COVID-19 Fraud: An Emerging Risk For Companies - Will Hayes, Nicola Finnerty, Will Christopher & Eugenie Freeman write for PLC Magazine

29 January 2021

Will HayesNicola FinnertyWill Christopher & Eugenie Freeman have written for PLC magazine considering liability for fraud relating to COVID-19 and how companies should respond to this emerging risk. 

The article examines these issues from both criminal and employment law perspectives, and offers practical guidance for practitioners. It also reviews the statutory directors’ duties that are likely to be engaged and what a company can do to protect its reputation. Although outside of the scope of this article, regulated entities may also need to notify the relevant regulator.

This article first appeared in the January / February 2021 issue of the PLC Magazine and is reproduced with the kind permission of the publishers. You can view the full article by clicking here. For subscription enquiries to PLC, please visit

Further Information

For further information on any issues raises in this news article, please contact a member of our Criminal Litigation team, our Dispute Resolution team or our Employment team.

About the authors

Will Hayes is a Associate (Barrister) in the Criminal Litigation team and represents individuals and corporate clients in a range of criminal cases. He has represented clients in cases covering the full spectrum of general crime, cases with an international dimension and represents clients defending extradition requests and challenging Interpol Red Notices. Will has a particular interest in legal professional privilege (LPP) and has developed a comprehensive understanding of the law and its practical application.

Nicola Finnerty is a Partner in the Criminal Litigation team and is a leading criminal defence expert in both business and general crime. She has experience of fraud, corruption  (including the Bribery Act) and cartel matters, financial compliance, money laundering, asset seizure and confiscation cases, through to sexual offence cases, drugs, murder and offensive weapon crimes. Nicola has acted for many high profile individuals who have needed advice on criminal matters. She has also represented corporate clients, financial institutions and professional firms in investigations and proceedings brought by the SFO, CPS, FCA, HMRC and other prosecuting bodies. She is routinely instructed in judicial review and appeal cases.

William Christopher is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team. He specialises in commercial litigation with a particular focus on civil fraud, having acted in many international fraud cases. He has extensive and wide-ranging litigation experience, having acted in cases involving contractual disputes, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of trust, and insolvency-related litigation.   He has been listed as a Thought Leader  in Asset Recovery in the Who's Who Legal Global Investigations Review 2020.

Eugenie Freeman is a Associate in the Employment teamWith experience in both contentious and non-contentious employment work, she acts for a mixture of corporates and private individuals. Eugenie often advises individuals in difficult situations, including those facing redundancy or having suffered discriminationEugenie has acted for a diverse range of clients including a global aerospace and defence company; advertising and PR agencies; as well as fostering agencies and charities. Eugenie has also advised many private individuals including senior executives working in industries ranging from credit market research firms, motor sport and entertainment. 


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