In our latest Q&A, Cameron Brown talks about expanding electronic crime and increasingly sophisticated fraud
What is your full job title?
I’m a Criminal Barrister at Red Lion Chambers specialising in financial crime including serious Fraud, Corruption and Company Act cases. Much of my work has seen me involved in complex market frauds, international corruption and organised crime. I also have specialist knowledge of disclosure issues, privilege and restraint, confiscation applications arising in financial crime investigations/ prosecutions.
How long have you worked in the industry?
I came to the Bar in 1998.
How long have you worked in your current role?
I have worked as a Barrister for 23 years and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2020 - just at the start of the pandemic!
How did you get into your current role?
I studied my BA and MA at St Peter’s College, University of Oxford.
I didn’t come to the UK Bar straight away – initially I worked in the United States, assisting the defence of those accused of capital crimes and those on death row. I am qualified to practice over there. I think it gave me real insight into the operation of American justice system – which can be terrifying if you do not secure proper representation.
Upon my return, I qualified as a Barrister from the Inns of Court School of Law. I have subsequently advised on those facing the death penalty in Jamaica.
What does a typical day look like?
Really, really busy! I start at around 6am and work very late into the evenings and most weekends. Getting that work life balance right is not easy – but I have a very supportive family. I’m usually preparing or participating in one of my large fraud or corruption trials, which usually last months – due to the volume of evidence involved.
Most of my cases have thousands of pages of evidence. I also sit as a Legally Qualified Chair [‘LQC’] hearing cases of professional misconduct for the Metropolitan Police, the Lawn Tennis Association and England Golf.
I really enjoy the work, as it brings a real variety of cases.
What is your greatest achievement so far?
In my work it would have to be being appointed as Queen’s Counsel, and also being appointed as a LQC. In my personal life marrying a fantastic person, being a dad and surviving home schooling with variable Wi-Fi during a pandemic!
What is the most challenging thing about your role?
The stress from work, the long hours and the lack of financial certainty. During Covid and the lockdowns the courts have also delayed many hearings for long periods, so the future will certainly be challenging.
What part of your role do you enjoy the most?
I really enjoy Jury trials – as a criminal QC that is what we do - and in particular explaining a complex case to a jury and cross-examining witnesses. I also really enjoy sitting as an LQC, because you get to see things from the other side of the fence – and you get to see what really works, or doesn’t work, in terms of advocacy.
How do you see your role/industry changing in the next few years?
Far more virtual hearings, which is generally a good thing, and electronic presentation. I also think we will see a far greater expansion of financial crime, in
particular we will see greater levels of cyber/ electronic crime as we develop more and more electronic automation in our daily lives. That electronic automation presents real opportunities for fraudsters. Frauds are becoming ever more sophisticated – some of the frauds I have seen are eye opening in their preparation and execution.
Would you recommend working in this role, please give your reasons?
Yes – if you can deal with the stress in particular - the role can be very rewarding both intellectually and financially. It is highly competitive though and long hours are necessary. However, if you keep your mental health in check and try all you can to maintain a work/life balance then it is a great career!
Do you work in a field tackling financial crime? Don’t miss the chance to feature in one of GRC World Forum’s regular job focus Q&As.
We are looking for people who work in AML/CTF, fraud detection, threat intelligence and related legal and regulatory fields across a range of industries to tell us about their everyday job.
Just fill in a short Q&A and submit a photograph to be considered for inclusion. We want to feature people of all levels of seniority.
If you want to take part, email Carl Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org