At Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, corporate compliance and defence, as well as regulatory expertise lie at the core of the white-collar and regulatory defence department’s offering. The group is very experienced in conducting internal investigations, in addition to its strength working on investigations conducted by UK prosecutors and agencies such as the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The team is also a good destination for clients seeking cross-border assistance due to its seamless collaboration with colleagues in the US; it has particular experience engaging with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Advising clients on sanctions regime compliance is another forte for the team; ‘classy operator‘ Jane Shvets leads the sanctions team across Europe, while also splitting time between London and New York; international counsel Konstantin Bureiko is also noted for his deep sanctions and export control expertise. The practice is jointly led by the highly regarded duo Lord Peter Goldsmith QC, UK’s former Attorney General, and Karolos Seeger, ‘a superb lawyer in all respects, instilling confidence in everything he does’. In June 2021, international counsel Robin Lööf departed to Fountain Court Chambers.
Regulatory investigations and corporate crime (advice to corporates) in London
Lord Peter Goldsmith QC; Karolos Seeger
Other key lawyers:
Jane Shvets; Konstantin Bureiko; Andrew Lee; Thomas Jenkins
‘Very professional team, with high technical expertise in trade compliance across many jurisdictions.’
‘The team has extensive knowledge in regulatory investigations and specialist knowledge of the FCPA, UK Bribery Act and impact on corporates.’
‘A great cocktail of excellence mixed with pragmatism; a risk-based approach; always available.’
‘Karolos Seeger is a superb lawyer in all respects, instilling confidence in everything he does. Understands the full spectrum of issues and pressures faced by in-house counsel and supports accordingly; a great team player; ability to deflate tense situations, particularly with interviewees. Great humour and fun to work with.’
‘Karolos Seeger is as good as it gets – very clever, multilingual, both big picture- and detail-focused.’
‘Jane Shvets stands out for her professionalism and availability; her quality of work is outstanding. A classy operator, exuding a sense of calm to her clients.’
‘Jane Shvets is an excellent solicitor and her broad knowledge across jurisdictions in the US, UK and Russia makes her stand out. Her multilingual skills were a key differentiator for her in providing the support and advice to our company on a sensitive investigation. Associate Alma Mozetic was also very efficient and responsive in supporting and advising on key aspects of the investigation.’
‘A firm which everyone would like to work with. At the same time, they get on great with everyone. We rate them very highly. In particular, Karolos Seeger is amazing.’
- Represented Rolls Royce plc in its global coordinated resolution with authorities in the US, the UK and Brazil.
- Advised Dr. Mahesh Sannapareddy in a successful judicial review of the lawfulness of an arrest and domestic search by the Bermuda Police Service, which was appealed to the Bermuda Court of Appeal.
Dechert LLP 's London team is able to draw on the firm’s global resources in legal centres such as New York, Washington DC, Hong Kong and Paris. The firm is a preferred destination for high-profile investigations involving the SFO, the FCA and the HMRC, but is also well-equipped to handle matters involving multiple national authorities across Europe and overseas. Matthew Cowie has extensive experience of SFO investigations, including a former position as a lead SFO prosecutor in multiple bribery and corruption matters. In addition to its strength in government investigations and enforcement work, the team is also highly experienced in regulatory issues and compliance, as well as in conducting internal investigations involving allegations of money laundering, fraud, tax fraud and corruption. Former DOJ prosecutor and US-qualified practitioner Roger Burlingame and Caroline Black jointly lead the department. Neil Gerrard retired at the end of 2020. Matthew Banham and recently promoted partner John Bedford are also key figures in the team.
Roger Burlingame; Caroline Black
Other key lawyers:
Matthew Cowie; Matthew Banham; Dorothy Cory-Wright; Tim Bowden; Matthew Mazur; John Bedford
‘The team has deep expertise in white-collar crime investigations, including a number of highly experienced personnel who have worked for regulatory bodies, such as the SFO, as well as experience in industry. The partners on the team ensure they’re fully immersed on all projects and have a very keen eye for detail.’
‘I have always been impressed with their SME experience from working on major corruption cases. The firm recruits and retains quality people from law enforcement and other relevant backgrounds. Dechert’s lawyers are able to level with clients on the issues they face. They provide practical options and look for pragmatic outcomes as they work tirelessly on the side of their client. I have been impressed by the way Dechert’s lawyers look to engage professionals from other/relevant disciplines and their knowledgeable of digital technology in investigations.’
‘Dechert’s London team is top-class for regulatory investigations and corporate crime, with unique experience of SFO investigations and international investigations involving multiple authorities. They provide both legal and strategic advice, understand and strive to mitigate consequences of investigations on company activities. Definitely a top choice for any company facing investigation or criminal risk.’
‘Matthew Cowie has a track record in corruption cases. He brings practical expertise, intellectual rigour and a longstanding knowledge of the main regulators to achieve the best result. Matt is user friendly, balanced, but won’t shy away from being forthright when needed.’
‘Matthew Banham constantly displayed ingenuity and creativity when designing investigation strategies. He also had an uncanny eye for detail whilst not losing sight of the big picture and overall investigation strategy.’
‘Caroline Black is a star defence litigator who will, I am confident, be an even more dominant figure in the area in the future. She is mentally sharp, tactically astute, totally attuned to the client’s needs and fights her corner with great tenacity. At the same time, she manages to be an approachable and understanding team player whose role in guiding the team forwards is critical.’
‘Timothy Bowden brings calm professionalism and intellectual rigour to his cases; he is incredibly industrious, with a deep sense of client care that ensures he is responsive to the needs of the client whenever they arise. Clare Barnard is one to watch: clever, attuned to the client, hardworking and able to conduct excellent factual and legal analysis for the client. Two further associates really stand out and are already stars, but their influence will only grow. Richard Hodge is as sharp as they come, professional and hardworking, with a mastery of his cases. Thomas Stroud has a real flair for criminal litigation; he was extremely hardworking.’
‘Caroline Black is just impressive; Tim Bowden is a subtle, pragmatic and very convincing criminal lawyer.’
Financial Conduct Authority
Knight Assets & Co.
- Representing Airbus SE in a global investigation into allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption, and subsequent coordinated settlements with the UK Serious Fraud Office, French Parquet National Financier, US Department of Justice and US Department of State.
- Advising and assisting Dame Elizabeth Gloster in her capacity as the independent investigator appointed at the direction of Her Majesty’s Treasury in respect of the FCA’s regulation and supervision of London Capital & Finance plc.
- Represented a global investment management firm in connection with ongoing parliamentary and criminal investigations in the UK, US and Ireland further to allegations of bribery of government officials.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is adept at handling both criminal and regulatory investigations, often conducted by the SFO, the FCA or the HMRC in relation to allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption, money laundering and tax evasion. Advice relating to international sanctions regimes is also central to the firm’s work in this space. For cross-border mandates, the team can draw on the firm’s global investigations capabilities across 27 offices worldwide. Susannah Cogman (‘extremely clever and hardworking, with good judgement’) sits at the helm of the department and has deep expertise in anti-money laundering matters at domestic and EU level. ‘Superb lawyer’ Daniel Hudson is noted for his recent multi-jurisdictional work in the financial sector. Brian Spiro has more than three decades of business crime experience, for which he gains recognition as ‘one of the leading individuals in the field for criminal law’. Recently promoted partner Kate Meakin stands out for her practice involving issues arising at the junction of criminal, regulatory and civil law; she is also admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong. Of counsel Elizabeth Head is well-versed in advising multinational companies and financial institutions on sanctions compliance programmes.
Other key lawyers:
Daniel Hudson; Brian Spiro; Kate Meakin; Elizabeth Head; Kathryn Boyd; Ajay Malhotra
‘Excellent for corporate investigations and white-collar litigation. This is a superb firm with strength in depth. They can deal with any problem no matter how big, complex or difficult.’
‘We use HSF exclusively for the most sensitive and delicate matters involving complex financial crime, sanctions and whistleblowing investigations. Quite uniquely, their capability also extends to technical interpretation of nuanced customer due diligence rules – and how to put these into effect in practice.’
‘Susannah Cogman is exceptional, world-class and the best financial crime specialist in the UK. Elizabeth Head is also excellent.’
‘Dan Hudson is a superb lawyer; excellent forensic instinct; a huge asset to any team.’
‘Brian Spiro is one of the leading individuals in the field of criminal law. Extraordinary experience and wisdom. He is a superb lawyer and tactician. Any client would be lucky to have him as an adviser.’
‘Susannah Cogman is extremely clever and hardworking, with good judgement.’
‘Kate Meakin is a joy to work with. She is tactically astute and very clever.’
Watchstone Group Plc
Simmons & Simmons
Simmons & Simmons is valued by clients for its extensive experience of sanctions-related work; department co-head Stephen Gentle and of counsel Cherie Spinks are both notable specialists in this space. However this is just one strand within the firm's multi-disciplinary contentious regulatory, crime and competition offering, which was restructured in May 2020, and covers regulatory, criminal and civil law issues arising in parallel proceedings. Particular areas of focus include corruption, fraud, tax offences and mutual legal assistance, with clients also praising the team's expertise in the financial and extractive industries. The practice significantly enhanced its ability to handle SFO investigations with the hire of Camilla de Silva from the SFO, where she served as co-head of the authority’s fraud and corruption division. Department co-head Nick Benwell also has a strong reputation for SFO work, while managing associate Emily Agnoli is recommended for her e-discovery skills.
Stephen Gentle; Nick Benwell
Other key lawyers:
Camilla de Silva; Cherie Spinks; Emily Agnoli
‘They are a collegiate, well-led team with standout partners and excellent associates able to step in. They are particularly strong acting for companies in the financial and extractives sectors.’
‘Simmons has a great team in this space, we have worked on regulatory and sanctions issues with their offices all over the world in various different areas of practice. They are very sharp and highly coordinated and knowledgeable. Stephen Gentle, Cherie Spinks and others stand out for their capabilities in this space.’
‘Emily Agnoli is strong on the technology of investigations, managing document reviews, and getting to the nub of issues.’
‘Cherie Spinks has a very diverse practice, providing money laundering and sanctions advice as well as looking after corporates and individuals involved in criminal issues.’
Praised for its ‘360-degree service’, Slaughter and May’s recent track record includes acting on some of the longest-running, high-profile fraud and corruption investigations conducted by the SFO. In addition, the team is adept at handling internal investigations for multinational companies, prominent financial institutions, and government and public sector bodies. For more demanding assignments, clients also benefit from the firm’s dedicated legal tech team, which is particularly helpful for document reviews and e-disclosure; a legal project manager is also often involved in coordinating investigations. The group stands out for its cross-border work; with disputes and investigations practice head Richard Swallow singled out for being ‘extremely smart, tough-minded and strategic’ - skills he successfully utilises in multi-jurisdictional investigations conducted by the SFO, the DOJ and other authorities overseas. The practice has seen a number of significant changes over the last year. Former practice head Sarah Lee retired from the partnership at the end of 2020, with the firm hiring senior counsel Angela Taylor from Travers Smith LLP at the same time. The global investigations group is now jointly led by Jonathan Cotton (‘hugely experienced and wise’) and Ewan Brown (‘frighteningly bright’). Tim Blanchard was promoted to partner in May 2020, while Ella Williams has been a senior counsel since November 2020. Gayathri Kamalanathan joined the firm from a bank in April 2021, but is already garnering praise for her deep understanding of the financial services sector.
Jonathan Cotton; Ewan Brown
Other key lawyers:
Richard Swallow; Jonathan Clark; James Stacey; Holly Ware; Gayathri Kamalanathan; Tim Blanchard; Ella Williams; Nicholas Queree; Angela Taylor
‘The team at Slaughter and May is first-rate. Not only are its lawyers exceptionally bright, but they are practical and pragmatic and able to turn their hands to anything. What sets Slaughter and May from most other firms in this field is its ability to offer a 360-degree service, providing advice on every aspect of a problem which may face a corporate client.’
‘Ewan Brown is sharp, insightful and calm under pressure.’
‘Jonny Cotton is smart, responsive and a pleasure to work with.’
‘Richard Swallow is one of the most experienced litigators in this area. Johnny Cotton is an outstanding strategist. Euan Brown is an imaginative and careful thinker. They are surrounded by gifted individuals.’
