Saunders Law are experts in criminal law, with exceptional knowledge and experience of white-collar crime and corporate fraud that we can bring to bear for clients facing these types of serious allegations.
When dealing with an investigation or prosecution for corporate fraud, it is crucial at each stage of an investigation to engage with the investigating authority and obtain high quality legal advice.
We offer clear, strategic advice to clients so they can make the best decisions possible about how to respond to corporate fraud proceedings. Our team has a high level of expertise in investigations and prosecutions by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), HMRC and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
By providing the right legal advice at the right time, our corporate fraud solicitors can:
- Increase our clients’ chances of avoiding a prosecution
- Secure early resolutions with options such as Deferred Prosecution Agreements
- Provide robust representation for corporate fraud prosecutions at all levels, including all the way to the Supreme Court
Saunders Law built its reputation of achieving impressive results for clients facing prosecution for a wide range of traditional criminal offences, including high profile corporate fraud cases. This remains an important part of our legacy and work today.
As such, our experience acting in cases of corporate fraud extends to the highest level and we are unrivalled in relation to our ability to defend against fraud. We have acted on behalf of high profile, blue-chip company directors and senior personnel in the most complex and data-heavy cases to appear in our Courts.
However, much of our work is unseen, assisting ‘at risk’ clients, whose cases we are able to resolve outside of public view. This is almost always the best result for our clients, as it can allow a faster resolution, keep legal costs to a minimum and protect their business and reputation.
Recent cases to note are:
- Client C - Director of a company who was alleged to be involved in a large fraud
- Client R - Alleged insider trading
- Client W - Alleged accountancy fraud
Our corporate fraud solicitors in London offer a free initial consultation to establish if we can assist you and would be happy to guide you in the right direction. If you need assistance, please speak to one of our experts today.
Why Saunders Law is the smart choice for corporate fraud defence
More than 40 years’ experience handling major corporate fraud cases
At Saunders Law, our expert partner-led team of dedicated litigators has over 40 years of knowledge and experience to draw from, and is perfectly equipped to offer clear, pragmatic legal advice and representation for corporate fraud proceedings.
Founding partner James Saunders is recognised as one of the country’s leading litigators, having represented clients in major fraud prosecutions, including household names such as Wickes PLC.
Independently recognised expertise
Exceptional personal service & client satisfaction
We know how stressful facing these types of serious allegations can be and pride ourselves on the high level of personal service we provide during these difficult times. Our clients will always receive a call back the same day following an enquiry and can always speak to one of our partners when required. As a result, we consistently achieve excellent feedback from clients.
Transparent and flexible pricing
Our business fraud solicitors provide clear and open advice regarding the costs involved in facing corporate fraud proceedings. Various funding options are available to suit different circumstances and we have excellent relationships with litigation funding providers.
Types of corporate fraud investigations & prosecutions we can assist with
Serious Fraud Office investigations & prosecutions
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is a prosecuting body which deals with serious fraud, bribery and corruption. The SFO is responsible for investigating and prosecuting these serious crimes. The SFO will gather intelligence an, based on this information, may decide to open an investigation. During the investigation the SFO will seek to establish whether a relevant crime has occurred and whether there ought to be a prosecution. The SFO has the power to carry out a dawn raid on your business.
As an alternative to prosecution, the SFO may agree to a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA). This is an agreement which allows for the suspension of prosecution for a set period, so long as the organisation under investigation complies with certain conditions. Essentially, a company will be charged but proceedings will be suspended, under the supervision of a judge. The first DPA, between the SFO and Standard Bank, has recently come to an end with Standard Bank having complied with all relevant conditions.
HMRC investigations & prosecutions
HMRC has the power to undertake both civil investigations and criminal investigations with a view to prosecution. Like the SFO, HMRC has the power to investigate a business through a dawn raid. A dawn raid is used by HMRC to gather evidence which can then be used in any investigation or prosecution for business tax fraud.
In recent years HMRC has taken a strong stance in terms of criminal prosecution.
HMRC has stated that it will consider opening a criminal investigation, as opposed to a civil investigation, in cases involving money laundering; corruption; and where an individual holds a position of trust or responsibility.
Financial Conduct Authority investigations & prosecutions
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is responsible for regulating the conduct of financial services firms and financial markets. If your business is regulated by the FCA, it is important that you fully under your regulatory responsibilities.
The FCA has investigatory powers meaning that they can impose penalties on businesses and stop them from trading.
As an alternative to appointing enforcement investigators, the FCA may agree a way forward with the company concerned, which may involve FCA supervision. The FCA may also require payments to be made to customers.
How we assist clients with corporate fraud defence
Advice on a potential corporate fraud offence
Corporate fraud is a very complicated area and it is common for clients to be unclear about their legal position. This may be where they have been notified of an investigation or at an earlier stage, where facts have come to light internally that give a client cause for concern than a fraud offence may have been committed.
Our corporate fraud defence solicitors can use our expertise to review clients’ circumstances and advise on whether we believe an offence may have occurred. We can then explain the various legal options to protect clients’ and their businesses.
Self-reporting corporate fraud
Where corporate fraud is believed to have occurred within a company, it may be in the business’s best interests to self-report to the relevant authority. This can allow the business to avoid or minimise any criminal penalties.
Our team can advise clients on whether self-reporting is a sensible option for their individual circumstances. Where this is the right call, we can guide clients through the self-reporting process, giving them the best chance of avoiding a prosecution.
Responding to a corporate fraud investigation
Where a business is under investigation for corporate fraud, there is a legal duty to comply with the investigating offices. This typically includes attending interviews, providing written submissions and disclosure of relevant documents.
Our corporate fraud defence team is very experienced in guiding clients through investigations by the Serious Fraud Office, HMRC and the FCA. We can help clients to comply with investigators while protecting their own legal position at all times.
Deferred Prosecution Agreements
Where corporate fraud has occurred, it is sometimes possible to enter into a Deferred Prosecution Agreements with the investigating organisation. In exchange for the prosecutors suspending their prosecution for a set period, a business will agree to meet certain conditions.
Under a Deferred Prosecution Agreement, a company will be charged but proceedings will be suspended, under the supervision of a judge. The company will typically have to pay a fine and agree to make improvements to the way they operate to avoid similar offences in future.
Representation for corporate fraud prosecutions
In the event that a client is prosecuted for corporate fraud, the potential penalties are very serious, including the possibility of up to 10 years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine and director disqualification. Expert legal representation is therefore essential.
Our specialist corporate fraud defence lawyers regularly represent clients facing prosecution. With an excellent track record of success, we can draw on decades of experience to ensure our clients’ cases are prepared effectively and that they have the strongest possible representation in court.
Dealing with restraint orders
Where the Serious Fraud Office, HMRC or the FCA believe that a company has committed a corporate fraud offence, they may apply to a court for a restraint order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA). That can see both business assets and directors’ personal assets seized, making life very difficult for those affected.
Having assisted clients with POCA proceedings for many years, our team can advise on what to do in response to a restraint order, including where there is the possibility of challenging the order. In the past, we have often been able to help clients regain access to both business and personal assets under highly challenging circumstances.
Speak to our corporate fraud defence solicitors in London
For a free, no-obligation, initial discussion of how we may be able to help, please contact us.