David Claxton

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    David Claxton

    Personal profile

    David Claxton advises and represents professionals, business people and businesses in relation to criminal and regulatory investigations, enforcement and prosecutions.

    He has been recognised by the main Directories for his skill in matters of Business Crime & Fraud and Regulatory & Professional Disciplinary matters. They describe him as having:

    “strengths [that] lie in his keen intellect, attention to detail and clarity of written and oral expression” (Legal 500 UK, 2017),

    strength in complex and obscure legal arguments” (Legal 500 UK, 2017),

    extensive knowledge of regulatory case law [that] combines with a sharp focus on the relevant issues (Legal 500 UK, 2018).

    In the 2022 and 2023 editions of Legal 500, he is ranked as a leading junior in the category Business and Regulatory Crime.

    David’s expertise covers:

    David has appeared at all levels of court and tribunal in his main practice areas.

    David has published and lectured on corporate crime, professional regulation, cross border jurisdiction, abuse of process and expert evidence in leading practitioner texts, trade publications and to professional audiences such as in-house regulatory lawyers and City law firms.


    His extensive knowledge of regulatory case law combines with a sharp focus on the relevant issues.

    ― Legal 500 UK (2018)

    His strengths lie in his keen intellect, attention to detail and clarity of written and oral expression.

    ― Legal 500 UK (2017) Ranked: Criminal Fraud

    His strength is in his complex and obscure legal arguments.

    ― Legal 500 UK (2017) Ranked: Professional Discipline and Regulation

    Business Crime & Fraud

    David’s practice is focused on companies and individuals facing investigation, enforcement action and prosecution for criminal and regulatory wrongdoing. He has a particular expertise in SFO prosecutions and has appeared in a number of the leading cases in recent years. More generally, he is an expert in the law relating to fraud, bribery and money laundering.

    He has appeared at first instance and in the Court of Appeal, both led and alone, in complex fraud and money laundering cases.

    David also has expertise in offences under the Companies Acts and Insolvency Acts and is regularly instructed to advise on issues involving company directors and Companies House, including the threat of prosecution for late filing of accounts.

    He has been recommended by the Legal 500 in this area since 2017.

    Featured cases

    • David Ames v SFO (Harlequin Properties): David is instructed as junior counsel in the appeal against conviction and sentence following a prosecution for offences of fraud by abuse of position, heard before the LCJ in November 2023.
    • Re FP: David is instructed to advise a US-headquartered PE firm on the threat of prosecution by Companies House for offences under the Companies Act 2006, including the offence under s.451 of the Companies Act 2006. (2023)
    • SFO v SP and others (Ethical Forestry Ltd): David is instructed as junior counsel for the SFO in this prosecution of three company directors in relation to allegations of fraud and fraudulent trading concerning investments in tree plantations. (ongoing)
    • SFO v Alaghband and others (Balli Steel): David was instructed as junior counsel in the defence of a steel trader prosecuted by the SFO for offences of conspiracy to defraud and fraudulent trading in relation to loans obtained from trade finance banks. (2023)
    • SFO v David Ames (Harlequin Properties): David was instructed as junior counsel in the defence of David Ames who was prosecuted by the SFO following the collapse of Harlequin Properties, which had raised £400 million from UK retail investors in connection with investments in overseas properties. (2022)
    • Re X Ltd: David was instructed to advise on and conduct interviews in an internal investigation commissioned by a FTSE 100 company in relation to fraud and bribery in connection with public procurement contracts. (2021)
    • SFO v Alstom Network UK Ltd: David was instructed to advise ANUK and its parent company, Alstom S.A., in relation to a prosecution by the SFO for corruption in connection with the tendering for major infrastructure contracts.  (2016 – 2019)
    • SFO v ENRC (2015 – 2019): David was instructed by the law firm retained to deal with the criminal aspects of the SFO investigation into alleged corruption in relation to the acquisition of mining licences in sub-Saharan Africa. (2015 – 2019)
    • HMRC v Ryder and others (Operation Lunar): David was instructed as junior counsel for the defence of an IFA in a prosecution related to allegedly fraudulent investment schemes used to off-set tax liabilities. It was said, at the time, to be the largest prosecution for tax fraud undertaken by HMRC. (2017)
    • Re K LLP: David was instructed to advise a leading property holding company on corporate restructuring for the purpose insulating the parent company from liability arising from the acts or omissions of subsidiaries. (2015)
    • Re C Ltd: David was instructed by the Attorney-General of Jersey to lead an investigation into fraud in the financial services sector relating to the manipulation of share capital. (2014)
    • R (LS) v Department for Business Innovation and Skills: David was instructed in this application for judicial review relating to the fairness and legal basis for the enforcement of a confiscation order against an undischarged bankrupt. (2014)
    • R v MT and others: David was instructed to defend in two separate trials: (i) telecoms fraud, (ii) the first UK prosecution for operating unlicensed wireless telegraphy equipment under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006, where the principal submission centred on HMG’s ineffective implementation of the European Directive governing the regulation of radio spectrum (2013 – 2015)


    David has always practised in the criminal courts and has a strong record in jury trials and summary trials across the range of criminal offences. In the past two years he has defended in cases of drug supply, kidnap, causing death by dangerous driving, conspiracy to steal and armed robbery.

