‘Fraud’ is a word that people find easier to use than to define. Partly for this reason, it is difficult for lawyers to summarise the way in which their particular jurisdictions deal with it. Some of the sources of their laws will be domestic and will have evolved over time. Others will be recent international conventions where regard must be had to the decisions of other jurisdictions.
But these difficulties aside, the problems that ‘fraud’ generates pose unique challenges for the legal system of any country. Lawyers have been mulling over the rights and wrongs of solutions to the problems that fraud presents for centuries. They will never stop doing so. The internationalisation of fraud in the past 40 years or so, however, has meant that they argue about these problems not only with lawyers of their own country, but also with lawyers from other jurisdictions. Rarely nowadays will a fraudster leave the proceeds of fraud in the jurisdiction in which they were stolen. The 1980s and early 1990s saw quite pronounced attempts by fraudsters to ‘arbitrage’ the various attitudes and priorities of different jurisdictions to retain what they had taken. Perhaps the highest-profile example of this was the use of jurisdictions in which banking secrecy was a priority as a conduit to which the proceeds of fraud would be transmitted. Another well-known strategy was the use of corporate devices and trusts as a means of sheltering assets from those who deserved to retrieve them.
A number of factors have served to make this more difficult. The growth of international conventions for the harmonisation of laws and enforcement of judgments is clearly one. Perhaps more notable, however, has been the international impetus to curb money laundering through criminal sanctions. These have, however, been first steps, albeit comparatively successful ones. There is still a huge amount to be done.
Robert Hunter is an experienced solicitor-advocate who has specialised in cases involving fraud, asset tracing and breach of trust since the early 1990s. He has particular expertise in applications for emergency injunctive relief such as freezing and proprietary injunctions, search orders and Norwich Pharmacal applications.
Robert has been involved in many of the largest fraud and trust cases to come before the English courts, and has experience of pursuing asset tracing claims and claims for breach of trust in all the major offshore jurisdictions.
He has been ranked as the star fraud practitioner in the Chambers guide since the category was first used, and is rated as the joint star practitioner in contentious trust litigation for the first time in the 2016 Chambers guide to the legal profession.
Previous comments in legal directories include: ‘He is absolutely exceptional. He is the benchmark we all measure ourselves against’, Chambers 2015; ‘a real leader in his field’, ‘He thinks outside the box’, Chambers 2014; ‘considerable skill as an advocate’ Chambers 2014; ‘Robert Hunter remains the outstanding practitioner in the field.’ Chambers UK 2012, ‘a legend and a genius’, Chambers UK 2011; ‘thoroughly impressive’, Chambers UK 2011; ‘knows what to do whatever the circumstances, whatever the situation’, Chambers UK 2011; he ‘is at the top of his game’, is ‘like a bloodhound in pursuit of his clients’ interests’ and has ‘an ability to read the fraudster’s mind and anticipate his reactions’; Legal 500 UK 2010; ‘the sort of solicitor you don’t come across very often, capable of coming up with points of true genius’, Chambers UK 2009; ‘years of deep experience, flexibility and insightful approaches’ Chambers UK 2009; and ‘easily one of the most impressive solicitors I have ever come across […] he is a shrewd and clever tactician, an articulate and brilliant lawyer, and an inspirational team leader and motivator’, Chambers UK 2008.
The publisher acknowledges and thanks the following for their learned assistance throughout the preparation of this book: