PRACTICE AREA

Business Crime & Fraud

"They are intellectually sound, good lawyers and are very good at client care."

Chambers 2021, Financial Crime

Corker Binning advises individuals across a broad range of serious criminal cases in the business or financial sectors. Our clients typically include CEOs and senior company executives.

We focus on cases that are investigated and/or prosecuted by: the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the National Crime Agency (NCA), the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), and specialist police units around the UK.

Our team advises clients across a wide range of sectors, including financial services, energy, oil and gas, and professional services. We have acted for a number of prominent individuals in SFO and FCA investigations such as the Libor/Euribor and Forex manipulation investigations, as well as related US investigations by the DoJ. We have acted for suspects or witnesses in the SFO cases relating to Airbus, Barclays Bank, ENRC, G4S, Rolls-Royce, Serco, and Tesco, among others. We act for clients in most of the current SFO investigations.

The growth of the firm over the past two decades mirrors an escalation in corporate accountability worldwide. The investigation of financial crime has become vastly more complex as technology has expanded the volume of material available to investigators and the territorial reach of foreign prosecutors. . Our long experience enables us to provide expert advice on the most complex  investigations and how to deal with the relevant investigators, both at a national and international level.

Recent and current cases in which our business crime lawyers and fraud lawyers have acted:

  • Acting for a number of individuals in the SFO and FCA investigations into alleged LIBOR, EURIBOR and FOREX manipulation, as well as the related US investigations by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
  • Acting for suspects or witnesses in the SFO fraud investigations/prosecutions involving Tesco (where we acted for the former CEO), Barclays Bank/Qatar (where we act for the former CEO), ENRC, G4S/Serco, JJB Sports, Quindell, Bank of England liquidity auctions, Kaupthing and Olympus.
  • Acting in a number of large-scale insider trading, market abuse and land banking investigations/prosecutions brought by the FCA and/or the City of London police.
  • Acting in a range of smaller frauds prosecuted by the CPS usually based on alleged false representations or abuse of position in employer/employee relationships.

 

Bribery & corruption cases:

  • Acting for senior company individuals in the SFO’s investigations into alleged bribery and corruption at Glencore, Rolls-Royce, British American Tobacco, Amec Foster Wheeler, ENRC, Petrofac, Rio Tinto, Unaoil, Airbus, Glaxo Smith Kline and Alstom, including a director in the first SFO prosecution of individuals under the Bribery Act 2010.
  • Acting for an individual acquitted in the SFO’s first successful prosecution of a corporate for bribery offences.
  • Acting for senior individuals (including the CEO of the London branch of a foreign bank) in NCA investigations concerning alleged bribery and corruption arising in a number of West African states.
  • Acting for an international engineering firm to carry out an internal investigation into allegations of attempts made to offer bribes in return for the award of contracts.
  • Acting for individuals in the police investigations into the payment of alleged bribes to police officers and others, including Operation Weeting.

 

Corporate internal investigations cases:

  • Conducting an internal investigation into high-profile allegations of accounting and invoicing fraud at a multinational corporate group simultaneously under investigation by the SFO (this advice was sought because Corker Binning was “independent” of the corporate’s usual advisors)
  • Acting for an international engineering firm to carry out an internal investigation into allegations of attempts made to offer bribes in return for the award of contracts
  • Acting alongside a major international law firm in conducting an internal investigation into allegations of fraud and money laundering in the Italian business of a major IT manufacturer
  • Carrying out an internal fact-finding investigation into allegations of fraud on behalf of a supplier of pharmaceutical products to the National Health Service

 

Export controls and trade controls cases:

  • Representing a UK company which successfully negotiated a £1,000 compound penalty as an alternative to being prosecuted for alleged breaches of Open General Export Licences arising from the sale of armoured vehicle components within the EU
  • Advising a household name business regarding its obligations under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora and the associated EU legislation governing imports of restricted goods into the EU
  • Advising two listed UK companies in the aviation sector as to whether their export business was being conducted in compliance with UK/EU law
  • Assisting two multinational law firms which made voluntary disclosures concerning their unlicensed export of cryptographic software to sensitive destinations including China, and ensuring that no prosecution action was taken
  • Representing in HMRC interviews two individuals employed by a multinational in the chemicals sector concerning exports of particular compounds to south Asia

 

Our tax fraud lawyers have recently advised on the following matters:

  • Conducting an internal investigation into a group company in which several of the executives had been accused of tax fraud. The outcome of our investigation caused the criminal investigation to be dropped.
  • Advising a suspect in a film tax credit scheme investigations in which we persuaded HMRC not to bring any criminal charges in return for a financial settlement.
  • An employer in a multi-million-pound case concerning the alleged underpayment of the taxes of building workers on a major construction project.
  • Representing a client in the first negotiated plea agreement with the CPS under the Attorney General’s Guidelines for Plea Discussions in Serious Fraud cases involving over £1.5 million of VAT reclaims.

 

Money laundering cases:

  • Advising numerous companies and funds (both in the regulated and non-regulated sectors) on compliance with their money laundering obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, when to make suspicious activity reports to the National Crime Agency and how to comply with the provisions on tipping-off and prejudicing an investigation.
  • Advising an overseas political party on a major Met police investigation into money laundering arising from alleged terrorist activities.
  • Advising a number of witnesses at a major bank in connection with an SFO investigation into suspected money laundering and failure to report.
  • Acting for one of the main defendants in a $36 million international money laundering case tried in the UK and involving Nigeria’s mobile telephone provider.
  • Advising two major high street banks on behalf of employees interviewed or investigated either for actual money laundering or for failure to report suspicion of money laundering offences. In both cases we persuaded police to drop their investigations.
  • Advising many individuals in the well publicised operation by the Metropolitan Police called Operation Rize in which three London safe depositories were raided and 6,700 deposit boxes opened and searched.
  • Acting for a foreign national extradited back to the UK to face charges for laundering the proceeds of drug trafficking.