Hannah Willcocks QC

Call: 2001 | Silk: 2021

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  • Fair, very reasonable and incredibly hard-working. She is always going the extra mile to make sure everything is done.

    Chambers and Partners 2021
  • She is always so cerebral and thoughtful and takes such an intellectual approach to the cases that she runs.

    Chambers and Partners 2021
  • Personal profile

    Hannah Willcocks is a specialist advocate in Serious & Organised Crime, Business Crime & Fraud and Regulatory & Professional Disciplinary work. She is cited as being ‘a first-class advocate and excellent lawyer, whose attention to detail is of the highest order’, ‘incredibly bright’, ‘very strong’ and ‘highly efficient’.

    Recommended for many years as a Junior and now as a new Silk in Chambers & Partners for her work in Financial Crime, Hannah has significant experience of exceedingly large, multi-handed and complex cases, which often involve an extra-jurisdictional dimension.

    She is acknowledged as having ‘a remarkable capacity for mastering volumes of material’ and is also extremely adept at addressing intricate issues of fact and law, often under immense pressure of time. Highly organised and efficient, she is recognised for her ‘methodical’ thinking and diligence.

    Recommendations

    Fair, very reasonable and incredibly hard-working. She is always going the extra mile to make sure everything is done.”

    ― Chambers and Partners 2021

    “She is always so cerebral and thoughtful and takes such an intellectual approach to the cases that she runs.”

    ― Chambers and Partners 2021

    “She’s efficient and handles difficult cases well.”

    ― Chambers and Partners 2020

    “She can put her opponent in a whole world of trouble.”

    ― Chambers and Partners 2020

    “She is very hard-working and shows great attention to detail.”

    ― Chambers and Partners 2019

    She is very, very able’ and has ‘attention to detail in spades.’

    ― Chambers and Partners 2018

    ‘A first-class advocate and excellent lawyer, whose attention to detail is of the highest order.’

    ― Legal 500 2017

    ‘She has a remarkable capacity for mastering volumes of material.’

    ― Legal 500 2016

    ‘Incredibly calm under fire.’ ‘She is so on top of things, and her mastery of an inordinate amount of material is very impressive.’

    ― Chambers and Partners 2017

    ‘A very methodical thinker and will do her damnedest to get the job done.’

    ― Chambers and Partners 2016

    Hannah is ‘very dedicated and very much into the detail, she’s a very methodical thinker and works so hard’. ‘She’s incredibly bright.’

    ― Chambers and Partners 2014

    ‘Very strong, extremely hard-working and highly efficient.’

    ― Chambers and Partners 2013

    Business Crime & Fraud

    Repeatedly recommended for her work in financial crime, Hannah has an established reputation as prosecution counsel in large scale cases involving the most serious and complex white-collar crimes. Prior to taking silk, Hannah was appointed to the Serious Fraud Office’s Prosecution Panel A list in 2017 and as a Grade 4 Advocate for the CPS Specialist Fraud Panel in 2019.

    Featured Cases

    • First junior counsel instructed by the SFO in its eighth Deferred Prosecution Agreement (2020).
    • Op. Vouch (2018 – 2019) – leading prosecution Counsel in a multi-handed prosecution of 10 defendants involving offences of conspiracy to commit boiler room frauds and conspiracy to launder criminal property both in the UK and abroad. The case affected numerous victims, many of whom were elderly and vulnerable, with a loss of over £2million.
    • XX LLP – YY plc (2018) – instructed by the Financial Reporting Council to advise and assist with the disclosure exercise following the issue of formal complaints issued under the Accountancy Scheme.
    • Op. Hornet (2013 – 2017) – High profile multi-handed prosecution involving conspiracy to corrupt, fraudulent trading and conspiracy to launder criminal property with an estimated loss of approximately £245m. One of the largest investigations ever undertaken by Thames Valley Police with over 195,000 pages of evidence. (Led jnr. and first disclosure counsel). Press Links: BBC, The Guardian, Telegraph, The Sun, The Times
    • Op. Susumo (2015 – 2016) – Money laundering prosecution involving 7 defendants and the alleged laundering of over £6m (led jnr.).
    • R v RJ (2013) – Advised and drafted legal argument for the FCA regarding choses in action obtained from spread betting and whether associated costs should be deducted from the defendant’s benefit figure. Some of the submissions were novel but accepted by the Court: none were appealed.
      Press Links: FCA
    • Op. Saturn (2012) – Junior prosecution counsel in the then FSA’s longest and most complex prosecution of insider dealing to that date tried over four months.
      Press Links: The Guardian
    • Op. Ghast (2011) – 6-handed £22m VAT (MTIC) fraud and money laundering. (Led jnr. and one of two disclosure counsel in the overall operation).
    • Op. Stirling (2008-2011) – Disclosure counsel in a large-scale tax fraud directing and supervising 16 police officers in an extensive review of probe material. Hannah’s disclosure strategy has since become the framework for all Northumbrian Police operations involving the deployment and use of probes
    • Op. Saiful (2008-2010) – Junior prosecution counsel in an 11 handed banking fraud.
    • Op. Thankful (2007-2010) – Prosecution counsel in complex, lengthy confiscation proceedings in a drugs importation case. A hidden assets finding and confiscation order of £238,304.87 was made.
    • In the Matter of ***** and in the Matter of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 [2007/2008] – Advised on the appropriateness of seeking a restraint order and receivership post confiscation order in circumstances where new assets had been discovered by R.C.P.O. Also subsequently instructed to appear and advise in the confiscation enforcement proceedings following the granting of the restraint order.
    • In the matter of ****** and in the matter of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 [2007] – Successful High Court application for restraint order under the CJA 1988 for Thameside Metropolitan Council prior to the defendant being summonsed to the Magistrates’ Court for benefit fraud offences.

