The Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) Criminal Enforcement Team aim to deter fraud in companies and by bankrupt individuals, through the prosecution of alleged breaches of Company law and Insolvency law.  Although civil remedies remain the preferred method of enforcement, when criminal liability does arise, it tends to relate to the commission of offences of fraudulent trading, fraud in attaining voluntary arrangements, breaches of orders, and bankruptcy offences. Prosecution can also arise for seemingly innocuous failings such as the failure to deliver accounts or annual returns.

BIS have powers which enable them to comprehensively investigate complaints they receive, and to gather evidence in the process.  If a successful prosecution follows, in addition to any sentence imposed by the Court, it is common for ancillary applications to be made to confiscate assets through the Proceeds of Crime Act [can the words “Proceeds of Crime Act” be a link to the confiscation page please?].  Furthermore, BIS may ask the Court to give consideration to imposing an order that a person be disqualified from being a director in the future.  These kinds of penalties are designed to be punitive, and can often result in severe repercussions for anyone facing them.

If you are under investigation or being prosecuted by BIS it is vital that you seek legal advice from a specialist lawyer as soon as possible.  Our experienced team can attend interviews under caution with you, forensically examine the evidence against you, and carefully guide you through this particularly complex area of law; with your individual or business interests always being our primary focus.  For advice contact any member of our specialist team, or alternatively click here to provide us with your details, and a member of the team will contact you as soon as possible.

Due to our unique structure at Reeds, you can also choose to instruct a member of our integrated Chambers directly, if you are facing prosecution.  We have a highly respected team of experienced in-house barristers and solicitor advocates selected by us for their outstanding courtroom skills, judgment and commitment to our client-centred approach.  With the removal of any detachment between solicitor and barrister, we believe that our clients can benefit from improved communication and increased contact with the person who will ultimately be presenting their case in court, something the ‘traditional model’ is not always able to deliver.  For more information, you can click here to be directed to our Chambers site.

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