Richard Horwell QC

Members of Chambers: Richard Horwell QC

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What the Directories say

Chambers & Partners:

"Richard Horwell QC has a stellar commercial fraud practice and is particularly experienced at advising on multi-jurisdictional issues" - 2010

"The impressive Richard Horwell" is "a barrister long admired for his poise and precision" - 2009

The Guardian: "Horwell was the only barrister to enhance his reputation at the inquests with a series of devastating cross-examinations of key witnesses, including Fayed and his head of security, John Macnamara, which fully exposed the weakness of their allegations"

Areas of Practice

Practice encompasses all aspects of criminal law to the House of Lords in this jurisdiction and to Strasbourg in Europe with particular experience in commercial fraud, drug importations, terrorism and murder trials. Also tribunal work including GMC and RAC Motorsport.

Pre 2006 his practice was necessarily prosecution led by virtue of his appointment to the Treasury Counsel Room (1991). He was appointed Senior Treasury Counsel in 1996 (an appointment considered equivalent to Silk) and was appointed First Senior Treasury Counsel in 2002, a position he held until taking Silk in 2006; during which time he was often instructed to advise on the construction of statutes, sentencing and policy; consistently instructed in the most complex and high profile cases often advising on and representing the Crown in matters of national security. Since taking Silk he has successfully reversed the weight of practice between defence and prosecution; his practice is now almost exclusively for the defence barring instructions from the Financial Services Authority.

As a Silk his practice has centred on financial crime including pre-charge advice to companies and individuals who are the subject of investigations, as well as high profile criminal trials for the defence. During this time he has been instructed by BCL Burton Copeland, Clifford Chance, Corker Binning, Herbert Smith, Russell Jones & Walker and Slaughter and May, amongst others.

Has particular experience and interest in Appellate work. Has been instructed in over 300 Appeal cases, including Attorney General References. Appeared in the consolidated appeals re ‘baby shaking’ and is currently instructed on behalf of Jeremy Bamber.

Professional Appointments, Attainments and Memberships
2006Queen's Counsel
2004Appointed a Recorder
2002 - 2006First Senior Treasury Counsel
1996 - 2006Senior Treasury Counsel
1991Appointed Treasury Counsel
1976Called to the Bar (Gray's Inn)
Notable Cases

Notable Cases prior to taking Silk

  • Instructed by the Serious Fraud Office in Grob and Posgate; Guinness and advisory work in respect of other investigations.
  • Represented the managing director of MTM who had been charged by the Serious Fraud Office.
  • The Security Express robbery: Ronnie Knight, Freddie Foreman and others – then the largest cash robbery in British history.
  • Various IRA trials including: plots to assassinate the Prime Minister; the Stoke Newington lorry bomb; the Heathrow mortar bomb attacks; and the conspiracy to obtain munitions from Iraq – this involved an operation which covered five other jurisdictions.
  • Badat; the terrorist who trained with Richard Reid and who conspired to bring down a passenger aircraft when in flight.
  • Trooper Williams; instructed after this British soldier had been charged with the murder of a citizen in Iraq.
  • Regan, Horncy and Rees; the murder of three generations of the Chohan family. The longest and most complex murder case to have been tried at the Old Bailey.
  • Harris, Rock, Cherry and Faulder; the consolidated appeals in which the Court of Appeal reviewed the medical evidence and hypotheses surrounding "shaken baby syndrome".
  • Hanson and White; the murder of the banker John Monckton.
  • Nelson; the murder of PC Patrick Dunne and William Danso.
  • Gonzalez; the London and south coast serial killer.
  • Carty and Brown; the murder of the solicitor Thomas ap Rhys-Price.
  • Instructed on behalf of a group of directors who were considered for prosecution by the SFO in the investigation into price fixing in the pharmaceutical industry.

Notable Cases since taking Silk (October 2006)

Fraud/Financial Crime

  • Instructed by solicitors registered in the Cayman Islands to advise large investment company ($500 million Hedge Fund) registered in the British Virgin Islands. Multi-jurisdictional issues relating to BVI, Brazilian and European issues of law.
  • Gangar and White; counsel for the director of an investment company prosecuted by the SFO in a £140m Ponzi fraud and corruption of a US prosecutor.
  • Instructed on behalf of a director arrested by the SFO in it's investigation into payments made by BAE.
  • Advising the FSA re. Insider dealing.
  • Instructed on behalf of a solicitor charged with a land registration fraud.
  • Instructed on behalf of a director charged with money laundering.
  • Advised regarding the SFO’s investigation re. ‘Oil for Food’.
  • Advised a company director under SFO investigation for conspiracy to defraud and money laundering.


  • Counsel for the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police at the inquests into the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed.
  • Counsel for the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police at the inquest into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes.


  • Dusan: Drugs conspiracy, acquitted.
  • Bailey: Counsel for the defendant in the 'N'Dubz' GBH trial, acquitted.
  • Ingoldsby: Counsel for the son of an international businessman charged with murder, acquitted.
  • Booker: Counsel for an appellant in an appeal against conviction for supplying drugs, instructed in forthcoming re-trial.
  • Advised the Managing Director of a Jersey based Trust Company in connection with charges of forgery and perverting the course of justice.
  • Representing Jeremy Bamber following application to the CCRC and in the Appeal against Sentence.
More information
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