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JAN
09

Outstanding result for Lewis Nedas Law and its Commercial and Litigation Department in company director disqualification case

insider tradingLewis Nedas Law Director and Regulatory Specialist Ian Coupland and Associate Solicitor Adam Creasey have achieved an outstanding result on behalf of an individual who was the subject of Company Director Disqualification Proceedings brought by the Official Receiver on the direction of the Secretary of State.

The case concerned an international Collective Investment Scheme fraud with investor losses totalling approximately £5.5 million.  The disqualification proceedings resulted from the winding up the fraudulent company, following which the Official Receiver then sought to disqualify the individuals concerned in running the scheme for a  period of 12 years under the Company Director Disqualification Act 1996.   

Our client had been accused of acting as a Director and/or Shadow Director of the fraudulent company. The Official Receiver’s Solicitors argued that our client caused or allowed the fraudulent company to make misrepresentations to obtain and/or misappropriate funds in excess of £2 million from members of the public. The evidence in support was extensive and was contained in 6 boxes. The consequences for our client of losing would have been substantial because  not only would it have resulted in him not being able to carry on as a Director in his current business, but there would also have been a substantial costs order award against him, and also potential criminal proceedings with the real risk of a custodial sentence.    

Ian and Adam working with specialist regulatory barrister Jeremy Barnett, Head of Regulatory Law at St Paul’s Chambers, Leeds, successfully presented counter-arguments to the Official Receiver’s Solicitors in our client’s witness statement in reply. This involved a detailed analysis of the case and our client’s actions.  Our client’s witness statement exceeded 15,000 words and included multiple exhibits, and after considering our client’s evidence with their specialist  Counsel, the Official Receiver’s Solicitors accepted our client’s position.  We then successfully negotiated the discontinuance of the case against our client and the recovery of his costs.

   

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JAN
09

Unravelling the UK Gender Pay Gap

If you are an employer with 250 employees or more, new legislation introduced this year requires you to publish your gender pay gap data annually. There are two sets of regulations dealing with the reporting; the first is largely for the private and voluntary sectors and the second is primarily aimed at the public sector (which took effect from 31 March 2017).

The deadline for reporting is 4 April 2018 for private and voluntary sectors, or 30 March 2018 for public sector employers. It is the employer's duty to comply with the regulations in any year where they have 250 or more employees on 5 April (for private and voluntary sector regulations) or 31 March (for public sector employers).

There is a wide definition of who should count as an employee: Workers are included, as well as some self-employed people. Agency workers are also included but will counted by the agency providing them as opposed to the place of work. The mean and median gender pay gap must be submitted, along with the difference in bonuses given to male and female workers as well as the number of males and females in each pay grade. These measures laid out by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, are open for consultation until 2nd February.

The Office for National Statistics has stated the gender pay gap for all employees in the UK is 18.4 percent, and 9.1 percent for full-time employees. It is clear from some of the figures that have been published that some employers have much bigger gender pay gaps than others.

Gender Pay Gap Penalties

UK companies that fail to comply with the reporting regulations could face severe penalties in the form of "unlimited" fines and convictions, which will be issued by the regulator enforcing them. Employers will have an option to enter into a formal agreement to comply with regulations as an alternative to an investigation being initiated. Those who have breached the regulations who refuse to accept an agreement will be pursued through the courts. The EHRC said that, while it would not check the accuracy of data itself, incorrect information would qualify as a breach of the regulations. Published data must be signed off at a senior level by employers, but the government does not check the information.

The gender pay gap issue has been in the spotlight for some time after the BBC disclosed a 10.7 percent gap in favour of male employees last summer. This led to a huge row which saw the recent resignation of the BBC's China Editor Carrie Gracie resigning, calling the scandal a 'crisis of trust'. Gracie has worked for the BBC for thirty years, is widely respected among her peers and is regarded as of as one of the BBC's most talented journalists.

Figures released by the Government departments show some startling figures, with a number of departments showing men being paid significantly higher rates on average than women. In the Department of Transport, men are paid 16.9 percent more than women at the department and also receive bonuses. The Department for Exiting the European Union has a gap of 15.26 percent, and at the Department of Health, it is 14.2 per cent, both in favour of male workers. Bonuses at the Department of Health are a hefty 33.1 per cent higher for men. 