‘Richard Swallow is a superb lawyer; extremely smart, tough-minded and strategic. He is a forceful advocate for his clients.’
‘Gayathri Kamalanathan is an exceptional investigations lawyer. Truly understands financial products and services and the complexities of modern financial institutions and leverages those to provide precise and proactive advice to her clients. Exceptional interpersonal skills enabling her to operate across diverse stakeholders.’
‘Ella Williams thinks deeply about the issues and provides practical, clear advice.’
‘I would like to single out: Jonny Cotton (hugely experienced and wise), Richard Swallow (incredibly strategic), Ewan Brown (frighteningly bright), Damian Taylor (a superstar), Holly Ware (a natural litigator) and James Stacey (able to pick things up incredibly quickly). They are all superb.’
British American Tobacco plc
Mr Malcolm Brinded
John Wood Group PLC
Former director of Patisserie Valerie
- Successfully defended British American Tobacco plc against the SFO’s long-running investigation of suspicions of corruption by the client, its subsidiaries and associated persons.
- Advising Rolls-Royce in investigations conducted by the SFO, the DOJ, and Brazilian authorities (MPF and CGU) into bribery in overseas markets.
- Successfully defended Malcolm Brinded CBE, former executive director and board member of Royal Dutch Shell, in relation to criminal investigations into allegations of bribery.
Allen & Overy LLP has built ‘a good track record over a number of years’ and stands out for its ability to handle both civil and criminal issues arising in domestic and cross-border investigations into money laundering, corruption and sanctions violations. The team is well-equipped to handle multi-jurisdictional mandates thanks to the firm’s growing presence in the US and Asia; at the beginning of 2021, it also expanded its offering with the hire of Susanna Charlwood from Shearman & Sterling LLP. Clients facing more significant investigations benefit from access to the firm’s dedicated team of in-house document and media reviewers in Belfast. The department is spearheaded by former criminal and public law barrister Arnondo Chakrabarti, cartel investigations expert Jonathan Hitchin, and Eve Giles , who is praised for her ‘strength in depth’.
Arnondo Chakrabarti; Eve Giles; Jonathan Hitchin
Other key lawyers:
Brandon O’Neil; Susanna Charlwood
‘Good track record over a number of years.’
‘Eve Giles is a standout partner. She has strength in depth, is enormously experienced, hardworking, thoughtful and a delight to work with.’
Baker McKenzie impresses with its ‘unmatched client-facing service’ and its ability to seamlessly handle multi-jurisdictional work across borders, often in conjunction with the firm’s global network. Clients rely on the group for internal investigations and regulatory advice regarding issues of fraud, bribery and corruption, sanctions violations, as well as allegations of criminal cartel and market abuse. Its experience includes dealing with agencies such as the SFO, the FCA, the CMA, the NCA and a number of US government agencies. The department often draws on the firm’s dedicated project management and e-discovery teams. Sunny Mann and Joanna Ludlam jointly lead the global compliance and investigations team; Charles Thomson heads up the UK business crime unit; Jonathan Peddie sits at the helm of the financial institutions group.
Joanna Ludlam; Charles Thomson; Jonathan Peddie; Sunny Mann
Other key lawyers:
Henry Garfield; Yindi Gesinde
‘Unmatched client-facing service. At the forefront of understanding the challenges in-house compliance leaders face and how to navigate complex issues. A trusted adviser for all seasons.’
‘A compelling combination of exceptional client focus, outstanding technical legal skills and high-calibre individuals with a genuine empathy for clients makes this team stand head and shoulders above others. They don’t jump to conclusions, but weigh up and test a range of scenarios to ensure they achieve the best possible outcome for clients. Their advice is consistently excellent: clear and pragmatic and rooted in real-life experience within financial companies and regulatory bodies.’
‘Their standout feature is the ability to give excellent strategic risk-based advice, grounded on sound legal principles. They are calm, measured and reflective and inspire great confidence in their corporate clients, especially GCs from the US and UK. They have a highly effective collaborative approach to finding the right case solution. They have an instinctive feel for how regulators work and know how to address the right points. They are comfortable with multi-disciplinary case teams. The team is very hardworking and highly dedicated.’
‘Bakers bring a diverse team, deploying subject matter expertise as required to meet the requirements of the case. They are excellent on matter admin and are innovative and efficient in giving updates. The use of project managers and case databases to assist with admin frees up partners to focus on strategic advice, improves efficiency, and is novel. Bakers are focused on diversity and inclusivity, and they have a collaborative approach.’
‘Jonathan Peddie has huge experience in the regulatory sector, coming in part from his previous senior legal role at a bank.’
‘Joanna Ludlam is client-centric, constantly striving to deliver high-quality advice and support to her clients. She is innovative and collaborative in her thinking which helps her to deliver differentiated value.’
‘Yindi Gesinde is a recently promoted partner who is incredibly hardworking.’
Rio Tinto Plc
- Defending the former managing director of GPT Special Project Management in accusations of bribery.
- Acted for Bluewater Shipping in respect of a multi-million pound push payment fraud perpetrated on it by unknown fraudsters posing as employees of the company.
- Advised a FTSE 100 client following its receipt of a whistleblowing allegation that it had deliberately misled the market as to the cost and progress of a significant project.
Clifford Chance LLP advises companies and financial institutions on domestic and cross-border investigations relating to a wide range of issues including allegations of bribery and corruption, money laundering and sanctions violations. The team’s recent SFO workload stands out, with financial crime head Luke Tolaini leading a team for Serco Group on a DPA. Carlos Conceicao uses his wealth of experience previously gained as head of the wholesale group at the Financial Services Authority (FSA); he sits at the helm of the regulatory investigations practice and is well-known for his market abuse expertise. Michael Lyons is also noted for his recent FCA and crisis management work. Consultant Roger Best also remains involved in the group’s work. Director Christopher David joined from WilmerHale in June 2021.
Luke Tolaini; Carlos Conceicao
Other key lawyers:
Michael Lyons; Roger Best; Dorian Drew; Oliver Pegden; Matthew Lee; Ellen Lake; Nicholas Grafton-Green; Christopher David
‘Good solid experience. They have genuine experience of the full depth of regulatory practice. They are just very good. Very client-focused, they get people in to join the team who will be of the most assistance to the client and add real client value.’
‘A hugely successful and market-leading practice with particularly good experience of the banking sector. They deliver outstanding strategic advice and leadership, an in-depth understanding of clients’ needs, are always extremely responsive and deliver excellent write-ups and other documents. On top, the team always brings a positive outlook and, on a personal level, is fun to be around.’
‘His years at the FSA make Carlos Conceicao an extremely good person to deal with a regulatory case. He understands the regulators and can bring years of experience to bear for the benefit of a client.’
‘Michael Lyons has a keen legal eye, and is an extremely good litigator. Michael is really clever and can take any point, but does not lose sight of the bigger picture. I’ve valued his pure intellect and ability to think outside the box.’
‘Luke Tolaini has really excellent client skills, he knows exactly how to handle any case for the best outcome for a client. Real leadership skills and an ability to turn his hand successfully to solve any problem arising for a client over the course of a long investigation.’
‘Dorian Drew is a great leader in the team. He has the most abundant experience working with regulators and handling different regulatory reporting issues. He is an excellent lead who can always find out the right candidate to help the work piece and his colleagues respect him. We always consult him on complicated issues and he frequently gives us a very special perspective. We appreciate that.’
‘Oliver Pegden is candid, very hardworking, very organised and always prepared. He is calm and has a good logic, which bringa in a lot of additional value to a project.’
‘Luke Tolaini is highly experienced, reassuring, discreet and amiable. He is most often found in cases where corporate liability is at stake. He specialises in criminal / regulatory investigations and prosecutions brought by the SFO, the FCA and the HMRC, often under the scrutiny of the financial media. He shows sound judgement and his advice is clearly respected by his senior clients.’
An international commodities trading company
Serco Group Plc
An oil and gas operator
UK branch of a Middle Eastern bank
Major international tech company active in the blockchain sector
Global investment bank
- Acted for Serco Group and secured only the fifth deferred prosecution agreement in the UK in relation to fraud by a Serco subsidiary in falsely representing the profitability of a contract for electronic monitoring to the UK’s Ministry of Justice.
- Advising Credit Suisse on parallel criminal and civil tax and financial regulatory investigations by a number of government authorities and regulators including in the UK, Australia and continental Europe.
- Advising a UK financial institution on a criminal and civil investigation by the FCA of failures in the client’s systems and controls under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.
The risk and investigations group at CMS is ‘highly effective whilst being very approachable and pragmatic’ and acts on a cross-practice basis on a full range of issues involving regulatory and criminal risks. The team is well versed in advising clients in relation to external investigations conducted by financial services and other UK regulators. Internal investigations and complex compliance advice are also areas of expertise for the team, especially in the firm’s core sectors of focus such as technology and e-commerce, financial services, energy and life sciences. The corporate crime department is led by Omar Qureshi, ‘a tireless worker, who is outstanding in complex investigations’. The white-collar practice is headed up by ‘exceptional fraud litigator’ Eoin O’Shea, who was a notable new arrival from Reed Smith LLP in August 2020. Senior associate Amy Wilkinson is a rising star in the team.
Omar Qureshi; Eoin O’Shea
Other key lawyers:
Amy Wilkinson; Alison McHaffie; Elisabeth Bremner; Steven Cochrane; Brian Sher
CMS are highly effective whilst being very approachable and pragmatic. It’s really about their people.’
‘I have worked with Eoin O’Shea and his team on a large international fraud since he moved to CMS. He is an exceptional fraud litigator, with a huge depth of experience. He leads a talented and professional team.’
‘A bright, thorough and extremely helpful team. We rate them very highly.’
‘Always happy to jump on to a call and discuss an issue and give their market insight. Adept at the inside workings at the FCA and how to handle the firm/FCA relationship.’
‘Omar Qureshi is a remarkable attorney. His exceptional advice is always thoughtful, practical, balanced, and on point. He sees things from all sides, threads complex needles, and helps guides his clients to their optimal positioning. He is also a tireless worker, who is outstanding in complex investigations – able to juggle the innumerable tasks, get to the bottom of the facts, and then advise on next steps.’
‘Alison McHaffie is very insightful as to the FCA’s thinking and direction, and in turn developing strategies to deal with FCA queries and discussions.’
‘Eoin O’Shea has a rich depth of experience, exceptional strategic judgement and is fantastic at leading a team in complex matters.’
‘Omar Qureshi is an excellent lawyer. Experienced, thorough, pragmatic and helpful.’
- Advising the CEO of Solo Capital in relation to a $2bn fraud claim brought by the Danish government, as well as in criminal investigations.
- Advising Alliance Pharmaceuticals on a complex set of allegations of alleged market sharing.
- Advising numerous connected e-commerce companies in respect of applications to set aside account freezing orders.
Greenberg Traurig, LLP prides itself on its reputation in multi-jurisdictional investigations. The white collar crime and investigations group is now led by Jo Rickards, who joined from Mishcon de Reya LLP in late 2021. The department had previously bolstered its ability to handle issues arising at the junction of commercial litigation and regulatory investigations with the May 2020 hire of Mohammed Khamisa QC, also from Mishcon de Reya LLP.
Other key lawyers:
Mohammed Khamisa QC; Katharine Bond
‘GT in the UK has a fabulous working knowledge of the Serious Fraud Office. They have great insight into how the SFO thinks and how they will handle a matter.’
‘Very clear and accessible communication style.’
‘The corporate crime team has a unique blend of talent garnered from combining the key members’ relevant experience as prosecutors with prerequisites of robust defence litigators. It provides the team with the opportunity to understand why, and, in some instances when, certain investigative lines of enquiry are being undertaken, decisions are being made or actions taken. Combine these skills with an ability to work as a team and the result is a formidable unit.’
‘Jo Rickards is a stellar leader who knows her stuff.’
‘Jo Rickards rightly enjoys a reputation as a leading solicitor in this field – and has done so for many years.’
‘Jo Rickards is intelligent, articulate and knows how to work pragmatically with clients.’
KBR, Inc. / KBR, Inc.’s UK subsidiaries
- Represented KBR Inc.’s UK subsidiaries in connection with the SFO’s Unaoil investigation.
