Members of chambers have experience in acting on behalf of individuals and also companies and other business entities accused of fraud and dishonesty offences such as money laundering, tax evasion, false accounting and other unlawful financial dealings.
We are often contacted prior to a client being charged and give advice when the Police, Serious Fraud Office ("SFO") or other government agencies are still in the investigation stage of the proceedings.
Defence of fraud charges often requires barristers to read large volumes of documentation which the prosecution intends to rely upon to prove the allegation of dishonesty which is at the heart of even the largest fraud case. There can be large volumes of paperwork and data to analyse in these sorts of prosecutions.
Careful analysis of documentation allows the barrister to determine what the prosecution case is against the client and to focus on any issues disclosed by financial records and other paper work. Certain allegations require specific answers be given by the client to the barrister. At other times, financial experts such as forensic accountants will be required to give opinions, and sometimes evidence, regarding the interpretation of certain documents and paper trails.
We are accustomed to representing clients charged with fraud and are proficient in understanding the legislation which contain provisions that set out criminal offences for dishonesty. The Crimes Act sets out offences of dishonesty such as using a document for a pecuniary (financial) advantage but other legislation such as the SFO Act, the IRD and Customs Act also contain offence provisions which have as their basis dishonest financial dealings.