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Barrister - neil chawla

Senior Practice Manager
Andrew Trotter

Practice Group Clerks
Craig Nicholls
Michael Powell
James Harte
Drew Platt

Marc Forrest-Thomas
Daniel Lillis

Chief Executive & Director of Clerking
Tony McDaid

Tel: +44 (0) 845 210 5555
Fax: +44 (0) 121 606 1501
[email protected]

Neil Chawla - Criminal Fraud & Proceeds of Crime

After reading Law at Nottingham University where (apart from captaining the team on BBC2's University Challenge!) he won the Nottingham Graduates Mooting Prize, Neil carried out his earlier training in London in the Chambers of Richard Ferguson QC. During this time he regularly appeared in Crown Courts throughout London and the South East dealing with crime in all areas, at every level of complexity, for both defence and prosecution. Neil was on the Unified List of Prosecuting Advocates for the Midland and Oxford Circuit.

Neil undertook all aspects of criminal work, both defence and prosecution, throughout the country. He believes the key to effective case management is "preparation, preparation, preparation". He was particularly interested in computing and financial/fraud cases (due to a background in accounting and insurance).

As well as appearing in the Crown courts and occasionally in the Court of Appeal on criminal matters he has also developed a specialist road traffic law practice conducting numerous insurance (e.g. Norwich Union, NFU) or union backed (e.g Police Federation) cases in the Crown and Magistrates' Courts and frequently advised solicitors and defendants as to plea and trial strategy in relation to matters relating to road traffic law, in which he has extensive experience. In addition, Neil developed a particular specialism in benefit fraud cases and was frequently instructed by the Department of Work and Pensions in high value fraud cases. He has also been instructed as independent counsel on lengthy financial fraud cases concerning Legal Professional Privilege in relation to computer data.

Whilst Neil’s main interest is now commercial law, he still endeavours to keep abreast of the developments in criminal law, in particular witness handling. In addition to this, he has very recently been instructed by local councils concerning housing benefit and committal proceedings, which has included both advising and attending such hearings.

Neil is also an Advocacy Tutor & Teacher for Lincoln’s Inn, the Bar of Ireland, at the ICC in the Hague and at a member of the Faculty at the International Advanced Advocacy Course at Keble College, Oxford. He is also an Accredited Mediator and a Fellow of the Institute of CPD (managed by the RICS).

Neil is also fully qualified in obtaining instructions, providing advice and going to court on a Direct Access basis.

Outside of the law, Neil has a keen interest in sport and in particular skiing, cricket and hockey. He is a qualified England Hockey Level 3 coach and umpire.


LLB (Hons)


Fellow of the Institute of CPD
Member of The Personal Finance Society and The Chartered Insurance Institute


Operation S (2010-2011) (Independent Counsel instructed to consider extensive amount of computer data for consideration of LLP material)
BIS v Cartlidge (2011) – (Prosecuted on behalf of BIS for a company director who failed to preserve accounting records for two companies. Defendant received 6 months custody and disqualified as a director for 6 years.)
R v Mogford (2010) (Prosecution Counsel instructed by DWP, defendant guilty of £44,000 of benefit fraud, sentenced to custody.)
DBERR v Hussain (2010) (Prosecution Counsel instructed by DBERR in a case concerning failing to keep proper accounting records.)
R v X (2010) (Prosecution Counsel – man sentenced to 22 years for abuse)
R v Y (2010) (Prosecution Counsel instructed by DWP, defendant guilty of £70,000 of benefit fraud).
HSE v Carillion (2009) [Prosecution Counsel instructed by HSE)
R v Davies (2009) (Prosecution Counsel instructed by DWP, defendant guilty of £57,000 of benefit fraud, sentenced to custody.)
R v. Bloor [2008] (Prosecution Counsel for DBERR for offences of a bankrupt obtaining credit) 
R v. Lee [2008] (Defence Counsel in a prosecution brought by DBERR for offences contrary to s.235(5) and 352(2) Insolvency Act 1986)