Julian Knowles QC

Called 1994 Silk 2011
Julian Knowles

Julian Knowles QC is a well-known and experienced practitioner in criminal law, fraud, extradition and mutual assistance, public law, and human rights law. He was regarded as a ‘stellar junior’ (Chambers and Partners, 2011) and was one of the youngest QCs to be appointed in his year.
Julian’s criminal and regulatory practice includes:
• Corporate and white collar crime including fraud, asset restraint and money laundering
• Murder, terrorism and other serious offences
Julian is regularly instructed by large City firms and the specialist white collar criminal firms to provide strategic advice to corporate and private clients during the investigatory and pre-charge stages of a case. He is frequently instructed to advise in cases that involve particularly difficult or novel legal issues and/or which are factually complex.
Julian prosecutes and defends, and in 2009 he was appointed to the Serious Fraud Office’s ‘A’ Panel of counsel.
Some of Julian’s fraud/white collar cases include:
R v Pearson (the Crown Corporation fraud, prosecuting for the SFO)
• R v David Chaytor (former MP accused of fraud in relation to Parliamentary expenses)
• Advising a company on its internal corruption investigation
• Advising in relation to numerous SFO investigations
• Advising BAE Systems PLC
• Advising an MP on criminal allegations regarding Parliamentary expenses
• R v Sanders and others (FSA insider trading prosecution)
• R v Littlewood (FSA prosecution for insider trading)
• Advising a newspaper on issues relating to the Bribery Act 2010
• R v King (FSA insider trading prosecution)
• Advising a major investment bank on money laundering issues
• Advising a Formula 1 team on regulatory and criminal law issues
• Advising a political party concerning political funding
• Advising a newspaper editor in relation to alleged insider dealing
• HSBC Bank PLC v Brown (private prosecution of major political donor)
Julian’s other complex and/or high profile criminal cases include:
R v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (the Jean Charles De Menezes shooting)
• R v Corporal Donald Payne (prosecution of British soldier for war crimes)
• R v Siôn Jenkins (deputy headmaster accused of murdering his foster daughter Billie-Jo)
• R v Venables (prosecution of one of the murderers of James Bulger for child pornography offences)
• Corporation of London v Holmes Place plc (health and safety offences arising out of a fatal lift accident)
• R v Ramnath (medical manslaughter)
• R v Jama (the murder of WPC Beshenivsky)
• R v Pasquill (prosecution of an FCO official under the Official Secrets Act 1989)
Julian has particular expertise in appellate work and regularly appears in the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the Privy Council. He undertakes pro bono appeals on behalf of prisoners sentenced to death in the Caribbean and has appeared in most of the leading cases of recent years.
Julian’s appellate cases include:
• Ex parte Pinochet Nos 1, 2 and 3 (House of Lords, head of state immunity and judicial bias)
• R v Lyons (House of Lords, the Guinness human rights appeal)
• R v Chaytor and others (Supreme Court, Parliamentary privilege)
• R v Asfaw (House of Lords, immigration offences and criminal law)
• R v Smith (House of Lords, jury misconduct)
• R v English (House of Lords, murder/joint enterprise)
• Re Ismail (House of Lords, meaning of being ‘accused’ in extradition law)
• Taylor v Serious Fraud Office (House of Lords, witness immunity)
• Al-Fawwaz and others v United States (House of Lords, territoriality in extradition law)
• Jones v Saudi Arabia (House of Lords, immunity for torture)
R v Noye (Court of Appeal, the Kenneth Noye M25 murder case)
• R v Siôn Jenkins (Court of Appeal, the Billie-Jo murder case)
• R v Cooper and McMahon (Court of Appeal, the Luton post-office murder)
Cannonier v The Queen (Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean, death penalty)
• Tido v The Queen (Privy Council, identification and appropriateness of the death penalty)
• Campbell v The Queen (Privy Council, bad character and jurisdiction issues)
• R v Watson (Privy Council, mandatory death penalty)
• Lewis v Attorney-General (Privy Council, prerogative of mercy and fairness)

Julian is also one of the UK’s leading extradition and mutual assistance counsel and a substantial proportion of his practice involves advising on international criminal law issues for both governments and individuals. He acted for General Pinochet in the extradition proceedings brought by Spain between 1998 and 2000 and he co-authors the leading textbook on the subject.

His cases in this area include:
• South Africa v Dewani (defending man accused of the murder of his wife on honeymoon)
• Russia v Nikitin and Skarga (extradition of former CEO of Sovcomflot accused of serious and complex fraud)
• Algeria v Khelifa (first extradition to Algeria, head of a bank accused of serious and complex fraud)
• Russia v Temerko and Russia v Chernysheva (former executives from the Yukos oil company accused of serious and complex fraud)
• Russia v Zakaev (former Deputy Prime Minister of Chechnya accused of terrorism)
• R v Secretary of State ex parte Ramda (conspiracy to cause explosions on the Paris Metro)
• Ahmed and Aswat v United States (effectiveness of undertakings re Guantanamo Bay)
• Ex parte Lodhi (human rights, extradition to the UAE)
• Ex parte Abacha (mutual assistance, judicial review of SFO)
• Ex parte Fininvest (mutual assistance, judicial review of SFO)
Julian has either written, or contributed to, the following books:
• The Law of Extradition and Mutual Assistance (OUP, 2nd Edition) (3rd Edition forthcoming in 2012) (co-author)
• Blackstone’s Guide to the Extradition Act 2003 (OUP, 2003) (author)
• Blackstone’s Guide to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (OUP, 2010) (co-author)
• Montgomery and Ormerod, Fraud (OUP) (contributor)
• Smith, Owen and Bodnar, Asset Recovery (contributor)
• Blackstone’s Guide to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (OUP, 2005) (contributor)
Julian was born and grew up in Manchester. He attended the local comprehensive school and went on to study Mathematics at Balliol College, Oxford, where he won an Exhibition. He then worked with death row prisoners in the United States before returning to the UK to study for the Bar. 
Julian’s interests outside work include: electronic dance music; looking in bookshops; and supporting Manchester City FC.
Julian lives in west London and Oxfordshire. He is married and has one son.
Julian accepts instructions under the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.