His combination of tactical nous and robust negotiation skills makes him a favourite silk
Chambers UK

Jonathan Fisher QC
Year of Call 1980 Silk 2003

Jonathan Fisher QC specialises in cases involving BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES (economic sanctions & export controls, insider dealing & market abuse, market disclosures & misleading the financial markets, money laundering, unauthorised trading); FRAUD (civil fraud, criminal fraud); PROCEEDS OF CRIME (civil recovery, confiscation and restraint, money laundering offences, taxation); TAX DISPUTES (tax appeals, avoidance disputes, discovery assessments, DOTAS, investigations (civil and criminal), penalties, VAT disputes, voluntary disclosures, criminal defence);  WHITE COLLAR & CORPORATE DEFENCE (accounting misstatements, bribery and corruption, cartels, cybercrime, data protection, environmental offences, health and safety, investigations, media and communications offences, policies and procedures, production orders, search warrants, tax offences); and commercial litigation (investor cases, breach of trust, dishonesty, asset recovery, freezing orders and search orders, pharmacy / pharmaceutical cases).

The Legal 500 Directory and UK Chambers and Partners Bar Guide name Jonathan Fisher as a leading barrister in the following fields - Banking and Finance; Fraud (civil); Fraud (criminal); Proceeds of Crime; Tax.

With extensive experience in civil and criminal cases, Jonathan Fisher accepts instructions in the High Court, First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal, Crown Court and Appellate jurisdictions. Much of his work involves cross-border transactions and he has gained significant experience handling international mutual assistance issues. Jonathan is particularly familiar with cases involving offshore companies and trusts.

Jonathan Fisher accepts instructions directly from in-house Counsel and is happy to be instructed without a junior barrister. 

Examples of recent work in 2013 and 2014 include instructions in connection with:

  • banking & financial services, advising the House of Commons Treasury Committee in the Co-Op Bank / Lloyds TSB and LIBOR investigations; advising and representing traders in the Da Vinci / Mineworld market abuse case involving high frequency trading and algorithmic trading; advising in cases involving Russian, Iranian, Sudanese and Congolese economic sanctions; advising in cases involving investigations into breach of wire transfer regulations; advising on unauthorised trading matters.
  • fraud (civil & criminal), advising in Ponzi-style fraud cases involving constructive trust issues, including the Banners Broker case; advising on matters in connection with the Axiom Fund fraud case involving legal expenses insurance schemes; advising in the corruption case involving ex-HBOS bank managers, customers and professional advisers; advising in a case involving the purchase and supply of pharmaceutical productions known as "specials" and arrangements for reimbursement under NHS price regulations.
  • money laundering, advising regularly on the application of suspicious activity reporting requirements where criminal conduct is suspected; advising professional regulatory bodies in the UK and Channel Islands on the application of the anti-money laundering regime; providing anti-money laundering compliance training to the Council of Europe (Moneyval) and a leading international Forex trading company.
  • proceeds of crime - civil recovery and confiscation, advising confiscation order enforcement cases where property is held in trust; advising and representing the CPS in corruption cases where international co-operationfor restraint orders is required, also advising on civil recovery following HMRC tax assessments.
  • tax disputes, involving multiple avoidance / evasion investigations into sideways relief, tax film schemes, offshore income and MTIC (carousel) chain cases; advising on directors liability for outstanding VAT; advising in civil and criminal investigation cases and the use of investigation powers; advising in the ex-RBS traders case involving tax film schemes;  
  • white collar / corporate defence, advising as a member of an investigation sub-committee into allegations of foreign corruption and bribery leading to corporate self-reporting; advising the SFO on corporate crime and legal privilege issues; providing professional training to UKTI (Trade & Investment) on foreign bribery and corruption;

Recent reported Court cases include:

  • R v Office of the Prime Minister and Home Secretary ex parte Wheeler [2014] EWHC 3815 Admin (judicial review: European Arrest Warrant, European Public Prosecutor Office, EU fraud, legitimate expectation, Parliamentary privilege);
  • HMRC v Curran [2012] UKFTT 517 (tax dispute: interest relief, avoidance, setting aside settlement agreement);
  • Wiese v UKBA [2012] EWHC 2549 Admin (proceeds of crime: money laundering, cash forfeiture);
  • R (on the application of Lunn) v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2011] STC 1028 (tax dispute: alleged multi-million pound evasion);
  • SEC v Manterfield [2010] 1 WLR 172 (fraud: hedge fund alleged investment fraud, cross-border freezing order);
  • ARA v Szepietowski [2008] Lloyd's Rep FC 10 (proceeds of crime: civil recovery, alleged tax and mortgage fraud, £30 million).

