Peter Ratliff


Year of Call



“A fair, highly talented advocate who is always the consummate professional.” – Chambers and Partners

The first port of call for many corporate clients when decisive and speedy advice is what they need the most.” Legal 500

“Approachable, calm, confident and a pleasure to work with.”

Legal 500 

“A tremendous advocate.”

Chambers & Partners

Peter is a highly regarded and sought after practitioner with a busy advisory and court practice. Peter specialises in complex casework, and investigations into business and corporate crime. He regularly advises multinational companies and company directors on matters arising from civil and criminal litigation. He has appeared for the Defence and Prosecution in many high profile criminal cases, and is ranked as a Leading Junior in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500.


In 2020 Peter Ratliff was appointed Junior Treasury Counsel.

Recent notable cases include:

  • Defence of GSK Plc in respect of DOJ / SFO investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption
  • Defence of former CEO of a major bank in FCA proceedings
  • Al-Jundi & El-Abboud – prosecution of two men who murdered a 71 year old woman to secure her multi-million pound estate (here)
  • Damien Bendall – murder of three children and the defendant’s pregnant partner (here)
  • Zahid Younis – double murder by man who kept the bodies of victims in his freezer (here)
  • Hemissi & Others – execution of leader of international OCG by Swedish hitmen (here)
  • Dawuda-Wodu & Others – ‘devil killer’ double murder and body dismemberment (here)
  • Melaku & Others – murder of NHS worker David Gomoh during lockdown (here)
  • Carl Beech – prosecution of Operation Midland Westminster child abuse accuser ‘Nick’ for perverting the course of justice (here)
  • Mahmood & Others – prosecution of ‘Line of Duty’ Met. Police Officer for membership of an OCG (here)
  • Shilling & Others – largest UK importation of automatic weapons (here).


Peter has a breadth of experience of advising on corporate criminal matters.

Peter represented News UK in respect of investigations into phone hacking and corruption. He is currently instructed by a leading American law firm to represent a FTSE 100 listed corporate suspect in a high-profile SFO investigation.

Peter is currently instructed by the SFO to advise in respect of two major corporate investigations.

Peter has particular experience of advising and representing individual suspects and parties to SFO investigations pre-charge.

Peter has specific expertise in protecting the rights of companies to legal professional privilege, commercially sensitive, journalistic source and private data in circumstances where they are the subject of investigation. He has represented major UK Plcs in this regard. Peter represented a well-known firm of solicitors in resisting the execution of a warrant which purported to permit the Metropolitan Police to seize notes of conferences and proofs of evidence created between the solicitors and clients and witnesses.

Peter has extensive experience defending allegations of fraud brought by the Serious Fraud Office, HMRC, the Department of Trade and Industry.

Peter recently secured the acquittal after trial of a defendant charged in respect of Operation Incubus, a significant investigation into tobacco smuggling. He secured the only acquittal of a defendant charged in respect of the DWP’s largest investigation into fraud on the benefits system.

Peter was instructed as sole Junior in respect of the SFO’s widespread and complex investigation into criminality at Torex Retail Plc, and advised as to corporate liability, the appropriate scope of the investigation and charges. Peter was led in the two subsequent trials which resulted in the conviction for offences of conspiracy to defraud of 5 of 6 company directors.

Peter was Junior Counsel for the Crown in the prosecution of the head of the UK’s policing project in Afghanistan for offences of conspiracy to fraud relating to the provision of equipment to the Afghan police force.

Peter has experience of cases involving the freezing of assets and forfeiture proceedings, and has acted for the Defence and Prosecution in many high value confiscation hearings.

Peter has considerable experience in representing the Defence and Prosecution in high profile and serious cases.  He is currently a Junior Treasury Counsel.

He was instructed, together with Duncan Penny QC, by the Director of Public Prosecutions of  the Cayman Islands to prosecute the country’s first Premier for offences of misconduct in a public office.

In R v. Shilling and Others, Peter conducted the successful prosecution of defendants charged in respect of the largest importation of firearms into the United Kingdom.

In R v. Gomez-Remolina, Peter was junior in the prosecution of a brutal double-murder by an international jewel thief.

In R v. Ammber Rafiq Peter successfully defended a young woman charged with encouraging terrorism.

Peter advised the CPS in respect of the prosecution of suspects in respect of the investigation into the Hillsborough disaster.

Peter is currently instructed to prosecute a series of cases involving the hacking and blackmail of TalkTalk Plc and other corporate entities.

Other cases include the successful defences of a prison officer for offences of conspiracy to supply drugs, and of a well-known music producer accused of historic rape, false imprisonment, robbery and possession of a firearm. Peter prosecuted a member of  a proscribed extremist organisation for an assault on Baroness Warsi.  Peter was Junior Counsel for the Crown in the prosecution of a defendant for the murder of his wife for financial gain, and the prosecution of two men for the execution-style killing of another.

Peter was Junior for the Crown in the re-trial of Barry George, accused of the murder of the television presenter Jill Dando, and has defended the musician Peter Doherty for offences of drug possession arising from an investigation into the death of a young woman associated with him, dangerous driving and other offences.

Peter was instructed to represent the Blue musician Lee Ryan in respect of offences committed following Mr. Ryan’s appearance on the television programme “Celebrity Big Brother”.

Peter has experience of and interest in cases involving cybercrime. He has advised on the misuse of restricted computer systems, and has experience of using and presenting evidence relating to many of the commercial auditing systems used by complex and secure computer networks. His current caseload includes the criminal use of Bitcoins.

Peter represents a number of media clients, including Universal Pictures UK and the Northern and Shell Media Group, and has expertise in advising on libel, defamation, privacy and copyright.

Peter represented the interests of a number of individuals in respect of the investigations into corruption of public officials (Operation Elvedon) and telephone hacking (Operation Weeting). He has particular experience in dealing with special and excluded material sought by prosecuting authorities, including journalistic source material.

  • Junior Treasury Counsel
  • Serious Fraud Office Panel of Counsel (List B)
  • The Attorney General’s Panel of Approved Prosecutors
  • Crown Prosecution Service (London) Grade 4

Member of the Fraud Lawyers Association.

Peter is qualified to accept instructions direct from corporate entities under the Bar Council’s Public Access Rules.

University of Sheffield, 2.1, Law LLB (Hons).

To view Peter Ratliff’s Privacy Notice, please click here.

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