Civil fraud is a civil action that can be brought by a defrauded person (the ‘claimant’) to recover losses caused by the fraudulent conduct of others. The remedy sought by the claimant is usually compensation – a payment of money – from the alleged fraudster(s) (the ‘defendant(s)’).
Civil fraud is a complex area of law that can be perplexing to those who find themselves involved in it. That is why it is important that such matters are handled by solicitors who are well versed in all aspects of civil fraud in assembling a case and responding to all the challenges that may be posed by it.
We act for both claimants and defendants, and have particular experience in complex and high value fraud litigation affecting various types of business and personal situations.
Any civil fraud case involves taking the most appropriate steps at the right time. We can provide specialist advice to ensure the right tactics and strategy are employed so that decisions that are acted on are the right ones to protect a claimant’s or defendant’s position and prospects of success.
There is a particular need (from a claimant’s perspective) to preserve assets and effect recovery, and (from a defendant’s perspective) to mitigate the damaging implications fraud allegations may have.
All civil fraud claims usually involve an element of dishonesty or breach of trust, such as a false statement, a misrepresentation, or withholding the truth where there is a duty to disclose the truth, which results in reliance and loss to the claimant.
We will be able to advise you on which claim(s) are most appropriate to your situation.
Our expertise includes:
- Investigation and evidence collection
- Gathering evidence in preparation for complex contractual disputes, involving allegations of fraud (and related claims)
- Internal investigations into fraud and case assessment
- Urgent injunctive relief, including freezing orders to preserve assets
- Disclosure orders, including against innocent third parties such as banks, or accountants, that might have become “mixed up” in wrongdoing
- Search orders, orders for delivery up
- Pre-action correspondence and pursuing and defending cases through the courts
- Settlement negotiations, and ADR (alternative dispute resolution) including mediation
- Reputation management
- Enforcement actions (including liaising with local counsel in different jurisdictions)
- Bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings
- Asset recovery, including recovery of assets in foreign jurisdictions
The types of cases we cover include:
- Disputes involving company directors and shareholders where a person has (or a number of personas have) acted dishonestly causing a loss to the company/its shareholders.
- Partnership disputes concerning allegations of civil fraud.
- Failed joint venture or other contractual agreements whereby a party has acted dishonestly for their own gain and to the detriment of others.
- Mis-selling of investment products or loans and financial products.
- Disputes between trustees and investors.
- Advising on civil fraud cases concerning investment schemes.
- Advising on push payment fraud, and recovering consequential debts.
Recent cases we have worked on include:
- Commercial client: Advising and representing a hugely successful company in investigating and pursuing claims with a value of over £40 million against several of the company directors and third party individuals who received excessive sums from the company to which they were not entitled, or facilitated or authorised excessive sums to be paid out from the company to the detriment of the companies’ shareholders. A number of civil fraud heads of claim were pursued against multiple defendants including breach of directors duties breach of fiduciary duties, breach of trust, dishonest assistance, knowing receipt, unjust enrichment and unlawful means conspiracy.
- Commercial and Director client: Advising and representing two companies and its Director in defending a £4.2 million claim in which there were allegations of misrepresentation, unlawful means conspiracy and deceit. This was a complex multiparty dispute which settled shortly after mediation.
- Individual client: Advising and representing an individual who fell victim to a company hijacking situation. The company owned a significant property asset and this asset needed to be protected. An urgent application for injunctive relief was obtained alongside bringing a claim to rectify the register of the Company.
- Individual client: Advising and representing a partner of a dissolved partnership in pursuing a claim of significant value against his former party for a 50% profit share and payment of unpaid profit share. The opponent partner had taken partnership profits for their own and failed to account to our client for his share.
For specialist legal advice about bringing or defending a civil fraud claim, please contact Claire Boucher or Cara White.