It is often the case that when a client first realises it may have been the victim of a fraud, the extent of the fraud or the prospects of any recovery are not known.

We are regularly instructed at this stage to evaluate the prospects of a commercial recovery and, as importantly, to avoid the various pitfalls in investigating a fraud that a client needs to avoid if it is not to prejudice its prospects of recovery. These pitfalls include not tipping off the fraudster about the investigation, preserving the authenticity of evidence and complying with employment and data protection requirements.

We have a long track record of working with investigators, forensic data recovery specialists and forensic accountants in investigating frauds. In so doing, we have identified how the fraud was committed, its extent and assets to be frozen.

In addition, we regularly obtain disclosure orders both in England and abroad against third parties to obtain information necessary to establish the claim and to identify assets which may be capable of being frozen. These orders are usually combined with gagging orders, which prevent the third party from disclosing the existence of the disclosure order to the fraudster. We have also made use of US legislation so as to be able to trace US$ payments and to compel the production of material documents.