Fieldfisher launched a new London-based commercial crime team in 2022, demonstrating its commitment to building leading investigations practices in the most important cities.
International firm Fieldfisher’s leading practices in energy, technology and financial services are supported by a network of over 1,700 lawyers and support staff across 26 offices in 11 countries. The firm’s multidisciplinary investigations team consists of internationally recognised specialists drawing on their experience from government positions, senior legal roles in international banks and as investigations leads in multinational companies.
Partner John Cassels in London co-chairs the firm’s regulatory team and has extensive experience handling regulatory investigations in the transport, life sciences, food and beverage, and financial services sectors. Cassels also specialises in competition law and risk management.
Cassels works alongside Tony Lewis, who leads the civil fraud team and is routinely involved in multijurisdictional issues involving the SFO, FCA, HMRC, and NCA. With over 25 years of experience, he has expertise in various types of investigations arising from fraud and financial crime.
Also in London is head of the sanctions group and MENA desk, Vivien Davies, whose practice is focused on compliance and anti-money laundering issues, cross-border enforcement, corruption and civil fraud. Davies is a fluent Arabic speaker who works closely with Fieldfisher’s Middle East and North African clients. Miguel Vaz, also in London, is another important member of the firm’s MENA group. Vaz is qualified in the UK, Portugal and Brazil and speaks English, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, which gives him a distinct advantage supporting multinationals on cross-border investigations. Rafael Sevilla, who joined the firm from a compliance-focused boutique in 2021, leads the firm’s white-collar practice in Spain. Over the past decade, his work has focused on matters concerning anti-bribery compliance and internal investigations.
Two notable recent hires were ex-Fulcrum Chambers barristers Quinton Newcomb and Shiv Haria-Shah who joined in December 2021 and January 2022, respectively. The experienced criminal defence lawyers were recruited to establish a new commercial crime team that specialises in representing companies and their leaders in white-collar criminal defence, cross-border investigation and corporate compliance matters.
The London office was further bolstered by the arrival in July of Priyanka Kapoor from PCB Byrne. A dual-qualified lawyer in the UK and India, Priyanka specialises in commercial disputes and white-collar crime, with a particular focus on India, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
London-based data privacy and financial crime compliance partner Judy Krieg left the firm in 2021 to join the SFO as a casework division head.
In one of its most high-profile engagements, Fieldfisher was instructed by collapsed German payments company Wirecard to conduct an internal investigation in relation to allegations of serious fraud offences encompassing activities in numerous jurisdictions worldwide. Munich prosecutors charged Wirecard’s former CEO, Markus Braun, in March with market manipulation, fraud and breach of trust offences in connection with the company’s dramatic collapse in 2020. Braun has denied wrongdoing.
During Haria-Shah and Newcomb’s time at Fulcrum Chambers they acted on two high-profile SFO investigations. They represent mining company Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) in an ongoing SFO corruption investigation, as well as in litigation stemming from the probe where ENRC accused its former law firm Dechert of conspiring with the SFO to leak the company’s confidential information – claims that the High Court of England and Wales upheld in 2022. The lawyers continue to act for ENRC following their arrival at Fieldfisher.
Haria-Shah and Newcomb also defended Alstom when the SFO prosecuted the French engineering company’s UK subsidiary for conspiring to make corrupt payments to associates of a former Tunisian prime minister. A London jury convicted the Alstom subsidiary in 2018 and the company was ordered to pay a £16.4 million penalty.
Fieldfisher has an extended network of European offices and is present in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Berlin, Birmingham, Bologna, Brussels, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Manchester, Milan, Munich, Paris, Rome, Turin and Venice.
It also has a presence in China, with offices in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, as well as a US office in Silicon Valley.
Major corporate clients of the firm include Facebook, the BBC, Starbucks, Peloton, Harbour Energy and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
It also acts for major regulators including the General Medical Council, Solicitors Regulatory Authority, Bar Standards Board, Financial Reporting Council and Professional Standards Authority.
The firm has represented individuals in major UK corporate crime cases including SFO investigations into Rolls-Royce, Rio Tinto, Serco, G4S, Afren and Tata Steel.
Fieldfisher is a leader in global investigations, with full subject-matter coverage across the world. Recognising that the most significant and complex cross-border investigations are multi-faceted, Fieldfisher's multi-disciplinary and diverse Global Investigations Team combines experience from our dispute resolution, regulatory, competition, employment, data privacy, sanctions, and tax teams across multiple jurisdictions, ensuring that our clients have all angles covered.
In addition to internal investigations, Fieldfisher represents companies and their leaders in relation to cross-border regulatory and government investigations and criminal defence. Our UK team is one of the few in the market that has first-hand experience of handling major contested criminal prosecutions of corporates, from pre-charge through to conclusion. We act as investigators, litigators and trial counsel, and members of the team have experience giving expert evidence, as well as sitting in a judicial capacity. Law enforcement bodies and regulators have sought out Fieldfisher for advice, which makes us particularly well placed to advise clients on how to navigate regulatory issues and investigations. The breadth and depth of our experience in investigations and criminal and regulatory defence makes us uniquely well placed to provide advice to clients as part of our ethics and compliance advisory practice.
Fieldfisher is at the cutting-edge of legal developments in the investigations space. The firm acts for ENRC one of the highest-profile matters on the SFO's books. Members of our team acted as litigators and as trial counsel to Alstom in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal. The case was the largest contested corporate corruption prosecution in UK legal history. The corporate defendant was acquitted of three out of four charges brought against it and hearings before the Court of Appeal helped to refine the law on cross-border prosecutions in such cases. Fieldfisher also advised Wirecard in one of the most high profile and complex financial crime investigations in recent history, with allegations of fraud relating to activity in numerous jurisdictions worldwide.
Our Global Investigations Team includes Sanctions lawyers who have advised on, negotiated and drafted EU and UN sanctions regimes in Government. This expertise, coupled with our offices throughout Europe and close contacts with US experts, ideally places us to advise on both the contentious and non-contentious aspects of sanctions and trade restrictions. Fieldfisher is the only law firm in the UK able to offer first-hand experience of how the UK Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) conducts its trade remedies investigations and makes its assessments under this new legal framework.
Our Tax Disputes and Investigations lawyers include barristers, solicitors, and individuals with experience acting for tax authorities as Inspectors. Fieldfisher has been involved in some of the most significant inquests and public inquiries over the past 15 years, including UK matters relating to terrorist bombings and the ongoing UK Covid-19 Public Inquiry. Our experience dealing with the most high profile, sensitive, complex and document heavy investigations benefits and brings modern best practice to our corporate investigations practice.
Our UK and international privacy team takes an expert and measured approach to navigating the complexities of personal data processing in the context of investigations. This includes advising on privacy requirements in respect of enquiries (including in 2021 on a high profile enquiry relating to physical and mental abuse) and personal data breach notifications, to data subjects and data protection regulators. The team also advises on data protection, impact assessments, and implementation of compliance measures relating to the identification and tracking of perpetrators of fraud and in respect of whistleblowing processes and systems. Our cross-practice cybersecurity group and specialist data protection litigators allow us to handle flashpoints with an informed risk perspective and deliver pragmatic support both in a crisis and throughout an investigation.
Fieldfisher's leading European network of offices is supported by additional offices in the US and China which, coupled with international partner firms, enables us to advise clients around the world with seamless efficiency and dedication across time zones and disciplines.
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