Corporate Crime and Fraud
Leading crime barrister
Brian has extensive experience in handling cases of complex fraud, cybercrime, bribery, corruption and cartels.
Brian’s expertise as a leading crime barrister is exceptionally useful when dealing with corporate crime, such as corruption, fraud and insider dealing. He has a powerful ability to understand complex financial and business data. He is logical, analytical, an excellent problem-solver, highly resourceful and a bold decision-maker.
Brian is ‘top ranked’ in legal directories for financial crime.
He handles financial crime matters, including fraud, false accounting and cartel investigations, as part of a broader criminal law practice.
In March 2021, Brian, instructed by Peters & Peters and leading two other QCs and three junior counsel, appeared on behalf of Post Office Ltd in the Court of Appeal Criminal Division in relation to 42 cases referred by the Criminal Cases Review Commission in what was the largest conjoined appeal ever heard by the Court of Appeal Criminal Division (R v Hamilton & Others  EWCA Crim 577).
The appeals all related to individuals who had been prosecuted by the Royal Mail Group and post-2012 by Post Office Ltd between 2000 and 2013 relying on evidence from the Horizon accounting system which has since been found to suffer from bugs, errors and defects. None of the counsel team, nor Peters & Peters, had been involved in prosecuting any of the cases during this period, and were brought in to conduct a thorough review of the cases to ensure proper disclosure was made and to advise on and conduct the appeals. Leading a team of over 60 review counsel, the counsel team oversaw an enormous post-conviction disclosure review exercise (with over 4 million documents subjected to review and substantially over 300,000 pages of material disclosed) to enable the appellants to advance their appeals.
Following advice from the counsel team, the appeals of the 39 successful appellants had been conceded on grounds of limb one abuse of process (with four of those 39 appeals conceded on grounds of both limb one and limb two abuse of process). Only three of the 42 appeals were opposed on all grounds, and the Court of Appeal upheld all three of those convictions. You can read/download the full judgment here.
“A leader who cuts through to the essence of a case. When you instruct him, he inspires huge confidence. He is a true luminary. Above all, in heavy business and regulatory crime and investigatory cases, he is truly fearless.“
Chambers Bar Guide for 2018 states that “He is frequently sought out by global corporations to advise on the potential criminal ramifications of officer conduct and corporate transactions.“
Strengths: “I have found him to be incredibly client service-oriented. He is very timely, and never lets us down as instructing solicitors. I haven’t met another barrister who has been as good in terms of client service in my career.”
The Chambers Bar Guide 2016, see Testimonials page.
Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2018 names Brian as one of “47 standout barristers who are considered leaders in the field of criminal fraud. They are highlighted for their expertise in a range of matters including white-collar crime, money laundering, corruption and regulatory and compliance matters.“
He has also defended or advised in large-scale fraud cases including mortgage and tax fraud, insider dealing and other serious fraud and corruption cases. These have included fraud regarding the flotation of a company based upon alleged mining deposits in Butte, Montana, USA, the trial of Brent Walker’s finance director and large scale corruption in the Met Police, originally exposed by the BBC’s Panorama.
Brian has also advised the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) on alleged cartel offences, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in blockbuster cases, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on insider dealing.
Call Brian Altman QC on 020 7440 8888 or email: [email protected]
Brian Altman QC is a barrister regulated by the Bar Standards Board