As a former Commissioner on the Commission on a Bill of Rights for the UK, Jonathan Fisher is extremely familiar with human rights and civil liberties issues arising in his practice areas.

  • RECOMMENDATIONS

    Has a strong focus on the overlap of civil and criminal law. He is frequently instructed on market abuse, money laundering and market disclosure cases. Expertise: "He's cerebral, thorough, very industrious and very good on the black letter of the law. He really knows his stuff and he's completely immersed in the financial services world." Recent work: Acted for the defendant in FCA v Mineworld (AKA Da Vinci), resisting claims by the regulator that the defendant's high-frequency trading techniques should be seen as market abuse. - Financial Services, Chambers UK 2015

    Handles confiscation and civil recovery proceedings in the commercial, finance and tax context. He is frequently instructed in relation to multimillion-pound frauds. Expertise: "He's academically very highly regarded and respected by all jurisdictions, including appellate courts." "Clear and consistent in his advice, he's able to see the bigger picture." - POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture, Chambers UK 2015

    An established expert in tax investigations concerning avoidance and fraud, who represents clients before the tax tribunals and criminal courts. He acts for the taxpayer and the Revenue. Expertise: "His years as standing counsel to the Revenue at the Old Bailey have given him unparalleled insight into the mind of CPS case workers." Recent work: He advised a group of RBS bankers in relation to an accusation by HMRC that they evaded tax by investing in film schemes. - Tax, Chambers UK 2015

    Defends and prosecutes serious fraud cases. He has a significant advisory practice. Expertise: "He is a very fine academic and a very good practitioner." "He's very knowledgeable and very responsive to queries, and provides good strategic advice based on a solid understanding of the law. He is an excellent advocate and an excellent public speaker." Recent work: Represented an RBS trader in a complex tax evasion investigation. - Financial Crime, Chambers UK 2015

    "Responsive, very sharp, and clear; also highly recommended for financial crime" - Legal 500 2014

    "Cerebal, knowledeable and authoritative" - Legal 500 2014

    "A standout barrister, who is extremely knowledgeable" - Legal 500 2014

    "A go-to silk on avoidance and fraud matters; he knows how the HMRC and CPS's minds work" - Legal 500 2014

    "Calm, sure and deadly at spotting the weaknesses of the opponent's case ..." - Chambers UK 2014

    “An extremely experienced leader who is very easy to work with and who is very used to working across the criminal and civil sphere. He has great experience of money laundering and sanctions cases” - Chambers UK 2013

    Academically very bright and knows exactly what he's doing … he has extensive knowledge of white-collar crime, and is a savvy choice for any complex POCA work” - Chambers UK 2013

     "An engaging, client-friendly barrister who brings great commercial acumen to his cases. An expert on tax-related fraud, he is a veteran of many cases concerning investigations by HMRC” - Chambers UK 2013

    "High-flying ..." - Legal 500 2012

    "Sources praise him for his gravitas and his "very good, clear advice …” - Chambers UK 2012

    "An experienced and active silk with "a diplomatic and thoughtful style …” - Chambers UK 2012

    "Has produced some stunning work over the past year … A highly intelligent silk … a favourite of London’s top law firms …” - Chambers UK 2011

    "Has great gravitas when appearing in high-value cases where the stakes are high. His combination of tactical nous and robust negotiation skills makes him a favourite silk …” - Chambers UK 2011

    "Revenue expert Jonathan Fisher QC is learned and astute …” - Legal 500 2010

    "Brilliant at money laundering and confiscation matters. He regularly appears in an advisory capacity in matters pertaining to financial sanctions …" - Chambers UK 2010

    “Extremely thoughtful and considered” in the run-up to court but “once in the heat of battle he tells it as it is and pulls no punches ….” - Chambers UK 2009

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  • Banking and Financial Services

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    Financial services

    Jonathan advises and represents clients in all types of FSMA cases, in particular those involving market manipulation, insider dealing and unauthorised trading. He is also known for his work in cases involving economic sanctions, wire trading regulations, money laundering compliance and investor loss cases involving mis-selling and fraud. Jonathan has recently been advising the House of Commons Treasury Committee in the Co-Op Bank / Lloyds TSB and LIBOR investigations.

