Giles Cockings KC

"He's bright, witty and sharp, and his cross examination is fantastic." (Chambers UK, 2024)
‘Giles is an exceptional silk. He is an outstanding and charismatic advocate who is polished, sophisticated and charming. He is very skilled, highly intelligent, extremely articulate and is one of the best speech makers in the business. He is a master tactician with a finely tuned strategic brain and has a great insight as to how juries respond and they love him for it.' (Legal 500, 2024 - Fraud: Crime)
‘Giles has an excellent style and approach with clients – he quickly gains the trust of the client and puts them at ease.’ (Legal 500, 2023 - Fraud: Crime)

Appointed to Queen’s Counsel in 2016

Ranked consistently in Legal 500 and in Chambers & Partners from 2008 to 2023 in both Fraud & Crime 

‘Giles is an outstanding barrister, highly intelligent and exceptionally hardworking. He sees the bigger picture in any trial, and advances his client’s case with a tactical precision that is second to none. His ability to combine rapier-like skill with wit, humour and charm makes him a devastating opponent’. (Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 2 (Legal 500 – 2022)

‘Criminal silk experienced in the prosecution and defence of financial crime cases. He is acknowledged for his ability when tackling the most substantial fraud cases ‘(C&P – 2020) “An outstanding barrister – he is highly intelligent.” (C&P – 2022)

Prior to taking Silk he was described as a “rising star, “highly effective in cross-examination” and having both a “strong tactical sense and an impressive grasp of cultural sensitivities”. His “inherently good judgment, which cannot be taught” was singled out for particular praise.

Regularly instructed in some of the most serious cases at the Old Bailey and other UK courts, his practice encompasses Financial White-Collar Fraud, MTIC, Insider Dealing, Investment Fraud, City Regulation, Money Laundering, Murder, Gun Running; Sexual Offences and the large-scale importation of Drugs.

Immediately after taking Silk he has been instructed in back-to back cases of Murder, and several long running complex financial Frauds at the Old Bailey and Southwark Crown Court, all of which have received significant media attention.

He has established a reputation for hard work, meticulous preparation and a no-nonsense but courteous approach.

Regularly requested to lead juniors from other chambers and solicitor advocates from numerous firms of solicitors in many serious and complex multi handed, cut-throat cases of financial fraud, violence, drugs and money laundering.

Prior to taking Silk he was requested by some of the Country’s most eminent QKC’s to assist them in the preparation & presentation of many of the well reported high profile & difficult cases of recent years.

Financial Crime

Giles Cockings KC has an extensive track record in financial crime. Areas of specialism within this area include FCA, Banking Fraud, Insider Dealing, Mortgage Fraud, MTIC, VAT, carousel, “boiler room”, advance fee, diversion, investment & corporate fraud; bribery & corruption – many of them involving cross-jurisdictional elements. In 2019 he defends in a £100 million tax fraud.

He successfully defended in the largest attempted currency fraud to be perpetrated against the Bank of England prosecuted by the re-named Central Fraud Group and was subsequently instructed to successfully prosecute for them in a multi-million pound “Madoff type” investment fraud as lead counsel against eminent Silks and in subsequent mortgage frauds.

He has recently defended a number of Company Directors accused of financial fraud, both within the private sector and PLC’s. These cases have ranged from internal accountancy issues prior to flotation, to issues of bribery and corruption, manipulation of markets through to the high yield banking lending frauds borne out of the commission culture within the City before the economic crash.

In 2014 he defended the main defendant, the Managing Director of a PLC accused of a £39 million property/ banking fraud. This white-collar defendant faced 104 allegations, 83 professional witnesses and cut-throat defences from other defendants, each blaming “the Boss”.

Having previously worked within the Stock Exchange, Giles Cockings’ expertise extends to the workings of the financial markets, specialised accountancy fraud and other complex City frauds, where his full understanding of banking operations, career experience in the financial markets and interest in regulatory work and FCA legislation come into their own.

He is a master of disclosure and is well versed in City culture. He has been responsible for unearthing huge disclosure abuses perpetrated by the Banks, and other City Institutions, that have occurred when a ‘scape-goat’ director/ officer of the company, faces prosecution. These have ranged from the destruction of potential evidence; financial documents to email traffic; ‘coincidental’ server replacement to ‘software glitches’ – all, at times, used to protect the position of the Banks.

He was responsible in cases for unearthing the ‘Global Restructuring Group’ practice that was rife within some Banking organisations. These included finance houses, having driven client companies into administration then selling client assets into their own wholly owned subsidiaries for profit.

