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Ian is a hard-hitting lawyer. He's very direct but it's always done authoritatively and he gets really good results for his clients.

Chambers UK 2024

Ian Ryan is a white-collar crime solicitor with over 30 years' experience of dealing with complex and high-profile matters, both domestically and internationally. He advises both individual and corporate clients in serious fraud and regulatory investigations as well as criminal matters.

Ian is head of the firm's well-regarded Business Crime team which is ranked in both the Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 directories.

Ian has a range of expertise and advises in SFO, FCA, CMA, NCA, CPS, police and SRA investigations. His clients are typically: corporates; boards of directors, CEOs, senior executives, non-executive directors, General Counsel, compliance and risk officers, financial directors and money-laundering reporting officers.

Notably Ian acted for Mark Hanna in the phone hacking trial in 2014 (acquitted); Achim Kraemer in the first SFO Euribor trial in 2018 (acquitted); Andreas Hauschild in the third SFO Euribor trial in 2019 (acquitted); Martin Backburn in the Gary Senior SDT hearing in 2020 (acquitted); Supreme in a successful private prosecution in 2021; a Middle Eastern bank successfully defending a private prosecution in 2021 (case dismissed and defence awarded costs of £250,000); and for British Gymnastics in the Whyte Review (reported July 2022). He has also been involved in many other high profile SFO investigations including Tesco, Harlequin and Tchenguiz.

In addition to the above, Ian advises corporate clients, including solicitor's firms, on cybercrime issues, production orders, dawn raids, confiscation proceedings, warrants and the extent of legal professional privilege. He has represented both multi-nationals and individuals in numerous internal investigations.

He is also an expert in solicitors' disciplinary work and SRA investigations, having previously prosecuted for the SRA for over 15 years. He acts for individual solicitors, including many at magic circle firms, and solicitor's firms at all stages of the proceedings, particularly on issues of self-reporting.

Ian is also a specialist in money laundering matters. He is currently a member of the Law Society's AML directory, providing ad hoc advice to solicitors and solicitor's firms. He is retained by a number of solicitors and other professional firms to provide AML and regulatory advice. He was also previously a member of the Law Society's Money Laundering Taskforce.

Ian also continues to represent high-net-worth individuals (celebrities, politicians, artists, journalists and sports people) in general criminal matters. As a result of his recent work with a national governing body of sport, he has specialist safeguarding experience.

Due to the nature of the cases Ian works on, many are sensitive and high-profile, so he works closely with the firm's reputation management team to ensure clients' interests are protected.

At present, Ian is acting in many matters including for:

  • Suspects in three active SFO investigations;
  • An international defence and security company in inquest and related proceedings;
  • A defendant in an FCA investigation, where the suspect is charged with making misleading statements to the market;
  • A top ten professional tennis player in an ATP investigation (recently successfully concluded);
  • A multi-national law firm in an AML regulatory investigation;
  • A well-known football agent in a police investigation into perverting the course of justice;
  • A premier league footballer charged with criminal offences (recently successfully concluded);
  • Several magic circle partners facing allegations of a sexual misconduct nature.

Ian is a proud Trustee of the Schools Consent Project; sits on the England Hockey Disciplinary Complaints panel; and is member of the Sport Resolutions legal advice panel giving advice to sports National Governing Bodies.

Emergency contact: +44 (0)7802 613477

SFO experience

Ian previously acted for News International Head of Security Mark Hanna who was acquitted of perverting the course of justice in the Rebecca Brooks' phone hacking trial at the Old Bailey (2014); (successfully) for two senior executives at Tesco in its internal investigation , the subsequent SFO investigation , and during the trial process and its aftermath (2014-2021) ; and for the ex- CEO of a Colombian subsidiary of JLT Speciality Ltd in a joint SFO/DOJ investigation into allegations of bribery and money laundering in Ecuador.

He has acted for many clients where charges have been avoided following representations to the prosecution and in a number of other significant SFO investigations including Rolls Royce, Amec Foster Wheeler, ENRC, GSK,GPT, Harlequin, Vincent Tchenguiz (on his arrest by the SFO and subsequent search of his business premises ) and Afren.

Recent work

Ian has many years' experience of preparing and winning trials. His recent experience includes a number of high-profile cases:

  • Successfully defended Achim Kramer (2018) and Andreas Hauschild (2019) in the SFO Euribor trials at Southwark Crown Court.
  • Successfully defended Martin Blackburn (2020) in the high profile Gary Senior hearing at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
  • Successfully acted for iconic streetwear brand Supreme (2021) in a private prosecution for counterfeiting (also at Southwark CC) that resulted in the conviction and significant prison sentences for all the defendants.

Ian has also acted on the following:

