Philip Smith

London Warren Street

Contact tel
02073888333 (ext.6689)

07801 398 454


Phil is a Senior Partner at Tuckers Solicitors, heading up the Private Client Department at Board level, with over 25 years’ experience in criminal law. He has a diverse portfolio of high profile cases including fraud, corruption, crime and disciplinary matters.

At Partner level Phil heads Tuckers’ Private Client Department with Sarnjit Lal having established a prized reputation for his high-end criminal work and he is renowned for his quick-thinking combined with a strategic approach to his cases. This prowess has recently been recognised by The Lawyer Awards; in 2013 Phil was short-listed and placed second in the Client Partner of the Year category and he is ranked as one of the top 5 Criminal Lawyers for High Net Worth Individuals by Spear’s magazine and The Spear’s 500 2015 – 2017. He is ranked as a Band 1 leading individual in crime by Chambers & Partners and also as a leading individual in financial crime by Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500.

Top criminal practitioner Philip Smith comes recommended for his representation of private clients in high-stakes criminal cases. Clients describe him as “highly intelligent, highly skilled and much more than just a criminal solicitor – he was the complete lawyer in many ways”” Chambers & Partners note. “Philip Smith is an excellent choice for complex fraud matters“ The Legal 500 states. Chambers & Partners further attest “Philip Smith is highly skilled at advising senior executives and directors accused of white-collar crime. According to sources, he is: “able to get on top of the most detailed case extremely quickly and has a fantastic personable manner – he is someone who engenders immediate trust and respect”.

Phil’s department places specific emphasis on essential crisis management skills which, of necessity for High Net Worth clients, dovetail with the handling of criminal investigations. Operating closely with specialists in PR and reputational management he provides an immediate, co-ordinated response to crisis situations. He also advises victims and their families in their dealings with the police and investigatory authorities, from the initial report through to trial, taking statements and liaising with officers to ensure the matter is thoroughly investigated and prosecuted.

The investigations side of Phil’s practice focuses on establishing a pre-charge dialogue with the police or investigating authorities. Phil specialises in making verbal and written representations, at an early pre-charge stage, to persuade senior police officers and/or Senior Crown Prosecutors not to charge or to overturn a previously made decision to charge his client. This has been particularly pertinent recently in, amongst others, a number of sexual cases where he has successfully persuaded the police to take no further action without a file being submitted to the CPS.

Post-charge, his pre-trial preparation combines an intuitive and robust approach with a revered reputation for instructing unequalled Counsel.

He is regularly instructed by leading individuals from the professions, arts, worlds of finance and sport, senior media Executives, members of the medical and legal professions (Solicitors and The Bar), police officers and academics. He is retained by leading financial institutions and private companies to represent their Directors and employees facing allegations of criminality ranging from market abuse/insider trading to minor criminal misdemeanors.

Phil’s practice is split between complex financial crime and high end criminal cases. His vast experience encompasses complex corruption, public inquiries, money laundering, serious fraud, murder, criminal conspiracies ranging from drug trafficking to people smuggling, drug possession, sexual offences and Summary Only allegations triable in the Magistrates’ Court. He advises professional clients before their disciplinary bodies including the GMC and regularly deals with sporting disciplinary panels including the Football Association.

Phil successfully represented society heirs Hans and Eva Rausing on criminal charges following Eva’s arrest in the American Embassy for possession of crack cocaine, persuading senior Crown Prosecution Service Lawyers to overturn a previous decision to charge both clients with possession of Class A drugs and securing, instead, a Caution. He persuaded the CPS to overturn an initial decision to charge the son and heir of an extremely high profile Middle Eastern businessman with over 9 allegations of possession of drugs. He has discreetly represented numerous international professional footballers including, in the public domain, Titus Bramble who was acquitted of two counts of indecent assault.

Phil successfully defended the former Police & Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire who, in 2016, was cleared over allegations of misconduct in public office at the conclusion of a 6 month investigation. He acted for the only Solicitor indicted as part of Operation Cotton – an FCA prosecuted land bank fraud in which he famously instructed Alex Cameron QC to successfully persuade HHJ Leonard to “Stay” the case at Southwark Crown Court due to a dispute between the Bar and the Government over funding.