Hogan Lovells International LLP ‘boasts incredible bench strength’. Its team includes a number of lawyers with past experience within the UK’s key regulators – in particular, Claire Lipworth is a former Chief Criminal Counsel at the FCA. The group is excellent at assisting companies and boards in managing regulatory risks and exposures across multiple jurisdictions; it has particularly deep sector-specific expertise in the life sciences and financial services industries. In addition to department head Crispin Rapinet’s own extensive bribery-related experience, the team’s cross-border firepower is further enhanced by the firm’s global footprint, particularly when it comes to matters in CIS and Middle Eastern countries. Recently promoted partner Liam Naidoo focuses on compliance issues involving corruption allegations.
Other key lawyers:
Claire Lipworth; Liam Naidoo; Michael Roberts; Maggie Christiansen; Reuben Vandercruyssen
‘Hogan Lovells boasts incredible bench strength and a result-oriented team. They have deep expertise in understanding the global impact of business crimes risks for companies and ensure that they weave strategies to address the same. The team is particularly good for cross-border internal investigations.’
‘Always at the cutting edge of difficult litigation, often with clients from CIS countries.’
‘Excellent responsiveness, politeness, knowledge and pragmatism.’
‘Claire Lipworth is enormously experienced, with a really rounded ability to advise, having been both a prosecutor and defence lawyer. She is excellent at leading a team and working with other lawyers and has an enviable ability to explain difficult concepts clearly to clients.’
‘Claire Lipworth is straightforward and great at delivering difficult advice.’
‘Liam Naidoo is very enthusiastic. Stands out as a highly skilled practitioner, with phenomenal advocacy skills and a solid understanding of global business crimes.’
‘Crispin Rapinet is experienced and provides a safe pair of hands.’
‘Crispin Rapinet totally inspired confidence in me from my very first discussion with him on a completely complex international situation. His advice was instrumental at our board-level recommendations.’
Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation
FM Capital Partners
- Advising ENRC in relation to the investigation by the SFO and a number of related court proceedings arising out of that investigation, including its $93m claim against the SFO itself.
- Advising FM Capital Partners, an FCA-regulated asset management company in relation to an investigation and asset recovery into a large-scale fraud by its former CEO, Frédéric Marino.
- Advised AmerisourceBergen Corporation, a wholesale prescription drug company, on extensive anti-bribery and corruption due diligence relating to its $6.47bn acquisition of the pharmaceutical wholesale business of Walgreens Boots Alliance in several countries.
Linklaters LLP advises on a range of financial crime matters, including alleged offences such as fraud, bribery and corruption, and money laundering. The firm is a popular choice with global companies, banks and financial institutions seeking assistance with FCA investigations, as well as with internal investigations. The team is adept at liaising with other UK authorities such as the SFO, but also has good cross-border strength. Dispute resolution head Satindar Dogra stands out for his recent work in the international sanctions space, which remains another key priority for the firm. Alison Saunders is widely recognised by the market for her distinguished prosecutorial expertise, as former head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Counsel Elly Proudlock is singled out as ‘an energetic and dedicated lawyer’; clients also recommend former FSA senior lawyer Martyn Hopper and Ben Packer, both lauded as ‘class acts with great expertise’.
Other key lawyers:
Clare McMullen; Michael Bennett; Alison Saunders; Martyn Hopper; Ben Packer; Elly Proudlock
‘Knowledgeable, calm, inspire trust.’
‘Incomparable experience; great teamwork; excellent lawyers.’
‘The addition of Alison Saunders has provided depth of prosecutorial experience to an already effective team.’
‘Clare McMullen is a calming presence during difficult times, with excellent a grasp of the detail.’
‘Martyn Hopper and Ben Packer are class acts with great expertise; really easy to work with.’
‘Alison Saunders is a wise and reassuring presence.’
‘Elly Proudlock is an energetic and dedicated lawyer who is one you will want to have in your corner.’
Praised for its ‘very pragmatic, result-oriented approach’, Macfarlanes LLP benefits from the firm’s wider reputation in the corporate arena, especially in attracting anti-bribery and anti-money laundering compliance instructions. The team is also well-equipped to handle bribery and corruption investigations conducted by enforcement authorities such as the SFO, the FCA and the NCA. For matters requiring more complex strategic assistance, the team can rely on the firm’s case management unit. Department head Neill Blundell is ‘a charming and slick operator who corporates want on their side in times of a crisis’. Recently promoted partner Lorna Emson has extensive experience acting in the financial services and oil and gas sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Lorna Emson; Barry Donnelly; James Popperwell; Max Hobbs; Francis Bond
‘I have found the team at Macfarlanes in this sector (Neill Blundell and Lorna Emson in particular) stand out for combining real knowledge and understanding of the relevant legal principles with a sure grasp of practical realities and how to achieve the best for their client by applying those principles. They have a very pragmatic, result-oriented approach which clients clearly value.’
‘It’s the link to Macfarlanes’ civil practice that really sets this team apart — they are able to access criminal and regulatory crossover work for corporates who are clients of the wider firm. Also, their knowledge is broad-based and they are very used to dealing with the demands and anxieties of demanding corporates. Private prosecution work is also important and distinctive.’
‘I found the team to be well organised, responsive and knowledgeable. They move easily between criminal, civil and regulatory matters and provide a level of service that is unbeatable.’
‘Neill Blundell brings his decades of experience to bear on a pretty diverse mix of cases and seems to lead a happy ship. He is very good with the clientsand takes a pragmatic and long view of the case.’
‘Lorna Emson has a background in civil litigation which makes her a good fit for the team’s work. She always cuts to the heart of the issue and is approachable and friendly.’
‘Francis Bond is an associate with a keen eye for detail and an excellent grasp of sanctions law.’
‘Neil Blundell is undoubtedly one of the doyens of the regulatory investigations and corporate crime space. He has significant experience of acting for corporates facing criminal investigations and prosecutions. He has been involved in some of the highest-profile bribery investigations. He is a true expert in this area and is incredibly well-regarded by both clients and peers alike. A charming and slick operator who corporates want on their side in times of a crisis.’
- Acting for The British Bankers’ Association in large-scale litigation in London and New York in relation to allegations that the BBA and its member banks conspired to manipulate the BBA Libor interest rate benchmark during the financial crisis.
Norton Rose Fulbright’s London offering works in tandem with US colleagues. The department places an emphasis on running internal investigations and handling self-reporting matters relating to allegations of fraudulent activity, bribery and corruption. It has additional sanctions expertise, as evidenced in the recent workloads of David Harris and recently promoted partner Katie McDougall. The team forms part of the wider dispute resolution and litigation department led by Michael Godden. Neil O’May leads the criminal law practice and is highly experienced in issues relating to deferred prosecution agreements. Pamela Reddy stands out for her recent SFO and NCA work. Senior consultant Lista Cannon serves as global co-head of the regulation and investigations group.
Neil O’May; Michael Godden
Other key lawyers:
David Harris; Ruth Cowley; Pamela Reddy; Katie Stephen; Lista Cannon; Andrew Reeves; Katie McDougall; Thomas Hubbard; Claudia Culley
‘ Pamela Reddy is very good and strategically sound in her approach. She is particularly strong dealing with clients in the financial sector.’
‘The team are approachable and talk in a straightforward way I can understand. When they explain complex issues, they have a way of expressing the issues which I can analyse and understand quickly. We have needed to work very closely with the NRF team. They understood our complex corporate history, and they have been very innovative in helping us navigate a complex and changing environment.’
‘Always helpful, accommodating and provide excellent timely advice, which is clear and easy to follow.’
‘The straight-talking, supportive dialogue has been invaluable to us. We have been able to make rapid decisions as we have been able to get clear guidance, quickly. The ability of the NRF team to work collaboratively (with us and across their own disciplines) has been excellent, and really made a difference to us. We feel we own our decisions, but that we have made them with all the information we need. The whole team have been excellent!’
‘Always helpful, accommodating and provide excellent timely advice, which is clear and easy to follow. David Harris in particular is an extremely valued contact.’
Ropes & Gray LLP provides ‘thoughtful, nuanced, and comprehensive analysis’ during complex compliance and risk management projects and internal investigations, often arising from whistleblower reporting, with regard to fraud, bribery and corruption, and money laundering. The group is a good destination for multinational clients subject to government investigations in the UK and overseas; with particular strength in SFO and DOJ matters, partially due to the dual qualifications of some team members, as well as its global footprint. Amanda Raad splits her time between London and New York and is noted for her leadership in launching the Insights Lab, the industry’s first group combining expertise in analytics, behavioural science and legal consulting. Raad shares leadership of the department with Judith Seddon, who is highly experienced in representing large companies, as well as global banks. Dual-qualified counsel Paige Berges is a key contact for economic sanctions and anti-money laundering compliance.
Amanda Raad; Judith Seddon
Other key lawyers:
Paige Berges; Sean Seelinger; Sarah Lambert-Porter; Tina Yu; Tom Jackson; Andris Ivanovs; Zaneta Wykowska; Jessica Dunk; Michael Harris
‘Extremely commercial and extraordinarily responsive.’
‘They are always very responsive, even under demanding deadlines, and they have provided thoughtful, nuanced, and comprehensive analysis.’
‘Very good understanding of (and excellent analysis of) law and regulation, combined with pragmatic advice and experience of the approach of the regulators and market participants. This applies to multiple team members, but to Judith Seddon in particular.’
‘Truly collaborative and exceptional to work with.’
‘Amanda Raad, Patrick Welsh in Boston, and Kent Ford in New York have been stellar. They are also a real pleasure to work with.’
- Representing a leading global financial institution in relation to its role in processing payments that are the subject of the SFO’s investigation into ENRC concerning allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption.
- Assisting a global pharmaceutical manufacturer with multiple internal investigations concerning allegations of corruption in Europe, Russia, CIS, Asia, and the Americas.
- Assisting five global private equity companies with their global compliance and risk management needs.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP advises a mix of multinational companies and their boards, as well as financial institutions, in multi-jurisdictional investigations into allegations of money laundering, market abuse and corruption. Owing in part to the firm’s global footprint, the group also offers significant expertise in the economic sanctions compliance space; with department head Ryan Junck and Elizabeth Robertson both routinely taking the lead on mandates in this realm. Recently promoted partner Andrew Good is a key contact for internal investigations. Clients recommend the team for its junior level strength as well; associate Vanessa McGoldrick is singled out, while counsel Bora Rawcliffe is also a key team member. Keith Krakaur retired from the partnership in 2020.
Other key lawyers:
Elizabeth Robertson; Andrew Good; Bora Rawcliffe; Vanessa McGoldrick
‘Incredible client focus and attention to the client’s view of what success looks like, combined with practical, workable advice, make this practice unique.’
‘Great reputation in white-collar and internal investigations. Great partners plus the associate team is also very strong.’
‘Elizabeth Robertson is a powerhouse in this field. Focused, practical, imaginative and unflappable, she is exactly the kind of lawyer you want in your corner during a crisis.’
‘Elizabeth Robertson works hard to develop her team, and the next generation of lawyers in this field. One notable associate is Vanessa McGoldrick, who has proved herself to be a very capable second chair with exceptional instincts for getting to the bottom of complex issues. Vanessa is a lawyer to watch in this space.’
‘I have worked with Ryan Junk, Elizabeth Robertson and Andrew Good in the last twelve months. Ryan develops great client relationships and clients rarely go elsewhere once they have worked with him – authoritative, sensible and calm. Elizabeth is great to have in your corner when facing a difficult situation – gives great advice – great investigator. Andrew is measured, calm and articulate – very collaborative but states his views clearly.’
A global energy company
A global financial institution headquartered in Northern Europe
A global Asian financial institution
A European technology company
A sports organisation
A global insurance company headquartered in the US
An international family-owned business
A leading multinational investment management corporation
Crédit Agricole CIB / Crédit Agricole SA
A global leading engineering company
A global risk and security specialist
- Representing Finablr Plc, a platform for payments and foreign exchanges, as lead counsel in connection with an investigation into potential misconduct and the alleged misappropriation of assets from Finablr and its group companies.
