Fraud and Investigations
Our specialist team has considerable experience of acting for individuals and corporates facing investigation by regulatory and law enforcement agencies and provide fast, sensitive and expert representation. They also provide advice on the Bribery Act 2010 and the Criminal Finances Act 2017.
- 1 Bribery and Corruption
The Bribery Act 2010 governs the conduct of companies and individuals doing business in the UK and abroad.
It not only criminalises the giving and receiving of bribes in the public and private sector, but introduces an offence of which a company is guilty if it fails to prevent bribery unless they can show that they had adequate preventative procedures in place. Those convicted of corruption face up to 10 years’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
We have acted for corporates and individuals subject to investigations conducted by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and National Crime Agency (NCA), which often run in conjunction with agencies from other jurisdictions, such as the US Department of Justice (DOJ).
In recent years the SFO has mirrored the approach taken in the US, and is increasingly using Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) with companies that self-report. We can act independently, or in conjunction with existing lawyers, to conduct internal investigations to establish whether bribery and / or corruption offences have been committed. We will provide expert and timely advice on the scope of liability and whether to self-report.
- 2 General Crime
We provide expert and discreet advice in relation to a range of criminal offences from driving offences through to homicide.
We provide expert and discreet advice in relation to a range of criminal offences from driving offences through to homicide. Our team has considerable experience in representing clients throughout the entirety of an investigation, from providing pre-arrest arrest through to trial. We often act in high-profile and sensitive cases which require a high degree of discretion.
We have extensive experience of representing clients in relation to the following offences:
- Drugs offences
- Murder and manslaughter
- Sexual offences
- Theft, fraud and dishonesty
- Violence offences
- 3 Money Laundering
Our team are regularly instructed to advise those subject to investigation for money laundering offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
The Act introduced a set of offences which are often alleged in conjunction with other offences, as well as stand-alone offences. If convicted of a money laundering offence, a person is also likely to be subject to confiscation proceedings under the Act. Please see the Proceeds of Crime section below.
We are also able to advise corporations on their obligations and procedures under the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regime. This includes an assessment of whether the current procedures are adequate and whether a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) should be filed.
- 4 Proceeds of Crime
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) allows law enforcement agencies to freeze, restrain and confiscate assets on the basis of a person’s connection to criminality or offenders
Powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act can be exercised using criminal confiscation or civil recovery.
Criminal confiscation is used against convicted persons to recover monies equivalent to the benefit the person obtained from criminal activity. The process of determining what the benefit from crime is and also what constitutes assets can be very complex and often confiscation proceedings are more protracted than the trial for the original offence. It requires expert representation to effectively navigate the complexities.
Civil recovery is used for seizing and forfeiting assets on the basis that they are or represent the proceeds of crime (without a conviction), and also allows law enforcement agencies to apply to the court for seizure of cash.
We have extensive experience advising clients on the Proceeds of Crime Act and exposure to asset confiscation / recovery, often in tandem with Money Laundering investigations.
- 5 Serious Fraud
We advise individual and corporate clients on all aspects of criminal investigations and prosecutions, including Serious Fraud Office section 2 interviews.
Our experienced lawyers offer strategic, discrete and professional advice to help you out of a difficult situation. We have extensive experience representing clients in investigations conducted by domestic and international agencies such as the Serious Fraud Office, National Crime Agency, Financial Conduct Authority, Crown Prosecution Service, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, City of London Economic Crime Unit and the US Department of Justice, among others.
Our team has considerable experience in all areas of fraud including missing trader fraud, investment fraud and VAT fraud.
We also assist companies who suspect fraud has been committed against them by an employee or third party by conducting Internal Investigations, gathering evidence and liaising with the relevant authorities.
Fraud often has an international element and, with our experience and extensive contacts in extradition, we are able to effectively represent clients in cross-border investigations.
- 6 FCA Investigations
We work in conjunction with our regulatory team to offer tactical and effective advice on the following:
- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) investigations (supervision and enforcement)
- Regulatory Decisions Committee proceedings (RDC)
- Regulatory Transactions Committee proceedings (RTC)
- Professional Regulatory Bodies Disciplinary Procedures
- Information requests and requirements
Our team is experienced in representing individuals and corporates in relation to criminal and regulatory investigations initiated by the FCA for market abuse, fraud and regulatory breaches. We also assist companies and individuals in obtaining FCA approval for regulated persons and activity.