Phil is unique for having represented Executive Editors from both News International and The Mirror Group Newspapers throughout the entirety of their criminal investigations. He represented Neil Wallis, former Deputy Editor of The News of the World and Andy Coulson’s confidante, acquitted of conspiracy to hack mobile phones after a high profile Old Bailey Trial, throughout the entire four years’ Metropolitan Police Operations Weeting and Pine Tree and also at the Leveson Inquiry on three occasions when he gave evidence. He also represented a former Trinity Mirror Editor throughout Operation Golding, the police investigation into phone-hacking at Mirror Group Newspapers, also representing him in related High Court litigation.

Phil recently represented a member of an impeccably well-respected Middle Eastern family arrested for rape, submitting lengthy written representations to successfully persuade senior police officers not to refer the matter to the CPS. He has similarly secured decisions by the police to take no further action in a growing number of other cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct.

Phil’s high profile cases of sexual allegations also include the successful representation of performing artist Yuri “Aggro” Santos who was acquitted of two rapes and Jack Tweed, ex-husband of the late Jade Goody, also acquitted of rape. He successfully advanced the defence of sexomnia/automatism in a case where sexual acts were committed whilst sleepwalking. He secured an acquittal of a high flying investment banker charged with harassment and successfully represented celebrity portrait photographer Cinnamon Heathcote-Drury who was acquitted of racially aggravated assault after a high profile Trial.

He was privately instructed in both the extradition and criminal case of school teacher Jeremy Forrest who was extradited on allegations of abduction and sexual activity with a child, his 15 year old pupil. The extradition case proceeded through the French Courts all the way to the highest appellate court, The Constitutional Council who, for the first time since 1959, referred the case to the European Court for an Opinion. The European Court ruled in favour of Mr Forrest, leading to a change in French Law to embody this finding in Statute, these proceedings dovetailing with the high profile criminal Trial at Lewes Crown Court.

Phil was retained by the Senior Partner and lead Defendant throughout the biggest ever Gibraltarian case, a £55 million ponzi fraud and misappropriation of clients’ funds by an international law firm (R –v- Isaac Marrache & Others). He represented an award winning and BAFTA short-listed film producer charged with a 13 handed conspiracy to cheat HMRC via the abuse of sideways tax relief to the value of £2.5 million. He also defended high society stockbroker Nicholas Levene aka Beano in a £100 million ponzi fraud case and succeeded in subsequent Proceeds of Crime Act litigation in securing a Confiscation Order for just £1.

Phil was privately instructed by the family of James Richardson who was charged with the murder of his partner but whom, Phil established, was suffering from Alcohol Dependency Syndrome. On the basis of medical evidence obtained from a leading Psychiatrist the Prosecution were obliged to accept a plea to manslaughter by diminished responsibility.


2013 Lawyer Awards Client Partner of the Year – shortlisted and awarded runner-up.

2015, 2016 and 2017 named by Spear’s magazine as one of the Top 5 Criminal Solicitors.


Philip Smith is highlighted for his “encyclopedic knowledge” of criminal law. Sources also admire his strategic insight and tenacity” Chambers & Partners – Crime 2015

White collar criminal matters are a cornerstone of Philip Smith’s practice. Sources praise his “excellent judgment and feel for where the case should be going””. Chambers & Partners – Financial Crime 2017..

The “extremely impressive” Philip Smith has a strong reputation for his representation to high net worth and media sector clients including newspaper journalists. Peers say: “He is extremely professional and has impeccable judgement”” Chambers & Partners – Crime 2016

Philip Smith is highly skilled at advising senior executives and directors accused of white-collar crime. According to sources, he is: “able to get on top of the most detailed case extremely quickly and has a fantastic personable manner – he is someone who engenders immediate trust and respect.”” Chambers & Partners – Financial Crime 2016

Philip Smith is sought after by high-profile individuals to advise on complex fraud cases, often with international elements” Chambers & Partners – Financial Crime 2015

He stands out as the person private clients go to” Chambers & Partners 2013.

Regularly acts for high net worth individuals and is valued for his conscientious approach” Chambers & Partners 2011

Philip Smith is an “excellent” choice for complex fraud matters” 2014 Legal 500

Praised for his sound judgement, Phil Smith enjoys a very good reputation”. “He handles a wide range of crime cases often representing well-known sports personalities” Chambers & Partners 2014.

Singled out as a great strategist with a keen understanding of the client’s position. His representation of former deputy editor of the News of the World, Neil Wallis on allegations of phone hacking, conspiracy and subsequently before the Leveson Inquiry attests to the quality of his work” Chambers & Partners 2013.