- Assisted LetterOne and Mr. Mikhail Fridman with a review and investigation, in consultation with local Spanish counsel.
- Conducting an investigation for a global energy company into allegations made by a purported whistleblower, a former employee of the client’s subsidiary.
Stephenson Harwood’s varied client roster consists of multinational companies, financial organisations, sovereign wealth funds and non-governmental organisations, for which the firm handles a full scope of financial crime matters. Led by the highly regarded former prosecutor Tony Woodcock, the practice is known for its work on cross-border bribery and money laundering investigations conducted by UK and US authorities. Sean Jeffrey is noted for his ability to handle a wide range of issues, ranging from anti-competitive behaviour and market abuse, to sanctions violations. Highly recommended for his work on internal investigations, Justin McClelland ‘perfectly strikes the very difficult balance between cooperation and robust advocacy’.
Other key lawyers:
Justin McClelland; Sean Jeffrey; Alan Ward
‘Top notch City firm. Excellent lawyer cover across the board.’
‘The services we received from the firm were exceptional in terms of effectiveness and efficiency.’
‘Justin McClelland truly stands out in the field. He thinks strategically as well as practically, works highly efficiently, sees around every corner, and perfectly strikes the very difficult balance between cooperation and robust advocacy. While ensuring the client is strongly defended, he also builds credibility with the regulator. Every strategic recommendation Justin made proved to be the right one. I honestly cannot imagine being better represented than we were with Justin. I would recommend him without equivocation and he would be my first call on a corporate investigation in the future. I simply cannot say enough about Justin’s services.’
‘Sean Jeffrey is a highly knowledgeable all-rounder; first-rate solicitor; great with clients; gives sound practical advice.’
Gibraltar Financial Services Commission
Bank Saderat plc
Melli Bank plc
Persia International Bank plc
National Iranian Tanker Company
Bank Sepah International plc
- Advising Gibraltar Financial Services Commission with respect to undertaking a statutory investigation into the collapse of Enterprise Insurance Company plc and the conduct of its directors and auditors.
- Acted for Bank Saderat plc and its parent, Bank Saderat Iran, one of Iran’s largest commercial banks, both of which were wrongfully subjected to EU sanctions in relation to Iran asset freezing measures.
The ‘outstanding team’ at Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP has a wealth of experience in investigations involving allegations of bribery and corruption, money laundering and sanctions-related breaches, among others. The practice is adept at assisting large public companies with regulatory reporting issues and carrying out extensive internal investigations; it offers significant depth in the financial services and energy sectors. It often manages clients’ dealings with UK authorities such as the SFO and the FCA, but also relies on the firm’s US-based capabilities for cross-border mandates. Rita Mitchell is a go-to adviser in this space due to her dual qualifications in the US and the UK. Department head and London office managing partner Peter Burrell garners praise for being ‘a remarkable litigator’, particularly in the area of financial fraud and reporting. Simon Osborn-King and associate Michael Thorne are also key team members.
Other key lawyers:
Rita Mitchell; Simon Osborn-King; Michael Thorne
‘Hands-on support to help us deliver.’
‘They are an outstanding team. US-headquartered, they have built a very serious London team in this area in a short space of time by very astute lateral hire and rapid promotion. They have the capacity and skillsets to go toe-to-toe with the best and they never fail to impress.’
‘Peter Burrell is a very experienced adviser.’
‘Mike Thorne is very knowledgeable and practical.’
‘Peter Burrell is a remarkable litigator and leads his team from the front. He has a prodigious appetite for work, displays first-class judgement and draws heavily from the very talented team behind him. Mike Thorne, Andrew Turnbull and Cristina Caggiano [litigation] are all standout solicitors.’
GE Alstom Power Limited
Citgo Petroleum Corporation
- Successfully represented Essentra’s subsidiary in Dubai, Essentra FZE, in its deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ for conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act in connection with evading sanctions imposed on North Korea.
- Defending Citgo Petroleum Corp. in response to a DOJ investigation under various federal criminal statutes.
- Acting for the claimants, an individual and three Hong Kong-incorporated companies, in ongoing criminal fraud proceedings in Thailand, as well as in associated civil proceedings in the English Commercial Court and other proceedings in Hong Kong, Belize, and the BVI.
Addleshaw Goddard advises on a wide range of criminal and regulatory offences; it places an emphasis on assisting smaller as well as global listed companies with matters including allegations of money laundering, bribery and fraud. Practice head Nichola Peters regularly leads cross-departmental teams on complex SFO and HMRC investigations, though the group is equally well-versed in internal investigations resulting from whistleblower reports, most recently in sectors such as media and manufacturing. Clients seek controls and compliance advice from Michelle de Kluyver, who is ‘a brilliant and poised tactician’. The practice bolstered its existing ability to handle both civil and criminal matters with the hire of Polly Sprenger from Katten in May 2020; Sprenger is noted for her niche expertise in the private investigations space, among other areas.
Other key lawyers:
Michelle de Kluyver; Polly Sprenger
‘Strong group of female partners who are technically excellent, experienced, pragmatic and well-grounded.’
‘Very impressive ability to review very document-heavy and complex work streams and produce insightful analysis that can then be used to inform litigation tactics. They are also very adept as a team in identifying potential risk factors in the litigation early and then preemptively adapting their approach accordingly, as opposed to just reacting after the event.’
‘Nichola Peters handles challenging matters with great skill and integrity.’
‘Michelle de Kluyver is a brilliant and poised tactician.’
‘I have been working with Polly Sprenger and her team. Key strengths are the criminal/civil crossover to help clients pursue the right strategy, and resourcing – they have a big team from which they can pull the right people when necessary.’
‘Polly Sprenger’s leadership of engagements and her focus on her clients’ requirements is exceptional. Her approach to solving complex problems is always innovative and she adopts an investigative mindset to great effect.’
‘Nichola Peters is extremely impressive, straight-talking and down to earth, with a broad range of experience but particularly strong advising corporates and boards on corporate crime risk.’
‘Michelle de Kluvyer is very measured and thoughtful, getting a robust strategy in place and guiding a corporate and its executives to resolution.’
Richard Howson, former CEO of Carillion Plc
Guralp Systems Ltd
Manchester Arena Inquiry
Israeli media company
Global chemical and ingredients distributor
Global manufacturing company
Investigation and corporate intelligence agencies
Portuguese clothing manufacturer
- Advised Richard Howson on disqualification proceedings instigated by the Secretary of State against eight directors and former directors of Carillion.
- Advised Güralp Systems Limited regarding an SFO and US DoJ investigation into payments made to a South Korean public official researcher.
- Acting for the Hassenfeld family behind the US company Hasbro Toys in relation to a private prosecution of a multi-million dollar fraud.
Arnold & Porter regularly assists clients with matters involving the SFO, as well as advising in relation to bribery and corruption allegations overseas, including in the US and across Europe. Key names to note include the ‘phenomenally bright lawyer’ Sean Curran . The ‘highly respected, approachable and technically gifted’ Kathleen Harris manages the London office and serves as co-chair of the firm’s anti-corruption practice.
Other key lawyers:
‘A significant international firm with a sound standing in white collar and corporate crime expertise.’
‘I would single out Sean Curran – a phenomenally bright lawyer, who is commercially astute and a smooth operator. A great choice for cross border international investigations where he excels. Absolutely top notch without hesitation.’
‘Kathleen Harris is a leading practitioner in this field. She is highly respected, approachable and technically gifted.’
- Providing strategic advice to News UK in relation to the civil claims arising from the former News of the World phone hacking scandal.
- Advising a global luxury jeweller in relation to anti-money laundering, anti-bribery and corruption, and sanctions policies to ensure compliance with UK and EU law and regulations.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is equally well-versed in conducting internal investigations for large companies and institutions in the financial services industry, to handling investigations by the SFO and the FCA. The team’s core areas of specialism include fraud, bribery and corruption, sanctions violations and money laundering. The practice strengthened its offering in all of these areas with the appointment of Sarah Klein from Kirkland & Ellis International LLP in January 2021. Klein now heads up the department alongside Mukul Chawla QC (‘an outstanding, highly experienced and well-respected barrister’). Clients also single out Polly James, who acts as co-lead of the firm’s global financial services disputes group.
Mukul Chawla QC; Sarah Klein
Other key lawyers:
Polly James; Naomi Miles
‘With Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, I felt comfort straight away that working with this professional firm was going to be a more satisfactory way of doing things and that I was not just a number. From day one, I felt that I was not alone anymore and very confident that I was in good hands. The team were all very friendly and more than happy to assist me in any questions and dilemmas I had. They all went above and beyond for me and helped with anything I needed assistance with.’
‘Phenomenal firm with phenomenal people.’
‘Mukul Chawla QC is an outstanding, highly experienced and well-respected barrister.’
‘Strong collaboration and easy to work with.’
‘A rare combination of regulatory and criminal expertise.’
‘I mainly dealt with Polly James and associate Anthony Williams. They were phenomenal and both did a great job for me, always professional and caring. Always ready to go the extra mile and think outside the box.’
‘Polly James is a standout partner; hugely experienced in financial services. Calm in a crisis. Adds value to every case. A joy to work with.’
Less than two years after it launched in London, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP's white-collar defence and investigations practice garners praise for its ‘significant breadth of expertise’. The team focuses on regulator and internal investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption, fraud and money laundering; in particular, it regularly advises multinational corporations on their interactions with authorities such as the SFO, the FCA and the HMRC, in addition to authorities overseas including the DOJ. Spearheaded by the highly regarded duo Mark Beardsworth and Kevin Roberts, the practice also stands out for its strength advising clients on sensitive issues arising in relation to more challenging jurisdictions; its cross-border offering is enhanced through collaborating with its US presence.
Mark Beardsworth; Kevin Roberts
Other key lawyers:
Duncan Grieve; Shruti Chandhok; Charlotte Glaser
‘Strength in depth of knowledge and experience.’
‘Significant breadth of expertise in this practice area.’
‘Kevin Roberts is an outstanding tactician with superb judgement; he combines this with excellent client skills and, equally importantly, a great sense of humour.’
‘Mark Beardsworth is a standout in this area. His skill is in preparation and then making things go away!’
Mark Beardsworth is at the top of his game in his chosen area of specialism.
Clyde & Co LLP has expertise in large-scale internal investigations spanning multiple jurisdictions, as well as advising on high profile investigations by regulators and agencies. Jointly led by John Whittaker and Fergal Cathie, the team has been involved in a high-profile SFO investigation in recent months, and is also acting in investigations by the FCA and various foreign regulators, including the DOJ in the US. Insurance, natural resources, industrials and commodities are among the group’s sector strengths. The team welcomed a number of lateral hires, including Rachel Cropper-Mawer, who re-joined from DAC Beachcroft LLP in October 2020. Charles Kuhn is also a key team member.
John Whittaker; Fergal Cathie
Other key lawyers:
Charles Kuhn; Rachel Cropper-Mawer; Chris Hill
‘Clyde & Co’s geographical reach is impressive and the calibre of its legal professionals and advice are top rate. We find them to be responsive and very easy to deal with. The firm also appreciates the importance of diversity.’
‘Well-structured and led team.’
‘I have worked with Rachel Cropper-Mawer for many years. She has worked in senior internal regulatory/integrity roles within global corporates and has a long track record in practice. Rachel brings this insight and a balanced perspective to client situations to great effect. Her advice is clear and clients respect her for that. She masters detail and is knowledgeable about legislation and regulation relating to financial crime.’
‘Rachel Cropper Mawer is a top-notch partner. Highly dependable and effective.’
- Advising Dechert LLP in a breach of duty claim regarding allegations of leaking sensitive documents to the press and the SFO, brought by Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation.
- Advising Stichting Vestia in a dispute against an investment bank in respect of financial products, involving allegations of bribery and also issues of capacity under Dutch law.
Covington & Burling LLP
Covington & Burling LLP offers transatlantic expertise across regulatory, civil and criminal matters. It leverages its strength in the US to advise on matters relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, bribery and misconduct, and potential violations of economic sanctions regimes. Conducting internal investigations for large multinational companies is also a strength for the team; notable highlights in this space include handling complex fraud and bribery allegations with a link to Asian and African jurisdictions. Ian Hargreaves and David Lorello share leadership of the department, which is praised for its ‘fantastic feel for the best approach with regulators’.
