Andrew Mitchell QC is the Head of Chambers at 33 Chancery Lane, The Chambers of Andrew Mitchell QC. He talks to Acquisition International about the jurisdiction and the regulations involved.
Andrew specialises in advice and advocacy (oral and written) across regulatory, civil, public inquiries and criminal issues relating to commercial wrongdoing.
He elaborates: “I specialise in advising people and entities concerned with “commercial wrongdoing” and am also considered pre-eminent in the field of the recovery of the proceeds of wrongdoing, advising alleged wrongdoers, governments and third parties. My practice engages me internationally and domestically. I lecture and have acted as a consultant for many training programmes worldwide in the areas of bribery and corruption and the proceeds of wrongdoing. I have trained and mentored the judiciary on these issues in England, the Caribbean, Australasia and Africa.
The Chambers has a history of Business Crime representation, including Claimants and Respondents, Defence and Prosecution, individuals and companies - advising and litigating on issues relating to bribery and corruption, fraud and money laundering. “We currently represent prosecuting agencies in their pursuit of assets within the UK as well as representing clients worldwide seeking to secure assets,” explains Andrew. “We act in proceedings taking place in the Supreme Court, Privy Council, Court of Appeal (Civil and Criminal Divisions), all Divisions of the High Court and the Crown Court. Cases range from employee frauds to multi-billion pound company frauds.”
We also act in other jurisdictions andare well equipped to assist and advise in proceedings in those jurisdictions, working with local attorneys as appropriate.
The Chambers certainly stands out from the competition as it provides the skills and experience essential for domestic and international litigation involving commercial and financial wrongdoing of every type. “A typical Claimant will consider the commercial reality of the pursuit of their ‘lost’ assets,” continues Andrew.
“In these lean times they will need to consider the time and cost of pursuing a Respondent and the likelihood of either success in proceedings or the practicality as to whether they will be able to recoup their losses following litigation. Similarly, a Respondent will need to consider the time and financial cost of defending proceedings.
The process of litigation can have a major impact on the ability to efficiently run a business. Stricter regulation means that clients need to make sure that they have up-to-date compliance systems in place in order to avoid falling foul of regulators and facing the negative commercial implications of publicised breaches of money laundering or bribery rules. Fines can be in the GBP millions and more importantly confiscation can deprive the company or individual of everything it obtained as a result or in connection with the criminal conduct without any deduction for anything that might have been paid away (tax, costs of sales etc) - it is a factor of what is obtained not what is retained.”
How are you able to assist prospective clients in protecting themselves against fraud, bribery and corruption?
The Chambers is able to assist prospective clients in protecting them against fraud, bribery and corruption and provides ad hoc advice on specific compliance issues as well as an audit of a business’ compliance procedures followed by a tailored programme of improvements and training with on-going periodical reviews to ensure that changes in regulations are incorporated. Although there have been no recent significant changes in the regulation of Business Crime law, there has been a tightening of the need for compliance.
For example, the Bribery Act is now very much part of the English statutory landscape and has resulted in a fresh approach to compliance. The downturn in the world economy has led to a closer inspection of working practices and an increase in action as Governments and regulators seek to use commercial wrongdoing as a way of raising extra public money. “Like in all areas where downturn bites – wanting more for less – which is making us leaner and makes the Chambers model of legal practice more attractive – because it has lower overheads.”
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