Rachel Spearing



Regulatory and Disciplinary

She has an extraordinary range and depth of experience in this area, including all aspects of Proceeds of Crime Act, Restraint, Confiscation, Contempt, Receivership & Enforcement. Bribery & Corruption. Money Laundering, Fraud and Directors Disqualification.

Rachel provides advice and representation to wide range of clients from hedge funds to private equity groups, regulators and professional bodies to directors and senior executives.

She has undertaken secondments with Revenue & Customs Prosecution Office, (Asset Forfeiture Dept), the Serious Organised Crime Agency and The Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She is regularly instructed for expertise in relation to security surveillance and private investigations.

In 2004 she provided General Counsel assistance in New York for a UK Advertising Agency advising on regulatory duties between US & UK.

Rachel has been instructed to defend and prosecute proceedings brought local authority inspectors, regulatory bodies and internal investigators. A keen rider and follower of horse racing, she has provided advice & representation to the Race Owners Association, National Trainers Federation and Jockey Club conducting hearings, appeal and advice following Stewards and regulatory enquiry.

Notable cases include:

  • R v T: 'Operation Carnival' substantial bank fraud. Multi-national and multi-handed
  • Scott v HMRC: Confiscation – Hidden Assets, PII and findings of fact by sole Judge in contested confiscation hearings following plea to substantive offences. Procedure to be applied for hidden assets
  • The Cargo Enquiry: Successful reinstatement & overturning of Stewards Enquiry at Jockey Club Appeal. Acting for Owners & Trainers
  • Kent Trading Standards v Bonner: Test Case involving novel legal argument. Successful prosecution of ‘Irish Tom’ rogue horse dealer in Kent under the Trade Descriptions Act 1968
  • Re: C: Leading Authority concerning Extradition to Romania. High Court, House of Lords & Strasbourg. Led by Edward Fitzgerald QC
  • Re V: Novel F.A.C.T Private Prosecution of global counterfeiting fraud (successfully defending)


Rachel has been instructed as a senior junior over the last 15 years in cases of serious and organised crime, involving murder, drugs, fraud and money laundering.  She maintains a specialist interest with Intelligence led investigations. 

Her current practice focus’ on corporate criminal responsibility, civil and criminal fraud and financial crime.

Rachel has experience in supporting clients in overseas jurisdictions with UK regulatory matters, and sits on the General Council of the Bar International Committee with regards to international development and mutual legal assistance. 

Notable cases include:

  • R v K & Others: 'Operation Eyeful'. Largest ever, single importation of cocaine in customs history. Appeals to CA & Strasbourg. Trial and International Confiscation
  • R v H & Others: Gangland Kidnap, Murder & Attempted Murder
  • R v L & Others: Chinese Organised Crime, human trafficking and money laundering
  • R v K & Others: Turkish Drugs Conspiracy. Lengthy drugs/violence international organised crime
  • R v A & Others: Multi-handed Murder / Violent Disorder between Iraqi/Kurd organised crime
  • R v K & Others: 'Operation Benbradagh' Largest undercover Met Drugs Operation. Extensive legal arguments relating to RIPA & Covert Methods. Abuse of Process
  • R v D & Other: 'Operation Benzol'. NCA / Customs substantial cannabis importation conspiracy. Legal arguments relating to use of probes, RIPA
  • R v A: ‘Operation Carousel’. Multi-handed, multi-national identity conspiracy to defraud. Civil and Criminal proceedings with multiple restraint aspects

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Rachel qualified as a Civil & Commercial Mediator in 2015, She undertakes facilitative mediation to support dispute resolution in a wide range of disputes. She brings a practical, empathetic and efficient approach to support resolving complex and contentious matters.

Rachel helps parties to concentrate on essential issues, understand and make a realistic assessment of one another’s cases, canvass ways forward and formulate an agreed solution.

Rachel also provides advice to clients on risk management and pre-litigation preventive measures.


Year of call: 1999
  • 2017: General Council of the Bar Chair for the Annual & Young Bar Conference
  • 2017: Senior Consultant to the Singapore Academy of Law
  • 2016 - 2019: Appointed a Trustee of ICBET (Inns of Court Bar Educational Trust)
  • 2016: Appointed to Bar Council (Western Circuit, Over 10 Years Representative)
  • 2015: Appointed a Governing Bencher by the Honourable Society of Inner Temple
  • 2015 – Current: Chair of the Wellbeing Cttee (Bar Wellbeing Project) Bar Council
  • 2011-2014: Circuit Junior of the Western Circuit
  • 2010 – Current: Inner Temple, Scholarship Cttee & Outreach Events
  • 2010 – Current: Advocacy Trainer for Western Circuit (Trained by Inner Temple)
  • 2010 – Current: Equality Diversity Officer for the Western Circuit
  • 2007 – Current: General Council of the Bar, Equality, Diversity, Disability Cttee
  • 2007 – Current: General Council of the Bar, Equality, Diversity, Disability Cttee
  • 2006-2009 Company Secretary & Honorary Flag Officer, Royal Corinthian Yacht Club (now inc. into RORC) Company Director Duties
Areas of specialism:
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Courts Martial
  • Criminal
  • Public Access and Direct Access
  • Regulatory and Disciplinary
  • LLB (Hons) Law University of Liverpool
  • Bar Vocational Course, Manchester University
  • European Scholarships: College of Europe : Brussels, University of West Bohemia : Czech Republic
  • Master of Studies (Cambridge University, Institute of Criminology), Criminology, Penology & Management.
  • Accredited Mediator LSM – Civil/Commercial/Work-place Mediator
  • Fellow of Higher Education & Academia, University of Portsmouth
Professional associations:
  • Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Society of Mediators
  • Western Circuit.
Professional activities:
  • Racehorse Owners Association
Outside Interests:
  • Time outside of the law is spent sailing, following Everton FC. Riding horses & Harley-Davidsons and planning adventurous travel with family & friends.