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- Serious and Complex Crime
Bindmans is a leading firm in defending individual and corporate clients facing allegations of fraud financial and business crime. We are very experienced in this complex and challenging field. For every client we represent, we bring to bear our renowned forensic skills in analysing the prosecution case, and our fierce commitment to our clients’ interests and rights in presenting their defence.
Our team, headed by Katie Wheatley and Martin Rackstraw is highly experienced and has a strong track record in successfully representing clients in some of the largest and difficult financial crime cases. It is ranked in both Legal 500 (as a First Tier Firm) and Chambers and Partners.
Martin Rackstraw is strongly recommended and praised for his good judgement. Examples of his recent work include an OFT prosecution of a money lending company. Katie Wheatley handles a range of work across the criminal and fraud spectrum. She has built a reputation for being “always available and fizzing with ideas, just unbelievably committed.” (Chambers and partners)
Our lawyers represent clients throughout the entire criminal process, beginning at the initial interview under caution. We are frequently instructed in relation to proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act, including restraint and confiscation proceedings, as well as preparing cases involving lengthy and complex criminal trials.
We understand that being the subject of an intrusive criminal investigation, often coupled with debilitating financial restraint and parallel internal investigations and regulatory proceedings, can be a tremendous strain. In defending our clients we do not lose sight of this. We do everything we can to minimise the impact of any investigation. Wherever possible we strive to:
• Negotiate voluntary attendance for interviews as an alternative to arrest, or in arrest cases promote our clients rights to bail
• Seek disclosure and adequate time and facilities to prepare for interview
• Provide clear advice about whether or not to answer questions in interview and intervene to prevent unfair or oppressive lines of questioning.
• Examine the terms of search warrants issued and property seized and advise on grounds for challenging the seizures or restricting access of investigators to confidential or privileged information.
• In restraint cases advise on compliance with information requirements and assist with variation of the terms or applications to discharge
• We can advise how to respond to media coverage and our media and information department can also give specialist advice in this area.
If criminal charges follow, our style of defending, for which we have built a reputation over many years, involves calm analysis of the evidence and applicable law, intelligible advice and fearless promotion of our clients’ rights and interests. We work very closely with our clients to understand their case and wishes so that we can build the most appropriate defence; be that a full on trial or a negotiated plea of guilty involving accepting limited facts.
Each case involving allegations of fraud financial or business crime is run by a solicitor with the right level of experience for it. Where needed, a team of lawyers is involved, but our client never loses access to the solicitor handling his or her case as the first point of contact.
Often our work on cases of fraud financial or business crime includes examining huge volumes of evidence. We are adept at sifting out the material of value for the defence and do not lose sight of the objectives of the defence case. We also look out side of materials provided but the prosecution to find the best evidence to support the defence case. We have access to a wide choice of the best external barristers and experts who can add real value to the defence.
We defend in investigations and prosecutions by the Serious Fraud Office, the Financial Services Authority, HM Revenue & Customs, regional police fraud squads, and the City of London Police Economic Crime Unit. Our skills and experience easily match these specialist investigatory bodies and we believe we are respected for our robust and professional approach.
We act for individuals and corporate clients involved in regulatory investigations involving allegations of fraud, corruption, tax evasion, insider dealing, money laundering and offences under the Companies Acts.
In addition to financial crime, we have extensive experience of corporate criminal cases investigated by the police and Health and Safety Executive involving allegations of corporate manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter and health and safety offences.
Our serious fraud cases very often involve an international dimension with regulators in the UK working with counterparts abroad. We have experience of dealing with cases involving extradition and mutual legal assistance requests to or from overseas. We can draw on the experience of Bindmans’ Immigration and Employment teams where needed.
Recent and current cases have included:
• Successfully defending in the multi-million pound “Jubilee fraud” prosecution
• Advising in two major SFO international corruption investigations
• Defending in what was at the time the largest VAT fraud ever prosecuted in the UK
• Advising in the FSA Libor “rate-fixing” investigation
• Successfully defending a client tried for “insider dealing” allegations in a case described in “The Lawyer” magazine as one of top 20 trials of 2012: http://www.thelawyer.com/1010744.article.
For further details on our specialist services relating to serious fraud and business crime, please click on the relevant links: