Richard Wormald KC

Call: 1993 / Silk: 2019

"An approachable and very charismatic advocate in court."

Chambers UK 2023: Crime

"He is very effective and has good judgement. He always gets on really well with clients."

Chambers UK 2023: Financial Crime

“A forceful presence in court.” Legal 500 2023:

Fraud: Crime

"Robust and reassuring, he is a barrister with a finely tuned tactical brain."

Chambers UK 2022: Crime

"Excellent on his feet and someone whose closing speeches are perfection."

Chambers UK 2022: Crime

“An outstanding lawyer, brilliant at managing complex cases and clients – delightful” (Chambers UK 2024).

Brilliant on his feet with wonderfully smooth oratory”.  Absolutely first class and a brilliant cross-examiner” (Chambers UK 2023).  “He has panache and punch in equal measure”  Chambers UK 2021)

Band 1(1) Financial Crime – Legal 500 2024

Leading Silk: Crime – Chambers UK, Legal 500 (2021 – 2024)

An excellent, heavyweight silk, Richard’s principal practice areas are in: financial crime; civil and commercial litigation; AML; criminal law; disciplinary and regulatory law; gaming and licensing. At ease in civil, disciplinary and criminal arenas.

He has an outstanding reputation in fraud and financial crime, where his recent cases include: R v Nikolova (UK’s biggest benefits fraud); R v Bishti & Ors (bribery)  FCA v Walid Choucair (insider trading); R v Chris Huhne (former Cabinet Minister); FCA v Patrick Cryne (Chairman of Barnsley FC, for revenue recognition fraud). He defended in FCA v Nascimento (Ponzi fraud), R v Davies and others (boiler room fraud) and HMRC v Knight (then the UK’s biggest VAT fraud). He is currently acting for Ryan Bishti (nightclub owner charged with bribery).

Richard has prosecuted and defended in over 40 murders, as well as many drugs, firearms, kidnap, blackmail and rape cases. He is currently prosecuting in R v Khan & Ors (the Dea-John Reid stabbing) and this year has successfully defended in R v Hicks (murder); and secured a conviction prosecuting in a stranger killing (R v Beckley). He has also undertaken a series of terrorist cases Court of Appeal: R v Ben John – the ‘read Jane Austen case’) and R v Bel, and R v Hamza.

Legal Expertise

Financial Crime overview

A band 1(1) silk, Richard acts in some of the UK’s most complex and high-profile fraud cases.

He has particular expertise in insider trading, VAT fraud, and bribery/corruption cases. Currently he is engaged in R v Paul & Louise Bell (£23M VAT fraud, perjury/bankruptcy offences) and has recently represented Ryan Bishti (owner of Cirque le Soir nightclub), charged with bribery of a licensing sergeant; and advising on the legality of an international tax scheme; and acted for Galina Nikolova, the first defendant in the UK’s biggest ever benefits fraud.

He has defended in two of the FCA’s biggest prosecutions: Walid Choucair (for insider trading) and Patrick Cryne (Chairman of iSoft, for revenue recognition and accountancy fraud) and acted for Barry Knight in the UK’s largest HMRC diversion fraud.  He has in several SFO cases, defended an HMRC officer for accepting corrupt payments from The Sun; acted for the director of an oil company for procuring contracts through bribery, and advised senior management of Rolls Royce when under investigation for bribery.

Current / recent cases: 

R v Ryan Bishti & Ors (bribery and corruption of a licensing officer); R v Jonathon Seed (election fraud); Chapter 4 v Di Pierro (appeal – international counterfeit / trademark fraud); FCA v Abdel Malek & Choucair; (insider dealing – appeal to ECtHR); appeal of Giovanni Di Stefano (fraud; on a novel point of law); advising Senior Management at Rolls Royce.

