7 Harrington Street Chambers

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Mr Ian Whitehurst

Call: 1994

Authorised to accept Public Access work

Practice Areas


  • Fraud


  • Regulatory Law
  • Serious Organised Crime
  • Confiscation
  • Fraud
  • Money Laundering
  • Homicide
  • Serious Sexual Offences

Experienced criminal advocate whose expertise in organised crime includes gang-related homicide, drug conspiracies, corruption, conspiracy to supply firearms and armed robbery. He also takes on cases concerning violent crimes and public disorder. He is equally adept at handling both prosecution and defence work.

Strengths: "Ian is a real fighter, but smart with it too."

Recent work: Acted for the prosecution in R v Thomas McDonough. This concerned death by dangerous driving and whether car modifications impaired the defendant's ability to drive properly.

(Chambers and Partners 2018)

The Regions (Bar), Financial Crime
Band 2

"Instructed in a raft of financial crime cases, such as those involving allegations of Ponzi schemes and advanced fee fraud. He also handles broader criminal cases such as those concerning allegations of homicide and sexual offences. His experience spans work as both a prosecutor and defence counsel."

Strengths: "An approachable and practical criminal counsel."

Recent work: Acted for the defence in R v Matthews, a fraudulent trading case arising from the government's Green Deal energy scheme.

(Chambers and Partners 2018)


"Experienced criminal advocate whose expertise in organised crime includes gang-related homicide, drug offences, corruption and armed robbery. He also takes on cases concerning sexual and violent crimes, and is equally adept at handling both prosecution and defence work.

Recent Work: Appealed in the High Court against a young man's conviction for assault.

(Chambers and Partner 2017) (crime)

"Instructed in a raft of financial crime cases, such as those involving allegations of Ponzi schemes and advanced fee fraud. He also handles broader criminal cases such as those involving allegations of homicide and sexual offence."

Strengths: "A very good performer. He is fearless and defendants love him. He will get stuck in but knows when not to lock horns with witnesses. A very good tactician."

(Chambers and Partner 2017) ( financial crime)

 "Has a long history of prosecuting and defending serious criminal offences before the court. His remit covers gang-related homicides, drug conspiracies and armed robberies, among other matters"

Recent Work: He was instructed as junior defence counsel in a case concerning the murder of two policemen.

(Chambers and Partners 2016)

"Highly experienced in serious organised crime cases" (Legal 500 2016) Ranked: Tier 1 

"Acts as a Grade 4 prosecutor and criminal defence advocate. He specialises in cases concerning sexual offences and attempted murder. Expertise: "He is a real fighter but smart with it"  Recent Work: Defended a woman accused of the attempted murder of her husband's pregnant ex-lover."  (Chambers and Partners 2015) (Crime)

" A noted criminal law practitioner with extensive expertise in fraud and financial crime matters. He has extensive expertise in missing trader intra-community (MTIC) fraud, tax fraud, false accounting and banking fraud". Expertise: "He has a very good client manner, and he has real strength in terms of his ability to tease out the issues of the case." (Chambers and Partners 2015) (Financial Crime)

"He is not afraid to get his hands dirty" (Legal 500 2015) Ranked: tier 1

"Ian Whitehurst - An asset to any defence team" (Legal 500 2014)


  • Financial Remedies & Confiscation Proceedings
  • Freezing Orders & Injunctive Relief
  • Public Interest Immunity Applications

Ian specialises mainly in commercial fraud which includes restraint and confiscation proceedings for individuals and companies. Through his work in these fields as well as his injunctive experience in the civil jurisdiction, he can provide astute professional advice on all aspects of financial remedy work which involves protecting the rights of interested third parties during confiscation and restraint proceedings.

Furthermore, through his extensive experience in dealing with serious sexual offences in the criminal courts, he is ideally placed to advise local authorities and other interested parties on issues of public interest immunity and how it applies at the inter-face between criminal and family litigation.

Ian is ranked as a leading junior in crime and financial crime in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners current directories.

Books & Articles

Ian has written several articles on the issues of financial crime and the criminal justice system which are listed below.

Data Protection Day – Enforcement of corporate Crime – Corporate Crime Enforcement in light of the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

Pension Liberation Fraud: New Kid on the Block

Chatrooms and 21st Century Insider Dealing

A practical guide to POCA & unused material: a defence perspective

Is a Chequebook better than a defence statement?