Philip Smith goes from strength to strength” 2014 Legal 500.

Noted for his diligent approach to cases” Chambers & Partners 2011.

Media Appearances:

Regular commentator for BBC on Newsnight, BBC News, Radio 4’s Today Programme & World at One, Radio 5 Live Drive and Victoria Derbyshire Programme. ITN, Channel 4 News and Dispatches. Commentator on Satellite broadcasting Arise TV.

Writer for The Times: Operation Cotton; The Case with no Barristers – 29th May 2014; periodic blogger for Huffington Post, including Justice Delayed is Justice Denied – The Law Must Change – 8th July 2014.


Tuckers enjoy strong showing in new Chambers directory

Tuckers have had an extremely strong showing in the new edition of the Chambers & Partners directory, released today, with top tier rankings in many areas of the directory. In Crime, the firm is ranked in Band 1 in London and is in Band 1 on the basis of its national presence and in Manchester and Birmingham…. Read more »

Fake Sheikh’s co-Defendant receives suspended sentence

Alan Smith, the co-Defendant of “fake Sheikh” Mahzer Mahmood, avoided custody when sentenced today, to 12 months in prison suspended for 2 years.  Acknowledging that he acted out of “misguided loyalty”, Judge Gordon directed that Mr Smith, represented by Tuckers’ Partner Phil Smith, would avoid the sanction of immediate custody.  Mr Mahmood was sentenced to 15… Read more »

“Fake Sheikh” on trial

Phil Smith is acting in the Old Bailey trial of the “Fake Sheikh” aka Mazher Mahmood, who is accused of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice over a drug sting involving Tulisa Contostavlos, the former X-Factor judge. Assisted by Henrietta Ronson, Mr Smith represents Mazher Mahmood’s co-accused, Alan Smith, who as his driver, is… Read more »

Community order for former Met police officer

Former Metropolitan Police officer, Irshad Kamal, has avoided a custodial sentence in his case in Southwark Crown Court where he was represented by partner Phil Smith and solicitor Henrietta Ronson, from Tuckers Private Client department. Mr Kamal was charged with three counts voyeurism between 2010 and 2012.  Mr Kamal admitted the offences of voyeurism and was previously separately… Read more »

Wealthy investor accepts harassment charge

Wealthy investor and philanthropist, Thomas Badian, represented by Phil Smith, Partner in the Tuckers Private Client Department, accepted two charges of harassment during a course of conduct where he acted “totally out of character” and in respect of which he has apologised for the distress caused. In a high profile case before Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court today, Mr… Read more »

“Leveson 2” abandoned

Phil Smith, lawyer for Neil Wallis former deputy editor of the News of the World in connection with allegations of phone hacking brought before the courts and the original Leveson enquiry, has described the abandonment of the second Leveson enquiry into alleged police corruption as the “inevitable correct decision” and that this “needless” enquiry could… Read more »

Operations Weeting & Golding abandoned by DPP

Phil Smith, lawyer for Neil Wallis, former deputy editor of the News of the World, and a number of other journalists being treated as suspects in the long running phone hacking enquiries, has welcomed the decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions not to bring any more prosecutions related to the enquiries. On Twitter, Phil… Read more »

Chambers & Partners – accolades for Tuckers

Tuckers have once again had two Partners named in the top tier of individual lawyer’s ranked in the Crime section of Chambers & Partners, with the firm ranked in both the Crime and Financial Crime categories once again. Sarnjit Lal is identified as an “Associate to Watch”, a little out of date now she has… Read more »

Update – Manslaughter plea accepted in decapitation case

The Tuckers’ team of Phil Smith and Henrietta Ronson and Counsel, Alex Cameron and Louise Street, instructed on a private basis by James Richardson, attended at the sentencing hearing today of this high profile case. The Crown had already accepted a guilty plea from Mr Richardson to a charge of manslaughter, on the basis that… Read more »

Manslaughter plea accepted in decapitation case

Phil Smith, Partner at Tuckers, assisted by Henrietta Ronson and instructed Counsel Alex Cameron QC and Louise Sweet, were privately instructed to represent James Richardson in his defence to an allegation of murder, in circumstances where a bread knife was used in a sawing action in an apparent attempt to decapitate his girlfriend, Natalia Czekaj. After… Read more »

