Alistair Richardson


Year of Call



Alistair is Legal 500’s Crime Junior of the Year 2023. He is consistently recommended as a leading practitioner by the Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 legal directories for Crime, Fraud and Financial Crime. He has also been shortlisted as Crime Junior of the Year by Chambers and Partners. His practice focuses on criminal litigation, business crime and data protection. He has particular experience assisting companies undertaking complex and confidential internal investigations.

Alistair has an acute awareness of commercial and reputational implications for his clients. His advocacy and advisory skills are allied with keen tactical and strategic judgment. Alistair regularly advises both companies and individuals facing criminal or regulatory investigation. Alistair is ranked as a Grade 4 advocate by the Crown Prosecution Service.

“He is a calm, persuasive advocate.”

Chambers & Partners 2024

“He is technologically very competent and also efficient. His paperwork is excellent and his level of commitment high.”

Chambers & Partners 2024

“Extremely intelligent and hardworking, he is loved by clients.”

Chambers & Partners 2024

“Alistair is a beautifully calm and persuasive advocate who knows his cases back to front. He demonstrates real integrity and his communication is excellent.”

Legal 500 2024

“An excellent advocate who handles complex and serious cases. He has the full confidence of the court.”

Chambers and Partners 2022

“Alistair is a tremendous barrister. He is patient and has a very high attention to detail, and his measured style of advocacy is very persuasive. Resourceful, energetic and well-prepared; the court listens when he speaks.”

Legal 500 2022

“An extremely bright, talented and hardworking lawyer and advocate.”

Chambers and Partners 2021



  • Corporate manslaughter
  • Cybercrime
  • H&S
  • Homicide
  • Private prosecution
  • POCA, AF & Financial compliance
  • Regulatory
  • Road Traffic
  • Terrorism

Financial Crime

  • Corporate Crime
  • Fraud, bribery & Corruption
  • Internal investigations
  • Sanctions

Public & Civil Law

  • Contempt
  • Human Rights
  • Inquests & Inquiries
  • Judicial Review
  • MEDIA & Information Law (Data protections)
  • Police & Prison Law

Alistair is experienced in acting for individuals in all manner of criminal cases, from violent offences to fraud. His practice has a particular focus on representing corporate and professional defendants in “white collar” financial crime and regulatory proceedings, and prosecuting some of the most serious and sensitive cases of terrorism.

Alistair is regularly instructed by leading defence solicitors to advise and represent bankers, directors and officers of companies, traders and other City professionals facing criminal and regulatory allegations. He has considerable experience of cases involving allegations of market abuse, money laundering, fraud and directors’ disqualification proceedings. Alistair has extensive experience of advising on compliance with section 2 notices and is acutely aware of the sensitivities of corporate bodies facing criminal litigation. He acts regularly for individuals, corporates, law firms and law enforcement in respect of account freezing orders and restraint orders, more detail of which is set out under asset forfeiture below.

Some recent examples of Alistair’s work include acting on behalf of corporates and individuals in cases involving:

  • allegations of cartel offences against a foreign exchange trader relating to the trading of USD/Euros, who was acquitted of all the charges against him;
  • a corporate facing allegations of bribery and terrorism funding, following a parliamentary select committee investigation, which avoided prosecution;
  • cybercrime fraud involving a loss of in excess of £7 million and a network of 237 bank accounts,
  • a FTSE 100 company under ongoing investigation by the SFO arising out of allegations of bribery in a complex foreign jurisdiction,
  • the extent and nature of the new legislation governing lobbying activities in the United Kingdom.

Alistair is also instructed to prosecute some of the most serious, high profile and sensitive terrorism cases. He acted in the prosecution of Ciaran Maxwell, a former Royal Marine. charged with terrorism offences, who acted as a bomb maker for loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland. Alistair prosecuted Ummar Mirza, an Islamic State fighter who, together with his wife and sister, plotted a lone wolf attack in Birmingham. As leading counsel he prosecuted Mohammed Chowdhury, charged with attempting to purchase a hand grenade to throw at a police station. He has particular expertise in the prosecution of extreme right wing terrorists.

