Economic Crime and Regulation Group

UK

Our expert team is recognised for its "strength and depth" (Legal 500, 2017) of experience in asset tracing, financial services, contentious trusts, insolvency and anti-bribery and corruption. We pride ourselves on giving "commercial and practical advice in complex situations" (Legal 500, 2017).

We have advised on some of the most significant and high-profile international fraud and asset recovery cases globally. From acting for the professional trustees on issues arising from the Bernard Madoff scandal to advising in respect of the collapse of Stanford International Bank. We also have significant contentious regulatory expertise which has seen the firm instructed on some of the most high-profile regulatory matters arising from the credit crunch.

We offer a specialised investigations service to our clients. This is offered to organisations which, as a result of an internal crisis, need to find facts fast and with confidence. Our service focuses on allegations of fraud, corruption, regulatory action or personal scandals. We also investigate and advise on issues relating to bribery, money laundering and sanctions.

We advise a broad client base, including corporates, governments, public authorities, financial institutions, insolvency office-holders, family offices and individuals, often in relation to multi-jurisdictional issues and disputes. We have a number of overseas offices with specialist lawyers who can help our clients with issues in their local jurisdictions. We also have a global network of contacts in other jurisdictions who share our approach to client service.

As a founding member of "FraudNet", we have the benefit of access to an ICC endorsed network of fraud and asset recovery specialists, which extends to more than 60 jurisdictions with over 67 members who are market leaders in fraud and asset recovery in their respective jurisdictions. Through the network, we can engage fraud specialists and investigators anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, and can arrest identified assets before they are dissipated.

Our experience and contacts allow us to be proactive, moving rapidly to protect your commercial interests. We are currently engaged in matters involving the USA, Jersey, Guernsey, the BVI, the Cayman Islands, Brazil, Albania, Russia, Switzerland, France, Cyprus, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Bermuda, Monaco, Antigua, Canada, the Netherlands and the Ukraine as well as the UK.

Client work

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Fraud and corruption investigations and advice;
  • Advising on relevant economic regulation (eg. sanctions);
  • Multi-jurisdictional litigation, asset-tracing and recovery;
  • Obtaining injunctive relief (such as freezing injunctions);
  • Utilising officeholder powers in the UK and abroad;
  • Advising on SFO and FCA investigations;
  • Claims against directors and officers;
  • Investigating and advising on anti-bribery issues; and
  • Investigating and advising on anti-money laundering.

Recent examples of our economic crime and regulation work include:

  • Acting for the Federal Republic of Brazil and the Municipality of Sao Paulo in relation to alleged frauds by the former Mayor of Sao Paulo, Paulo Maluf. In arguably the most important corruption and asset recovery case ever to be undertaken by the Federal Republic of Brazil to repatriate assets outside of Brazil, investigations and proceedings ensued in the BVI, the Cayman Islands, New York, Switzerland and Jersey. This included successfully obtaining judgment in the Royal Court of Jersey, which was upheld on appeal, and the dismissal of the Defendants' appeal to the Privy Council.
  • Advising a company in relation to suspected breaches of EU and UK financial sanctions. This matter also involved co-ordinating advice on the US sanctions regime.
  • Advising on a multi-jurisdictional NCA investigation concerning supply chain counterparties.
  • Advising a UK investment bank in relation to the FCA, DOJ and SEC investigations into the manipulation of the FX market.
  • Acting for professional trustees on issues arising from the collapse of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC in what is widely considered the world's largest fraud (US$7 billion).
  • Advising the joint liquidators of Stanford International Bank Limited in connection with the collapse of the bank in 2009 following what is widely acknowledged as the second largest Ponzi-scheme in history (US$7 billion).
  • Advising New York-based clients on an alleged fraud relating to a series of loans made by the client. This included obtaining a worldwide freezing injunction from the English High Court over £10.5 million of assets and managing related proceedings in France, Switzerland and Israel.
  • Acting for consortium of high-net-worth individuals to pursue claims and recover assets in connection with a £100m property fraud scheme. Freezing orders were obtained in the UK, Jersey and the BVI, and substantial recoveries were made.
  • Supporting the Ministry of Revenue and Duties of Ukraine in connection with the recovery of state assets from a number of high-profile targets.
  • Acting for liquidators of a UK company in connection with a suspected £1 billion MTIC fraud, concerning operations in the Dutch Antilles involving the First Curacao International Bank.
  • Advising a UK trustee in bankruptcy on a multi-jurisdictional action involving the pursuit of claims that assets have been placed beyond the reach of creditors. This has involved challenging complex trust structures established by the target. Actions have been taken in England, Bermuda and Greece. The sums at stake are estimated at over £20 million.
  • Acting for the government of a sovereign island state in relation to corruption and misappropriation of assets valued at up to £50 million. The case involved actions taken in the UK, Singapore, and locally in the state in question.
  • Acting for the Judicial Administrator of a Brazilian bank in connection with the misappropriation of bank assets and a cross border asset recovery exercise, including obtaining recognition in England and pursuing claims in this jurisdiction.
  • Advising on one of the first liquidations undertaken in Dubai on behalf of liquidators of Orion Holdings Overseas Limited, a DIFC (Dubai) registered financial services company. This included obtaining the first reported decision in respect of a liquidator's power to obtain documentation in the DIFC.

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