Matrix expands financial crime team


Matrix is delighted to announce the arrival of four new members to its financial crime team; Richard Whittam QC, Kwaku Awuku-Asabre, Nichola Higgins and Vedrana Pehar.

The criminal team at Matrix has an exceptional reputation across the full range of crime-related practice areas including financial crime, criminal fraud, POCA and financial regulatory investigations. Members have extensive experience acting for individuals and corporates and are in demand for both heavyweight trial and appellate work as well as during the critical investigatory stages.

Rachel Holmes, Chief Executive of Matrix, commented:

“We are delighted to welcome these four outstanding criminal practitioners to Matrix. Renowned for our expertise across a wide range of areas of law, these four new recruits further strengthen Matrix’s criminal team and add to our unique multi-disciplinary offering. We look forward to working with each of them to continue to develop their individual practices.”

Richard Whittam QC

Richard, former First Senior Treasury Counsel, arrives from 2 Bedford Row. ‘Highly respected’ (Legal 500), Richard is ‘noted for his expertise in defending and prosecuting fraud, bribery and corruption cases’ and ‘respected for his tenacity, work ethic and superior jury advocacy’ (Chamber & Partners). He is consistently recognised as one of the leading criminal advocates in the UK, receiving both the Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 Crime Silk of the Year awards. Richard is renowned for his strategic and tactical guidance, and his ability to master complex legal and factual issues.

Kwaku Awuku-Asabre

Kwaku joins Matrix from 2 Bedford Row. He has experience both as single advocate and junior counsel in a wide variety of cases spanning general crime, Environmental Agency prosecutions, Privy Council matters and Coroner’s inquests. Outside court Kwaku has undertaken disclosure work for the Government Legal Department in relation to both the Grenfell Tower and Cyprus Colonial Litigation disclosure projects as well as ongoing disclosure exercises for the Serious Fraud Office and Post Office.

Nichola Higgins

A leading practitioner in the field of financial and corporate crime, Nichola joins Matrix from Doughty Street Chambers. Described by the legal directories as “A first-class advocate with an enormous capacity for huge cases”, Nichola has extensive experience defending, investigating and prosecuting some of the most complex and challenging allegations of corruption and fraud, both domestic and overseas, in recent years. ‘Phenomenally hard-working and fully committed to her cases’ (Legal 500), Nichola handles both government and internal investigations, including those with a multi-jurisdictional reach.

Vedrana Pehar

Vedrana joins Matrix from 2 Bedford Row. ‘Recognised for her expertise in significant financial crime cases, she has a strong track record in fraud, money laundering and corruption cases. She offers particular experience in cases with sanction issues and multi-jurisdictional matters’ (Chambers & Partners).  She is instructed in complex and high-profile criminal investigations and proceedings for both individual and corporate clients.  Vedrana handles the full range of financial crime cases, including serious fraud, insider dealing and market abuse, corruption and bribery (domestic and international), benefit and mortgage fraud and money laundering. ‘An elegant and astute performer: her piercing and shrewd advocacy is the product of rigorous preparation and a fine intellect’ (Legal 500), Vedrana has been instructed in some of the most complex and high-profile cases before the UK courts involving senior executives, corporate entities and global institutions, including LIBOR rate–fixing and Weavering Capital Fund.

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