We have been recognised for over two decades as leaders in the defence of corporate and commercial fraud allegations. Often referred to as white collar crime or business crime, the implications of a prosecution for company officers and businessmen can be far reaching
The business crime team at Burton Copeland is a dedicated niche unit staffed by fraud solicitors with vast experience and expertise in fraud cases which can involve global transactions traversing many international boundaries and jurisdictions.
Historically, the team of fraud solicitors have been involved in many of the high profile cases, several instigated by the Serious Fraud Office:
- Barlow Clowes – a £180 million fraud on investors
- Stevens – multi-handed mortgage fraud
- Paul O’Neal – time share fraud
- Awan – diversion of excise, London City Bond, a leading abuse of process case
- Maxwell – pension fraud
- Smith – Butte mining fraud, at the time the longest running trial ever in the UK
- Miller – the largest ever trading standards prosecution in the UK
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A recent legislative development could have a future impact on businesses.
If organisations are suspected of being involved in economic crime, an alternative to a criminal prosecution may well be a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA). The criminal charges will still be laid but will not immediately proceed provided the organisation successfully complies with a number of requirements such as financial penalties, reparation to victims, repayment of profits, and measures to prevent future offending.
DPAs are likely to come into force in 2013. The desired effect of the DPA will be to bring more organisations to account for economic crimes committed. It is seen to be a speedier and more effective alternative to an expensive, complex, and lengthy criminal prosecution. This will only be available to organisations and not individuals.
The introduction of the DPA is to also encourage and incentivise self reporting of economic crimes by organisations.
From a financial perspective, DPAs should be considered in conjunction with the new provisions concerning Defence Costs Orders. The effect of these provisions is that legal costs will no longer be included in a Defence Costs Order for companies and organisations regardless as to whether they defend a case successfully. Businesses will be expected to have in place legal expenses insurance to cover such defence costs.
Our business crime team can be contacted at: email@example.com
Debt collection agencies and debt buyers have been warned that they will come under increased scrutiny from Regulators as they seek to renew their licences. All firms will need to meet the required standards for consumer credit entities. It is expected that these standards will be higher than are currently required to obtain a Consumer Credit Licence. A new Code of Practice launched on the 1st October. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an initial free consultation.
The regulations contained in this new Act are far reaching with serious sanctions for breaches of its provisions. It is vital that all company officers are aware of the contents of the Act and the implications of non-compliance.
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A dedicated unit has been set up offering free initial advice regarding issues of mortgage fraud affecting solicitors, accountants, financial advisers, mortgage brokers surveyors and estate agents. The team can respond promptly and effectively to any related problems in this complex area.
For an initial free consultation contact: firstname.lastname@example.org