White collar crime, also referred to as commercial crime, can have a significant impact on you and your business. These sorts of crimes include fraud, insider-dealing, tax evasion and money laundering. It is not uncommon for the fraud to be perpetrated by someone who is close to the business including employees, directors, suppliers and customers.
Our lawyers regularly advise businesses and individuals who have been victims of fraud. Whilst there may be separate criminal investigations and prosecutions, their primary purpose, unlike ours, is not to recover the proceeds of the fraud but to secure a conviction.
In certain circumstances it may be necessary to obtain a freezing order and/or search order, often at short notice, to secure profits from the fraud and key documentary evidence. We have experience of these procedures and can put together a highly skilled team of professionals to carry this out on your behalf. Such orders, known as interim relief or injunctions, can be highly effective but there are also some important considerations including the
- costs of the applications and subsequent hearings, known as return dates
- risk of having to pay the other side’s costs
- risk of the other side claiming under a cross undertaking in damages (which the applicant must give to the court)
- need to ensure that full and frank disclosure is provided to the court if applying ex parte or without notice to the other side.
We also help businesses and individuals who have been subject to fraud investigations and can represent them in both criminal and civil proceedings. Very often advice is required at short notice, particularly if a search order is being executed or a freezing order has been obtained. For professionals or those working in regulated sectors we work closely with our regulatory team and can help minimise or avoid professional disciplinary or regulatory sanction.