Claims of this nature often relate to sophisticated schemes where allegations of serious wrongdoing are made. When such allegations arise, we work closely with our clients and other professionals, including foreign lawyers, forensic accountants, private investigators and IT specialists, and liaise with criminal and regulatory authorities, if necessary, in order to ensure that the most effective strategy is adopted.
At Signature we have extensive experience in investigating, initiating and defending all types of civil fraud claims. We understand the commercial and strategic issues relating to civil fraud claims and provide robust advice on how to handle them. Interim measures are frequently required, including search and seizure orders and freezing injunctions, to prevent dissipation of assets prior to the issue of proceedings.
Our significant experience in asset tracing across multiple jurisdictions includes the use of Norwich Pharmacal Orders for the disclosure of documents and information, and to discover the identity of individuals. In securing and enforcing foreign judgments, we regularly work with claimants who want to freeze and recover the assets of defendants.
Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 recognise Signature as a leading firm for Civil Fraud.
The Legal 500 UK 2020 describes Signature as “one of best boutiques around, delivering a high class service to clients pitted against the institutional behemoths”, and its “key individuals are supremely professional and very informed.” Chambers UK 2020 recognises Signature’s “ability to formulate, plan and implement a sophisticated global strategy” and notes our experience at “obtaining all forms of injunctive relief and in tracing assets across multiple jurisdictions”.
Individual lawyers are also highly rated. Chambers ranks Signature’s founding partner, Graham Huntley, for his experience in fraud disputes and investigations. He has been described by Chambers as an “incredibly able” fraud practitioner with a “real eye for detail” who “puts his heart and soul into the case for his client”. The Guide notes that Graham is “regularly involved in cross-border cases with significant elements of fraud.” He is also recognised as a ‘Leading Individual’ for Civil Fraud by The Legal 500 UK 2020 and is described as “an extraordinary legal mind” and “a force of nature, a very impressive litigator with a deeply commercial intelligence and a willingness to go more than the extra mile for his clients”.
Renowned for his expertise in civil fraud, Chambers has described Simon Bushell as “a go-to lawyer when the stakes are exceptionally high because his judgement is crystal clear”. “A truly exceptional lawyer”, Simon “combines an outstanding legal mind with a commercial strategic and straight-talking approach”. Over many years, Simon has been ranked as a ‘Leading Individual’ by The Legal 500 for Civil Fraud and is described as “a force-field of drive and determination”. Simon has recovered several billion dollars in misappropriated assets. Simon is General Editor of ‘International Fraud and Asset Tracing’, ‘Getting the Deal Through Dispute Resolution’ and is co-author of ‘Disclosure of Information: Norwich Pharmacal and Related Principles’ (second edition), which has been described as an “invaluable text for practitioners”.
Civil Fraud & Asset Tracing Team
“They demonstrate the ability to formulate, plan and implement a sophisticated global strategy”
Chambers UK 2020
Simon is regarded as a ‘Leading Individual’ in The Legal 500 UK 2020 for his civil fraud and commercial litigation expertise, and is recognised as a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ for his banking litigation work. The Legal 500 notes Simon is “an excellent litigator, constantly striving for ways to improve a case or undermine his opponents”, a “force-field of drive and determination” and he is “highly rated for high-stakes Russian and CIS-related disputes”. Chambers UK describes him as a “truly exceptional lawyer” and he has also been ranked as a Foreign Expert for his Russian dispute resolution work in Chambers Global. Simon became involved in Russian and CIS related disputes nearly two decades ago and continues regularly to handle matters with a connection to the region. Recognised for being “very clear-sighted and capable of identifying clear strategies for his clients to pursue“, Simon has been consistently ranked in Bands 1 and 2 for his civil fraud expertise in Chambers UK over many years.
Graham is consistently recognised by The Legal 500 and Chambers as one of the UK’s highest ranked commercial and banking litigators and has been involved in some of the most significant cases of recent years. Chambers UK describes him as “an intense and effective solicitor with an incredibly client-focused approach” and he has previously been described as “very bright, very hard-working, a good tactician” and “very committed and driven”. The Legal 500 recognises Graham for being a “a leading figure in commercial dispute resolution and widely regarded as a rainmaker.”
Civil Fraud & Asset Tracing Experience
Advising a corporate entity implicated in the Rolls Royce investigations concerning bribery and corruption in contracts for the sale of engines. This matter is ongoing.
Advising an FX fund in connection with claims against an international bank concerning “front running” and “stop-loss busting” of very large foreign exchange programme trades. This case is ongoing.
Advising a rates trader on potential claims against his former employers, as well as against the Serious Fraud Office, in relation to actions taken against him in respect of alleged LIBOR manipulation which led to the loss of his banking licence and career.
Representing on several occasions private equity houses and venture funds with the recovery of assets and disputes over control of assets and real estate involving proceedings in several European jurisdictions and Cyprus.
Acting for one of the largest central European cement manufacturing companies in connection with recoveries from fraudulent transactions concerning carbon emission credits trading. The matter involved recoveries through insolvency proceedings in England, parallel proceedings in Poland and investigations in offshore jurisdictions.
Representing a US mining company in connection with the recovery of promissory notes worth of £1 billion issued as a result of fraudulent misrepresentations.
Represented Bluewaters Communications Holdings LLC in relation to two claims brought in England and Wales against Bayerische Landesbank Anstalt Des Offentlichen Rects, Bambino Holdings, Bernard Ecclestone, Stephen Mullens and Gerhard Gribkowsky arising from a corrupt agreement between Mr Bernard Ecclestone and Dr Gerhard Gribkowsky in connection with the sale in 2005 by BLB of its stake in Speed.
Acting for a Kazakh bank in relation to tracing assets and enforcement proceedings valuing over US$500 million in the English court and as global coordinating counsel covering eight other jurisdictions, three of which are offshore.
Defending a client in High Court proceedings involving claims of fraud in connection with a J.V. dispute between Russian investors, also involving proceedings in Cyprus, BVI and Switzerland. This matter is ongoing
Defending a European asset management company against claims in New York to recover redemption payments made by the liquidators of a BVI-based fund connected with the Madoff Ponzi scheme.
Acting for two British Virgin Islands (BVI) companies in litigation before the courts of England and Wales, Georgia, and the BVI relating to alleged misuse of powers of attorney resulting in the dishonest misappropriation of substantial businesses and companies.
Advising a group of Ukranian agro-trading companies in relation to claims made by various lenders for fraud and breach of contract amounting to $73 million in outstanding loans.
Advising a major corporate in relation to unauthorised hacking into its computer systems by competitors looking to obtain business secrets.
Advising several fund managers in relation to a €200 million dispute concerning assets held in Italy involving defence of claims including conspiracy, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.
Acting for a major European bank in an action against a Swiss company and shareholders of related-entities to recover €30 million siphoned out of a Ukrainian corporate group.