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Hugo Keith QC

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Hugo Keith QC is recognised as one of the legal profession’s leading QC’s and is described as ‘a fabulous silk’ and as having ‘an outstanding reputation’.

He was named as one of the UK’s ‘Stars at the Bar’ in the Chambers and Partners 2015 guide to the UK Bar, and is currently top ranked in six practice areas.

He was a member of the ‘A’ Panel of civil Treasury Counsel for 8 years, during which time he regularly appeared on matters of public and criminal law both on behalf of Government departments and as amicus curiae before the High Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords. He has appeared in 15 cases before the House of Lords/Supreme Court. He won the Chambers and Partners award for criminal barrister of the year 2008, and took silk in 2009.

As well as his regular appearances in the High Court and Supreme Court, he has been instructed in some of the most high profile cases of recent years. He represented The Queen in the Inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Malcolm Calvert in the Cazenove inside dealing case. He was appointed leading Counsel to the Inquests into the London Bombings of 7 July 2005 and, subsequently, appeared in the Leveson Inquiry on behalf of Rebekah Brooks. He appeared in the Mark Duggan, Alexander Litvinenko and Westminster inquests, and represented the Home Secretary in the El-Gizouli judicial review (concerning MLA relating to one of the ‘Jihadi Beatles‘) and the Electoral Commission in its proceedings against Leave.EU. He has just concluded the Airbus Deferred Prosecution Agreement.

Hugo is instructed by companies, high net-worth individuals, and politically exposed persons relating to all aspects of extradition (including advising on Interpol and on international restraint), international criminal/corporate liability, sanctions and criminal judicial review. His extradition and MLA cases include the leading and high profile cases of Berezovsky, US v Bermingham (the Natwest Three), Abu Hamza, Gary McKinnon, Shrien Dewani, David Kezerashvili and Hamdi Ipek.

In the field of financial and international crime, he advised on the UK’s first Deferred Prosecution Agreement (Standard Bank Plc) and appeared in the two most recent DPAs (Guralp Systems Limited and Airbus). He has been involved on behalf of individuals or corporate bodies in a large number of the SFO’s highest profile investigations of recent years: LIBOR, EURIBOR, FOREX, Alstom, Autonomy, Rolls Royce, Tesco, and Unaoil.

He is an expert on search and seizure, restraint and confiscation, and appeared in the leading cases of Rawlinson & Hunter Trustees and Others (search warrants), Golfrate (search warrant), Malabu Oil and Gas (international MLA restraint) and SFO v Zlochevsky (restraint against overseas Minister).

He is a renowned appellate advocate, and has appeared in a significant number of leading criminal cases in the UK higher courts. He has appeared twice in the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal, most recently in the appeal concerning the former Chief Secretary of Hong Kong.


Call 1989; QC 2009;

Member of Treasury "B" Panel 1995; Member of Treasury "A" Panel 2001;Bencher of Gray’s Inn 2013

Special Advocate in control order proceedings under the PTA 2005