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Katie Wheatley


Head of Crime, Fraud and Regulatory

Katie is a partner at Bindmans and Head of the firm’s leading Crime, Fraud and Regulatory team. She advises and represents high profile, high-net worth individuals and organisations in a variety of complex criminal and financial regulatory investigations and proceedings.

Listed in the Legal 500 as a leading individual for General Crime and Fraud: White-Collar Crime, Katie is described as a ‘superb tactician’, and as having ‘excellent judgment and real gravitas’. Katie was also named in Citywealth’s Top 40 Disputes and Defence Professionals list for 2023.

She is experienced in dealing with investigations and proceedings that are initiated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Serious Fraud Office (SFO), police, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) or HMRC.

With over 20 years’ experience and unique expertise and tactical judgment, Katie has been retained in a wide variety of legal matters, including fraud and business crime, corporate internal investigations, complex high-profile general crime cases, inquests and investigations by professional and State regulators, and cases with an international dimension. Katie also has special expertise in private prosecutions.

She has experience in serious fraud, financial and business crime, including conspiracy to defraud, bribery and corruption, insider dealing and money laundering. She acts for clients in many sectors including banking, broking, insurance, professional services, public sector, manufacturing, engineering, sport, charities and NGOs, healthcare, journalism, and media and entertainment.

Katie also acts for and advises employees, directors, trustees and organisations in a business crime context, with experience of corporate manslaughter, gross negligence and unlawful act manslaughter, Health and Safety, sexual offences, theft and assault.

She is regularly asked to speak at conferences – recent topics Katie has spoken on include white-collar crime, the legal definition of dishonesty, and journalism. Most recently, Katie spoke at the Assize Seminar in Cutting Edge Criminal Law, presenting on Public Interest in Criminal Proceedings.

Katie is experienced in defending professionals, like teachers, doctors, and bankers, who are accused of committing offences connected to their work or who are subject to allegations related to their private life that may threaten their career.

She has established a particularly strong reputation for advising journalists and media organisations, especially in investigations relating to their work, breaching of reporting restrictions and contempt, arrests, searches, production orders, protection of journalist material, whistleblowing, the Official Secrets Act, and undercover operations.

She regularly advises about the intersection of the criminal law with the work of journalists and has hosted the Bindmans / UCL debate ‘State Security v Press Freedom’, which explored the implications of new anti-terror legislation on the work of journalists. She has also given talks to the National Union of Journalists explaining how The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) apply to journalists.

Katie acts in criminal cases involving allegations of serious general crime including murder and manslaughter. She has special experience in advising in connection with allegations that relate to end of life decisions such as encouraging and assisting suicide, and ‘mercy killings.’

Katie acts for individuals and organisations who are designated Interested Persons at Inquests.

Her diverse caseload also spans acting for individuals and businesses in cases involving allegations of breaches of Government regulations that can be prosecuted in the criminal courts, like those relating to property/ houses of multiple occupation, fire safety, planning, and tree preservation.

To make an enquiry, please call our Crime, Fraud and Regulatory team’s direct line number on +44 (0)20 7014 2020.

Katie’s cases include:

Fraud and financial and business crime

Katie has extensive experience in all matters of corporate fraud and commercial crime, including:

  • Currently instructed in connection with high profile Serious Fraud Office (SFO) bribery and corruption and fraud investigations, including interviews under caution and under s2 CJA 1987
  • Recently acted for an individual in a FCA Preliminary Investigation – investigation closed after representations
  • Recently acted for an individual in a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) investigation into insider dealing contrary to s 52 Criminal Justice Act 1993 and Article 14 of the Market Abuse Regulation. The FCA took no further action
  • Acting for former CEO in a private prosecution by a former employer – allegations of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, complex legal issues and allegations of abuse of process, and restraint and confiscation proceedings
  • Recently acted for corporate landlord in connection with allegations of breach of HMO Regulations
  •  Acted for Terry Farr a RPM broker acquitted of conspiracy to defraud relating to Yen LIBOR, also involved in other high profile banking/benchmark investigations
  • Acted for one of several defendants in a complex criminal trial for insider dealing brought by FCA, including pre-charge interview advice and representation; client acquitted
  • Acted in City of London Police investigation for misuse of company information for own purposes
  • Advising in connecting with searches and the production of information and material to investigators including “dawn raids” and production orders
  • Advised in connection with allegations of financial impropriety against care home
  • In team advising former civil servant in connection with allegations of breach of Official Secrets Act- whistleblowing and public interest
  • In team advising corporate in HSE Investigations into fatalities in an industrial setting; investigation, Inquest and HSE prosecution
  • Advised employee of NGO in connection with trumped-up politically motivated allegations of serious criminal misconduct abroad
  • Advised Charity in connection with allegations of criminal activity by an employee
  • Regulatory advice and representation, particularly in cases with parallel allegations of criminal misconduct; Financial Conduct Authority, General Medical Council; PHE; English Football League; regulations relating to property ownership and management

