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Rachel Wilson

Barrister. Senior In-house Counsel

She knows the answer before you’ve thought of the question

Legal 500

Overview

Rachel was called to the Bar in 2010 having read Law at King’s College London where she remained to complete a Masters in Law specialising in Criminology, Criminal Justice and Criminal Law, graduating with distinction. Rachel was awarded the Gerald Moody Scholarship by the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn.

In 2013, following the completion of pupillages at 2 Bedford Row and 2 Hare Court, Rachel joined Blackfords LLP to become lead counsel at the firm’s London office. She is also a Mentor within the Gray’s Inn Mentoring Scheme,

Rachel’s client base extends throughout the UK and internationally, including the U.S.A, UAE, China and Europe. She regularly represents companies and individuals from the corporate and professional spheres within the banking, business, military and political sectors, in addition to the industries of media, entertainment, art and fashion. Rachel also frequently advises both ultra-high net-worth, high net-worth individuals and public figures. As a result she is known for her excellent client care and reputational management in ensuring that matters are tactically dealt with on both a discrete and professional basis.

Her practice focusses on:

  • Business crime
  • Anti-competitive cartel cases
  • Bribery
  • Corruption
  • Fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Counterfeit goods and design right infringement
  • Serious crime
  • Defence of private prosecutions
  • Professional discipline
  • Student discipline
  • Historic military investigations and quasi-enquiry proceedings
  • Listed buildings offences and breaches of enforcement notices
  • Reputation management

Rachel has an extensive practice in business crime and white-collar crime, matters of fraud, bribery, corruption money laundering and tax offences. She is instructed in specialist cases concerning anti-competitive cartels, counterfeit goods and design right infringements, prosecutions by local councils for breaches of enforcement notices and listed buildings matters, and the representation of military individuals in historic investigations by the Iraq Historic Allegations Team and proceedings such as the Iraq Fatality Inquiry. She is also experienced in defending private prosecutions, particularly those involving director disputes, and the costs proceedings flowing from privately instructed matters.

In addition, Rachel is instructed in regulatory and professional disciplinary matters in forums such as the NMC, HCPC and SRA, and regularly advises in educational cases representing students at all levels of disciplinary proceedings within schools, colleges and universities. Her representation of students involves investigations and formal proceedings for alleged behavioural breaches which may require committee meetings, panel hearings, appeals procedures and reviews by the Office of Independent Adjudicators, but also specialised student Fitness to Practise proceedings at university level and advising in cases which involve linked criminal matters or the risk of referral to outside investigative agencies. This entails both significant advisory work and tribunal appearances as an experienced advocate.

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  • What the directories say