    Proceeds of crime

    Since the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 was enacted, Jonathan Fisher has become a leading practitioner in the new areas of law which it established. In July 2009 the House of Lords European Union Committee (Home Affairs Sub-Committee F) referred to his evidence in its report, Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, 19th report 2008-9. Jonathan Fisher’s experience in tax and property cases involving offshore companies and trusts compliments his work in this area.

    Corporate crime

    Jonathan Fisher represents clients in all types of corporate crime cases.  He also advises clients on matters such as the response to an investigation where corporate crime is suspected.  In 2010 he chaired the Special Project Group established by the Fraud Advisory Panel into Fraud Reporting and he has advised Government on corporate crime issues.

    Areas of work arising in the context of corporate crime include accounting misstatements, bribery & corruption, cartels, confiscation, civil recovery, cybercrime, data protection, environmental offences, financial services offences, fraud, health & safety offences, international economic sanctions and money laundering.

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  • Fraud

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    Jonathan Fisher is one of our expert barristers working in this area with extensive experience in both civil and criminal cases. Ranked as a leading barrister in Chambers UK and Legal 500 for civil fraud as well as criminal fraud, tax and proceeds of crime (including civil recovery) cases, he is a recognised practitioner in these areas, with a particular focus on investor fraud, financial markets fraud and tax fraud cases. He is an Honorary Steering Group Member of the London Fraud Forum, a member of the Commercial Fraud Lawyers Association, and between 2006 and 2010 he was a Trustee Director of the Fraud Advisory Panel He is a co-author of “The Law of Investor Protection” published by Sweet & Maxwell as well as many other publications on fraud, money laundering and recovering the proceeds of crime. Jonathan is particularly familiar with cases involving offshore companies and trusts, being an accredited “STEP” Trusts and Estates Practitioner as well as a Chartered Tax Adviser and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

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  • Commercial Litigation

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    Jonathan Fisher is ranked in Legal 500 as a leading Silk in civil fraud cases, and he represents clients in disputes involving asset recovery, freezing injunctions and search orders. He appeared in the leading cases of SEC v Manterfield ([2010] 1 WLR 172) involving a cross-border freezing order and ARA v Szepietowski ([2008] Lloyd's Rep FC 10) where the Court of Appeal laid down the principles to be applied in a civil recovery action involving an interim receivership. In addition to his work in commercial fraud disputes, Jonathan is known for his expertise in civil and regulatory cases involving allegations of money laundering, corruption, accounting misstatements, tax and breach of trust, and more generally in commercial litigation cases where the conduct constitutes a criminal offence even though it is not the subject of criminal prosecution. He is particularly well placed in a commercial litigation case where there are disputed factual issues requiring extensive advocacy experience, and he is part of a small group of practitioners equally comfortable in the civil / commercial and criminal courts.

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  • Additional Information

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    Jonathan also has his own website where you can find out more about his practice. Please click here to find out more - www.jonathan-fisher.co.uk

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Appointments

Current

Visiting Professor in Practice, Law Department, London School of Economics 

Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation

Editorial Board Member, Simon’s Taxes

General Editor, Lloyds Law Reports: Financial Crime 

Previous

Standing Counsel to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue at the Central Criminal Court and London Crown Courts, 1991 – 2003

Visiting Professor in Financial Regulation, Cass Business School (City University) 2003 – 2006

Steering Group Member, Assets Recovery Agency, 2003 – 2006

Legal Panel Member, Accountancy & Actuarial Discipline Board, 2005 – 2008

Trustee Director, Fraud Advisory Panel, 2006 –2010

Chairman of Research, Society of Conservative Lawyers, 2006 – 2010

Commissioner,  Bill of Rights Commission, 2011 - 2012

Honorary Visiting Professor, City Law School (City University London), 2011 - 2013

Memberships & Associations

Administrative Law Bar Association; Commercial Fraud Lawyers Association; Criminal Bar Association; Financial Services Lawyers Association; Fraud Advisory Panel; Liberty; Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association; Revenue Bar Association; Society of Conservative Lawyers; Society of Legal Scholars; Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

Awards & Scholarships

Chartered Tax Adviser (Fellow)

Trusts and Estates Practitioner, accredited by STEP