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Fraud and Asset Recovery

United Kingdom

Fraud has become an increasingly common element of large commercial disputes. The CMS Disputes team supports clients in complex international fraud and asset tracing matters across the banking, finance, energy and insurance sectors. 

Supported by an extensive international network and a highly regarded risk and investigations team known for cutting-edge financial regulatory work, CMS have developed a reputation as advisers of choice for high profile civil fraud work across a range of sectors and across multiple jurisdictions.

Our civil fraud work is consistently recognised in The Lawyer’s ‘Top 20 Cases to Watch’ list and our depth of experience in civil and criminal fraud disputes and investigations continues to be recognised with a Legal 500 Band 2 ranking.  

Our team also has extensive experience acting in large-scale fraud claims arising out of business in the Russian market, including work for Yukos, Anastasia Koldyreva and Alexander Gorbachev concerning the ownership of Russian fertiliser business PhosAgro. 

Our expertise includes advising:

  • Various corporate defendants in relation to a US$1-2 billion multi-jurisdictional claim brought in the Commercial Court for, amongst other things, unlawful means conspiracy, fraudulent misrepresentation, forgery and deceit relating to Wind Energy Holdings Co Ltd, a Thai wind energy company.  
  • Mr Alexander Gorbachev in his high-profile £2 billion claim against Russian billionare Andrey Grigoryevich Guriev to recover 24.75% of the issued share capital of PhosAgro. 
  • Ms Anastasia Koldyreva, the financial manager appointed for Anatoly Motylev in Russia, a well-known banker in Russia now residing in London.  In this cross-border insolvency, CMS assisted in successfully obtaining a worldwide freezing order, search orders, a passport order and Norwich Pharmacal orders and brought concurrent bankruptcy proceedings in the High Court against Mr Motylev.  
  • A private client in civil proceedings brought by Skatteforvaltningen (The Danish Customs and Tax Administration) arising from the public collapse of Solo Capital and concerning allegations of international fraud and money laundering. 
  • Slater & Gordon in its claim against Watchstone Group plc, formerly known as Quindell plc, for fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of warranty arising from the highly-publicised acquisition by Slater & Gordon of Quindell's legal services division in 2015. 
  • A banking client in respect of a multi-hundred million-dollar trade finance fraud.  The client turned to CMS to advise on financial restructuring and recovering of its lending portfolio, following previous mandates to advise on issues of fraud affecting its lending.  
  • Essar Capital Services (UK) Limited in proceedings issued to recognise and enforce a US$1.5 billion arbitral award in the context of allegations of international fraud. The matter is widely cited as a significant evolution in the jurisprudence regulating the jurisdictional reach of the Commercial Court.
  • Lloyds Bank plc in a long-running fraud dispute between the joint liquidators of Premier Motorauctions Limited and Premier Motorauctions Leeds Limited and Lloyds and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. The dispute, which raised issues of conspiracy was settled prior to a seven-week trial by way of a consent order by which the claimants’ claims against Lloyds and PwC were dismissed by the court. 
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"CMS is a well-resourced, well-run law firm with first class lawyers."

Legal 500, 2021

"Bernard is a creative and innovative fraud lawyer who gets quick and excellent results for his clients.’ ‘He is bright, enthusiastic and client-driven.’ ‘An imaginative lawyer who can find solutions to unusual and difficult problems."

Chambers, 2021

"Omar Qureshi and his partners have deliberately cultivated a global CMS offering for business crime issues."

Legal 500, 2021

"Eoin O’Shea is an exceptional team leader – an excellent lawyer, strategically astute and very experienced."

Legal 500, 2021
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