    Recommended lawyer – Legal 500 – 2023

    • “Impresses to a level beyond her years’ experience.” Legal 500, 2023
    • “Very diligent and a pleasure to work with. She knows the answer before you’ve thought of the question.” Legal 500, 2022
    • “Is able to pick up cases at very short notice and handle them with confidence and competence. She is great at taking the heat out of litigation and keeping the focus on the issues.” Legal 500, 2022
    • An exceptional lawyer and advocate. She is very impressive in court. She is affable, but always formidable in her client’s defence. A superb lawyer all around.” Legal 500, 2022
    • “A dedicated lawyer. She handles clients very well and has very good judgement” Legal 500, 2021
    • “Very bright” Legal 500, 2020
    • “Intelligent and extremely able” Legal 500, 2020
  • Notable cases
    • R v S: Secured acquittal as counsel for client accused of involvement in £266m money laundering scheme.
    • R v B: Secured acquittal as counsel for client accused of international conspiracy concerning an allegation of bribery and corruption within the oil and gas industry, prosecuted by the SFO.
    • R v H: Represented a Foreign Exchange trader under investigation by the DOJ, SFO and FCA for allegations of market fixing and manipulation resulting in no charges being brought.
    • R v B: Acted as counsel representing a TV personality in relation to an allegation of a boiler room fraud within the diamond investments industry and successfully argued issues of abuse of process and disclosure resulting in the case being discontinued.
    • R v A: Secured acquittal as counsel representing the head of a Mosque in relation to allegations of money laundering concerning the proceeds of drugs offences and tax fraud.
    • R v B: Secured acquittal for client accused of involvement in £40 million mortgage fraud.
    • R v S: Secured acquittal for public officer accused of involvement in money laundering.
    • R v C: Defended a Hatton Garden jeweller as counsel in relation to allegations of high value conspiracy to rob and handle stolen goods, money laundering, possession of criminal property, benefit fraud and tax fraud.
    • R v D: Represented Dubai businessman in relation to a suspected large scale fraud operation, requiring liaison and joint advice with his Dubai legal team.
    • R v O: Represented high net worth clients regarding breaches of enforcement notices and offences concerning the Town and Country Planning Act in respect of their London property portfolio.
    • Iraq Historic Allegations Team investigation: Represented UK military individuals in an investigation by the Iraq Historic Allegations Team for allegations concerning the drowning of an Iraqi citizen resulting in no charges being brought.
    • Iraq Fatality Inquiry: Represented a UK military individual as counsel in a quasi-public inquiry chaired by Baroness Hallett resulting in no adverse findings being made.
    • Electoral Commission investigation: Represented professional individual within the political sphere in relation to an investigation conducted by the Electoral Commission resulting in no charges being brought.
    • IPSA investigations: Previously instructed in investigations brought by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.
    • H v C: Defending private prosecution. Allegation made against company director of perverting the course of justice. Successfully argued that the matter should be taken over by the CPS and discontinued, followed by a successful application for defence costs in contested proceedings.
    • C v T: Defending private prosecution. Allegation made against company director of fraud within the context of the business. Successfully argued abuse of process in order to stay proceedings (with an application to dismiss the case in the alternative), followed by successful negotiation of defence costs application.
    • R v D: Acted as counsel for a client accused of conspiracy to murder. Successful submission of no case to answer resulting in an acquittal.
    • R v L: Secured acquittal as counsel following a retrial representing young client accused of murder within the context of gang and knife crime.
    • R v O: Secured an acquittal for TV personality in relation to allegations of assault.
    • R v M: Represented a very high net worth US citizen in relation to a serious assault investigation resulting in no charges being brought.
    • R v G: Represented high net worth UAE citizen in relation to a police investigation concerning the administering of a noxious substance resulting in no charges being brought.
    • Educational matter: Successfully advised school student and family in a case involving an allegation of sexual assault such that the school proceedings and simultaneous police investigation were discontinued and the student was able to continue their studies..
    • Educational matter: Successfully advised university student and family within disciplinary and Fitness to Practise proceedings (medical student). Negotiated no further penalty over and above the investigative suspension during the disciplinary proceedings. Successfully argued that allegations of sexual assault and the provision of prescription medication should be dismissed by the Fitness to Practise panel, along with a final decision that the student was fit to continue with their student practise. Further acted in relation to a linked mediation whereby settlement was reached between the student and university.
    • Educational matter: Successfully advised college student and family in a case involving an allegation of possession and distribution of false ID documents resulting in a warning to the student and the continuation of their studies at the college.
    • Educational matter: successfully advised school student and family in a case involving allegations of assault and general misbehaviour to persuade the panel that expulsion was not the correct outcome and that the period of suspension already undertaken was sufficient such that the student was able to continue their studies.
    • NMC v A: Secured acquittal as counsel for all contested charges concerning a patient death in a mental health unit and successfully argued on an admitted matter that it did not amount to misconduct. This resulted in the proceedings being discontinued.
    • NMC v P: Acting as counsel. Successfully argued against an interim suspension order.
    • HCPC v D: Acting as counsel. Successfully argued against suspension and striking off following impairment resulting from a criminal conviction.
  • Memberships & associations
    • Member of the Criminal Bar Association
    • Member of the Young Fraud Lawyers Association
    • Member of the Female Fraud Forum

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