Katherine Hardcastle


Year of Call



“She is absolutely committed and reliable, probably one of the best juniors of her generation. She is knowledgeable and has great judgment as well as being a reassuring presence trusted by bench and Bar.”

Legal 500 (2023)

“Extremely hard working. She has encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and court procedure. She can fix all problems.”

Chambers & Partners (2023)

“Full of humility and super nice to deal with. A very clever lawyer and great advocate… definitely one to watch.”

Chambers & Partners (2022)

“Practical, responsive and phenomenally hard-working.”

Chambers & Partners (2022)

Katherine accepts instructions in all of chambers’ areas of practice but specialises in corporate crime and investigations. She regularly appears in her own right, as well as working with more senior members of the Bar.

  • Corporate Crime Junior of the Year, Legal 500 Bar Awards 2022
  • Leading junior, Tier 1, Business and Regulatory Crime (Including Global Investigations), Legal 500
  • Leading junior, Band 1, Financial Crime: Corporates, Chambers & Partners
  • Leading junior, Band 2, Financial Crime, Chambers & Partners

Katherine is appointed to the SFO A Panel and the Attorney General’s B Panel. She contributes to Blackstone’s Criminal Practice, Millington and Sutherland Williams on the Proceeds of Crime and is a member of the editorial board for Lloyds Law Reports: Financial Crime.


Katherine has an enviable place in the market, seemingly being instructed in some capacity on all of the major white-collar enforcement matters in London. A dream to work with, presenting with gravitas to clients for the headline issues and working incredibly collegiately with all team members on the detail. Katherine is not a star of the future – she is already a star.“ Legal 500 (2022)

Diligent, approachable and incredibly hard-working… one of the brightest juniors at the Bar and a fantastic lawyer.” Chambers & Partners (2021)

She is the complete package, combining exceptional legal knowledge and ability with a manner that allows her to win the confidence of team members, clients and opponents in equal measure; a star.” Legal 500 (2021)

The variety of work she’s seen at her level is extraordinary – she’s a very valuable member of the team.” Chambers & Partners (2021)

“An exceptional work ethic and very practical in her advice.” Chambers & Partners (2021)

“Incredibly responsive, bright and user-friendly … a real star in the making.” Chambers & Partners (2021)

“Very bright, a good academic lawyer and a good advocate, she is just a delight.” Chambers & Partners (2020)

“Hugely approachable, always available and a real pleasure to deal with.” Chambers & Partners (2019)

“Destined to be one of the leading corporate crime barristers – she has an incredible intellect and exceptional work ethic.” Legal 500 (2019)

“Regularly led by the top silks in the biggest cases.”  Legal 500 (2018)


Katherine regularly advises on matters concerning:

  • Fraud
  • Bribery and corruption
  • Sanctions
  • Money laundering
  • Confiscation
  • Extradition

She has particular experience in representing listed companies. She is currently instructed in a number of major SFO, HMRC and Insolvency Service investigations for corporate clients, including FTSE-100, 250 and AIM-listed companies and companies held privately by large funds. She has unrivalled expertise at the Bar in advising defendant companies in Deferred Prosecution Agreement negotiations and proceedings.

In addition to representing corporates, Katherine has advised and represented individual officers and senior employees of companies in major investigations and trial proceedings across international borders. She has extensive experience in representing individuals (traders and brokers) working in the financial sector. Katherine has recently been retained in relation to several investigations concerning the sports industry and the gaming and gambling industries. Katherine also been retained to advise in connection with the criminal aspects of several large-scale competition investigations, including in relation to class-actions.

Katherine’s notable cases include:

  • Acting for P&O Ferries in the resolution of criminal investigations into the dismissal of employees in March 2022 (led by David Perry QC)
  • Acting for Glencore plc in the SFO and concurrent DoJ investigations (led by Clare Montgomery QC)
  • Acting for Amec Foster Wheeler in the tenth SFO Deferred Prosecution Agreement (led by David Perry QC)
  • Acting for G4S plc in the SFO’s eighth Deferred Prosecution Agreement  (led by Clare Montgomery QC)
  • Acting for the CPS in R v Barton [2020] EWCA Crim 575, the leading case on dishonesty in the criminal law (led by David Perry QC)
  • Acting for Rolls-Royce plc in its Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the SFO (led by David Perry QC and Miranda Hill)
  • Acting in appeals against conviction and sentencing arising from Euribor and LIBOR trials (led by Tim Owen QC and Jonathan Crow QC respectively)
  • Acting for Soma Oil in respect of an investigation by the SFO (led by David Perry QC)
  • Acting for several high value traders on London’s oil derivatives market in respect of an investigation by the City of London Police (led by David Perry QC)

