Joanna Torode


  • Bar Vocational Course, Outstanding, College of Law, 2006; Jules Thorn Scholar (Middle Temple)
  • CPE (Law), Distinction, University of Northumbria, 2005; Dickinson Dees Award for ‘The Most Outstanding Student’
  • BA (Politics), 1st Class Honours, University of Newcastle


  • England and Wales, Barrister, 2006
  • Trustee, Women and Children First (UK) (2015 – present)
  • Chair, The Female Fraud Forum (2013 – 2015)

Joanna Torode


Jo Torode is an associate in the litigation department and a member of the firm’s government enforcement practice group. Jo’s practice covers the spectrum of business crime, commercial litigation and regulatory investigations with a particular focus on the conduct of high profile, local and cross-border investigations as well as proceedings involving the civil, criminal and regulatory aspects of financial and corporate wrongdoing, asset recovery and the proceeds of crime.

Jo acts on substantial commercial disputes and carries out internal investigations for financial institutions and corporate entities, advising on their potential criminal and regulatory exposure. She also advises on matters related to corporate governance, including anti-bribery, fraud, and anti-money laundering, inclusive of reporting obligations under POCA and the conduct of due diligence.

Jo was previously a barrister in independent practice and has extensive experience of prosecuting and defending cases involving allegations of fraud, corruption, money laundering and corporate criminality.


Notable transactions in which Joanna has been involved prior to joining the firm include:

  • Acted for major multinational bank in relation to the global, criminal and regulatory investigations into allegations of manipulative and collusive conduct in FX markets.
  • Acted for a corporate entity in relation to an investigation being conducted by the National Crime Agency in conjunction with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
  • Independent Counsel in both Operation Weeting, the investigation into allegations of phone hacking at the News of the World, and Operation Elveden, the linked investigation into inappropriate payments to public officials.
  • Advice to multiple clients (financial institutions, corporate entities and persons in the regulated sector) on the risk of incurring liability for money laundering offences under POCA and associated reporting obligations. Including in relation to M&A deals and the conduct of due diligence.
  • Successfully represented a third party property company asserting an equitable interest in restrained assets. 
  • Acted for the defendant in a civil claim for the return of £35 million allegedly obtained by fraud in breach of trust, the basis of which was that funds handed over as part of a share sale agreement had been misappropriated by the defendant. 
  • Acted for the claimant in a civil claim for the recovery of funds misappropriated as part of a share sale agreement and secured default judgment. 
  • Acted for the former Finance Director of Tesco PLC in relation to both the internal investigation into accounting irregularities and that being conducted by the SFO.
  • Junior Counsel for the lead defendant in a £50 million money laundering trial following an investigation into a number of linked money service bureaux.
  • Acted in the bankruptcy of Nick (Beano) Levene a high profile former trader who was believed to owe investors at least £70 million.
  • Acted for a former Finance Director of Luton Town Football Club in contested directors’ disqualification proceedings.
  • Acted for an individual in an appeal against the immediate revocation of a professional licence following allegations of misconduct.
  • Acted in relation to the legal challenges arising out of the investigations into the alleged misconduct of UK soldiers in Iraq.


  • Co-author, “Mitchell Taylor and Talbot on Confiscation and the Proceeds of Crime”
  • Author, “Financial Crime and Corporate Criminal Liability: What Next?” (May 2015)
  • Contributing author, “Directors Liability” and “Corporate Insolvency”, Corporate Criminal Liability, 3rd Edition, edited by Amanda Pinto QC and Martin Evans (2013)


  • Panelist, “The Consultant Mindset” (October 2016)
  • Moderator, “Top Women in Law” The Female Fraud Forum (June 2015)
  • Panelist, “Crisis Management: A holistic approach to handling a cartel” (March 2015)
  • Presenter,  “Criminalization of Money Laundering: The UK Perspective”, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Conference (Moldova) (September 2013)
  • Presenter, “Admissibility of Evidence: Proving Money Laundering”, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Conference (Moldova) (October 2013)
  • Presenter, “Seizure and Confiscation in the UK”, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Conference (Moldova) (October 2013)
  • Presenter, “Money Laundering and The Proceeds of Crime”, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Conference on Strengthening National Inter-agency Cooperation for Preventing and Combating Money-Laundering, (Odessa) (September 2012)


Ropes & Gray International LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in Delaware, United States of America and is a recognised body regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (with registered number 52100).