Vivian Robinson QC Partner

Vivian advises clients on the impact of the U.K. Bribery Act, as well as on white collar crime matters involving global fraud or corruption, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

As former first general counsel to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Vivian led the development of the SFO’s enforcement policy under the U.K. Bribery Act. He also served as the SFO’s primary liaison to the public and the business community, alerting them to the Bribery Act’s requirements at conferences from London and New York to Brazil, Brussels, Switzerland and Germany. Since joining McGuireWoods, he has made presentations on the Bribery Act in the United States, Sweden, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, India, Holland, Ireland and Ghana.


In practice at the English Bar, 1967-2009

Representation of one of the main defendants in a high-profile corporate fraud trial of considerable complexity and lasting nearly a year, Blue Arrow.

Representation of an American defendant for some three years prior to trial, Guinness.

Representation of a key defendant in a large-scale commercial leasing fraud trial, Blackspur Leasing.

Defense in fraud proceedings, stayed for abuse of process after several weeks of legal argument, SIB (Isle of Man).

Representation of a football manager alleged to have made illegal payments to players, Macari.

Representation of the Serious Fraud Office in a number of high-profile cases, including in the prosecution of the chairman and the chief financial officer of a public company on charges of conspiracy.

Instruction on a number of Hong Kong cases, including spending nearly six months representing at trial the main defendant on a charge of conspiracy to defraud the Security and Futures Commission.

Involvement in a case for the General Medical Council concerning a prominent gynaecologist, Neale.

Advice to the Financial Conduct Authority, Watts.

Representation of a former captain of the QE2 on charges relating to the Shipping Regulations, Portet.

General Counsel at Serious Fraud Office, 2009-2011

  • Called to the Bar in England and Wales

Named a "Leader in the Field," Corporate Crime & Investigations, Chambers UK, 2013

Selected for inclusion in The Legal 500 UK, Dispute Resolution-Commercial Litigation, 2012

Appointed Queen’s Counsel, 1986

Appointed as a Recorder of the Crown Court, 1986

  • Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University, BA (Cantab.), 1966
  • The Leys School, 1962
  • Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Wakefield

Vice-chair,  International Anti-Corruption Committee, ABA Section of International Law, August 2013-2014

Former vice-chairman, Professional Standards Committee of the Bar Council

Master of the Bench, 1991; Treasurer, 2009, Inner Temple

Admitted to the Court of the Company, 1989; Master, 2000-2001, Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners 