Ian Hargreaves; David Lorello
Other key lawyers:
Mark Finucane; Sarah Bishop; Ian Redfearn
‘Deep market knowledge and experience, fantastic feel for the best approach with regulators.’
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
The London white-collar defence and investigations team at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher forms an integral part of the firm’s global team; it regularly collaborates with specialists in Washington DC and New York. In addition to its experience in government investigations involving the UK and US authorities, the group is also well-versed in conducting internal investigations for multinational companies and their subsidiaries. Particular areas of focus include fraud, bribery and corruption, insider dealing and money laundering. Philip Rocher heads up the practice, where former SFO prosecutor Sacha Harber-Kelly and Patrick Doris are key figures. In November 2020, the practice expanded its FCA offering with the hire of Matthew Nunan, a qualified barrister whose experience spans senior positions at the SFO, in the FCA’s wholesale enforcement group, and at a multinational investment bank.
Other key lawyers:
Sacha Harber-Kelly; Patrick Doris; Allan Neil; Steve Melrose; Matthew Nunan
‘A well-resourced and experienced team.’
‘Clear, pragmatic advice with a deep understanding of business.’
‘Sacha Harber-Kelly is a massive asset to the team. His background coming from the SFO gives him huge insight into fraud investigations, which is invaluable for a client.’
‘Hands-on experience of the highest-profile regulatory investigations.’
‘Very strong US practice, which is important for any aspiring London-based investigations and corporate crime team, and which no doubt helps to generate a lot of work for London.’
‘Patrick Doris is a pleasure to work with and very strong in terms of regulatory investigations and strategy.’
‘Sacha Harber-Kelly impressed the market whilst he was at the SFO. He seamlessly slipped into being a partner at Gibson Dunn. High intellect with an eye for what is relevant and perhaps more importantly, an eye for what might be coming. Client-friendly without being sycophantic.’
‘Sacha Harber Kelly is an excellent lawyer with a deep understanding of criminal law and procedure. He is calm in a crisis, authoritative and credible. He is also very good with clients.’
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation
Ernst and Young UK LLP
Jenner & Block LLP
Jenner & Block LLP’s lawyers are ‘all able to get to the nub of the issue swiftly’ – a skill particularly useful for the team’s work on sensitive reputational and strategic risks associated with allegations of bribery and corruption, sanctions violations, money laundering and terrorist financing, among others. In addition to its advisory work, government investigations are central to the firm’s work, and it is often engaged by global companies in sectors such as financial services, energy, retail and technology. Christine Braamskamp ‘delivers an outstanding service’ and leads the practice, where Paul Feldberg and Robert Dalling are also standout practitioners.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Feldberg; Robert Dalling; Amanda Azarian; Matthew Worby; Karam Jardaneh
‘Jenner & Block’s team are exceptionally smart, they are all able to get to the nub of the issue swiftly, thus providing advice in a timely manner. In corporate situations, quite often, time is of the essence, so this is an essential quality. They are friendly and easy to work with.’
‘The firm is international, with an excellent reputation, particularly in the UK and the US.’
‘Christine Braamskamp is one of the leaders in this field. Resourceful and tactically very adept, she delivers an outstanding service.’
European Climate Foundation
Kirkland & Ellis International LLP’s ‘extremely collaborative’ group is noted for its work on cross-border government investigations into bribery and corruption: Marcus Thompson is recommended for Europe-facing mandates, while, in addition, the practice is very active in engaging with the authorities in the UK and the US. Satnam Tumani has past experience at the SFO and shares leadership of the department with Thompson. The firm is regularly used by multinational companies for internal investigations and compliance programmes advice. Associate Patrick Navein is a rising star in the practice. Sarah Klein departed to Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in January 2021.
Satnam Tumani; Marcus Thompson
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Butel; Patrick Navein
‘Kirkland’s team is extremely collaborative. I view them as an extension of me and my team as they always have our firm’s best interests in mind.’
‘Very successful practice containing a lot of experienced lawyers. They are trusted to work on the largest cases.’
‘Satnam Tumani is an excellent operator. Very strategic but also across the detail and client-centric.’
‘Andrew Butel is very easy to deal with, across the evidentiary detail, hardworking and smart.’
‘Marcus Thompson is a trusted adviser who I go to for all European financial crime matters. He always provides practical guidance, appreciates taking risk-based approaches, and gives thoughtful responses to questions. Marcus has helped us navigate some very tricky matters and I regularly recommend him to my colleagues as a fantastic resource in this space.’
‘Satnam Tumani is dominant in the sector. He is an outstanding leader who knows precisely what to do and when to do it. He is a genuinely intimidating presence for any opponent and achieves results like no one else as a result.’
‘Mike Casey has been exceptionally astute with his legal analysis and business acumen, yet also a thoroughly kind individual. It is this “human touch” which separates Mr. Casey from many.’
‘Patrick Navein will be a star of the future.’
Active in agency investigations, Latham & Watkins benefits from its team members’ multilingual skills and strong relationships with regulators across multiple jurisdictions, particularly in the UK and the US. Money laundering, bribery and corruption, and fraud are mainstays for the practice. The team is also equally well-positioned to conduct high-stakes internal investigations for companies in the sectors such as retail, energy, aerospace and pharmaceuticals. Stuart Alford QC shares leadership of the department with Nathan Seltzer, who splits time between London and Washington DC.
Nathan Seltzer; Stuart Alford QC
Other key lawyers:
‘Great investigations capability. World class. Innovative practical solutions.’
‘Stuart Alford QC is well known in the industry.’
‘Clare Nida is excellent.’
A national petroleum investment company of a Middle Eastern country
- Assisting a multinational pharmaceutical corporation in connection with significant global internal investigations involving complex corruption-related allegations as well as compliance culture assessment.
- Assisted a defence contractor with an internal investigation related to interactions with military officials and US government contracting.
Mishcon de Reya LLP houses ‘an incredibly slick and efficient outfit’, which is regularly instructed in cross-border internal bribery, corruption, fraud and money laundering investigations by companies active in the telecoms, IT and engineering sectors, among others. The department has additional experience dealing with authorities such as the SFO, the FCA and the DOJ. ‘Great tactician’ Johanna Walsh and managing associate Min Weaving are key figures in the team. Mohammed Khamisa QC departed to Greenberg Traurig, LLP in May 2020.
Other key lawyers:
Johanna Walsh; Min Weaving; Christopher Gribbin; Mellissa Curzon-Berners
‘A stellar team with a stellar reputation.’
‘An incredibly slick and efficient outfit – innovative, modern and forward-thinking. Formidable opponents, who somehow manage, despite their impressive reputation, to remain approachable and personable for their clients.’
‘Mishcon de Reya is going from strength to strength, with some notable wins under their belt. The firm is highly innovative in the legal tech space and the financial crime team is leveraging that to great effect.’
‘Johanna Walsh is an outstanding practitioner who brings drive and good judgement to her work.’
‘I would very highly recommend Johanna Walsh – she has a firm, robust, no-nonsense attitude and her attention to detail is phenomenal. She is bright, savvy and a great tactician – always thinking several steps ahead and running rings around her opponents! A force to be reckoned with!’
Villa Magna Foundation / Tropicana Assets Foundation / Manrick Private Foundation / Alderton Investments Limited
London Investment Management Firm
- Acted for Villa Magna Foundation, Tropicana Assets Foundation, Manrick Private Foundation and Alderton Investments Limited in the first successful challenge to unexplained wealth orders at the High Court.
- Instructed by a large London-based investment management firm in relation to an investigation by the US Department of Justice investigation into corruption in Nigeria by the Abacha regime.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP utilises its ‘great strategic vision’ to represent a mix of financial institutions and multinational companies across a wide range of issues arising in the banking and financial services sectors, including money laundering, fraud, economic sanctions violations and corruption. The team is noted for its successful track record in FCA investigations, for which practice chair Melanie Ryan is regularly retained. The group is also highly experienced in undertaking internal investigations, often leveraging the firm’s global network for cross-border instructions; deputy practice chair Chris Warren-Smith is noted for his standout multi-jurisdictional work in the retail sector.
Melanie Ryan; Chris Warren-Smith
‘This is a superb team with vast experience and the support of a large international firm. They have strength across all areas and can address any problem with great strategic vision.’
‘Chris Warren-Smith and Melanie Ryan are outstandingly able and bring to bear wonderful judgment in any case they touch. They are also wonderful to work with.’
- Retained by Unicef to conduct an independent review and report on serious allegations made against its UK board and its outgoing chair, Douglas Alexander.
Paul Hastings LLP
Paul Hastings LLP significantly ramped up its offering in early 2021, when the highly regarded trio Jonathan Pickworth, Joanna Dimmock and Rebecca Copcutt joined from White & Case LLP. The new hires bolstered the department’s ability to handle investigations into money laundering, fraud, bribery and corruption, among other matters. The team is also adept at conducting internal investigations and assisting large corporations with criminal and regulatory issues arising not only in the UK, but across Europe and in the US. In April 2021, Simon Airey left the firm to join McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP; as a result, the department is now led by ‘real visionary’ Pickworth.
Other key lawyers:
Joanna Dimmock; Rebecca Copcutt; Fred Kelly
‘Jonathan Pickworth is absolutely superb. A real visionary.’
‘Jo Dimmock is excellent.’
‘A very experienced global financial and regulatory crime investigation team. Specialisms include bribery and corruption, money laundering, tax fraud and corporate compliance. It focuses on the need to understand the client’s requirements and work with them in a collaborative manner to identify solutions. Key strength is flexibility and swift response to fast moving issues.’
‘Jonathan Pickworth has vast experience and is a master of any case he touches. So is Jo Dimmock. And they have the support of a superb team.’
Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP has an unsurpassed strength representing individuals, but is also highly experienced in acting for corporations in investigations involving allegations of fraud, corruption and money laundering. The team is gaining additional ground in compliance matters in the financial services sector; it also provides more comprehensive services through its regular collaboration with the civil fraud group. Senior partner Michael O’Kane sits at the helm of the practice, where Hannah Laming, Jasvinder Nakhwal and Anna Bradshaw are also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Hannah Laming; Jasvinder Nakhwal; Anna Bradshaw; Nick Vamos; Maria Cronin; Peter Fitzgerald; Andrew Wallis; Charlotte Tregunna; Rebecca Meads
‘Peters & Peters have a high level of expertise in international penal matters and have been able to get remarkable success for clients. They are fully committed to their cases.’
‘Peters & Peters have unparalleled legal knowledge in certain areas and significant experience of working on complex and high-profile matters. The firm has an acute awareness of the client’s needs and pressures and present alternatives as to work output which are realistic. They do not “over-lawyer” a matter and maintain a compact accessible team, bringing in experienced resource as and when required.’
‘Truly professional lawyers who actually listen first before giving advice. Their teams work collectively exceedingly well and are completely into the nuances as much as the detail. After presentation and discussion, they are prepared to alter the stance and not just doggedly stick to their original thoughts.’
‘I have been working with Michael O’Kane, Charlotte Tregunna, Hannah Laming, Anna Bradshaw and other lawyers at P&P: they are extremely talented and smart, they look into the details of the facts and fast to identify the right theory of the case.’
‘Clearly, it is the individuals that make the firm stand out. Michael O’Kane and Jasvinder Nakhwal have exceptional legal knowledge and a huge breadth of experience which is fully apparent in their advice. The advice that they both provide is always clear and balanced. They are both very professional, thoughtful and enjoyable to work with.’
‘Nick Vamos is an outstanding professional who knows the criminal law from the perspective of a prosecutor, a barrister and a solicitor; almost unique and totally valuable. Hugely knowledgeable.’
‘Hannah Laming knows the criminal law and the civil with experience as a barrister and a solicitor; hugely valuable. Outstandingly detailed and forensic.’
Post Office Limited
Hermitage Capital Management / Bill Browder
- Acting for Post Office Limited in relation to over 800 potential wrongful convictions arising out of the High Court’s judgment in December 2019.
- Acting for Hermitage Capital Management in a high-profile Interpol case involving Russia.