‘Mercy killings’ and encouraging or assisting suicide

  • Katie has acted in many sensitive cases involving ‘mercy killings’ and allegations of encouraging or assisting suicide. She most recently acted for Ann Whaley- interviewed in connection with allegations of encouraging or assisting the suicide of her husband who had MND. This case has been reported widely highlighting the issues around dying with dignity with Ann campaigning for a change in the law


  • Represented individual and corporate Interested Persons in sensitive and high profile inquests 

Media, journalists and reporting restrictions

Bindmans are well known for their work assisting the media and for their reputation of media law. We are trusted by numerous senior politicians, publishers and Trade Unions, high profile actors and musicians as well as ordinary people. Cases include:

  • Numerous cases involving journalists/breach of court reporting restrictions
  • Undercover investigations – arrests interviews and public interest representations
  • Protection of journalistic materials in searches and opposing or applications to set aside production orders

Serious and general crime

  • Acted in connection with allegations of sexual assault and rape in the wake of the #METO movement
  • Represented clients accused of sexual assault/abuse while in a position of influence
  • Importation and possession of drugs, including banned substance promoted for use in suicide
  • Numerous sexual misconduct allegations– consent in issue
  • Young and vulnerable people- representations to divert from the criminal process
  • Allegations arising in a family context including allegations of assault and child cruelty with parallel family and Children Act proceeding
  • Acted for GP accused of sexual assault/multiple allegations of unnecessary medical examinations on patients; GP accused of supplying street drugs
  • Cybercrime – misuse of social media
Chambers and Partners 2024
  • Katie is ranked Band 4 in Crime.
  • “Katie gave us sophisticated and detailed yet very clear and accessible advice. She made sure that we had a good grasp of all the key facts and prepared us extremely well.”
  • Katie is also ranked Band 3 in Financial Crime: Individuals.
  • “Katie is so highly spoken of.”
Legal 500 2024
  • Katie is also ranked as a ‘Leading Individual’ in Crime: General.
  • ‘Katie Wheatley has a nationally renowned niche in cases related to media and press freedom. Clients know that they’re getting the best advice possible. She is attentive to the needs of clients and provides frank and cogent advice. Her exceptional relationships with leading counsel mean that clients are capable of securing silks at short notice who would normally be unavailable for months.’
  • Katie is also ranked as a ‘Leading Individual’ in Fraud: White- Collar Crime ( Advice to Individuals).
  • ‘Katie Wheatley is a highly committed senior lawyer who will expertly fight the corner of an individual investigated for fraud.’
Chambers and Partners 2023
  • Katie is ranked Band 4 for Crime. She is described “as an excellent solicitor. She is brilliant with clients, firm but supportive”
  • “Katie Wheatley is head of crime at Bindmans and specialises in private criminal defence cases involving high-profile professionals, with additional expertise in cases concerning assisted dying”
  • “Katie is outstanding. She is calm, experienced and very hard-working”
  • “She demonstrates excellent knowledge, thorough research and careful thought. She is also a warm and perceptive person to work with”
  • Feedback says she is “A brilliant lawyer who is very practical and pragmatic
  • Katie is also ranked Band 3 for Financial Crime: Individuals. Feedback says she “considers every angle to a problem and is a very considered lawyer
  • Katie Wheatley acts for senior executives in investigations led by the SFO and FCA. She also represents clients facing private prosecution alleging insider trading
  • Katie is recognised as a ‘Leading Individual’ in Crime: general
  • Katie is also recognised as a ‘Leading Individual’ in Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals). Feedback says she “is a stand-out individual. Highly experienced; sound judgement; and fantastic empathy”
  • “Katie Wheatley, now head of the department is extremely knowledgeable and a very reassuring pair of hands both client and counsel”
  • “Katie Wheatley is dedicated to her clients. She is always available and is extremely approachable”
Professional memberships
  • Financial Services Lawyers Association
  • The Fraud Lawyers Association – committee member
  • London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association 
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
  • International Bar Association