Law and Democracy

A taxing time ahead: the reality behind the rhetoric

The Future of Bitcoin (with Nigel Power QC)


Ian has co-written the following articles:

BitTorrent Bites Back

Pension Liberation Fraud: New Kid On The Block Chat Rooms & 21st Century Insider Dealing



Whitehurst, Ian


Areas of Practice


Disclosure Counsel for Serious Fraud Office (SFO);

Level 4 Prosecutor (Crown Prosecution Service);

Specialist Rape Panel (Crown Prosecution Service);

Licensed Advocate Isle of Man (2012);


Recommendations: Chambers & Partners UK Bar Directory 2013 & 2014 (Fraud - Band 1); Crime (Northern Bar) –Band 3); Legal 500 2012 & 2013 (Fraud)



University of Hull LLB (Hons) (1993)



  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association
  • Financial Services Lawyers Association
  • Fraud Advisory Panel
  • Northern Circuit

Financial Crime:

Ian has extensive experience in all matters relating to fraud and other financial misconduct in particular MTIC Vat Fraud, Tax Fraud, Money Laundering, False Accounting and Banking Fraud. He also has a detailed knowledge of all aspects of confiscation law and has advised individuals, companies and prosecuting authorities in this area as well as lecturing and writing articles in this field. In recent times, Ian has developed an advisory practice in relation to aspects of tax law and the penal consequences for companies and individuals involved in aggressive tax avoidance schemes.

Ian has lectured to the CPS, SFO & BIS (Govt Dept of Business, Innovation and Skills) in relation to the Proceeds of Crime Act & Ancillary Relief & Third Party Rights in confiscation cases.

Off Shore Work:

Due to his work in complex fraud and serious organised crime cases in recent years, Ian has on numerous occasions advised upon cases with a multi- jurisdictional element especially in off shore tax territories, Europe and the Middle East. In addition, he was a prosecution junior in the high profile prosecution of the Attorney General in the Isle of Man in relation to perjury allegations.

Trading Standards, Intellectual Property & Data Protection Crime:

Ian has defended extensively in this field and has a particular flair for cases with a technical angle. He successfully defended in the Filesoup case relating to online file sharing by way of BitTorrent as well as representing an individual facing a private prosecution from a large US multi-national in relation to trade mark offences. The growth of organised crime and their involvement in this type of offending has seen Ian represent a defendant involved in the wholesale copying and distribution of counterfeit electronic goods.

He is also the co-author of “Private Prosecutions: The Foundations Are Laid” and has advised companies previously on their right to pursue private prosecutions.

In relation to data protections, Ian was involved in one of their first ever prosecutions brought by the Information Commissioner’s Office in relation to the selling of customers’ personal data to third parties.

Financial Regulation:

Ian is experienced in advising companies and individuals on issues of compliance, money laundering regulations and fiduciary duties of directors and the consequences arising for directors through disqualification. He has advised in relation to HMRC tax investigations and has worked as part of a team that negotiated a multi- million pound civil settlement on behalf of the company. Recently, Ian has been instructed to deal with civil related POCA proceedings relating to alleged corporate misfeasance on behalf of company directors arising from an intellectual property dispute.

Serious Organised Crime:

Ian has spent many years defending and prosecuting serious organised crime most notably gang related homicide, large scale drug conspiracies, corruption cases, conspiracy to supply firearms and armed robberies. Through exposure to this type of work, he has developed an extensive knowledge of disclosure, covert surveillance, jurisdictional issues and an intimate knowledge of the principles surrounding the court’s discretionary powers to exclude evidence and stay proceedings.

General Crime:

In conjunction with his organised crime practice, Ian has defended in numerous cases involving homicide, serious sexual offences, large scale public disorder incidents and incidents relating to the use of extreme unlawful violence.

Ian has lectured on proceeds of crime, police powers and the Medicines Act legislation to professional lay clients alike.

Ian also practices from 6 Pump Court, London

Notable Cases

Ian is currently instructed in the following cases:

