Antony Shaw QC

Call: 1975 | Silk: 1994

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Personal profile

Described as having a reputation as one of the country’s pre-eminent fraud practitioner’ and a brilliant lawyer, who puts his life and soul into his cases, Tony Shaw QC has been mentioned or ranked every year in the field of Fraud by annual directories since 1989. His practice in serious Business Crime & Fraud, corporate and financial crime is extensive.

It pre-dates the creation of the SFO and the FSA/FCA, when he was instructed as a junior to represent the principal defendant in the SFO’s first major trial (Guinness). He is said to be a highly convincing jury advocate with a nice touch with judges and juries.

Tony principally defends, although he has also prosecuted for the SFO and the FCA. His legal expertise is wide. He is said to be ‘scholarly’ and ‘intellectual.’ For many years he has written for and edited some of the leading publications in corporate crime, serious fraud and conspiracy, including Archbold, OUP’s Fraud loose-leaf and Practical Law’s Business Crime and Investigations.

Tony strongly believes in the benefits of working as part of a team. He works very closely with solicitors and always complements the work they have done. He is very good at using new technology to aid case management and is technologically savvy.

He is analytical, commercially focused, attentive to business and client objectives, and extremely user friendly. He advises corporate clients on internal investigations into financial crime and corruption issues arising both at home and abroad.

Recommendations

An unflappable and highly convincing jury advocate who advises on high-stakes criminal matters, including bribery, corruption and tax fraud. He is highly praised for his ability in the most complex cases. Shaw boasts an impressive client base, drawing instructions from a number of major corporates on both internal and government investigations.

He is magnificent, approachable, funny and very bright. He’s a good jury advocate and a pleasure to deal with.

He’s very clever, measured and wonderful with clients and solicitors.”

― Chambers UK (2021) Ranked: Financial Crime – London [Band 1] and Financial Crime: Corporates – London [Band 2]

An intellectual powerhouse.

― Legal 500 (2021) Ranked: Business and Regulatory Crime (Including Global Investigations) – London [Tier 2]

He is an intellectual dynamo. For very complex issues and matters of the law, he’s great.

He’s superb in terms of his user-friendliness and his insightful knowledge – he really adds value. You can work very effectively with him as part of a team.

― Chambers UK (2020) Ranked: Financial Crime – London [Band 1] and Financial Crime: Corporates – London [Band 2]

He has a cool and poised head and bags of experience.

― Legal 500 (2020) Ranked: Business and Regulatory Crime (Including Global Investigations) [Tier 2]

An exceptional white-collar crime barrister whose advice is both intellectually robust and commercial.

He has deep knowledge and experience, and is a go-to for complex multi-jurisdictional matters.

― Chambers UK (2019) Ranked: Financial Crime [Band 1] and Financial Crime: Corporates – London [Band 2]

He is very effective and very rigorous.

He’s a thoroughly nice and extremely bright barrister who has been around and seen it all.

― Chambers UK (2019) Ranked: POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture – All Circuits

His skill at managing documents is superior to the majority of his rivals.

― Chambers UK (2018) Ranked: Financial Crime - London

Works very closely with solicitors and always complements the work they have done.

― Chambers UK (2018) Ranked: POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture - London - All Circuits

He willingly rolls up his sleeves and rapidly grasps areas of law outside his normal practice.

― Legal 500 (2017)

He is very easy to deal with and a genuine team player.

― Legal 500 (2017) Ranked: Financial Crime - London [Band 1]

Scholarly and someone with an incredible work ethic, he has a nice touch with judges and juries.

― Chambers UK (2017)

He has a great presence in court, is bright and works very hard… highly effective.

― Who’s Who Legal (2017)

Handles high-value confiscation matters as part of a specialised serious fraud practice that sees him tackling money laundering, white-collar crime and corruption litigation.

He is an excellent silk to work with, not least because of his ability to give incisive written opinions. He also has excellent advocacy skills, and is very good at using new technology to aid case management.

