White collar crime & investigations
Fraudulent and illegal activities
Clients we advise include directors, partners and employees of organisations where it is alleged that fraudulent and/or illegal activity has occurred within their businesses and/or as a result of their personal activities. Such activity may have been identified internally or as a result of an investigation, for example by the tax and regulatory authorities such as HM Revenue & Customs, US Internal Revenue Service, the US Department of Justice, the Securities Exchange Commission, the Serious Fraud Office, the Police, National Crime Agency, Trading Standards, the Health & Safety Executive, the UK Environment Agency, Food Standards Agency, Civil Aviation Authority, DBIS and the Financial Conduct Authority.
Fraudulent and illegal activity includes bribery and corruption, fraud, false accounting, commodities and currency frauds, bank fraud, tax fraud, insider dealing, money laundering, cartels, LIBOR and FX benchmark fixing. Other business crime including trading standards and health and safety and environment breaches.
Specialist fraud services we offer include:
- defending those against whom allegations of fraud have been made, both corporate entities and individuals
- defending those involved in LIBOR and FX benchmark fixing allegations
- helping the victims of fraud to find, preserve and recover stolen money or assets
- representing witnesses in fraud cases
- advising whistleblowers
- 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
- representation in extradition proceedings
- urgent advice and assistance following a dawn raid
Restraint and confiscation
Clients often require advice 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.
We are experienced in defending bribery and corruption investigations and prosecutions, 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 individuals involved in contracts and making payments abroad.
Investigations – Criminal and regulatory
We have considerable experience of investigations including HM Revenue and Customs investigations and prosecutions; SFO investigations into bribery, corruption and other suspected fraudulent activity, HSE deaths or serious injury in the workplace, FCA investigations into insider dealing and other parallel criminal enforcement agencies’ investigations and DBIS investigations into wrongful and fraudulent trading. We also have extensive experience in dealing with investigations by the Professional Regulatory Bodies and with Coroners’ Inquests.
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 you do not breach UN, EU or UK sanctions as well as being available to advise you in the event of a criminal investigation or prosecution.
The money laundering regime in every international jurisdiction brings with it very serious criminal penalties, including imprisonment, for breaches, whether negligent or deliberate. All individuals, whether in the regulated sector or not, need to be aware of the personal implications of money laundering regime(s).
We advise individuals on money laundering issues and provide representation in money laundering investigations and prosecutions.
Extradition and European arrest warrants
Given the increased focus on multi-jurisdictional investigations and prosecutions, we advise individuals in relation to potential extradition or European Arrest Warrant proceedings and their rights.
Recent work in the white collar crime and investigations area includes advising:
- individuals involved in LIBOR and FX benchmark fixing allegations
- in a high profile hacking case
- on an SFO investigation into a £52million multi-jurisdictional fraud, supervising disclosure globally and managing parallel proceedings working closely with the client throughout extradition proceedings from Australia
- the director of a major Hong Kong company throughout an SFO investigation addressing two allegations of fraud
- an individual facing investigation for corruption by the SFO
- on defending regulatory proceedings brought by the Council of Lloyds of London
- in the largest ever FCA criminal prosecution for insider dealing
- directors/employees of companies interviewed and/or prosecuted as a result of SFO investigations into company contracts/corruption
- and litigated some of the biggest corruption scandals including ‘Cash for Honours’, ‘Oil for Food’, ‘Arms to Iraq’ and the BAE case.