- Acting for MOL, a Hungarian national oil and gas company, in a dispute which involves a large number of complex issues, including international and EU law, domestic criminal liability under both Croatian and Hungarian law, international standards governing the conduct of criminal investigations and prosecutions, mutual legal assistance, extradition, the granting of safe passage, the issuance of Red Notices, and the enforceability of arbitral awards.
Ashurst leverages wider strengths in financial services, competition and tax controversy to handle potential criminal challenges and internal investigations for a varied mix of financial institutions, asset managers and multinational companies, particularly in the oil and gas sector. The practice group is headed up by Ruby Hamid, whose recent caseload has included advice on anti-money laundering, bribery and corruption, cyber incidents and sanctions. Also recommended are Tom Connor, who focuses on financial services-related disputes, and Tom Cummins, a name to note for matters in the energy and infrastructure space.
Other key lawyers:
Tom Connor; Tom Cummins
‘An up-and-coming team with great ambitions and lawyers who know what they are doing.’
‘Highly competent, fast responsiveness.’
‘Ruby Hamid, who co-leads the global investigations group, has real strength in depth and hands-on criminal law experience.’
‘I have worked with Ruby Hamid who is dynamic, technically strong and imaginative. Ruby brings huge energy, drive and enthusiasm to her matters, which makes it a pleasure to work with her.’
BCL Solicitors LLP is best-known for its representation of individuals in the white-collar crime space, but also handles criminal matters for professional and financial services companies, retailers and technology and media companies, among other corporate clients. Led by Ian Burton, the team advises on financial crime and tax fraud, supply-chain issues ranging from bribery to modern slavery, and counselling matters relating to data-driven businesses. Clients have also highlighted the expertise of Michael Drury and Shaul Brazil. Guy Bastable joined Burges Salmon LLP in March 2021.
Other key lawyers:
Michael Drury; Shaul Brazil; John Binns; Tom McNeill
‘Very competent team with great response time and high level of knowledge. Team is able to deal with complex matters in a very efficient way.’
‘BCL is known for its expertise in the white collar crime space. We work very well and very closely with them, depending on the case. They have some high class lawyers.’
‘Ian Burton is the “go to” man for resolution of investigations without proceedings. A slick operator.’
‘Good listeners, good understanding of AML, lots of criminal law experience.’
‘Shaul Brazil is an excellent lawyer with the ability to come right to the point and find the solution for the client quickly.’
‘Michael Drury is hard working, knowledgeable, with real practical experience. He is a pleasure to work with.’
‘BCL has a strong focus on a practical and solution based approach to their cases. The creation of a team, which involves counsel, at an early stage allows for a strategic approach to be agreed and then implemented.’
‘Very experienced team with a good mix of partners and associate. They are very well known for their general criminal practice which makes them very well suited to regulatory investigations.’
Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Limited
- Assisting Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Limited with establishing a good working relationship with the UK Home Office – under a controlled drug licence to import and supply cannabis for research institutes in the UK, including the University of Oxford.
- Advising a London-based music venue in relation to responding to a Coroner’s Prevention of Future Deaths Report and a local authority health and safety investigation, following the death of a performer.
The team at Boies Schiller Flexner (UK) LLP advises financial advisers, investment managers and other financial services companies on a range of civil and criminal fraud matters, internal investigations and various other financial regulatory violations. Matthew Getz has attracted particular praise from clients; he jointly leads the practice with Tracey Dovaston, who joined in January 2020 from Barclays. The team is also noted for its close working relationship with lawyers in the firm’s US offices.
Matthew Getz; Tracey Dovaston
Other key lawyers:
Natasha Harrison; Fiona Huntriss
‘Well organised and diligent. It’s common with large law firms to feel you’re being juggled as a client. Whether we’re actually a higher priority or not at this firm, BSF makes me feel as though we are.’
‘Ability to listen to their clients’ ideas, processing the information being provided so that the best strategy is produced. Never fail the defined deadlines. Starting to work with BSF I have realised what “client-centered approach” means.’
‘A synthesis of US and English legal approaches and styles which enables their largely international clients to litigate in England with confidence and understanding.’
‘Always spot-on, no need to review and/or to check the content. They are fast, efficient and constructive. Despite the fact that litigation is their forte, they were always trying to avoid any unnecessary conflicts.’
‘Matt Getz; authentic solicitor with a solid background. Able to inspire confidence in his clients and ready to provide prompt, but comprehensive, advice when required.’
‘Great positive attitude with exceptional work. The partners and the associates were extremely friendly. Always ready to help 24/7.’
‘Matt Getz – exceptionally able, very bright, an original thinker, very good tactician, and a tough and assertive lawyer who you want on your side.’
‘Fiona Huntriss is so charming and incisive she can slice and dice her opponents without them knowing anything about it.’
Investors in Glencore
Ira Kleiman W&K Info Defense Research
- Appointed by the New York Department of Financial Services to act as monitor of Deutsche Bank following findings that the bank had failed to comply with its AML and sanctions requirements.
- Representing Vadim Wolfson, one of Russia’s leading financiers, in claims brought against him in the High Court by Otkritie.
- Advising Madison Pacific against Ukrainian bank, PrivatBank, in court proceedings linked to arbitrations.
DLA Piper demonstrates strength in providing proactive risk management advice to large corporate clients and financial institutions. The team is adept at assisting with matters involving misconduct allegations relating to bribery and corruption, fraud, and money laundering. The group’s recent workload also testifies to its ability to handle complex compliance issues and conduct internal investigations; Patrick Rappo is a go-to adviser in this space. The department is jointly led by Tony Katz, the firm’s money laundering reporting officer, and Sam Millar, who also leads the European white-collar group.
Tony Katz; Sam Millar
Other key lawyers:
Patrick Rappo; Will White; Lizzy Bullock
‘A strong practice with a supreme offering.’
Arconic Architectural Products Sas
- Acting for Arconic in responding to the multiple claims arising from the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017.
Acting for multinational corporates across a range of industries including financial services, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is recognised for its experience in complex internal investigations. In particular, in 2020, a team led by Emma Gordon negotiated a deferred prosecution agreement, following self-reported corrupt conduct to the SFO. Other recent work highlights include internal investigations relating to allegations of sanctions violations, money laundering, bribery and fraud. Other key names to note are practice head Zia Ullah in Manchester, ‘a no-nonsense adviser with a wealth of experience’, and Steve Smith, who has a ‘true 360 degree view of issues, which allows him to see angles others don’t’.
Other key lawyers:
Steve Smith; Emma Gordon
‘The Corporate Crime and Investigations Team consistently produces excellent resources, including the Global Sanctions Guide.’
‘Evesheds do a lot of work for financial institutions and also more general investigations work and criminal defence.’
‘I would recommend Zia Ullah as an unpretentious, conscientious, no-nonsense adviser, with a wealth of experience in his field of expertise. I particularly value his sanctions advice.’
‘Strong team in corporate and financial crime.’
‘Steve Smith is one of the few people who has defended, prosecuted and worked in industry at the highest levels. He has true 360-degree view of issues which allows him to see angles others don’t. Truly engaging with clients.’
‘Steve Smith has excellent judgement and a great manner. A board-level advisor who is all over the detail and committed to doing the best for his client.’
Fieldfisher is praised by clients for its ‘seamless and quick’ cross-border offering; notably, the team has expertise in fraud matters arising in emerging markets across the CIS and Asia. The practice prides itself on its ability to handle parallel civil, criminal and regulatory issues relating to bribery, corruption and money laundering. Tony Lewis sits at the helm of the practice and is recommended for being ‘responsive, knowledgeable and accommodating’. Director Kyle Phillips departed to Howard Kennedy LLP in June 2021.
Other key lawyers:
Nicola Sewell; Elliott Kenton
‘Fieldfisher has excellent people who are knowledgeable experts in their fields of practice and always accommodating.’
‘Fieldfisher is a “the client comes first” kind of firm. They lucked out with a very talented bunch of associates – who have managed to provide world class advocacy.’
‘Fieldfisher has a strong and close network of offices across Europe. Obtaining cross-jurisdictional advice is seamless and quick. The lawyers are very competent and offer prompt and reliable advice.’
‘Tony Lewis has never let me down on delivering the work on time and communicating on regular progress. His knowledge and expertise are tremendous and he always thinks outside of the box. I have recommended him to others who have fed back to me glowing reviews on how responsive, knowledgeable and accommodating Tony is.’
Jones Day is capable of providing comprehensive support to corporate clients in sprawling internal investigations and cross-border criminal matters. Recent highlights include a multi-jurisdictional criminal fraud investigation, numerous matters concerning potentially false financial statements, and a novel harassment claim handled for a multinational company. Sion Richards heads up the London global disputes practice, where Adam Brown and of counsel Glyn Powell are also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Adam Brown; Glyn Powell
- Acting for the Essilor Group in relation to international criminal investigations and civil proceedings arising out of a significant fraud in which $213m worth of funds were misappropriated.
- Advising Geoff Rowley and Tony Wright of FRP Advisory LLP as joint liquidators of BHS on investigations and litigation arising out of the high-profile corporate collapse with creditor losses of over £1bn.
- Assisting a pharmaceutical company with an internal investigation into whistleblower allegations of misconduct in a regulated business.
King & Spalding LLP’s London-based team routinely works alongside colleagues in the firm’s US and Middle East offices to handle internal investigations for large companies, as well to provide compliance and due diligence advice on cross-border transactions and multinational business operations. The key figure on the ground in London is Aaron Stephens, ‘the epitome of a trusted adviser’ on matters relating to fraud, tax offences, money laundering and bribery and corruption. Robert Dedman jointly leads the team alongside Stephens. Senior associate Joanna Harris is also recommended for her 'great way with clients'.
Aaron Stephens; Robert Dedman
Other key lawyers:
‘Great network of people – super collaboration.’
‘Aaron Stephens is the epitome of a trusted adviser on those subjects where it matters most.’
‘Joanna Harris is extremely capable and has a great way with clients.’
Sun Nuclear Corporation
Care Capital Partners
- Representing Deutsche Bank in various class and direct-action litigation matters proceeding in the Southern District of New York, the UK High Court, Canada and Israel.
- Advised Stripe, Inc. on the anti-financial crime due diligence aspects of its $200m acquisition of Nigerian payments company, Paystack.
Kingsley Napley LLP is known for bringing together expertise in complex internal investigations with deep knowledge of a wide scope of corporate criminal liability issues. The team is excellent with money laundering and fraud matters. Clients also benefit from the firm’s litigation management group, which includes costs lawyers with project managers. Key contacts include: investigations group lead Caroline Day; corporate crime department head Alun Milford; and Louise Hodges , who leads the criminal litigation team.
Caroline Day; Alun Milford; Louise Hodges
Other key lawyers:
Stephen Parkinson; Sophie Wood; Philip Salvesen ; Nicola Finnerty
‘Kingsley Napley’s corporate crime team is small but perfectly formed! They have a superb presence in this area and are widely regarded as a go-to firm for complex, high-profile litigation. They have partnerships around the globe with excellent teams and are commercially astute to the client’s objectives.’
‘Caroline Day is easy to get on with and hugely knowledgeable about all issues that arise when representing corporate clients in financial investigations.’
‘Alun Milford is an asset to the firm and has brought his wealth of experience from the Serious Fraud Office to the private sector with great effect.’
‘Louise Hodges is a wise and experienced lawyer who is unflappable in a crisis.’
‘We have worked with Kingsley Napley on a number of occasions. Most recently, with Nicola Finnerty, on a confidential regulatory matter where the licensing and criminal investigation overlapped. We were impressed with Nicola’s thoroughness and strategy and the way she was able to keep the client on board through a very difficult process.’
‘We had an unusual project, and Kingsley Napley’s attorneys worked hard to understand the nature of the challenges we were facing. They outlined and followed a sensible approach to the project, but they also were able and willing to be flexible as needed. Their legal work was thorough and insightful. They kept us informed of their progress throughout, and were highly responsive to our questions and comments at all times.’
A large charity
- Advising Tesco PLC in respect of its obligations under the terms of the deferred prosecution agreement agreed with the SFO in 2017.
- Conducting an independent investigation for a major charity in a complex multi-jurisdictional investigation.
