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Emma Deacon QC

When Emma took silk, she already had an outstanding reputation in cases involving complex crime and fraud and has since solidified her position.

Regularly instructed by prosecution and defence alike, her command of complex cases, powerful advocacy and fierce intellect have made her a popular choice for all serious criminal work. Emma inspires confidence in everyone she works with.

Areas of expertise

A highly regarded criminal fraud specialist, Emma has notable expertise in high profile cases involving serious and complex fraud, business crime, money laundering and corruption.  

Emma also has a well-established reputation in complex cases involving organised crime, including drugs conspiracies, human trafficking, corruption and misconduct.

Emma is usually instructed in the early stages of investigations to provide strategic advice to prosecuting authorities or investigating bodies, or to individuals at risk of facing criminal proceedings.  She is known to be tactically astute and intellectually able.  She is frequently engaged in cases which are legally and factually complex, many of which involve international dimensions, including cases involving Joint Investigation Teams with other national investigative agencies.

She is often asked to advise in cases where there are particularly sensitive and/or difficult legal issues, and where potential regulatory issues and offences are the subject of investigation.

Recent instructions include acting for the Serious Fraud Office in the Euribor and Libor prosecutions and appeals, advising an individual under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office in its Unaoil investigation, advising the CPS Specialist Fraud Division in a pre-charge complex fraud investigation, advising a national bank, and advising the National Crime Agency.

Notable cases

R v Bermingham [2021] 4 W.L.R. 113 – Euribor benchmark interest rate manipulation: jury issues; doctrine of stare decisis; conspiracy to defraud – legal certainty and dishonesty post Ivey v Genting Casinos (UK) Ltd.

R v Bittar & others [2018] EWCA Crim 73 - EURIBOR manipulation by Barclays and Deutsche Bank traders involving inter-bank collusion - interlocutory appeal against a ruling of law at preparatory hearing.

R v Pabon [2018] EWCA Crim 420 – LIBOR manipulation by a derivatives trader employed by Barclays in New York

R v Merchant & others [2017] EWCA Crim 60 - LIBOR manipulation by Barclays traders in London and New York

R v Blakey & others - fraudulent tax evasion (£60m+) arising from the operation of schemes which involved false claims for sideways loss relief on monies said to have been spent on environmental research and research into cures for HIV

R v Ubsdell & others - DBIS prosecution involving fraudulent trading of a number of limited companies, including a factoring fraud on the NHS, together with breaches of director’s disqualification orders

R v Nazakat Ali – prosecuting an immigration solicitor for facilitating unlawful immigration, following a BBC Panorama exposé

Re Whites Recruitment Ltd - DBIS prosecution involving regulatory offences relating to the recruitment and treatment of individuals working in Libya during the collapse of the Gaddafi regime

R v Downes & another - defending the alleged organiser of an international boiler room fraud (£20m+) involving the fraudulent sale of ‘Regulation S’ shares and carbon credits

R v Hunka & others - large-scale human trafficking case involving a JIT with the Czech Republic

R v Drewitt-Barlow & others - defending the principal defendant in the first prosecution brought under the 2004 Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations

R v Blok - solicitor prosecuted for money laundering, perjury and perverting the course of justice

R v Dosanjh & others - MTIC fraud (£38m+) involving trade in carbon credits

R v Young & others - computer hacking and police corruption

R v Uddin & others - multi-million-pound international money laundering


“A very powerful advocate” “intellectually very acute” “an excellent lawyer”

"A powerful performer who is an indefatigable advocate and a fearsome cross-examiner."

"Definitely a force to be reckoned with"... "very thorough, doesn’t give much away"... "a proper opponent"

- Chambers and Partners UK


“A ferocious cross-examiner”  “A fearless advocate who is fair but firm”

"She pays great attention to detail while not losing sight of the ultimate issues in the case."

"She is of exceptional ability and will go right to the top in silk."

- Legal 500


Queen's Counsel 2016

SFO QC Panel 2017

Recorder of the Crown Court 2016, SSO authorization 2019

Advocacy Trainer, Inner Temple