Discrimination in the workplace is a serious issue. It can undermine morale, harm productivity and, if not nipped in the bud, lead to expensive and troublesome legal action. If you are an employee who feels discriminated against, or are an employer facing issues regarding discrimination in the workplace, our employment solicitors can help.

Why Lewis Nedas?

Our employment lawyers are experienced with a wide range of employment law claims, including discrimination in the workplace, on behalf of both employees and employers. If you feel you have been treated unfairly, or you are an employer worried about discrimination issues, contact Lewis Nedas Law today by calling us on 02073872032 or complete our our online contact form.

At Lewis Nedas Law, you can rely on us to deliver the highest quality service at a reasonable cost. We have the experience, but we do not have City of London overheads or steep hourly rates. Above all, we want to understand your commercial objectives, and will do our best to achieve them. We work closely with exceptional Counsel where appropriate.

We are aware that legal costs can be a burden, which is why we are keen to keep our charges to as low a level as can reasonably be achieved. We will guide you as to the most effective ways of enabling us to give you the best service we can, whilst also keeping our fees down.

Contact our Employment Solicitors London Today

You can rely on Lewis Nedas to tell you if your case has problems which make it desirable to negotiate a settlement with your opponents. We do our best to resolve employee/employer disputes as amicably as possible, and can help you achieve an outcome that is agreeable to you, with your interests at the heart of everything we do.

This article is intended to be no more than a general guide, and does not comprise legal advice. You are strongly advised to take legal advice before making or resisting any application to the Court.

For legal advice and assistance, contact Lewis Nedas Law today on 02073872032, or complete our our online contact form.

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JAN
09

Bitcoin Database to Tackle Fraud

As part of a large-scale crackdown on cryptocurrencies, the European Union is considering a database of Bitcoin owners in Europe under laws designed to fight money laundering and terrorism. The database will be a central hub of information on the individuals who use the online exchanges where Bitcoin is marketed. The proposal follows fears that the anonymity enjoyed by Bitcoin investors is being used to finance criminality and evade taxation. With the total value of all cryptocurrencies in circulation now over $600bn, there is a strong argument for regulation and tighter control.

The decisions were part of a number of amendments to the Fourth Anti Money Laundering Directive. Online exchanges, it was decided, must abide by strict customer identity requirements, and suspicious activity must be reported to the authorities. The amendments included a clause stating that the EU may set up a central database registering users' identities and wallet addresses". The database would be accessible to financial crime fighters such as the National Crime Agency, as well as asset recovery officers.

Bitcoin has often been considered anonymous since users do not have to sign up with their real names. This has made it a favourite of the online black market and is often linked to dark web drug purchases and terrorist financing.

However, the new requirements would make it less possible to hide transactions and may raise privacy fears. Bitcoin’s users are not public, but transactions are, so being able to link transactions to individuals may prove controversial.

The new EU rules are the latest intervention from regulators as money pours into Bitcoin. Its value has reached almost £15,000.

Regulators are also carefully watching initial coin offerings, a crowdfunding mechanism that uses cryptocurrencies, for signs of fraud and cyberattacks, while America's IRS is cracking down on tax avoidances.

What does this mean for Bitcoin Investors?

Whether the regulation of bitcoin will encourage more investors as relatively safe, mainstream currency remains to be seen. As Bitcoin is used on the black market, the lack of privacy may see certain investors re-think their strategy and pull out, causing the bubble to burst for everyone, as people withdraw their funds at the signs of any future wobbles in the market.

Many venture capital firms now directly invest in new cryptocurrencies, and, as can be seen by the offshore banking system, there is a demand for individuals and companies to store money in an investment where it is immune to taxation. For these reasons, there is the argument that the demand for Bitcoin will remain buoyant despite heavy regulation.

