David McNeill

David prosecutes and defends serious crime. He has wide experience prosecuting and defending complex, multi-handed cases, both alone and led. Recent cases have included prosecuting money launderers responsible for defrauding elderly victims and remitting the proceeds to ISIS in Syria, prosecuting the most serious VAT and duty evasion cases for HMRC, defending against the FCA in a corporate finance mis-selling case, acting for the NCA in the landmark Chatwani case which laid down new remedies for defective search warrants, advising Jersey prosecutors on a large scale financial misconduct prosecution, and prosecuting four Gambian diplomats in the most significant case involving the waiver of immunity in recent decades.

He is instructed to advise pre-charge or at the investigatory stages (search warrants, etc) of serious and complex cases, including at judicial review.

David specialises in asset forfeiture and confiscation cases, where his common law background gives him a cross-over expertise in both civil and criminal law which is essential. Recent cases have involved obtaining £1.4m confiscation orders for the NCA in Birmingham in a case arising from the importation of 2 tons of heroin, and representing the CPS in the leading case on the interrelationship between restraint orders and funds paid into court in civil proceedings.

He has a particular knowledge of disclosure, having been instructed on major cases as disclosure or independent counsel.

He speaks and reads Mandarin Chinese.

Contributed to


Defence disclosure in criminal proceedings—defence statements and defence witness notices
Practice notes

This Practice Note explains the disclosure requirements on defendants in criminal proceedings. It explains when a defence case statement must be served under section 5 of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 (CPIA 1996) and the requirement on the accused to give the prosecution and the court a defence witness notice. The Practice Note also explains the form and content requirements of a defence case statement under the CPIA 1996, s 5 and the Criminal Procedure Rules 2020, SI 2020/759 (CrimPR) as well as the time limits for serving defence disclosure during a criminal prosecution. The contents of a defence witness notice are explained along with the sanctions for non-compliance with the statutory duty of disclosure and the adverse inferences which can be drawn for failure to serve a defence case statement are explains. Links to the Law Society practice note: Defence witness notices and the Bar Standards Board: Preparation of Defence Case Statements guidance are also provided.

Disclosure in the magistrates’ court
Practice notes

This Practice Note explains the obligations placed on the prosecution and the defence to serve disclosure in the magistrates’ courts under the Criminal Procedure Rules (CrimPR). It covers the disclosure of the initial details of the prosecution case (IDPC), prosecution initial disclosure and prosecution secondary disclosure under the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 (CPIA 1996) and also explores the extent of the obligations on the defence to serve a defence statement (defence case statement) and to provide defence witness lists in the magistrates’ court.

Recovery of listed assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
Practice notes

This Practice Note explains the provisions under Chapter 3A of Part 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002), governing the recovery of personal property in summary proceedings (also known as the detention and forfeiture of listed assets). It covers related powers of search and seizure under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE 1984) and POCA 2002, including civil recovery powers; the definition of recoverable property and unlawful conduct for the purposes of these provisions; the powers and procedure applicable under the recovery of listed assets regime, including search powers and conditions for their exercise, seizure powers, and detention and forfeiture powers; together with appeals and what to do with associated or joint property. Finally there is a section on procedure, which has been introduced under the Magistrates’ Courts (Detention and Forfeiture of Listed Assets) Rules 2017, SI 2017/1293.

Practice areas


  • Inner Temple
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Fraud Lawyers' Association
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers' Association


  • Contributing Author


  • BA (Hons) Jurisprudence (Mansfield College, Oxford)

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