Claire is a Partner in the Fraud Defence Group in the Dispute Resolution department. She specialises in civil fraud and has a track record of achieving considerable success in defending and pursuing complex cross-jurisdictional commercial and corporate fraud. These matters often involve serious allegations of fraud or misconduct including the diversion of business opportunities, breaches of fiduciary duty, claims of deceit, breach of confidence, conspiracy, bribery and secret profits.
Claire's work involves driving the firm's biggest and high-profile cases, which invariably include asset tracing and recovery, and the defending or issuing of freezing and search orders and other associated injunctions. She represents clients that operate in a broad range of sectors including banking, IT, retail and property. Her clients are also often involved in simultaneous investigations by regulatory and prosecuting authorities both in the UK and abroad and her work generally is often international in nature. She has advised in major cases with prosecutors in Hungary, Poland and Italy, including working with teams of international lawyers advising several City of London bankers in proceedings brought by the Italian regulator. Claire has a wealth of experience in executing and defending search and seizure Orders and has been instructed as a Supervising Solicitor. She has acted for a number of individuals and businesses seeking the return of money and other valuable property seized by various regulatory or criminal authorities internationally.
Claire is known for her exceptional level of client support during what is often a challenging time for them both professionally and personally. She has a renowned ability to navigate and find solutions to the most complex factual and legal issues; a recent client described her as having "an unparalleled focus, an eye for detail and also a top class tactician".
Claire is a former chairperson of the Young Fraud Lawyers Association (YFLA), a current member of the Fraud Lawyers Association (FLA) and the Fraud Women's Network (FWN), a co-founder of the Firm's Criminal Law Panel and acts as a supervising solicitor. She is a frequent contributor to the legal press and has an M.A. in criminology.
- Advising the main individual defendant in one of the most aggressively pursued and largest claims ever brought before the Commercial Court (quantum – US$2.1bn), which was listed for a 13-week trial in April 2017 (number 6 in The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases 2017). The case involved complex developing legal issues, including the use of confidentiality clubs in order to protect the physical security of people based in Libya. The action, which involved serious claims of intimidation and bribery, was discontinued with an agreed payment of £16.5m in respect of our client's costs.
- Representing private individuals and a number of overseas corporate entities in defending a substantial multi-jurisdictional shareholder dispute arising out of the management and subsequent liquidation of an off-shore investment fund which involved the setting aside of a worldwide freezing order and proprietary injunction and bringing counterclaims, some of which were double derivative claims on behalf of a foreign company. The case settled on confidential terms shortly prior to the hearing of the defendants' application for permission to continue their derivative claims.
- Advised in relation to successfully retaining a worldwide asset-freezing injunction against Sheikh Saud Al-Thani, a member of the royal family of Qatar and one of the world's most prolific collectors of art and antiquities in support of US proceedings and the subsequent recovery in full of the outstanding debt.
- Acted for Topland and its directors in their defence of two sets of High Court proceedings concerning the central London building, First Avenue House. The proceedings were brought in 2010 by the previous owner, Standard Life, and the Government tenant, the Secretary of State for Justice. Both sets of proceeding were settled on confidential terms without admission of liability with confirmation that the Secretary of State for Justice and Topland will continue to work together to ensure that the building continues to meet the operational needs of the Courts and Tribunal Service.
- Advised a City of London banker in defending civil proceedings brought by the Bank to recover substantial bonuses paid by the Bank for alleged misconduct, deceit and breach of contract and in the parallel investigation by the Financial Services Authority. The allegations concerned the pricing of sophisticated financial products. The proceedings were successfully settled.
- Acted for a senior executive summarily dismissed on spurious grounds of dishonesty and/or gross misconduct. Successfully negotiated a substantial financial award for the client and a full written retraction of the dishonesty allegations after actively pursuing claims in the High Court and Employment Tribunal.
- Acted for a major dairy distributor involving multiple search orders and disclosure orders in a case of alleged fraud, breach of confidence, conspiracy to injure and malicious falsehood against the client’s major competitor in the dairy industry. The proceedings were successfully settled
- Acted for private equity investment companies and an Administrative Receiver. Achieved innovative Interlocutory Orders allowing the companies whose ownership was in dispute to trade (by virtue of a Court appointed Board of Directors) whilst proceedings were extant. A successful Strike Out Judgment was obtained against the two main Defendants (who had asset stripped the companies and by virtue of an illegal share allotment had awarded control to themselves) to return control of the companies to their clients, damages and Costs Orders. The proceedings were successfully settled with all the Defendants.
- Acted for a high street manufacturer and retailer of jewellery. Obtained a freezing, asset preservation, disclosure and delivery up order against ex-employees, employees and others who had stolen money, stock, confidential information and set up a competing business. Achieved Judgment at the earliest opportunity, third party debt orders, charging orders and significant cost orders against all the defendants.
Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Associate, Mishcon de Reya
Assistant, Mishcon de Reya
Qualified, Peters & Peters
Scarman Centre for the Study of Public Order, University of Leicester, Criminology, MA; University of Leicester, Law (LLB) (Hons)
Articles and Publications
Claire regularly contributes articles to Mishcon de Reya's external publications and is a regular contributor to the Firm's Fraud Briefings.