Mutual Legal Assistance

"They're one of the firms that is right at the top of the scale. They're very experienced in handling the big cases. They're extremely well resourced and I've never had anything other than a good experience with them."

Chambers UK 2020 - A Client’s Guide to the UK Legal Profession

We have longstanding experience of Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) requests and regularly advise individual and corporate clients on criminal cases with an international dimension.

MLA is the process by which states are able to request cooperation from other countries in the investigation and prosecution of crime. Such requests may involve calls for evidence or witness statements, requests for the enforcement of judgments, asset freezing or confiscation orders here in the UK.

Our experience spans cross-border criminal and financial regulatory investigations, corruption and fraud matters, financial sanctions, tax investigations and cartel investigations.

The global nature of business and human relationships today means that criminal investigations too are often multi-jurisdictional. Regulators and enforcement agencies are increasingly adept at coordinating with their international counterparts.

Parties subject to an MLA request, whether as witness or suspect, need expert advice on their obligations and rights, and how best to engage with the requesting authority.

How we can help

  • We are familiar with the various international treaty and MLA convention arrangements that exist between the UK and other countries.
  • We advise international clients on English law considerations and English court procedure where UK-based evidence is to be gathered or enforcement is sought in the UK by an overseas agency.
  • We also advise parties in the UK who are the subject of an MLA request to assist in foreign criminal investigations or proceedings (and any related risk of extradition or follow-on UK proceedings).
  • Our role may involve brokering deals, managing or resisting requests, depending on what is in the client’s best interests.

Our approach

Our Extradition, Fraud and White-Collar teams are well known for robust criminal defence advice and we  look to devise a strategy best suited to each particular client.

We can assemble a team of experts from across the firm where cases require a detailed knowledge for example of public law, regulatory issues or potential civil liability.

We also have a trusted network of overseas lawyers that we work with closely to ensure advice is highly attuned to the jurisdiction(s) and/or agencies involved. 

MLA matters can be highly complex, given the multi-jurisdictional issues and coordination involved.

Our aim is to achieve a satisfactory resolution of such requests that meets the needs of the client and is proportionate to the conduct being scrutinised.

If you have any questions about an MLA request or potential request, please contact one of our specialist lawyers.

what clients and directories have said

Leading practice in the representation of individuals in regulatory investigations or enforcement actions, drawing upon significant strength in employment, criminal and white-collar law to offer a complete service in the area. Highly experienced in cases involving issues such as insider trading and mis-selling of products. Also assists individuals under investigation for alleged market manipulation and anti-competitive behaviour."

Chambers UK 2020 - A Client’s Guide to the UK Legal Profession

I know Jonathan Grimes' work mainly in the field of international criminal law, where he is also a leading figure – hugely committed to his clients, and with a deeper interest in the development of this area of law generally."

Legal 500 UK 2022

Deep bench of experienced lawyers with an approachable style.”

Legal 500 UK 2021

Substantial expertise in cross-border cases involving allegations of bribery and corruption, tax fraud, money laundering and insider dealing, amongst other issues, and the firm is also adept at dealing with investigations and prosecutions brought by various institutions."

Legal 500 UK

They have got a wide range of experience to call upon for different jurisdictions and different problems."

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

Mutual Legal Assistance Insights

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