cases.’ Chambers UK 2015: Inquests

‘The best junior at the Bar; juries love his down-to-earth approach’ The Legal 500 2014:  Crime

‘A great diplomat; excellent at diffusing tensions in court and promoting agreement between parties.’ The Legal 500 2014:  Fraud

‘Everyone’s first-choice junior’ The Legal 500 2014:  Business & Regulatory Crime

“Unanimously praised, he is a leading junior who is regularly instructed in silk-level briefs.”  “He has a great courtroom manner and he is very good with clients.”  Chambers UK 2014:  Crime

“An outstanding fraud junior who is sought after by prosecuting authorities and leading law firms to act in major investigations and trials.  Sources admire his courtroom presence and practical, collaborative approach.”  “He’s tactically astute and knows everything there is to be known in the fraud market.”  Chambers UK 2014:  Fraud

“His criminal law skills have translated well into his professional discipline practice.”  Chambers UK 2014:  Professional Discipline

“Extremely thorough in his preparation and a very good cross-examiner.  He will always do the best for his clients in extremely difficult circumstances.”  “He has the ear of the court and is highly empathetic.” Chambers UK 2014:  Inquests


Education/professional qualifications

BA (Hons) Law
Called 1983


Recorder South Eastern Circuit 2004 – to date – also hears serious sexual offences and appeals

Other information

Appeal Steward British Boxing Board of Control
2009-10 SEC/CBA Working Parties considering the fraud review on plea bargaining and extending the powers of the Crown Court and revision of Code for Prosecutors
2006-2009 South Eastern Circuit Committee
2008 and 2009 Circuit committee re Jesus College Cambridge, Bar Conference and Dame Ann Ebsworth lectures
1996-1999 Bar Council and CBA member
1998 to date – Advocacy trainer and sponsor – Middle Temple
1999 – 2001 Governor ICSL
2016 – Bencher Middle Temple


South Eastern Circuit
Criminal Bar Association
Fraud Lawyers’ Association
Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers

Leisure pursuits

Golf, 25 handicap; competent skier; and bridge
2009 RFU Referee Levels 1 and 2, – member of London Society of Referees
2004 Qualified RFU mini/midi coach level 1 and 2, ex player at London Welsh RFC
Previously licensed and qualified pyrotechnic and DCPS choral society

Direct access

Instructing Neil Saunders direct

Neil is qualified to accept instructions direct from clients under the Bar Council’s Public Access Scheme. This means that members of the public who seek specialist advice can come direct to him.

In addition Neil welcomes instructions from solicitors, in-house law departments, qualified foreign lawyers, and clients licensed by the Bar Council to give instructions direct to barristers under the Bar Council’s Licensed Access Scheme.

He may also accept instructions direct from clients who carry on business or usually reside outside England and Wales, provided that the work is advisory. In such matters, if representation is required, a registered European lawyer may instruct us in the same way as a solicitor of England and Wales.

His Senior Clerk Eddie Holland will be pleased to assist with any enquiries.

Please call him on 020 7400 6400 to discuss.