Barrister Philip Shears

Philip Shears QC

Year of call: 1972  Silk: 1996


“Expertise in the use of offshore tax evasion schemes, money laundering and corruption.”

Legal 500.



Philip Shears QC is a leading silk recognised for his expertise in all aspects of fraud and business crime, instructed both by defence and prosecution. Philip has been praised for his great skill in case presentation, and is known as a highly effective cross-examiner and trial tactician.

Over the last 15 years he has been instructed in high profile cases concerning commercial fraud, corruption, offshore tax evasion schemes and money laundering. He is instructed by leading defence firms, the SFO and HM Revenue and Customs.He has lectured on the applications of the proceeds on crime legislation and the law of corruption. He also has extensive experience in cases of homicide, gross negligence manslaughter and serious breaches of health & safety legislation.

He was appointed Recorder in 1990.

Financial Crime

Financial Crime

Much of Philip’s practice centers on major cases concerning complex business crime.  He is a nominated leading counsel for the SFO, having recently completed cases concerning international corruption, and the collapse of Polly Peck International (R v Asil Nadir, theft of £150 million).

He has wide ranging experience defending company directors and professionals in all aspects of alleged corporate /business crime, many involving an international element, money laundering and offshore Trust structures.

Financial Crime Cases

Recent key cases;

  • R v Hall and R v Dahdaleh (2013)- allegation of corporate bribery concerning a Bahrainy national company-£49 million
  • R v Nadir (2012) – theft of £150 million concerning the collapse of Polly Peck International
  • R v Ravjani (2011) – defending company owner in £150 million MTIC fraud
Regulatory & Professional Discipline

Regulatory & Professional Discipline

Experienced in disciplinary proceedings for gross misconduct, for example in respect of alleged fraudulent fee claims.

Regulatory & Professional Discipline Cases

  • General Dental Council v Govind (2007)


Philip has extensive experience in general crime; latterly primarily homicide and manslaughter, representing the Crown in one of the first prosecutions for familial homicide and defended in family honour killing.

He has defended in gross negligence manslaughter arising from dangerous materials on building sites and has prosecuted in death caused by negligent use of firearms. Philip has also defended in cases of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and conspiracy to cause an explosion (terrorism).



  • Criminal Bar Association

Crime Cases


  • R v Hudson & Ors (2005) – representing the lead defendant in the trial of 8 members of the ‘family from hell’ accused of murder
  • R v Prescott & Ors (2005) – gross negligence manslaughter trial arising from drownings in an overcrowded river cruiser boat
  • R v Kenny & Pearce (2007)- familial homicide of 2 year old boy
  • R v Naz (1998) familial honour killing
  • R v Curry – 2004 – planting of car bomb
  • R v Sturtkowski (2014) – planned murder involving destruction of body

How to get in touch

For more information please contact our clerks by calling +44 (0) 20 7242 3555 or email:

Legal-500-Leading-Individual Chambers-UK-Leading-Barrister

Privacy Notice

Philip is committed to protecting and respecting the privacy of individuals. In order to provide legal services, including advice and representation services, Philip needs to process personal data. This will include client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the course of any matter upon which he is instructed.

Philip will process personal data in accordance with his Privacy Policy.

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