In 2015 as lead counsel he successfully defended the Managing Director of an Alcohol bonded warehouse in relation to allegations of diversion fraud and corruption within the HMRC. The Crown relied upon covert surveillance and extensive probe evidence. Through cross examination & attention to detail he established that HMRC had investigated on a false premise & the defendant was in fact a victim of corruption & not a conspirator. He was duly acquitted. He was also counsel of choice when defending in Operation ‘Close-knit’ another substantial diversion fraud.

He has also recently defended the Managing Director of a London Hedge Fund and a Director of a Property Development Company, both for high yield investment frauds and both widely reported cases in the Press.

His experience of confiscation and asset seizure cases extends across the areas of fraud and drugs crime.

The Legal Profession

Called upon by the legal profession to defend their own, he has represented a number of solicitors of the Supreme Court who have found themselves charged with high yield fraud by the SFO. Recently successfully defending one of the commercial partners of a well-known Legal 500 firm in a £65 million mortgage fraud, and subsequently successfully representing a partner of another solicitors’ firm accused of defrauding the Olympic Development Authority. Both acquitted. He was instructed to represent a firm of solicitors, with the involvement of the Law Society, in relation to Wasted Costs and the interpretation of S6 Criminal Procedure Investigation Act 1996 and the drafting of Defence Statements. It is a leading authority.

Violent Crime

His experience over the years in violent crime cases has included close to 60 major murder trials and a similar number of attempted murders, reaching successful conclusions in 90%. Here his experience includes contract killings, cultural and abuse-led revenge killings, gang warfare, financially driven murders and ‘single punch’ deaths. He is experienced in the use of cell site evidence, blood splatter, ballistics, mass spectrocopy and DNA. He has also appeared in manslaughter, armed robbery, conspiracy to rob, firearms and terrorism cases, and has experience of shaken baby syndrome and issues of medical causation.


Recent examples of Drugs crime include acting in connection with four of the largest alleged importations of Class A drugs (Cocaine & Heroin) into the United Kingdom in recent years, both as lead and leading counsel.

Modern Slavery

He has been leading counsel in three of the most significant Modern Slavery Cases to have been prosecuted in the UK.

He was leading counsel for one of the main defendants in the much publicised “Gypsy Slavery Trials”, defending in the first prosecution for Slavery in the UK since the early 19th Century (R -v- Connors). It was new law with no UK legal precedent. Allegations made that homeless men were being ensnared and held against their will under threat of violence. Heads were shaved, and they were given overalls to ‘de-humanise’ and to erode their personal autonomy before being put to work.   It is the leading UK authority under S71 Coroners & Justice Act 2009. Subsequent submissions on areas before the Court of Appeal have now been incorporated into the new legislation on this area, the Modern Slavery Act 2015. He was then later instructed for one of the main defendants in the 5 trials arising from Operation Pottery (R -v- Rooney & others) and also as leading counsel in Operation Marathon (R-v-Joyce & Boiling & others) – all allegations of Modern Slavery & Fraud involving the Travelling Community.

Other Areas

In the area of sexual offences, his extensive experience includes Operation Goldsmith, involving the highly-publicised Welsh National Children’s’ Home historic abuse allegations: He acted in the only trial of 12 in which any defendant was acquitted.

Although now predominantly a defence practitioner, Giles Cockings KC has also been graded by the Government as Category 4, being the top category for prosecutors.

As the only lawyer within a medical family he has a keen interest in Coroners Inquests. He has been involved in a number of high-profile inquests ranging from deaths within NHS and issues of medical care to the high-profile inquest in 2010 surrounding the death of Dr Ashraf Marwan whom the press reported as being the most infamous alleged double agent for Israel & Egypt during the Yom Kippur war. He has also appeared in a number of Courts-Martial across the country for the Armed Forces.

He has represented professionals facing disciplinary action in the field of medicine/dentistry and has a burgeoning interest in the fields of corporate manslaughter; financial regulatory investigations and D&O liability.




  • Memberships: CBA, South Eastern Circuit, Hon Soc Middle Temple
  • Chambers Pupil Supervisor
  • Middle Temple Award Winner
  • Author of; “CPIA: Issues of Disclosure”


Notable cases

R-v-Tarasov & ors – Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey 2015 & 2016 

Leading Counsel for only remaining defendant in unusual case of Murder/ Manslaughter by flight. Case involved extensive cross-examination of expert evidence in relation to blood splatter evidence and pathology. Court of Appeal having granted an earlier re-trial in relation to the direction of foreseeability.

