Details of practice

Simon Farrell QC has been described in Chambers UK Guide to the Bar 2019 as “a class performer” and “a Rolls Royce practitioner”. He has been in Silk for 16 years.

Much of his work is now international concerning bribery, corruption, money laundering and the proceeds of crime.

Simon is an excellent advocate, inspirational team leader and skilled case strategist.

He is experienced in both commercial and criminal litigation and frequently advises banks and corporates during investigations particularly when fraud, bribery, corruption, money laundering, conspiracy, misfeasance, breach of contract and misrepresentation and tax are involved.

Simon is one the UK’s leading money laundering and proceeds of crime QC’s. He has appeared in defining cases in these areas in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

Simon deals with commercial/civil and criminal cases arising in High Court, arbitral, Crown Court and Appellate proceedings both at home and abroad. He has recently worked in Dubai, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and the Kingdom of Brunei where he was called to the Bar in February 2019 to represent two High Court Judges accused of corruption and money laundering.

Recent criminal cases include securing the successful acquittals of a commercial property developer accused of fraud and corruption, a City Broker 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 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 VAT fraud cases in the FTT and the Crown Court in which the tax losses have exceeded £500 million.

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 also instructed by the SFO in London.

He is the co-author of several books concerning fraud, the Fraud Act 2006, money laundering and confiscation published by Oxford University Press.

Directory and client recommendations

“A class performer.” Chambers UK 2019: Financial Crime

“He’s a very competent and stylish barrister who has an excellent grasp of the overall strategy required in a case.” Chambers UK 2019: Financial Crime

“Simon is a great courtroom advocate.” Chambers UK 2019: POCA

“He is very good on the technical stuff – when it comes to POCA matters that’s invaluable.” Chambers UK 2019: POCA

“You have shown your fantastic and exceptional advocacy which has proved your reputation as a well-respected QC in your field. During the case I have learned lot about you as an individual – you have many qualities but above all you are a very kind, caring and humane man!  I recall our meetings in the morning at HQ when you used to ask me ‘how are you, just try to relax a little ‘ and my reply was ‘I am fine but please get me out of this mess’ which you certainly have done so with blessing of God and your help.  I wish to continue our relationship and remain good friends in the future”   Thanks expressed to Simon by a client after a long trial in 2017.

“He has a first-class mind and is brilliant at developing complex legal submissions.” Chambers UK 2018: Financial Crime

“Has considerable experience in asset tracing and confiscation matters.”  Chambers UK 2018: Financial Crime

“A Rolls-Royce practitioner who does a lot of POCA work up to Supreme Court level.”  Chambers UK 2018: POCA work

“A forceful advocate with a strong courtroom presence”.   The Legal 500 2017: Fraud

“His most impressive quality is his ability to pare down POCA into simple and understandable points”.  The Legal 500 2017: Proceeds of Crime and Asset Forfeiture

“very solid and has a good client manner and is thorough in his approach. Chambers UK 2017: Financial Crime

“he is very personable and a really good advocate”.  Chambers UK 2017: POCA Work

‘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


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 and is authorised by the BSB to conduct litigation. This means that members of the public can instruct Simon at an early stage and he can conduct the whole case from start to finish with a legal team put together by him. This has obvious advantages to clients in terms of saving costs and so far as focus and consistency of case strategy is concerned.

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 Clerks Dean Brown and Eddie Holland will be pleased to assist with any enquiries.

Please call them on 020 7400 6400 to discuss.