Gavin Irwin

Gavin Irwin

“He is eloquent on his feet and his drafting and preparation is impeccable....He is personable and clever and very good at what he does."

Chambers UK 2024
Year of call: 1996
For enquiries please call: 020 7353 5324 or email vcard cv linkedin save

Business Crime & Financial Services

Financial Crime

Gavin is currently leading the team in the defence of:

  • The principal defendant in a case concerning allegations of bribery in the construction industry
  • A financial services professional charged with laundering the proceeds of cross-border frauds

In the recent past, Gavin has:

  • Advised in relation to the SFO investigation into Quindell PLC, described by the Law Society Gazette as one of the most “contentious acquisition deals in legal history
  • Represented the finance director of a high-profile property development company charged with evading £5M of VAT
  • Represented the principal defendant in confiscation proceedings for what the SFO dubbed “the largest boiler room fraud ever pursued by a UK authority” – valued at £70M

Financial and Trade Sanctions

Gavin regularly advises businesses and individuals on the impact of financial and trade sanctions and is currently acting for:

  • A number of public figures currently under investigation in relation to: the art-market (terrorism financing); and, for public pronouncements said to support Russian state interests
  • A number of UK companies whose interests and operations have been affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022

Gavin has been instructed in two ‘firsts’:

  • The criminal case alleging breaches of the financial sanctions applied against Russia – to be tried at Southwark Crown Court in 2025
  • The attempted extradition to the United States of a UK national for alleged facilitation of breaches of U.S. financial sanctions against Oleg Deripaska

Export controls

Gavin has an established track-record in navigating export control challenges and in leading corporate investigations where end-user concerns and WMD proliferation risks have been identified.  He has considerable experience in shaping self-disclosures, averting criminal proceedings and negotiating compound penalties.

Gavin has acted, in criminal proceedings, for:

  • A UK company for exports involving breaches of the UN Chemical Weapons Convention
  • An individual for exporting chemicals feared to be pre-cursors for a ‘suitcase dirty-bomb’ to Iran

Advisory work includes:

  • Corporate investigations into the export by UK companies of: software for use in semi-conductor manufacturing (global); cryptographic software (Russia); and, high-performance machine parts (Iran)
  • Law enforcement investigations into the export by UK companies of: submarine technology (China); and, advanced vehicle components (Russia and the United States).

National Security and Investment

Gavin regularly:

  • Advises businesses operating within the 17 sensitive sectors of the UK economy on issues relating to the National Security and Investment Act 2021
  • Assists businesses with notifiable acquisition submissions to the Cabinet Office, Investment Security Unit


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