  • R v C - advising on murder conviction (joint enterprise) (not trial counsel).
  • R v B - advising on abuse of process (based on delay) in relation to confiscation proceedings (not trial counsel).
  • R v SAB - Instructed to prosecute £1million fraud. Linked to ongoing civil proceedings in the High Court.
  • R v H - Defending main defendant in a drugs conspiracy involved the supply of 300 kilograms of cocaine throughout the North West of England.
  • R v MH - Defending in large scale conspiracy to supply Class A, B and C drugs throughout the North of England and overseas.
  • Re XYZ - Advising company in relation to instituting proceedings in the High Court for civil contempt.
  • R v G - Prosecuting a section 18 wounding and allegations of perverting the course of justice arising from a dispute between rival OCGs.
  • R v H - Advising on appeal against conviction for main defendant involved in large scale importation of Class A drugs from overseas (led junior/ not original trial counsel).
  • Re D - Advising local authority in a health and safety prosecution where contractor severely injured with life changing injuries.
  • R v S - Instructed to defend man accused of multiple marital rapes.
  • R v D - Prosecuting case involving allegations of child cruelty on the defendants own child.
  • R v M - Instructed to defend in poca case involving third party rights and complex issues of chancey, trusts and tax planning law.
  • Re AA - Instructed to appear in Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal proceedings in contested case relating to alleged financial malpractice by the partnership of the law firm.
  • R v H - Instructed as led junior counsel for the defence to advise on appeal against conviction in large scale drugs conspiracy involving issues of material non disclosure in the proceedings.
  • R v AA - Instructed to represent defendant in large scale trade mark fraud confiscation proceedings.
  • R v S - Instructed to prosecute a case involving the use of IEDs in relation to organised crime activity.
  • R v JA - Instructed to defend in regulatory prosecution relating to the scale of television boxdes pre programmed to circumvent copyright law.
  • R v AA - Instructed to prosecute on behalf of local authority a business and company directors accused of numerous trade mark and copyright offences.
  • R v PP - Representing a defendant in relation to POCA proceedings where by the prosecution are attempting to recoup additional monies from him 7 years after the event due to an increase in his net worth.
  • R v DD - Instructed to represent an intervening third party in contested confiscation proceedings arising out of a large scale drugs conspiracy in the Crown Court.
  • R v AB - Instructed to defend in a multi million pound mortgage fraud case at the confiscation stage of proceedings.
  • R v AM - Defending main defendant in a trading standards prosecution arising out allegations relating to fradulent trading connected to the government's Green Deal energy saving scheme.
  • R v AW - Representing main defendant in a large scale multi jurisdictional fraud involving significant sums defrauded from a local authority in the East Midlands.

Other Notable Recent Cases:


  • Re X (2017) - Advising company and directors in relation to civil POCA investigations.
  • HMRC v HM (2016) - Instructed to contest application for cash seizure relating to six figure sum on behalf of individual whom is alleged to have links to OCG. Allegations only levelled after matter became contested.
  • Re v CD (2016) - Instructed to represent in the confiscation stage of proceedings in a complex regulatory prosecution brought by the Department of Busines, Innovation & Skills.
  • Re v BB (2016) - Representing interested third party in High Court proceedings to appoint an enforcement receiver.
  • R v Y (2016) - Representing defendant charged with offences arising out of bankruptcy proceedings including perjury and company director disqualification offences.
  • R v H (2016) - Instructed to defend in £3 million confiscation proceedings arising from a trading standards prosecution in relation "clocking" motor vehicles and their illegal onward sale. Involved allegations of hidden assets.
  • R v C (2016) - Instructed by the defence in relation to £1.1 million confiscation case arising from drugs conspiracy and mortgage fraud convictions.
  • R v Z (2015) - Instructed to advise in off shore jurisdiction case for the defence in relation to concurrent civil and confiscation proceedings arising out of multi million pound investment fraud.
  • R v B (2015) - Instructed for the defence in £117 million confiscation proceedings arising from a nationwide conspiracy to supply drugs.
  • R v WG (2014) - Defence Led Junior in the confiscation proceedings arising from a £250 million investment fraud (Ponzi Fraud) arising from the Imperial Consolidated Group.
  • R v RF (2014) - Instructed to represent the defendant in the restraint and confiscation proceedings arising from the high profile tax evasion prosecution emanating from the 'Vantis' litigation.
  • Re Z (2013) – Instructed to deal with an application to discharge a freezing order in the High Court which raised complex jurisdictional issues arising from a multi-million pound civil action.
  • R v B (2013) – Representing Defendant in confiscation proceedings involving complex issues of disclosure and attempt by prosecution to re-open previous confiscation proceedings.
  • R v A (2012) – Defence Junior representing the Defendant in the Court of Appeal in relation to a challenge to a confiscation order on grounds of proportionality.
  • R v H (2012) – Representing defendant in application to vary confiscation order arising from VHCC tax fraud.
  • R v M (2012) – Representing third party intervening in the enforcement stage of the confiscation proceedings.
  • R v B (2011) – Representing defendant (not trial advocate) in protracted confiscation proceedings involving abuse of process proceedings.