ICO Venture Fraud

Another major new hurdle for enforcement agencies today is the wave of ICO venture frauds we see across the globe. Initial Coin Offering (ICO) ventures have been given a hard time recently, as not only is fraud a common occurrence, in the form of companies being set-up for criminal reasons where there is no intention of creating a viable purpose, but also the ventures are often being used by criminals looking to launder money. Currently, a person setting up an ICO venture does not have to reveal their identity. Regulation in this area will certainly address some of these problems, but to what extent regulation will change things remains to be seen. 

The UK is currently well behind other countries in terms of cryptocurrency regulation. In the US, we are seeing individuals face charges for cryptocurrency crimes on a regular basis. The US financial regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned the public over cryptocurrency and initial coin offering investments, where there is substantially less investor protection and greater opportunities for fraud. A new cyber unit has been created within the SEC last September which recently shut down an initial coin offering scam worth over $15 million. This is the first case filed by the cyber unit.

Whether you are an individual bitcoin investor, are launching an ICO venture or considering investing in one, our solicitors can guide you on the right track. We represent individuals under investigation for fraud and are also on hand to offer guidance on compliance and regulation issues for you and your business. Our solicitors are experts in financial crime and fraud cases and have the requisite experience to see you through an investigation – giving you practical and pragmatic advice every step of the way.

Why Lewis Nedas?

We are a boutique law firm with over thirty years’ experience of defending corporate and financial crime and white-collar fraud. We know the mindset of the various prosecution and regulatory agencies and have an excellent record of success when dealing with those bodies.

We bring a fresh approach to legal services in this area because of our solid fraud defence and regulatory background and our no-nonsense approach to delivering practical solutions for our clients. The firm has been a member of the specialist VHCC fraud panel since its inception; this is run by the Government, which ensures the highest levels of practice and expertise by those of our staff upon the panel.

Contact our Financial Crime Solicitors London Today

At Lewis Nedas Law, you can rely on us to deliver a high-quality legal service effectively and efficiently. We have the experience and know-how, without the City of London overheads or steep hourly rates, and work closely with exceptional Counsel as appropriate to ensure you the best outcome possible.

We are aware that legal costs can be a burden, and we are keen to keep our charges to as low a level as can reasonably be achieved, and will always be open about costs. We will guide you as to the most effective ways of enabling us to give you the best service we can, whilst also keeping our fees down. 

This article is intended to be no more than a general guide and does not comprise legal advice. You are strongly advised to take legal advice before making or resisting any application to the Court.

For legal advice and assistance, please contact us today on 02073872032 or complete our online application form.

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JAN
09

Government Takes Action to Tackle Money Laundering &Fraud

As the new Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill is being scrutinised in the House of Lords, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced a new national economic crime centre to tackle fraud and money laundering schemes. Rudd will also be chairing a new economic crime strategic board to drive action who will agree on strategic priorities and to ensure the right resources are allocated to our law enforcement agencies to tackle economic crime. This is in addition to several other developments brought in to help quash high-level economic crime, curb the exploitation of the vulnerable, and stop criminals profiting from fraud, money laundering and corruption. An anti-corruption strategy which sets out domestic and international anti-corruption priorities and establishes a long-term framework for tackling corruption has also been established. The strategy seeks to reduce threats to national security, create stronger economic opportunities and to promote greater public trust and confidence in our institutions.

The stability of the UK economy and its status as an international financial centre is currently at risk as a result of large-scale money laundering. The government's most recent national risk assessment, shows large-scale money laundering through UK businesses is substantial, and laundering through capital markets is seeing an increase in recent years. Costing each household around £255 a year, and undermining our financial institutions, the government is now determined to stop financial crime in its tracks and gain more control over this highly complex and fast-moving industry.

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill is intended to set out a post-Brexit framework for UK anti-money laundering measures and is a necessary step to put the government in line with international policy as well as being crucial for tackling high-level financial crimes posing a major threat to our institutions. Once ratified, the Act will have significant implications for not only the UK's financial and professional services in terms of regulation but also for anyone conducting business in the UK, substantially increasing the compliance burden on the private sector.

