Details of criminal practice

Nicholas Yeo is a leading criminal practitioner with particular expertise in financial crime, the proceeds of crime and investigative powers.

He is the Legal 500 Criminal Junior of the Year 2018.

Recent serious fraud cases include representing a company director accused of insider dealing and money laundering in the FCA “Operation Tabernula” trial, acting for a former Goldman Sachs banker accused of money laundering in the Ibori litigation, acting for a former chief executive in the Torex Retail fraud prosecution, and advising suspects pre-charge in the Unaoil investigation.

Recent investigative powers matters include acting for the wife of the former Deputy Chief of Mission for Chad in the USA in her appeal against the refusal to discharge a £4.4m freezing order in Serious Fraud Office v Saleh (CA) [2017] Lloyd’s Rep. F.C. 177, assisting the FBI in a billion dollar global anti-corruption investigation and acting for the British Airline Pilots Association in connection with the Shoreham Air Crash.

Recent Proceeds of Crime work include representing a senior New York based Barclays trader in confiscation proceedings following the Libor fraud trial, acting for a Nigerian Limited Company in a $1bn corruption investigation (Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd v DPP [2016] Lloyd’s Rep. F.C. 108) and representing a car salesman in an appeal against confiscation in a leading confiscation case Scott King [2014] 2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 54.

Recent judicial review instructions include R (Hewson) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis regarding harassment notices and R (O) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis re time limits on police bail.

He is said to be “a very calm and calculating advocate” (Legal 500 2017) and to have “exceptional legal skills and knowledge” (Chambers UK 2018).

He is currently acting for the former chief executive of Barclays wealth and investment management in the Barclays-Qatar capital raising trial.

He is an author of Money Laundering Law and Regulation: A Practical Guide (OUP (2nd Edition 2018) with Simon Farrell QC, Robin Booth and Guy Bastable) and Blackstone’s Guide to the Fraud Act 2006 (OUP (2007) with Simon Farrell QC and Guy Ladenburg).

He has particular expertise in the following areas:

  • Anti-money laundering: he appeared for the Crown in the leading case on particularity of conduct in money laundering (Anwoir (CA) [2009] 1 WLR 980) (Archbold [26-11]). He regularly advises companies on their obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Regulations.
  • Cash Forfeiture: He was in the leading case of Perinpanathan (CA) [2010] 1 WLR 1580. He regularly acts for businesses affected by cash forfeiture.
  • Civil recovery: Serious Organised Crime Agency v O’Docherty (Court of Appeal (Civil Division) [2013] EWCA Civ 518) and Serious Fraud Office v Saleh (CA) [2017] Lloyd’s Rep. F.C. 177.
  • Criminal matters arising in civil litigation: Cherney v Deripaska – $4bn civil claim between Russian businessmen (part of D’s counsel team)
  • Contempt: Serious Organised Crime Agency v O’Docherty (Court of Appeal (Civil Division) [2013] EWCA Civ 518
  • Company prosecutions: experienced in defending businesses accused of wrongdoing in respect of Companies House (s.451 Companies Act 2006) and Department of Business prosecutions.
  • Data Protection Act 1998 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Advising on data protection aspects of criminal, professional discipline and investigations cases.
  • Drugs offences: Flook (CA) [2010] 1 WLR 980 involving many container loads of cocaine (which is a leading case on third party disclosure (Archbold [12-51]), particularly in the context of material held by foreign non-EU agencies (Archbold [12-100])); R v Herbert Austin: massive cocaine smuggling.
  • Investigatory Powers Act 2016
  • Mutual legal assistance:  He has made numerous applications on behalf of the CPS and subjects of applications including CPS v Mubarak (Foreign confiscation order against son of former head of state.
  • Private prosecutions: acting for the prosecution in private prosecutions.
  • Sexual Offences: including historic allegations and indecent images.
  • Trading Standards: R (Donnachie) v Cardiff Magistrates’ Court [2007] 1 WLR 3085 (the leading case on time limits in trading standards cases) and R (Donnachie) v Cardiff Magistrates’ Court [2009] EWHC 489 (Admin)
  • VAT and tax cases: He has been instructed in many cases before the First Tier (Tax) Tribunal including the David Jacobs litigation, one of the largest ever VAT cases.

Other practice areas

Professional Discipline and Police law:

Nicholas Yeo is a leading police law barrister and much sought after to represent police officers nationwide in disciplinary proceedings and in criminal proceedings before the Crown Court. He has acted for over 100 police officers in the last few years.

He has particular knowledge of the application of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights as applied to the private life of police officers. He recently represented a former police inspector in R (Chief Constable of Cleveland Constabulary) v Police Appeals Tribunal [2017] I.C.R. 1212 which is now the leading case on the topic.

He recently acted for a custody sergeant accused of lying about the circumstances of a death after recent contact with police.

He regularly acts for the MPS Commissioner in search and seizure matters.


