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Sunjay Versani, Duncan Lewis

Sunjay Versani

Director & Solicitor

Contact Information

Profile / Experience

Awards and Recommendations for Sunjay Versani
Legal 500

Sunjay Versani leads the "highly regarded" and "excellent" Crime department, which has a network of offices across London and the South East.

Legal 500 2024 Edition.
Crime: General / London
I am a Director of Crime at Duncan Lewis Solicitors and head up the firm's City of London and Harrow offices.

I am a diligent, versatile and highly-regarded criminal defence specialist and have been part of Duncan Lewis since 2009. I manage a formidable team who diligently pursue the best possible outcomes for those we represent. Our high calibre work is perennially recognised with industry quality hallmarks and by the independent legal directories. Our Criminal Law department is ranked as a Band 1 in the 2023 edition of Chambers and Partners and is also ranked in the Legal 500 UK 2023. The team has a notable practice defending clients in serious and complex criminal cases, including gang-related serious crime, murder, sexual offences, and drugs importations. The department is also known for handling high-value fraud matters. The department also handles matters that generate significant media attention due to the individuals involved or the public interest of the case. The team has been instructed on several of the so-called ‘Encrochat’ cases, which garnered widespread press coverage.

I was Called to the Bar in 2007 and admitted to the Roll in 2008. As such I count myself amongst the small cadre of English lawyers able to both appear before and conduct litigation in all courts and tribunals throughout the jurisdiction. This vertical integration of skills has allowed me to act in many thousands of contested cases across the gamut of the criminal law. I am well-versed in the cut-and-thrust of adversarial proceedings and in the conduct of work of public importance. I have stood before the highest courts in the land and have been instructed in sensitive, complex and voluminous litigation on behalf of a multitude of individuals and entities, across borders and languages.

During my career career, I acted in the well-known Waya litigation which led to a landmark Supreme Court judgement casting a much-needed sea-change in proceeds of crime jurisprudence. As sole instructed counsel, I defended a multi-million-pound insider fraud upon the NatWest bank at the Old Bailey and successfully managed to reduce a lengthy sentence in one the very first cases to be televised live in the 100-year history of the Court of Appeal. I secured a favourable outcome in a case involving the stalking of musician Rita Ora, and I negotiated a discontinuance for a member of Elton John’s staff falsely accused of misuse of computers. I also led a team in a high-profile case concerning a client wrongly implicated in the 'Putney Bridge Pusher' investigation – an internationally-publicized incident of a jogger pushing a female pedestrian into the path of an oncoming London bus.

I have an enviable track record in defending cases involving alleged sexual wrongdoing, white-collar and social security fraud as well as sundry violence, dishonesty, narcotics, and road traffic prosecutions. I also undertake specialist extradition work (routinely dealing with international requests under both parts of the Act). I also advises those with discrete legal needs which often arise in parallel to criminal proceedings. I have assisted professional clients to navigate through work place investigations and disciplinary/regulatory issues with their overseeing bodies.


  • Bar School at the College of Law - Bloomsbury
  • Law (LLB) degree - University of Leicester
  • Dr Challoner's Grammar School


  • Appointed as Director of Crime - Duncan Lewis Solicitors (2023-present)
  • Consultant Criminal Solicitor - Duncan Lewis Solicitors (2009-2023)


  • Recommended Lawyer - Legal 500 UK, (2024)
  • Rising Star – Thompson Reuters 'Super Lawyers Guide' 2014/15

Notable Cases

Supreme Court
  • R v Waya [2012] UKSC 51 - Landmark Supreme Court Judgment (Mortgage Fraud / POCA)

Court of Appeal
  • R v Pitchei [2013] EWCA Crim 2108 2013 WL 6047272 - Appeal against sentence: sexual assault - 9 years imprisonment reduced to 32 months

  • R v Thambapillai [2009] EWCA Crim 567 2009 WL 648872 - Conspiracy to defraud, phantom credit card transactions - acquitted on appeal

Criminal Court
  • R v RV - Double stranger rape – lead defendant

  • R v PM - £1.89million high-tech banking insider fraud – Old Bailey

  • R v C, et al. - 22-handed conspiracy to steal - £100,000 smash/grab heist during 'August Riots'

  • R v Y, et al. - Gang related s.18 GBH, represented lead defendant - acquittal after trial

  • R v O - Knife point robbery – acquitted after trial

Membership & Accreditations

  • Member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
  • Civil & Criminal Proceedings Higher Rights of Audience
  • Criminal Litigation: Law Society Accreditation
  • The SRA Management Course
  • London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association
  • Listed in Good Lawyer Guide
  • Law Society Young and Vulnerable Witnesses Advocacy Accreditation Course


  • Political biographies
  • Martial arts
  • Skiing
  • High-altitude trekking - I have traversed ranges across five continents, successfully climbing numerous high peaks including Alpamayo, Stok & Mentok Kangri, Kilimanjaro, Cotopaxi and Toubkal. I have reached the Everest base camp.
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