  • Re Z (2017) - Advising company in relation to potential data protection breaches.
  • CC v P (2017) - Representing national construction company in regulatory prosecution by local authority in relation to road safety issues connected to construction site.
  • R v TG (2016) - Instructed to defend individual accused of illegal hacking into employers email accounts.
  • Re XY (2016) - Advising major financial institution in relation to an ICO investigation in relation to an enforcement notice arising from alleged data protection breaches.
  • R v PRM News and Wines (2016) - Acted on behalf of a multi-agency investigation unit, has secured the removal of the premises licence for a business involved in employing an illegal worker.
  • R v B & Others (2016) - Represented the defendant company and its directors in relation to allegation of selling counterfeit goods in breach of the trade marks legislation.
  • H v R (2016) - Instructed to challenge conviction through the Case Stated procedure in the High Court in relation to several misdirections of law by the trial court.
  • R v GM (2016) - Represented defendant charged with offences under the Computer Misuse Act whereby he hacked into websites individually and also sold malware on a commercial basis to third parties to facilitate further cyber attacks on web pages or web sites.   
  • Re Z (2016) - Instructed privately by a company to discharge a restraint order pre charge arising from a trading standards investigation.
  • Re Y (2016) - Advised off shore financial professionals upon proposals in the recent Finance Bill relating to the enabling provisions and their impact on tax avoidance schemes.
  • R v L (2016) - Defence Counsel instructed to defend in the multi handed conspiracy to defraud car finance companies.
  • Operation Forbear (2016) - Defence Leading Junior in a £33 million MTIC contra trading fraud bases partly in Dubai. Confiscation proceedings completed.
  • Operation Savate (2016) - Defence Junior in a large scale tax and vat fraud relating to the construction industry and the misuse of the CIS scheme. Confiscation proceedings completed.
  • R v O (2016) - Instructed by defence to represent in large scale VAT fraud allegedly committed by local businessman.
  • R v S (2015) - Instructed to defend in multi-handed conspiracy to defraud arising from the sale of plant hire equipment over the internet.
  • Re B (2013) – Defending in one of the first multi handed gang injunction cases brought by the police where proceedings are being initiated in the Civil Courts with concurrent criminal proceedings running in tandem.
  • Re A (2013) – An appeal against the refusal by the police to grant a shotgun certificate to an individual based on bad character evidence relating to a third party including acquittals of the third party.
  •  R v C (2012) – Liverpool Crown Court – representing main defendant involved in the mass production and distribution of counterfeit DVDs and CDs on behalf of organised crime group.
  •  N v G (2012) – Defence Junior representing individual in private prosecution brought by US Corporation for copyright offences.
  •  Filesoup (2011) - Representing defendant alleged to have conspired to defraud the music and film industry by distributing material by way of BitTorrent.
  •  R v M  (2011) – Defence Junior representing company prosecuted for breaches of Fire Safety Offences. 
  •  ICO V H (2011) – Defence Junior representing defendant in one of the first ever prosecutions of an individual illegally selling personal data for commercial gain. 
  •  R v J (2010) – Merthyr Crown Court – representing defendant in the supply of counterfeit SD cards for use in electronic games consoles.

Serious Crime:

