A very passionate lawyer, who is very, very clever and excellent with clients.

Greatly respected in the market for his aptitude in financial crime, he frequently undertakes cases being fought at the top end of the judicial system.


Described in the legal directories as a ‘highly regarded fraud practitioner, with a strong commercial focus’, Duncan’s practice covers both business and general crime.  He is a ‘very talented’ advocate, with ‘excellent client handling’, who is ‘very strong technically’.  He ‘exudes confidence, and is a determined yet persuasive advocate.



Business crime, financial services regulation, confiscation and forfeiture, homicide, terrorism, inquests and appellate advocacy.

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Duncan’s expertise covers corruption, high-end commercial and banking fraud cases and cartel investigations.  Recent work includes the representation of a banker charged in the Euribor proceedings; the first prosecution to trial of a company charged with corruption (in which he represented the company Chairman); the first major cartel trial to go to a jury; the prosecution for corruption of the former Premier of the Cayman Islands and the election petition for bribery and corruption brought against the former Mayor of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.  He defended in the BA/Virgin ‘price-fixing’ case and represented one of the defendants charged in the phone hacking trial.

Duncan regularly acts in an advisory capacity for private clients. He has, for example, been instructed by a bank to conduct an investigation into and report on allegations of corruption; advised high net-worth individuals in connection with allegations of corruption made in matrimonial proceedings; and has advised in connection with a threatened private prosecution of a high street bank.  He conducts forfeiture applications, restraint proceedings, worldwide freezing orders and other criminal aspects of civil and commercial litigation. He is currently retained by the SFO in an ongoing investigation into the affairs of a high profile company. He has also advised the CMA, OFWAT and OFCOM.

He has appeared in many cases in the Supreme Court and the House of Lords, including as Leading Counsel.  He appeared in the leading cases on confiscation (R v May, Jennings and Green and R v Waya). Duncan regularly appears in the Court of Appeal and is instructed by the Attorney General to appear in guideline cases concerning terrorism and national security.  He also regularly appears in the Divisional Court in judicial review proceedings issued in connection with the investigation and prosecution of crime or regulatory matters.


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  • Silk, 2014
  • Senior Treasury Counsel, 2013 to date
  • First Junior Treasury Counsel, 2011-2013
  • Junior Treasury Counsel 2006-2011
  • Standing Counsel to the DTI, 2004-2006


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University of Oxford, BA (Hons).

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To view Duncan Penny QC’s Privacy Notice, please click here.

Notable cases

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R v Looseley

A landmark decision of the House of Lords concerning the compatibility of the  domestic law on entrapment with Article 6 ECHR.

R v Waya

One of the most significant cases to be heard in the Supreme Court in recent years, concerning the confiscation provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The case considered the issue of what...

R v May, Jennings and Green

A leading House of Lords case on confiscation.

R v Horncastle

Instructed as leading counsel in the Court of Appeal in the case concerning documentary hearsay and Article 6(1)

R v William McKeeva Bush

Trial of the former Prime Minister of Grand Cayman on charges of misconduct in public office and theft.

R v Rebekah Brooks and Others

Represented Mark Hanna (a former employee of News International) accused of being involved in “phone hacking”.

R v Burnett and Others

Instructed for a former BA executive in the BA/Virgin ‘price-fixing’case .

R v John Terry

Prosecuted the former Captain of the England football team for racially abusing another player, Anton Ferdinand.

R v Mirza, Connor and Rollock

Addressing the admissibility of evidence from jurors as to alleged misconduct during deliberations.

Related news

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12 July

Euribor Trial

Duncan Penny QC, instructed by Ian Ryan of Howard Kennedy, represented Achim Kraemer, the only defendant to be acquitted of conspiring to rig  Euribor, a key-interest rate benchmark, in the recent...

11 October

High Court challenge to VRR scheme

In R(Chaudhry) v Director of Public Prosecutions, the High Court considered a challenge to CPS policy on a victim's 'right of review' (VRR) where charges are brought against some, but not all...

5 June

CMA's first contested criminal cartel trial

Duncan Penny QC and Fiona Alexander are instructed by the Competitions and Market Authority (CMA) in the first contested criminal cartel case brought by the prosecuting body. The defendants, Mr...

27 June

Duncan Penny QC in 'phone hacking' trial

Duncan Penny QC was part of the team which successfully defended Mark Hanna, the News International Head of Security in the ‘phone hacking’ trial. Mr Hanna, who was charged with conspiracy to...

8 May

British Airways Trial Collapses

British Airways Trial Collapses Duncan Penny successfully represented a defendant in the British Airways price fixing case, brought by the Office of Fair Trading. It was alleged that one present...