Master, Inner Temple Garden, 1998-2005

  • Speaker, The Bribery Act, Chapter 7 — The Amercanisation of UK Corporate Crime, Securities Docket, Thursday, June 28, 2018
  • Speaker, 12th International Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Compliance Congress, May 14-16, 2018
  • Speaker, The UK Bribery Act: the potential consequences for Swedish companies, Vinge Compliance Seminar, November 25, 2013
  • Speaker, "The UK Bribery Act and its impact on the Life Sciences industry," Seton Hall Law European Certificate Programme in Health Care, Compliance, Ethics & Regulation, November 18, 2013
  • Speaker, Cross-Border issues in criminal and related cases, European Circuit of the Bar Conference, November 14-16, 2013
  • Speaker, Boardroom Risks, Aon's D&O Conference, November 12, 2013
  • Speaker, "The Impact of Heightened Enforcement of Anti-Corruption Legislation Around the World," D&O Liability Insurance: C5 Forum, March 20, 2013
  • Speaker, Heico Group Compliance Summit, March 12, 2013
  • Speaker, "The UK Bribery Act - the Potential Consequences for Norwegian Companies," Oslo Compliance Forum, March 6, 2013
  • Speaker, "Tackling Financial Crime," Podcast Presentation, February 28, 2013
  • Speaker, "Bribery and Corruption—Where Are We Now?," LexisNexis Webinar, December 2012
  • Speaker, Pharmaceutical Audio Conference, December 11, 2012
  • Speaker, EADS International Compliance Seminar, December 5, 2012
  • Presenter, College of Law Educational Film on Criminal Attempt, November 16, 2012
  • Speaker, Pharmaceutical Regulatory and Compliance Congress and Best Practices Forum, November 5, 2012
  • Speaker, Global Financial Institutions Litigation Conference, October 25, 2012
  • Speaker, Private Equity Video Film Production with Grant Thornton, October 25, 2012
  • Speaker, NERA Financial Litigation, Disputes and Enforcement Seminar, October 16, 2012
  • Speaker, ABA International White Collar Crime Conference, October 8, 2012
  • Speaker, First Latin American Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Compliance Congress, October 2, 2012
  • Speaker, Boardroom Intelligence Seminar, September 26, 2012
  • Speaker, Pharmaceutical Compliance and Best Practices Forum, September 12, 2012
  • Speaker, Thirtieth International Symposium on Economic Crime, September 6, 2012
  • Speaker, Grant Thornton Compliance Webinar, August 21, 2012
  • Speaker, KPMG Fraud in Business Event, July 17, 2012
  • Speaker, "The UK Bribery Act Turns One Year Old—Lessons Learned and Next Steps," FTI Consulting Webcast, June 28, 2012
  • Speaker, "The UK Bribery Act: Practical Considerations," Presentation to SITA, June 26, 2012
  • Speaker, "The First Year of the Bribery Act," LexisNexis Webinar, June 21, 2012
  • Speaker, C5 Forum on Anti-Corruption West Africa Division, June 19, 2012
  • Speaker, Toniic Network, June 12, 2012
  • Speaker, Law and Ethics Conference, June 7, 2012
  • Speaker, Barclays Bank Investment Division Legal and Compliance Teams, May 22, 2012
  • Speaker, Sixth International Pharmaceutical Compliance Congress and Best Practices Forum, May 14-16, 2012
  • Speaker, "Global Anti-Corruption Trends: The Value of Ethics and Compliance," International Medical Device Industry Compliance Conference, May 9, 2012
  • Speaker, The Bribery Act/FCPA Enforcement 2012 Briefing, November 10, 2011
  • Speaker, "Bribery Act," SFO Webinar, July 2011
  • Speaker, "Anti-Bribery and Corruption in the Global Economy," Industry and Parliament Trust Breakfast Meeting, July 2011
  • Speaker, "Conducting Cross-Border Internal Investigations," Global Counsel Congress 2011, June 2011
  • Speaker, "Anti-Corruption Session-UK Bribery Act International Implications," International Oil and Gas Law Conference, June 2011
  • Speaker, "The Bribery Act," Presentation at the Japanese Embassy, June 2011
  • Speaker, "The SFO’s Approach to Enforcing the Provisions of the Bribery Act," Sweet and Maxwell Bribery Act Conference, June 2011
  • Speaker, "The New UK Bribery Act: Extraterritorial Reach and Enforcement Priorities," 11th European Forum on Anti-Corruption, June 2011
  • Speaker, "Bribery Act: Understanding the Implications for Exporters," ABHI International Business Conference, June 2011
  • Speaker, "The Bribery Act," Association of Chief Executives, June 2011
  • Speaker, "UK Bribery Act - Adequate Procedures Guidance," Global Compliance Webinar, May 2011
  • Speaker, "Focus on European Enforcement: A Behind the Scenes Examination of How Bribery Cases are Prosecuted and Coordinated between the SFO and European Prosecutors’ Offices," American Conference Institute, FCPA & Anti-Corruption for the Life Sciences Industry, May 2011
  • Speaker, "The Bribery Act," Presentation to the Council of the Law Society, May 2011
  • Speaker, "Presentation on the Bribery Act," General Dynamics Law Department, April 2011
  • Speaker, "Conducting Multi-Jurisdictional Investigations: Law Enforcement Techniques, International Agency Cooperation and their Obstacles," 25 National Conference on the FCPA, April 2011
  • Speaker, "UK Bribery Act and the Adequate Procedures Guidance” & “Practical Advice for Corporates on Ethical Standards and Prosecutors’ Priorities," Corporate Compliance Exchange, April 2011
  • Speaker, "The Potential Impact of the New UK Bribery Act, with Particular Emphasis on its Jurisdictional Reach and How the SFO Will Approach Enforcement of its Provisions," IV Latin American Regional Conference of the International Prosecutors, March 2011
  • Speaker, "After the UK Bribery Act - the Future of US/UK Anti- corruption Enforcement," Main Justice Webinar, March 2011
  • Speaker, "The Bribery Act 2010: What are ‘Adequate Procedures?," Midlands Fraud Forum Masterclass, March 2011
  • Speaker, "The New UK Bribery Act Compared with the United States FCPA," New York State Bar Association, March 2011
  • Speaker, "The Bribery Act 2010. The SFO’s Approach to Enforcement," Ethics Point Webinar, March 2011
  • Speaker, "Serious Fraud Office Perception of the Act and its Intended Operation," ABPI Workshop on Bribery Act Implications for the Pharmaceutical Industry, March 2011
  • Speaker, "The Impact of the UK Bribery Act on US Companies," Ethics Point Webinar, January 2011
  • Speaker, "The Strategy of the Serious Fraud Office on Enforcement," Institute of Money Laundering Prevention Officers, December 2010
  • Speaker, Information Retention & eDiscovery Exchange, November 2010
  • Speaker, "Conducting Multi-Jurisdictional Investigations: Law Enforcement Techniques, International Agency Cooperation and their Obstacles," 24th National Conference on the FCPA, November 2010
  • Speaker, "The UK Bribery Act: Its Global Reach on US and other International Business," Foley and Lardner Seminar, October 2010
  • Speaker, "Leadership, Culture and Ethics—for Integrity and Survival in Business," 28th International Symposium on Economic Crime, September 2010
  • Speaker, "The Prosecutors’ Approach to Enforcement Corporate," Compliance Exchange, May 2010
  • Speaker, "Prosecution under the UK Bribery Act 2010, the SFO Approach to Enforcement," The UK Bribery Act 2010 Seminar in British Embassy, 2010
  • Speaker, "Criminality, Legal Context and Corporate Integrity," ISMA 2010 Winter Meeting, January 2010
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