Corporate crime

Fraudulent activity

We advise companies/organisations and directors/employees of organisations where it is alleged that fraudulent activity has occurred within the business. Such activity may have been identified internally or as a result of an investigation, for example by the Serious Fraud Office or the Financial Services Authority.
Fraudulent activity includes bribery and corruption, tax fraud, false accounting, commodities and currency frauds, bank fraud, insider dealing, money laundering, cartels.

Our specialist fraud services include:

  • Defending those against whom allegations of fraud have been made, both corporate entities and individuals
  • Helping the victims of fraud to find, preserve and recover stolen money or assets
  • Representing witnesses in fraud cases
  • Advising whistleblowers
  • Advice on fraud prevention, corporate governance and crisis management
  • Advice and representation in all types of investigation including regulatory, tax and company investigations and investigations of a disciplinary nature
  • Representation in restraint and confiscation proceedings
  • Urgent advice and assistance following a dawn raid.

Restraint and confiscation

We can advise clients on the impact of restraint of assets, asset forfeiture and confiscation. The consequences of restraint and confiscation for defendants (and their families and dependents) are often as serious as those in the criminal proceedings themselves. The default sentences imposed in confiscation proceedings can often be longer than those for the original offence.

Bribery Act

The Bribery Act firmly places the responsibility on organisations to ensure that their anti-corruption procedures will protect them from potential criminal liability and unlimited fines. Companies will not only be responsible for the activities of their employees, but also of their agents and affiliates. This will require systems and controls to be out in place in your organisation and enhanced due diligence of the systems and controls of those working with you.

We have experience of defending bribery and corruption inquiries, advising on the conduct of internal investigations where there is a suspicion of bribery and corruption and providing due diligence and risk management advice to organisations and individuals involved in contracts and making payments abroad.

Investigations

We have considerable experience of investigations including HM Revenue and Customs investigations and prosecutions into breaches of export control legislation; SFO investigations into bribery, corruption and other suspected fraudulent activity and DBIS investigations into wrongful and fraudulent trading.

Sanctions

There are a few countries which have enhanced restrictions by way of sanctions. These sanctions include freezing the assets of key individuals and their families and arms embargos. We can advise you to make sure that your business does not breach UN, EU or UK sanctions as well as being available to advise you in the event of a criminal investigation or prosecution.

Money laundering

The money laundering regime in the UK brings with it very serious criminal penalties, including imprisonment, for breaches, whether negligent or deliberate. All businesses, whether in the regulated sector or not, need to be aware of the implications of the money laundering regime.

We can undertake compliance checks to ensure that you are managing the risk and fulfilling your duties under the legislation and that you have adequate internal controls, suitable due diligence, adequate staff training and record keeping. We can also advise individuals and companies on money laundering issues and we can offer representation in an investigation or prosecution.

Recent work in the corporate crime area

  • Advising on an SFO investigation into a £52million multi-jurisdictional pension fraud, supervising disclosure globally and managing parallel proceedings. We in particular worked closely with the client throughout extradition proceedings from Australia.
  • Advising the Director of a major Hong Kong company throughout an SFO investigation addressing two allegations of fraud.
  • Acting in the largest ever FSA criminal prosecution for insider dealing.
  • Advising an Asian multi-national corporation on fraud and corruption allegations to the value of $84 million, dealing with investigation by two different regulatory agencies based in three jurisdictions.
  • Advising a top 8 pharmaceutical company on an SFO investigation into the price fixing of drugs.
  • Advising an international shipping company on an SFO investigation into bribery and corruption.
  • Acting for directors/employees of companies interviewed and/or prosecuted as a result of SFO investigations into company contracts/corruption.
  • We have also litigated some of the biggest corruption scandals of the last decade including ‘Cash for Honours’, ‘Oil for Food’, and ‘Arms to Iraq’.

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