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Fraud and white-collar crime

Our lawyers combine legal and sector experience with commercial pragmatism and are well placed to advise and implement complex strategies for clients to prevent, protect and recover from fraudulent activities arising from everyday business. We have in-depth knowledge and experience in large scale civil fraud claims such as fraudulent representation, freezing orders, asset recovery and money laundering. Across our global offices, our experienced team have a detailed understanding of both law and practices across a wide range of sectors including finance and retail.

We can advise on:

Protection Preservation Recovery
Develop and implement fraud policies and responses
Defending allegations of fraud and claims brought under commercial fraud
Focussing on preserving assets for clients and regaining losses
Minimising risk by enforcing strategic plans for businesses
Recommending clients on aspects to limit reputational risk and financial impact
Implementing varied recovery strategies
Collaborating with clients establish training materials to minimise fraudulent malpractice
Conducting internal investigations on behalf of client following fraudulent misrepresentations
Enforcing a spectrum of judgments and orders

Our Experience

Advising a global bank facing allegations of unlawful means conspiracy and dishonest assistance to the value of over £200m, arising out of funding provided to enable complex investments in tax-efficient investment schemes.

Cross-disciplinary approach

Our civil, criminal and regulatory specialists work with multinational corporations and financial institutions providing a unique and integrated approach to support and guide clients with an emphasis of upholding reputation and commercial integrity.

Fraud and white-collar crime

In an increasingly interconnected world, prosecutors, regulators, shareholders, journalists and civil society groups all seek to hold corporations and their senior executives accountable for allegedly unlawful and unethical conduct. The issues facing these corporations and executives are often cross-jurisdictional or involve concurrent questions of civil, criminal and regulatory law.

No matter the subject of the allegation, a mismanaged response can result in significant financial, logistical and reputational harm. When issues arise, it is critical that the facts are established quickly, practical legal advice is given, and (where necessary) remedial action is taken promptly.

Eversheds Sutherland’s global team of 220 lawyers can advise you on how to engage effectively and swiftly with investigations, prosecutions and enforcement actions. We have extensive experience advising businesses on how to respond to allegations of misconduct and, where appropriate, on seeking redress for any harm caused to them.

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Experienced fraud and white-collar crime lawyers

Concerns about unethical or unlawful conduct typically arise in relation to criminal laws around fraud, embezzlement, bribery (including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Bribery Act), market manipulation, sanctions-busting, tax evasion and money laundering. However, they can also involve billing and accounting practices, insurance claims and securities law. Regardless of the issue, our lawyers will work closely with you to find effective solutions.

Eversheds Sutherland represents leading corporations and senior executives in the financial services, insurance energy and environmental, diversified industrial, construction, metals, mining, retail and food and drink sectors. We work in all of the world’s major economies (particularly the United States and the European Union) and have extensive experience in developing countries in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Our recent experience includes:

  • representing Enron in connection with investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice West Coast Enron Task Force and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
  • advising a communications company on allegations of fraud and bribery in its operations in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • advising the only Arthur Andersen engagement partner of Enron not to be charged civilly or criminally.
  • defending a former director of the global supermarket operator Tesco PLC in an investigation by the UK Serious Fraud office.
  • advising a financial institution under investigation by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for improper lending practices and financial reporting.
  • defending an aviation services company under investigation by the UK Serious Fraud Office for fraud and bribery.
  • representing the former president of NYSE company, who was the subject of a criminal prosecution, Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement action and a corporate investigation.

When individuals or companies find themselves in the crosshairs, they turn to Eversheds Sutherland’s fraud and white-collar crime team.

Civil fraud and asset tracing

Experienced civil fraud and asset tracing lawyers

Methods of fraud are becoming ever-more sophisticated and it can be increasingly difficult to protect and preserve your assets, customers and brand. Eversheds Sutherland, with our extensive experience and multi-jurisdictional capabilities, can help you to recover money or assets through our knowledge and experience of the full range of rights and remedies.

We have vast experience in dealing with civil fraud and asset tracing across multiple jurisdictions, including offshore financial centres and jurisdictions which present challenges due to corporate opacity. These issues are often time-sensitive and involve complex facts due to the means used to carry out and disguise the underlying fraud.

Having a large international team that can react quickly and deal with complex, high value claims enables us to ensure your assets can be recovered as time and cost effectively as possible. Our sectoral focus means that we understand clients’ industry-specific drivers and concerns, and we bring that understanding to bear in how we provide our services.

Breadth of knowledge

Our international team has the experience and expertise to advise both the victims of fraud and those accused of fraud on all aspects of these issues:

  • immediate steps to take after the identification/accusation of a fraud, including in relation to document preservation, claims to legal professional privilege, and interim relief (including Bankers Trust orders, worldwide freezing orders, passport seizure orders, Norwich Pharmacal orders, pre-action/non-party disclosure orders, search and seizure and delivery up orders);
  • development, coordination and deployment of strategies involving civil litigation, contentious insolvency, and criminal law tools across multiple jurisdictions through our international footprint of offices and network of relationship firms (in both common law and civil law jurisdictions), including dealing with local law enforcement who might be investigating matters in parallel;
  • obtaining final relief, including different forms of judgment, on the basis of a variety of causes of action including claims relating to receipt, breach of trust, deceit, unjust enrichment, unlawful means conspiracy, breach of fiduciary or statutory duty, and insolvency claims;
  • cross-border recognition of judgments for enforcement purposes, and recognition of insolvency officeholders for use of their statutory powers in different jurisdictions for investigative and enforcement purposes; and
  • ancillary issues including data protection, confidentiality, employee protection, preventative/remedial consulting services, and financial crime advice (including anti-money laundering, anti-bribery and corruption, and criminal fraud).
In all of these areas, our global relationships with other professionals including forensic accountants, insolvency practitioners and investigators enables us to deploy a local understanding of requirements and options.

Depth of experience

Our experience includes:

  • acting in one of the highest value fraud claims ever brought before the English Commercial Court (just under US$1 billion) in a case concerning allegations of bribery and corruption against a number of prominent defendants, including large financial institutions;
  • acting for an oil and gas corporate in claims against nine defendants seeking to recover US$87 million misappropriated from it in a fraudulent scheme relating to the purchase of an offshore mobile oil rig.  We acted for the client at a 10-day trial resulting in judgment against eight of the defendants; and
  • acting for a global bank in defence of complex multiparty proceedings brought by some 330 high net worth individual claimants (many of whom are celebrities and professional sportspeople) seeking to recover upwards of £150 million.  The claim involves allegations of unlawful means conspiracy and dishonest assistance arising out of funding provided by the bank to the creator of a number of tax-efficient film finance schemes to enable investments by the individual investors.

Contact our fraud and white-collar crime team

If you would like any further information or need advice on fraud and white-collar crime law, please contact our legal team.