Electrolux cleans up using Shoosmiths to recoup ill gotten gains from fraudsters

Electrolux cleans up using Shoosmiths to recoup ill gotten gains from fraudsters


Author: Alex Bishop & Helen Pickford

Acting for Electrolux plc in relation to a claim against multiple Defendants for conspiracy to defraud and civil bribery.

What issue or challenge did this company face and what was their goal?

This case concerned an unlawful profit sharing arranging between an IT director of Electrolux plc, two recruitment consultancies, and an accountant. Those involved had inflated the cost of IT consultants over a four year period, with the inflated amounts being shared between the Defendants.

What role did we play in helping the client achieve this goal? What obstacles did we have to overcome? What was the client's view of our support?

We assisted the client in the gathering and preparation of its evidence. The evidence was originally presented to the Economic Crime Unit of the City of London Police as the client's priority was to obtain a criminal conviction if possible. Following a decision by the CPS not to prosecute, we obtained a Freezing Order over the Defendants' assets and delivery up of documentary evidence by the City of London Police by consent. We then commenced settlement negotiations with each of the Defendants.

What approach did we take and was there anything exceptional or unusual to note?

The City of London Police commented that the case was one of the best prepared cases they had seen. They also supported the proposed civil action once a decision had been taken not to prosecute, and co-operated throughout.

What was the end result for the client and how did they benefit?

On the strength of the evidence uncovered and the pressure of the Freezing Order, a substantial recovery was made against all of the Defendants. The terms of settlement were not confidential which meant Electrolux could refer to the case in order to disincentivise similar activity.