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Hugo Keith QC

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Described as ‘a fabulous silk’ and as having ‘an outstanding reputation’, Hugo is recognised as one of the legal profession’s leading QC’s. 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 recommended as a leader 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 14 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 then 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 and in the Tchenguiz action against the SFO.

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. 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.

Notable cases in 2014-2017 include the Gary McKinnon case, the Shrien Dewani extradition (in which he successfully represented the Republic of South Africa), the Inquest into the death of Mark Duggan (Hugo represented the Metropolitan Police Commissioner), the Inquest into the death of Alexander Litvinenko (on behalf of Boris Berezovsky), the Hermitage Capital affair, and the SFO investigations into LIBOR, Alstom and Swift (Nigeria). He advised on the UK’s first Deferred Prosecution Agreement (Standard Bank Plc). He successfully defended the former CEO in the Bertling overseas corruption case.

In 2018 he represented the Metropolitan Police Service in the Inquests relating to the Westminster terrorist attack of 22 March 2017 and recently appeared on behalf of the Electoral Commission in relation to its proceedings against Leave.EU. He is currently advising individuals or corporate bodies in relation to some of the most significant current SFO investigations, including Autonomy/Hewlett Packard, Rolls Royce, Euribor, Airbus and ENRC/Gertler.


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