Details of practice

Simon Farrell QC “a silver tongued advocate and exceptionally bright lawyer” “tenacious and creative in his approach” is “held in high esteem by peers and clients alike for the outstanding quality of his criminal and civil work” (Chambers 2016 Guide to the UK Bar). Simon’s skills set is unusual in that he is an excellent advocate who is experienced in both civil and criminal litigation particularly where fraud, conspiracy, misfeasance, breach of contract and misrepresentation are involved.

Simon is acknowledged as an expert in conspiracy, corporate crime, commercial and tax fraud, bribery, corruption, money laundering and asset recovery. He also has expertise in international cross border commercial disputes.

Recent criminal cases include the successful defences of a City Broker at Southwark Crown Court who faced charges of tax cheat arising out of his alleged involvement in a film partnership tax relief scheme, and a solicitor who was alleged to have been dishonestly involved in a £50 million commercial property mortgage fraud. Simon is currently instructed to defend in a number of fraud cases including a multi-million pound commercial property fraud and a tax cheat concerning unpaid income tax.

Simon has extensive experience of VAT, duty and tax cases in the High Court, Crown Court, and the First and Upper Tier Tax Tribunals and frequently advises at an early stage during the course of HMRC civil and criminal tax investigations through to trial. He has appeared in a number of civil and criminal MTIC (VAT) fraud cases in the FTT and the Crown Court in which the tax losses have exceeded £500 million.

Simon deals with a wide range of commercial/civil and criminal issues arising in High Court, arbitral, Crown Court and Appellate proceedings in his areas of expertise. He is a regular in the Court of Appeal and has appeared in the Supreme Court. He is frequently consulted in cases with an international dimension including those involving commercial disputes, extradition and mutual assistance.

Simon is an expert in restraint, receivership and civil/cash recovery proceedings under Part V of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and in cases concerning unlawful searches. He has provided expert testimony which has been used in foreign and domestic proceedings regarding UK and international legal obligations concerning money laundering.

On the civil side Simon advised in an aspect of the BITEL commercial litigation involving the disputed ownership of a Kyrgyzstan mobile telephone company and advised in a contractual dispute arising out of the construction of the Meydan race track in Dubai.

He is currently instructed in a number of ongoing civil cases concerning the miss-selling by the leading banks of derivatives contracts and Interest Rate Hedging Products (IRHPs) to small and medium businesses. He is also dealing with several cases concerning planning and noise nuisance issues arising out of the building of “super basements” in Kensington and Chelsea.

Simon has also led successful prosecutions at Southwark Crown Court in a multi-million pound boiler room share scam fraud and against a cyber-gang who used sophisticated technology to override the computers of major banks to steal millions of pounds. He is currently instructed to prosecute a case involving international bribery and corruption.

Simon has been appointed to sit as a Recorder at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) and as a Deputy Deemster (judge) by the Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man.

He is the co-author of several books concerning fraud, money laundering and confiscation published by Oxford University Press.

Directory recommendations

‘Held in high esteem by peers and clients alike for the outstanding quality of his criminal and civil work.’ ‘Judges respond well to him – he retains credibility even when arguing difficult points.’  Chambers UK 2016: Financial Crime

“A fount of knowledge on proceeds of crime,” he is both “tenacious and creative in his approach.” “He’s a very experienced, silver-tongued advocate.”  Chambers UK 2016: POCA Work

Highly regarded for POCA matters as well as civil and criminal fraud’. The Legal 500 2015 Fraud 

‘A veteran advocate whose practice covers a wide range of serious criminal cases.’ ‘He is very strong on complex legal arguments and can handle high-profile cases to a very high standard.’ Chambers UK 2015: Crime

‘Judges give him credence because of his reputation in serious fraud. They ask his opinion and listen to what he says.’ Chambers UK 2015: Financial Crime

‘He really knows his courts and is really tenacious in achieving his aims.’ Chambers UK 2015: POCA Work

‘His expertise spans tax fraud, bribery, corruption, money laundering and confiscation.’ The Legal 500 2014: Fraud

“Very highly regarded”.  “He is very clever, and good at understanding the concepts and issues relevant to the case.”  Chambers UK 2014:  Crime

“A very good advocate and an exceptionally bright lawyer when it comes to financial crime.”  “He’s very diligent and very hard-working.”  Chambers UK 2014:  Fraud

“Highly experienced at dealing with POCA matters.”  “He is thorough, highly personable and engaging with clients, and he has good presence in the courtroom.”  Chambers UK 2014:  POCA

“fine strategic insight and incredible enthusiasm … very confident … highly skilled … lively presence in the court room”.  Chambers UK 2013

“commanding and controlled presence in the court room”The Legal 500 2012

“Delights those that instruct him as “not only is he personable and approachable, but he also delivers work on time and is extremely expert in all he does” Chambers UK 2012: Fraud

“Simon Farrell QC has a mixed criminal and civil fraud practice, and is a man whose profile in POCA work is on the rise.” Chambers UK 2012 POCA work

“An expert in commercial fraud, confiscation and money laundering who is increasingly in demand for his expertise in relation to VAT missing trader frauds.” Chambers UK 2011: Fraud

“… strong in confiscation proceedings” The Legal 500 2010: Crime

“Simon Farrell QC supplements his fraud and Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) work with high-level general criminal matters, which include murder, drug importation and armed robbery cases in the Crown Court and beyond”. Chambers UK 2012: Crime

Education/professional qualifications

BA (Hons) (Cantab), MA (Cantab)
Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University
Diploma in Law (City University)
Hardwicke Scholar Lincolns Inn
Thomas Moore Award, Lincolns Inn
Kings School, Canterbury


Crown Court Recorder (2007)
Member of Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) Asset Recovery Committee (2008)
Attorney General’s A list of prosecuting counsel in serious fraud cases (2002)
Serious Fraud Office list of approved Queen’s Counsel (2009)
Appointed part-time Deemster, Isle of Man (2012)
Appointed to the SFO Prosecution List (2013)
Appointed to the SFO PoCA List (2013)


Money Laundering Law and Regulation (OUP) (2011)

Guide to the Fraud Act 2006 (OUP 2007)

Co-author “Asset Recovery: Criminal Confiscation and Civil Recovery” ed Owen and Smith (Butterworths 2004 and 2nd Edition 2007)

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Butterworths 2003)

CBA response to Government proposals for new law of fraud 2005

Article European Lawyer Magazine June 2005 Implementation in European states of the EC Money Laundering Directives

Assisted in drafting the Criminal Bar’s response to government proposals for civil seizure of criminal assets in the High Court

Other information

Assists the Criminal Bar Association in its preparation of responses to government legislation

Regularly gives lectures on the law of criminal fraud, confiscation and money laundering for and on behalf of major law firms and legal publishers

Chair of the CBA’s working party on the law of Corruption. Gave evidence to Parliamentary Committee on Corruption Chaired by Lord Slynn on behalf of CBA in 2004

Chair of the CBA working party on the radical reform to the law of fraud in 2005

Direct access

Instructing Simon Farrell Direct

Simon 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.  Simon is also authorised by the Bar Standards Board to conduct litigation.

In addition Simon 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.