The government ministers will be able to define the scope of preventative obligations such as risk assessments and maintaining registers and records, as well as mechanisms for enforcement. Whether these obligations are extended beyond the private sector will also be debated, as well as whether to introduce sanctions for illegal activity carried out by British citizens abroad. The powers the Act will grant be focussed to combating money laundering and terrorist financing as well as any other threat to the integrity of the international financial system.

Economic Crime Centre

The new national economic crime centre proposed will operate within the National Crime Agency (NCA) and its purpose will be the coordination of the national response to economic crime, backed by intelligence and analytics capabilities with assistance from other government, law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, as well as resources from the private sector.

FCA Watchdog

A new watchdog within the Financial Conduct Authority has also been introduced in December which will strengthen the cause against money laundering in the UK. The Office for Professional Body AML Supervision (OPBAS) will improve standards and communication between law enforcement agencies and supervisors, helping to eliminate potential vulnerabilities caused by several organisations supervising the same sector, it will oversee twenty-two accountancy and legal professional body AML supervisors.

In addition to these developments, the Law Commission is also reviewing the law on confiscation in the Proceeds of Crime Act with the aim of improving the process and enforcement of confiscation orders, and the government will also make reforms to the way suspicious activity is reported and recorded.

The recent changes will without a doubt have consequences that will be felt by organisations and individuals across the board, but the biggest impact will be with the financial institutions who be subject to the new compliance regulations, and additional checks and balances that the new regime will be putting in place.

Even the most experienced, prudent professional or businessperson can unwittingly become a conduit for money laundering, resulting in penalties and prosecution, and may have a profound effect on your liberty, your professional/business reputation, and your financial situation.

Our team of experts can advise you on your existing anti-money laundering policies, can help you and your company set up a system with the latest cutting-edge advice, ensuring you avoid non-compliance penalties and prosecution.

We have a long history of representing individuals facing such proceedings brought by FCA/IMRO/BERR. We advise on compliance on regulatory issues, and if you are under investigation and we also provide strong and reliable representation at Professional tribunals. It is vital that if you are facing such an investigation or if you are concerned that your company's internal safeguards may NOT pass muster, that you instruct lawyers with genuine hands-on experience. Jeffrey Lewis spent years in the City as an investment analyst and counts many City professionals as former colleagues and clients. His knowledge and experience in City institutions is second to none, and he has successfully defended countless investigations over the years, in both regulatory and criminal proceedings.

Why Lewis Nedas Law?

At Lewis Nedas Law, you can rely on us to deliver a high-quality service at a reasonable cost. We are a boutique law firm with over thirty years’ experience of defending corporate and financial crime and white-collar fraud. We have an expert understanding of the industry and the various prosecution and regulatory agencies and have an excellent record of success when representing clients dealing with enforcement agencies.

Contact our Financial Crime Solicitors London Today

Our highly skilled lawyers have the experience and knowledge but without the City of London overheads or steep hourly rates. We work closely with exceptional Counsel where appropriate.

We will guide you as to the most effective ways of enabling us to give you the best service we can, while also keeping our fees down.

This article is intended to be no more than a general guide and does not comprise legal advice. You are strongly advised to take legal advice before making or resisting any application to the Court.

For high-quality legal advice and assistance on money laundering matters, contact us today on 02073872032 or complete our online contact form.

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DEC
22

More successful results for Lewis Nedas Criminal and Fraud defence lawyers

  1. super lawyer comicRichard Demczak successfully secured the acquittal of an individual who faced two charges of rape on indictment. The case was tried at Oxford Crown Court, and the superb John Carmichael, barrister, was the instructed advocate;

  2. Siobhain Egan has recently and successfully represented the following clients:

(a) An accountant whose trial for money laundering and POCA offence resulted in a Judge directed acquittal after successful legal submissions were made upon his behalf;

(b) A research scientist and management accountant (separate cases) both investigated for systematic fraud, one case was dropped completely and the other avoided a criminal prosecution as a result of strong legal submissions, put forward by Siobhain, together with a civil remedy;

(c) Another accountant who pleaded guilty to a  rarely used Charity Commission offence concerning the reckless preparation of charity accounts, he received a short custodial sentence which was suspended for 18 months. His advocate was the excellent Rishi Nathwani, barrister.

    

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