Bretton Woods Law - Lee Marler
Bretton Woods Law - Jazz Omari
Bretton Woods Law - Antje Kunst
Bretton Woods Law - Joseph Oppenheimer

Neil Macaulay

Excellent with the lay client

Legal 500 (2009)

Neil Macaulay (

Barrister, Lead Counsel & Co-Head of Chambers

  • Called to the Bar 1990. CEDR Accredited Mediator. Direct Access Authorised.


  • International Fraud and Corruption
  • Multilateral Development Bank Sanctions Cases
  • Public International Law, International Organisations Law & Rule of Law
  • International Administrative Law (Employment Law of International Organisations)
  • Wildlife Crime and Human Rights
  • Development and Monitorship of Integrity Compliance Programmes

Neil Macaulay is an experienced barrister with a versatile practice in the fields of international fraud and corruption and the sanctions proceedings of the Multilateral Development Banks together with international organisations employment law. He also drafts and supervises corporate integrity compliance programs, internal justice systems and advises states on criminal justice reforms. He is instructed by a wide range of corporates, individuals, international organisations and states, very often on a direct access basis but he also accepts cases through a professional client.

Recent cases and engagements

World Bank, African Development Bank, European Investment Bank and Asian Development Bank sanctions instructions include:

Hitachi Ltd.

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

Consia Consultants ApS

SFC Vietnam Investment Development for Environment Corporation

Crown Agents

Pak Electron Limited

Eduteq Ltd.

Multilateral Development Bank Sanctions Proceedings

Neil is regularly instructed in cases involving the sanctions proceedings of the  Multilateral Development Banks (the MDBs) including the World Bank Group, the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank.

Neil quickly and clearly identifies the available options and procedures involved in order to optimise the client’s best prospects for success. This may mean either challenging a Multilateral Development Bank investigation through to the Sanctions Board, Sanctions Commissioner or Integrity Oversight Committee. Alternatively it may involve negotiating a settlement, immunity or proffer agreement with the officers of the Bank’s integrity office.

Neil has negotiated extensively with officers of the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), African Development Bank’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption (PIAC) and Asian Development Bank’s Office of Anticorruption and Integrity (OAI) and has a deep understanding of the many laws and policies that operate in this particular field of law, including debarment, cross-debarment, voluntary disclosure, self-reporting and legal professional privilege  .

Working under settlements agreed by a Negotiated Resolution Agreement he conducts confidential and secure red flag reviews of the company’s books and records which often lead to full internal investigations to the standards required by the Multilateral Development Banks. Neil has experience and knowledge of the Multilateral Development Banks’ requirements on compliance processes, such as the World Bank Groups Integrity Compliance Guidelines, enabling him to produce and help to implement bespoke Integrity Compliance Programs for companies that may have fallen behind the current best practices in compliance.

Neil has seasoned negotiating skills used to minimise the risks or damage of debarment and referral to national prosecutorial offices such as the United States Department of Justice and the UK Serious Fraud Office. Where necessary he will also advise on the Bribery Act 2010 and money laundering implications under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. In addition to self-referral Neil is also able to advise clients on the benefits of immunity agreements with the Multilateral Development Banks and programmes such as the World Bank’s Voluntary Disclosure Programme. He also acts as a Monitor of Integrity Compliance Programs and is currently engaged as a Monitor on behalf of a client at the Asian Development Bank.

Neil is direct access qualified and accepts instructions from companies and executives directly or through a solicitors firm should the client so choose.

Neil’s sanctions instructions include Hitachi Ltd.,  Crown Agents, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., Consia Consultants ApS, Eduteq Ltd. and SFC Vietnam Investment Development for Environment Corporation.

International Employment Law

Neil has a true understanding of the distress that an employee can feel when subject to mistreatment, bullying or unfair treatment by their managers or colleagues in the workplace together with a comprehensive knowledge of the internal rules and legal principles, including the Human Rights implications, that operate in such situations. Described in the Legal 500 as “excellent with the lay client”, Neil is experienced in dealing with clients working within many different International Organisations, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a class action at the Inter American Development Bank and the EU Satellite Centre.

Neil has taken cases with a variety of issues in dispute including pay and conditions, taxes, bullying and harassment, unfair and wrongful dismissal, the rights of non-contracted staff members, non-confirmation of probation and misuse of disciplinary proceedings. He also represents staff facing disciplinary proceedings.

Neil has recently presented on the Employment Law of International Civil Servants at the IMF 20th Anniversary of the IMF Administrative Tribunal and has hosted seminars in Washington, Geneva, the Hague and Vienna for the benefit of staff and staff associations wanting to increase their understanding of staff rights and legal developments in this field of law.

In all cases he seeks to ensure the dignity of the employee is respected and advise on the best route to proceed which ordinarily would begin with a determined effort to negotiate a prompt settlement of the matter and in cases where that is not achievable taking the matter through the formal grievance processes.

Neil accepts instructions from staff members internationally through direct access accreditation.


Neil is familiar with providing robust advice at the highest corporate levels and producing policies for institution-wide application on matters such as compliance, due diligence, data protection, disclosure, confidentiality and matters concerning international law and treaties. Neil is experienced at drafting legislation and has worked in producing policies and publications at the highest levels within the Government Legal Service where he represented the Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office (RCPO) in numerous Whitehall Groups. Consequently he has a very thorough knowledge of the consultative processes that need to be engaged in to make policies not simply legal but also workable. Neil is also highly qualified to give specific legal advice on particular problems facing institutions having done so as the Head of the Prosecution Group Legal Secretariat at the RCPO often on matters of acute public importance and at short notice.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Neil Macaulay is a known expert in international organisations law and in particular International Administrative Law (“IAL”), which is the employment law of the international organisations. What is more, Neil is CEDR trained and an accredited mediator who has the ability to broker settlement agreements in the most difficult and challenging of circumstances. Although a school of thought exists that mediators do not need to have expert knowledge or subject matter expertise, it of course assists greatly if they do. This is where Neil has the distinct advantage over so many other mediators, for he does have the necessary International Administrative Law expertise and experience and it is this skill-set that enables him to mediate successfully the most complex of international employment disputes faced by the parties.

Neil is open to and welcomes instruction as a mediator, or as a lawyer representing parties in mediation, in the ADR processes operated by the various international organisations around the world.


Neil began his career as a Captain in the Army Legal Corps prosecuting and defending criminal cases before Courts-Martial. Moving next to the Prosecutions Office of HMRC  he advised upon and prosecuted large scale drugs importations, excise evasion and VAT frauds whilst developing a particular expertise in advising upon sensitive undercover, covert and informant lead investigations. After several years as a Crown Court criminal trial advocate he was called to the Bar of the Turks and Caicos Islands to investigate alleged governmental corruption for the Special Investigation and Prosecution Team.

Neil is a co-founder of Bretton Woods Law and has recently acted for many companies facing difficulties with the Multilateral Development Bank integrity offices as well as representing the African Development Bank in its most complex cases. International civil servants employed around the globe regularly engage him to resolve their employment disputes.