Nicholas Yeo acts for police services and other interested parties in inquests. Recent work includes the Inquest touching upon the deaths of Zohra Amrani and Hassan Amrani, on behalf of a police sergeant who granted bail to a man who went on to murder his mother and father before killing himself. He is currently instructed by the Metropolitan Police Service in the inquest touching upon the death of Jermaine Baker who was shot by specialist firearms officers as he and his accomplices were attempting to assist the escape of Izzet Eren whilst on his way to Wood Green Crown Court.

Extradition and International:

Nicholas Yeo acts for the person sought, the judicial authority and the requesting state in extradition cases, at first instance and on appeal. He advises on cross-border evidence gathering and mutual legal assistance.  He has written various articles on extradition and lectures on the subject.

Recent cases include acting for a British man sought by USA in relation to a payment card fraud commenced in the Netherlands, and a Turkish national sought by Germany for offences for which he had already been prosecuted and effectively pardoned in Turkey.

Public and Administrative:

Nicholas Yeo acts for claimants and respondents in judicial review proceedings. He has particular experience in matters arising out of due criminal process, professional discipline and licensing decisions.

Recent cases include acting for the CPS in a judicial review and habeas corpus application relating to the legality of magistrates’ decision to remand in absence, a judicial review of a decision to extend custody time limits


Nicholas Yeo acts for applicants, responsible authorities and licensing authorities in all areas of licensing.

Recent cases include acting for the Metropolitan Police in a variety of applications to review premises licences and for the applicant in a judicial review of a decision of Westminster City Council to refuse to renew a licence.

Regularly appears before licensing sub committees and magistrates courts, and has acted in the High Court on behalf of clients bring judicial review claims.

Regulatory Enforcement:

Nicholas Yeo has particular experience of trading standards matters and criminal offences arising out of licensing matters.

He recently acted for an individual who operated a household maintenance firm accused of gross over charging and “rogue trading” in one of the largest local authority prosecutions ever brought.

Directory recommendations

“On POCA and anti-money laundering there is no one like him. When I don’t understand exactly what is going on with POCA I phone him and he gives me practical advice that makes me look good.” 

“Extremely promising, and someone with exceptional legal skills and knowledge.” Chambers UK 2018: Financial Crime

“We can rely on him to have expert knowledge of all the recent authorities. He is very thorough and easy to work with.” Chambers UK 2018: POCA

“A very calm and calculating advocate, and a good strategist, who takes a very pragmatic approach to his cases” Legal 500: Fraud (2017)

“He can be trusted to always have the salient evidence at his fingertips” Legal 500: Police (2017)

“He knows POCA backwards and can take on cases of factual complexity at very short notice.” Chambers UK 2016: POCA Work

‘He is incredible. He knows all the latest legal updates and developments in the field.’ Chambers UK 2015: Financial Crime

A very capable advocate who is very strong under pressure.’ The Legal 500 2014: Crime

“Very talented and dynamic” The Legal 500 2012

Selected publications


  • Money Laundering Law and Regulation: A Practical Guide (OUP (2011) with Simon Farrell QC, Robin Booth  and Guy Bastable)
  • Blackstone’s Guide to the Fraud Act 2006 (OUP (2007) with Simon Farrell QC and Guy Ladenburg)

Book Chapters

  • Competition regime: UK Procedure, negotiation and enforcement (Practical Law Company (2013) with George Peretz and David Whitehouse QC)
  •  Serious Economic Crime – a boardroom guide to prevention and compliance: Chapter 14 – “The Main Fraud Offences Prosecuted by the SFO” (SFO (2011) with Harry Travers and Shaul Brazil of BCL Burton Copeland)
  •  Fraud and Regulatory Offending  chapters for Hannibal & Mountford (OUP)


  • “Bull’s-eye” – an introduction to the Fraud Act 2006 [2007]  NLJ 212 and [2007] NLJ 418
  •  “A little less confiscation a little more action” – confiscation after the case of May and others (The Benchmark Magazine)
  •  “Recurring delays” –  extradition after Dabas in the House of Lords [2007] NLJ 806

Lectures, Seminars and Webinars

  • Confiscation Masterclass (MBL, annually)
  • Confiscation and the Proceeds of Crime – confiscation after the case of Waya in the Supreme Court (Webinmar) (London Criminal Court Solicitors Association)
  •  ‘Waya’ in the Supreme Court – (Stephenson Harwood)
  •  White Collar Crime, “Foundations of Confiscation Law” and “The Latest on Confiscation – A Master class” seminars for MBL on a regular  basis
  •  The  Fraud Act 2006 – Practical Lessons Learned and Fraud Sentencing Update (MBL Webinars)
  •  Key Issues in Confiscation Butterworths Proceeds of Crime Conference
  •  Crime – Fraud Act 2006 and Crime – Youth Justice for Legal Network TV

Direct access

Nicholas Yeo 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, he 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.

For further information please contact our Clerks.