Notable Financial Crime cases

FCA v Cryne

The iSoft fraud: an allegation of market abuse by way of revenue recognition fraud - misleading the markets. A 12-week trial resulting in a hung jury in the first trial and a stay

FCA v Walid Choucair

The FCA’s flagship insider trading case, resulting in a hung jury after the first trial, and a conviction by majority in the re-trial.

R v Clarke

High-profile "Watchdog" fraud.

R v Davies

UK's biggest boiler-room fraud.

R v Coates

A solicitor in a complex, multi-handed embezzlement case.

R v CH

International money-laundering.


Bribery & corruption

SFO v Rolls Royce

Advising senior management - prosecutions discontinued.

R v McGrath

Surgeon charged with mortgage fraud

R v Xu

Theft of trading algorithms, intellectual property

HMRC v Knight

Defending £160m diversion fraud/VAT evasion.

HMRC v Holland

VAT evasion/ Phoenix fraud

R v Nascimento and Ors

Defending in the FCA's biggest boiler-room fraud investigation

R v Zemmel

Leading counsel in two back to back conspiracies to defraud/grey -market and VAT frauds

Crime overview

A traditional, heavyweight silk. Richard has defended and prosecuted in over 30 murders, as well as many drugs, firearms, kidnap, blackmail and rape cases. He has recently prosecuted in R v Khan & Ors (the Dea-John Reid stabbing); has recently undertaken a series of complex and sensitive matters for the Registrar on behalf of appellants in the Court of Appeal. He prosecutes serious crime for the National Crime Agency, and in 2013 he was commended by the Home Secretary for his work on behalf of its predecessor, SOCA. He has a reputation for robust cross-examination and as fearless advocate. This year he is defending in a heroin-trafficking case, a series of terrorism appeals, a multi-handed murder, and is acting for a prospective candidate for Police Crime Commissioner, charged with election fraud. In 2013 he was awarded Crime Junior of the Year.

Current / recent cases:

R v Khan & Ors (the Dea-John Reid stabbing); R v Oliver Bel (terrorism); Op Seargreen (murder); R v Beckley (murder); Op Costello (conspiracy to murder); Op Hobart (international drugs conspiracy); AG ref: R v John (terrorism – the ‘read Jane Austen’ case); R v Austin (3rd party confiscation); advising the MPS in respect of ongoing terrorism investigations; defending in the UK’s largest ever cash seizure case; advising in the “LPP papers” prison drugs smuggling investigation; R v Hamza (terrorism); R v Brouahin (armed robbery); FCA v Choucair (insider-dealing case); R v Moore (murder appeal); R v Cunningham (campaign of rape); R v Bogdanovic (drugs supply); R v Hamilton (murder).

Notable Crime cases

R v Beckley

Prosecution counsel in murder of trial of B, charged with the murder of Michael Lavery, who dies of head injuries and stab wounds

R v Khan & Ors

Prosecuting a five-handed murder of a 14 year old boy - the Dea-John Reaid case

R v Hicks

Defending in a murder/manslaughter

R v Adams & Ors

Defending kidnap, GBH, imitation firearms.

R v Simon Price

Massive heroin and cocaine importation.


Op Elveden: a HMRC press officer charged with selling Treasury material to The Sun.

R v Hamilton

Five-handed feud murder.

R v Jason Moore

Defending in a 'revenge' murder.

R v Chris Huhne

Junior instructed to represent the former Cabinet Minister Chris Huhne.

Operation Hornblower

Prosecuting a series of people trafficking cases. Commended by the Home Secretary.

R v Fitzpatrick

Defending in armed robbery and contract killing.

R v Cunningham

Campaign of rape.

R v Ali Halil

Massive heroin smuggling case.

R v M

West End hotelier prosecuted and acquitted twice for rape.

Civil Litigation overview

Richard is often instructed in commercial litigation where the matter is going to trial and cross-examination skills of a high order are required.

