Simon Farrell QC is a highly regarded lawyer specialising in tax litigation, HMRC investigations, bribery and corruption, money laundering and the proceeds of crime. Chambers UK 2020 describes him as a person who “does a first-class job” and “ has a very meticulous legal mind”.
Simon is an excellent advocate, inspirational team leader and skilled case strategist and as an independent member of the bar is frequently instructed by DBT and Partners. Simon works very closely with our clients and is always available to advise on all aspects of client services.
Simon has extensive experience of VAT, duty and tax cases in the High Court, Crown Court, and the First and Upper Tier Tax Tribunals and frequently advises at an early stage during the course of HMRC investigations.
Simon is experienced in both commercial and criminal litigation and frequently advises banks and corporates during investigations.
If you’re facing a tax investigation by HMRC, expert representation is essential. Simon has considerable experience of HMRC investigations, civil tax enquiries, and tax planning schemes, cases before the First Tier Tax Tribunal (FTT), and the Upper Tax Tribunal (UTT)
Simon has defended in some of the most serious VAT and tax investigations. It is crucial that the correct decisions are made at an early stage so that the best result is achieved as soon as possible. The aim is to get the case to go away quickly rather than racking up legal costs.
Simon has been described as “A Rolls-Royce practitioner who does a lot of POCA work up to Supreme Court level.” (Chambers UK 2018: POCA Work)
He is rated as one of the top Silks in this area of law Account Freezing Orders, restraint orders, confiscation, third party rights, and enforcement of confiscation orders, civil recovery, Unexplained Wealth Orders and cash seizure.
His advice, support and expertise is best sought from the outset of a case or investigation so that the best results can be achieved for the client at the earliest possible time.
If you have a money laundering problem Simon is the QC of choice.
Simon is one of the UK’s leading QC in the field of money laundering law He has appeared in many important criminal cases in the Court of Appeal which have defined the law. He is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable lawyers in the UK dealing with money laundering cases.
He has written two books, published by Oxford University Press and Butterworths, entitled ‘Money Laundering Law and Regulation’ (OUP 2011) and ‘The Proceeds of Crime Act 2003 (Butterworths 2003)’.
Simon provides exceptional support and expertise to banks, financial institutions and professionals who face investigation for fraud, money laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act issues such as failing to report suspicious activity.
He provides hands-on advice from the outset through to the end of the case. This has considerable advantages in terms of case strategy and cost savings. It is crucial that the correct decisions are made at an early stage so that the best result is achieved as soon as possible.
Simon Farrell QC Experience Highlights
Business Investigations/Money Laundering
R v K Southwark Crown Court. Simon defended a former Times Rich List individual in a £45million missing trader VAT fraud in the mobile phone industry.
R v MA Simon successfully secured the acquittal of MA, a commercial property developer, who faced charges alleging his involvement in dishonest and corrupt property purchases from STW and onward sales.
SD v Netherlands Simon Successfully obtained the quashing of a European Arrest Warrant for a senior banker as it lacked particularity and failed the dual criminality test.
PP v RR & NB Simon is instructed to defend in a corruption case involving High Court Judges before the Brunei Supreme Court and the Brunei Court of Appeal.
R v P  Simon is instructed to defend in a case involving the smuggling of substantial amounts of alcohol into the UK and the laundering of the proceeds in cash.
R v B [2019/20] Simon was instructed to advise in a £300m money laundering investigation connected to the gold industry.
R v A Simon acted for a mortgage broker in respect of Money laundering convictions quashed by the Court of Appeal because no money laundering offences had been committed as there was no predicate offending.
R v K Simon acted for a defendant in Money laundering convictions quashed as the Crown Court had failed to deal with the issues of adequate consideration and possessing criminal property.
R v M Simon acted in a case involving £50 million of criminal cash laundered in a bureau de change.
R v A Supreme Court case. Important linked Supreme Court cases regarding whether the proceeds of crime jointly obtained should be apportioned in a multi handed confiscation case.
R v S Simon acted for S in a case in which the funds of a businessman from Malawi had been frozen within the UK suspected of being the proceeds of corruption. The Freezing Orders were lifted.
R v C
Simon acted for C in Civil Recovery under POCA proceedings and parallel tax investigation concerning C’s association with unlawful killings, drug trafficking, money laundering mortgage fraud and tax evasion. Settlement reached.
