Ranked as a Star Individual in both General and Financial Crime by the legal directories, Duncan is described as a “fantastically determined advocate of great gravitas”. “He is a class act and a very bright man” with “excellent client handling”, who is “very strong technically”. He “exudes confidence, and is a determined yet persuasive advocate.”
“He is a great strategist and excellent with clients too. A formidable advocate.” Chambers & Partners
“His advocacy and manner with clients is superb.” Chambers & Partners
“Meticulous in his preparation and his strategic planning is unmatched.” Chambers & Partners
“A very passionate lawyer, who is very, very clever and excellent with clients.” Legal 500
“Greatly respected in the market for his aptitude in financial crime, he frequently undertakes cases being fought at the top end of the judicial system.” Legal 500
Duncan has expertise in all aspects of the criminal law including corruption, high-end commercial and banking fraud cases; cartel investigations and corporate manslaughter. Recent work includes the representation of two bankers, each of whom were acquitted, in separate trials in the Euribor proceedings; the first prosecution to trial of a corporate charged with corruption (in which he represented the company Chairman); the first major cartel trial to go to a jury; the prosecution of Hashem Abedi, the brother of the Manchester Arena bomber; the prosecution for corruption of the former Premier of the Cayman Islands and the election petition for bribery and corruption brought against the former Mayor of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. He defended in the BA/Virgin ‘price-fixing’ case and represented one of the defendants charged in the phone hacking trial. Duncan prosecuted the first case under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 and the recent trial involving the death of seven year old Harvey Tyrell involving gross negligence manslaughter and health and safety offending.
Duncan regularly acts in an advisory capacity for private clients. He has, for example, been instructed by a bank to conduct an investigation into and report on allegations of corruption; advised high net-worth individuals in connection with allegations of corruption made in matrimonial proceedings; and has appeared in and advised in respect of a number of private prosecutions. He conducts forfeiture applications, restraint proceedings, worldwide freezing orders and other criminal aspects of civil and commercial litigation. He is currently retained by the SFO in an ongoing investigation into the affairs of a high profile company. He has also advised the CMA, OFWAT and OFCOM.
He has appeared in many cases in the Supreme Court and, formerly, in the House of Lords, including as Leading Counsel. Duncan regularly appears in the Court of Appeal and as the former First Senior Treasury Counsel he has advised Her Majesty’s Attorney General in respect of criminal matters. He also regularly appears in the Divisional Court in judicial review proceedings issued in connection with the investigation and prosecution of crime or regulatory matters.
Duncan was First Senior Treasury Counsel between 2018-2020.
- First Senior Treasury Counsel, 2019
- Silk, 2014
- Senior Treasury Counsel, 2013 to date
- First Junior Treasury Counsel, 2011-2013
- Junior Treasury Counsel 2006-2011
- Standing Counsel to the DTI, 2004-2006
- Member of the Fraud Lawyers Association.
- University of Oxford, BA (Hons).