Our specialist corporate crime team at Lewis Nedas can help you resolve any corporate criminal issues your business may have. Finding your business or yourself part of a corporate criminal investigation can be a very difficult time. With over 30 years of legal practice experience, our team of criminal defence lawyers deliver the quality of service you need to feel at ease.
Whether you are making or defending a case, or ensuring your business is run in a legally compliant way, we are here to assist you. We specialise in the areas listed below, which means you can be confident you are receiving the highest quality advice and assistance:
Anti-Money Laundering Compliance & Investigations
Money laundering is treated very seriously in the UK. If your business is subject to the Money Laundering Regulations you must make sure you have sufficient controls in place to prevent it being used for money laundering purposes. Such measures include appointing a 'nominated officer' and ensuring identity checks are carried out on all clients and keeping documentation. You also have a responsibility to report any suspicious activity to the Serious Organised Crime Agency.
Bribery & Corruption Compliance & Investigations
The Bribery Act was introduced in the UK on 1 July 2011, and criminalises the giving, offering, promising and receiving of a bribe or agreeing to receive a of bribe. The Act also criminalises failing to prevent bribery. The Act imposes severe penalties including unlimited fines, up to ten years in prison, and a mandatory ban from tendering for public work in the EU. However, companies may defend themselves if they can prove they have adequate procedures in place to prevent unlawful conduct.
Business Dispute Resolution
Business dispute resolution is beneficial to all parties involved. It can potentially save a great amount of legal costs and time, avoids adverse publicity and can be a far quicker process than litigation. Furthermore, it allows parties greater control of the outcome and pertains to a wider range of settlement options which may be more suitable to your business needs.
Business Investigations (Criminal & Regulatory)
Cartels, Competition & Anti-Trust
Anti-Competitive behaviour is prohibited in the UK by the Competition Act 1998 and may also be prohibited under EU Law. Competition law prevents anticompetitive agreements between businesses and the abuse of a dominant position by a company. The sanctions for businesses infringing competition law can be substantial - up to 10% of their worldwide annual turnover.
Fraud is infinite in variety - many acts and omissions can constitute fraud. In general terms, fraud is defined in law as a misrepresentation of material information from one person to another with the knowledge that the material facts are false, in order to induce the person to act in a certain way, which will result in some kind of gain for the offending party. Fraud may also be constituted by a deliberate omission or failure to inform a party of material facts.
Corporate Fraud Investigations
Corporate fraud is fraud which occurs within an organisation or business. This may involve purposeful dishonesty to deceive the public, the organisation’s investors or their lending companies, this will usually result in financial gain to those individuals involved or the organisation. Corporate fraud may include: asset stripping, share ramping, fraudulent trading or publishing false information.
The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, which came into force on 6 April 2008 means that companies and organizations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter. The offence requires a serious management failure resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care. The Act, outlines the criminal liabilities of companies where severe failures in the management of health and safety result in a fatality. The corporate body will be prosecuted as opposed to the individuals involved, however individuals can still be prosecuted for health and safety offences.
Cyber Crime is the law surrounding the use of technology and conducting criminal activity has undergone a great deal of development in previous years, and is developing into a sophisticated body of rules and regulations. It is broadly reflective of the new and innovative ways that computers are being used to commit crimes that, historically, would have been more difficult to commit.
Emergency Response & Dawn Raids
‘Dawn Raids’ are the common name for the European Commission’s or National Competition Authority’s powers to inspect business premises unannounced for documents which may prove or help to prove the existence of anti-competitive agreements or conduct. Inspections may lead to proceedings which could result in a penalty of 10% of annual turnover. Furthermore, whilst under EU law individuals are unaffected, under UK competition law an individual can be guilty of a criminal offence if they agree to price fixing, limit supply or production, market or customer share or to rig-bids. It is prosecuted as being akin to fraud and on conviction there is the possibility of a maximum 5 year jail sentence, fine or both. If the individual is a director, they may be disqualified.
Employee fraud, sometimes referred to as internal fraud, is a fraud which is committed against the company or organisation the employee is working for. Employee fraud issues may be:
- Fraud relating to payment;
- Procurement fraud;
- Fraudulent travel and subsistence claims;
- Personnel management; or,
- Exploitation of information or assets.
Environmental crime is an increasingly serious issue in the UK. This area of law has been subject to reform in recent years, introducing Acts which impose severe sanctions:
- Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008;
- Environmental Damage (prevention and remediation) Regs 2009;
- Environmental Civil Sanctions Order 2010.
The Acts give the authorities power to impose fines of up to 10% of annual turnover and also confiscate assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
We have dealt with many issues successfully for our clients including:
- Water pollution;
- Waste management offences;
- Environmental permitting;
- Statutory nuisance proceedings; and,
- Appeals against abatement notices
FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft) Prosecutions
Downloading, accessing and copying material is easy but not necessarily lawful in the digital age, and that is why it is vital that you get the advice and assistance you need to stay compliant. The UK Government is pursuing a policy of deterrence of copyright theft and more and more frequently film and television companies are requesting information from internet service providers about what individuals are downloading in order to facilitate prosecutions. Courts have the power to impose fines and even imprisonment in relation to copyright offences. If you are being accused of copyright theft or looking for advice on staying compliant, contact us today.
FCA Investigations & Prosecutions
The FCA is the Financial Conduct Authority. The FCA have extensive powers to investigate not only regulated but also non-regulated businesses for suspected misconduct. As experts in the regulatory field, we have excellent experience and knowledge to assist businesses and individuals ensure they are operating according to the regulations, as well as helping those facing FCA investigation or prosecution.
Fraud is treated extremely seriously by the UK authorities. The government is continually legislating and increasing regulation in order to catch all fraudulent conduct and make it illegal. Penalties for fraud are equally serious including imprisonment and unlimited fines.
Health & Safety Prosecutions
Your duties as an employer are extremely important. You have a duty of care to your employees and you must take all reasonable and practical steps to ensure their safety at work. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, along with many other statutes and regulations, protect employees. Failure to comply with these statutes, or a breach of your duty of care, can result in expensive and lengthy litigation. It is therefore very important to seek comprehensive legal advice in this area.
Lewis Nedas Solicitors are exceptionally experienced in this area and familiar with the law. We can ensure you have the information and support you need to meet your obligations.
Insider Dealing & Market Manipulation/Abuse
Insider dealing and market manipulation are very damaging to the economy and taken seriously by the authorities. Under the Criminal Justice Act 1993, it is a criminal offence to trade in securities with ‘insider information’. The Act creates three kinds of offences:
- Dealing in securities when in possession of inside information;
- Having inside information and encouraging another person to deal;
- Having inside information and telling it to another person, otherwise than in proper performance of employment office or profession.
VAT & Tax Tribunal Proceedings, Investigations & Prosecutions
This area of law changes rapidly and is growing in importance for individuals and businesses. Dealing with an HMRC investigation can be complicated, lengthy and highly stressful. Information uncovered by the Revenue in these investigations will also be passed to other investigating authorities. Although the Revenue may have decided against a criminal investigation, they can, and will, pass suspicions or evidence relating to fraud, money laundering or POCA offences to other prosecuting authorities who could then go on to prosecute.
Lewis Nedas has vast experience in negotiating with HMRC and can deal effectively with compounding settlements and representation before the relevant Tribunals. We can also help you in dealing with the special compliance office, provide representation or advice for settlement interviews and agreements.
Our Specialist Lawyers
Contact our Corporate Crime Lawyers in Central London
With offices in Camden and Mayfair, we represent and advise businesses in Central London, West London, North London and across the UK.