Natalie McNamee

Natalie McNamee

‘Extremely tenacious and extremely intelligent’

Legal 500 (2020)

YEAR OF CALL 2011

Education

MA Law, University of Cambridge (St John’s College)
MPhil in Criminology, University of Cambridge (St John’s College)
BPTC, BPP Law School
Astbury Scholar, Middle Temple
Elected to a McMahon Law Studentship, St John’s College, Cambridge

Appointments

Treasury Counsel Pathway Participant, 2023 – 2024
SFO Prosecution ‘B’ Panel
SFO Proceeds of Crime and International Assistance ‘C’ Panel
CPS Advocate Panel (General Crime) – Level 4
CPS Specialist Fraud Panel – Level 4
CPS Serious Crime Group – Level 3
CPS Extradition Panel – Level 2
CPS Proceeds of Crime Panel – Level 2

Memberships

Vice Chair of Foundry Chambers Pupillage Committee
Middle Temple
Criminal Bar Association
Fraud Lawyers Association
Defence Extradition Lawyers Association Forum
Extradition Lawyers Association
Female Fraud Forum
Women in Criminal Law
Private Prosecutors’ Association

Awards

Winner of the 2013 Kalisher Trust Essay Competition

Overview of Practice

Natalie McNamee is a meticulous and skilled advocate with an excellent track record of dealing with cases well above her level of call. She has a mixed practice, encompassing criminal prosecution and defence, fraud and financial crime, extradition, tax litigation, business regulation and local government work. Financial crime is her particular specialism, and she acts for both prosecution and defence in complex fraud trials.

In 2023, Natalie was one of seven barristers accepted into the Treasury Counsel Pathway Scheme: a 12-month positive action scheme for advocates who have the potential to become Treasury Counsel in the future.

Natalie has been ranked as a Leading Junior in the Legal 500 for Fraud (Crime) for three years:

‘extremely tenacious and extremely intelligent’

‘Natalie is a dedicated and hard-working advocate who is fiercely committed to the interests of her professional or personal client. She is incredibly intelligent and comfortable with complex financial and expert evidence.’

‘Natalie is prodigiously hard-working and an excellent lawyer. She has a very good manner with juries and presents complex financial information in an effective way.’

Practice Areas

Natalie is an experienced criminal practitioner, with substantial experience prosecuting and defending individuals facing allegations of fraud, violence, drugs- and weapons-related offences. She is highly sought-after, both as a led junior and junior alone, to deal with complex multi-handed fraud, firearms and drugs cases.

Natalie is a member of the SFO Panel, the CPS General Crime Panel (at Level 3), and several CPS Specialist Panels. She also is instructed by the Royal Mail and local authorities to prosecute dishonesty, trademarks and environmental offences. She has been instructed as Independent Counsel and Disclosure Counsel by both HMRC and the Serious Fraud Office. She has completed the ICCA Vulnerable Witnesses Training programme.

Notable cases in this area include:

R v GP & 5 Others (Harrow Crown Court) – Prosecuted six defendants for a conspiracy to purchase prohibited weapons. The defendants had purchased more than 70 antique firearms, together with the equipment needed to produce large quantities of compatible ammunition for use with those firearms.

R v RP & 4 Othera (Woolwich Crown Court) – Junior prosecution counsel in the trial of four defendants involved in a shooting outside a central London nightclub, together with related firearms offences (arising from the discovery of a cache of weapons in a rucksack at a defendant’s flat).

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R v MA & 5 Others (Isleworth Crown Court) – Junior prosecution counsel in the trial of six young defendants charged with a shooting in Isleworth train station.

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R v M (Harrow Crown Court) – Represented a man alleged to have sexually assaulted his 15-year-old niece. Prosecution offered no evidence after the first jury were unable to reach a verdict following an 8-day trial.

R v R (Isleworth Crown Court) – Successful defence of a young mother of good character alleged to have been the getaway driver for a violent aggravated burglary in which an emerald valued at £30,000 was stolen. Her co-defendants were sentenced to a combined total of 27 years’ imprisonment.

R v M & Others (Basildon Crown Court) – Junior counsel for the third defendant, led by Anu Mohindru, in a people-smuggling trial arising out of the discovery of 35 clandestine entrants in a shopping container at Tilbury Docks.

R v M (Blackfriars Crown Court) – Junior counsel for the Crown in the prosecution of a mother charged with offences of child cruelty against her infant daughter. Case involved analysis of complex medical and psychiatric evidence from over 60 medical professionals (including Neurologists, Dieticians, Consultant Paediatricians and Psychiatrists).

Natalie specialises in the prosecution and defence of fraud and financial crime. She has been ranked as Leading Junior in the Legal 500 for Fraud (Crime) for three years. She is appointed to the SFO Prosecution Panel and the CPS Specialist Fraud Panel at Level 3. As a fraud practitioner, she is known for her meticulous case preparation, attention to detail and sheer hard work. She is instructed in cases prosecuted by the CPS Specialist Fraud Division, the Serious Fraud Office, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Royal Mail, HMRC and local authorities.

