Gavin Irwin

Gavin Irwin

"A criminal barrister with the finesse and smoothness to switch very easily to the corporate or commercial context...a skilled negotiator...he understands a case from the technical, commercial and human angles"

Chambers UK 2018
Year of call: 1996
For enquiries please call: 020 7353 5324 or email vcard cv linkedin save

Business Crime & Financial Services

Gavin advises corporates, as external counsel, in investigations relating to sanctions and the licensing of exports in relation to: dual-use goods and services in the manufacturing sector and goods where end-user concerns and WMD proliferation risks have been identified by the Export Control Organisation and/or the Security Service; and, the sale of cryptographic software to designated jurisdictions. In addition, he advises on the impact of anti-money laundering provisions in the context of high value dealers and intellectual property portfolios.

Gavin has designed and delivered training seminars on the Bribery Act 2010 and Anti-Money Laundering systems, for: senior editorial staff and lawyers at the Guardian News and Media Group; the corporate clients of Shepherd Wedderburn; and, Shearman Sterling LLP. He advises on ABC health-checks for at-risk companies in exposed industry sectors and geographical locations and has advised intellectual property law firms and regulators on AML concerns.

Throughout 2011 and 2012, Gavin advised in a dispute involving two sets of Russian interests in a mobile telephone company. The case involved LCIA arbitration, proceedings in the Commercial Court, the BVI, Isle of Man, Kyrgyzstan and the Seychelles. (Instructed by SJ Berwin)

Gavin also undertakes restraint and confiscation work.He acted for Raymond May in the seminal House of Lords case on the definition of ‘obtaining’ benefit. He has a wealth of experience in applying for injunctions on behalf of prosecuting authorities and in resisting them on behalf of individuals and other legal entities. Gavin advises and represents individuals in enforcement proceedings and has recently assisted the proprietor of the London Fields Brewery in proceedings before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Gavin has regularly been instructed by the prosecution to conduct confiscation proceedings where he did not appear as trial counsel. Likewise, he is often instructed by the defence in similar circumstances and at appellate level. He offers PoC advice to companies and directors in the context of fraud, money laundering, export licensing and other business risk enquiries.

In 2012, Gavin appeared in the Family Division for a BVI company whose assets were frozen pursuant to ancillary relief proceedings after a ‘big-money’ divorce. Since then, he has assisted a number of litigants in matrimonial finance proceedings.

Recent Cases:

R v A&B Ltd – defence
Ongoing prosecution of a company for offences under section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 for obtaining and disseminating personal information. (Instructed by Kingsley Napley)

R v M – defence
Ongoing prosecution for an alleged £10m money laundering scheme relating to duty evaded on wholesale alcohol shipments. (Instructed by Janes)

R v L – defence
Ongoing prosecution of a globally recognised researcher in space technology for alleged involvement in a fraud on an academic institution. (Instructed by Artesian Law)

R v H – defence
Ongoing restraint and criminal proceedings for fraud and money laundering arising from alleged breaches of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPUT Regs). To be tried in 2017, this is one of the most sophisticated and complex of the ‘copycat website’ prosecutions launched by National Trading Standards based in York. (Instructed by Artesian Law)

R v R – defence
Ongoing confiscation proceedings arising from the defendant’s conviction for what the SFO have dubbed “the largest boiler room fraud ever pursued by a UK authority”, valued at £70 million. (Instructed by Shearman Bowen)

R v Beddow – defence
The defendant was alleged to have ignored the advice of the Security Service and the Export Control Organisation, within BIS, to send to Iran a chemical that may be involved in the manufacture of a suitcase ‘dirty’ bomb. After a retrial, the prosecution offered no evidence. (Instructed by Shearman Bowen)

R v SAS Fire & Security Ltd – prosecution
Gavin acted as leading counsel for the prosecution in the most significant proceedings ever brought under the CPUT Regs. Charged as a nationwide conspiracy to defraud, involving multiple contraventions of the CPUTRs, allegations centred upon cold-calling the elderly and vulnerable and offering them ‘free’ alarm, fire and security systems. Victims were visited in their homes where they were subjected to hard sales techniques in an attempt to sign them up to lengthy monitoring contracts at punitive costs. (Instructed by the London Borough of Hillingdon)

R v Barker – defence – UK
Customs and Excise officer working in Pakistan, charged with misfeasance in public office and the deliberate misuse of the Hawallah banking system. The defendant had diplomatic status and unlawfully imported £1m worth of heroin into the UK. The prohibition on the disclosure of official secrets was waived for the purpose of the trial. The disclosure exercise was complicated by the fact that it was necessary to review the entirety of the defendant’s 4-year diplomatic tenure. (Instructed by Kingsley Napley)

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