Crime: fraud in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP is the first port of call for many high-risk sector players, such as oil and gas, transport and banking as well as food and drink, construction and manufacturing businesses, who require assistance with internal investigations arising from suspicions of fraud, bribery and corruption. Fraud and financial crime is an area of particular expertise for the team led by Paul Marshall, which leads to regular referrals from large international law firms and subsequent cross-border investigation mandates. Senior associate Ramsay Hall shares this focus and is also experienced representing clients facing criminal prosecution in Scottish courts. In preventative work, the team is well versed in the design and implementation of compliance programmes with a particular focus on bribery, fraud, sanctions and anti-money laundering. Clients also benefit from the firm’s relationships with investigators, regulators and prosecution authorities.

Practice head(s):

Paul Marshall

Other key lawyers:

Ramsay Hall

Testimonials

‘The team is highly committed. The first experience I had highlighted a level of intensity that I was not expecting and one that was very welcome given the urgency we had from the business end. We have recently changed practices from another and I have no regrets in doing so. One simple strength that I draw from this team is their willingness to understand the issue as it affects the business and thereby build their advice on that basis.’

Paul Marshall is good on regulatory work, including environmental and white-collar crime.’

‘I have found Ramsay Hall to be excellent all-round. He takes the time to listen and has a superb empathy. Also has first class knowledge and understanding. He is also readily available which is highly valued when I need to get in touch. He is also very aware of cost factors and how his initial work can dovetail later thereby reducing overall cost. He has signposted costs throughout as well.’

‘Paul Marshall is a safe pair of hands, to whom I would happily entrust a client’s instructions on a white collar regulatory matter. Ramsay Hall has shown himself to be invaluable not only in dealing with difficult contentious matters but in calming the client while doing so. 

‘Great team of people who are very knowledgeable within their specific sector. Really like the fact they are specialists within a defined sector. This provides greater knowledge and understanding. They also have a superb empathy towards my position.’

‘Paul Marshall had a very unique perspective in his field. This crucial piece of information made the defense case possible.’

‘Paul Marshall has, from the beginning, understood our complex situation and offered insightful and fulsome advice.’

‘Paul Marshall has been a great support during a very tough process.  His rapid understanding of the situations (he has helped us with two very technical issues) the business faced was a real comfort and his advice has been well set out and appreciated.’

Pinsent Masons LLP

Embedded in the firm’s international white-collar and corporate crime practice, Pinsent Masons LLP is well placed to assist energy, infrastructure, financial and professional service clients with bribery and fraud matters alongside international sanctions and export control investigations, most notably those involving various jurisdictions. Recently, the team has also increasingly dealt with whistleblowing-related investigations. This broad offering is complemented by expertise in compliance reviews and in the anti-facilitation of tax evasion. Tom Stocker heads the practice and is the key contact for financial crime, corporate investigations and regulatory enforcement.

Practice head(s):

Tom Stocker

Testimonials

‘The team at Pinsent Masons is unrivalled in the Scottish market place in terms of knowledge, experience and expertise in financial crime legislation. They usefully and knowledgeably contribute to regulatory issues, discussions and cases and work collaboratively and proactively to add value and find solutions to such matters.’

‘Tom Stocker – seriously capable with significant intellect, experience and knowledge in white-collar crime legislation. Affable, approachable, always willing to help.

‘The quality of the advice, attention to detail and insight were exceptional.’

‘Tom Stocker is first rate with a insightful understanding of the brief, showing both skill and expertise. He inspired great confidence and demonstrated that he is a superb lawyer.’

‘Very strong white-collar crime practice – a great team to work with.’

‘Tom Stocker – hugely experienced white-collar crime specialist. Smart, dynamic and the man to call in a crisis.’

‘Tom Stocker has cornered the market in Scotland for corporate crime defence work. He is a very talented lawyer: tenacious and persuasive, as well as being a good team player. ’

‘Tom Stocker has great in-depth knowledge of the Scottish criminal system. Practical, approachable and collaborative while working in a multi-jurisdictional investigation. Very responsive and good practical and commercial responses to issues. Clearly gains the client’s trust. ’

Key clients

Wood plc

City of Edinburgh Council

BTO Solicitors LLP

Benefiting from the firm’s full-service offering, BTO Solicitors LLP's clients, including individuals and organisations across various sectors, instruct the team to assist with financial crime investigations and prosecutions, including those led by the Competitions and Markets Authority, Police Scotland’s Economic Crime Unit and HMRC. Frequently, these investigations pertain to allegations of embezzlement, bribery, corruption and money laundering. Criminal solicitor advocate and former Procurator Fiscal Depute Clare Bone heads the regulatory defence team, which includes solicitor advocate Vikki Watt, who also specialises in the defence of regulatory crime, and criminal solicitor advocate Alasdair Gillies. He regularly acts for individuals from the sport, music and business sectors and is experienced in providing reputational management assistance.

Practice head(s):

Clare Bone; Vikki Watt; Alasdair Gillies

Testimonials

‘What made my interaction with the firm positively memorable was the level of high quality contact I received. In a worrying and distressing situation, the advice received provided a much-needed steadying hand. I was talked through best and worse case scenarios which enabled me to advise all stakeholders from a position of considered knowledge and experience. There was no sense that the issue was being judged and I was particularly impressed that I was kept up to date in terms of the case status without having to request this or chase for an update.’

‘Clare Bone is a knowledgeable, confident, competent, approachable source of advice and counsel.’