  • Advising two magic circle partners in separate sexual misconduct SRA investigations, both of which were dropped by the SRA at an early stage.
  • Advising an ex-magic circle partner in an ongoing SRA investigation.
  • Successfully representing a well-known solicitor in an SRA investigation, regarding allegations of breaches of confidentiality. The allegations were dropped after detailed representations.
  • Successfully defending a Middle Eastern bank in a private prosecution for alleged offences of fraud. The case was dismissed at Southwark CC and the private prosecutor agreed to pay the bank's costs of £200,000.
  • Advising and representing the Managing Director of a well-known demolition company in the CMA's ongoing investigation into the supply of construction services.
  • Advising the CEO of a well-known retail company in a CMA merger investigation.
  • Advising a senior executive at Patisserie Valerie in relation to the ongoing SFO investigation into serious accounting irregularities.
  • Advising and representing the Managing Director of a well-known company in an internal investigation into bribery and corruption.
  • Representing a number of senior individuals in the SFO Amec Foster Wheeler investigation into alleged bribery and corruption in the oil and gas sector (related to the Unaoil and Petrofac investigations).
  • Ranked as a Leading Individual, Crime: General, Legal 500 UK 2024
  • Ranked as a Leading Individual, Fraud: White-Collar Crime, Legal 500 UK 2024
  • Ranked as a Leading Individual, Private Prosecutions, Legal 500 UK 2024
  • "Ian Ryan is a legend with a big heart." Legal 500 UK 2024
  • "Ian Ryan – a perfect foil to any prosecution. At times gentle, at times savage. A really powerful weapon to have on your side. Lives cases day-by-day and hour-by-hour. He is supported by a knowledgeable and savvy team." Legal 500 UK 2024
  • "Ian Ryan has seen it all and instils complete confidence." Legal 500 UK 2024
  • "Ian Ryan, Kyle Phillips, and Jen Harper are excellent and know this field inside out." Legal 500 UK 2024
  • "Ian Ryan and Kyle Phillips run a good team and have good practical skills for handling client cases." Legal 500 UK 2024
  • "Ian Ryan is a hugely influential figure in this area. He has a formidable reputation and never disappoints." Legal 500 UK 2024
  • Ranked Band 1, Financial Crime: Individuals, Chambers UK 2024
  • Ranked Band 2, Financial Crime: Private Prosecutions, Chambers UK 2024
  • Ranked Band 2, Professional Discipline, Chambers UK 2024
  • "He has lots of experience and great judgement." Chambers UK 2024
  • "A good advocate, Ian is bright and robust." Chambers UK 2024
  • "He has lots of experience and great judgement." Chambers UK 2024
  • "Ian is very thorough and responsive, with constant and clear communication." Chambers UK 2024
  • "Ian is really good at providing that overall strategic advice." Chambers UK 2024
  • "He has a lot of experience and great judgement." Chambers UK 2024
  • "He is quite daring and brave in his tactics, and successfully so. He has a strong record of success." Chambers UK 2024
  • Ranked Band 2 Financial Crime: High Net Worth Individuals, Chambers HNW 2023
  • "Ian has been a go-to solicitor for high net worth clients for a considerable period of time. He has the experience and gravitas to impress anyone." Chambers HNW 2023
  • "Ian Ryan is a go-to person in this space with bags of experience and the ability to handle anything smartly and calmly." Chambers HNW 2023
  • "I absolutely rate Ian - he is a real veteran. He's a lawyer's lawyer -  a lot of us turn to Ian with problems." Chambers HNW 2023
  • Ranked Band 4, Crime, Chambers 2023
  • Ranked as a Leading Individual, Crime, fraud and licensing: Crime: general, Legal 500 2023
  • Ranked as a Leading Individual, Crime, fraud and licensing: Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals), Legal 500 2023
  • Listed as Key Lawyer, Crime, fraud and licensing: Private Prosecutions, Legal 500 2023
  • Listed as Key Lawyer, Dispute resolution: Professional discipline, Legal 500 2023
  • ''Ian Ryan heads the team which has shown its quality and experience over the years following significant successes. They are adept at handling large scale financial fraud investigations and prosecutions with huge confidence and skill.'' Legal 500 2023
  • ''Ian Ryan has great judgement and tactical awareness. He is a master at negotiating with prosecution authorities and has an excellent team supporting him.'' Legal 500 2023
  • ''Ian Ryan is an amazingly robust litigator who is consistently brilliant.'' Chambers UK 2023
  • ''He is very well established and respected in this space.'' Chambers UK 2023
  • Ranked, Financial Crime: High Net Worth Individuals, Chambers HNW 2022
  • "He is a master strategist who brings exceptional expertise and experience." Chambers HNW 2022
  • "His strengths come from his background in general crime and his ability to see things right from the beginning through to the end." Chambers HNW 2022
  • Listed as Leading Individual, Fraud: White-Collar Crime (Advice to Individuals), Legal 500 2022
  • Listed as Key Lawyer, Professional Discipline, Legal 500 2022
  • Listed as Key Lawyer, Crime: General, Legal 500 2022
  • "Ian Ryan knows the SDT back to front, is very good for tactical considerations, and very engaged." Legal 500 2022
  • "Ian Ryan is super experienced and confident. Knows exactly how to try to solve his client’s problems." Legal 500 2022
  • "Ian Ryan is a star.  Enormously experienced, unflappable and always immaculately prepared, he inspires confidence in the client and the team.  Moreover, he is a supreme strategist and tactician." Legal 500 2022
  • "Ian Ryan is approaching the role of statesman of the field – he has been one of the top partners working in this field for over 20 years. He has excellent tactical instincts and the level of experience that reassures clients he knows exactly what approach to take." Legal 500 2022
  • Ranked, Financial Crime: Individuals, Chambers 2022
  • Ranked, Professional Discipline, Chambers 2022
  • Ranked, Crime, Chambers 2022
  • "He is really well known for defending individuals in complex cases - a go-to guy who knows his stuff. He is able to break down legal jargon in a comprehensive way, is able to dissect a case quickly and accurately and is incredible with clients." Chambers 2022
  • Top Recommended, Criminal Lawyers Index, Spear's 2022


Did you know?

Ian is very proud to be a trustee of the amazing Schools Consent Project https://www.schoolsconsentproject.com/ which recently partnered with Jodie Comer during the sellout run of Prima Facie.

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