Rebecca Chalkley

Call: 1999

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  • Rebecca is fiercely bright, incredibly adaptable and unflappable.

    Legal 500 (2024)
  • Rebecca is incredibly bright, adaptable and unflappable.

    Legal 500 (2024)
  • Rebecca is approachable, knowledgeable and proactive. She is always well-prepared.

    Legal 500 (2024)
  • Very pragmatic, safe, capable approach.

    Chambers UK (2023)
  • The disclosure queen for private prosecution work. She knows everything about disclosure and the Court of Appeal praised her in their judgement.

    Chambers UK (2023)
  • Rebecca has been spotlighted in Chambers UK 2021 for Private Prosecutions.

  • A confident and assertive advocate, she understands the intricacies of the legislation, identifies the key elements of the evidence and doesn't get mired in attempts to divert attention elsewhere.

    Legal 500 (2023)
  • Rebecca brings exceptional oral advocacy and has a very deft touch with judges in court.

    Legal 500 (2023)
  • She is an outstanding advocate – very nice and very bright. She’s incredibly knowledgeable.

    Chambers UK (2021)
  • A fantastic team player who works exceptionally hard.

    Chambers UK (2021)
  • Fearless in court, and unafraid of making difficult decisions.

    Legal 500 (2021)
Rebecca Chalkley

Personal profile

Rebecca Chalkley specialises in all areas of Business Crime & Fraud and Financial Services Regulation. Her areas of expertise include insider dealing, Bribery & Corruption (international and domestic), financial regulation, legal professional privilege, Money Laundering & Proceeds of Crime and tax fraud (direct and indirect), fraudulent trading, financial vehicles and the full spectrum of frauds.

She is regularly instructed in matters of complexity and sensitivity, and often with an international dimension.

Rebecca is a LexisNexis Expert in Corporate Crime.

Rebecca was The Times Lawyer of the week- 21 April 2022. [Press Report]

Rebecca has also been included in The Lawyer Hot 100 2023. Please see here for more information: [The Lawyer]

Rebecca has been and is instructed in the largest Private Prosecutions and is a leader in that field. She has been ‘spotlighted’ as such in Chambers UK.

She has been instructed in various cases which resulted in Deferred Prosecutions Agreements (DPA), including what is believed to be the largest to date. She has acted in these for both individuals and companies.

She is Standing Counsel to the Department for Business and the Insolvency Service and consequently advises the department on the most complicated issues of policy and their prosecutions.

She has a vast experience of bankruptcy and liquidation and prosecutions under the Insolvency Act and Directorship Offences. She has considerable expertise in all matters connected to disclosure and legal professional privilege.

Rebecca is frequently instructed in regulatory and quasi-criminal matters on cases involving breaches of Regulatory & Professional Discipline and on behalf of regulatory bodies. This includes the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency, the Financial Conduct Authority and the General Medical Council. She is regularly instructed to defend Opticians at the General Optical Council.

She is also consistently instructed in Extradition cases. This includes cases involving the USA, the Russian Federation and Bermuda.

She is instructed by various government departments in cases before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC). Rebecca was instructed by the Government, in the Kamoka litigation, concerning allegations of rendition and ill treatment sustained in Libya, brought against the British Government.

Rebecca has also been appointed Visiting Professor of Practice at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) at the University of London and has taken up the role, for one year, from October 1, 2022.

Recommendations

Rebecca is fiercely bright, incredibly adaptable and unflappable.

― Legal 500 (2024)

Rebecca is incredibly bright, adaptable and unflappable.

― Legal 500 (2024)

Rebecca is approachable, knowledgeable and proactive. She is always well-prepared.

― Legal 500 (2024)

Very pragmatic, safe, capable approach.

― Chambers UK (2023)

The disclosure queen for private prosecution work. She knows everything about disclosure and the Court of Appeal praised her in their judgement.

― Chambers UK (2023)

Rebecca has been spotlighted in Chambers UK 2021 for Private Prosecutions.

A confident and assertive advocate, she understands the intricacies of the legislation, identifies the key elements of the evidence and doesn't get mired in attempts to divert attention elsewhere.

― Legal 500 (2023)

Rebecca brings exceptional oral advocacy and has a very deft touch with judges in court.

― Legal 500 (2023)

A great advocate and disclosure expert.

― Legal 500 (2022)

She is an outstanding advocate – very nice and very bright. She’s incredibly knowledgeable.

― Chambers UK (2021)

A fantastic team player who works exceptionally hard.

― Chambers UK (2021)

A pleasure to work with, always available and approachable.

― Chambers UK (2021)

Fearless in court, and unafraid of making difficult decisions.

― Legal 500 (2021)

Incredibly imaginative and creative in her approach, and also completely fearless.

― Chambers UK (2020)

She’s a good advocate, who is hot on the law and really efficient.

― Chambers UK (2020)

Business Crime & Fraud

Rebecca’s Fraud experience is wide and includes VAT (MTIC/Carousel), corporation tax, film tax, alcohol diversion, direct tax, immigration, Fraud Act 2006, welfare benefit frauds, charity fraud and boiler rooms, attacks on the Revenue and corporate and financial wrong-doing, bribery and corruption.

She has experience in cases where consideration has been given as to the appropriateness of resolution by way of a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA). She was instructed by the SFO in the prosecution of Rolls Royce PLC which resulted in the largest DPA in UK legal history.

She has often worked with accountants and computer experts to reconstruct and understand the commercial trading history of companies and to identify and demonstrate concealed fraudulent transactions and activities. She understands complex bank movements and off-shore transactions, trusts and other financial vehicles. She is extremely familiar with analysing and dissecting business accounting records and auditing material and in presenting such evidence to a jury.

Rebecca has extensive experience of the investigation and prosecution of offences of bribery and corruption both of individuals and corporate entities. She both prosecutes and defends.

Rebecca is Standing Counsel to the Department for Business & the Insolvency Service and consequently advises the department on the most complicated issues of policy and advises on and acts for the Department in their most serious and high profile prosecutions and investigations. She has a vast experience of bankruptcy and liquidation, offences under the Insolvency Act and Directorship Offences.

Featured cases

  • R v Boris Becker (2019-2022) – Instructed by the Insolvency Service. [Press Report]
  • R v Ellie Taktouk (2018-2021) – Instructed by EMM. Private Prosecution for Fraud. [Press Report]
  • Rolls Royce (2016–2019) – Instructed by the SFO in their investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption.[Press Report]
  • Sweett Group PLC (2016) – Instructed to prosecute charges of bribery. The company pleaded to failing to prevent an act of bribery intended to secure and retain a contract with Al Ain Ahlia Insurance Company (AAAI), contrary to s7(1)(b) Bribery Act 2010, and fined £2.25m. [Press Report]
  • Operation Elveden (2014–2016) – Instructed in the various cases that formed part of the investigation into allegations involving the unlawful provision of information by public officials to journalists, including various senior members of The Sun.
  • Operation Weeting & Sacha (2013–2016) – The “Phone Hacking” case at The News of the World and the investigation into allegations of perverting the course of justice. [Press Report]
  • Operation Blastfurnace (2012–13) – Multi-million pound VAT and the first film tax credit fraud prosecution arising from a bogus film-production Landscape of Lives, which became the subject of a BBC Storyville documentary, The Great Gangster Film Fraud. [Press Report]

Proceeds of Crime and Confiscation

The majority of the cases that Rebecca has prosecuted have required consideration and achievement of confiscation and parallel restraint proceedings.

Rebecca has experience of the seizure of sums of money under POCA. She obtained what is believed to be the first restraint order in a private prosecution on behalf of a blue-chip company.

Featured cases

  • Operation Devout Confiscation (2008–2014) – Multi-million pound, multi-jurisdictional confiscation proceedings involving the movement of money through trusts and bank accounts in Jersey, the British Virgin Islands, Liechtenstein, Dubai and Switzerland.
  • R v L and H (2016) – Instructed to prosecute two individuals for perverting the course of justice and money laundering arising from confiscation proceedings in a previous prosecution.
  • Operation Echogramme (2009) – Instructed to prosecute a multi-handed money laundering of the proceeds of MTIC fraud involving abuse of process arguments on res judicata and alleged manipulation of the process in relation to the contrasting regimes of POCA 2002 and the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

Serious & Organised Crime

Rebecca has been instructed for the last 20 years in a very large number of drug trafficking and money laundering cases, involving various national and international law enforcement agencies. This has included prosecuting the largest on-land seizure of cocaine. The drugs had a street value of in excess of £65m.

She has considerable experience of working with policy, training and various specialist teams, including those responsible for the gathering and handling of intelligence and witness protection. She also has extensive experience of Part 1 RIPA material and the use of undercover officers and informant involvement both in this jurisdiction and abroad. She is alert to the competing issues in relation to QE witnesses and is thoroughly familiar with all aspects of public interest immunity (PII).

Featured cases

  • Operation Prelacy (2012) (SOCA) – Instructed to prosecute money laundering: see R v El-Kurd [2001] Crim L R 234.
  • Project Galloway (2003–07) (HMCE & HMRC) – Instructed as junior counsel in a case concerning Class A drug importations. Over 100 seizures (six tonnes of Class A drugs in the UK and more abroad) and 300 targets. The largest and most successful umbrella operation of its type.

Extradition

Rebecca has detailed knowledge of both Part One and Part Two of the Extradition Act 2003.

Featured cases

  • Currently instructed in a series of high profile and complex cases acting for the Russian Federation. Rebecca is familiar with Article 3 issues arising from political and human rights (including prison conditions) conditions within that country.
  • Recently successfully acted for the US Government in a complex case involving the selling of counterfeit cancer drugs in the USA and a manslaughter case.

Financial Services Regulation

Featured cases

  • Instructed by Accountancy & Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB) to review the auditing and baseline accountancy records of a multi-national company and its auditor’s handling of accounts.
  • Recently instructed as lead counsel with a junior, by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to act for them, to prosecute an insider dealing case.

Health & Safety

In 2012 Rebecca was appointed to the Attorney General’s Regulatory List of prosecutors which includes the Health & Safety Executive, Office of Rail and Road and the Environment Agency.

