The legal and regulatory aspects of business are becoming ever more complex. The grey area where civil fraud, regulatory obligations and criminal investigation overlap is increasing. Individuals and businesses can be either victims of crime or on the wrong side of the law, without knowing they were even at risk.
Having different sets of lawyers that specialise in the various areas of: bribery and corruption, tax, cartels and competition, fraud, sanctions-related issues, market abuse, directors' disqualification and beyond can be a complex, inefficient and costly process, which can add to the strain of dealing with the issues. Our White Collar Crime & Investigations Group offers a comprehensive but streamlined approach for clients who may find themselves with a portfolio of problems. Whether an individual has been accused of improper financial conduct or is the victim of fraud, we can address all aspects of the case: civil, regulatory and criminal - within a single team.
Our criminal defence lawyers have more than twenty years' experience of acting on some of the UK's most complex corruption cases. We recognise that allegations of wrong-doing are high pressure situations and we quickly make your problem our own. We are adept at bringing matters to swift conclusion often without ever having to go to court. Should a trial be unavoidable our style is direct and robust, we believe in fiercely defending our clients' interests.
We act for clients facing investigation by regulators and law enforcement agencies in the UK, Europe and US (SFO, FCA, CPS, HMRC, CMA, SEC, DOJ among others) and have considerable experience in multi-jurisdictional fraud and corruption investigations, frequently working with overseas advisors. Our lawyers have been involved in many of the most high profile corruption cases of recent years including Rolls Royce, Unaoil, Johnson & Johnson and Innospec.
Corporate entities and individuals need to be aware of the Criminal Finances Act 2017. Its various provisions include the new civil sanction of Unexplained Wealth Orders, wider powers for the police to seize cash and other property alleged to be the proceeds of crime, and the broadening of the UK's anti-money laundering regime.
We advise corporate clients in relation to criminal investigations into corporate wrongdoing including: Corporate Manslaughter, Failure to Prevent Bribery (contrary to section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010), and the offence of Corporate Failure to Prevent the Facilitation of Tax Evasion (contrary to the Criminal Finances Act 2017). Our extensive involvement in SFO cases means we are well-placed to advise on internal investigations, corporate self-reports and DPAs. Our work also covers advice and representation in the course of inquiries which are very often run in parallel to criminal investigations as well as, in some cases, inquests. For exercises involving large numbers of documents we have our own eDiscovery platform, managed by in-house experts, so we can start on day one rather than briefing external third parties.
We also have extensive capabilities for representing victims of fraud or corruption. We know how to use the court processes to help our clients achieve their goals: this includes judicial review to compel investigators and prosecutors to take action, or mounting private prosecutions.