Richard Cornthwaite


RIchard Cornthwaite

Richard joined Olliers in 2023 and specialises in representing persons under investigation or facing fraud prosecutions and financial crime. Richard has acted in many of the largest and most high profile cases ever prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office, Financial Services Authority, HMRC and the Crown Prosecution Service and frequently advised professionals and directors who are the subject of regulatory investigation.

Fraud & White Collar Crime cases

  • LIBOR – Represented the lead defendant in the SFO’s first prosecution in respect of the manipulation of the LIBOR benchmark interest rate
  • REPO – Represented a former senior employee of a multinational bank accused of conspiring to manipulate the REPO benchmark rate
  • Operation Holbein – Successfully defended a corporate body and individuals in what was, at the time, the largest and most complex case ever prosecuted by the SFO. It involved alleged price-fixing in the Pharmaceutical industry. The indictment was quashed in the House of Lords. The court ruled that the activity complained did not constitute a criminal offence at the relevant time

Other SFO cases

  • R v Spens (Guiness)
  • R v C (Hungarian International Bank)
  • R v Wallace Duncan Smith
  • R v P (Alpine Double Glazing)
  • R v de Mendonca
  • R v Mariuszak
  • Richmond Oil & Gas
  • The Arrows Plc
  • Butte Mining
  • R v A (Brent Walker)
  • R v K (TC Coombs)
  • Aveling Barford
  • Therm-A-Stor
  • R v R (Gooda Walker Run Off Limited)
  • Eagle Trust

Bribery & Corruption cases

  • Alstom PLC – Successfully represented a senior executive interviewed under caution but not subsequently charged
  • Represented the Managing Director of an engineering company accused of offering bribes to a Senior Exxon engineer in what was said to be the most important SFO investigations of the 1990s, relating to an “extraordinary network of corruption in the engineering industry.”
  • Represented a defendant in R v Rybak & Ors, (2012) – A prosecution of 5 defendants centred around allegations of corruption relating to high-value engineering contracts in the oil and gas industry in Iran, Egypt, Russia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi
  • BAE – Successfully represented a Vice President of BAE in the investigation into allegations of corruption relating to the sale of radar equipment in Tanzania
  • Successfully represented a suspect in the investigation into bribery and corruption in the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Represented a defendant in the Innospec prosecution; this matter related to corrupt payments to governments in Indonesia and Iraq, to ensure that sales of a harmful chemical fuel additive Tetraethyl Lead would continue
  •  Rolls Royce – Represented a senior former employee of Rolls Royce in this ongoing investigation into allegations of corruption overseas

Fraud Cases

  • Operation Maple Lodge – The case was prosecuted by the Royal Mail and various defendants were convicted of a £70 million fraud which involved the under-declaration of mail that was posted through a network of logistics companies. A number of individuals and companies were prosecuted on a count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation at Southwark Crown Court. On 6th October 2023 the judge formally recorded a verdict of not guilty in relation to case against KS and a number of others.

  • Operation Casper – MTIC fraud prosecution where our client is currently standing trial at Liverpool CC on counts of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue and conspiracy to launder money. The alleged VAT loss to HMRC is £1.5 million. The trial has been going for 3 months.


Richard Cornthwaite



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