Francesco Isolabella

Francesco Isolabella is a Criminal Lawyer, Partner in the law firm Studio Legale Isolabella, founded in the 1960’s by his father Lodovico.

He specialises in corporate criminal law and focuses specifically on defence in and out of court and consultancy for Italian and foreign companies and physical persons, in connection with financial, banking, bankruptcy, tax, and environmental offences, as well as in publishing and medical liability.

He has acted as defence counsel for directors and officers of foreign banks and rating agencies in several nationally-relevant cases of market manipulation and bankruptcy, as well as for other financial and corporate crimes.

Francesco has also gained significant experience in the field of criminal liability for legal entities (pursuant to Law 231/01): he defended primary international Groups under trial in connection with Law 231/01 (in cases focusing, for example, on financial, corporate and international corruption offences). He is a consultant in drafting “231 Models”, in internal investigation activities, and in the implementation of Compliance Programmes, also under emergency conditions.

In assisting foreign clients, he has been busy in the international implementation of criminal corporate liability regulations in their various forms (for example, USFCPA, UK Bribery Act, Italian Law 231/01, Ley Organica in Spain, etc.), drafting 231 Organisational Models applicable to foreign companies and aimed at the prevention of the risk of crime in connection with cross-border operations.

Francesco Isolabella has often lectured as keynote speaker in conferences and seminars. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the specialisation course “Criminal Liability for Collective Entities pursuant to Law 231/01” organised by the University of Milan. He is also teaches the specialisation course “Financial Markets Law” at the University of Milan, and the Law & Business Master at the Il Sole 24 Ore Business School.

Francesco Isolabella is registered with the International Bar Association and with the American Bar Association.

Jose Portos Ubierna

Licensed Attorney-at-law graduated from the Universidad Panamericana, with a Masters in Criminal Sciences (Magister en Ciencias Criminológicas, Penales y Penitenciarias) and a Doctor Degree in Studies in Criminal Law (Estudios de Derecho Penal) from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Spain, Mr. Portos (currently coursing a Doctorate Thesis).

He also obtained from the Centro de Estudios Superiores de Especialidades Jurídicas of Madrid, Spain, (CESEJ), the degrees of Special Master for the Protection of Intellectual and Industrial Property (Master Especial sobre Protección Penal de la Propiedad Intelectual e Industrial) and Special Master in Criminal Law and Underage Individuals (Master Especial sobre Derecho Penal y Menores de Edad)

Mr. Portos also attended at the Instituto de Formación Profesional of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the federal District, to the Program on Oral Trials: theory and practice (Diplomado en Juicios Orales: teoría y práctica).

Mr. Portos is chair professor of the Criminal Procedural Law within the Law Degree Studies at the Universidad Panamericana, And is barrister of the Barra Mexicana, Colegio de Abogados, A.C. and the Asociación Nacional de Abogados de Empresa, A.C.


Portos Abogados os a law firm specialized in Criminal Law (consultancy and litigation). We offer to institutions, individuals and corporations the most convenient and current legal strategies for the defense or solution of their legal problems acting at all times with ethic, professionalism and efficacy.

The partners and associates of this firm understand the importance of education and consequently, our members are continually studying and being updated in several national and international forums.

This firm is specialized in criminal matters in the entire Mexican Republic and is supported by professional investigators and official experts specialized in a variety of sciences. The firm has tight alliance with the best specialized law firms for matters relating to tax, administrative, civil, business, labor, banking, etc., in order to ensure the best possible results.

To offer you a better service, we count with offices in Guadalajara and México City.

Our services include:



Karim Khalil QC

Karim Khalil practises mainly in London and the South East. He has defended or prosecuted most of the high profile and high value matters to arise on circuit in recent years. He has an associate Tenancy in Leeds and Newcastle to more easily accommodate the requests for his expertise across the country. He also advises and represents those involved in cases involving issues of foreign jurisdiction and/or cross-border matters.

Karim was called to the Bar in 1984, became one of the youngest Assistant Recorders/Recorders, and took Silk in 2003 prior to prosecuting Ian Huntley & Maxine Carr (the Soham murders). His advice and advocacy is sought across diverse fields, including murder, serious fraud (including Inland Revenue, Customs & Excise and MTIC), health & safety, drug trafficking and sexual offences. He has a particular interest in medico-legal, science-based and baby-shaking cases.

More recently he has become closely involved in matters with a more international dimension, including defending against requests for the extradition of ‘convicted gang murderers’.

His close association with the University of Cambridge enables him to draw on significant expertise. This has helped to make him a leading Silk in the cross examination of scientific experts in many fields (including pathology, neuropathology, genetics, palynology {plant based analysis} and mineralogy). University academics also assist him with cases requiring detailed consideration of cases with an international dimension.

