Marcus is phenomenal. He provides clear and thoughtful advice and is able to frame legal risks in a commercially actionable manner.” - Chambers UK, 2024

Marcus Thompson is a partner in the Government & Internal Investigations Group in the London office of Kirkland & Ellis International LLP. He assists corporate clients with a variety of business-related criminal matters such as anti-money laundering, anti-bribery and corruption, international sanctions, and company investigations. Marcus also advises clients on highly sensitive matters involving data breaches and workplace compliance investigations. He has particular experience in advising private equity firms and their portfolio companies on business crime and risk mitigation, including the design and implementation of compliance programmes.

Marcus also represents senior individuals who are facing investigation by government agencies such as the SFO, FCA, NCA and FRC.

Previously, Marcus was a barrister in independent practice where his work focused on prosecuting and defending trials in the criminal courts. After leaving private practice, he served as the legal adviser on financial and international crime at the Serious Organised Crime Agency (now the National Crime Agency) in London and worked with a number of other government agencies and departments involved in investigations, intelligence and policy making.

Marcus has also worked in the Cayman Islands where he established a criminal law practice at leading offshore firm, Walkers and later served as the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer.


Thought Leadership


Co-author, “What the UK’s New National Security Regime Means for Private Equity,” Law360 (May 2021)

Co-author, “UK’s Updated National Security Review Definitions Will Ease Compliance Challenges,” Law 360 (March 2021)

Co-author, “New National Security and Investment Bill will Usher in New Regime for UK,” International Financial Law Review (November 2020) 

Co-author, “A 1st Look At New EU Screening Of Foreign Direct Investment,” Law360 (October 2020)

Co-author, “How UK National Security Merger Reviews May Change Soon,” Law360 (June 2020)

Co-author “Changes to UK Money Laundering Regulations,” Kirkland Alert (February 2020)

Co-author, “Och-Ziff Restitution Highlights Risks of Subsidiary Pleas in Criminal Resolutions,” Kirkland Alert (September 2019)

Co-author, “SFO Publishes Long-Awaited Corporate Co-operation Guidance,” Kirkland Alert (August 2019)

Co-author, “UK Serious Fraud Office Agrees to Deferred Prosecution Agreement with Serco,” Kirkland Alert (July 2019)

Co-author, “Law Commission Publishes Recommendations on the UK’s Suspicious Activity Reporting Regime,” Kirkland Alert (June 2019)

Co-author, “DOJ Issues Most Detailed Guidance Regarding Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs to Date,” Kirkland Alert (May 2019)

Co-author, “European Commission Publishes New List of 23 High-Risk Countries for Money Laundering,” Kirkland Alert (February 2019)

Co-author, “Kirkland’s UK Financial Services Regulatory Team Looks Ahead,” Kirkland Alert (February 2019)

Co-author, “A Review of U.S. Economic Sanctions in 2018,” Bloomberg Law: White Collar & Criminal Law (January 2019)

Co-author, “DOJ Announces Policy Changes on Corporate Cooperation and Individual Accountability,” Kirkland Alert (December 2018)

Co-author, “The Challenge Iran Sanctions Pose for EU Operators,” Law360 (November 2018)

Co-author, “DOJ Outlines New Approach to Corporate Compliance Monitorships,” Kirkland Alert (October 2018)

Co-author, “SFO v. ENRC: UK Litigation Privilege Protection Reinvigorated for Investigations,” Kirkland Alert (September 2018)

Co-author, “Legal Privilege in Internal Investigations and the SFO’s Compulsory Powers of Production: Two Cases in Two Days,” Kirkland Alert (September 2018)

Co-author, “UK Seeks to Strengthen its National Security Regime,” Kirkland Alert (September 2018)

Co-author, “Second Circuit Draws a Line in the Sand: DOJ Cannot Use the Conspiracy and Complicity Statutes to Expand the FCPA’s Extraterritorial Reach,” Kirkland Alert (August 2018)

Co-author, “Reform on the Horizon for the U.K.’s National Security Regime,” Bloomberg Law (August 2018)

Co-author, “Adding Pakistan to ‘Gray List’ Has Important Consequences,” Law360 (May 2018)

Co-author, “No Need to Overreact: Protecting Privilege in the U.S. and U.K. After the ENRC Decision,” The FCPA Report (June 2017)

Co-author, “Self-Reporting to the Authorities and Other Disclosure Obligations: The UK Perspective,” Global Investigations Review’s The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations (January 2017)

Co-author, “FinCEN’s Proposed AML Program & Reporting Requirement Rules,” Bloomberg BNA Securities Regulation & Law Report (December 2015)

Co-author, “Comparing Deferred Prosecution Agreements in the U.K. and U.S.,” Bloomberg BNA Corporate Counsel Weekly (May 2014)


Speaker, “Anti-Corruption Regulations and Enforcement Around the Globe,” Global Legal ConfEx (September 2016)

Speaker, “Fourth International White Collar Crime Institute,” (October 2015)

Presenter, “Successor Liability under the FCPA and Bribery Act,” Bloomberg Webinar (June 2015)

Moderator, PEPs Master class – Anti-Money Laundering Professionals Forum (2014)

Speaker, “OFAC: The New FCPA,” Webinar (2014)

Speaker, “Russia Sanctions Update,” Webinar (2014)

Press Mentions

Quoted in “Restructuring and divestment expected as companies evade sanctions,” International Financial Law Review (March 2022) 

Quoted in “Tougher sanctions on Russia needed,” International Financial Law Review (March 2022)

Quoted in “International banks, funds and exchanges put Russian sanctions into action,” Reuters (February 2022)

Quoted in “How GCs Can Navigate Sanctions Against Russia,” Law360 (February 2022)

Quoted in “Uber cuts ties with Russian ride-sharing service Yandex.Taxi: American company is trying to 'accelerate' its divestment,” DailyMail (February 2022)


The Legal 500 UK (2022–2024) – Leading Individual (Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime) and Recommended Lawyer (Financial Services: Contentious). Clients note, “Marcus Thompson is a trusted adviser who I go to for all European financial crime matters. He always provides practical guidance, appreciates taking risk-based approaches, and gives thoughtful responses to questions. Marcus has helped us navigate some very tricky matters and I regularly recommend him to my colleagues as a fantastic resource in this space.

Chambers UK (2022–2024) – Ranked Attorney (Financial Crime: Corporates) Accolades include, "He is a fantastic technical lawyer” and "He is very commercial and straightforward in his approach.”

Barrister Panel Member of Disciplinary Tribunal for Barristers (COIC), 2010–2017

Memberships & Affiliations

Committee Member, Law Society, Money Laundering Task Force

Committee Member, City of London Law Society, Corporate Crime Committee


Admissions & Qualifications

  • 1996, Barrister, Inner Temple, England and Wales


  • Inns of Court School of LawBar Vocational Course1996
  • Cambridge UniversityM.A., History1994