  • R v S - Instructed to prosecute a death by careless driving case.
  • R v ZZ (2017) - Instructed to defend a family member of a former deputy police commisssioner in relation to allegations of sexual assault.
  • R v J (2016) - Instructed for the defence in large scale conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and money laundering offences in the North East of England.
  • R v J (2016) - Instructed to represent a defendant in an illegal money lending case facing allegation that he traded without a consumer credit licence and laundering the proceeds of crime from his business.
  • R v KJ (2016) - Instructed to represent a defendant charged with a conspiracy to bring drugs and mobile phones into prison.
  • R v G (2016) - Major investigation by National Crime Agency (NCA) into organised crme group (OCG) based in Merseyside involved in nationwide supply of Class A drugs. The case involves extensive covert intrusive surveillance against the OCG.
  • R v JS (2016) - Instructed to defend former police officer and local politician in historical sexual abuse case.
  • R v SC (2016) - Instructed as led junior by the prosecution in murder involving complex medical causation issues.
  • R v LT (2016) - Instructed as prosecuting leading junior to prosecute large scale drugs conspiracy based extensively on telephony evidence.
  • R v C (2016) - Prosecuting counsel instructed in a series of firearms cases where one weapon is linked to an ongoing murder investigation.
  • R v Z (2016) - Instructed to defend in £6 million confiscation case involving the sale of drugs formerly classed as legal highs.
  • R v H (2016) - Representing defendant in multi handed money laundering conspiracy arising from an advanced fee fraud.
  • R  v M (2016) - Instructed to defend in fraud involving the sale of counterfeit Premiership football tickets.
  • R v Z (2016) - Instructed to represent a schizophrenic defendant chraged with rape on mentally ill complainant.
  • R v C (2016) - Instructed to defend in historical sexual abuse and child cruelty case relating to family members.
  • R v H (2016) - Instructed by the defence in relaiton to multi kilo importation of Class B drugs from the Far East.
  • R v B (2016) - Instructed to represent defendant in historical sexual grooming case.
  • R v M (2016) - Instructed to represent defendant in large scale conspiracy to supply class A drugs brought by the National Crime Agency in the North West of England.
  • R v X (2016) - Instructed to represent for the defence in series of serious sexual assaults on young complainant.
  • R v M & Others (2015) - Instructed to prosecute large scale multi-handed drug conspiracy with extensive telephony & covert surveillance evidence.
  • R v B (2015) - Representing one of the main defendants in a large multi -handed conspiracy relating to the supply of Class A drugs on a national basis.
  • R v Y (2015) - Defence Junior counsel for defendant charged in relation to the murder of a police officer and two serious offences of wounding committed on two other officers during the same incident.
  • R v C (2015) - Defending in a large scale conspiracy to supply drugs and firearms.
  • R v X (2015) - Defence junior counsel in manslaughter case involving issues of causation and abuse of process.
  • R v I (2015) - Instructed by the defence to represent in manslaughter case as junior alone.
  • R v K (2015) - Instructed privately to conduct appeal against conviction in relation to offences of wounding/attempted robbery (not trial counsel).
  • R v Y & Z (2015) - Instructed to prosecute historical sexual offences & child cruelty case.
  • R v C & Others (2015) - Instructed to prosecute multi- handed football hooliganism case & ancillary applications for football banning orders.
  • R v B (2015) - Instructed by the defence to represent in serious sexual offences & extreme pornography case.
  • R v X (2015) - Instructed to defend in child cruelty case.
  • R v N (2014) - Representing defendant facing historical sexual offences involving complex issues of disclosure arising from previous investigations into the complaints.  
  • R v MY (2014) - Defence Junior representing a defendant facing serious sexual offences. The case involves complex issues relating to bad character and third party disclosure.
  • R v JM (2014) - Defence Junior in a conspiracy to rob involving expert evidence relating to the cognative understanding of the Defendant.
  • R v IC (2014) - Instructed to represent a Defendant in a large scale drugs conspiracy based in the Midlands.
  • R v I (2014) - Instructed to represent a defendant charged with murder arising out of a public order incident.
  • R v D & Others (2014) - Prosecuting multi handed conspiracy to commit series of armed robberies.
  • R v C (2014) - Instructed to prosecute large scale football violent disorder.
  • R v Z (2013) – Represented defendant in a serious sexual offences case. 
  • R v S (2013) – Represented Appellant in the Court of Appeal in an appeal against sentence relating to a multi-jurisdictional Class A drugs conspiracy.
  • R v G (2013) – Prosecuting death by careless driving case relating to momentary loss of control by driver fatally injuring passenger. 
  • R v F (2013) – Defence Junior in large scale drugs conspiracy based in Merseyside and the Netherlands.
  • R v A (2013) – Defence Junior in gang related attempted murder.
  • R v D (2013) – Defence Junior in attempted murder case where Defendant stabbed husband’s pregnant ex-girlfriend seven times in the stomach. 
  • R v D (2013) – Defence Junior in attempted murder case where Defendant repeatedly stabbed best friend in chest/stomach. 
  • R v E (2013) – Defence Led Junior representing accused of perverting the course of justice during the currency of gangland murder trial. 
  • R v S & Others (2013) – Prosecution Led Junior in multi handed murder involving complex issues of joint enterprise. 
  • R v H (2012 - 2013) – Prosecution Led Junior in the prosecution of the Attorney General of the Isle of Man for perjury and perverting the course of justice. 
  • R v J (2012) – Defence Junior in large scale drugs conspiracy based in the Merseyside area. 
  • R v N (2012) – Prosecution Led Junior in historical murder involving torture of victim and the Defendant being extradited back from Romania. 
  • R v B (2012) - Defence Led Junior representing main Defendant in multi –handed conspiracy to supply firearms and grenades to organised crime groups throughout Merseyside. Re-trial took place in Woolwich after the defendant escaped from custody and he was tried in his absence. 
  • R v S (2011) – Defence Led Junior in murder trial involving complex issues of causation which led the Defendant to be acquitted of murder but convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
  • R v R (2011) – Defence Led Junior representing serving police officer involved in the illegal supply of firearms and ammunition.      

Recent Reported Cases:

  • R v A [2012] EWCA Crim 2889 (Proportionality/Confiscation) 
  • R v R [2012] EWCA Crim 1426 (Acquittal/Bad Character)


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