Rachel is a “rising star of the junior bar” whose “quality of case preparation was praised, as was her persuasive advocacy style”. Chambers UK 2016.

Details of practice

An accomplished junior whose international crime and fraud practice is complemented by her expertise in extradition.’ Chambers UK 2017. Recognised as a leading practitioner in Financial and Corporate Crime, Fraud and Extradition and known for her “understanding of international law” (Chambers UK 2016).

Rachel is a dual-qualified US attorney and English barrister who began practice in New York in 1999. She has specific expertise in the area of international economic sanctions and regularly advises and acts for national and international companies and individuals in this area and on cross border and jurisdictional matters more generally. Described as “Fantastic, especially in relation to sanctions work.” Chambers UK 2016 and ‘A trusted adviser in the world of trade and financial sanctions.’ The Legal 500 2016.  Rachel is listed by World ECR as a specialist practitioner in sanctions law.

 As well as criminal cases, Rachel acts in public law and civil cases with criminal justice and public international law elements. Rachel is a member of the Attorney General’s specialist panel of Public International Law Junior Counsel to the Crown and the SFO’s panel of counsel.

Crime:

  • Complex commercial fraud
  • Sanctions busting
  • Corruption
  • Money laundering
  • Asset restraint and confiscation, including foreign requests
  • Transnational crimes and offences under EU laws
  • Other serious crime including murder, torture, misconduct in public office and firearms offences
  • State immunities and jurisdictional matters more generally

Extradition & MLA (mutual legal assistance):

  • Represents Governments, judicial authorities, requested persons and NGOs
  • War crimes, terrorism, murder and other serious offences
  • Organised crime
  • Corruption and fraud

Civil, public law and inquests:

  • Civil fraud
  • Criminal justice and extradition related judicial reviews
  • Challenging police searches and seizures
  • Civil harassment
  • Represents interested persons in Inquests, including deaths in custody cases

International, foreign and EU laws:

  • Advises companies and individuals on international economic sanctions regimes
  • Acts for individuals in applications to subsidiary bodies of international organisations (eg UN Security Council sanctions committees, UN Ombudsperson, Interpol, Europol and Eurojust)
  • International criminal tribunals

Directory recommendations

An accomplished junior whose international crime and fraud practice is complemented by her expertise in extradition.’

‘A very thorough barrister who ensures she’s really researched the issues before giving advice. Her work is very well written, well structured and well referenced.’

‘Very strong, very detailed on the case and very good with clients who may be extremely stressed.’ Chambers UK 2017: Financial Crime & Financial Crime: Corporates

‘A trusted adviser in the world of trade and financial sanctions.’ TheLegal 500: Business and Regulatory Crime

A very special talent – excellent in hard cases, but also kind and sympathetic.The Legal 500: Fraud: Crime

Lovely, thorough, very smart, and hard-working.’ Chambers UK 2017: Extradition

“Fantastic, especially in relation to sanctions work.”  Chambers UK 2016: Financial Crime

Rising star of the junior Bar who has depth of knowledge in international criminal law and is applauded for her skill in handling extradition matters related to death penalty sentences.  The quality of her case preparation was praised, as was her persuasive advocacy style. “She is an academic-style lawyer who has a fantastic understanding of international law.” “She is very, very hard-working and comes up with amazing stuff.”  Chambers UK 2016: Extradition

A tenacious and committed barrister with an attention to detail. ‘The Legal 500 2015: Business & Regulatory Crime

‘She is tenacious, committed and has an attention to detail rarely seen equalled.’ The Legal 500 2015: Fraud Crime

‘Everything she does is absolutely meticulous, and she really is someone you want to have on your side.’ ‘She knows more about the case than anyone else and has all of the facts at her fingertips.’ ‘She has a super brain, is really smart and is also very strategic.’ Chambers UK 2015: Extradition

‘She is very clever and very thorough.’ ‘She is bright, phenomenally hard-working and the ideal junior for fraud.’ Chambers UK 2015: Financial Crime

“Highly knowledgeable in extradition and mutual assistance, she often handles serious cases, including those relating to terrorism.”  “She is extremely bright and produces excellent written work.”  Chambers UK 2014:  Extradition

“Has carved out a niche fraud practice at the juncture of civil and criminal litigation.  Instructing solicitors particularly value her knowledge of international law.”  “A star of the future.”  Chambers UK 2014:  Fraud

In addition to being an English barrister Rachel Barnes is also a qualified US attorney who began practising in New York.  She is a hotly tipped individual, especially on the extradition front, and has a criminal practice where international law, commercial crime and corruption cases all feature heavily. She is set to be junior prosecution counsel in R v Hirst & Others, a £10 million Ponzi fraud caseChambers UK 2013:  Crime

“Rachel Barnes is … known for the ‘strong international law academic understanding’ that she brings to extradition work”. Chambers UK 2012: Crime

Education/professional qualifications

BA (Hons) in Law, MA (Cantab)
LLM (Harv)
PhD (Cantab) in International Law
New York Bar Exam 1999, called to the NY Bar 2000
Called to the English Bar 2004
Churchill Scholar, Gray’s Inn (1998-1999)
WM Tapp Scholar, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (2002-2005)
James Hunt Advocacy Prize, Gray’s Inn (2006)

Appointments

Attorney General’s Public International Law Counsel to the Crown (B Panel)