Notable cases include:

Operation Portales (Southwark Crown Court) – Junior counsel instructed by the Financial Conduct Authority to prosecute four defendants for offences of conspiracy to defraud and FSMA 2000 offences. The defendants set up and operated a £1.4 million “boiler room” fraud. The convicted defendants were sentenced to a total of 24 ½ years’ imprisonment.

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FCA website

R v BC and Others (Blackfriars Crown Court) – Junior counsel for the first defendant, led by Alastair Smith, in an 11-handed mandate and diversion fraud. The total value of the fraud alleged was over £10 million, and the complainants included Etihad Airways and pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly. The trial (which lasted six months) involved substantial legal argument about disclosure, late service of phone download material and the scope of the fraud alleged by the prosecution. It also involved complex banking evidence and technical evidence about phone and computer downloads.

R v D (Swindon Crown Court) – Represented a vulnerable defendant said alleged to have defrauded her elderly relative of over £100,000. At the conclusion of proceedings, negotiated a nominal confiscation order in the sum of £10, despite evidence being adduced at trial of tainted gifts in the sum of £70,000.

R v A & Others (Southwark Crown Court) – Second junior counsel for the Crown, led by Alexandra Healy KC, in an SFO prosecution of six defendants who committed a £5 million fraud on a government apprenticeship funding scheme. The trial lasted 5 months, involved over 250,000 pages of evidence, and attracted national press attention.

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R v B, B & M (Woolwich Crown Court) – Junior counsel for the Crown, led by Henrietta Paget, in a 7-week trial of three defendants charged with a VAT fraud.

R v L (Southwark Crown Court) – Junior counsel, representing a defendant of good character charged with various fraud offences arising out of his employment at an accountancy firm.

Natalie has a solid extradition practice and is regularly instructed in proceedings at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and the High Court. She is a member of the CPS Extradition Panel at Level 2. She is well-versed in the full spectrum of issues that arise in Part 1 extradition matters, and also has experience of dealing with Part 2 cases.

Current instructions include the defence of a man sought for offending in Poland which took place nearly 20 years ago; representing the Hungarian authorities in a case raising issues of dual criminality in respect of an offence of escaping from house arrest; representing the French authorities in a case involving importation of firearms; and representing the Croatian authorities in a case involving complex issues regarding limitation periods and retrial rights.

Cases of interest include:

Poland v Rybak [2021] EWHC 712 (Admin) – Represented the Polish authorities in one of the leading cases on ‘Brexit Uncertainty’.

Portugal v Barcelos [2021] EWHC 2036 (Admin) – Represented the Portuguese authorities in a case involving finely balanced arguments about proportionality in circumstances where the appellant had served much of his sentence on bail.

Poland v Lipski [2020] EWHC 1257 (Admin) – Represented the Polish authorities in a case involving complex expert evidence about the impact of extradition on the requested person’s son.

Poland v ZZ (both at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and on appeal to the High Court) – Represented Z who contested his extradition on the basis that he had been placed in a witness protection programme and his life would be endangered if he were returned to Poland.

In 2019, Natalie was seconded to CPS London North and gained particular experience of drafting European Arrest Warrants and European Investigation Orders in the context of criminal proceedings. Her extradition experience means that she is particularly well-suited to dealing with criminal proceedings with a cross-jurisdictional element.

Natalie prosecutes and defends in confiscation proceedings in the Crown Court, both as a led junior and junior alone. She is well-versed in applications for restraint orders, production orders and account freezing orders.

She is appointed to the CPS Proceeds of Crime Panel (Level 2) and the SFO POCAID ‘C’ Panel.

Cases of note include:

Operation Neutron: disclosure counsel, led by Jonathan Hall KC and Michael Newbold, in the largest application for an account forfeiture order ever made. Natalie received a commendation from the City of London Police for her work on this case.

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London Borough of Newham v DR (Chelmsford CC) – Represented the London Borough of Newham in a pre-POCA 2002 application for a Certificate of Inadequacy in the High Court and Chelmsford Crown Court.

Natalie is regularly instructed by Local Authorities to prosecute cases of dishonesty, environmental, regulatory and trademarks offences. She has experience of dealing with planning offences in the Crown and magistrates’ courts, and has appeared at a hearing before the Planning Inspector.

She has represented a local authority who were the subject of a private prosecution for statutory nuisance.

Natalie is regularly instructed by the Home Office and HMRC to appear in condemnation and cash forfeiture proceedings in the magistrates’ court. She has experience in the First Tier Tax Tribunal. She has also represented HMRC at a contested application for a production order.
In 2018, Natalie carried out advisory work arising out of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

She has also provided extensive written advice to Ofqual on the implications of new legislation.

Between October 2013 and April 2014, Natalie was seconded to Field Fisher Waterhouse, solicitors to the Hillsborough Inquests. She was part of a team of junior counsel who reviewed documents for disclosure to the 24 Interested Parties. She had particular responsibility for a tranche of documents requiring consideration of legal professional privilege, waiver of privilege, and medical confidentiality issues.

Natalie has advised clients and drafted letters before action in cases where a Judicial Review of a court or prosecuting agency was being considered.

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