Karim Khalil successfully resisted criminal proceedings on behalf of one of the government scientists in the Porton Down investigation.

He has been involved in many trials involving Police informants and is known for the careful and sensitive handling of such cases. Karim Khalil has made prisoner representations to the Discretionary Lifer Panel and he appears regularly in the Court of Appeal, often superseding original trial Counsel. He represented Richard Jan on his appeals against conviction and sentence for a campaign of petrol bombings (said to be one of the most dangerous men in the UK) and he represented the successful appellant in the House of Lords in R v Wang (Judge’s direction to convict, unlawful).

He writes the chapter on confiscation law in “Fraud: Law Practice & Procedure” published by LexisNexis and is instructed in cases involving significant confiscation proceedings.

He has appeared in the VAT Tribunal on behalf of those appealing against refusals by HM Customs to repay VAT following assertions of VAT/MTIC fraud.

Karim Khalil was the keynote speaker at the inaugural conference for SIOs on the electronic presentation of evidence in court. Karim Khalil is a member of the British Academy of Forensic Sciences to whom he presented the keynote speech on “The Science of the Soham Murders”.

In recognition of his work and burgeoning profile in the area, Karim was awarded Financial Regulation Lawyer of the year in 2015 by corporate livewire magazine.

Areas of practice:

·    Professional Discipline

·    Criminal Law

·    Proceeds of Crime

·    Public Law

·    Extradition

·    Direct Access

·    Regulatory Prosecutions

·    Consumer Law

·    Military Law

·    Appeals

·    Fraud and Financial Regulation

·    Bribery & Money Laundering

Criminal Law Practice:

At the heart of Drystone Chambers’ practice is a dedicated team of specialist advocates who defend and prosecute in trials of serious, complex and high profile criminal cases.

From the provision of initial Advice during investigations, through to advocacy at Court, we ensure our clients are given the best representation at every stage. Members of the team practice in all Courts; from the Magistrates’ Court to the Supreme Court and provide truly national coverage. As well as our base in London we have a strong links with court centres in the North West, South West, East Anglia, Lincolnshire and across the South East of England.We have acted in many landmark cases of recent years, including:

·    The 21/7 terrorist trial

·    The “Soham murders”

·    SFO and FCA prosecutions

·    Damilola Taylor murder

·    The Ahmed ‘honour killing’ murder

·    The first ever non-jury Crown Court trial

·    The Oxford sexual grooming trial

·    Largest ever mortgage fraud

·    Millennium Dome robbery

·    Largest ever cocaine importation

·    First large-scale servitude case

Drystone Chambers have a deserved reputation for their legal knowledge, advocacy and client care and have over 20 of our barristers listed in Chambers UK, this is reflected in what the directories say about us. We have taken arguments at trial and on appeal that have changed the course of the criminal law on issues including:

·    Recklessness and arson

·    serious sexual offences

·    bad character

·    joint enterprise and murder/manslaughter

·    gross negligence manslaughter

·    confiscation

·    public interest immunity

·    reverse burdens of proof

·    inferences from silence

·    autrefois convict

·    abuse of process

·    kidnapping

·    the admissibility of expert evidence, including lip-reading and facial mapping

We regularly lecture on current topics in the criminal law. Recent lectures have included joint enterprise, recklessness and handling vulnerable witnesses. Many teach Advocacy and are accredited Advocacy trainers.


Sir Richard Cheltenham

Dr The Hon Sir Richard Cheltenham, KA, QC, PhD, JP, is a prominent Caribbean lawyer. He has made many appearances before the judicial committee of the Privy Council (UK).

Born in 1941, Sir Richard received his early education in Barbados and thereafter attended the universities of the West Indies, McGill and Manchester. In addition, he is a member of the Middle Temple and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in July of 1970.

Sir Richard has practised with large success at both the criminal and civil Bars. He appeared in over 100 murder cases, as defence counsel and in recent years, prosecuted a dozen murder cases for the government of St Kitts/Nevis. He has also been retained by both the American and Canadian governments in prosecuting high-profile extradition cases in the Eastern Caribbean.

An acknowledged specialist in Commissions of Inquiry, he has served since 1991 on several commissions in the region, both as counsel or as sole commissioner.

Sir Richard has spent 35 years in the public life of Barbados and served in the House of Assembly for 23 years. He has held ministerial positions in agriculture, tourism and the environment.

A family man with five children, Sir Richard has wide interests including cricket, music, Barbadian history and international affairs. He received his country’s highest honour – Knight of St Andrew – in 2005 for distinguished service to law, public life and community service. For the last 13 years he has been a member of the Barbados Privy Council.