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Successful Conclusion to FSA Investigation

Siobhain Egan has represented and advised a senior finance professional who was the subject of a long and detailed FSA investigation, which reached a successful conclusion in favour of our client, and who does not face any sanction from the FSA.

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Are the FSA at Risk of Throwing the Baby Out With the Bathwater? – By Siobhain Egan

The FSA have outlined details of another new offensive against Unregulated Collective Investment schemes (UCIS) and have many alternative investments firmly within their sights.

New rules are due to come into force in early 2013, which will effectively preclude the majority of private investors from UCIS unless the investors fall within strictly prescribed definitions, e.g. the investors should have an income of £100,000, have an investment fund of at least £250,000, and be considered to be experienced/sophisticated investors.

The new rules will also cover Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs).

This is very admirable as far as unscrupulous financial advisors are concerned, i.e. those who ‘hard sell’ to vulnerable investors, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a problem with the products themselves e.g. wine, carbon credits or property, and in effect it will exclude all but the most wealthy private investors.

The rules concerning UCIS/SPVs will affect legitimate well-performing Hedge Funds as well, so we can expect some reaction to these proposals from some influential figures in the City.

Currently, the FSA have determined that there are some 85,000 people with ‘alternative investments’ worth over £3.5 billion and controlled by over 3,000 companies.

We are advising a number of clients who run alternative investment companies, and investors who are worried about the legitimacy of these investments.

Contact Jeffrey Lewis or Siobhain Egan if you have any concerns.

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Bribery Act 2010 – by Siobhain Egan

As part of the coalition government’s renewed attempts to clamp down on business corruption, this act came into force in July 2011. Its stringent conditions apply to those individuals and companies trading; both foreign and UK companies, as long as the foreign companies operate in this country.

The act demands that individuals and companies have in place adequate anti-corruption procedures. The act is not particularly well-drafted and therefore there are many grey areas which are open to interpretation.

The SFO are advocating the need for self-reporting and the government is currently considering the use of deferred prosecution agreements in this context.

The penalties for failing to install adequate anti-corruption procedures are high. The FSA have recently and repeatedly levied huge fines against companies who have failed to do this.

Lewis Nedas Law have a team of serious fraud experts headed by Jeffrey Lewis, who can assist with advice regarding these anti-corruption systems and other relevant issues. We have a thirty-year proven track record of success in dealing with tax, VAT investigations and fraud, money laundering, and insider dealing.

We work with highly regarded independent forensic accountants and barristers.

We can advise where you suspect fraud or corruption within your company and how to approach the authorities. We pride ourselves upon our ‘City standards of practice’ without the City rates!

Contact Jeffrey Lewis.

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