Colette is a highly respected criminal and regulatory lawyer and brings over 20 years of extensive experience in investigations and enforcement proceedings. She represents individuals in complex and high-profile cases brought by the FCA, SFO, HMRC and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
Emergency contact tel no 07515196609
Colette’s practice focuses on the defence of serious and complex allegations of white collar fraud, proceeds of crime, restraint orders and asset forfeiture. Colette also acts for third parties in confiscation proceedings often involving investigations into complex trusts and off-shore entities.
Colette also has considerable experience in reputation management including advising at a pre-charge stage and making successful written representations to the CPS, FCA and other law enforcement agencies to avoid a criminal prosecution.
Colette also acts for Interested Persons at inquests.
“The ability to provide clear and pragmatic advice at an early stage and to engage with all parties involved is vital."
Professional Associations & Memberships
- Member of the Education Committee of the Female Fraud Forum ( FFF)
- Fraud Lawyers Association ( FLA)
- Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association ( POCLA)
What you may not know about Colette
Writes short stories and thinks there is a novel waiting to be written.
My matter highlights
- Advised suspect in FCA investigation into insider share dealing. Following written representations, investigation discontinued and restraint order discharged.
- Acted for Defendant in private prosecution where alleged to have forged will and other company documents to take control of share of multi million pound family assets in the UK and overseas.
- Acted for lead Defendant in bribery and corruption case involving the Thameslink Farringdon project.
- Acted for chairman of Hong Kong based fiduciary company in SFO prosecution for money laundering $120 million proceeds of boiler room fraud. Acquitted after trial.
- Acted for company director in £17 million MTIC fraud prosecuted by HMRC relating to companies trading in waste precious metals.
- Acted for company director in HMRC investigation into VAT fraud concerning the export of luxury cars to Cyprus.
- Acted for former Vice Chair of Police Federation of England and Wales who had been arrested for fraud. Following successful written representations to the CPS, proceedings were not instigated.
- Acted for company director in the alleged fraudulent sale of factory premises to the detriment of the company’s creditors. Case prosecuted by the Department for BEIS.
- Acted for lead Defendant and company director in multi million pound money laundering allegation relating to plant machinery in the construction industry.
- Acted for a tabloid News Editor as part of Operation Elveden (“phone hacking”). After interview and successful written representations to the CPS, criminal proceedings were not instigated.
My testimonials and accolades
“Colette Kelly is absolutely excellent at what she does.”
“Colette Kelly is a ranked lawyer with a wide-ranging practice advising clients on POCA issues related to fraud and money laundering. She has notable expertise in relation to third-party recovery. She has a good knowledge of the law, has a realistic approach to client positions, and offers pragmatic solutions, often in difficult, highly charged situations.
“Ranked lawyer. Sources laud Colette Kelly as "incredibly bright, personable and dedicated." She continues to act for clients on complex POCA matters, and is particularly experienced in handling sophisticated confiscation proceedings relating to alleged money laundering.”
“She is incredibly hard-working and industrious, she would do anything for a client. She gives them undivided attention. She explains the law very well to clients who have never been involved in these types of cases.”
My recent publications
Insights / Law Commission publishes report on confiscation reforms
On 9 November 2022, the Law Commission published new reforms to overhaul the UK's criminal confiscation regime. In this article, Partner, Colette Kelly, assisted by trainee, Greg McManus, summarises the current position and looks at the substance of the suggested reforms.
News / HMRC in ‘pole position’ following Bernie Ecclestone charge – a new ‘direction’ for fraud cases?
Bernie Ecclestone, former chief executive of Formula 1, is set to face trial before Southwark Crown Court in October 2023 on a charge of fraud by false representation. The charge followed a “complex and worldwide” investigation by HMRC and relates to a Singapore Trust, which Ecclestone allegedly failed to declare for tax purposes, holding assets of an estimated £400m+. This is understood to be a substantial proportion of his net wealth, which is said to include real estate in various jurisdictions, a yacht and private planes.
Insights / Corporate Transparency Bill reaches Committee Stage
Announced in Parliament on 22 September 2022, the proposed new Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons on 13 October and entered the Committee Stage on 25 October. The strategic objective of the Bill is contribute to the priority to reduce crime, increase the UK's prosperity and enhance security. This insight summarises the key provisions of the Bill.
News / Court of Appeal overturns second Unaoil bribery conviction
29-03-2022 / Energy & Infrastructure
On 24 March 2022, the Court of Appeal overturned the conviction of a second man, Paul Bond, prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in relation to alleged wrongdoing by Unaoil.
News / Serious Fraud Office awards bribery compensation for Nigerian infrastructure
22-02-2022 / Energy & Infrastructure
We previously reported on the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) entered into between the SFO and Amec Foster Wheeler Limited (Amec) relating to the use of corrupt agents in the oil and gas sector. The timing of the agreement was particularly significant, as it came on the tenth anniversary of the Bribery Act 2010 and was the tenth DPA entered into by the SFO. As part of the DPA, we reported that Amec had agreed to pay a financial penalty to authorities in the UK, US and Brazil, including compensation to the people of Nigeria.
Insights / Court of Appeal overturns Unaoil bribery conviction
16-12-2021 / Energy & Infrastructure
On 10 December 2021, the Court of Appeal in R v Akle & Anor  EWCA Crim 1879 concluded that the Serious Fraud Office’s (SFO) failure to disclose vital evidence had unfairly led to Ziad Akle (Akle) being convicted and jailed for bribery.
News / Competing claims: confiscation proceedings, third parties and financial relief in family proceedings
There will be occasions when Family law and Criminal law overlap. However, there will often be clashes and competing interests in the arena of confiscation proceedings and the determination of available assets.
News / New modern slavery offences sentencing guidelines published
The Sentencing Guidelines Council has today published the first sentencing guidelines for offences under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA).
News / The Bribery Act: ten years on
19-07-2021 / Energy & Infrastructure
News / The Crown Prosecution Service publishes new guidance on handling illegal entry to UK via small boats and lorries
Insights / Financial Conduct Authority issues Discussion Paper on diversity and inclusion in the financial sector
On 7 July 2021, the FCA published a joint Discussion Paper (DP) with the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Bank of England ‘Diversity and inclusion in the financial sector – working together to drive change’.
Insights / Account Freezing Orders and Account Forfeiture Orders
In a recent case before Westminster Magistrates’ Court, a District Judge has lifted an anonymity order protecting the identity of a couple, known presently as X and Y, who are challenging an application by the National Crime Agency ( NCA) for an account forfeiture order ( AFO ).
News / Ince strengthens Regulatory Solutions team with the hire of new Partner Colette Kelly
We are pleased to announce that Colette Kelly has joined as a new Partner in our Regulatory Solutions team.