Bivonas Law LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Bivonas Law LLP
24 Cornhill
London
EC3V 3ND
England

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals) Tier 2

Boutique white-collar firm Bivonas Law LLP has a successful record across criminal fraud representations, successfully defending directors, public officials, and high net-worth individuals throughout complex cases brought by UK and international bodies, encompassing initial investigations, criminal confiscation proceedings, and trial, with all senior team members offering significant litigation experience. While independent, the firm maintains a significant international referral network, and has handled cases in jurisdictions across Europe, Africa, Asia, and most notably Russia, and has represented public sector officials internationally. The team is headed up by highly experienced senior partner Antony Brown , who has handled several of the firm’s high-profile multijurisdictional cases, Cindy Dorrington , a ‘master of the subject matter‘ across fraud, corruption, and financial services regulatory proceedings, and ‘seasoned proSteve Sharp. Roland Ellis  is a key name for complex fraud proceedings, and George Kampanella specialises in criminal fraud and financial crime prosecutions brought the SFO, FCA, and HMRC, among others.

Practice head(s):

Antony Brown; Cindy Dorrington; Steve Sharp

Other key lawyers:

Roland Ellis; George Kampanella

Testimonials

‘Excellent Service and knowledge.’

‘Attention to detail and the ability to sort the wheat from the chaff.’

‘Bivonas offer more of a boutique service than other firms, offering a first-class service from experienced lawyers who are at the top of their profession. They are not a traditional criminal law firm; they operate in the niche area of white collar, business and financial crime and are able to provide focus and time to their client’s cases.’

‘Cindy Dorrington leads this impressive team in terms of star-quality. She lives and breathes her cases and works relentlessly to secure the best outcome. Nobody is better than her in seeking out and pursuing pre-charge and pre-trial methods of avoiding prosecution.’

Stephen Sharp is also a seasoned pro. He brings his incisive mind to any fraud/white collar crime case, and is well-used to working in serious and complex cases. I have worked with him and he is brilliant at eking out the points that help his clients.

‘Cindy Dorrington heads this team. She has many years of experience and unlike a number palpably enjoys the subject matter! She is committed, well organised and approachable. She has a strong team beneath her including Roland Ellis who impresses with his input.’

‘Cindy Dorrington is well prepared and a master of the subject matter in what are often obscure issues.’

‘George Kampanella, Steve Sharp and Cindy Dorrington stand out at the firm, huge expertise, quality and at a price more competitive than some of the bigger firms.’

Work highlights

  • Advising an African government in relation to the prosecution of several senior officials involved in wide-scale international corruption whilst in office.
  • Representing an individual being investigated by the SFO and the FCA for fraud and mis-selling minibonds to the value of circa £250m to retail investors.
  • Acting for the UK arm of a ship husbanding company involved in a major US Navy contracting scandal concerning allegations of bribery and overcharging with a deal value of US $50million.

Corporate and commercial > Financial services: contentious Tier 4

Litigation boutique Bivonas Law LLP is home to Cindy Dorrington, a leading name for cases brought by the SFO, FCA, CPS, NCA and HMRC; she is supported by Antony Brown, a lawyer with 30 years of experience in contentious affairs, and John Bechelet whose illustrious track record includes successes in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.

Practice head(s):

Cindy Dorrington

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘ They have an exceptional personal approach which, when lawyers are required is very reassuring.’

‘John Bechelet and Antony Brown are exceptional both in their approach to clients and in the advice that they provide.’

Work highlights

  • Representing an individual being investigated by the FCA and the SFO for fraud and mis-selling mini-bonds to the value of c. £250m to retail investors.
  • Representing an individual in the FCA’s investigation into banks, brokers and pensions funds involved in Cum-Ex trading, where European countries have lost billions in tax reclaims.
  • Representing a defendant in one of the few insider dealing cases being prosecuted by the FCA.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: civil Tier 4

Bivonas Law LLP fields a ‘close knit group that strives to provide a highly personalised service for clients’. The boutique firm can cover civil, criminal and regulatory matters and has experience in acting in cases with a CIS region or Russian element. Its clients include states, international banks and bankers, and high-net-worth individuals. Team leader John Bechelet has long-standing experience in commercial and civil fraud litigation, while Antony Brown also covers criminal fraud cases. Roland Ellis has knowledge of white collar crime, and Manraj Somal joined as senior consultant in July 2021 from Rosenblatt (part of RBG Legal Services).

Practice head(s):

John Bechelet

Testimonials

‘This practice provides true bespoke dedication and client care. The individuals within Bivonas are without doubt some of the most highly skilled professionals I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. Outstanding patience, dedication and attention to detail. They cover every intricate detail of a case and work precisely and intensively to achieve the desired outcome. Incredible level of professionalism.’

‘John Bechelet has always shown a level of outstanding professionalism. A very personable individual. John has always displayed an ultra-high level of workmanship and expertise and is one of a kind. He is dedicated to the client and spends all the time necessary to achieve the desired result.’

‘Manraj Somal is a real fighter who rolls his sleeves up and gets the job done. Clients love him.’

‘The team are a close knit group that strive to provide a highly personalised service for clients. Dedicated to fulfilling clients’ needs. The size of the firm enables them to keep up this level of service and collaborate closely with each other.’

‘Antony Brown is a good communicator and provides practical common sense to seemingly complex problems.’

‘The team is very responsive and fights its client’s corners hard but is very commercial in its approach.’

‘Roland Ellis is an experienced commercial litigator. He has excellent judgment – he knows when to fight and when not to.’

