Ian Ryan

Ian Ryan:

Partner: Head of Business Crime and Regulatory

Ian has over 25 years’ experience and has been described as "a truly outstanding solicitor" (Chambers 2017) and "tough, completely unflappable and tactically astute" (Chambers 2017). He is a seasoned white collar crime lawyer with a thriving international practice who has acted in the most serious and high profile matters throughout his career. 

Ian leads the Howard Kennedy Business Crime team that deals with a full range of business crime and fraud investigations, including investigations by the Serious Fraud Office, money laundering, bribery and corruption, cartel investigations and FCA related investigations, from the early stages of the investigation up to and including jury trials. 

His primary focus is SFO investigations and he is representing senior individuals in, amongst others, the SFO investigation into Euribor (due for trial in April 2018); the SFO investigation into Tesco; the SFO investigation into Rolls Royce; the SFO investigation into Afren; and the SFO investigation into GlaxoSmithKline. He previously advised on the SFO investigation into Harlequin and represented Vincent Tchenguiz on his arrest by the SFO and subsequent search of his premises.  With his experience of solicitors' disciplinary work he is also particularly skilled at representing General Counsel caught up in SFO investigations. 

Ian also acts for corporates advising on production orders, dawn raids, confiscation proceedings, warrants and the extent of legal professional privilege.  He has represented both multinationals and individuals in numerous internal investigations.  

Ian has a niche specialism in money laundering and was previously a member of the Law Society's Money Laundering Taskforce.  He is a member of the Law Society's AML directory providing advice to solicitors and the author of the money laundering chapter in the Solicitors Handbook (Hopper and Treverton-Jones).  See also

Ian continues to represent high net worth individuals (celebrities, politicians and sports people) in general criminal matters, and solicitors and solicitors' firms in SRA investigations and at SDT hearings.

He has been recommended in Chambers Legal Directory as a leading individual in financial crime for a number of years; as a leading individual by the Legal 500; as a business crime specialist by Who's Who Legal and as outstanding in the field of criminal law by the Spears 500 2018 guide for HNW individuals.

"Ian Ryan of Howard Kennedy handles private client and regulatory issues.  Clients describe him as "a brilliant fount of legal knowledge and an excellent communicator"" (Chambers 2015).

See below for examples of Ian's notable cases over the years.

Emergency No. T: +44 (0)7802 613477

Ian Ryan: Chambers and partners top rank

Recent work

Bribery and Corruption

  • representing an individual in the SFO Rolls-Royce investigation
  • a prominent businessman under investigation by the SFO for corruption and investor fraud
  • represented the director of an oil service company in corruption allegations involving one of the world's major oil companies
  • advised the head of the Latin American arm of a major British company in an SFO Bribery investigation
  • advised a Medical Reports Agency in respect of its potential criminal liability under the Bribery Act arising from the payment to it of commissions
  • represented a Deputy Chief Constable following his arrest on corruption allegations, and no criminal charges were brought after representations.


  • represented a significant individual in the joint FCA/DOJ/CFTC investigation into the alleged manipulation of LIBOR.
  • represented Alexis Stenfors in an investigation by the FSA into the alleged mis-marking of his book; ultimately, a 5 year Prohibition Order was negotiated FSA which crucially did not conclude that Mr Stenfors had acted dishonestly.
  • represented a number of individuals in FCA criminal investigations.
  • representing and advising a number of individuals on FCA related issues including self-reporting; applications for approval following criminal convictions and representations to the FCA on fitness and propriety following significant events.


  • lead partner in an internal investigation conducted on behalf of a major multi-national company resulting in a self-report to the OFT and subsequent successful application for immunity on behalf of the corporate and all former employees.
  • advised the CEO of a major multi-national company in an OFT investigation into alleged cartel activity. No charges were brought following interview.
  • represented a retired commercial director of a metalabrasives company in an OFT investigation into alleged cartel activity; following a number of interviews the individual was eventually treated as a witness.

Internal Investigations

  • lead partner in an internal investigation into the alleged fraudulent obtaining of an EU grant of €3m by a research company.
  • one of a team of three partners dealing with an internal investigation into a hedge fund following allegations of mismanagement of client funds.
  • represented a number of individuals interviewed by external and in-house Counsel during internal investigations.

Fraud and Money Laundering

  • two senior Tesco directors in the SFO investigation
  • a defendant in the SFO Euribor prosecution
  • successfully represented the Managing Director of a Medical Reports Agency in an investigation into fraud in the insurance industry which resulted in the prosecution offering no evidence at the Crown Court
  • represented clients in the SFO investigations into BAE; Torex; the "generic drugs" investigation; Sweet & Maxwell; and the investigation into the stockbrokers Wills & Co
  • represented the Managing Director of an airport parts company on several money laundering charges arising from the sale of three aircraft to the front man for a Columbian drugs cartel. He was acquitted and awarded a proportion of his costs from Central Funds
  • acted in Re:B [2008] EWCA 1374, the first successful appeal to the Court of Appeal against a pre-charge restraint order, and referred to on the CPS website as the guideline case setting out the test for the risk of dissipation of assets.


  • advised and represented a prominent individual in relation to the Equatorial Guinea Coup.
  • advised and represented former Assistant Commissioner John Yates in respect of his evidence to the Leveson Enquiry.
  • represented a company director on charges of breach of UN sanctions involving the former Yugoslavia.
  • represented two senior members of the Labour Party in the cash for honours enquiry and related Abrahams investigation.