Neil Wallis “devastated” after being charged

Phil Smith’s client, Neil Wallis, has spoken out regarding his devastation following being charged with conspiring to hack mobile phones.  In a full article, the Independent newspaper traces the history of Mr Wallis being arrested, being on police bail for nearly two years before being told that no further action would be taken.  Believing that… Read more »

Phil Smith’s piece in The Times on “the case with no barristers”

A version of the article that Phil Smith published on the Huffington Post has now appeared in The Times as “the case with no barristers” continues to cause the MoJ significant embarrassment.  Read the article in full in The Times at

Landbanking case reported in Wall Street Journal

Phil Smith, solicitor for Dale Walker in the case of R v Crawley, has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal in connection with the continuing fall out from the dispute between Ministry of Justice and Barristers regarding the cuts in rates paid to barristers in Very High Cost Cases. It has long been an… Read more »

Justice delayed is justice denied…

Philip Smith’s article regarding the inherent unfairness of retaining “suspects” on bail for nearly two years, only to conclude there is insufficient evidence to bring a prosecution is published by the Huffington Post at

Commentary on collapsed fraud trial

The story of the case of R v Crawley being stayed by Judge Leonard at Southwark Crown Court has far reaching implications for the administration of justice, as reflected by the significant amount of media interest generated by the decision.  For Phil Smith’s reaction to the ruling click World At One 1.5.14 (1) for the article… Read more »

Phil Smith comments on “landmark decision” in legal aid fraud collapse case

The Judge in the case of R v Crawley at Southwark Crown Court, today took the “landmark decision” to stay proceedings against 5 defendants because of the absence of appropriate representation for the defendants. Acting for solicitor defendant, Dale Walker, Phil Smith, Partner at Tuckers commented – “”This is a landmark decision.  The evidence presented to… Read more »

Alex Cameron QC criticises legal aid reforms

Alex Cameron QC has acted pro bono in the application on behalf of seven defendants, including Tuckers’ client Dale Walker, for a stay of the case against them because the cuts to legal aid being imposed by Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling, meaning that the defendants are unable to find barristers of “sufficient competence”. Tuckers partner,… Read more »

Phil Smith comments on Pistorius trial by TV

Tuckers’ Partner Phil Smith believes that the televising of the Oscar Pistorius trial on South African TV was difficult to resist in the context of South Africa in 2014, when commenting on the factors surrounding the decision by the judge on Arise TV yesterday. See the interview in full at (at 8mins 14 seconds)

Phil Smith comments on celebrity “rape” cases

Phil Smith, Partner at Tuckers solicitors, was today quoted in the Times leading article and on the Today programme reflecting on the recent acquittals of both William Roache and Dave Lee Travis.   Phil called for a time to reflect on the pursuit of “very historical celebrity rape allegations” and pointed out the dangers of bringing… Read more »

Ex-RBS bankers vehemently deny film fraud

Tuckers’ Partner Phil Smith is representing one of seven ex-RBS employees in connection with a film-production scheme which is alleged to have been used to avoid £2.5 million in tax. Industry expert, Tessa Lorimer expressed some surprise at the approach taken by HMRC in the case.  Whilst acknowledging the fact that HMRC are targeting sophisticated… Read more »

Tuckers’ secures acquittal in Medway rape trial

Tuckers’ Partner, Phil Smith, supported by solicitor Henrietta Ronson, successfully secured the acquittal of a polish man, Marcin Gorniak in a high profile case at Maidstone Crown Court. The defence instructed an expert to counter inconclusive DNA evidence.   Whilst Mr Gorniak confirmed he had been in contact with the alleged victim on the night… Read more »

New Chambers Rankings

Tuckers are delighted to announce the results of the latest Chambers Directory publication, which has maintained the rankings of key individuals – as well as introducing some new individuals and categories to the directory.   Renata Pinter has been recognised for her work in the new Extradition category – being ranked in Band 1.  … Read more »

Phil Smith acts for client in successful “Sexomnia” case

Tuckers’ Partner, Phil Smith, assisted by solicitor Henrietta Ronson, acted for Paul Fallon in a high profile case which resulted in a successful acquittal based on the defence of insane automatism – following an alleged sexual assault by Mr Fallon on a friend’s wife after a party.   Mr Fallon claimed not to be responsible for… Read more »