    See our Business Crime & Fraud team.

    Serious & Organised Crime

    Prior to taking silk, Hannah was appointed a Grade 4 Advocate for the CPS Specialist Serious Crime Panel in 2019, as well as a Grade 4 Advocate on the CPS General Crime Panel in 2016.

    She has particular experience of cases involving Serious Violence having both prosecuted and defended a very large number of such cases during the early years of her practice.

    Featured Cases

    • R v P (2019) – Defence counsel in multi-handed conspiracy to kidnap and rob case. Successful submission of no case to answer.
    • ****** (2017 – 2018) – Instructed to advise pre-charge as junior prosecution counsel in a case involving a death in custody.
    • Op. Nutant (2007-2008) – Junior prosecution counsel in case involving the importation of 36.72 kilos of heroin.
    • R v X (2008) – Prosecution counsel in GBH case concerning a complainant who had suffered serious burns as well as a head injury caused by a hammer.
    • R v Y (2008) – Defence counsel in GBH (later reduced to ABH) case in which the Defendant had run over another person with his car.
    • R v BB & Ors (2006) – Junior counsel for the prosecution in 6 handed case involving two conspiracies to kidnap. The case involved one defendant giving Queen’s Evidence for the Crown. In addition, there was a significant amount of cell site evidence, which Hannah called and cross-examined the experts upon.

    See our Serious & Organised Crime team.

    Regulatory & Professional Disciplinary

    Having been instructed by both DEFRA (now CPS) and the FSA (now FCA) in two of their most complex cases to date, as well as having undertaken work for the Marine Management Organisation and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, Hannah has extensive experience of regulatory work.

    Also recognised for her expertise in prosecuting serious financial crime, Hannah was instructed in the FSA’s (now FCA) flagship prosecution of insider dealing.

    Featured Cases

    • R v RJ (2013) – Advised and drafted legal argument for the FCA regarding the choses in action obtained from spread betting and whether associated costs should be deducted from the defendant’s benefit figure in confiscation proceedings. Some of the submissions were novel but accepted by the Court: none were appealed.
      Press Links: FCA
    • Op. Saturn (2012) – Junior prosecution counsel in the then FSA’s longest and most complex prosecution of insider dealing to that date tried over four months.
      Press Links: The Guardian
    • R v X (2011-2012) – Instructed to advise pre-charge as sole prosecution counsel in a Marine Management Organisation investigation of nine suspects.
    • Op. Eurovet (2009-2011) – Led jnr. and disclosure counsel in case concerning illegal importation and supply of approximately £6m of unauthorised and prescription–only veterinary medicines. One of the largest DEFRA prosecutions of its kind involving extradition proceedings, the obtaining of extensive evidence from abroad, contested expert evidence and issues arising from restraint proceedings.

    See our Regulatory & Professional Disciplinary team.

    Education

    • MA Law by Research, Distinction (Dissertation on ‘The Fraud Act 2006 – Ten Years Later’ 80%), Queen Mary, University of London 2017.
    • BPP Law School, Bar Vocational Course 2001.
    • BPP Law School, Postgraduate Diploma in Law, Distinction (top of year) 2000.
    • B.A. Joint Honours, Modern Languages: French and German Second Class Honours (First Division), Bristol 1998.

    Professional Appointments

    • SFO Prosecution Panel – A List – Reappointment 2020
    • CPS Specialist Fraud Panel Grade 4 (highest grade) 2019
    • CPS Specialist Serious Crime Group Panel Grade 4 (highest grade) 2019
    • Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) 2018
    • SFO Prosecution Panel – A list 2017
    • CPS General Crime Panel Grade 4 (highest grade) 2016
    • Recorder 2016
    • CPS Specialist Proceeds of Crime Panel Grade 2 2013
    • Attorney General’s C List 2005

    Memberships

    • Fraud Lawyers Association
    • South Eastern Circuit
    • CBA
    • Middle Temple
    • Advisory Board of UCL Faculty of Law’s Centre for Criminal Law

    Publications

    • Archbold, Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Procedure (Sweet & Maxwell 2019 to date) contributor.
    • Ormerod & Montgomery on Fraud: Criminal Law and Procedure (OUP 2019) contributor.
    • The Encyclopaedia of Road Traffic Law and Practice (Sweet & Maxwell 2003 to date) co-editor.
    • Lloyd’s Law Reports: Financial Crime (2015 – 2019) case reporter.
    • South Eastern Circuit’s written response to the Lord Chancellor’s speech ‘What does a One Nation Justice Policy look like?’ (2015) contributor.
    • Statutory Conspiracies: Practical Law (2015) co-author.
    • Parties to a Conspiracy: Practical Law (2015) co-author.
    • Conspiracy: the agreement: Practical Law (2015) co-author.

    Lectures

    • Lecturer (Teaching) (part-time) at University College London: October 2020 – ongoing
    • Teaching Fellow (part-time) at University College London: 2017 – September 2020
    • ‘The Fraud Act 2006 – A Step Too Far?’, November 2019, UCL Assize Seminar.
    • Co-presented Lexis Nexis webinar on Market Abuse and FCA Enforcement: 2015
    • Associate Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University: 2013- 2015.
    • Discussion group member of the review of sanctions for disclosure failures organised by Lord Justice Gross: 2012.

    Languages

    • French & German (moderate)

    Other experience