One of the most technologically savvy members of the Bar.

― Chambers UK (2017) Ranked: POCA [Band 2]

A brilliant lawyer, who puts his life and soul into his cases.

― Legal 500 (2016)

He is very experienced and extremely user-friendly.

He is extremely intelligent and has a clarity of thought which marks him out from other people.

― Chambers UK (2016)

an ‘astute legal mind’, ‘extremely effective’, ‘strong grasp of the details’, ‘diligent manner.

― Who’s Who Legal (2016)

A leader in the field of fraud. ‘He’s an absolute star. He is extremely intelligent, he is a great lawyer and his real skill lies in being able to get to grips with complex issues and explain them in very simple terms. He has a clarity of thought which distinguishes him from other people.

He receives glowing praise from peers and solicitors, who value his sharp intellect.

He’s top-drawer and a consummate professional.

He takes time to familiarise himself with the nitty gritty matters in a case.

― Chambers UK (2015)

A ‘doyen of the legal market’ and an ‘authority’ on white collar crime.

― Who’s Who Legal (2015)

An excellent lawyer and a pleasure to work with.

― Legal 500 (2015)

He has an excellent reputation for defending major fraud and corruption cases. Solicitors praise him for his assured approach and extensive expertise.

― Chambers UK (2014)

An absolutely no-nonsense barrister who gives extremely practical advice and formulates very helpful strategies.

He’s a hard-working and dedicated QC and a fantastic advocate – the full package.

Since he was around for all stages of POCA development he is able to contextualise the current case law.

― Chambers UK (2014)

‘Excellent’… tackles cases covering all the various sins prosecuted by the SFO. Noted for his ability to handle complex, fact-heavy cases.

― Chambers UK (2013)

Wins considerable market praise for being an intellectually powerful and highly effective jury advocate who is ‘experienced, thorough and fair’; ‘absolutely brilliant’ and ‘properly intellectual’ …his ‘easy and engaging style’ makes him a hit with juries.

― Chambers UK (2012)

A purveyor of ‘robust advice’ on all manner of fraud offences. A sage and experienced hand when it comes to serious fraud work. His involvement in the long-running Pharmaceuticals case further confirmed his reputation as one of the country’s pre-eminent fraud practitioners, and he has continued to build on this momentum.

― Chambers UK (2011)

Fraud

Described as having a reputation as one of the country’s pre-eminent fraud practitioners and a brilliant lawyer, who puts his life and soul into his cases, Tony has been mentioned or ranked every year in Chambers UK or Legal 500, in the field of Fraud, since 1989.

