Criminal litigation: Business and financial crime

Criminal litigation: Business and financial crime

Combatting financial crime is high on the political agenda. Police and many other investigating authorities have a larger number of powers to investigate and prosecute financial crime than ever before. This means that individuals and businesses are now more likely to face scrutiny and investigation. We recognise and understand just how difficult it is to deal with an investigation or prosecution and we are here to protect you, your business, management and employees.

Having the right advice at the beginning of an investigation (or any intervention) enables a swift and considered response to allegations and helps protect your legal rights and manage reputational damage thereby minimising financial and other losses.

The Shoosmiths business and financial crime team is a group of dedicated and highly experienced specialists who have acted in some of the country’s most complex and difficult criminal business and financial crime cases for over 30 years.

Where necessary we are able draw together lawyers from a number of disciplines including commercial litigation, tax and employment to ensure all angles are covered.

Criminal fraud

We act in some of the largest and complex criminal fraud cases across the country. Many of our cases are and have been multi-jurisdictional in nature.  Our work includes investigations and prosecutions by the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”), HM Revenue & Customs, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), the Crown Prosecution Service (“CPS”), the Department for Business Innovation & Skills and the Police. The range of work is vast but often includes bribery and corruption, MTIC, high yield investment fraud, asset stripping, creditor fraud, tax fraud, false accounting and proceeds of crime/money laundering cases.

We can help with:

  • 24 hour access to our emergency helpline;
  • Advising on arrest;
  • Attendance at police stations;
  • Interviews under caution or PACE interviews;
  • Responding to dawn raids or searches – home or business;
  • Advising on the legality of warrants and productions orders including judicial review;
  • Advising on issues of legal professional privilege;
  • Advising on restraint orders;
  • Representation at the magistrates' court and crown courts;
  • Preparation of cases for trial including:

    • Review of evidence and unused material;
    • Advice on the criminal process;
    • Advice on abuse of process and other legal arguments;
    • Advice on experts required including forensic accountants and computer forensics;
    • Advice on confiscation proceedings;
    • Advice on appeal; and
    • Confiscation and proceeds of crime sanctions.

Our experience: current and past cases

We are acting in a number of high profile investigations including two named SFO investigations. We have recently secured the acquittal of our client in the SFO prosecution of three steel executives in the case known as XYZ Ltd or Sarclad; the first acquittal of any individual involving bribery and corruption following a Deferred Prosecution Agreement.

Our team have worked on numerous SFO investigations and many prosecutions by other prosecuting authorities including:

  • The SFO case arising from the investigation into the Anglo-American Group;
  • The SFO Miners Compensation Fund investigation;
  • The SFO case arising from the collapse of the menswear group Ciro Citerrio;
  • The SFO investigation involving Lord Davenport and Gresham Ltd;
  • The SFO prosecution of individuals in the Duckers Furniture Ltd asset stripping matter;
  • The SFO prosecution of individuals in the Prudential Commercial case, a high yield investment fraud;
  • Representation of a defendant in a Financial Conduct Authority insider trading criminal investigation. Defendant officer / senior employee of a major retail PLC;
  • Multi handed conspiracy to defraud prosecution - £4.3 million (CPS fraud prosecution);
  • Alleged theft by company directors of European Union grant money (BERR);
  • Multi handed conspiracy to defraud and money laundering involving directors of a financial services company (CPS fraud prosecution);
  • Representation of an ex FSA (as it was then) approved director of a sub-prime mortgage lender in a £250 million mortgage fraud;
  • Representation of an individual in a second multi-million pound prosecution linked to the case above (CPS fraud prosecution);
  • Representation of a defendant in an £8 million high yield investment fraud involving acquisition of land, commercial and residential property and fraudulent bank lending (CPS fraud prosecution);
  • 16 defendant MTIC/Contra trading fraud (HM Revenue & Customs);
  • £4 million fraud on the construction industry scheme, PAYE and NI schemes (HMRC prosecution);
  • Prosecution of managing partner of firm of solicitors in respect of multi-million pound theft of office and client funds (CPS fraud prosecution);
  • Investigation of a managing partner of a solicitors practice in respect of money laundering linked to a cross border police force major crime unit investigation (NW Major Crime Unit);
  • Investigation into the managing partner of a solicitors practice in respect of an allegation of theft – interview and discontinuance (local police force);
  • Representation of six councillors (including three leaders) of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council for expenses fraud – part of the “Donnygate scandal” (CPS prosecution);
  • CPS prosecution of a defendant in an £8 million high yield investment fraud involving acquisition of land, commercial and residential property and fraudulent bank lending;
  • CPS prosecutions of various individuals for gross negligence manslaughter.