    Regulatory & Professional Disciplinary


    David’s regulatory practice encompasses the separate fields of professional discipline, health and safety and cases before the Coroners’ Courts as well judicial review applications connected with these practice areas.

    Professional Discipline

    David is recognised by the Legal 500 for his expertise in professional conduct cases and is known for securing favourable outcomes in the most serious cases where a professional’s continued registration is in greatest jeopardy. He is also noted for cases involving expert evidence where the issues are akin to professional negligence.

    He has appeared before most of the UK’s professional regulators, including:

    • Medical Practitioners Tribunal (MPTS)
    • General Dental Council (GDC)
    • General Optical Council (GOC)
    • Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC)
    • Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
    • General Osteopathic Council (GOsC)
    • Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SRA/SDT)
    • Architects Registration Board (ARB)
    • Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service (BTAS)
    • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

    Most of David’s recent work has been on behalf of doctors, dentists, optometrists and legal professionals.

    Between 2021 and 2023, he has represented optometrists alleged to have:

    • Failed to identify the clinical presentation of acute angle glaucoma
    • Failed to identify the clinical presentation of optical melanoma
    • Conducted inadequate sight tests
    • Defrauded an employer
    • Defrauded a university
    • Cheated in university exams.

    Cases before the MPTS in the past two years include:

    • Sexual misconduct by a leading orthopaedic surgeon
    • Negligently performed maxilla-facial surgery
    • Inappropriate doctor-patient relationship

    Other Featured cases

    • R (RL) v GOC: David was instructed in the successful judicial review of secondary legislation passed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in a manner that was inconsistent with the enabling legislation. (2021)
    • GMC v Dr A David was instructed to present the case against a doctor in connection with a negligently performed delivery resulting in neonatal brain injury. (2018)
    • Inquest Touching on the Death of JB: David was instructed to represent a prison nurse who had visited a prisoner in his cell and failed to identify the signs of methadone toxicity in this article 2 inquest. (2018)
    • SRA v A Firm: David was instructed to represent a solicitor and the associated firm in a High Court appeal against an intervention by the SRA. (2018)
    • OISC v L and Co David was instructed to represent an immigration advisor in an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal against the revocation of an OISC licence. (2017)
    • HCPC v AB: David was instructed in a case relating to the performance of a paramedic. (2017)
    • HCPC v AE: David was instructed to present the case for the HCPC against a microbiologist relating to a lack of competence. (2016)
    • GDC v AS: David was instructed to present the GDC case against a dentist accused of misconduct in relation to the diagnosis and treatment of root canal pathology. (2015)

    Health & Safety

    Health and Safety & Fire Safety Law

    David has expertise in Health & Safety legislation and advises the HSE as well as corporates and individuals on all aspects of procedure, expert evidence, financial penalties and costs. He has been appointed to the Regulatory List maintained by the Attorney-General since 2014 and is currently on the B Panel.

    David is also an expert on prosecutions by Fire Authorities under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and has been conducting cases in this area for over 10 years.

    He is currently instructed by a number of fire authorities across the country in cases concerning:

    • ACM cladding and failures in relation to testing and Fire Risk Assessments
    • Unsafe premises under contract with a local authority in relation to the residential care of vulnerable adults
    • Unsafe housing
    • Breaches of Enforcement and Prohibition Notices

    Featured Health and Safety Cases:

    • Watford Borough Council v FRC Ltd: David was instructed for the prosecution in this fatal accident prosecution relating to maintenance failures that led to a runaway bin lorry. (2021)
    • HSE v Cambus Ltd and another:  David was instructed for the prosecution in proceedings resulting from a fatal accident during a bus station redevelopment. (2020)
    • R v S Care Group Ltd (2016) – A prosecution following a fire at a care home in which a resident was trapped relating to a corporate failure to put in place fire safety precautions.
    • HSE v ATC L Ltd: – Instructed to prosecute for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Work at Height Regulations involving several falls by workers from aircraft undergoing repair and maintenance. (2014)


    • LLB, University of Durham (2006)
    • LLM, King’s College London (2007)


    • Jules Thorne Scholar, Middle Temple

    Professional appointments

    • SFO Prosecutions List (B Panel) (2020)
    • Attorney General’s Regulatory List (B Panel) (2020)
    • General Medical Council List (2015)
    • CPS Panel Advocate (Grade 2) (2012)


    • CBA
    • South Eastern Circuit
    • ARDL
    • Young Fraud Lawyers Association
    • HSLA


    • Chapter on ‘Expert Evidence’, Rook and Ward on Sexual Offences, main chapter author
    • Chapter on Cross-border Jurisdiction, Fraud: Law Practice and Procedure, editor
    • ‘Understanding General Dental Council Procedure’, The Dentist, joint author with Kingsley Napley
    • ‘Management Failures and Findings of Professional Misconduct’, The Probe
    • Chapter on ‘confiscation’, Abuse of Process in Criminal Proceedings, Bloomsbury, 4th edition, chapter author


    • French (intermediate)