He is currently instructed by Kennedy’s on behalf of the Bar Mutual representing two barristers being sued in a claim for professional negligence; he has recently acted in propriety estoppel / property proceedings (Pickering v Hughes); in a shareholder dispute (re Caprina) and is instructed by a company to commence civil litigation / private prosecution against alleged fraudsters.

Notable cases:

Pickering v Hughes (proprietary estoppel [2021] EWHC 1672 (Ch) (18 June 2021); Market-maker Technology (Beijing) Co Ltd & Ors. v CMC Group Plc & Ors [2009] EWHC 1445 (QB) (24 June 2012); Travis v Supreme Court Costs Office [2006] EWHC 1955 (Admin) (2006) Judicial Review of a refusal to pay a defendant’s costs order; Verma, R (on the application of) v Stratford Magistrates’ Court [2006] EWHC 715 (Admin) (2006) JR of Crown’s refusal to call test purchase volunteers; Brewer v Director of Public Prosecutions [2004] EWHC 355 (Admin) (2004); JR of a conviction relating to drink driving/driving without insurance; Crown & Cushion Hotels Ltd v HM Commissioners of Customs & Excise (2004); [2004] EWCA Civ 516 – VAT tribunal appeal.

Licensing & Gaming overview

Richard has conducted numerous applications and appeals on behalf of licensees acting as counsel of choice for Punch Taverns, Greene King, Exxon Mobil, Asda and others. As well as representing market-leaders in the industry, he is instructed by private clients and sometimes by residents’ associations. He acts for Apollo Resorts & Leisure Ltd in respect of its various casino applications, and is instructed by Cashino and Admiral in respect of their AGC and venues. Richard is liked by clients and tribunals alike and provides a first-class service.

Recent clients:

  • Admiral Casinos
  • Apollo Resorts & Leisure Ltd
  • Asda
  • Aspers
  • Barbican Residents Association
  • Cashino
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Greene King
  • Honest Burgers
  • Las Iguanas
  • Opium
  • Punch Taverns
  • Rum Kitchen
  • Red Rooms
  • Tramp Nightclub
  • Trocadero
  • Toybox Nightclub
  • Wetherspoons
  • Zizi
  • 40 Zero

Richard also bought and managed a successful country pub in 2012 and maintains an interest in the trade.

Professional Discipline & Regulatory overview

He is experienced in hearings at SRA/SDT matters, sports discipline tribunals, the General Dental and General Medical Councils, and the Architects’ Regulatory Board. He has appeared in a dozen or so inquests and represented one of the officers said to be have falsified evidence in the Stockwell inquest after the death of Jean Charles de Menezes.

He has expertise in dealing with solicitors. He advised the former managing partner of Halliwells LLP and represented him in proceedings brought by the liquidator. He represented Emma Coates in parallel criminal fraud and SDT proceedings in respect of defalcations from client account and defended the principal of McGoldrick’s, accused of fraud and theft.

He is advising the director and 100% shareholder of a large claims firm being investigated by the SRA and advises the board at Forsters LLP on AML and regulatory / compliance matters.

Public & Administrative Law overview

Richard has appeared in the Administrative Court on numerous occasions in relation to judicial review of criminal, licensing and regulatory matters. He is particularly familiar with costs’ legislation and has twice been to the High Court in respect of defendants costs orders.

Notable Public & Administrative Law cases

Brewer, R (on the application of) v Supreme Court Costs Office [2006] EWHC 1955 (Admin) (2006)

Judicial Review of a refusal to pay a defendant's costs order.

Verma, R (on the application of) v Stratford Magistrates' Court [2006] EWHC 715 (Admin) (2006)

Judicial Review of the Crown’s refusal to call test purchase volunteers.

Brewer v Director of Public Prosecutions [2004] EWHC 355 (Admin) (2004)

Judicial Review of a conviction relating to drink driving/driving without insurance.