‘Outstanding expertise in legal matters which involve high profile and complex subjects, combined with sensitive handling of reputational issues. The practice operates where appropriate collaboration with relevant parties.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for the CEO of a public listed company in administration in relation to a claim by the administrators involving allegations of fraudulent trading, breach of fiduciary duty, dishonest assistance, constructive trust and knowing receipt.
  • Acting for a high-profile businessman and former politician in South East Europe in relation to claims by a Greek bank concerning secured assets.
  • Acting for directors of a plc listed on the London Stock Exchange in relation to an internal investigation of alleged fraudulent misconduct followed by proceedings to set aside an issue of new shares for an alleged improper purpose.

Risk advisory > Regulatory investigations and corporate crime (advice to corporates) Tier 5

Bivonas Law LLP utilises its boutique structure to provide a partner-led service to corporates and public entities facing high-stakes corporate crime and regulatory proceedings, representing companies facing SFO and FCA investigations as well as handling cross-border and international cases before regulatory and enforcement agencies and carrying significantly reputational risk. The team offers key litigation expertise as well as knowledge of civil proceedings, allowing them to handle parallel proceedings, as well as working closely with counsel at the trial stage of criminal cases. The firm is headed by senior partner Antony Brown, the ‘exceptional’ Cindy Dorrington who has strong expertise in corporate corruption cases, and Steve Sharp, who has advised clients on criminal and regulatory proceedings brought by all key UK regulators.

Practice head(s):

Antony Brown; Steve Sharp; Cindy Dorrington

Other key lawyers:

Roland Ellis

Testimonials

‘A commercially-minded, client-orientated but traditional law firm with an excellent client base.’

‘Cindy Dorrington is a wily litigator with significant experience of financial services and commercial matters.’

Antony Brown is an excellent client finder with excellent commercially instincts.’

Roland Ellis is a sensible litigator with broad commercial experience.

‘Impressive team managed by Cindy Dorrington who leads from the front….exceptional team including the approachable Roland Ellis and tireless Steve Sharp.’

‘Cindy brings 25 years of experience and an ultimate understanding of the client and their difficulties. She is clear and concise and impresses those who work alongside her.’

Work highlights

  • Advising an African government in relation to the prosecution of several senior officials involved in wide-scale international corruption whilst in office.
  • Advising a UK-based asset management company on its exposure to third party liability after the SFO requested information about its clients linked to an investigation into alleged money laundering and fraud offences concerning the award of major oil contracts in the Middle East.
  • Acting for the UK arm of a ship husbanding company involved in a major US Navy contracting scandal concerning allegations of bribery and overcharging.
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Bivonas Law is a leading criminal litigation and commercial disputes boutique based in the City of London.

The firm: Bivonas Law was established in 1997 and from the outset has acted in large-scale commercial disputes, criminal investigations and prosecutions, and regulatory investigations.

Bivonas Law has a track record spanning over two decades of succeeding where its clients were facing significant financial, reputational or personal risk.

The firm’s cases are often multi-jurisdictional and high-profile. It has a global network of trusted high-level advisers, experts and business connections, which allows it to meet the most complex of challenges and succeed for its clients.

Types of work undertaken
Criminal investigations and prosecutions:  The firm regularly deals with the Serious Fraud Office, the National Crime Agency, HM Revenue and Customs, and the Financial Conduct Authority. A significant proportion of its work relates to global investigations involving overseas law enforcement agencies and industry regulators. Bivonas Law has been instructed in many high-profile cases in recent years, including matters involving bribery and corruption, cum-ex trading fraud, benchmark manipulation, Ponzi schemes, carbon trading frauds, insider dealing, market abuse, boiler room frauds, tax evasion, sanctions and other financial crime. Bivonas are involved from investigation through to trial including responding to restraint and confiscation orders.

Extradition: Bivonas Law specialises in representing high-profile individuals in extradition cases with particular expertise in politically sensitive matters. Successfully avoiding or challenging the issuance of an Interpol “Red Notice” has become a regular outcome for its clients who had substantive extradition proceedings against them, were at risk of extradition or where extradition requests were politically motivated.

Commercial litigation: Bivonas Law provides a full litigation and dispute resolution service.  The firm acts in a range of complex, multi-jurisdictional and high-value disputes, requiring expertise in competition law, asset tracing, trusts, freezing injunctions, search orders and disclosure orders. The firm acts for and against individuals, businesses, multinational organisations and governments in a variety of industries including banking, investments, insurance, fintech, aviation, energy, mining and construction. The firm is proactive and resourceful when arranging funding for litigation and arbitration matters.

Regulatory and disciplinary investigations: Bivonas Law acts for individuals and companies from all sectors of financial services, including banking, insurance and asset management, facing regulatory and disciplinary proceedings. The practice is recognised as a leader in the field of Financial Conduct Authority investigations and enforcement.

The firm regularly advises professionals from other regulated sectors in relation to allegations of misconduct as well as advising company directors facing disqualification.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Managing Partner Cindy Dorringtoncdorrington@bivonas.com+44(0)2073372600
Senior Partner Antony Brownbrown@bivonas.com+44(0)2073372600
Partner John Becheletjbechelet@bivonas.com+44(0)2073372600
Partner Roland Ellisrellis@bivonas.com+44(0)2073372600
Partner Stephen Sharpssharp@bivonas.com+44(0)2073372600
English (fluent)
Russian
Greek
Spanish
International Bar Association
The Law Society of England & Wales