‘Extremely tenacious and extremely intelligent’
Legal 500 (2020)
YEAR OF CALL 2011
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
Winner of the 2013 Kalisher Trust Essay Competition
SFO Prosecution ‘C’ Panel
CPS Specialist Fraud Panel – Level 3
CPS Advocate Panel – Level 3
CPS Extradition Panel – Level 1
Qualified to receive instructions through Direct Public Access
Criminal Bar Association
Young Fraud Lawyers Association
Foundry Chambers Pupillage Committee
Secretary of the Surrey & South London Bar Mess
Female Fraud Forum – Member of the Social Events Sub-Committee
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 has acted for both prosecution and defence in a number of complex fraud trials.
Prior to joining Chambers, Natalie spent two years working at the Personal Support Unit, a charity which supports litigants-in-person in civil & family proceedings. She assisted a wide range of vulnerable litigants, and received specific training about assisting individuals with mental health issues and learning difficulties. Her time at the PSU means that she is particularly well-placed to represent clients who have never been to court before and are unfamiliar with the court setting.
Natalie is an experienced criminal practitioner. She is regularly instructed to represent defendants facing allegations of violence, dishonesty, drugs- and weapons-related offences, robbery and sexual offences. She has particular success in cases involving complex legal argument and crossover with other areas of law.
Natalie is regularly instructed in cases involving defendants with mental health issues and those who are unfit to plead, and has appeared in several hearings under s 37 of the Mental Health Act.
She has completed the ICCA Vulnerable Witnesses Training programme.
Notable cases in this area include:
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. Case required detailed analysis of cell-site evidence, CCTV and phone downloads. 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. Represented the third defendant at his trial in June 2015, his re-trial in May 2016, and his appeal against sentence in the Court of Appeal. Dealt with substantial legal argument during the course of the both trials.
R v H (Isleworth Crown Court) – dealt with the sentencing hearing for a young man with severe learning difficulties who had pleaded guilty to offences of inciting a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity. Mitigation reduced his sentence from a starting point of seven years’ imprisonment down to two years’ imprisonment.
R v. B (Willesden Magistrates’ Court) – Represented a man of good character alleged to have slapped and punched two ten-year-old boys. Five young witnesses (aged 10-14) gave evidence for prosecution and defence. Client acquitted after a two-day trial.
Natalie has extensive prosecution experience. She is a Level 3 CPS Panel Advocate and is instructed by the Royal Mail and local authorities to prosecute dishonesty, trademarks and environmental offences.
Natalie is fully conversant with the disclosure and PII regimes, having been instructed as Independent Counsel and Disclosure Counsel by HMRC and the Serious Fraud Office. In 2018, she delivered a seminar on disclosure to lawyers from the London Boroughs Legal Alliance.
Notable cases in this area include:
R v. M (Blackfriars Crown Court) – Junior counsel for the Crown, led by Anthony Heaton-Armstrong, 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 form over 60 medical professionals (including Neurologists, Dieticians, Consultant Paediatricians and Psychiatrists).
R v. A (Kingston Crown Court) – sole counsel instructed by the Royal Mail to prosecute a postal worker who stole high-value mobile phones from the post and used them to make expensive international calls. The defendant was convicted after a two-week trial.
R v. K & B (Kingston Crown Court) – sole counsel instructed by the Royal Mail to prosecute two postmen charged with a conspiracy to steal financial and banking information from the post. Both defendants pleaded guilty and received 12-month custodial sentences, following extensive negotiations about bases of plea.
Operation Byword – Sole independent counsel instructed by HMRC, responsible for assessing documents for legal professional privilege.
Operation Amazon – instructed by HMRC as independent counsel
Natalie has extensive experience in fraud and financial crime. She is appointed to the SFO Prosecution Panel (Level C) and the CPS Specialist Fraud Panel (Level 3). As a fraud practitioner, she is known for her meticulous case preparation, attention to detail and sheer hard work.
Notable cases include:
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 A & Others (Southwark Crown Court) – Second junior counsel for the Crown, led by Alexandra Healy QC, 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 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-43196467).
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. Case involved 10,000 pages of evidence. Natalie was retained as junior counsel for the confiscation proceedings against the convicted defendant.
R v. L (Southwark Crown Court) – Junior counsel, led by Anu Mohindru, representing a defendant of good character charged with various fraud offences arising out of his employment at an accountancy firm.
Natalie has experience of prosecuting and defending in confiscation proceedings in the Crown Court, both as a led junior and junior alone. She is currently instructed in an ongoing application for a certificate of inadequacy in the High Court.
Natalie is developing a solid extradition practice, having recently completed training with the CPS Extradition Unit. She is regularly instructed to prosecute extradition matters at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
Natalie also has experience of defending in extradition proceedings. She represented a Requested Person contesting his extradition to Poland on the basis that he had been placed into a witness protection programme and feared for his life if returned to Poland. Natalie represented him at every stage of proceedings, including his appeal to the High Court.
Natalie is regularly instructed by Local Authorities to prosecute cases of dishonesty, environmental, regulatory and trademarks offences. She has also represented a local authority when they were the subject of a private prosecution for statutory nuisance.
Natalie has experience of dealing with planning offences in the Crown and magistrates’ courts, and has appeared in a hearing before the Planning Inspector.
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.
Natalie was recently instructed by HMRC to deal with 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 on 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.