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The doyen of criminal law and a long-term adviser to household names like Mohammed Al-Fayed — plus an ‘enormous number of people who have fallen out with the Russian Federation’, as he has previously told Spear’s, Ian Burton recently advised Cliff Richard, who braved a two year-long investigation on allegations of sex assault until the Crown Prosecution Service decided to conduct a full review of the evidence, and dropped the case in June 2016. ‘There is almost hysteria in the offices of law enforcement about historic sex cases — it’s almost like the McCarthy era in America,’ he said, citing the police’s intense sensitivity to criticism. He stresses the need for investigation, but says that the wrongly-accused continue to suffer because people fear to speak in their defence. Burton also advises blue-chips and government bodies on ‘complex and sensitive’ issues, at home and abroad — from commercial fraud, international financial regulation (including money laundering), tax and company investigations and price-fixing, corruption, mutual legal assistance and extradition, to corporate manslaughter. Revered by peers for his discretion and responsiveness, he regularly co-ordinates with accountants, tax advisers and media specialists. Burton is a ‘mastermind’, declares an industry authority. ‘If there is a chance of nipping an investigation in the bud, he will do it.’

Ian Burton