R-v-Celaire & ors – Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey 2016

Leading Counsel in multi handed case involving a shooting of alleged drug dealer in North East London. Further Conspiracy to Rob. Case involved extensive cell site evidence with issues relating to identification and gang membership. No. 3 on the Greater London Gang Matrix. Court of Appeal submissions upon a terminating ruling on issues of identification and secondary party liability post R-v-Jogee.

 R-v-Bissenden (Louca & Ors) – Operation Closeknit – Southwark Crown Court 2016

 Lead Counsel in Operation Closeknit. £15 million diversion fraud involving UK & European bonded warehouses

R-v-Tachioma 2015. Attempted Murder

then S18 after legal argument followed by legal submissions of duress. Defendant accused of carrying out attempted assassination using a lump hammer to the head of alleged rival drug dealing gang in Buckinghamshire. Issues of duress arising out of PTSD and psychosis generated from being a child soldier within Zimbabwe indoctrinated by Zanu PF. Expert evidence relating to PTSD and duress. Defendant acquitted.

R-v-Salman Javed (Operation Spallation) Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey 2015 .

Lead Counsel for defence. HMRC prosecution alleged involvement of corrupt officials within the HMRC and substantial diversion fraud. Defendant being an independent owner of sizeable alcohol warehouse. Significant use of probe evidence and undercover observation; issues of RIPA and admissibility of civil proceedings. Defendant acquitted.

R-v-E & Ors. Southwark Crown Court 2014-2015.

7 month trial. Represented main defendant, Managing Director of several substantial finance/ property development companies. 104 allegations – relating to £39 million fraud. Issues involving dubious banking disclosure and alleged corruption within the banking institutions; the disavowed practice of Global Restructuring Groups set up by banks selling clients assets into their own wholly owned subsidiaries for profit after driving the client companies into administration. Also involved Solicitors Regulations and Land Registry procedures. Further issues of Insolvency Law and concurrent civil proceedings of corporate fraud. Notable Media interest.

R-v BW – Southwark Crown Court 2014.

Represented Hedge Fund trader, accused of multi million Ponzi Fraud and market abuse.

Court of Appeal – Regina -v-Joseph Hill Wasted Costs [2013] EWCA Crim 775

Wasted costs order quashed. Appeal successful (1) The court gave its opinion on the practice of not identifying alibi witnesses until they have been proofed (para 35) S6 CPIA 1996. (2) There being an ever pressing need to ensure efficiency in the courts; the judges, the parties and most particularly the practitioners all have a duty to reduce unnecessary delays. The court also ruled upon wasted costs:’ We do not doubt that the power to make a wasted costs order can be valuable but this case, and others recently before this Court, demonstrate that it should be reserved only for the clearest cases otherwise more time, effort and cost goes into making and challenging the order than was alleged to have been wasted in the first place.’

R-v-O. Southwark Crown Court 2013. Successfully defended solicitor allegedly involved in defrauding Olympic Development Authority

Court of Appeal – Regina -v-Connors [2013] EWCA Crim 368

Lead Defence counsel in one of the first Appeals to be heard in relation to the new slavery offences contrary to the recently legislated Coroners and Justice Act 2009. (Judgment given by the Lord Chief Justice)

R-v-Deer-Nash 2013

Lead counsel in Attempted Murder at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey. Point blank range shooting. Acquitted

R-v-H 2013

High Value £25,000,000 Drugs Supply. Acquitted

R-v-G 2013

Led counsel in High Yield Network Rail theft. Acquitted of Conspiracy to Steal.

R-v-WP 2012

Lead counsel in high worth money laundering utilising external NHS contracts. Acquitted

R-v-H 2012

Leading Defence Counsel for one of the main defendants in £25 million Cocaine Supply

R-v-Connors 2012

Leading Defence Counsel for one of the main defendants in the 1st prosecution for Slavery in the United Kingdom since it was abolished in 1835. Widely reported in the international press as the “Gypsy Slavery Case” x Coroners and Justice Act 2009

R-v-Khan 2012

Successfully defended Solicitor of the Supreme Court in Olympic Development Fraud

R-v-White 2012:

Successfully defended Financial Director of Company falsely accused of large scale multi-million pound VAT Carousel Fraud

R-v-Debruin 2011:

Successfully defended Director of company wrongly accused of diversion fraud within the bonded warehouse industry

R-v-Knights 2011

Successfully defended Solicitor of the Supreme Court in £65 million Mortgage Fraud

R v Doust & ors, 2010

Leading Defence Counsel in successfully defended international Investment Fraud. Serious Fraud & FSA investigation. Issues relating to Companies Act Legislation; Directors Duties; Concurrent European Litigation. Use of Company vehicles based in USA; UK; Spain & Swedish Credit Union.

