Investigations

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. A transition period, during which EU laws continue to apply in the UK, is due to end on 31 December 2020. The UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement sets out transitional arrangements and negotiations for the future UK/EU relationship are ongoing.

White Collar Crime & Investigations

Our White Collar Crime & Investigations team offers an award-winning service to clients, whether companies in need of advice in respect of suspected fraud or bribery by employees or individuals who are themselves under investigation.  

We quickly assess the problem and help you to navigate a way out. We are adept at bringing matters to a swift conclusion often without ever having to go to court. If a trial is unavoidable we believe in fiercely defending our clients' interests and fighting to achieve the best result possible. 

Our team offers a dynamic and creative approach to whatever issue you face. Increasingly, cases are multi-faceted, with several agencies having overlapping interests and with civil claimants waiting in the wings for follow on actions. We act for clients facing investigation by regulators and law enforcement agencies in the UK, Europe, the US, Africa and Asia. We are experienced in multi-jurisdictional fraud and corruption investigations, frequently working with overseas lawyers and other professional advisors.

We have been involved in some of the biggest domestic and international fraud and corruption cases ever to be investigated. Our extradition lawyers have resisted extradition requests from countries as diverse as Russia, India, Monaco and Romania. 

Our lawyers have advised on numerous cases involving mutual legal assistance, criminal sanctions, money laundering, fraud, corruption, insider dealing and civil recovery and Unexplained Wealth orders. Our team is diverse, drawn from top boutique defence practices, the Bar and the CPS. As a result we are able to offer a strategic approach that is sophisticated and well thought out.  We are also able to call on the firm's reputation lawyers to manage difficult press and social media situations; we have a top tier employment team able to give advice to employer or employee involved in an investigation and we can offer immigration advice to those who are the subject of extradition proceedings. One of our partners is a barrister, able to appear in court thus reducing time and cost in respect of some hearings.

The Bribery Act 2010 introduced a range of new offences concerning both individuals and corporate entities alike. In relation to the latter it placed a significant onus on the corporate to implement wide ranging governance to protect it against the risk of corrupt practices within the organisation and its relationships with third parties. Read more

We have significant experience of acting on some of the UK's most complex fraud cases, which often involve overseas enforcement agencies from all over the world. Our close relationships with firms around the globe mean that we can provide a seamless multi-jurisdictional service. Read more

Enforcement agencies have a selection of disruptive tools available whilst they carry out investigations. We regularly advise clients who have accounts or property that has been frozen or where banks are unable to return money which is the subject of an inquiry. Read more

Should you be the subject of a dawn raid, it is vital to get rapid support and advice; in some cases the search warrant can be challenged and set aside by a court. Companies should ensure they have dawn raid procedures set up so that staff know how to react and who to contact should the need arise. Decisions will need to be made quickly about whether and how to co-operate with investigators, what information is needed from them so as to assess your approach and what they are and are not entitled to do and to ask. 

Imaging of computer equipment and collection and taking away of hard copy material is to be expected. We are used to dealing with the police, HMRC and the SFO to get your material back for you quickly so as to minimise the disruption to your business. We are also able to advise on the aftermath of a raid and suggest essential steps so that a company taken by surprise can quickly get back on the front foot and assess whether it has a problem and what the next steps should be.

Following a raid, we are able to support you and your employees through any interview process, ensure a good working relationship with whichever investigation agency is involved and help you navigate the process, whether you decide to co-operate or not.  We have reputation lawyers who can help manage any media fallout or reputational issues.

Our team has significant experience advising both individuals who are being investigated in relation to allegations that they have defrauded their employer, and corporates that suspect employees of having committed misconduct, including criminal fraud. Read more

Whilst extradition provides an essential tool in allowing governments to seek the return of individuals who have committed serious criminal conduct within that jurisdiction, it has also become a favoured tool for certain governments to apply significant pressure to targeted individuals. In recent years, we have seen a significant number of politically motivated requests for individuals who have fallen out of favour in the requesting state. Read more

Inquiries are an increasing feature of public and corporate life, as the expectation of greater accountability becomes the norm. Inquiries are highly charged emotional experiences for those involved, more so as they are conducted under intense media scrutiny.

Individual members of the team have been involved in many of the major Public Inquiries held in the UK over the past 20 years, including the Leveson Inquiry; the Chilcot (Iraq War) Inquiry; the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA); the Undercover Policing Inquiry; the Manchester Arena Inquest/Inquiry and the Grenfell Inquiry. In those various inquiries, members of the team have acted for both individual and corporate Core Participants at all stages of the process: advising on issues including participant status, immunity agreements and the privilege against self-incrimination; assisting with the preparation of written evidence to the Inquiry; and making representations on Inquiry management issues such as disclosure, anonymity, confidentiality, data protection and legal professional privilege.

In addition, the Inquests and Inquiries team is able to provide advice and representation in coroner's investigations and inquest proceedings. Members of the team have appeared in many high profile inquests over in recent years, many of which were concerned with deaths of vulnerable people in custody or healthcare settings. Past experience includes acting for families who have lost loved ones following admission to hospitals and care homes; police officers following deaths in police stations and mental health units and prison governors following prison suicides.

Interpol Red Notices are an effective way for countries to both identify those they wish to bring back to their jurisdiction to face trial and to fetter the international movement of those individuals. Interpol's mandate is to remain politically neutral, and it will process requests for Red Notices in accordance with its Charter. We have extensive experience in making representations to Interpol under the terms of its Charter. Read more

Introduced in 2018, Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) require an individual to explain their interest in a particular property, including the source of the wealth used to obtain the property - failure to comply with an UWO within the specified timescale gives rise to the risk that law enforcement will seek to forfeit the property. Read more

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