Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

GIR Awards 2018 – Investigations Consultancy of the Year

27 September 2018

GIR Awards 2018 – Investigations Consultancy of the Year

Over the coming days GIR will reveal the shortlists for its third annual awards ceremony, which will be held on 25 October in Washington, DC at the Mayflower Hotel. The 2018 Awards will take place in the evening after the GIR Live DC Fall conference, scheduled for that afternoon.

The black-tie event will provide a chance to celebrate the investigations lawyers and practices that have impressed most in the past year, and is held in aid of Swawou Layout Girl’s School in Kenema, Sierra Leone, which helps disadvantaged girls in the region.

GIR’s top 30 investigations practices will also be unveiled on the night, and the event will culminate with a career achievement award for one exceptionally respected and admired individual.

The nominees for the GIR Award for Investigations Consultancy of the Year are:

Forensic Risk Alliance

FRA was awarded GIR’s Investigations Consultancy of the Year Award for back-to-back years in 2016 and 2017 and the firm has continued to impress over the past year. On the back of providing pivotal forensic services to companies such as UK engineering company Rolls-Royce and Swedish telecoms company Telia ahead of foreign bribery settlements, an FRA team led by Toby Duthie, Rob Mason and Gordon Macleod conducted work for Dutch oil services company SBM Offshore, which has settled US and Brazilian bribery charges in the last year. Lawyers who have worked on some of the biggest cases have commented that FRA stands out because compared to its competitors it’s more efficient, more creative and more experienced.


In the past year, AlixPartners has advised companies in the finance, retail and telecom sectors on large-scale investigations covering the US, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe. It was instructed to advise on the potential disgorgement a telecoms company should pay in connection with a foreign bribery case. The firm has been working with the administrators of The International Banking Corporation in Bahrain on an investigation into major financial irregularities. AlixPartners has also been acting as the administrators for collapsed oil company Afren. UK authorities allege that two former company executives intended to enrich themselves to the detriment of their employer.


When organisations find compliance problems, they turn to BDO for help. In July, the firm published a report for world football governing body Fifa, which had been blighted by a corruption scandal. BDO’s job was to monitor and report on the integrity of the bidding process for the right to host the 2026 World Cup, after corruption allegations emerged on the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Following a 2017 residential mortgage-backed securities settlement between US authorities and Deutsche Bank, the financial institution turned to BDO for help in reviewing its related practices.


PwC is regularly called upon to assist clients with investigating major cases. One of the latest clients to turn to PwC is the Malaysian government, as it tries to resolve the financial woes engulfing the country’s development fund 1MDB. Authorities around the world, including the US, Switzerland and Singapore, are investigating how billions of dollars were embezzled from 1MDB. In the words of the Malaysian government, PwC’s job is to review the fund so that “Malaysians would know the true financial state of affairs in 1MDB”.

Registration for the awards is now open.