Mukul Chawla QC

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Mukul Chawla QC



Queen's Counsel



QC List for SFO Prosecution Panel & Proceeds of Crime Panel (2013)
Head Of Chambers (2012)

Recorder of the Crown Court (2007)

CEDR accredited mediator (2007)

Bencher of Gray's Inn (2004)

Standing Counsel to HM Customs & Excise (1996 to 2001)


Mukul has been recommended for many years as a Leading Silk by Chambers Directory and the Legal 500. In Chambers Directory he has been and is currently recommended in Crime and Criminal Fraud and in the Legal 500 he is recommended in Crime and Fraud.
He was shortlisted for Crime Silk of the Year 2012 by Chambers Directory.
Recent comments include:
Highly esteemed head of Head of Chambers, who regularly defends and prosecutes in criminal cases of the utmost complexity and seriousness. Sources praise him for his superb jury manner and his tactical judgement calls. "He is a barrister of class, who is an intelligent and insightful advocate". Recent work: He prosecuted a large scale arms dealer who tried to export tens of thousands of arms to Nigeria. Chambers & Partners Directory 2014
"Head of chambers at 9-12 Bell Yard is Mukul Chawla QC, "one of the big silks in the criminal sphere." Impressed peers describe him as "extremely hardworking with a velvety smooth advocacy style that wins judges and juries over." Recent highlights include R v Bhatt and Others, an MTIC contra trading fraud, and R v Hyde, a case concerning money laundering and the illegal movement of arms from China to Nigeria. Chambers & Partners Directory 2013
Criminal Fraud:
Mukul Chawla QC prosecutes and defends some of the most significant fraud and corruption cases. He is a highly regarded presence in the criminal fraud arena. "He is an absolute powerhouse, who is brilliant with clients." "A careful, tactful advocate." Recent work: He acted for the SFO in the prosecution of five defendants for corruption offences relating to oil and gas engineering contracts. Chambers & Partners Directory 2014
Mukul Chawla QC of 9-12 Bell Yard is "a great trial advocate, who offers an excellent strategic overview." His recent cases include acting in the first MTIC contra-trading fraud to be prosecuted, and appearing for a solicitor charged with insider dealing. Chambers & Partners Directory 2013
“a highly effective advocate with a confident presence” The Legal 500 2013
One of only 13 Barristers featured in the ‘Business Crime – Defence’ section of Who’s Who Legal 2012 and described as “a barrister you can depend on.”

Practice Areas and Specialisations

A specialist criminal and regulatory QC handling cases of the greatest complexity.
In crime, he has experience in prosecuting and defending the most serious offences of fraud, corruption and allegations of insider dealing.
He advises companies and individuals in a wide range of criminal and regulatory matters including Financial Services, compliance with the Bribery Act 2010, privacy issues and export and trade control compliance.

He is instructed in disciplinary proceedings instigated by the Financial Reporting Council in relation to accountants and actuaries.

In addition to his role as an advocate, he has been an accredited Mediator since 2007 and conducts mediation across the spectrum of commercial, civil and professional disciplinary cases. He is a member of QC Mediation.
Current Cases
Currently instructed by the Serious Fraud Office to advise on any criminal conduct arising out of LIBOR manipulation and to prosecute cases arising out of the investigation in LIBOR manipulation.
Instructed by Executive Counsel of the Financial Reporting Council in relation to disciplinary proceedings against accountants involved in reviewing pensions covenants.
Prosecuting 2 defendants charged with corruption in relation to the projects financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Advising a number of companies and individuals under investigation for fraud, corruption and bribery.
Recent Cases

R v Hyde – October 2012 - Prosecuting an arms dealer charged with the illegal brokering of 80,000 semi automatic firearms and 32,000,000 rounds of ammunition from China to Nigeria. Defendant convicted.


R v Hossain – April 2012 to June 2012 – Defended Head Trader of Blue Index (a derivatives brokerage) charged with Insider Dealing. Only the second case prosecuted by the SFA in which Defendants have been acquitted of Insider Dealing. (The first was in 2010 (R. v McFall) in which he also defended.)

R v Stevens – March 2012 – Defended General Secretary of the Union of Democratic Mineworkers on allegations of theft from a Miners charity of which he was a trustee. Defendant acquitted.

R v Rybak and others – September 2011 to January 2012 – Prosecuted 5 defendants for the SFO for corruption of oil and gas engineering contracts in Iran, Egypt, Russia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Contracts corrupted valued at £70m. 4 of 5 defendants convicted, jury unable to agree on the 5th.

Operation Inertia – Jan 2011 to June 2011- Represented the Head Trader of a company involved in £120million VAT contra trading MTIC fraud. Defendant acquitted.

Examples of Older Cases

2002 defended the Police Sergeant charged with the unlawful killing of Christopher Alder and with misconduct in a public office.
2003 to 2005 Defended one of the principal Defendants in the Jubilee Line Fraud and Corruption trial. 
2005 Appeared for the DPP and the Director of RCPO in the Court of Appeal when the Court decided that the defence of necessity was not available when cannabis was being used for medicinal purposes.
2007 defended the Finance Director of Independent Insurance which collapsed in 2001.
2009 prosecuted three businessmen based in the United Kingdom who sent military aviation components to Iran both from the United Kingdom and from the United States of America via third countries in breach of international embargoes (R v. Nik and others).
2009 defended the owner of a fireworks company based in Sussex prosecuted for the manslaughter of two members of the East Sussex Fire Service (R v. Winter).
2009 defended a solicitor charged by the FSA with insider dealing (R. v McFall and others). This was the first criminal prosecution for insider dealing in which the defendants were acquitted.
As a junior, he prosecuted extensively for HM Customs and Excise, representing police officers in inquests, in cases of manslaughter, corruption, perverting the course of public justice (including the "Guildford Four" and "Birmingham Six"). He also acted for a former senior police officer in the Stephen Lawrence Enquiry and for a significant witness in the "Bloody Sunday" Enquiry.
He has defended in numerous fraud cases both in Silk and as a Junior.

Education and Qualifications

LL.B (Hons) - University College London 1979-1982

Reported Cases

Acted for the DPP and HMRC in the appeal of Quayle and others [2005] 1 WLR 3642 where the Court of Appeal decided that the defence of necessity was not available to users of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

Associated Work

Mukul has been for many years a regular advocacy trainer at Gray's Inn and was involved in establishing advocacy training programmes in Trinidad and Tobago and Jersey.

He is a CEDR accredited mediator.

He is permitted to accept instructions on a Direct Access basis.

Mukul also regularly provides training and seminars for members of the legal profession and investigating officers on a range of topics within his areas of specialisation.

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