Inquest of Dr Ashraf Marwan 2010

Inquest into the untimely death of Dr Ashraf Marwan, internationally respected Egyptian businessman. Widely alleged double agent for Egypt & Israel (Mossad) during Yom Kippur.

Thakrar (Ketan) [2008] EWCA Crim 2359; Thakrar (Ketan) [2009] Crim.L.R. 357. ARCHBOLD REPORTED.

Instructed as Leading Defence Counsel after previous trial team de-instructed. Appeal against conviction; irregularities in respect of juries. Juror undertaking internet research during trial; remainder of jurors failing in their duty to report this immediately.

R v Ketan Thakrar – RE-TRIAL

Leading Defence counsel in complex money laundering. The case involved Customs & Excise investigation into money laundering offences totalling over £5m

R -v- Farhani & Kyriakidis 2010 (Central Criminal Court)

Successfully defended multiple counts of Rape & False Imprisonment. Allegation against mayfair hotelier & alleged facilitator of organised prostitution

R-v-P & ors 2010

Leading Defence Counsel in Multi Count Multi defendant international money laundering operation, laundering funds stolen from the UK retail banks by internal operatives with the use of the Hawala Banking System and companies based in Hong Kong and India.

R-v-Harold Morris 2010

Leading Defence Counsel in 3 month, Multi Handed, Multi Count £9million pound Slate Heroin Importation and supply. Alleged to be one of the largest importations of “slate” heroin into the United Kingdom

R-v-Pyke & ors 2009/2010

Successfully defended in multi handed murder, a consequence of drug turf war. The deceased was kidnapped, beaten and burned. The case involved extensive cross examination upon cell site analysis and called on extensive experience in this field. Prosecution case collapsed at half-time.

R v Teo & 6 ors

Largest attempted currency fraud to be attempted as against the Bank of England. This highly researched and convoluted fraud claimed to have provenance from Chinese Loans to the Allied Forced made during WWII and the subsequent issue of Bank of England notes pursuant to the Bretton Woods agreement of 1948. Legalities involved cross jurisdictional elements and issues of entrapment. Prosecution case collapsed at half-time. Prosecution appealed as against terminating ruling. Court of Appeal dismissed appeal, upheld defence submissions.

R v Duchesne & 6 Others 2010

Leading Counsel (latter stages) Multi million pound investment fraud involving Benchmark Asset Management. Investors who lost through these funds were international. Extradition warrants from Switzerland and USA.

R v Chohan & 9 others

Leading Defence Counsel in successfully defended multi handed representing 2nd on the Indictment. Conspiracy to Rob. Issues of RIPA; abuse of process. Only defendant to be acquitted.

R v Lewis

Leading counsel in multi handed riot involving knife violence. Led abuse argument led on lack of prosecution disclosure. Prosecution case collapsed.

R v Ali

Murder “single punch”, medical causation. Heard at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey.

R v Howard

Murder, medical causation and contributory negligence. Heard at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey.

R v Clarke

Murder; assassination involving the alleged use of an American contract killer. The case involved complex telephone cell site analysis and US ballistic evidence. Heard at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey.

R v Campbell

Murder, multi handed cut throat involving street violence. Heard at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey.

R v Dennie

Murder, gangland killing, involving the in depth analysis of mobile telephone and cell site evidence. Heard at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey

R v Green

Murder, machine gunning within the MC rap music industry. Heard at the Central Criminal Court.

R v Brown

Murder, baby-shaking, medical causation and contributory negligence. Heard at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey

R v Dursan

Murder/revenge killing for historic predatory sexual abuse. Heard at the Central Criminal Court/Woolwich.

R v Salih

51 Hectare Class A drug importation. Kingston. Extensive Cell Site and telephone analysis

R v H

Murder, “the Marble Arch Murder”: elderly landlady murdered and deposited in a suitcase. Heard at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey

R v Brooks

Murder, killing of family member. Heard at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey

R v Luttrell & Ors

Multi-million pound, multi-count handing operation resulting from Heathrow hijackings. Use of lip reading evidence. Stated case. Jheeta.

R v D

Multi handed five-month banking fraud within motor racing industry

R v Sannick

Cross-jurisdictional million pound leasing fraud

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