Civil Fraud & Asset Tracing

Where fraud is alleged, immediate access to high quality legal advice is essential.

If your business has been the victim of fraud then you will want the assistance of experienced lawyers to guide you through the investigation and any ensuing litigation. Likewise, clients who have been accused of engaging in dishonest and fraudulent activity will need lawyers who have a track record of handling such allegations to protect and defend their interests.

Signature’s “areas of expertise include search and seizure orders, freezing injunctions, and multiparty, multijurisdictional disputes.” The Legal 500 2020
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 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.

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