Jo Rickards is the Head of the White Collar Crime & Investigations Group. Recognised as an expert in white-collar crime handling cases involving corruption, cartels, fraud and contentious financial services, she has advised directors, boards and companies in the UK and internationally for over 20 years. She represents both corporates and individuals embroiled in corruption, fraud and money laundering in multiple jurisdictions, including those being investigated by the SFO, FCA, CMA and HMRC.
Jo's numerous high profile cases includes: the representation of former News of the World Editor Andy Coulson in respect of phone hacking allegations at the Old Bailey, Silvio Berlusconi in mutual legal assistance proceedings initiated by the Italian prosecutor in respect of allegations of corruption involving David Mills, and Mazher Mahmood, known as ‘the fake sheikh’. She has been involved in all the major SFO investigations since the Office was created, from Guinness, Barlow Clowes and Maxwell, through to Versailles and Wickes. She also has extensive experience of insider dealing prosecutions and market abuse investigations, successfully navigating clients through internal investigations arising from the last financial crisis involving LIBOR and Forex. She was involved in both the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press and the Manchester Arena Inquest/Inquiry.
Jo has been recognised by The Legal 500 UK 2019 as Individual of the Year for Crime, Fraud and Licensing, as well as being recognised in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom for her work in Criminal Practice and Fraud, the 2018 edition of Who's Who Legal: Business Crime, and in GIR's 2018 special on Women in Investigations, recognising 100 outstanding female lawyers in the field. She also won the White Collar Crime European Women in Business Law award in 2014, and has been ranked twice in The Lawyer's Hot 100, in 2003 and 2013.
She is ranked in Band 1 for Financial Crime: Individuals and Band 2 for Financial Crime: Corporates by Chambers Guide UK 2019, and is recognised as a Leading Individual in both Risk Advisory and Fraud: White Collar Crime in the Legal 500 UK 2019 guide. According to clients, she is "the best there is; professional, dedicated and always willing to go the extra mile with pin sharp advice and support".
- Advising a company and three of its executives in an SFO investigation into corruption in the Middle East
- Acting for a former Director of a Bank in an extradition request arising from proceedings in Thailand
- Retained to conduct an independent review one of the UK’s largest group of casinos in relation to the adequacy and implementation of its anti-money laundering policy in its retail and digital businesses
- Advising a former political figure of Kazakhstan in relation to allegations of corruption and the historic confiscation of assets under local legislation
- Acted for the former CEO of a German company being prosecuted by the SFO for overseas corruption under historic corruption legislation
- Representing a company subject to a section 7 Bribery Act investigation; the company is accused of having inadequate controls to prevent bribes which were paid to domestic public officials
- Retained by Johnson & Johnson in relation to the SFO’s investigation into legacy corruption in acquired company DePuy International Ltd. The case resulted in a civil recovery order in the UK
- Acted for a suspect in the Innospec bribery investigation who was not subsequently prosecuted
- Acted for former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, in mutual legal assistance proceedings which were initiated by the Italian prosecutor in respect of allegations of corruption
- Acted for a BAE executive in connection with the Al Yamamah project and European bribery investigation
- Represented a broker in an alleged MTIC fraud whose case was dismissed - R v Goldstone
- Acted for Desk Head in the multi-jurisdictional investigation over the Citigroup ‘Dr Evil’ bond trades
- Acted for a UK executive charged with price fixing in the first prosecution by the Office of Fair Trading (known as “Marine Hose”).
Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Partner, Kingsley Napley LLP
Partner, DLA Piper
Partner, Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP
Articled, Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP