The Fraud Advisory Panel has, in a publication issued yesterday, identified the problem facing victims of fraud in choosing the right specialist advisors. According to the Fraud Advisory Panel:
“A widespread lack of experience and self-confidence extends even to those marketing themselves as fraud experts. Many such self-proclaimed ‘experts’ refused to be interviewed for this project, admitting that their experience is in fact minimal’.”
It is often the case that lawyers who are inexperienced in fraud cases will not have sufficient regard to the particular needs of a fraud case, especially the ultimate enforceability of any judgment that is obtained. In particularly cases where assets are held through complex structures, in multiple jurisdictions, it is very important to be able to identify what orders are required to provide effective protection from dissipation of assets.
Thus the strategy for a victim of fraud may involve co-ordinating lawyers in multiple jurisdictions to obtain freezing, disclosure and search orders to locate and freeze assets. Moreover the process is ongoing with analysis of the defendant’s asset disclosure, the seeking of further disclosure orders, cross-examination as to assets and committal orders for breach of the disclosure obligations. As well as identifying the appropriate lawyers in each jurisdiction, there is often a need to work with specialist investigators, forensic accountants and computer forensic experts.
Of course, each case depends on its own facts and the commercial considerations for the victim. It may for example be appropriate to target third parties who may be accountable and who may have assets or insurance to satisfy any judgment. It may also be the case that the victim should be advised that it is not commercial to pursue a particular case. Knowing which options are best for a victim comes with experience built up in conducting fraud cases worldwide over many years.