R v S
Simon acts for an Italian based third party interest in confiscation proceedings arising out of a £45million tax fraud. The third party has a beneficial interest in a Switzerland based trust with the sum of 1.3 million euros in an account held in Liechtenstein
R v J
Simon successfully acted for two third party interests in confiscation proceeds in respect of their interest in property registered in sole name of defendant by way of common intention or resulting trust. CPS also conceded that monies obtained from fraudulent mortgage application should not fall under “assumptions” under POCA.
R v O
Protracted Confiscation proceedings with benefit figure of £14.5 million involving Hidden Assets allegation in respect of UK and Nigerian based businesses. Originating offence was Conspiracy to facilitate a breach of immigration law and using unlicensed security operatives, contrary to Section 5 of the Private Industry Act 2001.
POCA Investigation concerned Oil and Gas business interests in Nigeria. Parallel investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Nigeria) (EFCC) who carried out extensive investigation into Oil & Gas Nigeria Ltd,
PC v HMRC
Simon successfully acted for a senior barrister in the First Tier Tax Tribunal who HMRC had wrongly found guilty of deliberate tax evasion. The penalties imposed by HMRC for deliberate tax evasion were quashed.
J v HMRC
Simon acts for J in an appeal against VAT tax assessment of £571,000 plus personal penalties arising out of a missing trader fraud in the alcohol industry.
“Very bright and tenacious with a good courtroom manner.” “A brilliant cross-examiner.” Chambers UK 2021: Financial Crime
“An extremely charming operator…” Chambers UK 2021: POCA Work “He’s a clever, committed, punchy, robust and decisive advocate.”
Chambers UK 2021: POCA Work “He has a very meticulous legal mind …”
Chambers UK 2020: Financial Crime “He does a first-class job.” Chambers UK 2020: Financial Crime “He has a very meticulous legal mind.”
Chambers UK 2020: “A walking textbook on money laundering and proceeds of crime.” Chambers UK 2020: POCA Work “A very competent and stylish barrister who has an excellent grasp of the overall strategy required in a case.”
Chambers UK 2019: Financial Crime “A great courtroom advocate. He is very good on the technical stuff – when it comes to POCA matters that’s invaluable.”
Chambers UK 2019: POCA Work “He has a first-class mind and is brilliant at developing complex legal submissions.”
Chambers UK 2018 Financial Crime “A Rolls-Royce practitioner who does a lot of POCA work up to Supreme Court level.”
Chambers UK 2018: POCA Work “A forceful advocate with a strong courtroom presence.” Legal 500 2017: Proceeds of Crime and Asset Forfeiture “very solid and has a good client manner and is thorough in his approach.”
Chambers UK 2017: Financial Crime “he is very personable and a really good advocate.” Chambers UK 2016: Financial Crime “A fount of knowledge on proceeds of crime,” he is both “tenacious and creative in his approach.”
Legal 500 2015 – Fraud “A veteran advocate whose practice covers a wide range of serious criminal cases.” “He is very strong on complex legal arguments and can handle high-profile cases to a very high standard.”
Chambers UK 2015: Crime “Judges give him credence because of his reputation in serious fraud. They ask his opinion and listen to what he says.” Chambers UK 2014: Fraud “Highly experienced at dealing with POCA matters.” “He is thorough, highly personable and engaging with clients, and he has good presence in the courtroom.” Chambers UK 2014: POCA
Money Laundering Law and Regulation (OUP) (2011)
Guide to the Fraud Act 2006 (OUP 2007)
Co-author “Asset Recovery: Criminal Confiscation and Civil Recovery” ed Owen and Smith (Butterworths 2004 and 2nd Edition 2007)
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Butterworths 2003) CBA response to Government proposals for new law of fraud 2005 Article European Lawyer Magazine June 2005 Implementation in European states of the EC Money Laundering Directives Assisted in drafting the Criminal Bar’s response to government proposals for civil seizure of criminal assets in the High Court
Crown Court Recorder (2007)
Member of Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) Asset Recovery Committee (2008)
Attorney General’s A list of prosecuting counsel in serious fraud cases (2002)
Appointed part-time Deemster, Isle of Man (2012) Appointed to the SFO Prosecution List of Approved Queen’s Counsel (2009, 2013 and in 2020)
Appointed to the SFO PoCA List of Approved Queen’s Counsel (2009, 2013 and in 2020)