  • (2020) – Instructed to advise on an investigation into a failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion under the Criminal Finances Act 2017.
  • (2016) – Instructed to advise and draft submissions for a major UK bank facing a private prosecution for conspiracy to defraud. The case was abandoned with a wasted costs order made against the complainant and his counsel.
  • (2015-2016) – Instructed to advise foreign directors in respect of English confiscation proceedings arising out of foreign fraud and corruption.
    Instructed to advise in a LIBOR 2 case, concerning an alleged conspiracy to manipulate the YEN Libor rate.
  • Amazon – Instructed to advise and appear on extensive disclosure issues in a major, high-profile tax evasion case at first instance and in the Court of Appeal.
  • Innospec 2 – Instructed to advise in a case concerning multi-million dollar bribes to Indonesian Government officials, to secure sales of lead additives and other chemicals.
  • Operation Saturn – Instructed to advise on the largest FCA insider trading case, to that date.
  • Copeland School – Instructed to advise on an alleged £1.6m local authority educational fraud.
  • Tangelo – Instructed to advise on a case relating to online banking used for money laundering.
  • Tangelo 2 – Instructed in one of the largest HMRC duty diversions. This concerned successful abuse of process arguments after fundamental HMRC disclosure flaws were exposed.
  • Operation Holbein/Pharmaceuticals – Instructed in an alleged £150m cartel conspiracy to defraud the NHS, which was abandoned after a successful interlocutory argument which went to the House of Lords on whether and how far cartels fell within the ambit of conspiracy to defraud.
  • Vintage Wines – Instructed in this SFO case concerning high yield international wines and spirit fraud, followed by a phoenix fraud.
  • Simetal – Instructed in this case concerning letters of credit/banking/shipping fraud.
  • Centrex – Instructed in this case concerning NVQ certificates fraud.
  • Paulssen – Instructed in this case concerning high yield investment fraud.
  • Alliance Resources – Instructed in this case concerning oil prospectus fraud.
  • Anchor Butter – Instructed in this case concerning the largest ever alleged EU duty evasion.
  • Butte Mining – Instructed in this case concerning share prospectus fraud.
  • BCCI Virani – Instructed in this case concerning the provision of false information to auditors.
  • Eagle Trust – Instructed in this case concerning the use of company funds to underwrite its own shares.
  • Polly Peck – Instructed in this case concerning Asil Nadir and false accounting/theft. Widely reported.
  • Guinness – Instructed in this case concerning Ernest Saunders and takeover share manipulation. Widely reported.
  • Cancer with Children – Instructed in this charity fraud case.
  • William Press – Instructed in this alleged LOSC, labour only subcontracting fraud.

See our Fraud team.

Bribery & Corruption

Tony has experience working in Bribery & Corruption cases.

  • (2016 – ongoing) – Instructed to advise an international UK-quoted company in respect of possible corruption of a foreign government by an overseas agent.
  • (2016) – Instructed to advise an international company in relation to possible offences, including corruption and imports in breach of EU anti-dumping provisions.
  • Airbus (2016-2020) – Instructed to advise Dechert (the solicitors instructed by the European aircraft manufacturer) throughout the SFO investigation into extensive corruption involving the sales of aircraft around the world).
  • MWK (2009-2010) – Instructed to advise the UK arm of an international joint venture of US (KBR), Japanese, Dutch and French companies involved in $182m of bribes to secure a $6bn Nigerian Bonny Island development contract. The SFO and foreign agencies are involved.
  • Sumitomo (1996–2000) – Instructed to advise UK metal brokers subject to an SFO investigation into broking with Hamanaka, who lost Sumitomo $2.6bn in unauthorised copper trading.

See our Bribery & Corruption team.

Education

  • BA (Jurisp), Oxford University

Professional appointments

  • Consultation Board member of Practical Law’s Business Crime and Investigations (2016 ongoing)
  • Recorder (2000-2007)
  • Bar Council (co-opted) Fees and Legal Aid Committee, member (1994-7), Vice Chairman (1995-7; 2008-9) and Chairman (2010-11).

Memberships

  • CBA
  • FLA
  • Middle Temple
  • South Eastern Circuit

Publications

  • Archbold: Criminal Pleadings Evidence and Practice, Sweet & Maxwell, 1989 to date, contributing editor
  • Ormerod & Montgomery on Fraud: Criminal Law and Procedure, OUP, 2008 to date, contributor and Deputy Editor
  • Conspiracy to Defraud, Practical Law, co-author
  • Legal professional privilege: the crime-fraud exception and its application in criminal proceedings, Practical Law, co-author
  • Statutory conspiracies, Practical Law, co-author
  • Conspiracy: the agreement, Practical Law, co-author
  • Right of silence at investigation and trial, Practical Law, co-author
  • Parties to a conspiracy, Practical Law, co-author
  • ‘Money Laundering and High Value Dealers’, Red Lion Chambers seminar, 2017
  • ‘When is Financial Market Trading Criminal?’, Red Lion Chambers seminar, 2016, involving TV Edwards
    R. v. R: Disclosure and Case Management, FLA and FFF, 2016
  • Complex and Lengthy Trials, Justice Sub-Committee member, 2015

Other experience