Fraud in the UK is at an all-time high, reaching an annual cost of £193bn according to some official estimates. Fraud damages business, increases insurance cost and erodes trust.
Fraudulent conduct takes many forms. Many frauds are sophisticated bulk operations such as “boiler room frauds” and “land banking” where consumers are induced to buy fake or worthless instruments. Developments in technology are leading to an exponential increase in cybercrime.
Other fraudulent transactions can occur in the course of business, including misrepresentation in the formation of contracts, largescale copyright breaches, trading while insolvent or misstating profits. The list is almost endless.
Law enforcement agencies struggle to make any impact. The Metropolitan police admits that it investigates less than one case in a hundred. In effect, fraud has become an easy option for people with a dishonest intent.
Not surprisingly, a growing number of victims look to their lawyers to recover losses. The law offers various routes for resolution. These include
- litigation in the civil courts against the alleged fraudster;
- prevailing on a prosecuting agency to bring charges;
- mounting a private prosecution; and
- occasionally, where possible, intervening in a civil recovery action by the state
Each remedy has a different profile in terms of timing, cost, prospects of success and ease of enforcement of a judgment.
We field an outstanding team of litigators working in close collaboration with some of the most experienced corporate criminal lawyers. We have a wealth of experience in cross-border crime and maintain close ties with a range of accountants and business intelligence specialists in asset tracking.
There is another side to every picture. Not all defendants owe the sums that are sometimes claimed against them. Some claims have been found to be exaggerated while others may lack any real foundation.
We are ideally placed to advise either party in a civil fraud case. We really have seen both sides, and our service to clients is based on a real understanding of how the other party thinks.