When potentially fraudulent or other criminal activity occurs in a business it is often the business itself rather than the authorities that makes the discovery, perhaps through the actions of a whistle blower or an investigation by internal audit.
Immediately the question arises: what action should the business now take? Is there an obligation to report the offence to the police, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) or a regulator such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)? What action should be taken in respect of employees caught up in the activity? Should insurers be informed? Should I bring proceedings against the individual or company in order to get the money back.
Our fraud team is made up of specialist civil, criminal, employment, public law, commercial, and immigration lawyers who can identify criminal behaviour, advise on civil or criminal remedies, advise on employment issues, and deal with any public law issues.
Often the best advice is to undertake an investigation to establish in more detail what has occurred to enable the company to make informed decisions about the actions they must and/or should take. We have extensive experience of conducting such investigations. Our specialist team of fraud solicitors can interview witnesses, analyse documents, review computer files and prepare a report to provide you with objective and clear advice on the courses of action available to you.
We can liaise with the authorities if there are any issues to be reported (including self-reporting) or if you decide to report the matter to be investigated and prosecuted as a criminal matter. We also have experience obtaining (worldwide) freezing orders, search and disclosure orders to protect assets from dissipation and evidence from being destroyed.
We have experience in conducting cross-border investigations with a number of jurisdictions and have a network of overseas specialist lawyers who can assist in providing advice on the local law and customs.
If you are a victim of fraud and would like to contact our fraud lawyers, please contact Stephen Parkinson.