Phil Smith

Head of Department
Partner
Crime & Regulatory

+44 78013 98454
Email Phil
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Phil heads the Crime & Regulatory team. He is a Band One ranked leading individual for Crime, and a leading individual for Financial Crime in Chambers directory, which notes that “Clients applaud his ‘excellent judgement and feel for where the case should be going’”. Phil is ranked as a leading individual in Crime (General) by the Legal 500 and is consistently acclaimed as “Outstanding in the field” by the Spear’s 500. He has been recognised by the Lawyer Awards in the Client Partner of the year category.

Phil establishes an immediate dialogue with investigating authorities, often successfully making representations to police and specialist agencies not to charge his client.

With over 25 years’ experience in all areas of criminal law, Phil is renowned for his versatility and crisis management when acting for clients with a public profile, coordinating with PR specialists and our defamation department to head off reputational fall out. His clients include HNWIs and prominent figures from the arts, sport, finance, the professions, broadcast and print media, and academia.

He has recently acted for partners in City and US law firms, separately investigated domestically by the NCA and internationally by the U.S. DoJ, FBI and IRS.  He successfully represented a former Police and Crime Commissioner on misconduct in public office allegations.

Testimonials

“An exceptional talent and a go-to person across the whole spectrum of crime.” Chambers & Partners, 2021

“During difficult circumstances, Phil was the most delightful and calming influence – he was just fantastic.” Chambers & Partners, 2021

“He is absolutely outstanding – forensic, strategic and reassuring, you know you are in the best possible hands with him.” Chambers & Partners, 2021

“He is calm, in control and very good tactically.” Chambers & Partners, 2021

“He is a very calm and a deep-thinking lawyer who looks at every angle of the case.” Chambers & Partners, 2021

“He is responsive, attentive and puts his clients first.” Chambers & Partners, 2021

“Great tactical nous, he knows how to present arguments in the best way and he always comes to cases at a very good angle.”

“During difficult circumstances, Phil was the most delightful and calming influence – he was just fantastic.”

“Phil Smith is responsive and practical, good understanding of the criminal law landscape.” Legal 500, 2022

“Clients appreciate the fact that he provides straightforward advice while making it plain that he is always acting in their best interests. He is confident without talking down to clients.” Legal 500, 2022

“You get the sense that he thinks, really thinks, about each aspect of the case, from general strategy to critical key decisions.” Legal 500, 2022

“His experience in all areas of criminal law is second to none and he grasps the issues in any case quickly and reassuringly maps out the best way of dealing with crisis management.” Legal 500, 2021

“Phil Smith’s reputation cannot be overstated – he is a force of nature.” Legal 500, 2021

“He commands respect in all criminal spheres and leads the team with a pragmatism, inventiveness and vibrancy that few can match and none can surpass.” Legal 500, 2021

“An excellent client manner and gives clear and effective advice in dealing with highly complex and serious issues.” Legal 500, 2019

“A high-quality addition to the team and a fierce litigator with a fantastic desire to succeed for his clients.” Legal 500, 2019

“Top recommended criminal lawyer ‘Outstanding in Field.'” The Spears’ 500, 2019 & 2018

“Able to get on top of the most detailed case extremely quickly and has a fantastic personable manner – he is someone who engenders immediate trust and respect.” The Spears’ 500

“A great lateral thinker, clients commend his approach: ‘His ability to communicate… and provide advice on complex legal issues in language that clients can understand is without equal” The Spears’ 500

“He has seen it all and nothing seems to faze him.”

“A very tenacious and gifted solicitor who really goes the extra mile for clients.”

“Dedicated, extremely conscientious and charismatic.”

Practice areas
  • “Phil is extremely in control and knowledgeable in his field as well as being brilliant with clients, who he can put at ease very quickly in relation to stressful circumstances.”

    Chambers & Partners, 2022
  • “He shows huge attention to detail, and excellent communication, and has a highly astute mind.”

    Chambers & Partners, 2022
  • “He is unflappable and very calm in a crisis. A brilliant tactician with exceptional judgement.”

    Chambers & Partners, 2022
  • “He has very assured judgement, is quick to respond but always thoughtful and a master tactician.”

    Chambers & Partners, 2022
  • “Phil, as a partner, is down to earth, intelligent, personable and absolutely committed to his clients. “

    Legal 500, 2022
  • “Phil Smith and Henrietta Ronson in the white-collar team are first-rate. I have known them for over seven years and think that they are absolutely excellent.”

    Legal 500, 2022
  • “Phil Smith is a huge figure in the field. He has an exceptional feel for a case, is terrific at handling clients, and is a pleasure to work with.”

    Legal 500, 2022
  • “Phil Smith has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law.”

    The Legal 500, 2022