R v Beckley
Murder (stranger killing)

Op Costello
Conspiracy to murder

R v Ben John
Terrorism – the Jane Austen case

R v Seed
Election fraud – police commissioner charged with failing to declare a conviction

R v Brouahin & Ors
Armed robbery – gang attack on pub with guns and machetes

R v Adams & Ors
Kidnap, GBH – abduction torture and blackmail

R v Izzet Eren & Ors
The Wood Green escape case (in which Jermaine Baker was shot dead)

R v Moore
Murder – two-handed, cut throat defence

R v Cunningham
Campaign of rape

R v Culaj
Large scale cocaine trafficking case – Court of Appeal authority on confiscation

R v Simon Price
Heroin/cocaine smuggler sentenced to 28 years

R v Fannon & Ors
Police officer charged with others for perverting the course of justice in a ‘Black Lives Matter’ case

R v Bogdanovic
Drugs supplier ‘to the rich and famous’

R v Hamilton
Murder – multi-handed family feud case

R v Nascimento
Boiler room / carbon credits fraud

R v Adams & Ors
Kidnap GBH, imitation firearms.

R v William Davies
Leading junior in large scale wine investment fraud.

R v Cooper
Murder – street fight on Upper St

R v Napoli
Ponzi fraud – massive fraud on Sri Lankan investors

R v Nascimento
Boiler room fraud – run from UK and Dubai

Operation Eleveden
HMRC officer selling press stories to The Sun

R v Chris Huhne
Perverting the course of justice – junior instructed to represent the then Cabinet Minister, Chris Huhne MP

R v Ali
Defending the principal defendant in a massive Turkish heroin case involving a “supergrass” QE witness

Operation Candlelight
Commended by the Home Secretary and the Director of SOCA for successfully prosecuting a series of drugs cases

Operation Hornblower
Commended by the Home Secretary for securing convictions in the largest people trafficking operation that the Organisation has seen

Financial crime

FCA v Choucair
High profile insider dealing

FSA v Cryne
High-profile market abuse and revenue recognition conspiracy, amongst senior directors of iSoft

SFO v Rolls Royce
Acting for senior management team at Rolls Royce

Pre-charge advice to a senior manager of Rolls Royce investigated for making corrupt payments

SFO v JF/E Ltd
Pre-charge advice to an individual and an arms/munitions company at the centre of Indonesian bribery allegations

R v Ke XU
Leading junior – £100m fraud by theft of trading strategies intellectual property

R v Coates & Kenny
Solicitor / District Judge embezzlement conspiracy

R v Fonseka & Ors
Large scale Ponzi fraud / conspiracy to defraud

HM Customs & Excise v Knight & Or
£60m diversion fraud

R v Zemmel
International shipping fraud / letters of credit

R v Smirnoff & Surmacki
Allegation of conspiracy to commit commercial blackmail

Public & Administrative

Brewer, R (on the application of) v Supreme Court Costs Office
[2006] EWHC 1955 (Admin) (27 July 2006)
Judicial Review of a refusal to pay a defendant’s costs order

Verma, R (on the application of) v Stratford Magistrates’ Court
[2006] EWHC 715 (Admin) (15 March 2006)
Judicial Review of the Crown’s refusal to call test purchase volunteers

Brewer v Director of Public Prosecutions
[2004] EWHC 355 (Admin) (11 February 2004)
Judicial Review of a conviction relating to drink driving/driving without insurance

E (R on the application of) v Serious Fraud Office
2004 proceedings CO/4862/2004
Undertakings of confidentiality

Murray, R (on the application of) v Ministry Of Defence
[1997] EWHC Admin 1136 (15th December, 1997)
Judicial Review of a court-martial finding – ‘fairness requires the giving of reasons’


Inquest into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes
Appeared on behalf of a police officer accused in part of a cover-up

Inquest into the death of baby J

Civil & Commercial Law

Recently acting for a telecommunications company in a multi-million pound cross-jurisdictional claim for breach of contract (settled), for a sailing school (winning outright) and in protracted civil contempt proceedings (settled).