She is regularly instructed by the HSE to advise on and prosecute companies and individuals for breaches of health and safety regulations. This has included cases where individuals have suffered both life changing injuries and cases where a fatality has occurred as a result of the breaches.

Rebecca has gained considerable experience in prosecuting cases involving asbestos.

Featured cases

  • Barroerock Construction (2017) – Instructed for the prosecution for health and safety breaches in connection with the handling and removal of asbestos. The company was fined £750k. [Press Report]

Environment

Rebecca has been, and is currently, instructed in some of the Environment Agency’s largest and most high-profile recent prosecutions.

These have included prosecutions relating to both legal and illegal waste sites and the first prosecution under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations which came into force in January 2007. She is currently instructed in the prosecution of various water companies in a series of separate prosecutions for their alleged environmental breaches.

She is currently instructed by DEFRA in a prosecution on behalf of the Drinking Water Inspectorate.

Featured cases

  • Rowanoak Waste Services Ltd (2018–2019) – Instructed for the prosecution of two companies and four individuals for a waste site in Derby, where approximately 2,000 tonnes of waste had been abandoned. [Press Report]

Professional Discipline

Rebecca is instructed on a regular basis to represent the General Medical Council (GMC) at fitness to practice hearings. She is very comfortable, in part due to her undergraduate degree, in dealing with the medical reports, terminology and papers, associated with medical expert evidence. Her fraud background has resulted in her being able to assimilate and present complex and data dense material to a tribunal in a comprehensible, persuasive and simple manner

Rebecca is also regularly instructed to represent Opticians at the General Optical Council (GOC).

Inquests & Inquiries

Rebecca’s expertise on disclosure issues is wide. She frequently lectures on the subject to lawyers and investigators in the private and public sectors.

She is regularly instructed to run large and complex disclosure exercises. This includes managing teams of lawyers and investigators, advising on approach and drafting detailed disclosure management documents (DMDs).

Rebecca is frequently instructed to act as Independent Counsel in the review of material to determine whether it attracts LPP. She has recently been instructed to review such material both at the scene of the raid and search and also once the material has been removed to a secure and appropriate location. She has been and is instructed in these exercises by the SFO, City of London Police and various Police Forces.

Featured cases

  • Instructed in the Azelle Rodney Public Inquiry into the death of a man shot by the Metropolitan Police in 2005. She was instructed in the High Court litigation, arising from the Chairman, Sir Christopher Holland’s findings. This included judicial review proceedings. Rebecca was instructed by HMRC who was a core participant in the Inquiry and who was the intelligence provider to the Metropolitan Police.
  • Instructed to advise on matters arising from the Duggan Inquest (the shooting which triggered the London summer riots in 2011). [Press Report]
  • Instructed by the Serious Fraud Office to head the disclosure team of lawyers, investigators and junior counsel in their investigation into Rolls Royce PLC. This was the largest investigation that the SFO has carried out.
  • Recently instructed by Eversheds LLP to head up the disclosure team charged with carrying out disclosure in a private prosecution on behalf of a multinational Blue Chip company.

Trading Standards

  • R v L (2016) – Instructed to advise on a number of intellectual property matters regarding multinational consumer brands.

Civil Liberties & Human Rights

Rebecca is regularly instructed by government agencies and departments to act for them and to advise on a range of matters.

She is instructed by various government departments in cases before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC).

Featured cases

  • Instructed by the Government, in the Kamoka litigation (2018-2019), concerning allegations of rendition and ill treatment sustained in Libya, brought against the British Government.

Education

  • BA MA, Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford (1993-1997)

Awards

  • The Queen Mother’s Scholar, Middle Temple (1999)

Recommendations

  • ‘Lawyer of the Week’, The Times, April 2022
  • A LexisNexis Expert in Corporate Crime, appointed April 2022

Professional appointments

  • Visiting Professor of Practice at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) at the University of London
  • Standing Counsel to the Department for Business & the Insolvency Service (2017, reappointed 2020)
  • SFO Prosecution Panel (A List) (2013, reappointed 2020)
  • Attorney General’s Regulatory List of Health & Safety Executive, Office of Rail Regulation and Environment Agency (B List) (2012, reappointed 2019)
  • GMC (Full List) (2015)
  • CPS Specialist Panel Advocate (Serious Organised Crime, Extradition and Fraud) (Gradel 3)
  • Attorney General’s Prosecutor (List B) (2006)

Memberships

  • St Hilda’s College, Oxford, Law Network
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Midlands Circuit
  • CBA
  • FLA
  • ARDL
  • PPA
  • FSLA
  • Female Fraud Forum

Publications

  • The SFO’s independent review into the collapse of the R V Woods and Marshall trial (SERCO), The Altman Review, 21 July 2022, co-author
  • RIPA contributor: Judicial Studies Board (2008)
  • CPS Guidance Notes for the Prosecution of VAT & Excise Frauds, 2006–2007, co-author
  • Response to the Review by Lord Justice Auld of the Criminal Courts: General Council of the Bar & CBA, 2001, contributor

Languages

French (conversational)