Kathleen Harris is co-chair of the firm's Anti-Corruption practice where she represents companies and individuals in a wide range of industries. Kathleen is recognised internationally as a leader in her practice area. She represents an FTSE 100 Company in relation to a financial fraud case and another FTSE 100 Company in relation to a global investigation. Her representations have included News UK and individuals in relation to investigations into Barclays, Rolls Royce, and Tesco. She is regularly instructed by companies and individuals in a range of other high-profile criminal matters. Kathleen specialises in financial crime, however she is a highly respected practitioner in all areas of crime and her pro bono work includes acting for vulnerable individuals within the criminal justice system.
In The Legal 500 she is recognised as having a "very keen intellect." Chambers and Partners has recognised her as a leading individual in her field. She is an accomplished litigator with extensive knowledge of and experience in matters involving internal and external investigations and prosecutions under the full range of potential criminal offences and sanctions. Kathleen has broad experience advising government ministers on the development and implementation of policy and fraud strategy, and leading complex overseas enquiries and analyses.
Kathleen is a member of the Corporate Governance working group of the firm, and with her experience, clients, Board of Directors, and Special committees regularly rely on her counsel with respect to complex corporate governance issues.
She has written articles on the Deferred Prosecution Agreement and UK Bribery Act, as well as newsletters covering the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and UK Enforcement updates.
Before joining the firm, Kathleen served as a Senior Civil Servant Heading the Fraud Business Group and Head of Policy at the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Senior Strategic Policy Adviser in the Attorney General's Office, and held positions in HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), The Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office, and the Department of Works and Pensions in the United Kingdom.
Kathleen has led the prosecution of organisations involved in high-profile bribery investigations, complex financial crime, and tax evasion.
- Criminal Adviser to the Management and Standards Committee at News Corporation in relation to the investigations involving voicemail interception and payments to public officials which included advising on all concurrent proceedings. Successfully defended the company in relation to all allegations of alleged wrongdoing.
- Representing an FTSE 100 company in relation to financial misconduct.
- Representing an FTSE 100 company in a multi-jurisdictional investigations subject to concurrent investigation by the DOJ, SEC, FSA, and SFO.
- Represented a Libor Trader.
- Instructed by individuals in relation to the Corruption Investigation in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
- Advised several corporates in relation to Compliance and the UK Bribery Act.
- Conducting anti-corruption risk assessment for large corporations who have a presence in the UK.
- Advising a company on how to comply with the Data Protection Act when transferring data overseas.
- R v. BAE Systems Plc. in connection with the prosecution of a global defence company, fully managed successful outcome of Judicial Review challenging the lawfulness of the plea agreement, and was responsible for managing counsel, drafting response to the claim, and handling correspondence amidst intense media scrutiny.
- Led team in examining the approach to global offending following the R v. Innospec judgment, and was responsible for making suggestions to the government for changes to the plea negotiation framework.
- Advised in the updating of the Code for Crown Prosecutors, used by prosecutors to decide whether criminal proceedings should be instituted.
- Advised the Board for the former Inland Revenue in a number of Hansard and serious civil cases.
- Advised and prosecuted in relation to a number of large tax evasion cases involving complex overseas enquiries, analysis of large volumes of data, and knowledge of the law of restraint and confiscation.
- R v. Gray (2006). Advised and prosecuted in case which became a model for HMRC best practice, identifying evidence that permitted the first successful UK inheritance tax case which enabled the Scottish National Gallery to recover a valuable art collection.
- Advised and successfully prosecuted a multi-handed conspiracy to defraud in relation to a charity which had high-profile patrons.
- Led investigation for the first UK Carbon Trading investigation by HMRC with a potential loss of more than £2 billion.
Corporate Crime & Investigations (UK-wide) (2014-2016)
"Leading Individual" – Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (2015-2019)
- Inns of Court School of Law, 1998
- LLB, Thames Valley University, 1997, with honors
- Diploma in Magisterial Law, Kingsway College, 1992, with distinction
- England and Wales
- Head, Fraud Business Group, UK Serious Fraud Office
- Senior Strategic Policy Adviser, UK Attorney General's Office
Member, Employed Bar Committee for The Bar Council of England and Wales