The team at Mayer Brown International LLP has a breadth of experience in corporate criminal matters and is recognised by clients for its lawyers’ ‘strategic and technical knowledge’ and ‘proactive approach’. Regular work for the group includes advising on cross-border internal investigations involving financial crime and supply chain issues. It also provides routine assistance with commercial due diligence and risk assessments. Noteworthy contacts in the team include practice head Alistair Graham; Sam Eastwood, ‘a guru in the field’; and Jason Hungerford, who is admitted to practice in both the US and the UK.
Other key lawyers:
Sam Eastwood; Jason Hungerford; James Ford
‘A proactive approach. Practical advice based on a good sense of commercial challenges.’
‘Sam Eastwood is friendly, to the point and great to work with.’
‘High degree of strategic and technical knowledge, excellent approach to thought leadership.’
‘Sam Eastwood is a guru in the field and James Ford is a rapidly rising star, superb analyst and networker.’
African Development Bank
Ugland Nordic Shipping AS
- Acted as an independent integrity consultant reporting to the African Development Bank on the integrity compliance programme of a large Asian corporate.
- Acted for listed client eOne, a leading Canada-based global mass media and entertainment company, in relation to an internal fraud investigation and subsequent multi-million pound fraud claim in the High Court.
- Representing a Norwegian shipping company in relation to claims made by a Brazilian company in the offshore oil and gas industry relating to contractual payments that were suspended by the client, pending the outcome of due diligence into bribery and corruption allegations made in Brazilian press reports and in Brazilian court records.
Bringing together a transatlantic team of litigation and regulatory experts, Morrison & Foerster LLP is well placed to advise corporate clients on myriad compliance and corporate crime matters, from UK agency reporting and investigations to alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The team has enjoyed a period of growth, which saw the arrivals of Hayley Ichilcik and Gareth Rees QC from King & Spalding LLP, and the promotion of Saqib Alam to the partnership. Ichilcik and Rees have been particularly standout since joining in March 2020. Jonathan Wheeler heads up the wider litigation group.
Other key lawyers:
Hayley Ichilcik; Gareth Rees QC; Paul Friedman; Saqib Alam
‘Hayley Ichilcik is hugely effective in dismantling a prosecution case and putting the SFO to task. She is a driven lawyer who works tirelessly for every client. Her legal knowledge of corporate crime is A1 and she is a formidable opponent. Any corporate would be wise to have her on their side in a complex financial crime investigation.’
‘Hayley Ichilcik is a calm and assured white-collar crime adviser. She has nuanced experience from a robust long term defence practice augmented by a period of time seconded to the SFO which enables her to give clients real insight into their risk. She is a consummate professional, treats people well and a pleasure to be part of a team with.’
‘An accomplished international white collar and investigations practice drawing on a truly specialist ensemble of criminal litigators including former senior government counsel.’
‘Hayley Ichilchik is massively experienced with an enormous breadth of knowledge when dealing with the most complex cross-border regulatory investigations. She combines an excellent intellect with really practical application. Top quality.’
‘Gareth Rees QC is an accomplished criminal advocate at his core with the added dimension of having run a regulatory agency.’
‘Gareth Rees QC is a hugely experienced and knowledgeable silk who knows from his time at the Bar what lands and what does not in corporate investigations. He has a calm manner and a real presence. Always on top of the latest law.’
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP acts for a variety of corporate clients in internal investigations, employee fraud claims and large-scale due diligence exercises. The team also finds itself involved in agency investigations, where it represents clients in their engagements with the SFO and HMRC. Neil McInnes and Natalie Sherborn lead the group. Andrew Sackey is recognised by clients for his familiarity with HMRC actions, but also has experience in matters involving the SFO and other UK enforcement authorities.
Neil McInnes; Natalie Sherborn
Other key lawyers:
‘Strong knowledge of UK enforcement and regulation landscape.’
‘The team were a pleasure to work with. They are clearly experts in their fields. They brought together a case team including both lawyers and forensic accountants working seamlessly together, which enabled them to achieve positive results in the investigation. They were also very keen to use an artificial intelligence-based platform to assist in their work, which was a nice surprise, as a lot of lawyers are not so keen to embrace technology.’
‘Andrew Sackey has current and strong knowledge of corporate crime particularly from a tax perspective where he has good knowledge of and relationships with the HMRC.’
‘The whole team were extremely personable, positive and keen to discuss different strategies to achieve the best/most efficient results. I believe that culture and values come from the top, not the “stuffy”, conservative partners that you sometimes see in English law firms, but friendly and innovative whilst also being professional and clearly highly skilled.’
‘Methodical and structured approach with both project management and specialist skills being added either in-house or via strategic partners providing a true full-service capability in the running of a case.’
‘Approachable and knowledgeable team always available and very well coordinated to deal with an evolving real-time situation. Always gave confidence they were very well-resourced with both quantity and quality of experienced professionals.’
‘They’re very partner focused, good value and fit neatly into the firm’s broader corporate relationships. That gives them an incredible breadth of knowledge and benchmarking for how risk management standards are best achieved for those approaching them fresh.’
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP leverages the firm’s wide global reach to assist UK and multinational companies with internal investigations worldwide; it is a destination often preferred for complex compliance advice relating to international sanctions regimes. Another area of focus for the team lies in investigations conducted by UK and US authorities, with recent work including advising in relation to fraud and money laundering allegations. The practice regularly acts on a cross-departmental basis, drawing on the expertise of teams specialising in shipping, energy, employment, and commercial disputes, among others. Rosanne Kay, Charles Hewetson and Leigh Hansson jointly head up the group. Former practice co-head Eoin O’Shea departed to CMS in August 2020.
Rosanne Kay; Charles Hewetson; Leigh Hansson
‘Excellent service, thorough legal analysis balancing pros and cons but providing a clear recommendation.’
‘Practical advice and an excellent grasp of our business. Bespoke and timely advice whenever called on to do so.’
‘Leigh Hansson is really the unique selling point. Leigh is uniquely placed as a highly qualified US sanctions and compliance lawyer based in London. She is very responsive. As sanctions matters are often urgent in the trading/shipping sector, this is a huge plus. Leigh doesn’t sit on the fence and she doesn’t make a mountain out of a molehill: she is a business enabler. We appreciate her clear advice and options, as well as her professionalism and approach to collaborative. She is also refreshingly succinct.’
‘Rosanne Kay provided excellent advice. A highly practical, but also very thorough approach when dealing with a highly confidential and sensitive internal investigation.’
‘Leigh Hansson is an excellent partner; she is an expert in US sanctions and gives very pragmatic advice. She has been instrumental to our being able to conduct business legally in more challenging jurisdictions.’
‘Leigh Hansson is a solid advisor, very knowledgeable, pragmatic and service-minded.’
Highlighted by clients for its growing presence in this space, RPC secured a major instruction in a high-profile SFO investigation and has continued its activity in matters involving HMRC, the NCA and the FRC. In addition to regulatory investigations, the team also provides comprehensive advice on internal investigations, large due diligence exercises and compliance counselling. The practice group is led by Sam Tate, ‘an expert in the field’ who is highly regarded by clients. Clients include domestic and multinational corporates from a range of industries.
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Cary; Davina Given
‘Their team is professional and client-oriented. They are trying to place the best talents into the project which makes good result.’
‘The entire team are excellent. The practical examples and experience of the entire team make their advice, suggestions and contributions extremely valuable. There is a great breadth of knowledge in terms of their specialisms in financial crime, but also from the various sectors team members have worked in, as well as different jurisdictions which brings a great dimension to their work.’
‘They behaved as an extension to our team and worked seamlessly with our business on a large global project, working with different personnel from different backgrounds, for whom english is not their first language and for who the subject matter of the project was often quite alien and intimidating. However, the whole project progressed smoothly and on time, with a fantastic end product for the group.’
‘Sam Tate is clearly an expert in his field and instils you instantly with confidence. Even though I know he must be extremely busy and on more complex and urgent matters than ours, he always found time for us, and made us feel like he was in it with us, and was invested in the project and the right outcome for us as a client.’
‘Sam Tate provides insightful and pragmatic solutions and advice.’
‘This firm appears to be growing in strength in the corporate crime field. I have worked with them on one big case, and been really impressed by their dedication to the client, their practicality and their realism. They are very client focused.’
‘RPC has grown over the last few years in stature and client-base. They are now known for excellence in conducting complex investigations and financial crime prevention programmes across the globe. As well as global investigations and helping corporates comply with our laws, wherever they are based, they are currently involved in a significant SFO investigation.’
The Federal Republic of Nigeria
The Financial Times Limited
InterContinental Hotels Group plc
Oleg Deripaska / Filatona Trading Limited
- Representing a Fortune 500 multinational corporation in a complex, high-value and multi-year bribery investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.
- Conducted a high-profile internal investigation for the Financial Times into allegations that its reporters colluded with short sellers and engaged in market manipulation in relation to the paper’s coverage of Wirecard.
- Acting for Newcastle United Football Club in respect of the HMRC’s criminal investigation.
Sidley Austin LLP has carved out a strong reputation for its work on government investigations involving allegations of bribery, money laundering and sanctions violations; it is noted for liaising with the SFO and the FCA. Internal investigations, risk assessments and regulatory advice also form core areas of focus for the team, whose firepower on the ground is supplemented by its seamless collaboration with the firm’s white-collar defence specialists spread across 20 offices globally. Sara George is the key practitioner in this space and is highly regarded for her work for both companies and individuals; she jointly leads the department with John Casanova.
Sara George; John Casanova
Other key lawyers:
Rachpal Thind; David Smith
‘Sara George is an excellent attorney with a great ability to foresee case developments and act accordingly. Sara George is the attorney you would want for very complex matters. She brings clarity.’
Clients appreciate White & Case LLP’s ‘seamless collaboration and incredible flexibility’, which the team utilises to conduct multi-jurisdictional internal investigations for multinational companies. It is well-versed in handling issues relating to fraud, bribery and corruption, and money laundering. The group’s recent workload demonstrates its excellence in cross-border collaboration with its colleagues in the US and across Europe, often in sectors such as financial services, technology, and mining and metals. Jonah Anderson and Anneka Randhawa took over leadership of the department, following the departures of former practice head Jonathan Pickworth and Joanna Dimmock to Paul Hastings LLP in February 2021.
Jonah Anderson; Anneka Randhawa
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has been very effective in combining the global investigation capabilities with the local expertise that was particularly important in this investigation. They demonstrated seamless collaboration and incredible flexibility.’
‘Anneka Randhawa conducted the investigation very effectively. She was very diligent and never missed a detail throughout the investigation; she always remained calm and composed even when under pressure. Very well done.’
‘Jonah Anderson is a standout. He is considered, strategic and provides financial crime and investigations advice with commercial nuance. He leads the team deftly with years of experience behind him.’
‘The team has deep anti-money laundering knowledge as well as a very strong investigations practice, which is able to handle cross-border investigations skilfully owing to its global reach.’
‘A superb team with the ability to draw on the in-depth strength of a major firm. Committed and dedicated individuals.’
‘Jonah Anderson lives for his cases and give his all. He provides leadership and insight to a case. The client is at the centre of everything he does. He is knowledgeable and thoughtful and a market leader in relation to money laundering and other proceeds of crime issues.’
‘Anneka Randhawa is incredibly clever and a great strategist.’
- Conducting an internal investigation into highly-publicised allegations of corruption and organised crime activity surrounding a significant national infrastructure project.
Drawing on the firm’s global resources, WilmerHale’s team acts for multinational companies in multi-jurisdictional internal investigations. The team is also experienced in investigations conducted by UK, US and European authorities, with a particular focus on SFO-facing mandates. Stephen Pollard sits at the helm of the practice. Director Christopher David joined Clifford Chance LLP in June 2021.
Bivonas Law LLP is a boutique litigation outfit with a wealth of experience in investigations relating to tax and financial crime. Key team members include senior partner Antony Brown, who has nearly four decades’ experience advising on civil and criminal fraud; Cindy Dorrington, who has experience liaising with key regulators including the FCA, SFO and NCA; and Steve Sharp, ‘an excellent and experienced practitioner’ and a ‘very safe pair of hands’.
Antony Brown; Steve Sharp; Cindy Dorrington
Other key lawyers:
Roland Ellis; John Bechelet
‘Bivonas understand the law and business . They are not a legal factory, they are real lawyers.’
