Fraud: White Collar Crime Investigations, Prosecutions and Proceeds of Crime Litigation
Business Crime and Fraud
Following the financial and banking crisis of 2008 there has been an expansion in the investigation and prosecution of an increasing range of white collar crime offences. This has resulted in the prosecution of both individuals and companies as the scope and complexity of the offences has evolved.
Bivonas Law was established in 1997 and has always specialised in the defence of white collar crime. It has developed an enviable reputation in this highly specialised area. The Business Crime Team has an in-depth knowledge built upon many years of defending and advising both individuals and companies facing investigation and prosecution by the following agencies:
- Crown Prosecution Service (Economic Crime Unit)
- Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS)
- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
- National Health Service (NHS)
- Serious Fraud Office (SFO)
Bivonas Law has been instructed in many of the highest profile financial crime cases in recent years including Ponzi schemes, carbon trading frauds, insider dealing, boiler room frauds, complex tax evasion, LIBOR, BBSW, FX and other investigations relating to the alleged manipulation of benchmark rates.
We have developed a reputation as a top-tier fraud boutique with a multidisciplinary philosophy incorporating the required expertise in the disciplines of civil fraud, regulatory, white-collar and corporate crime.
We have an extensive international network of lawyers and other experts, consisting of over 400 individuals who we can rely on if the matter is multi-jurisdictional. These contacts are selected for their specialist local experience and reputation, and enable us to provide a full global service.
Search and Seizure
Bivonas Law frequently advises and represents clients who have been the subject of search and seizure by an investigating agency. We provide immediate advice to our clients including personal attendance at the scene of a search to ensure compliance with strict statutory guidelines and where appropriate to negotiate the ambit of the search and minimise disruption to any business activity.
We have a track record for successfully challenging the validity of search warrants in the High Court.
The members of the Business Crime Team have extensive experience of attending interviews under caution at police stations and also at the offices of other investigating agencies. Being interviewed can be an extremely stressful and unnerving experience. It is imperative that anyone who is required to attend an interview under caution should be represented by an experienced lawyer who can provide them with clear advice and ensure that they are fully prepared. We will request disclosure of the evidence relied on by the investigator and will advise on whether it is appropriate to answer questions, provide a prepared statement or exercise the right to silence.
In addition to interviews conducted under caution we also represent clients who are required to attend and be interviewed pursuant to the exercise of compulsory powers. These include powers of the Serious Fraud Office under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 and of the Financial Conduct Authority under sections 171 and 172 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 whereby individuals and companies may be compelled to answer questions, provide information or produce documents to assist in the investigation of fraud or regulatory breaches. Bivonas Law has assisted individuals and companies on many occasions where such notices have been issued, working with our clients to ensure that they understand the ramifications of the process, that they provide the required information and that they are fully prepared for interview.
Similarly, sections 235 and 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986 provide that an office holder in a company (such as an administrator or a receiver) can require its former officers and employees to attend to answer compulsory questions in relation to the company’s affairs and require them to deliver up any company documents or property in their possession. Bivonas Law has regularly advised clients on their rights and obligations in relation to such applications and attended such interviews.
Bivonas Law has successfully represented clients in some of the most high profile white collar crime trials of recent years. We have been instructed in more than 160 serious and complex white-collar matters. At least 72 have proceeded to full trial, most of them being QC led. The Business Crime team has experience of managing highly complex litigation. We have developed relationships with leading counsel in this field as well as a spectrum of highly qualified forensic experts. As much of our casework is multi-jurisdictional, we have cultivated relationships with a number of international law firms. We aim to provide a comprehensive service and pride ourselves on our high success rate.
Confiscation and Proceeds of Crime Litigation
The firm is also recognised as a market leader in the field of proceeds of crime litigation and has acted in a number of high profile money laundering and confiscation cases.
We routinely advise in relation to:
An investigation into whether a person has benefited from criminal conduct.
Civil Recovery Investigations
An investigation into whether property is recoverable.
Search and Seizure Warrants
A warrant authorising an officer to enter and search specified premises, and to retain material found likely to be of value to the investigation.
Orders allowing financial investigators to obtain information about the affairs of a person subject to a confiscation, money laundering or civil recovery investigations.
Orders by Crown Court judges on the application of a prosecuting or investigating authority. The subjects of a restraint order may be individuals or companies who either are alleged offenders or are believed to have benefited from a criminal offence.
Where a customs or police officer seize cash which is suspected of being recoverable property or intended for use in unlawful conduct.