Alistair is defending an individual charged with a historic manslaughter, following a death in 2013, arising out of an altercation in 2003.

Alistair has recently appeared on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions for the Cayman Islands, led by David Perry QC, in two appeals from the Court of Appeal to the Privy Council which involved issues of jurisdiction, statutory interpretation, and international comity (DPP v Crawford and Wright v DPP).

Alistair also undertakes work in respect of individuals facing other allegations of criminal conduct, on a private basis.

Alistair recently undertook a review on behalf of the Home Office regarding the tools available to address gang crime

Alistair has particular experience advising in relation to complex business and corporate crime. Alistair is familiar with the demands of large organisations and the strategic implications of litigation and investigations. He also has particular experience with obligations around Suspicious Activity Reports.

Alistair has undertaken a review for a large multi-national corporate, facing allegations of money laundering, concerns relating to terrorist funding and related offences. He was part of a team undertaking an internal investigation of News UK, arising out of the phone hacking allegations, instructed by Linklaters LLP. Alistair was recently instructed by a magic circle law firm to assist a high street bank in respect of an investigation arising out of a series of high-profile criminal investigations.

In addition, Alistair currently acts for two multi-national film production companies, providing advice on data protection, as well as questions of territorial jurisdiction.

Alistair has considerable experience in data protection, media and information law. Alistair has advised corporate clients in respect of their obligations to protect data they hold. He advises on confidential matters involving compromise of information security.

Alistair is instructed by two multi-national film production companies to provide advice on protection of their trademarked material.

Alistair is retained by the Northern and Shell Media Group (including Express Newspapers) to provide pre-publication advice in a number of areas of media law, including defamation, copyright, privacy and confidence and reporting restrictions.

Alistair is retained by another major international publishing house to provide advice in relation to their data protection obligations, and on their ability to challenge warrants seeking to obtain documents which contain journalistic material.

Alistair has a particular interest in cybercrime. He advises on confidential matters involving compromise of information security. He has advised multi-national corporate clients on their obligations in respect of their obligations to protect date they hold.  He has also advised on the obligations that arise and may arise about notification of cyberattacks.

Alistair has particular expertise in the regulation within which corporates and financial institutions can act to protect themselves.

Alistair is available to provide advice on possible remedies available to both prevent and seek redress against cyberattacks.

Alistair regularly advises in respect of issues arising out of asset forfeiture, account freezing orders, and suspicious activity reports. He appears in related proceedings in the Magistrates Court, Crown Court and High Court.

Alistair has recently acted in proceedings:

    • for a firm of solicitors whose business and client accounts had been frozen following a suspicious activity report
    • for a firm of solicitors seeking restraint of funds, owed by a client, which were separately the subject of an account freezing order
    • for an application for the restraint of nearly one million pounds seized in cash by the Metropolitan Police Service under the Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001
    • for a series of applications for account freezing orders arising out of a large scale, cross jurisdictional, investigation into serious organised crime.

Alistair benefited from a period of secondment to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (now the NCA), where he received particular exposure to high-profile and high-value confiscation and civil recovery cases.

  • Serious Fraud Office Panel of Counsel (List B – Proceeds of Crime)
  • Crown Prosecution Service (London) Prosecuting Panel (Grade 4)
  • Crown Prosecution Service Specialist Proceeds of Crime (Grade 3)
  • Crown Prosecution Service Specialist Fraud Prosecutor (Grade 3)
  • Crown Prosecution Service Specialist Serious Casework Prosecutor (Grade 3)
  • MA (Hons), History, St Edmund Hall Oxford
  • PGDL BPP (Merit)
  • BVC, BPP (Distinction)

Before joining Chambers, Alistair spent a year in practice at the Commercial Bar. Alistair is therefore adept at handling commercial interests and considerations within the context of criminal litigation.

Alistair is a member of the Fraud Lawyers Association, the Young Fraud Lawyers’ Association and the South Eastern Circuit.

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