SFO Prosecution Counsel and PoCA Counsel (B Panel)

Grade 3 Prosecutor

Fair Trials International, Legal Experts Advisory Panel member

Publications

United States Sanctions: Delisting Applications, Judicial Review and Secret Evidence inMatthew Happold and Paul Eden (eds), Sanctions and Embargos in International Law (Hart Publishing: Oxford, 2016)

‘Economic Warfare: International Sanctions and Global Governance’ (forthcoming, Edward Elgar Publishing)

Entry, Search and Seizure in Emmerson QC et al (eds), ‘Human Rights and Criminal Justice’ (3rd ed) 2012, Sweet & Maxwell

The Investigation and Prosecution of Foreign Corruption in the United States, in ‘Corruption and Misuse of Public Office’, Nicholls et al (2011, 2nd ed, OUP)

Keeping the US at bay: enforcement of US sanctions laws in Europe, The Lawyer, 13 November 2007 (available here)

The Impact of Economic Sanctions, written evidence before the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee (October 2006) (available here)

Terrorist Financing: Challenges for Financial Institutions (July 2002) World Money Laundering Review, vol 1 no 7 (Barnes & Newcomb)

Global Responses to Terrorist Financing, (June 2002) World Money Laundering Review, vol no 6 (Barnes & Newcomb)

How The US Is Fighting Money Laundering, (Dec 2001) International Financial Law Review (Barnes, Elshihabi & Newcomb)

Contributor to Newcomb’s Digest Of Cases And Review Releases Relating To Bribes To Foreign Officials Under The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, (2002 ed)

Other information

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Visiting lecturer: ‘The Law of International Economic Sanctions’ graduate course (2009 – 2013)

Cambridge University, Supervisor in criminal law (2008-2009)
2008: St Catherine’s College and Newnham College
2009: Girton College

Lloyd’s Law Reports: Financial Crime
Consultant editor (2009 – 2014)

Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (2002)
Consultant: Financial investigations & prosecutions project funded by the Open Society Institute, NY.  Reported directly to the Deputy Prosecutor on reform of the financial investigations processes and work practices of the OTP. Other responsibilities included establishing case plans for on-going and future financial investigations and delivering basic training to investigators and legal advisors on financial investigations, banking and international trade, Rwanda’s foreign aid receipt and banking sector prior to 1994

Litigation Attorney, Shearman & Sterling LLP, New York (1999-2002)
Rachel acted as junior counsel in a range of complex and cross-border litigation, including securities and banking fraud, money laundering and asset restraint, and corruption in international business transactions. She undertook internal investigations relating to financial and regulatory crime both in the US and overseas. She also advised corporations on money laundering, corruption and sanctions regulatory compliance and general corporate governance matters

Notable cases included: Xerox Corporation SEC proceedings re. $3bn overstatement of revenues (counsel to external auditors); US Senate investigation on money laundering (counsel to international financial institution subject to investigation); internal investigation for major US financial institution into bank fraud, money laundering and corruption in Latin America

Selected conference and seminar presentations
“US sanctions: delistings, judicial review and secret evidence”, paper presented at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law conference ‘Sanctions and embargos: international law and contemporary practice’, 29 April 2013

“International Economic Sanctions” 2013 Lexis webinar

Listen to Rachel discuss International Economic Sanctions Part One and Part Two with online CPD provider CPDcast (2011)

“Economic Sanctions: Aspects of Risk in Business Transactions”, The Legal Implications of Economic Sanctions, 14 July 2011, LexisNexis conference, London

“An Area of Freedom, Security and Justice – Reviewing Extradition Within the EU”, 20 January 2011, Chatham House, London (attended by Sir Scott Baker’s Extradition Review panel)

“Key points for financial crime in 2011: economic sanctions”, 27 January 2011, Anti-Money Laundering Professionals Forum, London

“Economic Sanctions: Law and Compliance”, 22 March 2011, Proceeds of Crime and Confiscation Conference, London

“Compliance, credibility and the UN Security Council’s targeted sanctions against Al-Qaida and the Taliban”, 16 April 2010, International Law Association, British Branch conference, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford

“Terrorist Financing and Financial Sanctions”, Corporate Crime: Money laundering and financing terror, 4 March 2010 Lexis webinar

“Terrorist Financing and Financial Sanctions”, 18 March 2009, Proceeds of Crime and Confiscation Conference, London

“Cross Border Travel Tips: Protecting Client Confidences at the Frontier” 5 October 2007, American Bar Association International Law Conference, London

”Human Rights and the Security Council’s Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Against Designated Persons”, October 2003, Oxford University symposium on terrorism and civil rights

”Practical Issues in Implementing Security Council Resolution 1373 to Prevent and Suppress Terrorist Financing”, seminar for UN Diplomatic Missions, May 2002 NYC

”Investigating the Financing of Genocide in Rwanda – Rwandan Banking Industry and International Trade in Machetes and Agricultural Tools”, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, September 2002 Kigali, Rwanda

Organisations
South Eastern Circuit; Criminal Bar Association; Bar Counsel US Group; Extradition Lawyers’ Association; Fraud Lawyers’ Association

Supporter of Reprieve, the Hackney Quest and the Hackney Winter Night Shelter.

Languages
Basic French and Romanian

Direct access

Rachel Barnes 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 her. In addition, she 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.