‘The team are highly experienced, personable and always available.’
‘Steve Sharp is an excellent and experienced practitioner. Very safe pair of hands and delivered a great result in a big case.’
‘Great client care and dedication to ensure confidence and trust in their services.’
‘Anthony Brown and John Bechelet are both commercially pragmatic, always available and highly personable.’
‘Steve Sharp is conscientious, loyal and empathetic.’
Burges Salmon LLP acts for corporate clients in matters involving various domestic and foreign enforcement agencies, including the FCA. It also handles employee fraud, regulatory compliance and due diligence in the context of transactions. The practice group is headed up by David Hall, and was recently strengthened at partner level by the promotion of Matthew Walker and the lateral hire of Guy Bastable from BCL Solicitors LLP in May 2021.
Other key lawyers:
Guy Bastable; Matthew Walker
‘The firm has a real expertise in regulatory investigations and corporate crime. The particular fact which I regard as a key strength is that they are prepared to do civil recovery work for the enforcement agencies.’
‘Exceptional – industry knowledge, analysis of facts, identification of key issues, strategy formulation and robust counsel.’
‘Burges Salmon are a highly reputable firm with expertise in many different areas of practice. My primary contact has been David Hall. I have found them to be a thoroughly professional outfit with excellent client care skills.’
‘Guy Bastable is one of the most experienced and skilled operators in this field. He is highly intelligent and a supreme strategist.’
‘Guy Bastable has vast experience representing corporate entities and he uses this to great effect. He gives straightforward and clear advice which is always soundly based.’
‘David Hall is an excellent lawyer. Extremely approachable. He fights tirelessly for his clients.’
National Crime Agency
- Advising multiple clients on dealing with cyber-fraud attacks
- Advising clients on the design and implementation of comprehensive and integrated anti-financial crime controls pursuant to the requirements of the Bribery Act 2010, Criminal Finances Act 2017, and Money Laundering Regulations 2017.
- Instructed by a US technology company in relation to potential dawn raids; also advising on the content of its anti-corruption policies and procedures and provide regular training sessions.
Cohen & Gresser (UK) LLP
Cohen & Gresser (UK) LLP broadened its offering in cross-border government and internal investigations in November 2020, when Richard Kovalevsky QC joined from Stewarts Law LLP and took over joint leadership of the practice alongside John Gibson. Clients praise the department’s risk advisory work, particularly with respect to investigations conducted by the SFO – an area in which Gibson draws on a wealth of experience gained as a former SFO case controller and Kovalevsky is also a recognised practitioner. The team is also distinguished by its ability to draw on the expertise of experts in Washington DC, New York and Paris, often for its recent multi-jurisdictional corruption work.
Richard Kovalevsky QC; John Gibson
Other key lawyers:
Tim Harris; Thomas Shortland
‘Strong team, with strong connections to authorities.’
‘This is the go-to team for risk advisory. They have an astonishing depth of knowledge and breadth of experience particularly from having worked at the SFO, razor-sharp analytical skills, and are the safest pair of hands that a client could hope to find. Go and instruct them before the other side does.’
‘John Gibson is an excellent lawyer, with the ability to turn that knowledge into practical advice. He is very focused on getting things done for his client. Within a team, he is very collaborative and a really good person to work alongside.’
‘A small and perfectly formed cohesive team of talented, practical and friendly individuals, from top to bottom.’
‘John Gibson has had terrific experience in the highest-profile and difficult cases from the other side of the fence, having previously had good experience in private practice. Since joining from the SFO, he has been developing an excellent practice.’
‘Richard Kovalevsky QC brings immense experience of serious fraud investigations, and has the strategic insight that comes from having spent years as an advocate doing such cases at the highest level married to his more recent leadership roles.’
‘Tim Harris is very bright and hardworking and gets right to the heart of a case, providing practical and realistic advice. He enjoys the complete trust of individual and corporate clients.’
‘Tom Shortland has a lot of experience and knowledge of investigations and enforcement processes.’
‘Cohen & Gresser’s corporate crime and investigations group is lean, agile and brimming with ability and experience. The size of the team means senior members – including the hugely able John Gibson and Richard Kovalevsky QC – are more hands-on. The client therefore gets decent face time with hugely respected names, at the top of their game. Their size also means that they’re willing to adopt fresh approaches to the issues, including the appointment of an investigations data strategist. Although it’s small in numbers in London, C&G is able to lean on its high-profile New York office for cross-border support and performs well.’
Dentons fields a dedicated business crime and investigations group, but also utilises experts in complementary groups such as international trade, financial services regulatory, cybersecurity and commercial litigation. The team acts for corporates suspected of criminal offences, third-parties with commercial ties to criminally accused corporates, and victims of financial and employee fraud.
Other key lawyers:
‘Genuine expertise in banks and money laundering.’
K&L Gates LLP is recognised by clients for its ‘international profile’ and its ability to draw on expertise ‘in particular from the US in defence of corporate and individual exposure to UK investigations’. Practice head Dylan Moses is currently acting for a variety of alleged offenders and third-parties in investigations involving the SFO and other criminal matters. In March 2021, the team welcomed the arrival of ‘standout financial crime lawyer’ Michael Ruck from TLT.
Other key lawyers:
‘A strong multidisciplinary team offering a broad range of services all around the world – able to draw on expertise in every field and in particular from the US in defence of corporate and individual exposure to UK investigations.’
‘Dylan Moses has an established reputation dealing with investigations for corporates including SFO cases.’
‘This firm has always had a strong reputation in this field including cross border matters, particularly US/UK.’
‘K&L Gates have a long track record dealing with corporate clients in a range of criminal and regulatory investigations.’
‘Michael Ruck is a top professional and a standout financial crime lawyer. He considers all of the issues before committing to clear and decisive advice. He is vastly experienced and brings real value to cases. He is a wise first choice for both corporate clients and individuals.’
‘The regulatory department of this firm benefits from its international profile. It has a wide range of high profile corporate clients and broad experience of a wide range of regulatory fields.’
‘Dylan Moses is a very strong corporate crime practitioner. He has a solid foundation in criminal law augmented in recent years by some impressive mandates on behalf of corporate clients. He has established a formidable reputation.’
‘Michael Ruck – a safe pair of hands with excellent knowledge of this area of practice. His time at the FCA means that he adds real value to investigations related to financial services misconduct.’
Balli Group Plc
Serco Group Plc
Qatar Free Zone Authority
- Representing various Balli entities, including Balli Group plc, in connection with the SFO’s investigation of UK registered companies Balli Group plc, Balli Steel and Balli Trading Ltd in relation to suspected fraud offences.
- Advising Serco Group plc on a wide range of criminal and regulatory matters, since July 2013, leading to the fifth deferred prosecution agreement.
- Advising Laing O’Rourke on a number of criminal matters and health and safety executive investigations into breaches of health and safety law, as well as representing the client through all stages of an inquest.
- Drafting anti-money laundering and counter terrorism, anti-bribery policies and health and safety regulations for the free zone in the state of Qatar.
The London-based corporate investigations team at Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP was significantly strengthened toward the end of 2019 by the arrival of Zoe Osborne from Clifford Chance LLP. ‘An extremely talented and very sensible lawyer’, Osborne has experience acting for multinational corporates in relation to allegations of fraud, bribery and FCPA violations. The firm is noted for its strong transatlantic capabilities, with practice head John Rupp also having expertise in FCPA matters, in addition to bribery, money laundering and other regulatory issues.
Other key lawyers:
Zoe Osborne; Alexandra Melia
‘In our experience, Zoe Osborne’s leadership of the practice in the UK is defined by her collaborative efforts with partners globally. This collaborative effort makes resolution of cross-border questions and challenges far more effective and efficient than working with other firms with less global reach or less collaborative partnerships.’
‘They are the go-to team for us when we need help unpicking the most challenging knots! Whilst the practice remains small by comparison to more bloated UK-centric firms, it packs a punch far above its weight through Zoe’s mastery of her network internally coupled with deep sector expertise.’
‘Zoe Osborne is an extremely talented and very sensible lawyer. A client is lucky to have Zoe on their team. She deserves a higher profile and is extremely capable. A client would be in good, clever, and sensible hands.’
‘Outstanding US law firm with significant London presence.’
‘The sector is full of practitioners unwilling to take the time to empathise with the wider issues – Zoe does just that. She also has a disarming charm about her which explains why she is so respected by her peers and counterparts more generally in finance and media, not just the law – again helping provide her clients with unrivalled access to other professional minds when needed.’
- Advising energy and mining companies on anti-bribery and corruption matters.
- Conducting investigations into the financial crime risks associated with asset managers and hedge funds’ investment and acquisition targets.
- Advised a number of healthcare and pharmaceutical companies in internal investigations concerning allegations of bribery and kickbacks, which potentially violated the UK Bribery Act, the FCPA and local corruption laws.
Stewarts Law LLP is experienced at representing clients in fraud, tax evasion and bribery investigations, either conducted by UK authorities or internal. The group often acts in conjunction with specialists from other departments, such as employment, tax, and commercial litigation. Practice head David Savage is recommended for his ‘perfect blend of expertise, engagement and energy’. Former department lead Richard Kovalevsky QC departed to Cohen & Gresser LLP (UK) LLP in September 2020.
‘A progressive and forward-thinking team, with extraordinary talent and very well led by David Savage. They do not just pay lip-service to equality and diversity but actively embrace it.’
‘David Savage heads up the financial crime team at Stewarts and has extensive experience in financial crime matters including orchestrating significant internal investigations and dealing with economic sanctions matters both on an advisory and contentious basis.’
‘David Savage is a brilliant attorney. We worked with him on a complicated matter involving the United States Department of Justice, and he provided extremely good advice about international exposure and was an extremely pleasant person to work with.’
‘David Savage exudes a perfect blend of expertise, engagement and energy. He speaks the same language as his clients and instills confidence and calm when dealing with highly stressful experiences. He is my go-to financial crime expert in London.’
‘David Savage is a vibrant lawyer with a great energy. He is able to maintain focus and control over large-scale investigations but at the same time is not restrained by convention. Although a new partner in this field, his expertise and approach are seasoned.’
- Conducting an internal investigation for a renewable sector company following a whistleblowing report into the activities of its director, including potential bribery, entering into arrangements, invoice fraud and theft.
- Representing a leading global energy company, following allegations of corruption in relation to the award of offshore oil and gas blocks.
Taylor Wessing LLP is best known for its advice to individuals facing potential criminal offences, but the team is also instructed by a number of accountancy practices and professional services companies in relation to fraud, tax violations and other regulatory complaints. Standout figures in the team include practice co-heads Tim Strong and David de Ferrars, and David McCluskey (a ‘clever, pragmatic’ adviser).
David de Ferrars; Tim Strong
Other key lawyers:
David McClusky; Laurence Lieberman; Andrew Howell
‘Led by the very experienced and engaging David McCluskey, the team at Taylor Wessing is efficient and client-focused. They have a practical, no-nonsense approach and react very well in a crisis. A solid and reliable team that impress with their calm and measured approach.’
‘David McCluskey: straight-forward, clever, pragmatic, efficient – an all-round excellent lawyer with enormous experience in this field. A very steady and safe pair of hands.’
Professor Russell Griggs OBE
- Acting for Professor Griggs in his role as the independent reviewer of a redress scheme set up by Lloyds Banking Group in relation to SME customers impacted by criminal fraud.
- Acted for Deloitte and two of its engagement partners in relation to FRC proceedings into audits of Autonomy Corporation plc and in relation to related litigation taking place between Hewlett Packard and former Autonomy management.
- Advising the liquidator on investigations into Colarb Capital plc and its directors in relation to £30m worth of investment bonds, with bondholders claiming the investment was misrepresented by the company and third-party introducers and they have not been repaid their principal investment or interest.
Travers Smith LLP 's practice is recognised in this space for its involvement in corporate crime matters and regulatory investigations relating to alleged financial regulatory violations, employee fraud and competition. Commercial litigator Rob Fell is a contact in the regulatory investigations group.
‘Really quality and knowledgeable team.’
‘Rob Fell is a litigation mastermind, he’s excellent at determining a litigation strategy and following it through.’