Phil Smith runner up at The Lawyer Awards

Phil Smith, Partner at Tuckers, was pipped to the Client Partner of the Year award by Jane Mutimear from Bird & Bird.   Phil was runner up in his category – ahead of many rivals from prestigious City firms.   The full story of the event at the Grovesnor Hotel in London last night can be found at… Read more »

Phil Smith explains Jeremy Forrest case to BBC

Following the sentencing in the case of school teacher Jeremy Forrest, Tuckers’ Partner Phil Smith has been explaining the legal framework of the proceedings relating to his client, including the complication relating to the cross jurisdictional issues as a result of Mr Forrest being arrested in France under a European Arrest Warrant.  The full BBC… Read more »

The Lawyer Awards – Client Partner of the Year

  Phil Smith at Tuckers has been short-listed for the prestigious Client Partner of the Year Award 2013. The Lawyer Awards is about the celebration of excellence in the profession across private practice, the public sector, commerce and industry, and the Bar. The results will be revealed at a sparkling ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House… Read more »

Yuri “Aggro” Santos acquitted

Performing artist and lyricist Yuri “Aggro” Santos represented by Phil Smith was acquitted of two charges of rape after the jury returned not guilty verdicts in under 2 hours at Chichester Crown Court.

Phil Smith in Kent Solicitor Money Laundering Case

Phil Smith has been instructed by Dale Walker, a Kent solicitor who vehemently denies charges of fraud and money laundering.  The charges arise out of Operation Cotton, an ongoing FCA investigation into the activities of three land banking companies: Plott UK Limited (Plott), European Property Investments (UK) Limited (EPI) and Stirling Alexander Limited. The case… Read more »

Neil Wallis – No Further Action

Phil Smith’s client, Neil “the Wolfman” Wallis, has become the first high profile former employee of the News of the World to avoid prosecution. The former Deputy Editor was arrested 21 months ago and interviewed on numerous occaisons before finally receiving confirmation of No Further Action on Friday. Read more at

Legal 500 & Chambers acclaim Tuckers

Both the Legal 500 & Chambers Directories have recently published their new additions, heaping more acclaim on Tuckers’ lawyers. In Criminal Defence, London Partners Richard Egan, Jim Meyer and Phil Smith all feature strongly.   Richard is identified as “one of the finest lawyers of his generation”, Jim as “a wonderful, stand-out lawyer”.  Phil Smith… Read more »

Jeremy Forrest – swift return to the UK

Following the return of a 15 year old school girl to the UK, it has been confirmed that the 30 year old teacher arrested in Bordeaux under the terms of a European Arrest Warrant will not be fighting extradition and, instead, will be returning to the UK shortly.  As reported on the news wires, Phil Smith,… Read more »

R v Jack Tweed

Represented by Phil Smith, Partner from the Central London Office, the widower of the reality TV star Jade Goody and his friend have been cleared of raping a teenager in Essex. Jack Tweed and Anthony Davis had been accused of attacking the woman on 4 September 2009.  

R v Titus Bramble

Following a four day trial at Teeside Crown Court, Titus Bramble, the Sunderland Footballer, was acquitted of sexual assault charges. Mr Bramble had been accused of groping a woman’s bottom in a nightclub and sexually assaulting another in a taxi. In a statement issued after the verdict, Mr Bramble thanked Tuckers partner, Phil Smith and his… Read more »

Music promoter acquitted of large scale supply of Class A drugs

Aaron Simpson Acquitted

Jack Tweed Acquitted

Jack Tweed Acquitted of Rape

Musician charged with two counts of rape

Tuckers Representing ‘Aggro’ Santos

Tuckers Represent Premier League Footballer Charged with Sexual Assault

Tuckers Acting for Titus Bramble

Alleged Corruption and Profiteering

Alleged Corruption and Profiteering at Copeland School

Tuckers Instructed in Boiler Room Fraud

R v Whetstone – Boiler room fraud

Tuckers Partner Advising in Biggest Criminal Case in Gibraltarian History

R v Isaac Marrache and others

Nicolas Levene – alleged £250m ponzi scheme

City financier alleged to have created a ?250 million Ponzi scheme

Tuckers’ client Jack Tweed acquitted of all charges

Jack Tweed, represented by Tuckers solicitors has been acquitted of all charges.

Tuckers Represent Jack Tweed

Tuckers Solicitors represent Jack Tweed in relation to rape accusation. Lawyer Philip Smith says his client vehemently denies the allegation.