Sir David Green CB KC

Partner, London

Sir David Green CB KC

Partner, London

Sir David Green CB KC is a partner in Cohen & Gresser’s London office.

Sir David served for six years as the Director of the UK Serious Fraud Office. His extended term as Director was notable for the first Deferred Prosecution Agreements, Bribery Act prosecutions, numerous high profile cross border criminal investigations working with Law Enforcement in the US, Europe and Asia, and his leadership of the SFO in a challenging political climate.

Prior to that, he served as the Director of the Revenue & Customs Prosecutions Office and worked in private practice for 25 years as a barrister specializing in criminal law. Sir David was called to the Bar in 1979, and was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court and Queen’s Counsel in 2000. Before becoming a lawyer, he spent three years with the Defense Intelligence Staff, Whitehall.

Sir David has broad experience advising on issues relating to financial crime, including fraud, corruption, money laundering and the UK Bribery Act. He also advises on self-reporting, independent assessments, and deferred prosecution agreements. Sir David has been recognized by The Legal 500 UK’s guide in the Fraud: White-Collar Crime (Advice to Individuals) and Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates) categories with the guide noting that he “offers deep cross-border investigations expertise.”

In 2018 Sir David was knighted for services to the criminal justice system.

Sir David Green CB KC is a partner in Cohen & Gresser’s London office. Sir David served for six years as the Director of…


MA  Hons (Cantab) 1975

Bar Admissions

England & Wales Barrister & King's Counsel

Activities and Affiliations

Visiting Professor, International School for Government, King’s College London

Chair, Fraud Advisory Panel

The 2024 edition of The Legal 500 UK Solicitors guide has recognized Cohen & Gresser’s London office for excellence in Commercial Litigation and two White-Collar Crime and Defense categories: Fraud: White-Collar Crime (Advice to Individuals) and Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates).

Richard Kovalevsky KC received recognition as a Leading Individual in the Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates) category, and Thomas Shortland is recognized as a Next Generation Partner in the Commercial Litigation: Mid-Market category. Additionally, John Gibson, Sir David Green CB KC, Ashley Collins, Patrick Ferguson, and Charlotte Ritchie are recognized as recommended lawyers.

Testimonials included in the tables praise the London team as “brilliantly innovative,” “top of the league,” and “standout stars in every way.” Client feedback also highlighted the team’s relentless persistence: “They will work unflaggingly and constantly until they have left no stone unturned and no potentially winning avenue unexplored.”

Opened in 2018, Cohen & Gresser’s London office provides legal services to clients around the world in a variety of disciplines. The office works closely across practices with colleagues in New York, Paris, and Washington, D.C., providing seamless support on sophisticated cross-border matters.

The Legal 500 UK Solicitors reflects the best lawyers and law firms in the UK following extensive research, interviews, and analysis of tens of thousands of submissions.

The Guardian featured C&G’s Sir David Green CB KC, former head of the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO), in an exclusive interview discussing the Government’s response to COVID fraud and the recent controversies surrounding the SFO. The article describes Sir David’s work in high profile fraud and white-collar cases and showcases his experience at the SFO, Britain’s financial crime office responsible for investigating corruption and fraud.

Sir David, SFO director from 2012 to 2018, says warning signs of Covid fraud were ignored and not taken seriously by the government in the rush to disburse emergency loans to businesses during the pandemic. He argues that individuals should be working across the government to identify and prevent fraud, rather than confined to certain departments. Sir David is a partner in Cohen & Gresser’s White Collar Defense and Regulation Practice and is based in the firm’s London office.

According to recent data, The Guardian is the most read quality news publisher in the UK, with a record 35.6 million people accessing the publication on average per month.

