Alison Pople QC

Alison Pople QC

Called to the Bar - 1993
Queen's Counsel - 2015

"Stands out as a leading silk"

"Top-notch silk"

Who's Who Legal - 2020

"She is tremendous - very hard-working and a real details person."

"Has a very authoritative manner in court - she commands the jury and judges' attention every time she speaks."

Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2021 

"A real standout individual"

"...is brilliant. She is extremely able and has a very bright future ahead of her."

"she has an obsessive attention to detail; she is thorough and personable."

Chambers & Partners High Net Worth Guide 2020

"Incredibly hardworking and able to devastate the most difficult witnesses in cross-examination."

Legal 500

Alison Pople QC is widely recognised as a leading silk with particular specialisms in financial crime and regulation, corporate crime, global investigations, crime and professional discipline. Extremely highly regarded, she is routinely instructed as an advisor in high profile, serious and complex investigations and as a leading advocate in proceedings brought against both individual and corporate clients.

Alison is skilled in addressing the complex, multi-faceted and sensitive issues faced by high-profile persons, experienced professionals, politically exposed persons, or otherwise exposed individual clients. Her corporate clients have included large multinational corporations, private equity funds and highly niche SMEs. 

Advisory: Alison advises on self-reporting issues and on strategy from the commencement of investigations by bodies such as the Serious Fraud Office, Financial Conduct Authority, Competition and Markets Authority, the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and the Financial Reporting Council. Alison is adept at steering an issue away from criminal, regulatory or disciplinary investigation by early and decisive strategic action.

She frequently advises clients within and outside the UK on issues and investigations with global reach. Alison works closely and collaboratively with lawyers in other jurisdictions to provide clients with a unified strategy.

Advocacy: Alison is recognised as a skilled and persuasive advocate in both jury and non-jury court proceedings, as well as professional discipline tribunals and other forums. She has over 25 years experience as an advocate, having acted in a number of significant and high-profile cases over many years.

Areas of expertise:

Bribery and Corruption: Alison has acted in a significant number of Bribery Act 2010 and pre-Bribery Act investigations conducted by the SFO, including corporate investigations and contested UK criminal proceedings relating to domestic and international corruption. Alison acted in respect of an approved Deferred Prosecution Agreement reached with the SFO relating to corporate offences of failing to prevent bribery.

Fraud: Alison has advised and represented many clients investigated for or charged with Fraud Act 2006 offences and other associated offences by either the SFO or the CPS.  She has also advised on the prosecution of Fraud Act matters.

Tax Evasion: Alison has represented individuals under investigation by HMRC, including high-net worth individuals with issues in multiple jurisdictions. She has been successful in avoiding criminal prosecution. Alison has also advised corporate clients on potential exposure and compliance procedures in relation to corporate offences of failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion contrary to the Criminal Finances Act 2017.

Insider Dealing: Alison has advised on a number of insider dealing investigations undertaken by the FCA, and represented clients in three separate criminal cases brought by the FCA. 

Cartels: Alison successfully represented an individual charged with the criminal cartel offence by the OFT (now CMA) under the Enterprise Act 2002, as well as successfully avoiding prosecution for the cartel offence in two other separate cases. Alison is also experienced in advising clients subject to civil cartel investigations undertaken by the CMA.

Proceeds of Crime: Alison has wide-ranging experience advising and representing clients facing legal action or investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, including Part 2 (confiscation), Part 5 (civil recovery), Part 7 (money laundering) and Part 8 (investigations) as well as advising corporate clients and firms on all aspects of the Money Laundering Regulations.

Professional Discipline: Alison has acted for a wide range of professionals including solicitors, accountants, medical professionals and police officers under investigation by their professional supervisory bodies, both in tribunal proceedings and in an advisory capacity. She is skilled in preparing successful early representations to avoid proceedings.

Regulatory: Alison is experienced in addressing a broad spectrum of financial regulatory issues either as the main issue or ancillary to criminal investigations. She is adept at addressing niche regulatory issues raised by a particular business sector; examples of her prior advisory work include the regulation of medicines and healthcare products and the regulation of assessment of varying rates of landfill tax.

Health & Safety: Alison has experience of advising on health and safety investigations, including those involving fatalities.

Crime: Alison has experience of advising and representing clients in a number of of high-profile criminal cases, including the 2014 phone-hacking trial.

Special Advocate: Alison also acts as a Special Advocate, instructed by the Attorney General in High Court, Administrative Court or SIAC proceedings.

Recent Cases

The shortest (1 year) Deferred Prosecution Agreement approved to date between the SFO and an airline services company in respect of three offences of failure to prevent bribery.

The first successful challenge to an Unexplained Wealth Order since the introduction of legislation in 2018 via the Criminal Finances Act 2017. Alison represented one of three successful Respondents who secured the discharge of UWOs originally obtained by the NCA without notice. 

Successful 'no charge' decisions, after written representations to the SFO, in respect of two separate and senior individuals under criminal investigation in the Serco investigation. 

Successful strategic approach to UK authority to avoid criminal investigation into corporate client in respect of potential failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion.