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Piers Desser

Firm: Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP
Country: United Kingdom - England

Practice Area: Fraud

  • 326 Old Street
    EC1V 9DR

Piers Desser is a Partner and Head of Department specialising in fraud, criminal litigation, investigations and business crime with a distinguished reputation in the field. His client portfolio includes individuals and companies facing investigation and proceedings. Recognised as one of the Leading Individuals in the Legal 500, he is described as “the consummate criminal lawyer”. 

His full range of expertise includes multi-jurisdictional cases involving allegations of bribery and corruption, tax fraud, false accounting, conspiracy to defraud, commodities and currency frauds, bank fraud, insider dealing, money laundering, cartels and financial sanctions breaches.

His clients regard him as a solicitor who provides “excellent legal advice”, has “great negotiation skills and a shrewd understanding of the prosecution’s motives and incentives” and goes “beyond the call of duty”. As a result he is often referred sensitive cases by other lawyers and professionals in which the client is facing dual criminal and professional discipline proceedings. 


Piers is described in the Legal 500 2020 as “an excellent tactician”, displayed in his approach to advising on and defending against criminal and regulatory investigations. His client base includes individuals targeted for financial investigations by nationwide police forces, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and borough Councils.

Piers deploys responsive and preemptive strategies to assist his clients with all the difficulties that can accompany such investigations - including asset and property seizure, account freezing and forfeiture orders and restrictive bail conditions.

With a track record of success, he has protected clients’ interests in complex investigations by the Metropolitan Police Service and the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Business and Financial Crime

Having developed a significant corporate practice, Piers believes in adopting a proactive approach, where appropriate taking technical points, arguing that cases should be withdrawn due to evidential issues or when a prosecution would not be in the public interest.

This sophisticated approach to defending business interests is complimented by Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP’s experienced and highly regarded Commercial and Property Litigation Departments, which provides clients with a distinct advantage in any matters that overlap jurisdictions and involve a multi-disciplinary approach.

Piers assists commercial clients in advising on money laundering, tax fraud, false accounting allegations, mortgage fraud and financial sanctions breaches.

A crucial aspect of advising clients in this respect is keeping ahead of the developing area concerning Proceeds of Crime legislation (POCA). Piers is experienced at tackling cash seizures, restraint orders, confiscation, Account Forfeiture and Freezing Orders under the Criminal Finances Act 2017 and other POCA actions.

Criminal Litigation

“Highly intelligent, thoughtful and diligent” Piers is instructed in all aspects of criminal proceedings. Cases involving novel and complex aspects of law have frequently led to instructions from professionals, corporate bodies and national governments.

Piers acts as advocate at trials, applications and key hearings - holding Higher Rights of Audience.

Adept at guiding his clients through proceedings at the Magistrates’ Courts and the Crown Courts, Piers also has a well-established appellate practice with a number of matters of legal precedent significance having progressed through the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Extradition and International Crime

Additionally, Piers has extensive experience in extradition matters, especially those involving human rights issues, and he is regularly instructed in cases which require the closest attention to detail and benefit from a novel approach.

Recent Cases

  • Acting in relation to a private prosecution concerning a nation state at judicial review
  • Representing an international Dubai based FCA regulated company in relation to high-value crypto-currency fraud
  • Proceeds of crime proceedings relating to a premium estate management company in Proceeds of Crime Act  confiscation proceedings relating to multi-million pound property portfolio
  • Acting for a national food production company in relation to a large cash seizure


BA (Hons) Classics – University of Wales

MA – Classics and Philosophy

Legal Practice Course – University of Central Lancashire

Professional Memberships

London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association

The Fraud Lawyers Association

Proceeds of Crime Lawyers

Defence Extradition Law Forum



'He provided me with excellent legal advice, which in the end led to a very satisfactory resolution of my case. In securing this outcome he demonstrated great negotiation skills and a shrewd understanding of the prosecution's motives and incentives. More than anything I would like to commend Mr Desser for his great human touch. He was infallible in his moral support to me and my wife. Mr Desser went beyond the call of duty in always being understanding and compassionate towards us.'

An excellent tactician

A shrewd negotiator with a fine eye for detail

a very astute and considered lawyer


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