Sir David Green CB KC spoke to The Times about several topics in the White Collar Defense and Regulation space, including an uptick in fraud cases in the UK and the high cost of criminal legal aid rates. (Subscription Required)

International law firm Cohen & Gresser is pleased to announce the arrival of Sir David Green CB QC, barrister, former director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), and previously director of the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office. He joins the firm as a partner in the White Collar Defense & Regulation practice group in its London office, working alongside fellow partners John W Gibson and Richard Kovalevsky QC to create one of London’s most experienced White Collar Defense & Regulation practices.

Sir David’s hire continues Cohen & Gresser’s strategic expansion of its global capabilities through the addition of highly-regarded lawyers providing clients with collaborative and sophisticated cross-border support. Sir David will work closely with the firm’s international offices to serve the needs of both corporates and individuals facing complex domestic and multijurisdictional investigations.

“Cohen & Gresser brings a fresh and energetic approach to international investigations. They are a highly-specialized and close-knit team of former prosecutors and leading lawyers that can work across borders and seamlessly advise clients across jurisdictions,” said Sir David. “I am looking forward to partnering with the firm’s talented group of lawyers and working with clients on key investigations and enforcement matters.”

Sir David previously served as SFO director from 2012 until 2018 and is widely recognized for strengthening the enforcement agency and overseeing many of its most high-profile investigations. As SFO director, Sir David increased coordination with other global regulatory and enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). His understanding of cross-border collaboration between international agencies will aid C&G clients in all jurisdictions.

“Few lawyers have the experience and expertise that Sir David has accumulated during his career. His decision to join Cohen & Gresser is further proof of the firm’s growing strength and reputation,” said Lawrence T Gresser, global managing partner of Cohen & Gresser. “I am confident that Sir David’s strategic guidance and first-hand knowledge and insight from working with the world’s leading regulatory and enforcement agencies will be an excellent asset for our clients, and I am pleased to welcome him as a partner at C&G.”

Sir David is well-known for securing the UK’s first Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) and the first convictions under the UK Bribery Act. His unrivaled experience and understanding of these crucial areas will offer clients a unique perspective and allow him to effectively guide corporations and individuals through strategic options, settlement processes, non-prosecution resolutions, and global solutions.

“I am thrilled to welcome Sir David as our partner in London,” said Jeffrey M Bronheim, managing partner of Cohen & Gresser’s London office. “Sir David brings us unique senior insight, experience, and expertise in UK and international investigations and prosecutions. His experience in both private practice and government at the highest levels will provide invaluable support and insight to our clients.”

The UK Government has published a draft amendment to the Economic Crime and Transparency Bill, which will create a new corporate failure to prevent fraud offence. While talk of the new offence as a “game changer” may be optimistic, the offence has significant implications not only for the investigation and prosecution of complex fraud in the UK but also for the enforcement risk created for “large” UK and non-UK companies which have UK customers.

In this article, Sir David Green CB KC, John Gibson, and Tim Harris discuss the terms of the offence, analyse its practical consequences and draw conclusions as to how law enforcement investigative strategy may change in response.

On 8 June 2022, the UK’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (“OFSI”) released updated guidance concerning its enforcement of the civil monetary penalties regime for breaches of financial sanctions. The update coincides with the introduction of two major amendments to the civil UK sanctions regime that came into force on 15 June 2022, which now mean that OFSI is:
  • no longer required to demonstrate that a person had knowledge or reasonable cause to suspect they were in breach of a financial sanction in assessing whether to issue a monetary penalty. This strict liability test brings the UK regime more in line with the U.S. model used for financial sanctions; and
  • able to publish details of financial sanctions breaches where a monetary penalty has not been imposed.
It seems inevitable that the increased sanctions risks (and regulatory scrutiny) created by the UK’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, combined with these legislative amendments, will lead to more sanctions enforcement activity, civil penalties, criminal referrals to the NCA, and possibly prosecutions. This has been reflected in recent comments made by OFSI.

In this C&G client alert, Sir David Green CB QC, Tim Harris, and Ashley Collins examine the amended UK sanctions regime and the prospects for increased UK sanctions enforcement activity (civil, regulatory, and criminal).