Alistair Webster QC (1976)

"An outstanding lawyer."

"An outstanding lawyer."

Alistair took silk, at the age of 41, in 1995.  He is thus amongst the most experienced of counsel working in the fields of commercial crime, crime and regulation.  He has been a Recorder of the Crown Court for over 20 years and is a Master of the Bench of Middle Temple. He is on the SFO panels both for prosecutions and asset restraint.

Unsurprisingly, Alistair is highly recommended in the legal directories year on year:

Chambers & Partners 2018 - "A very experienced campaigner." "Extremely able and committed, he is good both in written argument and in his advocacy." "He's got a real range of expertise - he's great on his feet, commands the courtroom but also very, very good with clients in sensitive situations. He's always available and able to go over ideas. He's a pleasure to work with and gets great results." "Extremely able and committed, good in both written argument and advocacy."

Legal 500 2017 - ‘Tenacious, fearless and a highly skilled cross-examiner.’

Chambers & Partners 2017 – “A barrister with great interpersonal skills who gets the best out of clients and the judiciary, and is noted for his attractive advocacy style." "Very user-friendly, and his advocacy shines." "He produces excellent performances in the Court of Appeal." "He is very clever, very hard-working and he has very good judgement." "A fantastic QC."

Legal 500 2016 - ‘‘An exceptional jury advocate, who is able to very quickly break down complex cases for juries."

Quotes from past guides include..“ Outstanding intellect”; “Outstanding lawyer”; “First class strategist and tactician”; “Accessible and responsive”; “ Eloquent, brave and effective”.

From cases early in silk, involving large scale drugs conspiracies, gangland murders and domestic murders, he has gone on to appear in a series of leading cases, both prosecuting and defending, which make fascinating reading.  He has also been involved in public enquiries of national interest, both as advocate and as enquirer.

Having prosecuted and defended in an enviable range of mainstream crime cases, he has concentrated, over the past decade, primarily in cases involving financial and regulatory crime.

Alistair has lectured internationally on money laundering and bribery.

Alistair has been Head of Lincoln House Chambers, Manchester, for a number of years.  He is a member of the CBA and the Liberal Democrat Lawyers Association.

His primary focus is always upon achieving the best result available: focussing on solutions, rather than problems.

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Notable Cases

Economic/Environmental Crime:

Lead counsel for SFO prosecution of nationwide solar panel fraud.
Allansway -   Successful abuse of process application in large EA prosecution with significant costs recovery;
Sheehan Contractors - Defence of company and director charged with breach of environmental permit conditions; 
Ongoing challenge to validity of Bonded Warehouse regulations ( Admin Court );
Advising various companies and individuals on the legality of search warrants, trading standards issues and restraint proceedings.

R v McClintock - Northern Ireland High Court.  Defence of property developer charged with obtaining large commercial loans to purchase properties.
R v L – Successful discharge of restraint orders obtained against the owners of businesses in the UK, France and Singapore.
Re: A – Prosecuting, from investigation stage, large-scale fraud for the Serious Fraud Office.

Hindocha – Defence of accountant in fraud trial.
Pacific Computers – Successful reclaim action in Tax Tribunal.
iSoft - Successful defence of former FD of Footsie company charged with inflating trading figures through over-aggressive revenue recognition policies.
Price – Successful defence in lengthy pension fraud.

Other major fraud trials:
Kent Pharmaceuticals - Represented the principal defendant in a £24m prosecution alleging market rigging in the generic pharmaceuticals market.  Following acquittal, negotiated an advantageous result in the civil proceedings.
MTIC – Defended in London City Bond case and in operations Venison, Manpower, Inertia and MFB.
Prime Banking and Banking Fraud - Defended Cypriot businessman charged with worldwide prime banking fraud. 
Money laundering – Successful representation of solicitor, stayed as abuse.
Fraud by abuse of position - Successful representation of solicitor.
Tax Fraud – negotiated POCA deal with the Revenue to allow company to continue trading.

Public Law:

Alistair represented senior management in the Waterhouse Enquiry into abuse in care home in N. Wales.  He recently conducted the Rennard Enquiry, on behalf of the English Liberal Democrat Party.  He has regularly lobbied and briefed ministers in relation to justice issues and has advised Hacked Off in relation to various issues.

Mainstream Crime

Younis - successfully overturned convictions for double conspiracy to murder ( firearms / organise crime background ).
Gibbons - Successful prosecution of burglar who murdered naval officer by running over him in his own car; a
Advising suspect in ongoing arms control investigation.

R v Patel - Defended son of rich businessman charged with large scale importation of cocaine. 
R v Pumbien - Defended owner of rest home charged with the abuse of patients and perverting the course of justice.
Grynhaus - Successful prosecution of leading rabbi for child abuse.
Eteson - Double manslaughter.

2014 and before:
Prosecuting: Gordon Park: The Lady in the Lake; Barrow Legionnaires Disease case; Micheal Hamer ( the Joe Geeling murder ); Hardacre ( series of violent rapes and murder ); numerous murders; gross negligence manslaughters, including the death of a schoolboy in Glenridding and medical manslaughter.  Michelle Dickinson (poisoning of children – the longest murder trial to date in Liverpool).  Bamford: murder of British Heiress in Zimbabwe prosecuted in Manchester Crown Court.

Defending: Many gangland killings, including Chris Little; large drugs conspiracies; BNP member accused of explosives offences; defence of solicitor charged with multiple passport offences.  R v Doheny and Adams: leading case on DNA and expert evidence.

Alistair has presented cases on behalf of the CCRC and regularly advises in relation to prospective appeals.

Regulatory work


Alistair has advised Solicitors upon their diverse duties and liabilities and advised the HSE and CPS Complex Case Unit in relation to a number of serious cases including the prosecution of various professionals for manslaughter.

Alistair presents tribunal and High Court cases for the GMC.

Alistair is familiar with accountants’ disciplinary procedures.

Amongst those advised by Alistair are Hacked Off, the Professional Cricketers Association and the League Managers Association.