Marketmaker Technology (Beijing) Co Ltd & Ors v CMC Group Plc & Ors
[2009] EWHC 1445 (QB) (24 June 2009)
Civil contempt

VAT & Tax Tribunals

Crown & Cushion Hotels Ltd v Customs & Excise
[2003] EWHC 1639 (Ch) (14 July 2003)

Crown & Cushion Hotels Ltd v HM Commissioners of Customs & Excise (2004)
[2004] EWCA Civ 516 – VAT tribunal appeal

Fast Forward Resources PLC v Revenue & Customs
[2002] UK VAT (Customs) C00223 (15 February 2002)
VAT Tribunal Appeal

ARA v Rose
Before the Special Commissioners for Tax

ARA v Barry
First ever civil trial under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Key contacts

“An approachable and very charismatic advocate in court.” “He is great at trials and his clients love him. ”  Chambers UK 2023:  Crime

“He is very effective and has good judgement. He always gets on really well with clients.”  Chambers UK 2023:  Financial Crime

“A forceful presence in court.”  Legal 500 2023:  Fraud:  Crime

“Robust and reassuring, he is a barrister with a finely tuned tactical brain.” Chambers UK 2022:  Crime

“Excellent on his feet and someone whose  closing speeches are perfection.”  Chambers UK 2022:  Crime

“A superb advocate and trial barrister, he is persuasive and eloquent.”  Legal 500 2022: Crime

“… a finely tuned tactical brain.”  Chambers UK 2022:  Crime

“He is brilliant on his feet with wonderfully smooth oratory and is super confident.”  Chambers UK 2021:  Financial Crime

“He handles tricky situations fantastically.  Calm and reassuring, he works his way through difficult situations.”  Chambers UK 2021:  Crime

“He has a terrific presence in court and is very urbane – friendly but at the same time knows the brief inside and out.”  Chambers UK 2021:  Financial Crime

“He is is a first-rate silk with an undeniable presence in the courtroom. A silk with an elegant and superbly engaging delivery. A calm and soothing manner, reassuring in nature to both lay and professional client.”  Legal 500 2021:  Crime

“He is one of  the most charismatic and charming advocates. Every time he opens his mouth, it’s worth listening.”  Chambers UK 2020:  Financial Crime

“He is one of the most charismatic and charming advocates” Chambers UK 2020: Financial Crime

‘A highly engaging advocate.’ The Legal 500 2020: Crime

“A standout junior who is extremely experienced in all matters of serious crime.” Chambers UK 2019: Crime

“A very intellectual barrister who makes brilliant tactical choices and wins the most impossible cases.” Chambers UK 2018: Crime

“A thoughtful and interesting advocate who really engages the tribunal. He is the equivalent of a silk.” Chambers UK 2018: Financial Crime

“Highly respected for gaming-related litigation”. The Legal 500 2017: Licensing

‘Absolutely first-class and a brilliant cross-examiner.’ Chambers UK 2017: Crime

  • BA (Joint Hons) University of York
  • MA in Law, City University, London
  • Various scholarships 1993-4
  • Visiting Lecturer City University in Law 2010 – 2016
  • Silk 2019

Richard acts as a legal adviser in licensing and disciplinary hearings. He is also experienced in tax tribunal work, inquest work, health and safety prosecutions, and police discipline.


Various scholarships 1993–4

Commended by the Home Secretary for prosecuting a series of people trafficking cases 2011 – 13

Winner, Crime Junior of Year Award in 2014

Legal 500 Top Ranked Junior 2017; band 1(1) 2021 – 2022

Legal 500 Top Ranked Silk; band 1(1) 2021 – 2022

I, Richard Wormald KC, 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 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 – 13.06.2018

Data Protection Policy

Legitimate Interests Assessment

Richard Wormald KC 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.

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