‘I found Clare Bone quite pragmatic and completely open. I felt as though I had the best representation available to me and, on the basis of this interaction, Clare would be my first point of contact if I require this type of advice and support moving forward.’

Key clients

LexisNexis PSL

Work highlights

  • Appointed by LexisNexis PSL to a panel of industry experts on corporate crime.

Burness Paull LLP

Covering the full spectrum of matters related to financial crime, Burness Paull LLP’s corporate crime team advises on anti-bribery measures, corporate crime investigations, international sanctions and export control as well as on allegations of corruption and fraud. It also assists with interviews with the police and other regulators, dawn raids and with non-contentious compliance matters. With team head Lynne Gray based in Aberdeen, the practice is best known for its specialism in the oil and gas sector, while engineering, retail and public sector players are also part of its client portfolio. Gray is particularly well versed in handling instructions pertaining to health and safety and corruption.

Practice head(s):

Lynne Gray

Other key lawyers:

Rona Jamieson; Lynne Moss

Testimonials

‘Burness Paull is a ‘go to’ practice for legal advice in relation to O&G sanctions, ant-bribery & corruption review and advice. Highly responsive to support fast-turn around commercial decisions. Their compliance knowledge is excellent and provides significant reassurance to the end client.’

‘Lynne Gray and Lynne Moss provided reassurance that they understood our requirements and provided excellent and timely advice. Approachable and highly professional.’

‘Burness Paull has a breadth of skills and capabilities which provide us with all that we need.’

‘Lynne Gray is proactive in her approach, is good to work with and provides us with a great service.’

‘The team is keen to share any learnings that they have come across and also to highlight any changes in the law that may require to be addressed. I find this team to be very proactive in their approach to ensure that they clients are well informed.’

‘Lynne Gray is very knowledgeable in her field and I appreciate her guidance and counsel greatly. Lynne challenges in a constructive manner to ensure that all risks are considered and managed.’

CMS

CMS acts for individuals and companies across various sectors, most notably financial services, energy and technology, faced with allegations of, among others, fraud, financial impropriety, misappropriation of funds and breach of trust. Due to the firm's global presence, the team frequently acts in cooperation with other UK offices and with colleagues from within its global network to provide cross-border assistance. Its strong links to the corporate recovery and employment teams in particular translate into solid expertise in the area of insolvency-related fraud, where the team handles claims by banks and insolvency practitioners arising from directors’ and officers’ and trustees’ misfeasance. Dispute resolution team head Colin Hutton and commercial and insolvency litigation expert Graeme MacLeod are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Colin Hutton

Other key lawyers:

Graeme MacLeod

Testimonials

The firm has an in-depth understanding of the law on fraud and bribery and its application to commercial litigation throughout the UK. This is matched with quality experience in the area.

Colin Hutton has an excellent understanding of the strategic implications of fraud and bribery for commercial litigation. He pulls together an outstanding team that consistently produces high quality results.

Key clients

Founders and shareholders of the PIE/PSG Group

BDO

Deloitte

Ernst & Young

KPMG

PwC

Alix Partners

Shareholders and founders of ACE Winches

Work highlights

  • Instructed by founder shareholder/directors in a leading UK technology business, who face allegations of being complicit in fraud.
  • Advising a Scottish law firm in its defence of a $210m claim alleging the insured participated in a fraudulent conspiracy which committed the claimant to a disadvantageous deal he would otherwise not have made.

MTM Defence Lawyers

With an office in London alongside its offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Falkirk, MTM Defence Lawyers frequently acts for white-collar clients, such as solicitors and other professionals, members of senior management and companies, beyond the borders of Scotland in fraud and financial crime proceedings. Solicitor advocate Neil Hay, who, besides criminal law and financial crime, also deals with regulatory crime, heads the Edinburgh and London offices. Martin Morrow is the key contact in Glasgow and Murray Aitken in Falkirk.

Practice head(s):

Neil Hay; Martin Morrow; Murray Aitken

Testimonials

‘MTM has long been recognised as one of Scotland’s foremost criminal defence firms. It has focused particularly on development of its corporate crime and regulatory defence practice in recent years and is building a strong reputation in this field.’

‘Neil Hay spearheads the operation very well. Neil is adept at dealing with business clients and their employees that have often found themselves to be subject to investigation for the first time in their history. Neil is sensitive to the handling of these situations and excellent at keeping clients informed throughout the process. He is very good at getting to grips with the matters at the heart of very complex prosecutions. In particularly complex matters he is skilled in identifying the right counsel for the job.’

‘Murray Aitken’s knowledgeable, reassuring presence is an exceptional benefit to clients.

‘Neil Hay is always available, very prompt and helpful in response.’

‘Neil Hay is excellent. He looks after his clients with exceptional care and has a good grasp of practical issues needing addressed as well as the technical legal issues. He is well versed at dealing with clients in the public eye which adds another string to his bow.’

‘The team is professional, reliable and knowledgeable. They can advise on very niche issues and are capable of providing tailored advice to their clients.’

‘Neil Hay is outstanding both in his understanding of complex legal issues spanning different disciplines and in his ability to perceive the level of sensitivity each matter brings with it. This is a very rare combination and work with him has been a joy.’

‘The team as a whole is extremely approachable and has an excellent manner with clients, putting them at ease with their calm and confident and knowledgeable approach. The team works really well together in a collaborative manner.’

Work highlights

  • Secured a sentence of an unpaid work order, as opposed to a custodial sentence, in a case involving a five-figure energy fraud case brought by Ofgem.