Tim Harris is a counsel in Cohen & Gresser’s London office. His practice focuses on white collar criminal defence, including internal and regulatory investigations, regulatory enforcement, and financial crime compliance. He advises clients dealing with FCA supervisory examinations and enforcement action.
Tim advises on matters that traverse criminal and civil allegations – particularly litigation arising under various provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act. He also has experience of successfully defending a number of clients against threatened and commenced private prosecutions.
Tim has been recognized by The Legal 500 UK’s 2022 guide in the areas of Fraud: White-Collar Crime (Advice to Individuals) and Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates). In the guide’s commentary, Tim’s work is “singled out by clients.”
Prior to joining C&G, Tim was an associate at Simmons & Simmons in London, where he represented a wide range of companies and individuals in complex financial crime and regulatory matters. During his career, he has been involved in a number of London’s highest-profile investigations, trials, and public inquiries.
A significant component of Tim’s practice focuses on non-contentious advice with respect to tax evasion, anti-bribery/ corruption, and anti-money laundering regulations. He has written widely on these subjects.
Tim has a keen interest in pro bono matters. He has, for instance, advised the London Air Ambulance service and appellants in litigation against the Department of Work and Pensions.
Tim received his undergraduate degree from Durham University and graduated from BPP Law School in London. He trained with Eversheds LLP (now Eversheds Sutherland), and then worked as a solicitor with Bark & Co Solicitors and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Tim is a Solicitor-Advocate with Higher Rights of Audience in the Criminal Courts.
Tim Harris is a counsel in Cohen & Gresser’s London office. His practice focuses on white collar criminal defence, including internal and regulatory investigations,…
BPP Law School (LPC – Distinction, 2006; GDL Commendation, 2005); Durham University (B.A. in History, Hons., 2001)
England & Wales (Solicitor-Advocate)
Activities and Affiliations
Member, Fraud Lawyers Association
Member, Financial Services Lawyers Association
Tim has been involved in a number of London’s highest-profile criminal investigations. His recent criminal experience includes:
- A FTSE-listed oil and gas services company under investigation by the SFO into alleged corrupt activity in the Middle East.
- A global pharmaceutical company in connection with an SFO and DoJ investigation into alleged bribes.
- Individuals concerned in SFO investigations into Serco, Tesco, Rolls Royce, Afren and Sweett.
- Two partners of a leading boutique law firm interviewed separately under caution.
- The Chairman of a concrete pipe company investigated by the CMA for alleged cartel activity.
Tim has represented a number of people in criminal proceedings, and at trial including:
- R v Adoboli – represented Mr. Adoboli, a former UBS trader, at trial.
- iSOFT – represented the former CEO of iSOFT Group plc, a FTSE 250 software company, charged by the FCA with conspiring to make false and misleading statements.
- Operation Tabernula – FCA insider dealing prosecution. This is the FCA’s largest prosecution to date. Tim acted for a broker of an international institution.
- HMRC prosecution of individuals accused of conspiracy to cheat the Revenue in relation to a scheme to exploit gift aid tax provisions.
- The SFO prosecution of the former Chairman of Polly Peck PLC
Regulatory Instructions / Special Situations
Tim has acted for a variety of organizations responding to regulatory inquiries or engaging with regulators. His experience includes:
- Acting for a leading private bank responding to concerns raised by the Dubai Financial Services Authority regarding its local AML controls.
- Reviewing the AML and ABC systems and controls for a London branch of a European banking group following a proactive FCA inspection.
- Advising an international bank on civil recovery proceedings.
- Advising a professional services firm in connection with a joint select committees’ inquiry into the collapse of BHS, retail group.
- Acting for the Solicitors Regulation Authority to investigate two law firms regarding their work acting for Iraqi clients.
Acted for companies investigating alleged misconduct carried out by staff, agents or third parties, including:
- A mining company investigating whistleblower allegations of unlawful acts committed against members of the local community near a mine site.
- A global insurance broker in an investigation of a suspected employee fraud.
- A professional services regulator to investigate the payment of certain expenses paid to the Chief Executive.
Tim also spoke about some key issues affecting white-collar crime and investigations in the legal market and why pro bono work is so important as a legal professional.
- Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates)
- Fraud: White-Collar Crime (Advice to Individuals)
- Commercial Litigation: Mid-Market
- John Gibson: Commercial Litigation: Mid-Market; Fraud: White-Collar Crime (Advice to Individuals); Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates)
- Richard Kovalevsky QC: Commercial Litigation: Mid-Market; Fraud: White-Collar Crime (Advice to Individuals); Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates)
- Jumana Rahman: Commercial Litigation: Mid-Market
- Thomas Shortland: Commercial Litigation: Mid-Market; Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates)
- Tim Harris: Fraud: White-Collar Crime (Advice to Individuals); Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates)
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.
- 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.
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).
- While the Act may have disappointed corporate transparency reformers, a number of the Act’s provisions will have a significant impact on those who manage offshore structures and their clients by strengthening individual accountability and increasing exposure to reputational, civil, and criminal litigation risk.
- The Act has had an immediate impact on the Government’s ability to make urgent sanction designations and we anticipate the reforms will breathe new life into the Unexplained Wealth Order regime. However, the question remains whether, beyond the legislation, the NCA, OFSI, and the UK’s other enforcement authorities have the necessary resources to deliver on the Government’s robust agenda.
- While flaws have been identified in the Act, particularly in relation to the effectiveness of the Register of Overseas Entities, the Government has assured the House that new legislation is being drafted (and is likely to be before the House in early summer) to address these deficiencies, including comprehensive reform of Companies House.
In this C&G Client Alert, John W Gibson and Tim Harris discuss the Financial Conduct Authority’s (“FCA”) public censure of Redcentric PLC for market abuse and the likely implications for FCA enforcement in the context of the economic conditions created by COVID-19.
John W Gibson, Tim Harris, Barbara K Luse, and Charlotte Ritchie discuss the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (“the 2019 Regulations”) that recently came into force in the UK. The 2019 Regulations extend anti-money laundering responsibilities to UK art market participants, including art dealers and other intermediaries, in response to the increasing recognition that high value art is used by criminals and terrorist groups to launder and hide money.
On 26 April 2023, Tim Harris, appeared on a panel at the Open Text White Collar Crime and Investigations Forum. The panel discussed the changes made by the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 (the “ECA”) and the proposed measures in the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill including the introduction of a corporate failure to prevent fraud offence and reforms to UK Companies House. The panel was chaired by Neill Blundell (Macfarlanes), with Jonathan Ashley-Norman KC (3 Raymond Buildings) and Sarnjit Lal (Armstrong Teasdale) speaking alongside Tim.
Tim spoke about the changes that had been made to strengthen the Unexplained Wealth Order and financial sanctions regimes by way of the ECA and the likelihood of these reforms leading to more UK enforcement activity concerning: a) the recovery of assets frozen in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine; and b) breaches of financial sanctions obligations.
- White Collar Defense & Regulation