Katherine is frequently asked to provide ad hoc advice in respect of criminal investigations in the United States and other common law jurisdictions, in cases raising parallel points of law or issues of territoriality. She has particular experience of dealing with extradition issues in this context. She is also regularly instructed in relation to litigation strategy in overseas jurisdictions. Her recent work includes:

  • Acting for Malcolm Brinded (Shell Executive) on criminal proceedings in Italy (unled)
  • Acting for Goldman Sachs on global litigation strategy in the 1MDB “scandal” (led by David Perry QC)

Katherine has significant experience of judicial review and civil proceedings relating to the criminal justice system, especially in cases concerning corporate crime.

Her notable cases includes:

  • A challenge to an attempted prosecution of a former director of Sports Direct (led by David Perry QC)
  • A challenge to the seizure of US$20 million by the City of London Police from traders on London’s oil derivatives market (led by David Perry QC)
  • A challenge by Soma Oil & Gas to the continuation of an SFO investigation (led by David Perry QC)
  • A challenge  to the lawfulness of section 2 notices (led by Helen Malcolm QC)
  • Acting for Liberty (as intervener) in a Supreme Court challenge to the legality of police “stop and search” powers under section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (led by Alex Bailin QC)

Katherine’s previous civil work includes:

  • Acting for the SFO in a £300 million damages claims brought by the Tchenguiz brothers, following an SFO investigation (led by James Eadie QC, Pushpinder Saini QC and Charlie Graham QC)
  • Acting for the Metropolitan Police in relation to the ‘undercover police officer’ claims (led by Jonathan Hall QC)

Katherine also has significant experience of proceedings for criminal contempt of court and was instructed for the Attorney General in the series of cases prosecuting breaches of the injunction protecting the identities of the murderers of James Bulger.

Katherine has experience of advising corporates and individuals on ‘cybercrime’ issues. She has particular interest in crypto-assets and blockchain and the regulatory implications of these technologies. She has advised on data protection offences and on the commission of offences online via social media.

Katherine is regularly instructed to provide advice and representation in criminal matters.  Katherine acted for the Director of Service Prosecutions in the trial of Sgt Alexander Blackman (‘Marine A’), led by David Perry QC, and in the subsequent appeal following referral by the CCRC, led by Richard Whittam QC.

She has been instructed to advise the Director of Public Prosecutions for Mauritius and the Director of Public Prosecutions for the Cayman Islands. She is regularly instructed to advise HM Government on appeals to the Privy Council.

Katherine has a particular interest in inquests involving the criminal justice system and in cases where criminal proceedings have been completed or are in prospect.

Katherine acted for the family of Cheryl James, the trainee who died at Deepcut Barracks in 1995, in the 2016 inquest. She was also instructed by Liberty in the case of Sean Benton, another recruit who died at Deepcut Barracks in 1995, in the proceedings to secure a second inquest. (Led by Alison Foster QC.)

Katherine co-represented the sisters of Anne-Marie Ellement, a Royal Military Policewoman who committed suicide, having been subject to a campaign of bullying following her allegation of rape against two colleagues.

Katherine also has experience of acting for families in prison inquests and subsequent civil claims.


  • International Double-Jeopardy and Deferred Prosecution Agreements, Criminal Law Review 12, 2018 (with Karl Laird)
  • Criminal Dimensions, The UK Supreme Court Yearbook 2017
  • Contributor, Blackstone’s Criminal Practice 
  • Contributor, EU Law and Criminal Practice (Oxford University Press)
  • Extra-territoriality and the Serious Crime Act 2007, New Law Journal, (August 2012)
  • MA (Hons), History, Emmanuel College, Cambridge
  • MPhil, History, Emmanuel College, Cambridge
  • GDL, Oxford Brookes University
  • LPC, BPP

To view Katherine Hardcastle’s Privacy Notice, please click here.

Notable cases

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